Last week we journeyed to the Johannesburg area, where Seth was scheduled to preach for a family camp for an English church pastored by a South African friend of ours. We had such a nice time getting to speak English with folks of a similar culture.
Here’s a quick list of what we did:
- Go to the U.S. consulate to renew a child’s passport.
- Shop, shop, shop.
- Spend time with fellow-ministers and friends in Joburg.
- Go to family camp. (I’ve never been to one; but this was excellent, both in its facilities and in the spirit of the church.)
- Go to church.
- Get home.
“Get home” is on the list because our beloved rust-bucket had three items needing repair on the way home, as well as the inevitable police pull-over. (Thankfully, Seth got a warning instead of a ticket.) Our tire needed to be patched halfway home, our condenser needed to be replaced, and the door on our canopy broke and was falling off on one side. It was a little crazy, but we got home fine, eight hours later, instead of five!
Tuesday we began homeschooling right away. We had done school Monday and Tuesday of the week before, so I counted it as a 6-day week, and took extra time today to do some more fun projects in history, plus our normal 3 R’s.
On Wednesday, Colin expressed an interest in believing on Jesus Christ as His own personal Savior from sin and eternal separation from God in Hell. Seth tells the story here, since he was teaching Colin in Bible class when they had the discussion. We certainly hope and pray that Colin was sincere and will follow after Jesus all of his days. That is more important than any other events or academics happening in our lives!
In history, we finished a chapter on the Vikings and began learning about feudalism. This to me is the exciting part I thought of when we began to study the Middle Ages–a time of knights and kings, chivalry and flowing princess dresses. (I guess the latter isn’t so exciting for boys!) I made “Alfred cakes” for the great King Alfred (they were like scones, but very nicely flavored, with raisins), and we did a fun illustration with play-dough to show how the English language has developed.
History was connected to art and reading again this week. Caleb finished Viking Adventure, which we decided was both exciting and a little sad. It’s the longest chapter book he’s ever read, but it was at a perfect reading level for him. For art, he made a “Bayeux Tapestry” to show his “best” memory. Caleb somehow thought it should be an adventurous memory, so he drew the story of how he fell from a tree when he was three and broke his leg! Anyway, we simplified the project: instead of doing it on cloth, we used a Color Wonder paper roll with Color Wonder markers.
In science we began studying herps (turtles, so far). Last night I made Malva Pudding (it’s a wonderful wintertime dessert–and it’s pretty chilly here now!) to celebrate some homeschooling victories this week!
- Colin read his first book! (his first official school book)
- Caleb read his longest book yet!
- Caleb finished the Beta level of Math-U-See!
I am currently wondering about some practical aspects of classical homeschooling regarding how best to implement narration and dictation, common classical ed tools for writing and comprehension.
When we left for Joburg, our water tank was completely empty. We hoped it would fill while we were gone, but when we returned, we still had no water. Every night Seth has gone to fill the tank about a quarter full, which usually takes about two hours. It is such a drain on our time and energy. We’re scheduled to have a well dug for us on Monday!
So last night we went to our teammate’s house the next village over to chat and wash some loads of laundry. We weren’t there a half hour when we got a call from a church member of ours saying that our neighbor tried to break into our house again. Some of my Sunday School boys saw him and waited around to see what he would do, and then made a hullabaloo and scared him away before he could break in. I felt proud of those little boys!
I’m so thankful that Seth took the time and tremendous effort a few weeks ago to have an order of protection filed against our neighbor. Unfortunately he is not yet 18, so the police say they probably won’t be able to hold him. The justice system here is infuriating at times and doesn’t deserve to go by that name– “justice” system. If you’ve been keeping up with the SA “bladerunner” court case, you’ll see what I mean. That guy got off free for murdering his girlfriend because he has an “anxiety disorder.” Interesting.
The police have a warrant to arrest our neighbor if they can find him. (He didn’t stay at his house last night.) Meanwhile, Seth lost much of his time and more money today buying yet more materials to secure our house from a teen boy who lives not 15 meters away.
Thank you for your prayers. Just about every paragraph here has a subtle prayer request. We appreciate any time spent on our behalf before our Father’s throne.