Sunday, October 24, 2010


For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
1 Peter 3:18-22

Now as we enter into this we must affirm that it was God who saved Noah and His family, but He did so through water as Peter says. As such it would be accurate for Noah to say He was saved by God or by the flood as long as it was understood that it was God who saved Him by the flood.

The same thing is true of Baptism. If we say we are saved by Baptism we never mean that we are saved by baptism apart from God’s saving work. And yet we can say with Peter that we are saved by Baptism through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Note in both Noah’s salvation and in our salvation it is God who is doing all the saving. In both the OT type and the NT anti-type (fulfillment) the emphasis is on God who is doing the work of saving His people.

Now the reason I spend time to point that out is to articulate again the Reformed and Biblical understanding that Baptism is not about our pledges to God. Baptism, as we see in this passage, is about God’s work of delivering His people.

Most of your Christian friends will not agree with this. Most of your Christian friends will insist that Baptism is about your making a commitment to Christ. That is a unworthy view of Baptism. Baptism is instead about what God is doing, promising and has done and not about what the Baptized person is doing or promising.

Read the entire post by Pastor Bret entitled Peter and Baptism

at home

I wrote this last week without intending to publish it but my husband thought differently, so with his encouragement, I am posting it here and on Facebook.

On days I'm feeling a bit militant about people who are critical of homeschooling or think it's a really bad idea, whether they claim to be Christians, secularists or anything in between, I feel like asking them to think about the following hypothetical situation. What follows is not particularly well written, but it's my attempt to ask people to think about other areas of life.

Did you provide your child with breakfast this morning before they went to school, to day care or to play in the living room? What about a lunch? Dinner? What about making sure they drink enough water? Did you plan or provide any of this today for your children? The obvious answer for all of these questions for the vast majority of loving and concerned parents is, yes, I feed my kid. One more question. And you did this alone, without the government (local, state or federal) helping you plan, shop, pack and administer these meals? Again, the probable answer is yes.

So what if the government stepped in and said, whoa, whoa, whoa! You can't do this on your own. Do you have a Registered Dietitian degree? Have you studied with Pediatric Nutritionists? No? Well, how can you possibly be qualified to feed your child without being trained in any of these fields? You clearly need supervision and accountability. You need the government.
So the government ever so careful about raising your children with your tax money sets up a federally funded, locally centralized Meal Center. All children ages five to sixteen must report to this Meal Center for all meals, Monday to Friday. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. You are allowed to feed them on Saturday and Sunday in your own home because cooks and servers need time away from your kid and perhaps you can't do too much damage in those two days. Of course, table manners and all other eating etiquette rules will be taught and practiced at the Meal Center so that all children will be able to eat and socialize properly when they are home on the weekends with family and friends. And if you choose not to send your child to your local Meal Center? Well why would you ask that?

Meal Centers are where the nutritionists, dietitians, food psychologists, gourmet chefs and extremely patient servers, not to mention the Miss Manners will all be employed by the government to adequately feed and train your child in a lifelong habit of healthy eating and social eating etiquette. Why on earth, would you want to keep them at home for their meals? We have all the money and resources and experts at the Meal Center. It's the only place for children to learn well in all areas of eating and nutrition. Oh, we realize that down through the centuries, parents have kept their children at home to feed them nourishing meals and help them learn to eat in a civilized manner, (whatever that is) but we are now enlightened and understand the basic needs of children much better. Oh yes, we secretly know that in the past, our Meal Centers have not always produced healthy, well-balanced and highly mannered eaters but we are confident that with more money and time and experts we can achieve better success rates than you can ever hope to get at home.

You admit you have no degree, few children in your home to socialize with, and your kitchen has not been checked for cleanliness standards. How could you possibly think you could do better than the government's Meal Centers? What about your child's food allergies? Don't worry, the Meal Center will test, label and feed them appropriately for you. Well, as well as they can with just one chef for twenty eaters. You can't expect every meal to fit your child's health requirements and needs. There may be some days where they won't like what's being served but they will have to eat it just like everyone else. Oh yes, the food psychologists will try to watch that your child is not bullied too much for not liking his tofu, but kids will be kids, you know. You're concerned that your child may pick up unwanted eating habits from the other children? Well of course we do discourage the children from sticking beans up their noses and from engaging in chubby-bunny contests, but frankly these things will occur.

Ahh, you actually believe it's wrong and unhealthy to kill animals for meat? To eat any animal products? How quaint and unscientific of you! Well, we do serve chicken every Thursday so I'm afraid your child will not be exempt. I'm sure you will understand that we do not want your child to be ignorant(even if you choose to be) of the value of poultry in one's diet. After all, if we don't include meat in your child's diet just because of your personal beliefs, they will miss out on what the other children are experiencing, as well as learn to be intolerant of those who do eat meat and most importantly they will most certainly be nutritionally deficient. All our experts all agree on that. Most of them. Well, the ones who want to get published do.

I'm sure you understand now why it's imperative that you send your child to your local Meal Center. Oh, you still don't want to send them. Would you like to have them removed from your home if you don't comply with the Meal Center program? We call it, Foster Meals. We do it really well in places like Germany and Quebec. Get the idea? We feed your kids or else. Oh some places are more lenient, we admit. You just have to submit a nutritional portfolio report every month of what you and how much and how often you fed your child based on our national requirements. If our Meal Center administrators examine your nutritional portfolio report and see deviations and substitutions they will be visiting your home to conduct an in-depth interview with you and your children. No, we won't be calling the media outlets but if a neighbor sees our van and calls them, well we hope you have time get a shower before they show up.

Now, just before we finish here, let me ask you another quick question, What is your child wearing today? Did you make sure they zipped up their coat? No coat? Do you know what the temperature was going to be today? Were they wearing clean underwear? You can't get them to wear underwear sometimes? Well, I'm very glad I asked. We have a program for that too.

Well, while I'm here I should ask this as well. Have you given your child any medication in the last two weeks? Oh, yes, some Tylenol? Was a doctor present? Did anyone check the expiration date on the box for you? Was it on a recent recall list? You're not sure? You'll need to come with me please. It appears that in many areas you are acting as a parent with no supervision, accountability or expertise. Who do you think you are, the government?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Ancient Egypt

Begin at the beginning.
That's how most elementary history courses should start and so too does the classical education approach. So we have started with Ancient Egpyt and are working our way through the various phases of this empire that lasted almost 5,000 years before the Greeks took over.

This is the timeline that hangs on our living room wall to help us keep track of what was going on and when. It is very homemade and very amateur. It is dated from 3400BC to 400AD and has room for Old Testament and New Testament, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian people and events with space for other ancient nations. The intsructions were downloaded from the Brandenburg Studies site under The Timeline Project which appears to still be available free as a pdf.

So far we have been either drawing our images or printing them off the internet. The papyrus scrolls and pyramid were drawn by Seth.

But I have ordered the timeline figures from Homeschool in the Woods and expect to use her images after I get my mail from my parents. I plan to use the timeline figures in multiple projects as well as for a timeline book when we study in the later grades.

These are most of the titles that we use to help us study the different aspects of Ancient Egypt's civilization. The books are mostly above Seth's reading level but when we study this topic again around grade five, these books will be more independent reading for him. Right now, I read, study and organize the material and dates myself and decide how it will be presented and what we will do with it. The following is what we have accomplished in the first four weeks of school.

We have labeled outline maps and drawn his own map of Egypt.

In addition he has colored a couple pages found on the internet while I read aloud more detailed information from one of the upper level books.

We also have started his own dictionary with terms that we have learned and are likely to encounter again in other studies.

So far the words have come from our studies in History, Bible and Science. I select the words, dictate the spelling and the definition which we discuss together. I keep the definitions brief and very basic as you can see. Sometimes I write for him if I sense he is losing interest or patience but generally the dictionary is in his own handwriting.

But mainly, we have enjoyed looking at the various pictures in the books and a few hands-on projects done together. This is where I try to incorporate Charlotte Mason's educational approach for the younger grades. Shorter lessons, centered around interesting books that provide real and significant information. Minimal time has been given to bizarre topics such as mummy-making, the after-life beliefs of the Egyptians and their pervasive system of false gods and goddesses.
The projects that I look for need to store well and be as realistic as possible, so that they reinforce and aid in remembering the topics studied. I hope that these projects do that for Seth now, but also in the future.

The picture above became the model and inspiration for our salt dough map project which originally called for a map of Egypt. Instead, we studied this page carefully and designed our version of it first on paper, then inside the pizza box. This is the photo I posted a couple weeks ago using it as a "guess what this is" post.

Here it is again from another angle.

And here is the whole thing.

The Ancient Egyptians developed an irrigation system of canals and levers(called shadufs) to help them farm the land close to the Nile River which would flood around July of every year and then recede leaving the rich river mud behind to grow crops in. Our shadufs are not exactly historically accurate as acorns are not native to Egypt but it worked for us. Our flax and barley crops came out of a garlic press, in case you were wondering.

Next, we made our version of papyrus paper by cutting strips of paper, soaking them in a flour and water mixture, and then laying them criss-cross on top of each other and letting it dry. We also made our version of their reed boat out of straws and what else but duct tape. Early civilizations relied heavily on the reed plant that grew along the rivers. In fact, the Red Sea, I believe is a misnomer and is possibly intended to be known as the Reed Sea due to the amount of reed plants growing around it. But you better fact-check that as it's been a while since I read that. Both of these ideas came from this book, Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself borrowed from the library.

And when the paper is held up to the light, the pattern is revealed, giving us an idea of what their papyrus would have looked like with the strands of reed showing.

And most recently, we built a small pyramid out of Lego. A very colorful pyramid in no way resembling the quarried stone and limestone of the Egyptian pyramids still standing today. :)

We are about two-thirds of the way through our study of Ancient Egypt and I am pleased with how it has come together so far.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

garden harvest

With the frost date rapidly approaching, I have been working hard to get ready to bring in the harvest which required needing refrigerator space which required cleaning and organizing and cooking what was in there already. Phew!
But because it has been so rainy, I have put off this harvest business until this past weekend which meant the entire Saturday morning found me feverishly making pear and applesauce, cooking the last bag of store-bought carrots for baby food, baking bread and scrubbing out the fridge.

Here's a photo summary:

Baby cherry tomatoes still producing, the rest of the tomato plants were harvested and pulled out of the ground.

Sugar baby watermelons. The ones on the right didn't get as ripe before the plants died. The one on the left, while not as pink as we are used to has a fantastic flavor. And that was the only one that got that pink.

The celery is great and is being eaten liberally and enjoyed. Definitely an unmitigated success!

I didn't grow these peaches but this is how I froze them. Blanched to get the skins off, quartered them and put them in plastic freezer bags with a drizzle of apple juice to help keep the color.

I will be soon harvesting the carrots to make more of these, baby food cubes. My girls eat carrots, peas, green and yellow beans, lima beans, sweet potato and squash all prepared this way. Baby Laura will eat the cooked pieces as finger food but Kate still doesn't chew well so she needs it be pureed.

I leave you with a traditional Thanksgiving hymn, Come, Ye Thankful People, Come which we have been working on learning during our Bible time.

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

flying off the shelf

A few years back, while visiting with my friend Norma she recommended a book by J.C. Ryle entitled The Duties of Parents. I tracked down a second hand copy for a dollar and read it through, enjoying his directly worded admonitions to parents. My close friend, Barb became a first-time mom a few years ago and since she likes to read, I gave her my copy. I found another second-hand copy, read through it again and just last week I gave that copy to another friend of mine, Carmen who has a firstborn seven-week old baby boy. See a trend yet? Can you guess what I will likely do next?
If you click on the link above, you can order a brand new copy for less than three dollars. I think I need to order at least five. Around here, we call that stocking up. :)
If you would to download this 34-page book for free, follow this link and you will see download options.
It could go without saying but I will say it, this is an excellent resource for Christian parents.

Monday, October 04, 2010

newly born

Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles had her baby. Go admire the little face and hands.