Tuesday, June 07, 2011

School these days...

We just concluded a study of the Middle Ages and have begun to study the Renaissance and Reformation.  We are using the Mystery of History as our spine but add in books here and there.  We just concluded a biography of Martin Luther.  We enjoyed the story of his life and I emphasized to the boys his example in standing up for his convictions and not shrinking back in fear.

I have a sister that converted to Catholicism later in her life.  I respect my sister greatly and I share about Martin Luther, not to put down or criticize the Catholic Church.  I believe she has told me that Martin never intended to divide the church.  He only intended to bring reform.  And for that I respect him.

My impression of Martin was that he was a man with an intense longing to be "right" with God.  He couldn't find peace with the indulgences and sacraments that the Catholic church prescribed.  He would go to confession for literally hours trying to think of every single sin he could but he was tormented at the thought of not being able to remember each one, and he believed, if he didn't remember and confess each sin, he would not be forgiven.  He would fast for days on end, deprive himself of every earthly comfort, in order to try and make himself "right" with God.  But still, he was tormented.  He couldn't be good enough.

It was a on a trip to Rome, after climbing the famous stairway that the Church claimed was the one Jesus ascended on the way to his crucifixion, that he began to doubt.  He believed that if if he climbed those stairs, kissing each one and praying at each step, that his dead grandfather would be released from suffering in purgatory.  When he reached the top he was filled with doubt and said, "Who knows whether it be so?"

After spending much time reading the Bible, Martin began to be convinced that he was saved by grace, through faith, alone.  While peace flooded his soul, his life was turned upside down.

Each boy his his own "history book" or "book of centuries".  When they learn notable things from history they either color a picture directly in their history book or they draw a picture on a small white 3 X 5 card and then glue it in the proper century in their book.

For Martin Luther, I had the boys draw a card with the notable points from each chapter we read.

"I cannot and will not recant anything, for it is neither safe nor right to act against one's own conscience.  Here I stand.  I cannot do otherwise.  God help me.  Amen."  
Martin Luther

I pray my boys will have the strength of character Luther had.

For science we have just concluded a biography of Archimedes, the amazing Greek scientist and mathematician from the third century BC.  Today we began Johannes Kepler, the German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer.  We've also been doing science experiments the last day of our school week instead of reading.  It's been a lot of fun.

A project learning about the wheel and axle machine.

Dissecting owl pellets.  

I want to read about as many godly people as I can to my boys.  Of course, first and foremost, their example is Jesus.  We are reading through Hulbert's Life of Christ for the second time.  I just can't stop reading about Jesus.  He is our ultimate example.  

But Jesus' life has shown through many people throughout the centuries and those are the people I want my boys to be influenced by.  Albert Schweitzer was one of them.

"Do something for someone every day for which you do not get paid."  

"Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier."
Albert Schweitzer

I read the short biography to Micah and then prepared a copywork assignment for him from the book.  He also drew a picture from his mind's eye from the story.

Here is Albert Schweitzer next to the hospital he helped to build.  

Now, off to read more to the boys!

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