We’re on Christmas break! After a week of working with fractions of percents and other tedious related math concepts, Gray and I are certainly ready. One day we had to get P to come make sense of a poorly-explained concept (Abeka is notorious for this from 5th grade math on up, which is why we’re switching after this year). He ended up re-designing one of their conversion charts to include important parts that they’d left off of theirs. Yes, having a designer who’s also good at math comes in handy. 😉
We finished up a unit (adjectives) in grammar, and Gray took a big cumulative test, on which he scored 100%! I still haven’t done any end-of-term grade totaling yet for either of the boys, but I have all next week to do it, with no school to do each day. I can’t wait to see what grades they get. Des is pretty likely to get all A’s (he’s doing fantastic in all his subjects!), but I’m not sure if Gray will or not. He might have a couple of B’s.
We did all history this week, no anatomy. We had momentum going with the Reformation, so I didn’t want to stop. We studied John Calvin, and I was disappointed that the author of our history text was pretty biased toward him being the greatest of all the reformers (which I strongly disagree with). He was right about at least one thing, and that’s that salvation is through faith alone, in Christ alone—not through works or any merit of our own. But that’s where Calvin ceased, in my opinion, being correct in his theology & doctrine.
I think the worst part of his story is that when Calvin, as a pastor, gained some political power in Geneva, Switzerland, he drafted a set of strict moral codes and required every citizen to sign them and follow them. It banned things such as dancing, drinking alcohol, eating too much, and carousing. It put limits on how a woman could wear her hair, and how many dishes one could set at their table, just to give a couple of examples. The punishment for breaking these codes ranged from fines and jail time, to execution. Yes, he had people put to death for what he deemed as heresy. This was no different from what the Roman Catholic church had been doing to “heretics” for centuries—so how was that, in any way, “reform”? It wasn’t. Yet John Calvin is revered by many, many Christians today as the greatest reformer of the entire movement, and apparently our author is no exception. After telling how he had a man executed for heresy, she went on to say that she thinks of all the things Calvin may be guilty of, probably the worst was that he worked too hard and didn’t take enough time to rest. That surprised me. I really hope I misunderstood what she meant to say, but I read it several times and it’s stated pretty clearly. Gray said he may write a letter to ask her why she didn’t condemn Calvin’s harsh moral code, the jailings & executions he caused—and also ask her why she didn’t include anything about Jacobus Arminius in the study of the Reformation (he’s kind of one of the major reformers). I hope he does! I might just assign it as part of his history notebooking work.
We also studied the city of Venice in the Renaissance, and some of the great artist Titian’s paintings. Then the boys painted a sunset-on-water scene of Venice.
We did a day’s study on women of the Renaissance, too, which we all found interesting. Especially Anne Askew—she’s a courageous woman worth reading about. She was a vocal English Protestant who refused to stop speaking the truth—and the Roman church had her arrested time after time, until they finally racked her so badly she couldn’t walk afterwards, and then burned her at the stake as a heretic. 😦 Such a sadness. This year I’ve done much study and thinking on the history of the Church and how & when things went so wrong after that glorious, Spirit-filled time of the early Church as chronicled in the book of Acts. Philip has, too, and he & I have discussed these things late into the night and even into the early morning, at times.
I just have so many ponderings and questions…but that’s another blog post for another time. Our history studies lately are just bringing me back to wanting to get answers to those questions, as well as inspiring me even more to be a part of bringing the Church back to what it was originally, and always, meant to be.
And with that, we’re off for our break! Merry Christmas!