This page is dedicated to the resources that have given the greatest hope to my work with children and families. Dig in, marinate, enjoy.
Research about Theology
My favorite source for marinating in the Good News that is the Gospel are my friends at TrueFace.org. Listen to their podcasts, enroll in their on-line class “Certification in High Trust Leadership,” and buy all of their books!
TrueFace resources include the following books. Click the covers to purchase from Amazon. These are affiliate links that give a portion of your purchase back to John 15 Academy to help fund our dream to repurpose education at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!
I’ve probably watched this YouTube video at least 100 times; it helped me untangle a great number of lies from what is life-giving about the Gospel, specifically, helping me understand the primary motive in life is not to please God, but rather TRUST God. Only our trust pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6). Enjoy the humor of John Lynch as you linger in the power of the original Good News! This analogy is delivered in a short version (see video below) and a full version on YouTube–click the button below the video to watch that version. Or watch both! Share these videos with your children–and enjoy conversations about their considerations and questions.
Click the button below to watch the full 40+ minute version of the Two Roads message
Other theology books I highly recommend include:
Research about Social Work, Neuroscience, and Communication Pathology
Dr. Caroline Leaf‘s work gives me great hope in the way her research validates my experiences. She has written many books – all good in the way they are helpful. She has her own TV show and her website is ripe with resources. Dig in!
One of my favorite quotes, from The Gift In You on page 146:
"Science is showing us that there is a massive 'unlearning' of negative toxic thoughts when we operate in love. The brain releases a chemical called oxytocin, which literally melts away the negative toxic thought clusters so that rewiring of new non-toxic circuits can happen. This chemical also flows when we trust and bond and reach out to others. Love literally wipes out fear!”
Thank you, too, Brené Brown. John 15 Academy is our turn at daring greatly!
If you haven’t already, please read Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. One of the many highlights of this book is found on page 198:
“If leaders expect real learning, critical thinking, and change, then discomfort should be normalized: “We believe growth and learning are uncomfortable so it’s going to happen here – you’re going to feel that way. We want you to know that it’s normal and it’s an expectation here. You’re not alone and we ask that you stay open and lean into it.” This is true at all levels and in all organizations , schools, faith communities, and even families.”
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life is another powerful book by Brené Brown.
Dr. James Wilder (and his co-authors) have written several good resources. Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You is one of my favorite book recommendations. It is great for families, churches, and communities. Page 49 is where I have highlighted:
“Will people grow up to be life-giving or life-draining? The family and community are the people who create the environment that nudges offspring in one of those two directions. One of those directions is guided by love bonds; the other is guided by fear bonds. That preparation for becoming a person, life-giving or life-draining, is then passed on to the next generations. We are all trained in this way to give others life – or to drain it from them. . . People can overcome shortcomings that result from faulty training; they can receive repair from traumas, and that can introduce improvements into the lives of those who are still in training. That is good news. People can help one another get unstuck and begin to mature once again”
Joy Starts Here: The Transformation Zone is another helpful book. And check out other resources from James Wilder on the Life Model Works website by clicking the button below.
Research on Educational Philosophy
Charlotte Mason breathed new and inspired air into my weary educator lungs when I met her, now more than 10 years ago. This British educator died almost 100 years ago and I still consider her to be one of my best friends. I treasure her company in the books she left behind.
I will be forever grateful for my years as teacher and Principal at Ambleside School of Fredericksburg. The good, true, and beautiful rhythms of life at Ambleside were healing and maturing for me. Living books, inspirational ideas, and relationships with art and nature and music transformed my soul, by design not default. A great source of information about the Charlotte Mason philosophy is Ambleside School's website, which you can visit by clicking the button below. The website is a rich resource for browsing, and growing in the beauty Charlotte Mason offers us.
A MUST READ is For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley. I share this quote from page 11:
“Let us really and truly be courageous. Much of what follows (in the book) goes against the daily pattern of most lives. It’s interesting to read about, but it will remain as so many words on a page if we cannot do what we know is right. One day we will stand before the Creator. Were we willing to give, serve, and sacrifice for the children’s sake?”
Also Highly Recommended
A practical application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy
Offers valuable data about the devastating effects of childhood trauma and the result in the world of education.
Provides truth about the power of one of my favorite words. . . “YET!”