Our rainy season is coming to a close; but unfortunately, the rain doesn’t know that. Mud, mud, everywhere. The queue at church to clean shoes before entering the service was quite long. In the spirit of raising my spirits from the continual dank gloom, I am linking to posts about last year’s rains, which were even worse.
The village roads have not quite become an ocean out there (though we did get stuck in the mud on our way to church last Sunday); but Caleb and I made an “Ocean Box” for his science studies. After finishing each lesson, we’ll put an ocean creature in the box that we studied. It will be a fun way to track what Caleb’s learned this year. This week we began reading lesson 2 about whales. Caleb lapbooked about whale moves and other interesting facts.
Spyhopping right along here, hehe (sorry, couldn’t resist), we began learning in history about the rise of Islam with Muhammad’s whale-of-a-mistake vision he had in Mecca, persecution of his followers, and his subsequent Hegira, or flight from Mecca to Medina. We discussed and labeled a worksheet on the Five Pillars of Islam and then stopped to pray for the many Muslims around the world still in bondage to a religion that has no way to solve the problem of sin.
We ate hummus, one of Seth’s favorite snacks. Then we figured out which direction Mecca was (that was geography!), and I had the boys take a pilgrimage from one corner of the house to find candy and a squeak-ball I had hidden in “Mecca.” They had to squeak the ball to tell me when they had found Mecca. That was the only activity we did this week, as it was rainy, and I didn’t want to make Islam seem like a “light” topic. Some of the other activities suggested in the guide seemed too neutral or tolerant for my tastes.
Caleb read literature this week on India, which we studied in history last week. He read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, which he and Colin loved because of the snakes; One Grain of Rice: a Mathematical Folktale, which I have since read twice again, because Caleb thinks the math of the rice multiplying in the story is so neat; and Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children, a very well-done short-story biography, in poem format, for young children published by YWAM.
After reading on India in literature and Islam in history, he is unsure where he wants to go when he is grown. He says now that he will either go to India or an Islamic country with the Gospel when he’s older. “Good!” I said, and muttered, “That might be dangerous…” He heard me.
“That’s okay, Mom. I don’t mind if it’s dangerous, because they need to know the Gospel.” Amen! And a little child shall lead them!
In math, we are moving further into the world of infinity by learning about the thousands place, along with the 10,000 and 100,000 places. We also studied measurements in inches and finding the perimeter of shapes.
In language arts, I have begun teaching writing “across the curriculum,” by incorporating writing with our history and literature. We are following instructions from the Writing with Ease instructor’s text, but I find Caleb’s copywork and dictation sentence for the week from the literature we’re reading; and his narrations come from our history text, Story of the World volume 2. I like streamlining curriculum like this, rather than using the workbook, which is helpful in that the selections are already chosen; but they are snippets of other good literature unrelated to what we’re reading at the time.
I’ve begun recording my copywork selections here at Ita Vita, as well as downloading the cursive copywork document I make for Caleb. These correspond to the Middle Ages, and anyone is welcome to them if they are also using Writing with Ease Level 2 and studying the Middle Ages, and they also want to correlate WWE with their history studies but don’t have time to find their own copywork. That’s a lot of coincidences, but just in case it helps someone, there ya go!
For Caleb’s “free” (and forced!) reading in the afternoon, I let him read simpler books to increase his fluency and speed (he’s into Berenstein Bears and Daddy’s Calvin and Hobbes comics right now–not so simple!), but he also enjoys reading his ABeka readers from time to time. He loves Christian Liberty’s Nature Readers and asked me to buy the others, since we only have books 1-2. I also included some books on whales to accompany science this week.
Colin is almost to lesson 50 in phonics because of often doing two lessons per day, but we can’t double up so much on his math lessons. He struggled with recognizing some of his “teen” numbers this week, but I think he’s getting them down now.
Callie and Carson tried to help set up the chairs for church on Sunday. So adorable. Carson shared his cold with me this week–not so cute.
Last Saturday four teams competed in a Bible Quiz competition. The teams from our church did the worst. We probably should have combined them. But we were proud of all of the competitors and the work they put into hiding God’s Word in their hearts.
Yesterday a young man came up to spend the weekend with us at the suggestion of his pastor, an American missionary near Johannesburg. He wants to get a closer look at rural ministry. We’re always thrilled to have any part in getting to train an African for ministry, and we get far too little of it!
Tomorrow I head out to Mashamba with several women (hopefully) for another ladies’ meeting, where I will teach my second lesson on meekness. I’ll focus on a meek spirit towards God–towards his Word and His plans for our lives. I’m excited to share my lesson, and I hope that the rain and mud does not literally dampen our meeting.
How was your week? Seeing any signs of spring yet?