Thursday, November 12, 2009


I have the dearest 4th graders in CLC this year --a smaller class as we separated from 3rd grade due to growth. I have 8 enrolled, 7 regular attenders, but only 6 last night. I love this age. I had them last year, also.

We are a rainbow group, with one of Indian (the country) heritage (his father was Sikh,) 2 bi-racial with white mothers (one Afr. Am. and one Hispanic,) and two Afr. Am. and two caucasians who are cousins (one is my grand son.) (And there is another caucasian boy who came only twice.)

I see maturity coming and respect for the Bible and prayer improving much since last year. And they are learning to keep track of their folders and bring them in (with candy or other little incentives, like bookmarks, as a prize)- so we can send home their memory verses and parents' letters with them. For the bus kids, especially, to get anything home and bring it back is an achievement, what with some of the rowdy behavior that happens there when they all get together --like any school bus or school cafeteria!

The girls who ride the van to and from their Habitat for Humanity neighborhood are clever. They decided to leave their folders in a neighboring room in the church building --and once behind the window blind in our room --so they could get the reward for having it there without actually taking it home and bringing it back. But we straightened that out. They were quite giggly and a little sheepish about it. They wanted to make new folders because the ones they left at church had disappeared! The custodian and I restored the lost.

Lately, we have been learning to find our way around in the Bible --and they all read fairly well and are eager to do it --and so we had a verse sequence last night about giving ourselves to God, each one having a scripture to look up in the sequence --how to become God's child and have eternal life. And we discussed sin and what it is --and they answered the question showing that they have learned over their time in CLC or in their homes --that lying, unkindness, cheating, murder, stealing, disobedience to parents and teachers, anything that displeases God, are sins. And that we must confess our sin to God in order to be forgiven. That He is "faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" --which one of them likened to "taking a bath." They all said they have believed and received Jesus into their hearts --even before last night --for it is by believing in Jesus that we become "the children of God." We have previously gone to the music room and sung from the hymnal, for this "Give to God" Badge, the Christina Rosetti poem/song:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what can I give Him?
Give Him my heart."

Last night, we had a cut and paste activity to make a little booklet from our curriculum on Steps to Knowing God.

AFter that we did an elimination round on the memory verse for the month --
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others. I Peter 4:10a:

We review the verse between rounds and each child says one word from memory and the next one does the 2nd word, and so on, until the verse is finished. If they can't think of the next word, they are "out" and can go to the board behind them to review it until the next round. It really makes them concentrate -and they seem to have such fun with it. And they are so excited to get it! The other method of group memorization we use is to write the verse on the board and each one erases a word, in turn, and we all recite the verse until all the words are erased and we are saying the whole verse. A 3rd method of practice is to have all the words of the verses cut up and placed in individual envelopes and then we have a race to see who can put the words in order the fastest.

I've learned this year to give them chances to individually "take the stage" and recite their memory verses in front of the whole group --and record their achievement for their badges right then. Instead of having them do it individually and privately --which often got squeezed out of the schedule and also allowed too much distracting hubbub around them.

So far 6 of our kids have 2 out of 3 verses learned --and 3 or 4 have all of them. We have one huge verse that hasn't been mastered by all, yet.

Courtney, our called and equipped assistant teacher, and record keeper, fixed popcorn and Crystal Lite for all of us. I couldn't teach without an able assistant, a "go to girl." She, herself, will no doubt have her own CLC class when she wants and will be substitute teaching in our public schools this year.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

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