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Friday, September 6, 2013

Running, Running, Running- A Mommy Learning Moment

   For the past two weeks, our Bible time has included the topic of running.  The first week, although slightly obscurely, was via the use of an ostrich.  We talked about how sometimes an ostrich will lay down and pretend to be a pile of dirt, or runs away, when confronted by a predator.  When, in reality, it's kick could kill a lion!  This past week, we read about Jonah.  Oh, how he thought he could run from God!  And then to realize, in the midst of a raging storm, in the belly of a great fish, or in the sweltering heat of the sun, God was there all the time.

   We all have curve balls that life throws at us.  Some trivial, and some life changing.  In that moment, where do you find yourself?  Do you lay down and hide?  Pretend it's not happening?  Or, do you use the body our all-knowing God designed specifically for us? To get up and fight...and run back to His loving, outstretched, and merciful arms!  Our rightful, and undeserved, place. 

   What a reminder this is for me.  God always knows what to "feed" me, at just the right time.  In my moment of weakness, I need to choose to trust Him and His sovereignty over all.  When He asks me to go to a place I couldn't quite possibly think of going to...He will be there.   When all I can see is the storm raging, and my only choice is to dive in...He will be there.  When I am faced with a "lion"...He will be there.  When I am in the lowest of lows and I think I am about to be overcome...yes, just in His perfect timing, He will be there. 

          What a refreshing promise that truly is for such an unworthy soul as I!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Parable of the Talents & Responsibility


   We had quite the start to a school year.  Stitches, ear infections, and strep throat...Oh My!  Thankfully, the kids were troopers and we chugged on.  Our first Bible story of the year, was the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.  We are also learning a new virtue every week, which I hope to pair with our Bible story.  This week, I chose Responsibility.  Our virtue and Bible story also went along well with the story, Lentil, we are rowing this week.  Our memory verse is below:

Now it is required that those who have been 
given a trust must prove faithful.  1 Corinthians 4:2 

   What exactly is a parable?  A parable is a story, told by Jesus, used to reveal a moral or spiritual lesson.  In this parable, a man is going away on a journey.  He entrusts a sum of money (talents) to his 3 servants, each receiving a different amount of money.  The first two servants use the money they are given to make more money.  The master is pleased with them when he returns.  However, the third servant buries his money instead of using it.  The master calls him evil and lazy for doing nothing with it and throws him out.  We discussed how the master is like God, he gives us all different kinds/amounts of talents & abilities.  We are to be responsible and faithful for what he has entrusted to us.

Day 1 (Matthew 25:14-18):   After reading our scripture, we worked on a worksheet (found here) where they had to spot the difference in the bags of money.  Afterward, they had to think of a talent they had been given and draw a picture of it:

Day 2 (Matthew 25:19-23):  Before we started our time, I handed them each an envelope with different coins inside.  They opened it and we discussed that the money is like the talents God gives to us.  Sometimes we have the same talents as others.  Sometimes they are different.  Sometimes we have more than others or less.  That is what makes each of us special in God's eyes.  After we read scripture, I introduced our friends, Fred & Frank (see picture below).
-A little bit of science- Both Fred & Frank share the same talent.  They are able to move water.  However, Frank hides his talent while Fred is happy to share.  We took them to the sink and turned the water on.  After holding Frank near the water, nothing happened.  However, after sharing that Fred knows he must rub his head on our heads in order to show his talent, we were able to hold Fred near the stream of water and watch it bend.  The boys thought this was pretty neat.  A quick lesson on static electricity!

Day 3 (Matthew 25:24-25):  After reading our excerpt from the Bible, we also read the Critter Kingdom Storybook from Resource Well.  It talks about how ostriches have such strong legs, that they could kill a lion with one kick.  But sometimes, they get scared and run, or flop down on the ground, hoping to blend in like the dirt/sand (Myth- ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand!).  Again, we discussed that we should use the talents that God gave us instead of hiding them.  We played a fun game, called Ostrich Talent Toss.  They had to toss objects (in groups of 1, 2, & 5) into a basket, bent over like an ostrich.

Baby J watching from the sidelines.
We also had a really yummy Treasure snack.  I gave them each some graham crackers in a bag and told them to crush them up (to look like sand).  Next, I gave them a piece of chocolate (talent) and a cup.  I told them to put their talent in the cup and bury it with the sand.  I told them I gave them the chocolate because I wanted them to have it and enjoy it.  Just as God gives us talents that He wants us to use.

Day 4 (Matthew 25:26-30):  We talked about ways to increase what we had been given for the Lord, just like the first two servants had done.  I also found this page (from Jedi Craft Girl) which gave us a very clever reminder on our money.  In God We Trust- but in reverse, God trusts in us to share.  To wrap up the week, we had a talent hunt.  I hid some money throughout the room and they had to find it all.  Then, we watched a short film adaptation of the parable (see below).

Found them!

  All of this talk of responsibility, means a chore chart is coming soon!

Thanks to these websites who really helped me out this week:
     Resource Well
Jedi Craft Girl

What's next for us:  Jonah & Obedience

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of School- Officially Kindergarteners!

  It's official, as of today, school is in session!  It's hard to believe that these two little boys of mine are Kindergarteners.  Time flies by way too quickly.  I must say, when I see that yellow school bus drive by, I am so happy that God has blessed us with the opportunity to school them from home.  This mama, is in no way, shape, or form, ready to ship them off to a public school.  For many more reasons than just the yellow school bus!
  We are not straying too far from the curriculum that we had chosen last year. 
            -We L-O-V-E-D Before Five In A Row last year, so we will move on to Volume 1 in Five In A Row.  It outlines various subjects on a specific book that you "row" every day for five days.  However, I always find that there is so much to do and not enough time.  So, our FIAR activities may extend for 6-10 days.  We'll see.  It integrates Geography, History, Language Arts, Art, Science, etc.   
            - Math-U-See is our math book of choice.  We'll be moving on to the Alpha book in the next couple of weeks. 
            - For our penmanship, we will be using Handwriting Without Tears again.   
            - Hooked On Phonics worked for us last year, so we will continue on to the First Grade level this year. 
            - I am still on the fence as to what I'm going to use for Bible curriculum this year.  This week, I have used Resource Well for ideas on top of Google/Pinterest for go-alongs.  This leads to a lot of late nights.  So, I will be exploring other avenues.  (Most likely, the FIAR Christian Supplement)
            - For spelling, the boys will be going through the first grade spelling lists from K12Reader.
            - And, I will be attempting to add in a composer/artist once every few months.  Ambleside Online has a lot of great resources.

Phfew!  That seems like a lot.  We may have to whittle that back.  But, at least it's a plan, right?  That has to count for something!  We started rowing Lentil, by Robert McCloskey, today.  And we are studying the Parable of the Talents in our Bible time.

Without further adieu...the classroom participants:
Mr. "B"

Mr. "C"

Baby "J"- who I'm sure will be getting into trouble most of the time

 See ya next week!