Last week’s lessons Nov 14-18

As I said a couple of posts back, I’m back to creating my own plans, which I really enjoy. Here’s what went on at our house in the way of lessons.


Principle: Law of Love

Leading idea: theme from JBC in Ex. 20:1-2

We read the account of giving the Ten Commandments. That was interesting, and we painted “word pictures” to really set the tone. We talked about how the Children of Israel must have felt, knowing God was physically coming to the mountain in three days. How would that make us feel? How are things different now that we have the Holy Spirit and Jesus living in our hearts? How does that affect our “law”? (law moved from the outward ten commandments to the inward Christian self-government). She did a great job reasoning these things and we talked quite informally over the week about it. Then we read the commandments and talked about what each of them meant. We will continue next week.


Principle: America’s Heritage of Christian Character

Leading idea: Pilgrims had a strong work ethic

We read from “Of Plimoth Plantation,” reading some and paraphrasing some. We talked about the leading idea and gave examples from the story. I love reading the account from William Bradford. I recommend using primary sources as much a possible. Don’t take a writer’s word that something happened the way they say. Find out for yourself. So the more we read from it each year the more familiar we will become. I highlight different things each year. We rehearse the basic account and then I focus on one particular trait of the Pilgrims. This year it is diligence and hard work. Nothing for the notebook, just reading and discussing. Notebook will be next week. Geography has been with history this week, looking at Holland, England and Cape Cod.


Principle: God’s creation communicates His Truth and love to man.

Leading idea: God made flowers for us to enjoy

I cannot believe how much I love our science text, The Child’s Book of Nature, by Dr. Worthington Hooker. If you are struggling with this subject and you have kids in the elementary ages, you should at least get a copy and see it for yourself. He’s a Christian scientist who wrote these books in the late 1800’s and they are gentle, godly and terribly educational. I will write more about this in another post. The chapter we read this week was the first chapter on why we love flowers. We created a botany cover page and we also made a violet with tissue paper for our notebooks. They had fun with the paper and glue. She reasoned several things: why nature can teach us about God, how flowers teach us and how she would feel about a plant that taught her things.


Principle: God uses the concept of measurement to express His plans for man. (Jer. 33:22, Gen 14:16)

Leading idea: measurement is an expression of the mathematics language

We are still working on her multiplication tables to 12. She’s doing great. Also we are talking about how math is a language and that we must express it precisely or we will communicate the wrong idea (answer).


Principle: God is the source of all good work

Leading idea: work is good and we need to do it

Now my 7dd is interested in money and how the economy works, so each Wednesday we take time in math to discuss economic principles. This week was work. If you have Mr. Rose’s Guide, I took it straight from there. We discussed the importance or work, defined it, and discussed “producing”. We are all producers, even if we don’t work outside the home. We also read the poem “Work” by Angela Morgan(we printed the first and last stanzas and she drew pictures of tools around it). I include a paragraph about John Smith and Jamestown because it ties in so beautifully (from this web page).

When Captain John Smith was made the leader of the colonialists at Jamestown, Virginia, he discouraged the get rich quick seekers of gold by announcing flatly “He who will not work shall not eat”. This rule made Jamestown the first permanent English settlement in the new world, but work does more than lead to success; it gives an outlet from sorrow, restrains wild desires, ripens and refines character, enables human beings to cooperate with God, and when well done, brings to life it’s consummate satisfaction. Every man is a prince of possibilities, but by work alone can he become into his kingship.

Work! Thank God for the might of it,

The ardor, the urge, the delight of it.

Work that springs from the heart’s desire,

Setting the brain and the soul on fire,

Oh what is so good as the heat of it,

And what is so glad as the beat of it!

And what is so kind as the stern command,

Challenging brain and heart and hand.

Work!Thank God for the pride of it,

For the beautiful conquering tide of it,

Sweeping the life in it’s furious flood,

Thrilling the arteries, cleansing the blood,

Mastering stupor and dull despair,

Moving the dreamer to do and dare,

Oh, what is so good as the urge of it,

And what is so glad as the surge of it,

And what is so strong as the summons deep,

Rousing the torpid soul from sleep!

Work!Thank God for the pace of it,

For the terrible, keen, swift race of it;

Fiery steeds in full control,

Nostrils a-quiver to greet the goal.

Work, the power that drives behind,

Guiding the purposes, taming the mind,

Holding the runaway wishes back,

Reining the will to one steady track.

Speeding the energies faster, faster,

Triumphing over disaster.

Oh, what is so good as the pain of it,

And what is so great as the gain of it?

And what is so kind as the cruel goad,

Forcing us on through the rugged road?

Work! Thank God for the swing of it,

For the clamoring, hammering ring of it,

Passion and labor daily hurled,

On the mighty anvils of the world.

Oh, what is so fierce as the flame of it?

And what is so huge as the aim of it?

Thundering on through dearth and doubt,

Calling the plan of the maker out.

Work, the Titan; work, the friend,

Shaping the earth to a glorious end,

Draining the swamps and blasting the hills,

Doing whatever the spirit wills-

Rending a continent apart,

To answer the dream of the master heart.

Thank God for a world where none may shirk.

Thank God for the splendor of work!

Princess G enjoyed the poem and drawing the tools. She reasoned that the tool is dictated by the job. And that the right tool makes the work easier. That’s a good thing to know!


Principle: America’s Heritage of Christian Character

Leading idea: God prepared people in America to help the settlers

We read the D’Aulaire’s Pocahontas. Their illustrations are great and the story is nice. (They don’t tell the kids that she dies in England.) We were impressed by her story and how she conducted herself in England, being a girl raised in America in the woods and not in a palace. In England they were all very impressed by her. We were too. Princess G reasoned the leading idea and we discussed the principle from that.

English was thrown in among the other lessons, with definitions, Daily Grams, and review of the basic parts of speech using text we were reading.

If you are still reading this, I’m impressed. I can’t believe how I’ve gone on and on and on… God is good and we are learning so much. I cannot wait to tell you about Dr. Hooker’s book…and the importance of original sources…and more Thanksgiving fun stuff…so much to blog, so little time!

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