Entries by Nicole Balza

Embrace the quietness

It seems that we live in fear of quietness. Not only do we as a culture shy away from it, but we don’t particularly like it when our children grow quiet. I would encourage you to embrace the quietness. One of the benefits to homeschooling for six years was that I was able to easily […]

Is it a problem when our kids are silent?

One of the greatest skills of parenting is communicating with our children. Truly hearing them, reflecting their words, giving them an understanding that their thoughts and feelings are heard and acknowledged. Don’t we all want people like this in our lives? What a wonderful demonstration of love to be fully present with another person in […]

When your teen stops talking

Sometimes I think half the battle of parenting is not to take anything too personally. When your teenage boy goes quiet, for instance, it’s usually not about you. It can be a hard adjustment, though, because wasn’t it just last week when he was sitting in the kitchen, going on and on while you were […]

The challenge of teaching the Reformation

When it comes to teaching our children about the Reformation, especially our young children, we have to admit the challenge of it. Perhaps, the most obvious challenge is that the official date for recognizing the Reformation is Oct. 31, 1517. There is a part of me that wishes that Martin Luther would have had some […]

Begin the year with patience and grace

As an early elementary school teacher, I was both nervous and eager to begin each school year. Every new school year held so much promise. Yet beginning something new took such patience and hard work. I always knew that by mid-October all of the hard work would start paying off as individual students became a […]

Parenting a high schooler

Is your oldest getting ready to enter high school? It wasn’t so long ago when that’s where my wife, Joyce, and I were. The years go by so fast. It seems like just yesterday that it was kindergarten graduation, the first recital, the first game, and now . . . high school. Moving from eighth […]

Listening or compromising?

As a college professor, my “first day of class” activities are pretty standard. One of my favorite activities for a class primarily comprised of freshmen only takes a minute or two, but it generally produces huge benefits throughout the course of the semester. I have the students turn to someone in the class they don’t […]

“Where do your kids go to school?”

“Where do your kids go to school?” This common question always catches me off guard. It shouldn’t, of course, but it does. I answer—with some pride, but mainly apprehension—that we homeschool our kids. Thankfully, most reactions involve admiration and praise followed with general inquiry. However, some reactions have involved judgment, concern, and overall disapproval. Homeschooling […]

Honesty is a heart issue

This is a fascinating topic for me. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to identify my core values. Honesty is always in the top five for me. It is a no brainer. Recently I realized that honesty is not a core value for everyone. I was shocked. I wondered who wouldn’t have honesty […]