En Theos: Full of God

Emma brought many sweet devotions to our Challenge B table this year.  One that comes to mind was in Second Semester, Week 10, when she talked about the word “Enthusiasm” from the 30 Character Qualities and Romans 12:11, “Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion but use your energy to serve the LORD” (God’s Word Translation). She taught us that the word “Enthusiasm comes from the Greek words “en” and “theos” meaning “full of God” and that “Enthusiasm doesn’t just mean be excited about something but it means to be completely engrossed in it.”  Mark 12:30 states, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  In sharing this verse, Emma said, “God doesn’t want us to be merely excited about Him, He wants us to be engaged all the time.” She concluded, “Being enthusiastic isn’t always easy

(Galatians 6:9).  We are called to be enthusiastic for God because not only will it help us to be better Christians, it will point others to Christ.”

Enthusiasm

Emma’s devotion

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Faith is Believing what the Bible says and doing it

We opened up the day by talking about “Faith” from the 30 Character Qualities and Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV). We defined faith, compared it to believe (such as believing some things can lead to doubt instead of faith), talked about the relationship between faith and believe and also some of the circumstances surrounding these two words such as James 2:18-19.  Aliyah’s devotion testified to these truths in Scripture.

Life would be almost impossible without faith. The biblical definition of faith, which comes from Hebrews 11:6 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This means being sure of what you hope for, and being convinced of what you have not seen. Also in the song “That’s what Faith must be” by Michael Card, faith is expressed as “hearing with your heart, seeing with your soul, being guided by a hand you cannot hold, and trusting in a way you cannot see.” Many times throughout the Bible, faith is expressed by God’s people. Some examples of faith are Joseph, when he faced many trials and knew that God would still be faithful. Abraham, when he was asked to sacrifice his only son though he was promised a great nation. And the story of the fiery furnace where God showed how he can deliver even when it seems life is over. Luke 17:6, Matthew 17:20, and Matthew 21:21 say “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move a mountain.”.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says “We live by faith, and not by sight.”. Faith is an important component in everyday life. It’s an important not only to believe that Christ died on the cross to pay our penalty or that he resurrected, but that we rely on His death as payment for our sins. Faith is believing what the Bible says and obeying it. Hebrews 11:6 says ” Without faith it is impossible to please God.”.

Who is Archimedes?

For Research History of Science:  Students did an amazing job on their Archimedes reports. It is evident the care that each student took as they researched, prepared, and thoughtfully shared their reports.  Here is a clip from each report.

Jacob: “Who is Archimedes?  Archimedes was a remarkable man with many talents.”

Aliyah:  Which mathematician and scientist determined the exact value of pi and discovered the principle of fluid displacement? Archimedes!”

Christopher: “Archimedes threw a fit like a child and cried, “Please! Let me finish this math problem!”

Sebastian: “While drawing a complicated math problem, a Roman soldier almost stepped upon his work.  Archimedes said, “Don’t disturb my circles.”

Alejandro: “After studying in Alexandria, he [Archimedes] returned to Syracuse to pursue a life of thought and invention and to find solutions to the problems that vexed the king.”

Emma: “During the end of his life he [Archimedes] invented machines of war like the Heat Ray and the Claw of Archimedes which literally grabbed enemy ships out of the water and shook them to bits.”

Ellie: “Archimedes once said, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.”  Even thought that is physically impossible, I find that his words did move some of the earth.”

“Ploff”

For Rhetoric Formal Logic:  I asked students to “invent a stipulative definition for the word “ploff” (See Introductory Logic, Exercise 1, #4, Exercise 1).  Each student put their all into this and their answers were spectacular, diverse, and yes! funny.  Answers like… (I had to share these with you) …

Ellie: “Ploff”—when someone decides to squander their money by purchasing unnecessary objects.

Jacob:Ploff”—it means to say “I’m better than you.”

Alejandro:Ploff”—a not so loud sound like an explosion but a little quieter.

Aliyah: “Ploff”—A stew or gumbo of a darker color.

Christopher:Ploff”—Directed excess and distraction clouding the truth.

Emma: “Ploff”—the art of sledding into an upright pole.

Sebastian: “Ploff”—Put on “Ploff” or deodorant.

Sin Destroys; Righteousness Brings Life

Clip from Challenge B, Week 3, Semester 1: We had an awesome day and it all began with Jacob sharing a few words with us about virtue (moral excellence) from the 30 Character Qualities and First Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirt, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT). Jacob gave some great insights specifically ones that pointed us to the impact that sin and righteousness has on the body. Sin destroys, righteousness brings life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 HCSB). Thank you Jacob!

 

Speak faith over…Math

We opened up our Math time with a quote from Keith Kressin’s book Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculous. He writes, “Math…is a subject which is often either loved or hated. If the subject is hated, it is not the math, but the failure to understand the math that gives considerable frustration to the student” (page 1, section 1-1). This quote came on the heels of some pretty profound words spoken by one of our students when I asked a question to draw our hearts toward the word “faith” (our character quality for the day). Jacob answered something to the effect of, “We want to speak faith over our mind regarding Math.” Yes! Talk about perspective! Faith-filled.

 

Current Events from a Christ-Centered World View

“Why is viewing current events from a Christ-centered worldview important?” Here are some responses from Challenge B students (8th and 9th graders)…

Christopher: “So we can look at it through the eyes of God rather than the eyes of the world.”

Aliyah: “Our worldview decides what our reaction/action will be to the event and helps us to carry out God’s commands through it.”

Alejandro: “By seeing things from Christ’s world view, we will not lose faith through the hard times.”

Ellie: “You can stop worrying about the future, knowing that it’s in God’s hands and you can defend what you believe in because you stand in the truth.”

Jacob: “We will not become distracted by what’s happening in the world if we view current events through the eyes of God rather than the eyes of the world.”

Emma: “It is important to have a biblical perspective on current events so that we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong and form our opinion based on the Bible.”

Sebastian: “It is important because the world is corrupt and a Christian view makes it easier to know how to help.”

Grasp the Reality

In Math, first week of Challenge B, we compared real numbers with imaginary numbers. Although, imaginary numbers cannot be measured on a number line, we know they exist (Understanding Mathematics, page 19 & 278). It is the same with God’s love,  although it cannot be measured on a number line (yet He gives us the Cross—as a plumb line—in Ephesians 3:17-18), we can still grasp the reality of His love through His Spirit.
“And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-18).
Recap: Math, Challenge B, Week 1, Semester 1

First Day of Challenge B

What an awesome first day of Challenge B!

We opened up the day by taking a moment to get to know one another by asking each other questions. Then the students took turns introducing each other based on what they learned. I love this, the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stage in action. Then we opened our time up by talking about “Gentleness” from the 30 Character Qualities and Proverbs 12:18, “The reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (NIV). The best of our time was spent defining and comparing the words “reckless” and “wise.” Some of the definitions that Challenge B came up with for reckless was “chaos, without thought, and out-of-control.” To define the term “wise,” students came up with words like “order, experienced, and good decisions.” Based on these, we had an excellent talk this morning about Gentleness. What a great verse to open up our year. In Challenge B, there will be lots of opportunity to use our tongues wisely.

For Grammar Latin B: We opened up by talking about the seminar overview in our Challenge B Guides. We honed in on a concept from the Toward Virtue section on page 12. “Translating Latin trains students in style and leads them toward communicating truth and beauty more clearly.” We brought this back to our conversation about “Gentleness” and Proverbs 12:18. We also reacquainted ourselves with our Henle Latin books and talked about what three things success in Latin depends on. We reviewed rules 53 and 26 and declined the noun “terra, ae.” We parsed and translated sentences from exercises 5 and 6.

Terra

We had a 5CT defining and comparing 1st and 2nd declension nouns like nauta and Romanus.

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We touched on Rhetoric: Logic in Latin when a discussion arose about the sentence, “The sailors praise the land” and the importance of making a distinction between two different meanings for the word “praise.” How cool is it that this is exactly one of the concepts students will learn in Logic this week (see Lesson 1, Introductory Logic)?

For Research History of Science:  We opened up by reading and discussing the Hippocratic Oath and had some awesome discussions.WP_20160809_10_12_54_Pro (2)

Thank you Alejandro for bringing in the information on the gods of Hippocrates. 

We read from our Challenge B guide and discussed an article called, “Assisted Suicide and Real Death with Dignity” from Christianity Today (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/september/assisted-suicide-and-real-ddeath-with-dignity.html).  Great article. We introduced Archimedes by reading about him, creating an outline, and then making statements based on our outline and what we learned. We had another “Logic” conversation based on the word, “neutral” and we closed with a 5CT by defining and comparing the Bible and the Hippocratic Oath. We talked about Hippocrates and concluded together that his wise words in the Oath promoted “healing” and prevented “recklessness” and is still promoting and preventing the same today (back to Proverbs 12:18 and “Gentleness”).WP_20160809_10_12_43_Pro (2)

5CT discussion notes defining the word “neutral” and defining and comparing the Bible with the Hippocratic Oath.

For Rhetoric Formal Logic:  This was my favorite strand. We laughed as we worked through some of the questions in Exercise One. For example, I asked your students to “invent a stipulative definition for the word “ploff” (See Introductory Logic, Exercise 1, #4, Exercise 1). Each student put their all into this and their answers were spectacular and very diverse. Answers like… (I had to share these with you)

Ellie: “Ploff”—when someone decides to squander their money by purchasing unnecessary objects.

Jacob:Ploff”—it means to say “I’m better than you.”

Alejandro:Ploff”—a not so loud sound like an explosion but a little quieter.

Aliyah: “Ploff”—A stew or gumbo of a darker color.

Christopher:Ploff”—Directed excess and distraction clouding the truth.

Emma: “Ploff”—the art of sledding into an upright pole.

Sebastian: “Ploff”—Put on “Ploff” or deodorant.

I also asked them to write a persuasive definition of the word “television” from the point of view of a mother who thinks her children watch too much of it” (Go figure!). (See Introductory Logic, Exercise 1, #5). Here are some of their responses:

Student definitions for Logic (I see Proverbs 12:18 again).

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We did talk about the highlighting system (Page 200 Challenge B Guide) and students were asked to come in with some “blues” next week in Introductory Logic.

For Logic Pre-Algebra: We compared real numbers with imaginary numbers. We also compared numbers and numerals. We discussed these concepts in light of Ephesians 3:17-18, “And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure with all the fullness of God.” Although, imaginary numbers cannot be measured on a number line, we know they are there (Understanding Mathematics, page 19 & 278). It is the same with God’s love, although it cannot be measured on a number line or even in measures we can comprehend (although He gives us a picture of the Cross—as a plumb line—in Ephesians 3:17-18), we can still grasp the reality of it through His Spirit.

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Conversation about imaginary and real; number and numeral.

We parsed and translated some math problems to end with. Everyone participated to the fullest and we ended with a good game of SNAKE.

For Exposition and Composition Persuasive Writing: We reviewed the concepts of Invention, Arrangement, and Elocution and created a class issue based on the Phantom Tollbooth.

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(Notice the Logic (Genus; Species) integration in LTW—Nice!) We took a blind vote on what issue to use and the winner was…

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First Class Issue and ANI Challenge B-Phantom Tollbooth

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Socratic circle using Words Aptly Spoken (Phantom Tollbooth).

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Socratic Circle using Words Aptly Spoken (Phantom Tollbooth)—I told him I was posting this picture (thus the funny face).

Once again, we hit on Proverbs 12:18 in light of page 44 (The Phontom Tollbooth).

“I never knew words could be so confusing,” Milo said to Tock as he bent down to scrath the dog’s ear.

“Only when you use a lot to say a little,” Answered Tock.

Milo thought this was quite the wisest thing he’d heard all day.

We talked about Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” In our socratic circles, students discussed the question, “Is it ever necessary to use a lot of words to say a little?”

Some responses were:

When writing something that requires a certain amount of words” (one student gave the requirements for our History of Science Assignment.)

“When writing a timed speech.”

“When defining terms and redefining terms to help another person understand what is being said.”

One student also drew a parallel between Rhyme and Reason and Moses. Rhyme and Reason, who grew up in the palace were banished from the kingdom, only to return later in a heroic kind of way. Ultimately we pointed to Jesus and decided that without Jesus and without His Word, we are just “Doldrums.”

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5CT notes based on defining and comparing Rhyme and Reason.

For Debate Current Events: We had an excellent conversation about right-to-life issues specifically abortion (another article from Christianity Today entitled “Supreme Court Weighs Why Abortion Clinics Are Closing at Record Rates” http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleaning/2016/march/supreme-court-why-abortion-clinics-closing-record-texas.html). We again looked at this article in view of the Hippocratic Oath and worked through a Current Event Form.  Our students had some excellent responses to the question, “Why is viewing current events from a Christ-centered worldview important?”  In closing, here are some of their responses…

Christopher: “So we can look at it through the eyes of God rather than the eyes of the world.”   

Aliyah: “Our worldview decides what our reaction/action will be to the event and helps us to carry out His commands through it.” 

Alejandro: “By seeing things from Christ’s world view, we will not lose faith through the hard times.” 

Ellie: “You can stop worrying about the future, knowing that it’s in God’s hands and you can defend what you believe in because you stand in the truth.” 

Jacob: “We will not become distracted by what’s happening in the world if we view current events through the eyes of God rather than the eyes of the world.”  

Emma: “It is important to have a biblical perspective on current events so that we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong and form our opinion based on the Bible.”  

Sebastian: “It is important because the world is corrupt and a Christian view makes it easier to know how to help.” 

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Our topic wheel for the day.