Saturday, 9 August 2008

Weekly Report 2008:29

With the sudden appearance of high temperatures and lethargic little ones, our third week of semester was disrupted somewhat. Despite doctor's visits, (yes, yet another of my kiddos is back on antibiotics, this time it's the big gun penicillin), I managed to keep almost on track by picking the most important/best of Thursday and Friday's planned activities and focussing on those.

Circle Time
Jeff was very busy preparing for his first in a series of interviews with our church's denomination for consideration as a candidate for Ministry of the Word, so I led most of our Circle Times this week. We read the stories of Abraham & Lot choosing land, of God's promise to Abraham (descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky) and then the fulfilment of God's promise in the birth of Isaac. On Friday, we read of God's request that Abraham sacrifice his promised son, Abraham's faithful obedience and God's last minute provision of an alternative sacrifice. It was wonderful to spend a week talking about God's promises, and how even though we often have no idea how He could possibly carry them out, or we feel God's promised gifts are under threat, God is still faithful, trustworthy and true. In the words of the Colin Buchanan song (from Isaiah 46:9-10), "God says, 'I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me. I say: My plan will stand, and I will do all that I please.' " How true this is!

We finished Dangerous Journey this week and will be using a quotation from that for tracework/copywork/dictation and narration for Joshua next week. I just have to pick the quotation! I have loved reading through this with the children, despite the times when I had to hide the pictures because they were too scary. At the moment many of the people met on Christian's and Christiana's dangerous journeys are a bit of a mystery to the kids, but the events such as the unintended visit to Doubting Castle were clear enough metaphors for them to take in, with the help of Mum & Dad's ongoing commentary. I can see re-reading this book over the years will continue to yield fresh insight and encouragement for the Christian Life as we and they grow and go through some of the events portrayed allegorically by Bunyan.
Anna has a burning desire to narrate the story of the three little pigs to me, so she will do that for her narration next week. This week she narrated Tim to the Rescue much better than Joshua' who hadn't the patience that particular day.

Joshua has finished re-reading all the Bob Books in the second (orange) set. He is a much stronger and more confident reader for the practise. Anna is now three books in to the same set, and of course she is reading them slower but, from my memory, she seems a lot more fluent than Joshua was when he first read the set. She has begun picking up picture books and trying to read the words on her own. Last night she announced, "Shhh! I am trying to read the newspaper!" and we realised she was reading the headlines over Jeff's shoulder. This is a step of independence in reading which Joshua has yet to attempt. Jeff considers it another reflection upon her insistence on "reading" from picture books when she was little. I just think she's obviously going to grow up like me... head perennially stuck in some book or other!
Writing lessons went well this week although, due to Abigail and later Samuel's sickness, we only managed three days out of the planned four.

We finished Lesson 19 from Earlybird Mathematics 2A, convering quarters. The kids have a pretty good grip on this now and even Abigail has learnt a bit from listening in on some of our discussions. We didn't get to begin Lesson 20 as planned, but will still hopefully finish the book next week.

Science and Geography
Our study of Polar bears was enjoyed by all this week. As well as the websites I already mentioned, we checked out some pictures my cousin sent me from their trip to see a polar bear at Sea World, in QLD. The kids loved hearing the polar bear roar (from the National Geographic website). We also watched a TV show "The Tipping Point" about the retreat of the Arctic ice cap. In the middle of all the shots of floating sea ice, we saw about one minute of footage of a polar bear with its prey, a seal. The kids liked that, and they also liked hearing about one particular arctic bird which has no nest but lays one egg on a small shelf many metres up sea cliffs, then stands over it to warm it for three weeks. The hatchling is three months old before it takes its first flight down from the cliffs. What a precarious life cycle! As you can probably guess, we've been looking at the Arctic Circle for Geography this week.

The kids made elephant pictures, drawing around their hands and then painting them. We also made cardboard cut out people and dressed them in colourful cut out paper clothes, and this was Joshua's favourite. Wednesday's efforts with the water colour paints were a hit as well.

And in the evenings
Joshua loved Anchor Boys again this week. He told me excitedly yesterday, "Mum, today's Friday! That means tomorrow's Saturday and then there's only one more day before Anchor Boys Day!" Yes, we have one excited boy in our family.
I enjoyed my second week of T@N classes. I am glad I am studying two such different subjects, one exegetical (1&2 Samuel) and the other more practical (Head, Heart & Hands), because two exegetical subjects would have been overwhelming.


mom24 said...

Funny about the different ways they are learning to read. Same situation here. Jason, although good at reading, still has to be prompted to do so, where I know that Rachel will soon be wolfing books down!

Science is so much fun when we understand that it is really only about exploring God's creation! Polar bears are soooo large and amazing - what a fun topic. I think that I didn't connect the geography very well with the animals that we learned though (oops). I think I need to have more than just a map on the wall for our studies....

Sounds like you get a lot of crafts done! I feel like they are always begging for crafty things but I am too controlling to let loose with the glue - LOL! However, I was impressed with myself for whippin' out the finger paints for Rachel to use when making 1, 2, 3's today (finger paints are my least favorite....). What I love about the crafts, though is that they are so proud of their elephants, etc.! Their faces just glow when their work is presented to the "Principal"!

Glad your schedule is still working, despite illnesses. Don't know what your illnesses are but have you made sure to counter act all those antibiotics with LOTS of probiotics? They could get yeasty after penicillen for sure.

Dumb question - but I've never had a great vocabulary. Not sure what "exegetical" means w/o a dictionary. And what is Anchor Boys?


Mrs. Edwards said...

We read Dangerous Journey last year, but seeing this makes me think it is time to re-read it. In one year our four seem to change into totally different people, so books like that fall fresh each reading.

It is so thrilling when our kids really take off with reading. Especially for moms like us, that value reading so greatly. It comes harder for one of my kids and watching her struggle is revealing to me a bit of (sinful) pride in my own love for books. I'm like you--walls lined with bookshelves, stacks by the bed, newspapers piling up each week. If my daughter doesn't value those things in the same way that I do, will I succeed in conveying to her how much I value her anyway? Can I help her love reading, even when it is exhausting, rather than energizing? May God show me the way! (This is quite a tangent to your post! Sorry for the ramble.)

We're getting back into school full time, as my blog reflects. It is always fun to read what others are up to. Thanks for sharing!

Sharon said...

In answer to your questions, Andrea:

Anchor Boys is a group activity like Boy Scouts (well, Cubs at this age) or I think possibly Awana (we don't have this one over here, but from what I have read online they are similar). It is the youngest age group of the wider "Boys' Brigade" and "Girls' Brigade". Boys' Brigade is in the US, I know because Jeff's cousins have travelled there for Boys Brigade get togethers. Jeff was involved with Boys' Brigade as a child and his uncle runs it here, and the "Skipper" of Anchor Boys is Mr T who is a family friend.

An exegetical sermon (or lecture) takes the Bible passage and works through it (perhaps verse by verse or even word by word but certainly following the text rather than wandering around). Explanations are given for idioms (words or phrases that are particular to the author's place and time) and cultural background so that the listener can understand what the words and descriptions etc would have meant to the original hearers/readers of the passage. The genre of writing (eg historical narrative, wisdom poetry, prophecy, parable) will be considered. Particular words may be explained with reference to the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Thus what the text actually says is linked to the passage's context (it's position within the surrounding chapters and books and even the entire Bible narrative). Then the passage is evaluated in light of today's culture and situation in the "end times" and an application will often be given. It will be closely and carefully based on what has been understood from the passage.

Exegesis study differs from eisegesis, which is where we approach a given passage assuming we already understand it and often read our own desired meaning into the passage. I know I've done this, when I've thought to myself "I'm sure this is right... now which verse can I remember that says something along these lines (that I can perhaps tweak to my purposes)?" It is important to consider supporting statements from elsewhere in Scripture for any Biblically-based argument, however beginning with our own suppositions rather than the Biblical text can lead us a long way astray.

If you are looking for another big long word to impress others with, try out hermeneutics: it basically means "the science and art of interpreting the Bible". Exegesis and Eisegesis are alternative hermeneutic methods. Listen carefully and try to work out which one your preacher uses next weekend!

~ Sharon