Weeks 3 and 4 of our Lenten Thematic Unit
J - Jesus and St. Joseph
J is totally, obviously, wonderfully for Jesus!
The children did a lovely job drawing the life of Jesus via the Mysteries of the Rosary.
We made a map of the Holy Land during His time. So interesting to see how it all fits together.
J is also for Jerusalem
And our most favourite St. Jospeh
K is for St. Kevin and King David.
We read about the life of St. Kevin who lived a long, spiritual and productive life in Ireland where he built a monastery and school.
King David made a mistake with the wife of one of his soldiers. He "afterwards repented and wrote the beautiful psalm of repentance which we call the Misrerere, "Have mercy on me, O God," "
We listened to Gregorio Allegri's masterful version of the Miserere and used water colour to paint how the music made us feel.
The teens joined us from their studies for this one.
L - Life of Jesus in Nazareth, Languages of Jesus and Jesus is the Light of the World.
I read the kiddies a book chapter on life in Nazareth for the Holy family. We learnt the Jewish traditions which they would have followed throughout the day, the food (olives, fig cake etc) they would have eaten, parts of the house, Our Lady's responsibilities, harvest time expectations, climate etc. It was a side to Jesus that I had not previously considered and it made it feel very real to us all.
YouTube provided us with an interesting debate on whether Jesus spoke Aramaic or Hebrew and we listened to both languages being spoken.
For fun we made some beaded glow sticks together with John 8:12's "Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world'".
M - the Mass
I wanted M to wholly focus on the Mass. It is the deeply enriched, symbolic embodiment of our faith. We talked about it, watched a great video about it and reenacted it.
N - Blessed John Henry Newman
An English convert from Anglicanism, John Henry Newman built the Birmingham Oratory.
We looked for churches and cathedrals in our books about Britain...
...and we learnt the names of the parts of the church.
Our Lady, Mother of Jesus, wife of St. Joseph, and our Mother too.
The children made some beautiful decade rosaries in her honour. I love them.
P - St. Peter and St. Paul.
I love St. Peter! He was quick to anger, but humble and ready to admit his mistakes. And Our Lord entrusted His entire church to him. He must have been pretty cool. We read his story and had fun with worksheets.
St. Paul (Saul) was born in Tarsus. His conversion and subsequent travels were immense! He epitomises the argument for Christianity - why would anyone travel thousands upon thousands of miles again and again, in constant danger from the Roman persecutions, for no reason at all?! St. Paul's journeys were epic!
Q- Quam Oblationem
"Quam Oblationem are the first words of a prayer which the priests says in silence in the Canon of the Mass, immediately before the Consecration. The priest asks that the bread and wine which are offered may be consecrated to God and pleasing to Him, and that they may become the Body and Blood of the Lord. This prayer is one of the oldest prayers of the Mass."
The kiddies found the prayer in their Latin Rite missals.
R - St. Raphael, The Reformation and Rievaulx Abbey
St. Raphael - mentioned once in the Bible, meaning 'God heals'.
The Protestant Reformation.
A huge subject! We read about some, but I mostly summarised for the kiddies the spread of the religious revolution within the church during the renaissance and its eventual appearance in England, thanks to Henry VIII. We have covered this subject before during our Tudor work but ideally I'd like to go into more depth in the future when they are more able to understand its implications and impact.
It tied in nicely with a look at Rievaulx Abbey and how it stands in ruins today, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
S - The Seven Sorrows of Mary, The Seven Sacraments, The Sanctus, The Stations of the Cross. St. Catherine of Siena, the Shroud of Turin and symbols of Christianity.
St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church and my Confirmation Saint. Love her!
We read briefly about symbols of Christianity and symbolic art and architecture found within church buildings.
The children made symbols representing their own lives.
The Shroud of Turin is fascinating. We read historical arguments supporting its validity - new carbon dating dates, 28 types of pollen - all of which would be found in Jerusalem markets, the unexplained x-ray appearance of the fingers, lack of depth in the fibres meaning it could not be a painting, haemoglobin readings etc. Really, really interesting.
T - St. Therese of Liseux and Trusting in God.
We read the story of St. Therese of Liseux. She is patron saint of our homeschooling because of her 'Little Way'. 13 years ago when I began to school the children, I knew that if I looked too far ahead I would become overwhelmed with my responsibilities. So I decided to take one day at a time and do my best with the children that day, knowing that it would accumulate over time. Her 'Little Way' remains something I cling to every day. She pretty much rocks. :)
We also talked about Trust in God. Growing up is hard and having worries can be debilitating and burdensome. Entrusting it to God relieves us of our worries, lightens our day and it's what God asks us to do!
Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your anxieties upon Him. Because He cares for you."
The kiddies made superheroes that help us trust in God.
Over the weeks we've been gradually adding our latest work to the timeline. Six more letters to go!