Thursday, November 5, 2015

Prophet Studies in Level 3

In the last several weeks, our lives have taken some pretty major turns. For the better? Only God and time will tell.

In lieu of being in a consistent atrium each week, I have been subbing in a variety of locations - which is awesome because of the variety of ideas and the freshness of sharing atrium experiences with different children ---- and not so awesome in that I am still recovering from an early bout of the flu 2 months ago, picked up from a new germ pool at a new atrium. While I have been able to fight off everything else, the cough just goes on and on and on and on. So I will be pulling back from subbing, just in time for all the teachers to get sick and need subs more often. Sorry! I need to heal up!

This all means I have spent a solid 36 hours in bed (I am *never* that sick!), our classroom is only half ready (read: MESS), Garden of Francis orders are no longer "caught up", Keys of the Universe videos have not been finished, and Legoboy has not participated in all the things he was going to do, simply because I no longer can get him there. So my hope for this year was to streamline both businesses to spend less time on them, spend less time with my son (we homeschool, he's 11, he needs some time away from me ;) ), and not require 50 hours in a day. Now I am spending *more* time on the atrium and the same amount of time elsewhere.

At least Legoboy's schooling is moving forward. And he remains healthy. Healthy enough to get braces! Hehe.


The whole experience, and the events that led to the changes, have put me in the mind of the prophets. Most of them were persecuted in their own homes, shunned by the very people God led them to speak to, tortured emotionally and physically, yet most of them trusted God in all moments (ahem, Jonah!) and they all, using a word from the final prophetic book of the Bible, Revelation or the Apocalypse, *overcame.*

With God's grace, they were Overcomers.

All of us who are persecuted can be an Overcomer.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the Prophets. 
Each of us are called to be a prophet. Always.  


Within the atrium, our official studies consist of the following:

Level 1:

  • 5 messianic prophecies during Advent
Level 2: 

  • 8 messianic prophecies (same 5, plus 3 additional), looking towards the moral prophetic message in some of them
  • We also look to the Books of the Bible and many atriums have a set of command cards guiding them through those books, which have some questions on the Prophetic books section
Level 3: 
  • Tying in the moral and messianic and looking to the future, Parousia
  • Study on the Call/Vocation of the Prophets
  • Study on the Content (Moral/Messianic) of the Prophets
  • Study on the Struggles of the Prophets
  • We also look to a set of prophecies related to the Parousia, matching the passage with its title and discussing what it might mean: The Holy Bible & Parousia

Personal Experience: 

In the level 3 atriums I have been in?

We began here: 
2012 Seeking the Plan of God post on Prophet Studies

Over time, we found our groove.

At level 3, our Prophecy Binder has veered a bit from the official CGS material, based on feedback and requests from the children themselves. I will not reproduce the CGS material here, but anything I have that is not found in the CGS materials is available for download at Garden of Francis.
Update with a note: The older CGS prophet study included a great deal more than it does now. Now (as of 2011-2015+) we almost solely focus on Isaiah with a tiny bit of looking at the call of 3 other prophets. The chidren were not satisfied with this to say the least, so I pulled out the older materials and adapted them a bit. The details follow.

The Binder Cover
I used a 2 inch D-ring (I would not use anything NOT a D-ring!)

Inside the front pocket:
Map of the Middle East during the time of the Prophets
Prophets Scripture Chart (several copies - each student takes one)
Before the Sun Burned Bright song - some children like to learn it

Instruction page (first page in the binder - in a sheet protector)

Added a set of cards to guide the children through studying a prophet or prophecy.
These are based on the old prophet study.
Some children created additional ones for each other and for themselves
- I encourage the older children to find ways to extend the work.
Stored in a pouch. 

Scripture chart - with a letter to the left side of each set,
corresponding with a booklet.
This may be based on the old material; it is modified for clarity. 

Each booklet in its own lettered pouch.
Book 'a' comes first; the others can be any order.
CGS used to use the books; then said use for catechist study only.
My atrium children have all gained a LOT from them!
But we needed modifications to aid in personalizing the experience. 

Last year, we made multiple copies of the first book,
since all the children need to read it each year.
And we had a HUGE class. Too large. 

What follows are the modifications I made to each booklet - 
notes to guide the children's follow-up work. 
(these should be pictured in order from book a to book e)
The children are always invited to artistic response: art, writing, creation of a project, etc.

We also have this really cool poster:

It shows the kings aligned with the prophets,
through 3 time periods in Israel.
VERY cool. 

  • One atrium has a beautiful wooden treasure box that holds index cards. A set of blank index cards is next to the box. As the children find a prophecy (anywhere in the Bible - prophetic books, Revelation, New Testament, etc.), they are to write the Scripture citation and a quick summary (if the passage is longer) on one side. On the other side, they can write a title for the prophecy. This work was inspired by a combination of our updated/older-fied Prophet study and the Holy Bible & Parousia material. A child put it together. 

It is always good to have additional reading materials on hand. This particular book is very nice!

A sample page - beautiful illustrations, good information!
The style connects the children to the art heritage of our faith. 

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