Math Update – Kent: LEVEL UP!

Achievement Get!
Achievement Get!

Today, after nearly a full year of work, Kent has completed his first full math book, Saxon 5/4. To put the significance of this achievement in perspective, I want to provide some background.

Kent had a very challenging and unhelpful kindergarten experience. Through no fault of his own, he did not learn what he should have and so was moved to a different school for first grade. This was a better experience academically for Kent — he was his class’s most improved student for the year — but it was a hard one schedule-wise, since Darah and my work schedules required him to be at school and/or daycare for 10 hours each weekday. So, in second grade, we began homeschooling both Kent and his brother, Reed. Kent was then 7 years old.
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Resurrection Day 2016

dali-crucifixionUnexpectedly volunteering to serve communion with Darah at the Resurrection Day gathering of the Simple Church Alliance network. Can’t remember acting in this capacity before. Starting to think right away about what words I might say as people come up to receive the elements. There’s that passage in Corinthians somewhere about not being unworthy, but I can’t remember it well enough. Maybe the more traditional “the body of Christ, broken for your sins…”, but I can’t really recall exactly how that one goes either, and I’m not much for formulaic incantations anyway.

Realize there’s a bit of pride in the mix, wanting to seem competent and experienced at something I don’t really have any experience with. Figure I’ll just say or not say as the Lord leads. Say a quick prayer to that effect and leave it with Him as Darah and I start tearing the bread up into pieces…

His body, broken for my sins. His body here in my hands, being torn apart afresh so that it might be distributed to each of us here today. My hands, willingly, casually, efficiently rending skin from bone, muscle from sinew. My sin, my selfish choice, chosen so easily and unthinkingly, chosen so harshly and consciously — met immediately, consistently, and without fail by His great love, His selfless choice, made with full awareness of the cost…
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There Is No Such Thing as Comfort Food

comfort-foodNearly two months ago, I wrote about my need to begin eating better on a more consistent basis. Since then, with a lot of help and encouragement from my nutritionist sister, I have established a sustainable, long-term eating plan full of satisfying, fulfilling options that do not cross the line into “temptation” territory.

I have had good success sticking to this new meal plan. (The foods pictured here are most definitely not on it!) Although it seemed extremely limited to me at first glance, there is quite a lot of variety possible within these confines, especially given the culinary artistry of my incredibly supportive and long-suffering wife.
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Mathematics Update

Saxon87Today, I completed the final lesson and test in my Saxon 8/7 Mathematics book. One hundred twenty problem sets, 23 tests, and 12 investigations later, I now know the same amount of mathematics as the average 7th grader! I started the book on January 4 of this year, so it took me just under three months to complete.

Things I learned along the way:

  • Surface area of a sphere: 4πr²
  • Volume of a pyramid: 1/3bh
  • Volume of a cone: 1/3 πr²h
  • Volume of a sphere: 4/3πr³
  • Counting in base 2 (binary)
  • Multiplying and dividing exponents
  • Rationale for why division by 0 is not possible (It has to do with infinity, which I never knew before!)
  • Stem-and-leaf and box-and-whisker plots
  • Probability vs. chance vs. odds

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More Than a Sunday Faith review – Chapter 6

516azsgqv0l-_sx322_bo1204203200_“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” (from 1 John 3)

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” (from John 1)

We are God’s beloved children. When we take Jesus at His word and believe He is indeed the only true source of life and He alone worthy of submitting ourselves to (and then proceed to act as if we actually believed it!), we enter into that new identity and can begin to experience the truth and power of it. We know the Father’s unconditional love, regardless of our behavior or performance. We can truly rest for the first time in our lives, because the constant striving is over at last!

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

As a new creation, we have a real choice whether to sin. We are no longer enslaved and unable to reject sin (or to even discern what is sinful). The truth of Jesus is that in Him we are no longer sinners. We are now “saints with a sin challenge”, to use Suitt’s wonderful phrase. Our core character, our true inner nature, has been transformed from the “old man” of sin and death to the “new man” of Jesus and His Spirit.
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Why “Way of the Warrior”?

wow-warrior-weapons-art-blizzardThere are many roles I have played, but few would say “warrior” is one of them. Why in the world, then, would I choose to name this blog “Way of the Warrior” and then claim to be walking that path myself?

What is a “warrior”? Many possible definitions exist, but one cannot be a warrior in any sense if they have not made preparations to fight when the need arises. Simply being in the middle of a conflict no more makes one a warrior that having a difficult sum to solve makes one a mathematician. If war broke out today, the one who would be ready with a response is the warrior. The term connotes preparation and readiness.
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Wondering About Alice

aliceAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There have both just come up on our home school reading list. It has been a long time since I read either, so I went ahead and read through both of them again.

I had forgotten how much of this material has entered popular culture in one way or another. The characters are memorable: White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty (although not original to Dodgson), and Alice herself, to name but a few. The scenes are vividly etched into our minds: the mad tea party, the constant shrinking and growing (“Eat Me”, “Drink Me”), the Jabberwock. Even several of Dodgson’s nonsense words and phrases have entered our lexicon: “chortle”, “galumphing”, “jam tomorrow; never jam today”.

Both stories are framed as young Alice’s dreams, and the environs and scenarios presented in each could only occur in a dream-world. The impossible is commonplace, and pure nonsense plays a large role. Most notably, in a departure from much of the children’s literature of the day, these books contain no moral and are not intended to provide any instruction. They are simply for fun, as is clearly communicated in the Christmas and Easter letters Dodgson wrote to appear with certain publication runs of the books.
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How I Ended Up a Stay-at-Home Dad

stay-at-home-dadNow that I’m a couple months into being at home full-time and it appears that this family arrangement is going to work out for a while, I have been reflective about how I got here. It has been an interesting journey.

Like many men my age, I was raised in a home where gender roles were pretty clearly established along the modern norm: Dad worked outside the home a minimum of 40 hours per week and earned the lion’s share of the income, while Mom stayed home with us kids and managed the household. So, when I entered into my own marriage and work- and family-life, I aligned myself along this same pattern without much thought of alternatives. Before we had kids, Darah and I both worked outside the home, but as soon as kids were on the way, Darah quit her job and entered into stay-at-home mode.
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More Than a Sunday Faith review – Chapter 5

516azSGqv0L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Part 1 of the book established why we need to live with a Biblical worldview. Part 2, beginning in chapter 5, seeks to establish the threefold foundation of that worldview: 1) a radical change in our understanding of our core identity, 2) a shift in focus to our thinking rather than our behavior, and 3) a gradual learning of how to process daily life through the Word of God.

Chapter 5 refreshes us on the importance of our choices, as discussed in chapter 4, and then proceeds to couch the question in terms of our basic needs as human beings:

  1. Love, acceptance, belonging
  2. Significance
  3. Safety and security

Because we have been made by God in his image, we are designed to find all of these needs met perfectly and fully only in Him. Nothing and no one else will ultimately satisfy — by design!
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