Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Week In Review

We continued our studies of the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration this week. We looked at lots and lots of art, and also read about many different explorers and the new routes or landforms they discovered. What an incredible time that must have been! Fear of the unknown began to be replaced by an overwhelming motivation to know what lay "beyond" ~ beyond the sea, and also beyond the known science of the time. It is truly amazing to contemplate all that God allowed man to learn/discover/invent/accomplish during that time period. Our boys have been drawing caravels and their own clever inventions all week!

What was different about this week:

Our two oldest children entered their first writing contest! We mailed off their essays early in the week, and will find out the results sometime in mid December. There is prize money for the top four essays in each of three age categories, as determined by their panel of judges. The prize money was great motivation! But aside from the possibility of winning money, I think it is a great experience, and I am glad for this learning opportunity. It turned out that daughter G and son G were in the same age bracket, so they were competing against each other! ;-)

Something else new this week was that son C began keyboarding! He is slowly learning how to type and how to place his hands correctly. He is highly motivated to begin typing the papers he is writing in writing class, rather than writing the final draft in cursive by hand, so he was super excited to start this new daily activity.

What worked well this week:

We had such a wonderful lesson one day that combined what we are learning in history with what we are learning in Bible. Our amazing history curriculum, Tapestry of Grace, has such comprehensive teacher's notes for each week. They give excellent background information on all the major themes and people covered each week, as well as how the trends of the time line up with Scripture. I especially appreciate how TOG looks at history through the lens of a biblical worldview, and since we are learning about worldviews in our Bible class, I was excited to do this lesson, following the teacher's notes in my history binder.

All of our children were present for this lesson, though the 9 and 6 year old were busy coloring a picture of an explorer's ship during our discussion. First of all we defined the term "humanism", which was prevalent as a movement during the renaissance. This is not exactly the secular humanism that we have today, but similar in some ways. We looked up the verses that you see on the whiteboard, and talked about the Romans 1 view of man and the Psalm 8 view of man. Which is the correct view of man, if viewed through the lens of Truth (Truth being God's Word)? The three older children all copied these notes into their history binder.

Which view of man was characterized by the Southern (Italian) Renaissance?

In two weeks we will be learning about the Northern Renaissance, and will compare and contrast how the Renaissance in the northern countries differed from the Renaissance that took place in Italy.

Great, great stuff, and such a great discussion! So helpful in teaching us discernment. One of the things I am thankful for during this Thanksgiving season is Tapestry of Grace!

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