Today’s reading was about Mary and Martha from Luke 10:38-42. I was a little surprised to discover that this story was recorded in only one Gospel. I guess because it’s such a familiar reading, I figured it was written in more than one book. It’s always good when even the teacher can learn something! I also discovered that, unless I missed it, this story isn’t included in The Story Bible. It’s understandable, because there’s no way they can include every Bible story in a children’s Bible, but it did mean I had to go digging through our other children’s Bibles to find this story, so that we could read it a second time today. I did finally find it in another CPH book–A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories. Hopefully, between these two Story Bibles, we’ll cover all of the rest of the Jesus Tree readings, because I’d hate to have to drag out our whole children’s Bible collections–we have at least three others, and probably more than that!
The symbol for today is a footstool. The Bible doesn’t specifically mention Mary sitting on a stool while listening to the Lord teach, but it does say that she sat at His feet, so I guess a footstool is a natural progression from that. I am wondering about the pink, padded, top to the stool, though–I think that may be a little on the anachronistic side!
Thomas Nelson was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of the first book in Lis Wiehl’s newest series, (the “East Salem Trilogy”), Waking Hours.
I’ve been a fan of Wiehl’s writing ever since I read the first “Triple Threat” novel a few years ago, so I was hoping for something along those lines. In some ways, I wasn’t disappointed. There is plenty of mystery and suspense in this story, which focuses on the murder of a New York high school student. Was another teenager responsible for her death? It’s up to Dani Harris, a forensic psychiatrist, to solve the case. Reunited with an old high school love interest, there’s a healthy dose of romance thrown in, as well as a mysterious, supernatural bent to this murder, and another crime in town.
In some ways, this reads like a Christian version of Castle, (or the corresponding Nikki Heat books), so you’d think I’d love it. But I’m not a huge fan of supernatural mysteries, so I had a more difficult time getting into this story than you might expect. On the other hand, if you’re a big fan of books like this, (think Frank Peretti), you’ll probably love it. Like the “Triple Threat” books, it’s well-written, has good characters, and will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Somewhat surprisingly, (to me, at least), this is our first Leap Day since we started homeschooling back in 2008. I guess it just seems like we’ve doing this so long, I had a hard time believing at first that we’ve never had school on this “holiday” before. I knew I wanted to do something fun and special, but I wasn’t really sure what–there aren’t too many dedicated Leap Day crafts/activities out there, at least not that I could find.
I decided that since I couldn’t find Leap Day specific activities, we’d go with a frog theme…after all, frogs are known for leaping, right?
At first, I thought we’d make those origami frogs that actually hop. But paper-folding is not one of my strengths, so instead, we made paper plate frog puppets. Paper plate crafts I can handle!
We also read a favorite story, “The Determined Frog,” from one of our favorite story books: The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book. It’s a cute, funny, story, with a good message about not giving up.
Of course, we couldn’t celebrate Leap Day without playing a game of leapfrog. And we even got to play outside, because it’s unbelievably nice outside for February!
This morning, we read portions of the Sermon on the Mount, first from Matthew 5:1-16, and then Luke 6:20-26. Both of these readings focused primarily on the Beatitudes. When we read from The Story Bible this evening, however, I also included the chapter on worry, (also a part of the Sermon on the Mount), partly because it’s a great thing to read, and partly because I wanted to emphasize the fact that Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount involved much more than “just” the Beatitudes. I do think the children were grateful that I didn’t read the whole Sermon from the book of Matthew–that would have been a lot of chapters, and even I didn’t feel up to reading that much!
In other news, I have to say that this particular felt symbol is one of my favorites…it looks so pretty on the banner!
Our readings today were a little different from the ones we’ve done so far, in that they weren’t entirely in chronological order. First, we read the account of John 2:13-17, of Jesus cleansing the temple (this was also the passage behind our symbol for the day: the whip). That passage was chronologically next–still at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. But, we also read the Matthew 21:12-13 account regarding the money-changers, which didn’t take place until Holy Week. So, thematically, the two readings went together, but time-wise, they were actually two separate events. I made a point of telling that to the children, because I know that as a child, I thought that the different money-changer stories were the same story, recorded by different authors, and I want to make sure that my children understand that Jesus actually had to do that twice during his ministry.
The reading today came from John 2:1-12, in which Jesus performed His first miracle–turning water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. This has always been an interesting story to me, because of Mary’s actions. She complains to her Son, and then when He chastises her, she goes to the servants anyway, and tells them to do whatever Jesus says. That’s a mother for you–complete faith in her Son, and ready to brag about Him to anyone who will listen. Plus, it probably made her look really good to play the whole “My Son is the Son of God,” card! So, not only do we see Jesus as God as He does this miracle, we also see how very human His mother is.
A few weeks ago, it was time for Ladybug to have her vision rechecked. OK, to be honest, it was a little past time, but we changed insurance with the New Year, and I wanted to wait until that had all settled before using our new vision plan.
Since she had broken her old frames, (more than once), and the insurance would cover it anyway, she got to pick out new glasses. She has some very exacting specifications about her eyewear, starting with any frame she looks at must be purple. And sparkly, if possible.
She decided on a purple and pink zebra print frame, and they even have a little rhinestone to boot! This choice is very typical of Ladybug–she has always been very interested in clothing, shoes and accessories. I sometimes wonder what she’s going to be like as a teenager, and then I realize that it’s probably for the best that I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t need to see into the future to know that our money will be flying out the window to support her fashion habits, but I certainly don’t need to know just how much money that will be!
I have to confess, if they made these frames in adult sizes, I would totally get them for myself. I guess there’s no doubt where Ladybug gets her fashionista tendencies from!
Today’s reading was about the temptation of Jesus in the desert, which immediately follows the baptism story we read yesterday. Again, we read the Bible story from three different Gospels: Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13, and again it was interesting to see how concise Mark was compared to the other two Evangelists who recorded this event. The children tried desperately to find a reason that our symbol was three stones–it being a nice-looking grouping wasn’t a good enough answer for them. They did finally give up on trying to make a connection there, though!
I did take this reading as an opportunity to point out to them that even Satan can quote Scripture, (this was a big surprise to them!), and will try to use it to confuse people, and get them to do things they shouldn’t. It was also a good opportunity to remind us all that Jesus fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, even under desperate circumstances, (we tried to imagine what it would be like to go without food for forty days, and quite frankly, none of us could fathon it), whereas we fail miserably, (and constantly!), even under relatively good conditions.
Another busy week in third grade! We’ve continued to work on fractions and division, (with remainders!), learned about the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, and “The Star Spangled Banner” in U.S. History, and wrapped up our study of subjects and predicates in grammar. We also continued our Latin review from last week, which was an eye-opening exercise. I always figured that foreign languages would be Bunny’s “thing,” because she’s always had such a good grasp of language in general. And she does fine at it, although, she hasn’t yet memorized all the declensions we’ve worked on. Turkey, on the other hand, I assumed would struggle a bit with learning another language, because he’s more of a math/engineering guy. What I didn’t take into account, however, is that Latin is a very logical language, which really appeals to his brain, and so he’s been able to memorize everything, from vocabulary to conjugations to declensions, with amazing speed. It’s really quite impressive to listen to him rattle off a declension!
We started a new religion program for Lent this week as well. I’m using this in the same way as I did our Jesse Tree during Advent–instead of our regular Scripture readings, and readings from our Bible Handbook, we’re using the Scripture readings from the Jesus Tree, but this time, we’re doing it twice a day, once from the ESV, and once from a children’s Bible. We are continuing our regular study of the catechism, and making sure we do a lot of review, especially as we prepare for Confirmation on Palm Sunday. We’re also reading through Amon’s Adventure this Lent, which isn’t directly related to our religion lessons, but is complementary.
We also managed to find time for a really cool field trip this week. While the mastodons and mammoths didn’t really have anything to do with what we’re currently learning about, (I just really wanted to see the exhibit while it was in town!), the History Museum itself has a lot to do with the Louisiana Purchase, especially the 1904 World’s Fair exhibit, and that tied in nicely with our history lessons, even though I hadn’t planned that timing in the least. We had another circumstance of unintentional good timing this week, too, as we learned about the state of Louisiana in general, and Mardi Gras in particular–quite timely. I love when things like that work out with no effort at all on my part!
We’ve only got about three more weeks of school left, before we take a break due to Chickadee’s arrival. Hopefully, in that time, we’ll be able to plow through a lot more of our material, so we don’t have to keep working all summer long!
Today’s readings were about the Baptism of Jesus. It was interesting, because we actually read the accounts from Matthew 3:11-17, Mark 6-11, and Luke 3:21-22, and I always find it fascinating to compare what the Evangelists wrote that was the same, and what was different. It’s also interesting to see how some of the events were recorded in a much more concise fashion, while some were more descriptive. Each reading also began, (where applicable), before the actual baptism story, and shared a little information about John the Baptist, and his words of prophecy about Christ, the One “whose sandals [John was] not worthy to carry,” or “untie.” The symbol for these readings is a dove, representing the Holy Spirit, Who came bodily down from Heaven at the Baptism, and, along with the voice of God the Father, marks a rare instance in the Bible when all three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned together in the same place.