Proverbs 1 and the Pursuit of Knowledge

On the card table that is serving as my desk while we are between houses, I have a stack of books that I am reading, along with my journal, my bible and bible study binder. In the corner is a small bookshelf with books that are in queue to be read in the near future. Amazon and Abe books are kept busy with my constant orders. Sometimes I feel myself getting stressed because there is so much I want to read and study and just not enough hours in the day!

Today is the start of the book of Proverbs for Good Morning Girls. I’m really excited – I love reading Proverbs and have since I was young. In my SOAP for this morning, I focused on verses 5-7.

The wise person seeks wisdom and knowledge, and seeks out learned counselors. It’s the wise person who knows that there is always more to learn and seek after, and searches out knowledge. A wise person also seeks wise counsel, and is receptive to their teaching. The fool is the one who is content with what they know and does not seek out knowledge, and is not willing to be taught.

This morning I prayed for a seeking heart, with a desire to continue seeking out new learning opportunities and a heart open to mentorship by wise counselors.

This is one of the reasons I am drawn to Leadership Education – the idea of being a mentor, as well as being mentored. While I think I am capable of mentoring, and have a lot of knowledge to offer, I am also in need of mentorship. I think that is what makes great leaders, willingness to mentor and a willingness and desire to be mentored. When we understand that there is more to learn and others have things to teach us, we are on a path to greater wisdom.

Mentors aren’t always flesh and blood people; often they are characters in books that teach us about human nature or character traits or life situations we are experiencing. This is why I am seeking out good books on a variety of subjects. In this current season I am reading a lot about mothers and motherhood – the characters in books like Mother and Mother Carey’s Chickens are mentoring me in how to be a better mother to my own children.

Every morning I smile to myself as I watch my eight-year-old daughter grab her stack of books from under her pillow and next to the bed, and head downstairs for breakfast. This girl gets it. She has a passion for learning and reading and she counts books as her closest companions. She also loves the L-rd and has a passion for studying scripture. She will be pursuing wisdom for a long time!

Spring is for Plants!

In my previous posts, I have mentioned using Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding for our elementary Science. We have been working through A thread (Nature of Matter) of BFSU Volume 1 all year. I had originally planned for us to start in Volume 2 and continue A thread (this is the Classical schedule coming through…), but over the past several weeks there has been a lack of interest in continuing with atoms and molecules. I think the beautiful weather outside has a lot to do with it! So I did some thinking and decided to reevaluate how we are doing our science. 

 
Bernard Nebel, the author of BFSU, encourages moving between the four “threads” or disciplines (Nature of Matter, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science). I’ve resisted this only because we’ve followed the classical schedule for the past several years, with one subject each year in a four year cycle. But as we move away from the classical schedule a bit, I find myself wanting to jump around a bit (though in an organized way so not stress out my Type A personality). 
 
With that being said, I decided to cover Plants this June. Everything is in bloom, the weather is nice, and we’ve got a great garden in our front yard to study as well.
 
Over the past week or so, we have been studying the basic structures of plants. The core of our lesson has been B10: Plant Science I – Basic Plant Structure. We started with the three basic parts of a plant – roots, stems, and leaves. We discussed how even vastly different plants all have these parts, though often in a modified form. She was fascinated to learn that the spines of a cactus are actually highly modified leaves. 

 

We have a membership with Notebookingpages.com, and I printed up several pages from the Plant Study collection. Over the past week, we have been working through these pages, identifying various plant parts, margin types, leaf arrangements, etc. The Visual Dictionary of Plants is a wonderful resource for learning plant parts.

 
Kyri and I went on a Plant Walk this week, armed with a few nature books and plant identification guides. As we explored, we discussed the three basic parts of a plant, and I asked her to identify various aspects of plants we found, such as:
 
type of leaves – simple or compound
arrangement of leaves – alternate, opposite, whorled, fascicled, or clustered
leaf venation – parallel, pinnate, palmate or arcuate
leaf margins – smooth, serrate, dentate, crenate, sinuate, lobed, or cleft
 
On our plant walk, she was particularly interested in finding a Sweet gum tree, because she had read about it and its identifying features in one of her books. We wrapped up our walk with the triumphant discovery of a Sweet Gum tree at the end of our street.
 
We have built up quite a collection of nature study books, and Kyri absolutely adores them. I can often find her with one or more tucked under her arm. Here are some of our favorites:

Here are several pictures from our walk!

plantwalk_combined1 plantwalk_combined2 plantwalk_combined3 plantwalk_combined4