Once again, be blessed, shake yourselves silly, and Shabbat Shalom!
A dear friend and I were joking this past weekend about the fact that I have these parshas to teach to a new crop of preschoolers in my family. We joked that this was the 2.0 version of my parsha lessons. And yes, we have had fun in the past with songs like Father Abraham and the other adventures we have posted online, but my challenge is to remain relevant, just as the Torah is itself, for our daily lives. So on that note, I'd like to share a couple new videos I found this week for our beloved Lech Lecha parsha. We especially loved rocking out to this version of the classic Father Abraham song. All I'm going to say is, get ready to be dancing all over your house with the kiddos...we couldn't help ourselves and I'm sure you won't be able to either! Drumroll please...
My older ones, the 1.0 versions, are at the age where they were inquiring about the body movements and how they correlated to the story of Abraham. I had to confess that this was a shameless, but fun, way for adults to keep children focused on what we're trying to teach. It was hilarious to me to have to come clean about it...
And here was one more video that I will definitely be using again for my 2.0 kiddos. Who doesn't like Lego reenactments of our favorite Bible stories?! This is what my eldest son LOVES to do with his day! (If I let him of course...lol) Honestly, this video was very comical and pretty accurate (minus the Lego clothing, naturally).
Once again, be blessed, shake yourselves silly, and Shabbat Shalom!
Here we go again learning of one of my favorite parshas: Lech Lecha! I have cherished our homeschool adventures as Abba has taught us about the dust of the earth and Willard Wigan and even the slime pit project we did last year with the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. This year the Ruach HaKodesh once again had me embrace this Torah portion, this time with the Abrahamic promise given by YHVH that challenged Abraham to count the stars in the heavens, and so shall his children will be that numerous.
In the Torah we read in Bereshit 15:5, "And He (YHVH) brought him (Abraham) forth abroad, and said: 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, 'So shall your seed be.'"
Now I ran across some snow globes at a local craft store and also an idea another fabulous mommy had posted for star globes for this parsha. I thought the wonderment of this particular craft project would capture my precious children's hearts yet again for our Heavenly Father.
Depending on your budget, there are many options for implementing this craft project in your home or shul. Craft stores have many plastic snow globe options if you have one or two little ones to accommodate, but also the dollar stores carry glass containers as well if you are looking to do these for a class setting like I did. Here was my supply list:
This project is extremely simple. First, fill the glass jar with water to the brim (almost to overflowing so you can to reduce the air pocket when you flip it over). Next, let the children pick the color they feel Abraham saw in the sky the night Abba revealed this special promise. Drop food coloring in the water and mix gently. Then allow the children to sprinkle the glitter and star confetti into the water carefully. Once the children are finished, super glue the lid on tightly to the glass jar. Finally, flip your star globe over and label it with the memory verse and stickers! Here are some of my family's happy faces upon completion and don't forget to shine brightly this week everyone!
One more quick suggestion: Don't forget to use these as centerpieces for this week's Shabbat meals! Blessings and Shabbat Shalom...
In Lech Lecha, Abba did an amazing ministry in my spirit this time around in the Torah portion. Genesis 13:16 jumped right off the page at me as I prepared my homeschool lesson inspired from the parsha:
"I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted."
My thoughts as I read this promise were, "Abba, dust is so insignificant. Grains of sand are so beautiful, but who wants to be likened to a particle of dust?" As usual, Abba silenced me with His magnificence soonafter.
I felt like our theme for the week would be to study dust. For science, we found sites explaining dust particles, we explored different microscope slides to compare and contrast how very different each particle is, and even went around the house collecting our own dust samples. It was pretty interesting to say the least.
But then, as I was online further developing the following day's lesson plan, I stumbled onto a website that literally humbled me and brought me to tears. If you have not encountered an artist named Willard Wigan, please visit this link and expose your family to this man who Abba has extraordinarily anointed.
Mr. Wigan is a microsculptor. What is that, you ask? Basically, Abba gifted him with the ability to take the tiniest dust particles and create captivating sculptures with them. Studying the intensity of this craft led me to a deeper understanding into our Father's creative process. This art came about through much adversity in Mr. Wigan's life; he had learning difficulties in both reading and writing. But in his spare time as a child, he befriended little ants and had such love for them that he fashioned them shoes and furnishings! (Never discount the simple acts of children. Abba works best in these little ones!) Eventually his hobby became a world reknowned art form and his gift has made signficant contributions to the medical community to assist surgeons with complex procedures. These are some of the works Mr. Wigan has done (photos courtesy of http://www.willard-wigan.com):
This first piece is sculpted in the eye of a needle, just in case you couldn't tell! The minute I saw this, I pondered, "Is this how little we are to you, Abba, though immensely complex at the same time?"
This second picture is of a little girl sculpted on an eyelash. Another one of my favorites. Halleluyah. We were able to use this artist for both art and creative writing. My son (who is very similar to Willard Wigan in his early years) wrote about the world that Willard and he would create for some little ant friends. He talked about a flashy racecar and even a refrigerator for these tiny ants! And my eldest daughter, a budding artist, wrote about the techniques and skills necessary to make these incredible pieces.
We are already past the halfway point for this week's Torah portion Lech Lecha and our family is still fanning the flames of last week's outpouring of blessings about rain, clouds and the mechanics of the heavenlies. (Science has been SOOO fun, let me just tell you.) But Abba was not wanting this week's portion to go by the wayside, so He had a word jump out at me last night as I read the fourth aliyah portion:
"Now the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain."
Thank YHVH I was reading this translation (and it is the same on my Strong's Concordance iPhone app) where it actually used the word SLIME in this verse! I just HAPPENED (heh, I don't believe in coincidences) to have a Slime Science Kit I had stowed away that had not been used. So cool! And you don't even need the kit to do this little activity with your own family!
Here's how to make your own slime:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup warm water
food coloring (I thought green was extremely effective visually)
1. Mix the above ingredients together.
2. Retell the fourth aliyah portion for the week (Genesis/Bereshit 14:1-14:20).
*We used our hands to represent the two opposing sides. Four kings on the one hand battling the five on the other. Then, we read Genesis/Bereshit 14:10 aloud, sticking two fingers (representing the two kings of Sodom and Gomorrah) in the slime.
After the retelling and going further with explaining the Hebrew word for "slime pits," "be'er" (Strong's H875-bet/aleph/resh), we started to delve into the science of slime. (BONUS!!! Bible and science combined. I'm a happy homeschool mommy right now.) We discussed how the behavior of slime is so weird that scientists have a special name for it called a "Non-Newtonian Fluid." We discussed how this fluid gets more viscous (or solid) when it is stirring then more liquid when handled softly. We talked about the properties of quicksand too and how it is also known as a "colloid." This means that the material is made up of tiny particles that remain suspended in another substance (in this case cornstarch particles in the water) instead of settling to the bottom.
And as we have learned before in our viscous experiments (check out our planetary study on the planet Tzeddek in the Biblical Astronomy section of this blog) we spiritually want to remain less viscous (or fluid/easy moved) so that the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit can work through us. Amen?!
I would highly encourage you to find ways to bring the Scriptures to life. My fingers are STILL green from me sticking my fingers in the slime and experiencing this part of YHVH's Word. It was squishy, sticky...I could just imagine those kings STUCK and every time I reread this part of the Torah I will remember this activity with my family. I pray you are blessed this week, and your fountains are overflowing with The Living Water!
Slime on, everybody...
Meredith Welborn is a mother of five beautiful children who has gradually integrated the Torah into her family's life as YHVH directs her. Her heart's desire is to create a forum for women to grow in the goodness of the Torah, Yah's holy instruction manual.