Category Archives: About Us

Encouraging Parents
Loving Children

Encouraging Parents

“Parenting is the most challenging and is the most rewarding job there is” says, Christian Ross, Dad

Starts at Home encourages parents with children under seven years of age. You’ve heard it said it “starts at home”.  Children don’t come with instruction manuals.  Starts at Home are people who love parents and children, who are devoted to helping children achieve the best in whatever God given talents they have.

Parents are empowered to teach good attitudes and skills like faith, sharing, obedience, honoring parents, reading, math, memory, budgeting, and other practical life skills. We want our children to be the best they can be, giving them the freedom to choose their path in life.

We believe that parents whether married, single, or custodial, can teach children and protect them against the temptations they will face in the world like, unhealthy eating, sexual permissiveness, illegal drugs, internet safety, selfish pride, and excessive materialism.

We have a lot of work when it comes to loving the children and encouraging parents. There’s a lot of traumatized children out there.. Charles Manson, a life-sentenced murderer,  is an example; he grew up without the love of nurturing parents and eventually release his ugly anger.  When Charles Manson was born his mother did not give him a name, later, his mother sold him for a pitcher of beer.

In the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics,  “the homicide 1) rate doubled from the early 1960s to the late 1970s, increasing from 4.6 per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1962 to, 2)  9.7 per 100,000 by 1979,  3) in 1980 the rate peaked at 10.2 per 100,000,  and 4) subsequently fell  to 7.9 per 100,000 in 1984. 5) The rate rose again in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to another peak in 1991 of 9.8 per 100,000. 5) The homicide rate declined sharply from 9.3 homicides per 100,000, 6) in 1992 to 4.8 homicides per 100,000 in 2010″.

The poverty of no love and rejection can lead to many forms of mental illness. With hope, faith, and love, we come to serve. We are a group of individuals, businesses, organization working together to help families because children are not born with instructions.  For more information on this group see the Organization in this website.

We would be pleased to have you be part of Starts at Home, call us at (808) 937-4392,  or email us at  Have a wonderful and joy filled day!

  • This article was originally published on April 4, 2010

By Carl Okuyama

Roots of the Vision – A Child’s Pure Heart

It was Sunday and time to teach Sunday School.  The church provided a loving, nurturing, and fun environment to teach interesting bible stories; the children and parents liked the classes and choose to return each Sunday.  Being a small country church, this class was composed of eight to eighteen children ranging in age from six to eleven. Due to this wide range teaching was a challenge.  In class some children could spell and read,  most of them were just learning to read.  In this fun atmosphere we taught spelling, reading, and shared stories of how to work with one another.

Sunday school cookiesThis Sunday, I was inspired to bake cookies, although I’m not a baker nor a good cook. I enjoyed the children so this led me to start baking cookies for them.  My wife Amy would poke her nose into the kitchen and curiously watched and wonder if I could make cookies; her suggestions were appreciated.  Some cookies came out of the oven light in color and some a bit darker, nevertheless, they all tasted “ono”, which means delicious in the Hawaiian language. Using food coloring I painted each cookie with a letter or symbol.  Now I was equipped to teach Sunday School.

In class I announced that everyone had a chance to get a cookie and all each child had to do was to say a word that contained the letter on the cookie; this was the spelling lesson of the day. When I asked who wanted to go first, they all raised their hands, all frantically trying be noticed.  Each child wanted a cookie and my cookie lesson plan was working.  Since Paul was the youngest he was chosen to go first.

Paul came up and looked anxiously into the large jar of cookies,  a smile on this face, eyes were lit up, he had so much hope in his heart.  He looked at me, then looked back into the cookie jar, then again at me and so I asked Paul to tell me any word with any letter on any cookie.   With much joy on his face and a pure, clean, and naive heart, Paul said “f- – -” Although I was shocked I did not flinch and instead suggested that he try another word.  He again looked happily back into the cookie jar and couldn’t think of a word.  At that point I realized that Paul was the youngest in the class and still learning to spell so I picked out a cookie and said, “how about the letter “J” – J for Jesus”; then wrote the word on the whiteboard.   His face beamed with happiness, Paul got the first cookie, he sat down and the class continued.

That Sunday morning Paul changed my life.  Paul showed me children are taught early in life and sometimes we can lose them to the dark side when we display and teach the wrong attitudes and teachings.   When I first shared this story with a few individuals, it provoked two kinds of responses 1) did you scold and discipline the kid?, or 2) that’s funny yet so sad.  I agree with the second response, as our children are naive and need to be taught early in life with good skills and attitudes. If I scolded Paul or said harsh words to the children in class they will not want to come back to class, they may become ashamed and run from the teacher or non-nurturing parent.  Fortunately Paul continued to come to class every Sunday and it was pure joy helping him grow.  I have so much hope for Paul for I know that the seeds we plant in a child’s early life will be fruitful and help build good character in the years to come.

Eventually, I left teaching Sunday school after Lorna, a church member,  shared with me this scripture,  “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse”; Malachi 4:6 (NIV).  This verse  is the last scripture written in the Holy Bible’s Old Testament, it was written about 430 years B.C.

The scripture Malachi 4:6 was the beginning  and reminder to the teach children earlier in life and to give them a good start; so when they’re  older they’ll not depart from the ways they were taught.  It was from this point in time I started to dedicate time to encourage parents, this became the vision and mission of Starts at Home.

Lord God, help us teach our children with an obedient, loving, and nurturing spirit.  Amen.


By Carl Okuyama

Teach a Child Early In Life

Amy and Olivia

Teach a child early in life so as they grow older they will not depart from those teachings. Children are most receptive to learning when they’re young. It’s wise to be planting good concepts and skills before the age of seven. The exposure of media and other children could teach them other harmful concepts, that will be very difficult to re-educate later in life.

When parents teach children at a young age they will have a  choice… the parent’s way or the worldly way.

What we plant early in a child’s life are gifts to our chidlren.

It Starts at Home

Encouraging Parents and Loving Children

Carl Okuyama

Thanks for Helping Parents and Children

It Starts at Home

Starts at Home is a family centered organization.  We are encouraged by the help from organizations and individuals, and appreciate those who are helping parents and children in our communities, our children are the future coming.  If  you would like to help or would like additional information contact us. Carl and Amy Okuyama/ 1346 Kilikina Street/ Hilo, Hawaii 96720/ Phone (808) 937-4392 /e-mail

Supporting Affiliates and Organizations:

Bill Walters, W.H. Shipman Ltd.,

Carl & Amy Okuyama,  Wiki Wiki Mart

Charlotte Kaide, HELP Ohana International

Chris Leonard, New West Broadcasting, KWXX, B-97, K-PUA

Cynthia Antonio-Honma, Ken’s Towing

Ida K. Smith, Best Friend Camp, Isaac Hale Park, Kalapana, Hawaii.

James Nishimoto, HRC Company

John & Gail Kimura, J.K. Electric Company, Retired

K-CIF, FM Radio Station,  Hilo, Hawaii

LAVA 105 FM Radio, Hilo Hawaii

Leonard Mukai, PhD.

Leon Siu,

Matt Torres, Zion’s House of Praise Holiness Church,

Nathan & U’ilani Nacino, Suite 7 Styling Salon

Nelson and Monica Parker, Hawaii Motorhead Magazine

Pacific Radio Group (KAPA, K-Big, Native, and ESPN)Pacific Radio Group

Pauline Brault, Retired—S.F. Electrical Union Trust

Peter Junker, Insurance Agent

Renee Godoy, Glad Tidings Church – Glad Tidings Church Hilo

Robert & Suzie Daley, Central Christian Church and K-CIF

Robert & Semmi Hollifield, Barnabas Ministries

Rupert & Adele Tripp,  Hallelujah Ministries, RTJ Music & Palm Records

Sarah Duckworth Ferreira, Paradise Public Relations

Sue Barnett, Retired Veterinarian

Trina Nahm-Mijo, PHD.— UH-HawCC


James Long

Steve Elliot

We appreciate everyone “Encouraging Parents and Loving Children”.