Each spring, our homeschool cooperative does several weeks of "fun stuff" instead of the "boring old book" work we do throughout the fall and winter. During the fall and winter we split up into individual classes (ie K-1, 2-3, 4-5, jr high, high school). In the spring, though, we do a "one room schoolhouse" type of learning where all of the kids are together to learn something new and different as a group study. For instance, last week we had Science Central come from Ft Wayne to us. They brought shark dissection, bubbleology and LEGO robotics. Way too cool!!
This week, I taught a group study on the spring Biblical holidays... an intro to Sabbath and then Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of First Fruits and The Feast of Weeks/Pentecost. It was amazing!!
To prepare for this, I have read, surfed the web, picked people's brains and prayed... and prayed... and prayed! One of the women I learned from was my friend, Cynthia, who is a part of our co-op and c0-taught this lesson with me. The other friend is my long time (notice I didn't say old...) friend, Aurora. Aurora has answered countless questions of mine, including sitting on the floor of my living room laughing at me as she answered more questions.
In thanks, this blog post is for Aurora... with pictures and a run-down of how today went....
We all played dress up and dressed up as Israelites. After we had our costumes on we "traveled" (walked around our building) to Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On our way we heard the Psalms of Accent read and we saw some real live lambs.
Here is Cynthia helping children get dressed up to be Israelites for the day.
When we arrived in Jerusalem we went to the "temple" and learned about the Children of Israel and how God ordained holidays or celebrations for them to remember all that He had done for them. We learned about the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Passover.
Here we are in the "temple"...
After talking about these two celebrations, we left the temple and "journeyed home again" to pick our first harvest and to offer our offering of our First Fruits. (actually, long weeds and grasses that were in the parking lot--we did a lot of pretending today...).
We discussed how God ordained the Feast of First Fruits to begin counting down until the Feast of Weeks.
Then we "journeyed" back to the temple because God required the Israelites to journey to Jerusalem three times a year for celebration and worship... The Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover, The Feast of Weeks/Pentecost and The Feast of Tabernacles.
Obviously, by this time, everyone was getting a little tired of listening so intently for over an hour. I only briefly touched on The Feast of Weeks.
The amazing part was being able to teach these children about how these God ordained celebrations pointed to the coming Messiah and salvation. I get so excited talking about this and I think the kids thought I was a little nuts.
While I was teaching the moms made an incredible lunch with some traditional Jewish foods for each holiday. For instance, we had challah for Sabbath... lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread for Passover... unleavened bread, salad, and fruit for The Feast of Unleavened Bread... fresh fruit and veggies for Feast of First Fruits... and lots of dairy dishes, cheese lasagna, mac & cheese, cheese & crackers, cheesecake for Feast of Weeks. I wish I had a picture of the way the other moms had set the table. It was beautiful! However, my photographer (aka Eric) ran out to play football after class instead of taking more pictures for his mom.
We ate our lunch around low tables while sitting on the floor. I got lots of comments and compliments and amazingly several of the kids asked to learn the fall holidays next fall. We'll see...
Though I'm tired tonight it is a good tired. One of those days where you find yourself absolutely spent and drained but filled with a sense of accomplishment.