Tag Archives: #parenting

Issues in Education – Regents Diplomas, Teacher Shortages, Homework by AI – 11/20/23

These are some of the current “Issues in Education” in the Family Life listening area:

            • New York’s Proposed New Rules for High School Graduation
            • Solving the Teacher Shortage Problem in Pennsylvania
            • Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom


Lots of big topics to discuss in the classroom this week.  Dr. Ralph Kerr with the “Teaching and Learning Institute” does a “deep dive” on “Issues in Education”.

Inside Out – Managing Holiday Conflict – 11/15/23

Inside Out:  Managing Family Conflict During the Holidays 

                • Ways to prepare
                • What we can do, and what to avoid
                • Who can offer you comfort?

Do upcoming holiday gatherings already have your stomach in knots? A veteran counselor with Focus on the Family suggests thinking ahead of time about how both historic family dynamics and differing personal opinions will play into how the day unfolds.       

 “I think it’s also constructive to look at what is our attitude towards the person or the people that we’re going to be spending time with?” says Glenn Lutjens, a licensed family therapist with 28 years of experience. “Are there things that we can appreciate about them? And if I’m appreciative of someone, I’m probably going to be more understanding of them. I’m probably going to accept maybe a little bit of their quirks.”  

 Lutjens points out that it’s really okay for people to disagree, in a respectful way.  “I think probably one of the best sentences in the English language is this: ‘You and I see this differently.’ What is there to say after that? The person has their opinion, you have yours.”

 If you are anxious, Lutjens encourages you with the truth that God accompanies you. “I would say probably the most important thing is to realize God is going to be with you. You’re not there on your own. The Spirit of God—if you’ve received God’s free gift of salvation through faith in Christ—He’s going to be with you. And realize that that presence is going to be important.”  

 Learn more about Glenn Lutjens and Focus here. 

Issues in Education – Dr. Ralph Kerr – 11/13/23

Family Life’s “Issues in Education

Dr. Ralph Kerr, a longtime school administrator and the founder of the Teaching and Learning Institute talks about key issues happening now among classrooms, school boards, and communities. These conversations are important for parents, extended families and taxpayers.

This week:

  • The “Migrant Crisis” goes to school
  • College Courses on Anti-Semitism
  • What’s happening with the shortage of Milk Cartons?

Ralph Kerr founded the Teaching and Learning Institute, an advocacy organization which encourages people of faith to be actively involved in their local schools and school boards. TLI is based in Houghton, New York. Bob Price is your host for our weekly Monday feature.

Inside Out – Biblical Worldview – Barna Research – 11/01/23

We develop our way of looking at the world—our worldview—before we turn 13.

Remarkably, new research finds that fewer than one in ten parents think through how to guide their children spiritually during those critical years.  

Dr. George Barna directs the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and includes these findings in his new book Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child’s Heart, Mind and Soul. “Everybody has a worldview. You need a worldview to get through the day,” Barna says. “So children are going to develop a worldview whether their parents are involved in it or not. That is a vacuum that has to be filled.” 

If parents don’t work toward developing their children’s spiritual life, other worldviews will fill that void. “Without their parents being there to help guide them, they’re just doing the best they can to make sense of it all.” Barna offers ways to help parents to live out their roles as disciple-makers.  “The first of those is to recognize that God gave them these children to raise up to be disciples,” he says.  So it’s important to be intentional and not outsource this critical part of parenting.  

“They have to have not only a commitment, but a plan to take in these children during those formative 12 years, and do everything they can to lead them down the right path.” That begins by knowing what beliefs you as a parent want your children to embrace.  “Why? Because we do what we believe. In essence, your worldview is based on your beliefs, that then gets translated into behavior,” he says.  

“The only way that you can be Christlike is to think like Jesus so that you can live like Jesus.” 

Children see when stated beliefs are not reflected in behavior.  “Kids don’t trust their parents anymore because their parents say one thing and do another. You want to get to your kids? Model the beliefs that you’re trying to teach them. When they see you live it out, then they’re going to say, ‘Okay, I see it. It works. My parents believe it. I’m going to run with it.’” 

Underlying all of this, Dr. George Barna recommends that Christian parents bear in mind the context of all of their parenting.  “Parenting is a vital battle in the spiritual war in which we live,” he says. “We have to be aware of the nature of that battle if we’re going to fight it well.” 

Follow-up links for more information and inspiration:

Issues in Education – Conferences, Scores, and more – 10/23/23

Issues in Education” on Family Life

It’s Parent-Teacher Conferences time. How can parents and guardians make these meetings most effective and helpful for students. Former school administrator and now education watchdog Ralph Kerr gives his insights and advise on this edition of our Monday news feature “Issues in Education”. There are several questions which are particularly fruitful for this mid-semester check-in.

Also this week, Dr. Kerr talks about interactions parents and other constituents can have with their local school board, plus an update on standardized test scores.

Dr. Ralph Kerr with the “Teaching and Learning Institute”. TLI describes its mission as the emphasis to get Christians involved in their local public schools and become candidates for school board. The institute studied a recent election where fully half of 139 western New York school districts only had one candidate running for each of the open seats.

Issues in Education – e-Buses for Schools, Textbook Transparency? – 10/09/23

Issues in Education” on Family Life

Most Mondays at Noon, we bring you a conversation with education watchdog Ralph Kerr, with an eye toward the issues and debates happening surrounding public schools in Pennsylvania and New York. This feature also is available for listening, subscribing, or downloading from www.FamilyLife.org/newspodcasts 24/7.


Here is some of what we have for you in this week’s episode:

  • Controversial curriculum…Is New York State “mandating” or merely “recommending” DEI and CRT curriculum for local school districts?
  • Transparency in education…Will parents really check into all those online textbooks?
  • Rollin’ Out Electric Buses…How many e-buses can you buy with $100,000,000 in taxpayer money?


Dr. Ralph Kerr is a regular contributor to Family Life News. He founded and heads the Teaching and Learning Institute. It’s website is WhyRun.org, named as such with a goal to encourage concerned citizens to become candidates for their local school board.

Issues in Education – Unruly fans, Rushed cafeterias – 10/02/23

Issues in Education” — A weekly Family Life news feature

Are schoolkids getting enough time to eat lunch?

What is the proper role for cell phones during school hours?

How is the new “3 Strikes & Your Out” policy working at scholastic sporting events?

Education watchdog Ralph Kerr offers his insights on this week’s school and classroom topics.


Dr. Kerr is founder and president of the Teaching and Learning Institute. More information on their take on education and school-board topics is available here.

Issues in Education _ 4-Day Weeks, Homework, E-Buses _ 09/18/23

“Issues in Education”

What is happening affecting students, families, educators and taxpayers in Pennsylvania’s and New York’s school districts?

Education watchdog Dr. Ralph Kerr joins us on Mondays during the Family Life Noon Report for our “Issues in Education” feature. In this week’s interview:

  • As some business and labor interests push for shorter work weeks, should public schools which to a four-day week?
  • Does homework serve a purpose anymore?
  • With the push to go toward 100% all-electric vehicles, what does that mean for school bus fleets in the decade ahead?

Ralph Kerr, following a 30-year career as a school administrator, now leads the Teaching and Learning Institute headquartered in Houghton, New York.


Family Life Interview – Too much screentime – Cleveland Clinic – 09/14/23

A Cleveland Clinic pediatric psychologist cautions parents that too much time on social media and video games can harm children.

Dr. Michael Manos says teens can experience multiple harmful consequences if screentime overtakes their life

  • they often lose sleep, if they take their phones to their bedroom
  • they lose the ability to empathize with real people, because in-person interactions are more complex than online connections
  • creativity drops off, because video games are scripted and pre-programmed without real-life spontaneity

The staff psychologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health says the implications apply to everyone of every age. He also quotes some challenging recommendations from national pediatricians’ groups: Children under age 5 should have no more than one hour of screentime per day, and toddlers under age 3 should never have phones or tablets.

He also says adults’ own interactions with devices matter, for themselves and as role models for their families. In this Family Life interview, Dr. Manos also offers his advice about what should happen with televisions in your family’s sleeping areas.


Real Answers – Parents ARE their children’s primary educator – 09/13/23

As another school year begins, parents cannot just “hand off” the education of their children to schools and teachers.

So says professional counselor Christopher Anderson, who offers practical advice on “Real Answers“, the Family Life news feature which addresses big issues facing Christians and Christian families.Anderson emphasizes that parents are their children’s primary educator, especially on faith training and values awareness. In this conversation:

  • Developing confidence, when a parent is uncertain whether they are “up to the job”
  • Christopher Anderson’s take on parental roles, amid changing social and cultural standards
  • Why many are switching to home schooling, and considerations if you might be pondering that
  • The vital role of parents and families for students who are in public schools
  • How to guide teens in ethical behavior, even if a parent faltered on sinful behavior when they were growing up