Order of Operations

For Logic Pre-Algebra:  This morning, we did something a little different.  I gave the students three terms from our math vocabulary: order of operations, equation, and repetend. We read the definitions and then each student was to give a summary of how the term they chose of the three reflected the word “perseverance,” our 30 Character Quality word for the day.  Here were their answers.

Emma:  “The order in which we solve a problem reminds me of PEMDAS and the Order of Operations.  You need perseverance to follow it through even when some of the steps are hard.”

Sebastian:  “Through perseverance, I am persuaded that an equation is true.”

Alejandro:  “Sometimes you need perseverance in the order of operations because it get repetitive.”

This brought us to talk about G.K. Chesterton’s quote “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

 Ellie:  “If a repetend somehow had an active conscience/free will, then it would (most likely) continue to repeat in order to equalize what it applies to.”

Christopher:  “God is a God of order and peace.  God is immutable; God never changes His mind.”

Jacob:  “I must persevere and make a perseverance speech about math such as order of operations or PMDAS.”


Christopher opened our day with a word about “perseverance” from the 30 Character Qualities and Psalm 119:46, “I will speak of your testimonies also before kings and will not be put to shame” (AMP). He said, “Perseverance is having faith even when times get tough.”  This brought us to talk about what it looks like to continue to speak of the testimony of Jesus even when persecution may come because of our perseverance.  Acts 5:25-32 set the stage for our conversation, “So they brought them and set them (the apostles) before the council (Sanhedrin).  And the high priest examined them by questioning, saying, we definitely commanded and strictly charged you not to teach in or about this Name [they were trying to shame them so they would not speak anymore in His Name]; yet here you have flooded Jerusalem with your doctrine and you intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.  Then Peter and the apostles replied, we must obey God rather than men” (AMP). What a powerful word to begin our day with.  Thank you, Christopher, for the bold word!

Math clips

For Logic Pre-Algebra:  In review for the Bluebook, students shared some terms they will be defining, modeling, and illustrating next week.  Some highlights from today’s Logic Pre-Algebra were…

Aliyah while defining and comparing root and radicand noted: “We can be radical about our faith if we are rooted in His Word—Colossians 2:7, Rooted and built up in Him strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.” 


Emma while defining a conditional equation noted:  a conditional equation reminds me of Easter.  If any of the prophecies didn’t come true during the crucifixion Easter would be invalid. 


Ellie while defining opposites noted:  our sin is like a negative number and Jesus’ love and forgiveness counteracts all of our sin, so we are washed clean.



Aliyah led us through devotion on the word “forgiveness” from our 30 Character Qualities. She spoke to us about why we forgive (Matthew 6:14, Ephesians 4:32).  She talked to us about conditions of forgiveness like repentance (see Luke 17:3-4).  She gave us examples of forgiveness like Jesus in Luke 23:34 and Stephen in Acts 7:60. She also shared some interesting things like Romans 12:20, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him.  If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  For in doing so you will be heaping fiery coals on his head” (HCSB).  She noted that this was interesting because it revealed a different purpose then the other examples in that the purpose of forgiveness was to bring our enemy to repentance through kindness.  She also talked about some questions she had in regard to First John 1:9 and Deuteronomy 31:6. This was a Scripture packed devotion.  Thank you, Aliyah.  You have given us some deep thoughts to think about.


For Logic Pre-Algebra:  We started off Math, Week 3, Semester 2, with a discussion about “circles” (Lesson 60, Algebra ½ Saxon).  We defined words like “radius, chord, diameter, circumference, and then solved problems that had to do with finding the circumference and the area of a circle.  We related this to forgiveness and the circular benefits and consequences of forgiving and not forgiving.  Consider for yourself the words of Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.  But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing” (HCSB).  It causes me to think, as I write this, about the saying, “What comes around goes around.”  See the circle?  I never looked at this verse like that before. Revelation!  We  integrated some Logic here. We see in Matthew 6:14-15 some “if, then” propositional statements (similar to the ones we broke down in Logic today—see Exercise 7a pages 47-49 in Intermediate Logic) which we broke down into symbolic form (F means you forgive people their wrongdoing, G means your heavenly father will forgive you): F⸧G ⸳ ~F~G.  How awesome is God to integrate the verse of the day with exactly what we are learning in Logic and Math …and as you will see in other strands too.

Our students brought problems to the board and when I asked them how they saw God revealed in their problem these were their responses:


PEMDAS reminded Christopher that God is a God of order.


Trichotomy Axiom’s three Possibilities reminded Alejandro of the Trinity.


Emma was reminded of God when she  was struggling with equivalence and then got it!


Aliyah modeled how to graph coordinate planes.  She was also reminded of the

Trinity as she graphed three points to a triangle.


Ellie simplified a very in depth problem and explained that God also breaks down and

simplifies difficult concepts—this led  us to talk about the parables and their  purpose (Matt. 13:11-15)




V__A6CFWeek 2, Semester 2, Ellie graciously led us through devotion on the word “attentiveness” from our 30 Character Qualities. She defined attentiveness as the action of paying close attention to something. Then, she led us to compare “orderliness” our word from last week (which came up quite a lot today) with our word from today “attentiveness.”  When talking about circumstances surrounding these two words, Ellie asked the question, “When are you most attentive?” Some answered, “When authority is speaking, when something is interesting, when we enjoy something, when playing video games, when someone is preaching the Word of God.”  To conclude, Ellie led us to talk about Nehemiah 1:6,11 which says, “…please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You, day and night, on behalf of Your servants, the [a]sons (descendants) of Israel (Jacob), confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; I and my father’s house have sinned…  We prayed that God would open our eyes to hear from Him and He answered our prayer all day long by making us attentive to his revelation in our Challenge B studies.

Diligently Seeking Truth

For Research Origins:  Week 7, Semester 2, we discussed Chapter 7, in Defeating Darwinism.  Alejandro summed up the chapter for us, “We can replace God with an evolutionary based faith but in doing so, we deny His moral authority and end up with a people who are less moral.” Students affirmed this summary over and over again as each one gave a one to two minute impromptu on Chapter 7.  Here is a snippet of what each student shared today (note how each one points back to self-control):

Alejandro: When God’s existence goes from fact to just another belief (minimalism) his moral authority disappears and stuff like divorce revolution, sexual revolution, feminism, and homosexual liberation explode into the culture.”

Jacob:  People are dissatisfied with the political situation and instead of turning to God, have dethroned Him and replaced worship of Him with false ideologies.

EmmaPolitics are not the answer; being strong in our faith is the answer.  We must always be ready to give a reason for the hope we have (First Peter 3:15). 

Ellie:  “God is aware of everything and uses everything to benefit and reward those who believe in Him.” 

Christopher:  “Using a good or a bad thing to achieve a bad thing is wrong.”

 Sebastian:  Some people don’t want to let go of falsehood; God is still working good. 

 Aliyah:  Modernism is trying to modernize the Bible and it doesn’t work!

 Today, students discussed feminism.  Alejandro boldly brought First Timothy 2:11-13 to the table and Sebastian boldly brought Genesis 3:16 to the table.  The students were diligent to open their Bibles today and seek truth to share.  I treasure these moments in my heart.

Saying “no” in faith

WP_20170228_08_39_47_ProAlejandro modeled correctly dividing the truth as he presented the devotion Semester 2,  Week 8, “Each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 1 Thessalonians 4:4. Our “self” produces desires we should not satisfy but instead “control.”  We should “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross daily,” Jesus says, and follow Him (Luke 9:23).  Matthew 5:29 says that “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it from you.”  This is the fierceness of self-control.  Self-control is saying “no!” to sinful desires, even when it hurts.  You shouldn’t “just” say “no!”  You should say “no” in a certain way: By saying “no” in faith, in the power of Christ. Self-control is a gift.  It is the fruit of the Spirit.  How do we strive for self-control?  Paul said, “I labor, striving according to the His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29).  When we really see that God is for us by grace through Jesus Christ, the power of wrong desires is broken.  Therefore, the fight for self-control is a fight of faith.  “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of eternal life to which you were called” (First Timothy 6:12).

Digging for Truth in Math

For Logic Pre-Algebra:  We started off Math today talking about “Solving Equations in Two Steps” (Lesson 61 Saxon Algebra ½).  We had a Five Common Topic discussion wrapped around the terms variable and number.  This is what our board looked like when we were done.


We concluded at the end of our math hour when we contemplated the question, “How have we seen truthfulness revealed in our Math time?” that the Math Problem must be faithful to be true.  If it is not right then it is wrong.  We compared seeking the right answer in math to digging for the truth in God’s Word.  Sebastian led us in this process in week 7 (Second Semester) through modeling this for us in his own math problem.  In light of this truth, we talked about Matthew 7:8, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (NIV). After this, students worked out their own math problems.


Emma: “Math must be faithful to the truth.”


Sebastian: “Seek and you will find.”


Aliyah: “PEMDAS…Where there’s order there’s peace.”


Ellie’s problem reminded her of simplification and the way God makes complex ideas simple to us through His Word.  Specifically noted: parables.  The class also helped Christopher build his problem up by giving him corrective feedback.  His problem was built up in love (remembering when Aliyah talked about this in our devotion this morning, “…let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).


Science Fair Gleanings

Science Fair

When I asked each Challenge B student what they gleaned from their particular science fair project, these were their answers…

Alejandro: Find Your Might with the Right Lyte: I discovered that you can find expressions of God’s love for us everywhere, including natural sources.

Aliyah: Edible water bottle: Doable or Doubtful?: “So you shall not pollute the land in which you live” (Numbers 35:33a AMP).

Christopher:  A Reason to be Salty: God helped me persevere in completing my project.

Ellie: A Stroll down Memory Lane: Ellie hoped with her project to “remind people of Jesus by studying His work.”  Psalm111:2, “The Lord’s works are great, studied by all who delight in them.”

Emma: Learning in Color:  “Sometimes our plans differ from God’s and we need to trust that God knows what He is doing.”

Jacob: Can Oils Lower Your Blood Pressure: Jacob saw God in the way that oils are a natural remedy from God.

Sebastian:  To Chew or not to Chew: God created bacteria for good.