Technology and Our Kids Part 3

Technology and Our Kids Part 3 , written by Ryan Langeland, answers a few of parents’ most frequently asked questions.

As an area Youth Leader who remembers teaching students before the advent of the Internet, I have seen a new generation of students learning to grow up with readily-available technology and all of its benefits and aggravations.  Parents are regularly asking me for advice regarding students’ use of cell phones, and I thought I would briefly share the most common questions I get and how I respond to them:

When is the best time for my student to get a cell phone?

A: The summer before High School.  I absolutely love and vigorously protect Middle Schoolers and can say they are rarely at a point when they can appropriately manage their cell phone use.  I realize that this is not a commonly-held view and that many Middle Schoolers have cell phones.  Yes, this will be a point of contention in a household that is holding off cell phone privileges, but deferred gratification yields greater responsibility.  Use the post-8th Grade summer to closely monitor cell phone use and to provide guidance before your student enters High School.

What are some apps or behaviors I need to be watching out for, as a parent?

A: Some of these are obvious: Texting and driving, sexting, and bullying.  Let me encourage parents to be TOUGH and VIGILANT with treatment of violations of these behaviors.  Please remember that repeated negative consequences for behavior lose effect over time.  It is more important to be clear, decisive, and present during a first punishment than at any other time.
Here’s another thing to watch for: students are setting up fake or proxy accounts on social media, virtual private networks or secret internet accessing accounts, or using other students’ phones.  For better or for worse, students want to be privately contact people with their cell phones.  They will go to great lengths to keep their interactions with anyone secret, especially from their parents.

How do I monitor what my student is doing with their cell phone?

A: You really can’t do this entirely, but there are really good practices that will help students properly prioritize cell phone use and keep use from happening at times that will often get students into trouble.  Let me point out a few: Have students leave their cell phones on the kitchen table to charge before going to bed at night.-Have students leave their cell phones at home when going to church functions.-Make a “no headphones” rule for when you are taking trips.  This allows for a little more interaction and accountability for the entertainment students are taking in when traveling. -Ask students what they are doing, playing, etc. on their phones. Do this often enough so that it is not an awkward conversation.  Let students know that you care what they are doing in the digital world.  Let them know that you want them to make wise decisions in what they are doing, on their own.  Confirm that you want to walk alongside them with this, not above them.

Ryan Langeland
Warsaw Community Church Youth Pastor


Technology and Our Kids Part 2

As the internet is so prevalent in our daily lives it is important to have a plan for monitoring our children’s screen time. With so many possible negative outcomes from unsupervised screen time, Tyler Moore High School Youth Pastor at Warsaw Community Church takes time to share his thoughts on the subject.

I recently made a visit to the city of Chicago. As I considered where I would go, I was reminded of the weird bean that everyone loves, the Sears Tower (not the Sears Tower any more) and the many other opportunities I could have. It even crossed my mind the kind of photos I might be able to take and post on social media. What didn’t occur to me while planning my visit to Chicago, though, is all the places that I wouldn’t want to visit. There are all kinds of places that would quickly lead to trouble: bars, strip clubs, dark alleys. Thankfully, people have shown me how to navigate this city safely, so I knew what areas to avoid.

You might be wondering, “What does a visit to Chicago have to do with technology?” I’m so glad that you asked! Just like a big city has all kinds of opportunities and wonderful places you can go, so does the internet. And in the same way that a large city like Chicago has a lot of dangerous places that you could visit, so does the internet.

If you knew that your child had some crazy school project where they were going to navigate Chicago by themselves, you would make sure to teach them what they need to watch for and where they need to go. You would give them guidelines. You would tell them who they could trust and who they couldn’t. You would recommend certain restaurants. You might even chart out exactly where they could and couldn’t go. What you wouldn’t do, under any circumstances, is give them money and say “good luck”. And yet, very often, that’s what happens when we give our kids cell phones. 

If you’re like most parents, you find technology a bit overwhelming and your child is constantly teaching you things that you didn’t know. That’s funny to joke about at parties, but the fact is our children are navigating some really dangerous places. And too often, they’re doing it alone, without supervision. I know that trying to understand technology can be difficult. It changes so quickly! The fact remains, though: You wouldn’t let your child go to Chicago without supervision and we shouldn’t let them navigate the vast spaces of the internet alone either. We need to do the work of understanding the things that our children are using so that we can help them make wise decisions that will affect their futures. ~ Tyler Moore

WCS believes in the importance of partnering with our parents in training up children to be prepared for life and eternity in all that they do. Here are a few resources that we have found to be beneficial in regards to navigating the internet from a Biblical perspective:

Deuteronomy 6:7 teaches parents to be talking to their children about God’s truths every day in all situations. WCS Parent, Jacob Barros, Associate Director of IT, Network and Operations at Grace College advises parents to have an open honest relationship and put the right protections in place, teaching kids to be good digital citizens, even when it’s hard. WCS would like to encourage you to take this stance as well, by setting up guidelines and having those conversations with your child. While remembering, that even as our children navigate within parent approved apps, they may not always be protected and adult supervision is still necessary.

Next week in the final part 3 of our Technology and Our Kids series, Ryan Langeland will answer some of the most frequently asked questions by parents in regards to technology guidelines for students.

Technology and Our Kids

WCS Fall 2018-85
WCS is committed to teaching all things through a Biblical worldview and this includes digital citizenship. With the increased media attention of harmful videos going viral on social media, I would like to take this time to share with you that WCS provides a safe online learning platform through Smoothwall. This filtering provider blocks all harmful or inappropriate content. Smoothwall recently released a statement in regards to parental concerns to games such as ‘Momo’. Click here to read Smoothwall’s statement.
It is in these early preschool and elementary years of formation that it is especially important that family, school, and church work together to help educate children in order that they have deep roots in God’s word to withstand the blows of  the things of this world. It is because of my commitment to building up world changing students that I am thankful that WCS’s  friends and families are as equally committed to helping us grow our students into becoming godly stewards of their technological worlds.  Brad Grennier, Grace College Student and Student Ministries Intern at Warsaw Community Church, is one of those committed individuals who has written the following to help us ask the right questions to keep our technology use in check with God’s word. Please take the time to read his thoughts and be encouraged as you navigate this tech world with your child(ren):

Technology is not sinful. It itself has no inherent issues compared to scripture. What we do with technology can become problematic. What first comes to mind when I think about technology is social media. I myself am on social media (Instagram). Instagram has given me the ability to stay connected into others’ lives that I don’t get to see daily. Instagram has also given me the ability to stray away from God. The thought that the Bible can help us understand what to do with social media can seem far-fetched, but His word is true for every age. The Bible does not specifically speak on the topic of social media. We don’t see the 11th commandment “thou shalt not take a selfie”. But the Bible does bring up a few questions that parents can consider and bring up in conversation with their kids.

The first question to consider is: will this be edifying? To honestly answer this question, we must understand what edifying means. Edifying is to build up. We must ask if this this builds others up? The answer is typically no. In 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 it says, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” This verse applies to more then just social media. It applies to every aspect of our lives. I’m not saying the God doesn’t want us to have fun and enjoy what we have on earth. That not the case. So often we (as Christians) ask where the line is. And this verse shows that we are in the wrong thinking. We shouldn’t be trying to creep towards sin but towards Christ and his perfection. When we ask the question will this be edifying? We are putting what we are doing in an eternal perspective. Will social media help us build each other up or will it distract us?

The second question is: does it pass the “test”? This test can be found in Philippians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” When we look at this test it can be used for any part of life. Social media is no exception. Is social media lovely, admirable, true, noble, right, or pure? Not in all cases. This verse tells us to think or set your minds upon these things. If social media is keeping you distant or distracted from God, then a heart check needs to be in place.

Don’t take these questions as a focus that every single person should get rid of social media. Like I stated before, God wants us to enjoy stuff on earth. These questions help us put our priorities in check. Social media can be used to further the Gospel but often is used to boost our pride or to tear ourselves/others down. Christ commanded us to be heavenly focused. He commands us to go and make disciples who make disciples (Matt 28:16-20). He does not command us to have a ton of Instagram followers. These questions are something you might not directly say but can ask your kids. It may be awkward at first, but it is beneficial to train kids in the Word and help them stay eternity focused.

We will continue our focus on technology and our kids in our next blog post. Stay tuned!

Tricia Deisch, Principal

ACSI DAY Of Prayer

Postcard (v0)Today is the Association of Christian School’s (ACSI) global day of prayer and I wanted to share an excerpt from today’s ACSI blog post.  The following is written by Debbie Miller the Northwest Regional Director of ACSI:  

 I don’t watch a lot of movies, but when I do, I’m rarely impacted beyond being entertained in the moment. Sometimes, though, on rare occasions, I see a movie or even a scene that captivates my thinking, leaving an indelible mark. Such was the case with “Gravity,” a film starring Sandra Bullock as a scientist/rookie astronaut, whose first mission goes horribly awry, leaving her floating around in space with ostensibly no way to get back to earth.

The most impactful moment of the movie for me follows after an accident has left Bullock’s character lost in space. Oxygen is running out; the penetrating cold is taking its toll; she’s losing capacity for rational thought. Attempting to make radio contact with any living being, she is babbling into the comms device searching for any response. Her ramblings are mostly forgettable, until finally, in a desperate and hopeless whisper, she says this: “I’m going to die today…and no one will even say a prayer for me…would you say a prayer for me? Or is it too late? I would say a prayer for myself, but I’ve never prayed in my life. I would pray, but nobody ever taught me how. Nobody ever taught me how.” [To watch this powerful clip, click here].

These lines really rocked me; in the dark of the theater, I was moved to tears. Oh God, how many people have never learned how to talk to the One who loves them beyond understanding, who hears every need, who sees every tear, who formed their beings with infinite care?  

Tomorrow (due to today’s snow day) WCS will be participating in the ACSI’s Day of Prayer. It is our desire that the whole world would know how to pray to the God of the universe who loves them unconditionally. Will you join us as we pray for the ministries of the Christian school nationally and globally?

~ Tricia Deisch

The Faith of a Child

img_9263Matthew 19:14 is in red letters. Red letters for a very important reason. Jesus spoke these words. His words hold power and are absolute truth. He knows that children have pure faith and trust Him without question. That is what we are to do as adults. All too often, life’s experiences tarnish that pure faith and we allow it to dull our trust in God. The enemy knows that faith is what pleases the Lord so it comes as no surprise that he would try to replace that faith with fear. Children do not worry about the details. They just trust. How pleasing and joyful it must have been for Jesus to spend time with children. How much more pleasing it must be to Him when the pure worship of a child is lifted up! I can envision darkness shattering, angels roaring His praise, and all heaven coming to a halt just to focus and receive the genuine praise from a child. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Here at Warsaw Christian Preschool, the whole child is ministered to in academics, social development, and spiritual growth. We just happened to capture this in a snapshot. It made our day and we are confident that it will make yours, too.

Written by Mrs. Lambert Preschool 3 Teacher

WCS Thanks You!

As we approach a new year, we reflect on God’s goodness and the generosity of our community during 2018. We are able to impact the lives of our students because of your faithful support. We thank you for partnering with us as we fulfill the mission of Warsaw Christian School.

We look forward to seeing what God is going to do in 2019!

The Shepherds Found Jesus!

This week in Eagle Story Hour the good news was brought to many of the littles in our area. They listened to Joseph recount the night Jesus was born. They gathered around in awe as little shepherds with their sheep and followed the shining star all the way to Jesus! They played dress up and acted out the Christmas story,  made little mangers, and sang Christmas songs and played the bells.

Eagle Story Hour is a community mission of Warsaw Elementary School that reaches out to preschool aged children from birth up to kindergarten. This ministry allows the community to experience the heart of our mission and vision: training children in body, mind and spirit to be prepared for life and eternity. It’s a privilege and joy to impact hearts for Jesus; it’s why we do what we do!

The next Eagle Story Hour is January 11, 2019 from 9:00-10:00. Call our main office at 574-267-5788 for more details.

WCS’s Preschool & Kindergarten Open House will be held on February 21, 2019 from 4:30-6:30 PM.

Praying Together for the 10/40

You can see a lot in the eyes of a little child. It’s been a joy for me to see excitement, sadness, and hope in the eyes of my kindergartners this school year during our twice daily special prayer time. You see, we’re praying through the 10/40 window this year in kindergarten. The 10/40 window refers to the nations and people that live between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator in the eastern hemisphere. Those within this space are largely unreached people groups struggling with poverty and a lack of education.

Each day we choose two people groups for which to pray. While the idea of the 10/40 window, millions of people, small percentages, and strange languages may be hard concepts for young children to grasp, it is beyond exciting to watch God move in the hearts of our kindergartners. When we read of a people group that doesn’t have the Bible in a language they understand, I see sadness in the eyes of my students. When we find a people group where perhaps one out of every one hundred people believes in Jesus, there is joy in their eyes. The class still giggles as I try to pronounce the strange names and languages, but the children never let us forget to take time to pray.

While Warsaw may be far from the unreached peoples of the world, every morning during our morning meeting and later during our calendar time, we pray to the Father of all peoples that He may work in wondrous ways to lead His lost children to Him. What a joy to see children praying for children. What a joy to be able to take a few precious minutes to do this each day as a class. ~ Rebekah Pityer

Ready, Set, Go!

Monday is our first day back to school for the 2018-2019 school year and we are ready to GO! God’s word is clear, that as Christ followers it is our mission to go and make disciples of all nations. At WCS, it is our mission to train up students in mind, body, and spirit to be prepared for life and eternity. We are committed to equipping our students in all areas to be prepared to GO wherever God leads them! Part of getting ready for the upcoming school year, our teachers have taken time to rejuvenate spiritually, professionally, and physically.  During the months of June, July and August our teachers have read professional articles and books, gone to workshops, attended online webinars, furthered their schooling, enjoyed time relaxing with family, and spent extra time with the Lord allowing Him to fill their cups.  This past week we came back together for orientation and professional development. We are committing our plans to the Lord and trusting Him to establish the work of our hands as in Proverbs 16:3. Our teachers are READY and they are SET! Will you join me in praying for our teachers as they GO this Monday morning?

Kindergarten In The Eyes Of Our Parents

Boys and Miss Pityer.JPGMiss Pityer has been the kindergarten teacher for our two oldest children and we have been very thankful to have her as their teacher.  We have spent time in her classroom and have been impressed with the patience and kindness that she has towards her students.  She is very in tune with the kids’ personalities and seems to know each of her students well.  She creates a fun learning environment for the students, which we believe is crucial at that age.  Her love for Jesus is evident in the way she teaches and we value the fact that she centers learning around the Bible.  She encourages kids to ask questions and grow in the Lord which is important to us as parents.

Kindergarten is an important year for all children given how much change is happening in their lives at the time; going from partial to full day school is a big deal!  Miss Pityer includes rest time, reading , exercise breaks, etc. during the day which help make the transition easier.  Miss Pityer is also an excellent communicator and keeps parents updated on their child’s performance and class activities.  The structure of Kindergarten at WCS lays a positive foundation for students to grow to enjoy school which can benefit them in the long run.  Miss Pityer’s professionalism, emphasis on learning and deep faith make her an exceptional teacher.~ Jason and Mallika Klingaman, Kindergarten Parents

We fell in love with WCS the second we walked in the doors three years ago, our love for the school has only grown over those years.  We love that WCS is a bunch of families making one big family! We have had two kids go through Kindergarten and both absolutely loving everyday of it.  The way that Miss Pityer engages each child and loves on each child isn’t the kind of care that you would find anywhere else.  She is fun, engaging, and is very good at explaining things to the children when they have made a mistake or misbehaved.  Makenzie loved her so much that on her Graduation day she was in tears because it was over.  Konner loves they way she does centers and teaches math.  I love that I can come on my lunch break or spend the whole day with my kids and help out in the classroom.  Konner has grown so much spiritually!  At the beginning of the year he would pray with us at bed time and that was kind of it.  Now he wants to pray for our meals instead of one of us parents doing it and if someone isn’t feeling well he will immediately pray for them he loves talking to God and understands more about God and what he is to us. ~ Katie Burgin, Kindergarten Parent

“Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with one nation, under God, invisible, with liberty and justice for all.” ~ From the mouth of a Kindergartener