Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Classic Thanksgiving: Art

This week, as you CC families finish out the semester and begin to look toward the holidays, I want to share with you some of the projects skilled artists have created throughout history as a way of giving thanks. Their creativity challenges us to think deeply, but it also offers a beautiful picture of giving the Lord our best work in all things.

More Classic Thanksgiving (Poetry)


"Freedom from Want"
Norman Rockwell


-1943, Saturday Evening Post

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Classic Thanksgiving: Poetry

This week, as you CC families finish out the semester and begin to look toward the holidays, I want to share with you some of the projects skilled artists have created throughout history as a way of giving thanks. Their creativity challenges us to think deeply, but it also offers a beautiful picture of giving the Lord our best work in all things.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"A Thanksgiving Poem"
Paul Laurence Dunbar


The sun hath shed its kindly light,

Our harvesting is gladly o’er,
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
Our bins are filled with goodly store.

From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword
We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
We come to pay our thanks to thee.

We feel that had our merits been
The measure of thy gifts to us,
We erring children, born of sin,
Might not now be rejoicing thus.

No deed of ours hath brought us grace;
When thou wert nigh our sight was dull,
We hid in trembling from thy face,
But thou, O God, wert merciful.

Thy mighty hand o’er all the land
Hath still been open to bestow
Those blessings which our wants demand
From heaven, whence all blessings flow.

Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
Looked down on us with holy care,
And from thy storehouse in the sky
Hast scattered plenty everywhere.

Then lift we up our songs of praise
To thee, O Father, good and kind;
To thee we consecrate our days;
Be thine the temple of each mind.

With incense sweet our thanks ascend;
Before thy works our powers pall;
Though we should strive years without end,
We could not thank thee for them all.

-From Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow (1905)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All the Days that Adam Lived

This past week, we've begun to talk about considering the study of mathematics in a new light. (See "Math: Not Just a Four-Letter Word.")

As we think about the nature, purpose, and propriety of math, I want to point you back to the way math expresses the beauty and order of the universe.

For example, did you ever stop to think about the math in the Bible?

Addition

3When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.

4Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.

5So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

Genesis 5:3-5

Fractions

27'But if it is among the unclean animals, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation and add to it one-fifth of it; and if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.

28'Nevertheless, anything which a man sets apart to the LORD out of all that he has, of man or animal or of the fields of his own property, shall not be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted to destruction is most holy to the LORD.

29'No one who may have been set apart among men shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.

30'Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S; it is holy to the LORD.

31'If, therefore, a man wishes to redeem part of his tithe, he shall add to it one-fifth of it.

32'For every tenth part of herd or flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD.

Leviticus 27:27-32

Geometry

15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

Genesis 6: 15-18

What other examples can you think of?

I want to give you a challenge this week. What if, when we read Scripture, we were to pay as much attention to numbers as we do to words? How might that change the way we think about math?

Let's not forget that God is Lord of numbers as well as words. In light of that knowledge, let's not turn our back on an entire realm of His truth by rejecting mathematics. Instead, let's make it our goal to "[bring] every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Join Me Tonight!

Join me tonight on The AfterThoughts News Hour With S. Denice Newton on Blog Talk Radio, as we talk about The Core, Classical Conversations, and the purpose of a classical education.

The show, "Ready for a Classical Conversation? Welcome CEO Leigh Bortins, will be on live at 5 p.m. EST.

Click here to listen!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

November 11, 2010



Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to find out more about the history, celebration, and significance of Veterans Day.

Take a minute to say thank you to the Veterans you know who have pledged their lives to protect this country!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Math: not just a four-letter word

Mrs. Thompson's grade two class is studying geese. The geese have started to leave on their winter migration. During a class field trip the class saw two flocks of geese flying by. The first flock had 35 geese in it. The second flock had 91 geese in it.

Write the math equation: __________________________

How many geese did Mrs. Thompson's class see? _______



Do you find math frustrating? You're not the only one. Even those who love math themselves may struggle to pass on that "natural"ability to their children. We are surrounded by numbers. But while we work intentionally to make reading a habit and a joy for our children, we all too often neglect to give the same care to mathematics.

And so we make math a chore, something "hard" (and by that we mean unpleasant), a workbook to make it through instead of a life skill to practice.

Let's not forget that God is Lord of numbers as well as words (more on this to come!); let's not turn our back on an entire realm of His truth.

This week and next, I invite you to join me in challenging our culture's assertion that math is dull, irrelevant, or purpose-less. Although nothing can replace learning the basics and repeating or re-sounding them until they are mastered, as an addition, you can begin with something as simple as a creative word problem.

The website the above problem came from, KidZone Math Word Problems, has seasonally themed word problems for grades 1-5 that you can print, copy by hand, or work in your head. Make it a challenge for the whole family: don't just work these problems, create your own!

You can add illustrations, practice good handwriting, and invite your older children to make up problems for you to solve. Remember, you know they understand the material fully when they can teach it to you!

Adding a creative touch to the math problems you work every day offers you another opportunity to share (and learn!) the order, structure, and fascination of the universe with your children.

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Friday, November 5, 2010