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Bats in the Bedroom and Gender Roles

Roses from my husband

Roses from my husband

Frustrated, I listened to the scrabbling noises in the corner of our bedroom.  Yet another mouse!  So much for sleep.

My husband, too, was giving up.  When he sat up and swung his legs out of the bed I needlessly told him to watch out for his feet, because there was a mouse.

He sighed and said, “I know,” and at that moment I saw what it really was, a bat fluttering in the dark.

“A bat!” I squealed as I dove under the sheet.

So my dear husband got up, turned on the light, and went after the bat with a towel.

I lay there under the sheets, thinking about the series of rabies shots that Miss 11 had almost completed and hoping that my husband would not have to go through it, too.

Meanwhile, he caught that bat with the towel, and after that I ventured out to get him gloves and whatever else he needed to safely get it out of the house.

Then my dear husband went back to sleep.

I stayed up and pondered gender roles, a topic we were going to discuss that night at Bible study.  Often in study groups, gender roles are discussed in a one-dimensional way, focusing only on headship and submission, even if they are dealt with in a broad and Biblical way as in our study guide, The Meaning of Marriage.

But there is so much more to it all.  We had just experienced instinctive gender roles based on the concepts of fear and protection.

Other times gender roles revolve around strength, or love, or children, or jokes, or tasks, or gifts—like the roses from my husband in the picture above.

And I realized that gender roles are as individual as the couples involved and yet as broad as the world God made.  Some are ordained and can be discussed in study groups.  Others are private and individual and are discovered only through years of marriage…or when a bat flies into the bedroom at night.

Review: Shaken by Eric Walters

Shaken by Eric Walters

Fifteen year old Josh is off on a mission trip to Haiti with his father and sister, but he does not really want to go.  In fact, he is negative about almost everything, and no wonder.  Despite intense prayer his mother recently died, and Josh is bitter with both God and his preacher father.

But here he is, off to Haiti, and despite his cynicism about everything from his father’s prayers to Christianity itself, he is shocked by real life on the island.  Beginning with the rescue of his little sister’s back pack containing their dead mother’s sweater, and continuing as he gets to know Naomi, Philippe and Louidor, Josh is confronted with a life he never imagined.  And then, there’s an earthquake….

Shaken describes not only earthquake-torn Haiti, but also Josh’s faith.  Near the end of the book Josh says:  “What I do know is that we need to act like there is a God.  That no matter what, we have to try to do the right thing.”  Even though he is not convinced of God’s existence, he ends with “I’ll be taken care of.  I just finished walking through hell.  And even in hell, there was still an angel walking along with me.”

Shaken could shake the faith of a teen reader, because Eric Walters raises hard questions and points out difficult problems.  His conclusions are ambivalent and unsatisfactory.   For example, Josh and his father talk about strengthened belief even though they both wonder about God’s very existence!

However, despite crushing questions, Christian faith is based on actual truth, not only on feelings. (For more about that, see my review of Total Truth.)

Because this book addresses many troubling issues, I cannot recommend it for teens unless someone is willing to work through it with them.  Unfortunately, my teen read it before I did. After I have worked through Shaken with her I will probably be writing about our thoughts.  In the meantime, read this book before you give it to your teens…and if they have already read it, please read it and go through it with them.

On the other hand, if properly discussed Shaken can be an excellent preparation for the challenges our teens will face in the world.

The following books could help with discussions about topics raised in Shaken (links are to my reviews):

Truth Matters This resource directly addresses some of the points raised in Shaken and is addressed to young people.

Clear Winter Nights

Total Truth

True Reason

Beyond Opinion

The Best Things in Life

Four Letter Words

Thriving at College

This is yet another book in the in the 2014 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Works for Me Wednesdays, Booknificent Thursdays, Raising HomemakersFinishing Strong , and Trivium Tuesdays.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from our library and am not compensated for this review in any way.

Curriculum Plans for Grades 7, 9, and 12

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Often my homeschool plans are too ambitious.  Other times they are reasonable, but unexpected things happen.  In fact, last year, for various reasons, we were completely unable to meet our learning goals.

Now, after reading Crazy Busy, I’m deliberately scaling my expectations way, way back as I plan our school year. Hopefully this will lead to a year that is both more productive and less stressful, as I was hoping when I wrote ‘Relax about Schoolwork’ .  It should also make learning more fun for everyone. At the very minimum, it will give us margin in case we again meet unexpected time challenges.

Keeping in mind that God may have other plans, here is what we hope to learn in the next school year.  (Note:  almost all links are to my reviews or blog posts; as usual there are no affiliate links.)

Learning we are doing together:

  • We are continuing our multi-year Canadian history study.     Although we will continue to do a lot of reading as well as learn from movies, museums, and projects, this year we will focus on textbooks as well.    I’m also excited about having the girls make personalized, interactive timelines using Tiki-Toki.
  • Bible: memory and reading
  • Read alouds:  Dutch, history, church history, novels
  • Nature study/walks: with some guidance from Handbook of Nature Study, Ambleside Online, and Classical Astronomy
  • Everyday French: 52 Weeks of Family French, Powerglide
  • Documentaries: Canada: A People’s History; Chemistry 101; Blue Planet; Planet Earth; How Should We Then Live; Amazing Grace; Moody Science Videos; Foundations in Personal Finance; Canadian history and travel videos
  • Movies:  plays, including Shakespeare; other quality movies

Grade 12

Note: Miss 16’s courses may change emphasis depending on what she plans to study in the future.

BibleOmnibus 6; finish Bible book summary project; study several of the following: A House for My Name (Old Testament);  Total Truth, Truth Matters, The Church Preserved Through Fires; 40 Most Influential Christians; Amazing Grace (DVD).

Math: Pre-calculus (Singapore NEM #4 and NAM and/or Life of Fred, Math on DVD Pre-Calculus); Calculus (NAM and/or Life of Fred, Math on DVD Calculus 1); CEMC math competitions; math reading

English:  Literature (Omnibus 6); writing (Format Writing, quick essays); grammar (Our Mother Tongue); How to Read a Book; book club.

Science: Apologia Physics; science reading and reports, Sir Isaac Newton physics competition.

French: Finish BJUP French 2; Begin French Three Years; Rosetta Stone; French reading; Do 52 weeks of Family French as a family.

Dutch: Stories, vocabulary, Rosetta Stone

Canadian History: Challenge and Survival, Canadian History for Dummies, and A Short History of Canada, with a focus on living books, museums, and Canadian history DVDs

World History:  Modern times, ideas, and culture as part of Omnibus 6

Civics:  Christian Citizenship Guide, current events

Logic: Finish James Madison Critical Thinking Course

PE:  Daily exercise

Music: organ; continue to learn basic music history and terms

Guidance and Career:  Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers; Foundations in Personal Finance (DVDs only); review How to Raise Your High School Grades by Half a Point in One Semester

Contests: CEMC math competitions; Royal Canadian Legion poster, essay, and/or poetry competition; Sir Isaac Newton physics competition

Grade 9

Bible:  Write summaries of 16 Bible books; study these same books using Omnibus and Candle Bible Handbook

Math: Complete Key to Algebra; complete Singapore NEM #1 and #2; CEMC math competitions; math reading and reports

English:  Literature ( English Literature for Boys and Girls, BJUP  Fundamentals of Literature) Grammar and writing (Format Writing; Rod and Staff Grammar ; quick essays); dictionary based spelling and vocabulary; How to Read a Book;

Science:  Apologia Biology; Science Roots; science reading and reports

French: BJUP French 1;  Rosetta Stone French; French reading; Do 52 Weeks of Family French as a family;

Dutch: Stories, vocabulary, Rosetta Stone written work

Canadian History: The Homeworks Guide to the Story of Canada, with hints from Modern History Through Canadian Eyes, Canadian History for Dummies, and a focus on living books, museums, and Canadian history DVDs.

World History:  Complete Streams of Civilization 1; study Streams of Civilization 2; (Note: there is a heavy world and church history load due to not completing last year’s work)

Church History: Continue Sketches from Church History.  Begin Trial and Triumph.

Logic: The Thinking Toolbox

Computer: Finish Windows Programming from Kid Coder; also do Game Programming; CEMC computing competition;

Penmanship and copywork:  Poetry from The Book of Virtues and from the Bible

Keyboarding:  Goal for the year:  40 words per minute touch typing

PE:  judo; maybe swimming and soccer

Art:  Picture study from Ambleside Online, related art history reading

Music: Organ, guitar; composer study from Ambleside Online; music history, listening, and concepts

CM learning: composer study, art study, nature study, Shakespeare

Guidance and career:  Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers; Foundations in Personal Finance (DVDs only);  How to Raise Your High School Grades by Half a Point in One Semester

Contests: CEMC mathematics and computer competitions; Royal Canadian Legion poster, essay, and/or poetry competition; track and field

Grade 7

BibleShow Me Thy Ways #6

Math: Complete Decimals, Percents, and Metric Measurement, all from the Key to… Series;  Drill with Math Score; review with Singapore Math 4a-6b and Singapore PSLE study;  math reading and reports. (Note that this will be a heavy math year because Miss 11 is significantly behind but she seems able to do the work now.)

English:  Writing (Wordsmith); Literature (English Literature for Boys and Girls, Pilot Literature 1); Grammar (Rod and Staff Grammar ); spelling (use word lists in Rod and Staff Spelling 6)

ScienceApologia General Science; science reading and reports

French: French is Fun 1; French Rosetta Stone; Do 52 weeks of Family French as a family;

Dutch: Stories, vocabulary, Rosetta Stone

Canadian History: Canadian History:  A Coloring Study Book (an early version of Courage and Conquest) with hints from Modern History through Canadian Eyes and a focus on living books, museums, and Canadian history DVDs; Timeline

Penmanship and copywork: Presidential Penmanship or selections from books we are studying

Typing:  continue with Gentle Shepherd Touch Typing

PE:  judo, maybe swimming and soccer

Art: Artpack 6; Picture study from Ambleside Online, related art history reading

Music: organ, guitar, recorder; basic history and listening and terms

CM learning: composer study, art study, nature study, Shakespeare (Nesbitt, Lamb)

Contests: Royal Canadian Legion poster, essay, and/or poetry competition; CEMC math competition; track and field

For more about Homeschooling in general, you can visit the Carnival of Homeschooling.  For more about classical education, please visit Trivium Tuesdays.

Review: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

I’ve been puzzling how to meet my increasing commitments without losing balance and getting my priorities all mixed up.  In fact, this very week I had to make some major time-related decisions, and I just did not know how.

Then God sent Crazy Busy my way.

Subtitled A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem, Crazy Busy deals with the spiritual issues behind busyness.  I know about the practical aspects of time management, having read dozens of books on that topic.  But the spiritual side of this problem, ah, that is a different matter.

Of course, I knew there were spiritual issues at stake.  There always are.

But I did not know what they were, and in this book Kevin DeYoung outlined them so clearly:

  • Pride in all its manifestations, from people-pleasing to perfectionism… to too much posting.
  • Trying to do what God does not expect you to do or, more provocatively, assuming you need to take on His responsibilities.  But ‘not all opportunities are obligations.’
  • Not setting priorities. Since we are finite and cannot ‘do it all’ we need to think prayerfully about what we are called to do.
  • Thinking that your children’s eternal future is in your hands (and for homeschoolers who invest so much in their children, this is certainly a temptation).  Obviously there are (many) things Christian parents need to do, but assuming we have God-like influence on our children is not one of them.
  • Letting screens control you and keep you from being still and alone with God.
  • Refusing to rest or, again more provocatively, refusing to accept that you are human and have limitations.

Obviously, this book is not written for people who are lazy, uncommitted, and unmotivated.  Other books have been written for them.  This book is written for the Marthas of the world, male and female, who have a hard time understanding Jesus’ praise for Mary.  Remember, she sat at his feet listening to him while her sister Martha was crazy busy doing all the work.

How should we understand that?  It’s not that working hard is wrong.  In fact, we are called to work.  Even being crazy busy is, at times, part of our calling.  Here I think of parents of baby twins, of farmers at harvest time, of students during exams.

In fact, serving God in our work is important.  It is what we are called to do.  The vital fact to remember, though, is that ‘the only thing more important than ministry is being ministered to,’ and this is the good part that Mary chose.  This is the good part we often miss when we are crazy busy.

DeYoung’s Crazy Busy was invaluable to me as I planned our studies and activities for the next school year.  I highly recommend it if you are overwhelmed by your to-do list, frantically running from one task to the next.  Even if you are simply trying to plan your commitments wisely to avoid being crazy busy, this book will give you helpful insights.

I just discovered a free study guide to Crazy Busy is available from Crossway Books.  This short workbook will help you apply DeYoung’s insights to your own life.

For those who find themselves much too busy doing good works, I also recommend The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good (link is to my review), an excellent companion to Crazy Busy.

I have also reviewed some hands-on books for over-busy moms who are trying to understand how to bring sanity back to their lives:

Balanced (always pointing us back to God, but also intensely practical)

Tell Your Time (streamlined, short, and 100% practical)

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode (inspiring as well as hands-on)

This is yet another book in the in the 2014 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Works for Me Wednesdays, Booknificent Thursdays, Raising HomemakersFinishing Strong , and Trivium Tuesdays

Disclosure: I borrowed this book and am not compensated for this review in any way.

Bible Study Charts for the Veritas Omnibus Program

 

In order to plan Bible for our school year, I made these two charts.  Since our teens do not study the entire Omnibus program I wanted an overview of its Bible study so I could easily plan their studies.

The first chart shows where in the 6 volumes of Omnibus each Bible book is studied.  It also give details about semesters, week number, and whether it is part of Omnibus’s primary or secondary studies.

The second chart shows the order in which the Bible books are studied, along with the details given in the first chart.  I was surprised at how little Bible is studied in volume 2, but that is because so much of the year’s work is explicitly related to church history and writings about the Bible.

After the charts and in the final column of both I have included some related resources with links to my reviews.

Chart 1:  When in the Omnibus Program each Bible Book is Studied

Bible Book Omnibus Year Primary/ Secondary; semester 1 or 2; week # Other resources
Genesis 1 P-S1-W1
Exodus 1 P-S1-W2   A Cry from Egypt
Leviticus 5 S-S1-W9
Numbers 5 S-S1-W12
Deuteronomy 6 P-S1-W12
Joshua 4 S-S1-W5,6,7
Judges 4 S-S1-W5,6,7
Ruth 4 S-S1-W5,6,7
1 Samuel 1 P-S1-W5
2 Samuel 1 P-S1-W5
1 Kings 1 P-S1-W6
2 Kings 1 P-S1-W6
1 Chronicles 4 S-S1-W10,11
2 Chronicles 4 S-S1-W10,11
Ezra 4 S-S1-W12,13
Nehemiah 4 S-S1-W12,13
Esther 4 S-S1-W12,13
Job 4 P-S1W2
Psalms 4 P-S1W7
Proverbs 4 P-S1W1  Hidden Treasures
Ecclesiastes 6 P-S2-W11
Song of Solomon 6 S-S2-W10 Pure Love
Isaiah 1 S-S1-W16
Jeremiah 1 S-S1-W17
Lamentations 6 S-S2-W3
Ezekiel 6 S-S2-W3
Daniel 3 P-S2-W17
Hosea 1 S-S1-W18
Joel 1 S-S1-W18
Amos 1 S-S1-W18
Obadiah 1 S-S1-W18
Jonah 1 S-S1-W18
Micah 1 S-S1-W18
Nahum 1 S-S1-W18
Habakkuk 1 S-S1-W18
Zephaniah 1 S-S1-W18
Haggai 1 S-S1-W18
Zechariah 1 S-S1-W18
Malachi 1 S-S1-W18
Matthew 6 S-S2-W17
Mark 4 P-S2-W12
Luke 1 P-S2-W8
John 2 S-S1-W12,13
Acts 1 P-S2-W8
Romans 1 S-S2-W10 Knowing God
1 Corinthians 5 P-S1-W18
2 Corinthians 5 P-S1-W18
Galatians 1 S-S2-W9
Ephesians 2 S-S2-W12,13
Philippians 4 P-S2-W13
Colossians 4 P-S2-W13
1 Thessalonians 5 S-S1-W14
2 Thessalonians 5 S-S1-W14
1 Timothy 6 S-S2-W15
2 Timothy 6 S-S2-W15
Titus 6 S-S2-W15
Philemon 3 P-S2-W12 Twice Freed
Hebrews 5 S-S2-W3,4
James 1 S-S2-W11
1 Peter 3 P-S2-W14
2 Peter 3 P-S2-W14
1 John 3 P-S2-W13
2 John 3 P-S2-W13
3 John 3 P-S2-W13
Jude 3 P-S2-W14
Revelation 1 P-S2-W17 Glorious Victory

Chart 2:  Which Bible Books are Studied Each Year in the Omnibus Program

Bible Book Omnibus Primary or secondary Other resources
Genesis 1 P-S1-W1
Exodus 1 P-S1-W2   A Cry from Egypt
1 Samuel 1 P-S1-W5
2 Samuel 1 P-S1-W5
1 Kings 1 P-S1-W6
2 Kings 1 P-S1-W6
Isaiah 1 S-S1-W16
Jeremiah 1 S-S1-W17
Hosea 1 S-S1-W18
Joel 1 S-S1-W18
Amos 1 S-S1-W18
Obadiah 1 S-S1-W18
Jonah 1 S-S1-W18
Micah 1 S-S1-W18
Nahum 1 S-S1-W18
Habakkuk 1 S-S1-W18
Zephaniah 1 S-S1-W18
Haggai 1 S-S1-W18
Zechariah 1 S-S1-W18
Malachi 1 S-S1-W18
Luke 1 P-S2-W8
Acts 1 P-S2-W8
Romans 1 S-S2-W10 Knowing God
Galatians 1 S-S2-W9
James 1 S-S2-W11
Revelation 1 P-S2-W17 Glorious Victory
John 2 S-S1-W12,13
Ephesians 2 S-S2-W12,13
Daniel 3 P-S2-W17
Philemon 3 P-S2-W12 Twice Freed
1 Peter 3 P-S2-W14
2 Peter 3 P-S2-W14
1 John 3 P-S2-W13
2 John 3 P-S2-W13
3 John 3 P-S2-W13
Jude 3 P-S2-W14
Joshua 4 S-S1-W5,6,7
Judges 4 S-S1-W5,6,7
Ruth 4 S-S1-W5,6,7
1 Chronicles 4 S-S1-W10,11
2 Chronicles 4 S-S1-W10,11
Ezra 4 S-S1-W12,13
Nehemiah 4 S-S1-W12,13
Esther 4 S-S1-W12,13
Job 4 P-S1W2
Psalms 4 P-S1W7
Proverbs 4 P-S1W1  Hidden Treasures
Mark 4 P-S2-W12
Philippians 4 P-S2-W13
Colossians 4 P-S2-W13
Leviticus 5 S-S1-W9
Numbers 5 S-S1-W12
1 Corinthians 5 P-S1-W18
2 Corinthians 5 P-S1-W18
1 Thessalonians 5 S-S1-W14
2 Thessalonians 5 S-S1-W14
Hebrews 5 S-S2-W3,4
Deuteronomy 6 P-S1-W12
Ecclesiastes 6 P-S2-W11
Song of Solomon 6 S-S2-W10 Pure Love
Lamentations 6 S-S2-W3
Ezekiel 6 S-S2-W3
Matthew 6 S-S2-W17  Crucifying Morality
1 Timothy 6 S-S2-W15
2 Timothy 6 S-S2-W15
Titus 6 S-S2-W15

 

Resources for Homeschool Bible Study

Candle Bible Handbook

Pure Love (Song of Songs)

Why Christ Came

Scripture Stickies (Bible memory resource)

Crucifying Morality (the Beatitudes)    about the beatitudes

A Cry from Egypt (Exodus, fiction)

The Glorious Victory (Revelation)

Deeper into the Word 

Illustrated Family Bible

Story Bible for Older Children

Hidden Treasures (Proverbs)

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