My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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Struggling through American History

Calvin is taking an online course in American History this summer through Novel Stars. They claim
to be the "Premier Website" for online interactive education.

I say that's a stretch.

As far as I can tell, the course is a glorified multiple choice online workbook that is trying to cram 200 years of American History into 8 chapters of 9 pages each. Something gets lost in the translation!!

While trying to cram all of this history into neat little units the STORY part of the hiSTORY gets lost and the text gets distilled into names, dates and places. Ugghhh. I thought that type of teaching disappeared in the 1970s!! What I find even more interseting are the tidbits they leave in. For example, we have little to no idea why George Washington was suffering at Valley Forge, but we have to remember the name of an obscure black poet, presumably because she was a slave and a woman. They spent two sentences on the Indian woman who travelled with Lewis and Clark, presumably for the same reasons. However the heroic acts of Dolly Madison are absent.

The whole thing, besides being mind numbingly dull and an exercise in craming the short term memory full of facts, has kind of killed a love of history for this kid of mine. A neat trick since this is the kid who has The History Channel on his favorites list and watches "Modern Marvels" with his cereal in the morning.

I did get to the library and got some films on the topics he is responsible for, just to give some perspective and to help the whole thing soak in. I'm helping him arrange his notes and study for his very first mid term on Monday.

I hope we get out of this with at least a C!!


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