Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

God is a Homeschooler.

We remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see & hear, 70% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we personally experience & 95% of what we teach others.~  Edgar Dale.
As I read round about I keep returning to one thing ~ well, one thing for the present!  Maybe it's because I'm a homeschooler.  Maybe I'm just that way.  Whatever. 

 If you've ever struggled to remove the blank stare from a child's eyes that tells you they just don't get it then you get that teaching is not always a joy~filled experience.  On the other hand there is nothing quite like watching the light break & understanding flood a child's mind!  The trick is to make it happen!

I mean, one of the biggest hurdles for us as homeschoolers as Star has got older is dealing with the department of education mentality that says everything needs to be written down.  Why?  Star is then working in her weakest learning style ~ & we know all about learning styles in this house because none of mine learn well in traditional ways!  Being a visual myself I don't do so well with the kinesthetics & hands on learners ~ which is what most of mine are.  They are exhausting.

And then I started researching about the Jewish festivals & you know what?  God is a homeschooler!  Seriously.  We've all been here, right?  Four kids, four different learning styles & we're struggling to pull a lesson plan together that isn't going to take more than it's alloted hour & which all four children will *get*.  Near impossible even with hours upon hours of ground work.  Someone is going to whinge about something the entire way through. 

Every time I study the festivals I am struck anew by this.  There is something for the eyes [visual learner], something for the ears [auditory learner], something to do [hands on learner] & enough movement to keep a kinesthetic engaged.   What's more [despite the disputed reliability of Dale's figures] all the festivals encourage both discussion & teaching.  Think how the very youngest at a Jewish Passover asks the important questions.

This struck me again as we struggle to move our family away from the traditional Christmas thing because I can hamstring myself all over the place.  I want to keep it simple a la my Quakerish impulses.  I want to move it to the left & closer to our shared Jewish roots.  I understand God is for lavish celebrations ~ according to His guidelines.  I want to ensure the focus our family maintains is Christ centred.  Seem obvious?  Amazing how unlikely this is even in Christian homes when there is all the excitement of a tree & presents.

I have used this book for purely practical purposes.  It is full of wonderful food, games, bible readings, music etc for each of the feasts but I find it quite difficult to use.  Nothing seems to be organised in the sort of way I organise things & all the various bits seem to be all over the place.  It is a really large heavy book too.  As mine are older now a lot of the consumables are not for us ~ though later perhaps for grandchildren?  Also I find it incredibly verbose when there is no need to be & weighted with solemnity; I'm not a very solemn person so that tends to have me rolling my eyes rather like Star & stifling a yawn of boredom but at the time it was the best & most detailed information I could find & I still appreciate it for that.

This is the other book I have found really helpful.  It is not about the festivals per se & I discussed the book here but I buy books that I can read multiple times on multiple levels & Perry is a man after my own hearrt.  He goes beyond the surface.  He digs deep.  And he understands something that has come to mean a great deal to me:  Jesus was an orthodox, practising Jew.  As I seek to follow Him more closely I want to understand & appreciate what He understood & appreciated during His earthly walk & that includes the festivals; The Jewish festivals.  Christ never celebrated Christmas.  Or Easter.  These are foreign concepts, man~made imports that have rather succesfully obscured our roots & the things God Himself implemented to teach us how to succesfully walk in His way.

I do get that very few seem to be getting called this way but if you refer to the quote above you will realise we retain 95% of what we teach others.  So, um, yeah, you're just my way of ensuring I remember what I read! lol


Anonymous said...

hi just registered ,, tina

Ruby said...

I like your emphasis on Christ-likeness and simplicity today. I do not think that we are to celebrate the OT feasts in this era though.

Ganeida said...

Ruby:If you make a study of the festivals you will find there is strong biblical evidence to support their continuance for all believers which revolve around the Hebrew word *moed* [appointed times by invitation]& several O.T references that these will be eternal.

However, besides the fact Christ Himself partook in these festivals, my strongest reason for studying & employing them myself is how much light they throw across the NT. It is unbelievable. There is so much depth & richness when you follow Scripture through from beginning to end in one continous unbroken thread!

I don't do this because I *think* it is a good idea. It is hard to change midstream how one was raised & the path one has been following. I do it because I can see there is strong biblical evidence for these things. Unlike Christmas & Easter for which there is no biblical evidence at all.

What is interesting is how many Christians are rediscovering these ancient roots & finding they speak even to this day & generation. I can testify to their strength from personal experience with the passover. I shocked Liddy, who though she knew the story very well, to her core, as she saw how layered & deep in scriptual meaning this festival is. Anyway, not for me to tell you how to believe. Just pointing out that for us it is less a matter of personal preference than biblical directive. ☺

Ruby said...

Thanks Ganeida. There is so much tolearn in all the rituals and ceremonies of the OT which point us to Christ, so they are always worth studying. I beleive they are part of the types and shadows of Christ as Prophet, Ppriest and King, which Christ fulfilled. I think we keep them for ever in the sense that we now worship the risen Lord who accomplished and fulfilled in ever detail all those things. It seems that God used many outward things eg music, beautiful vessels in the OT because we are weak and find it hard to comprehend so much of what he teaches us. In the new, the emphasis is on the heart, the spiritual and true meaning of all those things. Of course, we are still just as slow and stubborn, but we do have a more excellent way.

alecat said...

Ganeida, I just thought I'd share something that we teach our children .. something you may already have thought about too (smile) :
The festivals map out God's plan for his creation. They are applicable to what has happened and what is to come with the return of Christ.
Keeping the festivals are a reminder of these things, and we've noticed how much is forgotten when these days aren't observed (I'm talking about family members who have decided to not keep these days any longer, and they have forgotten some things), so we make sure that we use these times to retell the stories (Deut 16) and re-educate ourselves, as well as remember the promises to be fulfilled.

seekingmyLord said...

I agree with you for most of it, as you know, but there was no Christmas and no Resurrection Day until after Christ came, just as there was no Passover until the Angel of Death pass by the homes with lamb's blood painted onto the lintels. New celebrations come out of new things happening worth celebration, remembrance, and tradition. Certainly the birth and death and resurrection of Christ qualifies! I believe the old and new can be done in honor of each other...not that present Christmas celebrations do that but that we can make it so.

Ganeida said...

alecat: yes, & what I so appreciate about the festivals is how God has used absolutely everything to help us remember. We have looked at Hannukah before & Star, who remembers nothing she's not madly interested in has remembered quite a lot ~ but it's a very visual festival which helps in her case. I am doing it in more depth this time & hope to build on the festivals a little more each year so there should be an *increase of knowledge*. THank you for contributing as I know this can seem quite odd to lots & you've been there. It is a great encouragement.

Seeking: I agree ~ up until the point I don't. lol God instigated the way the festivals were to be conducted ~ which He has not for Christmas & Easter. They are entirely man~made ~ which would be ok except look what they have become! It is part of why I am relooking at how we do things & attempting to be more intentional ~ which is hard for me. ☺ THe festivals are also incredibly historically accurate yet Christians are celebrating Christ's birth on a pagan deity's birthday. The festivals actually give a more accurate indication of the season of his birth from a careful study of the scriptures but the math does my head in so I am not about to reiterate it here.