Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Do You Lift a Lion?

This is a good intro to simple machines. We enjoyed this for my 4-year-old's preschool science lesson one day.

4 Stars

People

This is a very basic look at humanity as a whole. It has fun interesting facts, though some of the numbers are outdated. It was fun talking through how people are different, even within our own family. It was good for a basic conversation about differences and loving those who are different than us.

4 stars

Monday, March 23, 2015

Usborne Greek Myths

This was part of the Core B curriculum we did this year and it was so fun. I have always enjoyed Greek Myths and this was a easy basic read of many of the well known tales. My kids enjoyed reading them as well. Reading The Odyssey at the same time added to the enjoyment of reading these myths and hearing the kids version of this book.

4 stars for this kids book

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Spiritual Observations in The Odyssey

In my review of The Odyssey yesterday I wrote that I was challenged by the worship of their gods in the book. Part of the challenge was seeing how similar their sacrifices were to Old Testament commands for sacrifices to God, at times using the same phraseology. Seeing this, though, made me think, how much am I willing to sacrifice for God? Not in the sense of burning sacrifices, but how often to I stick to my own agenda or do things my way instead of God's way? How often do I get something for myself instead of giving to someone else?

The characters in the book also talked about their gods frequently and always asked them for help. I love to pray, but hearing the way they talk to and about their gods really challenged me to be more diligent in seeking God out in everything. I really want to grow in this more as well as talk about my God and how great He is at all times. I want to worship and honor my God, the One True God, more than those who worship false gods.

I also evaluated why their sacrifices were so extravagant. The characters were seeking to appease, gain favor and, in a sense, manipulate their gods. How often to I do this?

I don't want that kind of worship! 

My God is appeased because He sent His Son to die in my stead. There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more or to fix my sin. Jesus did that. He satisfied God's wrath for me.
I cannot gain His favor because my favor is found in Jesus.
I cannot manipulate God because He Is! He is over all things and His ways are perfect. He will not stray from what brings Him the most glory and His people the most good.

I want to worship my God because by His grace He has saved me, a sinner who does not deserve to be saved, who deserves nothing good. He sent His Son, a part of Himself, to do the work. I cannot save myself. He has done it. That alone is enough reason to worship God with all that I am and all that I have.

The characters also had a deep understanding of sovereignty of their gods, usually referred to as destiny. How is it that we so easily dismiss God as sovereign? He is over all and orchestrates the universe. May I honor the God who is over all things and trust His working, even when I do not understand or like what is happening.

I know there are far more observations than what is written here, but these are the primary things that stand out to me. If you've read this book, did the spiritual elements of the book challenge you? If so, how?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Odyssey by Homer

This is my second book in the Back to the Classics Challenge for this year. It is one I have been wanting to read for quite some time and I'm so glad I finally read it. The Greeks are really good story tellers and as a whole kept my attention well. Not only was the book a story, stories were told in great detail with in the story. I'm not sure most people today would agree with this enchantment as we are all about how fast we can get through a story with as much action as possible, but I really enjoyed the complexity with which the story was told. There were a few times I got lost in the details, especially when words were used differently than I was familiar with, or I did not know the word at all, but it was still a good read.

I was also challenged by this book in the way they worshiped their gods. It was really interesting to see their worship and how much they gave to and relied on their gods. I plan to go more in depth on these observations in another post.

Showing the realness of humanity was also enjoyable. Though the level of revenge taken I felt was a bit much, it was a very real look at how people think about things and deal with life. I like how the Greeks are very real, if even to the extreme.

The least enjoyable element of the book was the ending. It was very abrupt, especially after what had taken place in the chapter before and in a sense way too simple, after all the complexity in the rest of the book. I'm not sure how I would change it, but it was too neat and fairy talish for my taste.

I would give this book 4 stars. I look forward to reading it with my kids in the future.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Gods Must Be Angry

This is the second time I've read this book with my kids and I still love it. It's a great short book that gives a small picture into some Thai culture as well as tells how God works in all kids of ways. I love stories about how God is working around the world, and that is in this book. I absolutely recommend it.

5 stars

Friday, March 13, 2015

Is A Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?

This is one of our science books for our Pre-K Sonlight curriculum and it was fun to read. It's a good look at giving perspective on how small we really are compared to everything else. I like that it is very basic science for kids who want to learn but are not yet ready for the concept that often go with science.

4 stars