Author Archives: Nicole

The Star of Bethlehem

“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” — Isaiah 40:26

Last night my hubby and I sat by the bonfire while he smoked some meat for dinner. It was a chilly night, but you cannot beat the view of the stars on a crisp cold winter evening. Where you can see hundreds of stars in the summer months, there are now thousands upon thousands of stars! An added benefit is that we don’t have to stay up until well past our bedtime to see the glory of the heavens thanks to the early sunsets in winter.

At this time each year, I impatiently await Orion’s ascent into the winter sky. It’s such a fantastic constellation. Last night I saw the Pleadies rising, and I know Orion comes along right behind it, but we didn’t stay outside that long. I’ll keep watching for it.

Last week, while briefly searching the sky, I noticed a bright star in the south that I found to be Neptune! It was my first sighting of Neptune, and I was so thrilled that I quickly texted my fellow planet-watcher with its direction. Nevermind that he is four years old. When you see something that you have never seen in the sky before, you want to share the news with other interested friends.

I wonder if that is how the ancient people felt when they saw the star of Bethlehem. There is a riveting story behind the Christmas star. One that ties together the mystery of Bible prophecy, the intrigue of history, and the technology of science. You likely know the verse “…We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2B) But did you know that the following verse may also indicate what was happening in the stars at the time of Jesus’ birth?

You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness– who dares to rouse him? The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” (Genesis 49:9-10)

You can read about Rick Larson’s study of the Bible and historical accounts of the celestial events the ancients saw on BethlehemStar.com, where you can also purchase a copy of his documentary. Or you can watch the documentary on YouTube: The Star of Bethlehem Documentary 2007. (1:04:58) Either way, it’s not to be missed.

I hope you are having a lovely Christmas time with your family and friends. Enjoy the rest and the festive crafts, food, and activities. School will resume with much greater success if you fully enjoy the change of focus now.

~Nicole

Physics, A Three Part Series

I am thrilled to announce a series of articles on Physics by Richele Baburina, posted on CharlotteMasonPoetry.org. Richele is the author of Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching, published by Simply Charlotte Mason. She has also deeply studied Charlotte Mason’s physics stream of science and taught what she has learned at a variety of conferences and retreats. Now she is sharing her knowledge of physics using the Charlotte Mason method of education with all of you.I highly encourage each of you to take the time to read Richele’s articles. I have become concerned recently that many homeschooling families are choosing to skip high school physics. I suspect parents are making this choice because they have preconceived fears about its difficulty or the difficulty of the math that may be associated with it. Also, in many cases, only 2-3 sciences credits are required to graduate and get into college. But Charlotte Mason had a bigger picture in mind than simply what was required. She felt it was important for students to continue the broad feast, even in the field of science, all the way through their education. Richele speaks to each of these issues and much more, and I am certain her words will be encouraging to you.

Part 1: Physics the Charlotte Mason Way covers the What, Why, and When.

Part 2: Living Lessons in Physics goes in-depth on the How.

Part 3: The Teacher of Physics, concludes with the Where and Who.

You can also listen to these blog articles by scrolling to the bottom of the post or by searching “Charlotte Mason Poetry” on your podcast app. (Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher). The new audio version of Charlotte Mason Poetry has been a fantastic gift from their team! It allows me to listen to their excellent articles in the car when I’m on the run, for which I am very grateful.

Does Nature Seem Like a Foreign Language to You?

When I was 21, I spent five weeks in a little eastern German town named Wernigerode. It had only been four years since the wall came down and the people there were free to learn English, but as you can imagine, they knew little. As I knew no German, my host family and I were in a pickle. We walked around with translation dictionaries for a while, but, within a few weeks I was following conversations (to some degree,) and getting along fine. Then, on one of my last few days there, a woman ran up to me and began asking me a series of questions. I answered her and was quite astonished! It felt like I was beside myself saying, “Look at her! She’s speaking German!”

I mention this story because recently it occurred to me that nature is a foreign language to some of you. To be honest, I’m still somewhat illiterate in the language! In all seriousness though, will you consider what I’m suggesting?

Are you comfortable teaching your child about nature? When you go on a nature walk, do you know most of the plants and animals you and your children encounter? Can you use the proper scientific terms to describe the color of a flower or the parts of a bird? Do you know the common characteristics of the main plant families?

Please do not hear any judgment in my voice. I do not want you to feel bad about how much you don’t know, but I do want you to consider how that might affect you and your children as you learn about nature on walks or through books. Continue reading