3-D Jerusalem Model

February 23rd, 2015

Jerusalem-modelWhen my children made a 3-D Jerusalem model out of paper, they learned a lot about the layout of Jerusalem while constructing the city. I decided to use card stock paper instead of construction paper because it’s stiffer. I also decided to use hot glue instead of white school glue because the walls instantly stood up. You can also use white school glue like I did with my Bible class at the Christian school where I taught years ago. It will just take longer for the glue to dry, and meanwhile, the walls might fall down if you don’t hold them up for a few minutes. It’s definitely easier with hot glue.

3-D-Jerusalem-modelStart with a piece of white card stock paper. Look up a map of Jerusalem, either from a book on your shelf, the back of your Bible, or the internet. Grab a pencil and sketch the outer outline of the city. ThenĀ  fill in the major parts of the city, especially the wall that divides the city and the wall around the Temple.

Jerusalem-model-2You can cut out pieces of card stock paper to represent the Temple, Herod’s palace, and two pools of water. Then cut strips of card stock paper, making turrets for the walls.

Plug in your hot glue gun, and make a line of hot glue along the pencil line where the wall should be. Grab one of your walls and set it inside the hot glue. It instantly stands up. (I filmed this process, and you can watch it under the Lamentations Unit Study inside the Unit Study Treasure Vault.)

jerusalemThe leftover pieces from the wall were used for the buildings and houses inside the city of Jerusalem. Now your 3-D Jerusalem model is complete. You can use it to tell Bible stories from the time of David all the way through the ministry of Jesus. We constructed this city while studying the book of Lamentations, and we set fire to the city by using red, orange, and yellow tissue paper. We then lamented the fall of Jerusalem before going into exile to Babylon.

If you enjoyed this activity, you will love the Unit Study Treasure Vault. Why not join the Vault today and bring life to your Bible lessons?

Make Your Own Bowling Pins

February 16th, 2015

make-your-own-bowling-pins-2Today I will show you how to make your own bowling pins. You need six plastic bottles, spray paint in two colors, and a ball. You will also need a piece of white card stock paper, a pencil, newspaper, and scissors.

First you collect the plastic bottles. Two-liter pop bottles work well. Remove the labels. Take off the caps, but keep them to put on after painting.

You will want to spread out newspaper under your pop bottles before you shake your spray paint cans and spray the pop bottles. I chose to do three green and three blue.

plastic-bowling-pinsNow you will want to make a stencil out of the white card stock paper. With a pencil, draw some large simple designs. Then cut out the designs with scissors. Just stab the scissors into the center of the design and cut around the shapes. Now tape the stencil paper to each pop bottle, and use the inverse color to spray paint the design.

Let the paint dry and remove the stencil paper. Screw the lids back onto the bottles. Your bowling pins are complete.

bowling-pinsYou will want to go bowling on a flat surface like a hard floor or a back deck. Grab the ball (we used a wiffle ball), and go bowling. May the best contestant win!

dropped-bowling-pins

 

Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

February 11th, 2015

avoiding-homeschool-burnoutIs avoiding homeschool burnout possible? How do you bounce back from burnout when you experience it as a homeschool mom? Today we will be listening to a panel of homeschool moms who have dealt with burnout. Tips are offered on how to avoid and overcome homeschool burnout:

What does burnout look like?

You’re fatigued all the time. You wake up in the morning and you don’t feel refreshed day after day. You don’t have joy, you have a shorter fuse, and you don’t want to do the things that you know you need to do.

Do kids get burned out? Are their symptoms different from mom’s?

Kids can get burned out, too. You’ll know if they are taking longer to do their school work. They look exhausted, and they sometimes are so overwhelmed that they burst into tears about something that would normally not affect them. This is true especially for kids who have an overloaded schedule or are doing academics that are beyond them. The extra concentration needed to get through difficult classes like chemistry can burn out a student so that it affects their ability to get their other school work done.

What causes burnout?

Doing too much is the biggest reason for burnout, but for me, it’s taking on other responsibilities on top of homeschooling, or having strained relationships, or going through a crisis. All those circumstances cause you to no longer be able to do what you normally do because your energy is being drained.

If you’re trying to keep up with other homeschoolers or trying to do everything that is available, you will end up burning yourself out.

If we push aside what energizes us, this can also cause burnout because we no longer have things to look forward to, and our tank will be on empty.

How do you refresh yourself and gain energy to prevent burnout?

Do things that are life-giving. For example, if your husband or a homeschool friend can take your kids somewhere fun and you have the quiet house to yourself, this can be so refreshing! I end up with more energy when the house is not full of noise. Everyone has different activities that will revitalize them, such as a bubble bath, time with the Lord, time with a friend, reading a book, or watching a fun movie.

Take care of yourself physically and pay attention to signals in your body that tell you that you are starting to feel fatigued. Instead of pushing through the fatigue (which eventually leads to burnout), take a break, walk around the block, or do something else that is a change of scenery.

What should you do when you’ve already entered full burnout mode?

You can take a break from homeschooling, and then slowly add things back into your schedule so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you want to ask for help without sounding weak, you can ask another homeschool mom if you can watch her kids for her to be refreshed, and then she will probably offer to do the same for you. This way you get the break you need.

Is burnout seasonal, or can it happen any time?

Many people experience burnout during the winter months because of lack of sunshine and being cooped up in the house. Add to that the fact that it’s flu season, and if you have several kids, they can get sick one to the other until you have a whole month with at least one person miserable. This adds to burnout because you are feeling miserable from sickness. Take care of yourself physically, and make sure you wipe down the carts at the grocery store that are infected with sick germs, as well as washing your hands when you get home from being out.

To avoid seasonal burnout in the first place, plunge into homeschooling hard in the fall (especially if you take the summer off), and get ahead so that you can coast through the winter months when you have less energy.

 

 

LEGO White House

February 9th, 2015

lego-white-houseMy kids made a LEGO White House when we studied the Presidents of the United States. We made it out of regular LEGO’s. First we read a book about the White House, where all the Presidents have resided since John Adams.Then one of my sons wanted to make a model of it with LEGO’s.

We looked at the outer shape of the White House. Using white LEGO bricks, we made four columns and then a triangle shape at the top for the front of the White House. This area is separated from the main residence, as you can see from the top picture.

lego-white-house-2We made a rectangular building out of white bricks, with a door on the front and the two sides. Then we studied the different rooms in the White House, and so we covered the floor of the White House with different-colored bricks for each room. The Red Room, for example, was red. In this way, we were able to make a replica of a White House out of LEGO’s.

If you enjoyed this post on how to make a LEGO White House, you might like the LEGO Bacteria and the LEGO Tower of Babel!

5 Ways to Avoid Pride

February 2nd, 2015

how-to-avoid-pride

I’ve been asking God how to avoid pride. People are shocked when I tell them that I have prayed that God would make me humble. I have actually taken precautions to avoid falling into the pit of pride, the worst and ugliest sin of Satan that caused him to be thrown out of heaven.

5 Ways to Avoid Pride:

1. Humble yourself before the Lord.

When we bow before the Lord and lean on Him for strength and wisdom, we are less likely to take credit for what God has done. Remember that God is everything and we are nothing. Apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5) In Him we live and breathe and have our being. (Acts 17:28) If we humble ourselves, God won’t have to humble us. When we are not humble, we can’t hear Him anyway, so we want Him to humble us if we can’t humble ourselves.

2. Ask other believers to keep you accountable.

Everyone should have friends in their lives who love them for who they are. If you don’t have friends like this, ask the Lord to grant you at least one. When people believe the best in you, their rebukes are gentle, or if the rebukes are harsh, you can handle it because you know that they love you and that they don’t want you to sin. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

3. Realize that you have been given the very thing that you are boastful about.

Whatever you feel proud about is not yours. Your gifts and talents have been given to you by God, and even your very breath. If you worked hard, it’s only because He allowed you to do so and gave you a good night’s sleep. Without proper sleep, you would not be able to function. You are nothing. You are but dust. If God used you in a powerful way, you should smash your face in the dust and thank Him, not boast about something you didn’t do. This is especially true about things of the Spirit. If God does something through you, all the glory goes to God.

4. Memorize Scripture that disarms pride. It is your sword.

The book of Proverbs is full of verses about pride: Proverbs 6:17; 11:2; 14:16; 15:25, 15:33; 16:5; 16:18; 16:25; 21:4; 25:6-7; 25:27; 26:12; 27:2; 28:11; 28:25; 29:23; 30:32. Choose a verse that convicts you, and place it on a card on your mirror so you can commit it to memory.

5. Realize that pride is ugly; humility is beautiful.

Anyone who has been hurt by someone else’s pride knows how ugly it is. Pride looks down on other people, whereas humility regards the other person as more important than themselves. I once knew a woman who was so humble that she lifted up everyone around her. She was confident in the Lord, but she never took credit for what the Lord was doing. She would always point out that it was the Lord who deserved the credit for what she had done. I want to be more like that! Lord, grant me humility!

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