Quirky Teachers and Underwear

After all our car troubles I have gotten WAY behind on writing my curriculum for the year!! So what am I doing for Labor Day?   I’m being a quirky teacher and exulting over coloring page websites and science projects 😀

Here’s our fantastic science curriculum resource for this year Blue World TV with Jonathan Bird who makes these fantastic videos:

Every webisode has lessons plans under the For Educators Tab, and many have full curriculum for older ages!  On OUR science day, we’ll watch a video and color sharks and whales from this great site:
Here’s how my schedule is working out –
  • Monday is MOVE day with piano, scarves and lots of giggles in our dance space,
  • Tuesday is NERD day where we’ll bathe in exciting science explorations,
  • Wednesday is ART day and we’ll get really messy!
  • Thursday is DO day where we get out the door and have an adventure! working in the garden, visiting the aquarium aquarium or learning about dirt in the park :D.
  • Friday will be FUN day, we’ll play games to review all our reading and writing lessons, we’ll whistle while we work cleaning up the house (so we can have some fresh underwear!!) and the yard, color more pictures, visit the library, the list goes on. 
Saturday is REST day, Resolved to Evade Sticky Tribulations day (or something like that 😉
Sunday is the BEST Day where we get to worship together and eat with our family.
Homeschool here we come!
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Feed my Sheep

In an effort to get back into writing again, something which feeds me, I’ve decided to post snippets and thoughts from Dr. Tim Laniak’s devotional on Biblical shepherding.  My husband and I are reading through it day by day and being immensely encouraged, as well as strongly challenged. Here’s a bit on day 8

Today’s devotion was on Feed my Sheep. Did you know that Bedouin shepherds know over 100 types of vegetation, their uses, nutritional value and where they grow? And I was overwhelmed reading about how much effort goes in to grazing the sheep every day. Dr. Laniak says that in Jesus’ rebuke of Peter in John 21 emphasizes that “leading means feeding.” WOW. that is far more intentional than just a command to serve. It’s service BY feeding. Like a mother or father feeds their newborn.

The challenge is this, what are we feeding our flocks? Do we spend time searching and studying the sources of spiritual vegetation in their lives, and ours, so that they can be healthy, vibrant and give birth to strong healthy lambs. Or have we become convinced that a simple rugged diet of entertainment and thin grass is enough to keep them from being poisoned? Do we give our infants water with a little sugar, or we provide them with rich, nutrient filled milk?  This challenged me today because so much of my time is meant to be exactly that kind of thoughtful and intentional learning so that I can feed others. But I easily forget the long term needs of the “bread” I’m being given in favour of just getting through an assignment.

“As a teacher, my favorite compliment is ‘thank you for feeding my soul'” Laniak, pg 63. Mine too 🙂

And finally, “Do we feed our people well but do not teach them to feed themselves?” There comes a point where a child is helpless if she cannot decide for herself what to eat. The milk has always been good but her body needs more now. What should she give it? Dr. Laniak points out the diet of TV right away as the most common supplement. It keeps us from eating well physically or spiritually.

“Feed my Sheep”

Blessings!

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Challenging a worldview – holy poverty

Ooo. Powerful thought.

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“A gift to the church can be seen as a form of vanity, but giving alms is pure kindness.” Chrysostom (c. 347-407).

Tithing to the Church developed largely out of need, there were so many Christians it was just easier to give to the bishop and let him decide.  The result was an oligarchical monopoly. Our tithe is to God, it was first meant to care for the priests in the desert, and the first and second century church applied that Old Testament instruction to the provisions for prophets AND teachers!

That’s right. Church tithes were meant to pay the livelihood of the teachers “for they are your priests” writes an early church father in the Didache (the first organized instructions for church government and procedure). The Didache was influenced by men and women at the start of massive growth in the church. It filled in the practical gaps of Paul’s organization based on the needs of the church in its time. I highly value it’s insight into ecclesiastical structure because it was created and used before the church gained political influence and was institutionalized.

This exhortation by Chrysostom spotlights the issue exactly, it is alms, money given to the care of the poor, the widows, the apostles, the monastic communities to aid their service, to prophets (for they are called by God and, if true, should be provided for, Didache), to teachers because of their service, to traveling apostles in need, and to and for children that can not be seen as vanity.  All of these people are in the midst of church work. They live among us, serve us or need our help, and the early church felt so strongly about giving that they wrote it into their laws that these people should be provided for WITHOUT them having to ask.

Do we value our teachers this much? Do we care for the poor? Not vicariously through a distant church program or organization but PERSONALLY in our own communities. I’ve lived a lot of my adult life poor and felt shame and criticism for it. Oh the pagans and street kids didn’t care, they were also pretty broke but they took care of each other.  In churches though, the fact that our family needed help for food or rent was almost a sin. We aren’t told that blatantly but it is felt and observed in people’s attitudes, families like ours who need help are thought less of, not given respect and not listened to on matters of church community. Why are we poor? Well that doesn’t seem to matter, it’s our fault ultimately right?

What a different perspective we have built in recent years from that of the first Christians. Those who had money gave freely and felt burdened if there was anyone in their influence who was suffering or in need if they could help. Those who were poor, servants and others were made to be the equals of the wealthy givers. Slaves were freed and nobles, men and women, sold their fine clothes and learned to bake and weave. They lived alongside their former servants in a blessed community of Christianity.

Now I do not mean to say that the early church ways of life will satisfy all our present, practical issues. We live in a different empire, people are far more solitary here by virtue of cultural anonymity. Our drive to be unique and individual is strong.  But if these qualities were applied to the unity that the Jews and first Gentile Christians understood intuitively, what tremendous growth and revival we might see!  “Go and sell all your treasures and give to the poor,” Jesus said. For those who love the Lord and already have very little, you are ahead of the game. Use that reality to learn what the amma (mother) Syncletica taught about the holy poverty that comes from love.  If no one ever gives to you too help you you can be at least be confident that you have given to God all you have.

“Beloved let us love one another…” serve the Lord in the capacity in which he has brought. Be content. Give. Give. Give. Thank you to those who have given to us. Let’s change the way our churches see poverty.

Color in Motion – painting with my son

It was an art day in our house yesterday! And after painting one of his usual, colored spots on brown paper, we tried something new. I was so glad that my THREE YEAR OLD actually tried some of these things

This is a flower and surrounding decoration- he had limited colors to work with and no direction. acrylic on printer paper.
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This was…I’m not sure what it WAS but when I asked him what it was called.he said “Emergency” haha.
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Don’t read too much into that, it’s also tunnels for trains but the irony is hilarious. My husband laughed well.

And THIS, this is mine. I was demonstrating how painting can be an act of movement and interpretation as well as blotting paper with brushes, so during the lively finale of Vivaldi Spring my masterpiece took shape. In about a minute. This is, Vivaldi Spring!

imageGo do something fun and crazy with your kids today!

The Danger of Refusing to Learn

One of the biggest problems we have yet to face is the failing of our nation. I often hear, and have said myself a few times, “We have to return to founding principles!”, and want to agree! And then I think about the many things left unfinished by the founding fathers and mothers, the many problems yet to solve in their budding union. Our founders understood that while looking at the past gives us purpose and fortitude, it more importantly gives us lessons for growth so that we do not repeat past mistakes. These lessons also give us creativity and conviction to do better. When it came to forming the principles of liberty they didn’t try to copy European monarchies or the forms of churches which still held to the divine right of kings. No, they looked to God and scripture, and applied their conviction of His lessons about rulership and nations to a NEW and innovative government. It wasn’t perfect but they sought to grow, to learn and to make their new world a better place.

So when did we stop being innovative? When did we give up improving upon the our first ideas and expanding our designs? When did you stop believing that you could make an impact on the world?

Let’s not try to GO back to the way we were. We need to go forward. We need to seek to UNDERSTAND our history, to learn from it and in doing so put an end to foolishness and ignorance. Learning is a forward motion, an expansive progression from the inside of ourselves outward. Learning is discipline and we, if we hold our course, become it’s disciples. We who call ourselves disciples have the greatest responsibility of all.

The life of a disciple of Christ was never meant to be stagnant. Rather, it is a journey of transformation, led by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of becoming something new (Romans 12)! “Sing to the Lord a new song,” the palmist says. You don’t have to listen to the radio for long to figure out the lack of innovation in Christian music. Our nation is crying out for a new song, and we who should be teaching the world are failing to write it.

We are stagnant and dissassociated with reality. Youth groups are failing, schools are failing, children have no respect for parents and really, have we given them a reason to respect us? Have we been dedicated, consistent and nurturing of our child’s minds, bodies and hearts? Obesity is rampant! Children are leaving the faith and calling their parents hypocrites. Idaho has the WORST go-on rate in America which is SUCH a misnomer. The problem is not that our children are not CHOOSING to go on, they haven’t been educated enough to choose! It isn’t their fault, it is ours, and we arrogantly snub our noses at offers for teacher training, personal enrichment classes and continuing education as though it were the height of insult. We refuse to take the time and money to adequately educate ourselves in the journey of discipleship and then complain and ring our hands when we hear that a governor won’t give more money to education.

Someone is writing the music for our nation and IT ISN’T US. Where is our heritage? Where is our cultural inspiration for creativity and imagination!? Why aren’t we signing up ourselves and our spouses for any extra training we can get!? And those who do usually put biblical studies at the bottom of the list. “I go to Bible study.” One or two hours a week didn’t keep the kids following the Lord, why are we so much better?

We are refusing to learn and the consequences are self evident.

Some closing thoughts from the writer of Hebrews :

“Let us think of how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together, as some do, but encouraging one another. All the more so, as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25.