This morning we resumed our study of the Old Testament after spending the first few weeks of school (yes, we began school in July) reading stories from Once Upon a Time Saints by Ethel Pochocki.
Last year we began with Genesis and studied from the Creation of the World through to the Death of Moses. I read one chapter out of the Bible per day (I use my old NIV Bible which isn't a Catholic Bible but is much easier to understand. We'll switch over to a Catholic Bible when we get to those books that are missing!). I am using the Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament to guide our study. I don't read every single chapter but have given them the chapters with the "meat of the stories."
After reading the chapter and asking some questions to make sure they have gotten the "gist" I have them draw a picture of something that was interesting to them from the chapter. Now, you must remember that my children are boys. These drawings have turned very interesting. I let them do whatever they want unless it is disrespectful to our faith in some way.
Last year we hung the pictures around the school room. Since the wall space is taken up, this year I bought the kids each a blank book. Here are some pictures to give you the idea:
This was from today. We began with Joshua chapter 1. God was speaking to Joshua about taking over Canaan. Four times he told Joshua, "Be strong and courageous." This was the sticking point for the kids. Here they are beginning their artwork. Nolan decided to write "be strong and courageous" in hieroglyphics.
As you can see by the below pictures, whenever God is speaking, the thought balloon comes from out of the sky. This is Nolan's completed picture. The little red guy with the staff is Joshua. Last year he drew the exact same fellow but he was blue. Blue guy with staff is Moses, red guy with staff is Joshua. I love the way their minds work.
Nathan is much more literal in his approach. The blue stick figure is Joshua, the red and yellow stick figures are the Israelites.
Below is the picture of our school room. These are just some of the pictures the kids drew last year.
Here is one of Nolan's drawings from last year. This was from the chapter in which Joseph has all of the Israelites move to Goshen in Egypt. We had carefully kept a record of all the generations as they were listed in the Bible and who died and who married who (it was very interesting) and so Nolan knew exactly how many people came from Canaan to Egypt and drew each and every one of them. The -4 means the people who died and the brother who was already in Egypt.
Here is one of Nathan's from last year. This is a picture of Joseph in prison in Egypt. The part about the mice was just a nice add on from Nathan.
Finally, I often light a candle (although this can be very distracting as well) and find a good sprinkling of holy water helps our day. We end our study with a prayer. We are praying the rosary one decade at a time right now and today did the decade about the Crown of Thorns. I use a Holy Communion Book Nathan received and the prayer for this decade said,"Give me strength and courage to follow you..." Fits right in with our Be Strong and Courageous theme. Coincidence? We don't think so.