Sunday, April 23, 2017

Old Testament Block III: Saul, David, Solomon

Finishing up an exciting week! Becca's Young Poets' Workshop series, led by Saluki Writers Project, came to its conclusion and she had a really nice reading with her poetry group. All the families and the children's librarian had a pizza party on Thursday and we listened to each child share one or two favorite pieces of poetry. This was the one that Becca wrote and shared:

    Should I run
    Should I be
    the president
    what would I do?
    Cake every day!
    Bubble baths
    feather pillows

    But wait!
    what about

    What about
    Global Warming?

    What to do?

    take a bubble
    bath read
    a book take a nap?

    I don't want
    to be the

We also had Farm Day Field Trip on Wednesday (a great driving tour of Southern IL history), SWI on Friday (words studied this week were "friend" and "violent"), and a field trip on Sunday to the Trail of Tears State Park, where we visited the visitor center for a long time and then did a short hike to a spot overlooking the Mississippi River.

One of the most profound quotes on display was from an unidentified soldier who wrote years later, "I fought through the Civil War and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew." A lot of the signage in the building was in Cherokee as well as English.

We also walked as a family in the All-Species Puppet Parade on Saturday. It was lightly misting but not too bad. And the variety of puppets was amazing! I was in love with the yellow jacket and the virus (although Leah and I had a lively debate as to whether viruses even count as living beings). Natalie and Leah went to a puppetmaking workshop last week and collaborated on a purple Cat (the girls were excited to be on the workshop's Facebook page). Becca wore her Jellyfish hat and Zac was sporting the Elephant headpiece from his Halloween costume. So fun. It's a great Earth Day event!

We started the first Module of the NVC workbook (The No-Fault Classroom: Tools to Resolve Conflict & Foster Relationship Intelligence). The first Power is The Power to Get to Calm Alert. (Calm Alert is the center point on your Feelings Thermometer and it is the state in which you function best.) We will be doing Mindfulness exercises and learning some Energy Shifters next.

Tadpoles are still going strong. We call the aquarium "baby frog water" for Zac, which he has cheerfully abbreviated to "babee wa." We all love watching them! Every time we get them more plant life we scoop up some lake or pond water, and so we've gotten some other things too. Three snails, a cool diving beetle, larva of some kind of insect... it's fascinating! It would be a good transition to go from here into helping collect data for some kind of study on water health locally. I wish I had my macroinvertebrate identification sheets from the stream study we did at my last school!

One of the fun things we did for Math Homework this week was the Mean, Median, Mode, and Range Easter Egg Activity. This was fun and simple and a great use for those 500 Easter eggs leftover from our Puzzle Piece Egg Hunt. You can easily individualize it by giving each child 30 eggs and 30 slips of paper and letting the kids choose what numbers they want to put in their eggs. Make sure they repeat some numbers or there won't be a mode.

In Main Lesson Books, we added the stories of "Saul and David" and "Solomon."

Saul and David

Beatrice Schenk de Regniers did a beautiful retelling of David and Goliath. Her work is wonderful... but that's the only part of the story she tells. I really needed my students to know all of what happened between Saul and David, so we used Jakob Streit's book, Journey to the Promised Land: The Path of the People of Israel from Abraham's Calling to David's Dream. The story of David concludes this book.

I had wanted to have us make rock slings but I couldn't find the material for the leather pouches (the last time I made one, I used a piece of leather from the side of an old portfolio, but it was too stiff). So Becca just put a drawing of the sling and the directions on how to make one in her MLB as the illustration.

The next day, we read two beautifully illustrated version of Psalm 23 -- one by Tim Ladwig and the other by Barry Moser -- and compared which one resonated most with us. We also looked at the Psalms section of the Bible.

I will also freely admit that I showed Becca the video for a rap song (Gangsta's Paradise) which begins with a line from the twenty-third Psalm. I wanted her to see the context which Tim Ladwig was attempting to portray, and which is so foreign to her. I am only doing this because she's doing this block as a twelve year old. I wouldn't do that if she was actually in third grade. But it did help her to see how powerful the words are.


Although Jakob Streit begins his third book with Solomon's story, We Will Build a Temple: The Path of Israel from King Solomon to John the Baptist, I had other preferences. I read my group two stories.

The first was chapter 12 of my favorite book from my childhood, the 1951 edition of A Child's History of the World.

I followed it with "The Wise King and the Little Bee" retold by Rose Dobbs in Once Upon a Time: Twenty Cheerful Tales to Read and Tell.

Tomorrow we will be reviewing the story of Solomon, as Streit tells it, by reading pages 13-17 of his book. Then we will use our beautiful new Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils, 72-Pack and watercolor paper to draw two identical bouquets of flowers. This will be our illustration for the MLB.

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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