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Tag Archives: Reformation Day

2013-14 School Year–Week Ten

This was a fun week! Since we started our science lesson on the moon, we watched Apollo 13 in school on Wednesday. This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the children love it, too. Watching the movie on Wednesday also gave me the opportunity to finish baking for our Reformation Day tea party, which we had on Thursday. That was quite an event, and, as always, a lot of fun!

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On Thursday, we also spent a lot of time learning about the Reformation. We did another lesson in our Martin Luther workbooks, which we’re almost done with now (the original plan was to finish them this week, but our vacation messed up the timing for that). We also read our favorite Martin Luther storybook. I love that even though we’ve read it every year at least once, the children still pick up new things in the story. We listened to “A Mighty Fortress” in both German and English, but we didn’t sing it ourselves, since we had finished it up last week. Instead, we’ve been working on “For All the Saints,” since All Saints’ Day is today, and we’ll be observing it (and almost certainly singing that hymn), in church on Sunday.

We also got to start on our yearly “Thankful Tree” today. The children really look forward to doing this every year…it was one of the first things they said to me this morning! I’m so grateful that being thankful is important to them, and that they can find so many things, big and small, that they should be thankful for! It’s also a lot of fun to see what those things are, and what things are different and what are the same from child to child!

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The rest of the week was pretty standard. Everybody did an excellent job on their math and spelling tests, especially Turkey, who scored 100% on each. Our history and mythology studies collided this week, as we studied ancient Crete and the story of the Minotaur. I love when two or more subjects intersect…it makes learning so much more fun!

Next week, we’ll start easing into our Thanksgiving studies. I’m planning a harvest and thanksgiving related hymn for our memory work, and I think I’ll slip a few Thanksgiving books in the book basket. I love these next two months of homeschool so much!

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A Reformation Tea

Today we had a tea party for Reformation Day. The children suggested that I could decorate sugar cookies with Luther’s Seal, but that sounded a little too complicated, so instead our theme was pumpkins, apples, and cranberries; leaves, orange, red, and yellow.

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We had a nice variety of items on the table. If you click on the individual pictures, you can find out what everything was. We even got to try pumpkin Hershey’s kisses!

This was our first fall tea party, and it was a lot of fun to plan, especially since this is my favorite time of year!

Tasty Tuesday–Apple Strudel

Since Reformation Day is this week, here’s a nice German-ish dessert to add to your menu!

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  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it’s easy to handle. Heat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir the egg and water in a small bowl. Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the apples and raisins and toss to coat.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet into a 16×12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the bottom half of the pastry to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting at the short side closest to you, roll up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet. Tuck ends under to seal. Brush with the egg mixture. Cut several 2-inch long slits 2 inches apart on the top.
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Slice and serve warm. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Reformation Day Ideas

Since we took the week off this week, and I don’t have a school wrap-up, I thought instead I’d share some ideas for Reformation Day, which is coming up fast! This year, we’ve been making our way through the Luther, Servant of God workbook. It’s a very in-depth look at Luther’s life, but a lot more low-key than the month of lapbooks and activities I planned last year! We’ve also been using a few Luther hymns for our copywork/dictation/memory work this month…the last one will be “A Mighty Fortress,” of course!

Reformation resources

A look at our lapbooks (and other projects)

It’s always fun to make a banner, too…while we do have a red banner for special days like Reformation Day and Pentecost, we also have a Luther’s Seal banner that remains up all year:

Luther's Seal

Luther’s Seal

And, a fun German dessert is always a nice way to cap off a special day:

Black Forest Cherry Torte

Apple Strudel

These are just a few of the ideas I’ve used over the last few years…I’d love to hear what other people have come up with!

Reformation Wrap-Up

Today marks the end of our month-long study of the Reformation. Here’s a review of all the things we learned and the fun we had!

We read lots of books, some out loud, and others as book basket selections. One of our favorites every year is the Luther biography by Paul Maier.

We made eight lapbooks, one as an overview of the people and events of the Reformation, and the other seven focusing on different Reformers.

We also learned about seven rulers (plus Pope Leo X), and completed a notebooking sheet for each.

Of course, everyone’s favorite part of our studies were the crafts. We designed our own coat-of-arms:

Made stained “glass” windows:

Illuminated letters and practiced being scribes:

Made a banner to hang in our school room:

And, of course, made Luther’s Seal:

We also listened to a lot of music, some by Luther, some by Bach, and some by other Lutheran hymn writers.

We were supposed to go on two field trips this month. The first one was a visit to the Saxon Lutheran Memorial Fall Festival in Frohna, MO, I had to cancel that on account of fog, which was disappointing because it’s one of our favorite events every year. Our other field trip, that actually worked out, was going to the Seminary in St. Louis to hear Ryan sing “Ein Feste Burg” with the American Kantorei as part of the Bach at the Sem series. That same day, we also got to attend a fun Reformation Celebration at our church.

We even enjoyed a German meal at home on Reformation Day! Jägerschnitzel with buttered noodles and sauerkraut for dinner (with Leinie’s Oktoberfest beer for those of drinking age!), and homemade apple strudel for dessert…delicious!

This was a fun way to spend the month of October, and I’m glad I finally came up with an in-depth unit for us to learn all about the Reformation!

Wordless Wednesday

October 31–Reformation Day

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

On October 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk posted ninety-five statements for discussion on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Dr. Martin Luther hoped that posting his theses would bring about an academic debate regarding repentance, the sale of indulgences, and other matters of concern within the Roman Catholic Church. However, Rome eventually excommunicated Luther, judging him to be a heretic. Luther’s reforms, centered on the teaching that a believer is justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, sparked religious reforms not only in the German states but also in many European countries. In 1667, Elector John George II of Saxony standardized the custom of observing Luther’s October 31 posting of the Ninety-five Theses.

2012-13 School Year–Week Seven

This was another busy week! On Monday, we took a break from our usual history (and special Reformation), lessons to learn about Christopher Columbus. We read The Discovery of the Americas and talked about Columbus, as well as other explorers in the New World. We also worked on some Columbus worksheets (including a word search), and coloring pages. This was actually quite timely in relation to our Reformation studies, as they overlap, time-wise…I love when things like that work out just right! Moose was able to join us, since he had the day off, which is always fun.

On Tuesday we got back to our special Reformation studies. We finished two lapbooks this week: one for John Huss, and one for the “Blessed Reformer” himself, Martin Luther. Ladybug got to start on her Reformation activity book, which she’s very excited about, since there are lots of sticker activities! We also started reading about Heinrich Muhlenberg, since his commemoration day was on Sunday. I’m finding this book as interesting as the children are…I discovered that I really didn’t know much about Muhlenberg myself! (We’ll also be reading about C.F.W. Walther later this month, to round out our Lutheran history studies.)

Our Reformation craft for the week was making stained “glass” windows. This is an easy craft that we’ve done before, but it’s fun because there are so many different stained glass patterns out there, and so many different ways to color the same pattern! All you do is color a stained glass window picture, and then use a cotton ball to spread oil across the back (we used vegetable oil, but I’m sure other varieties would work just as well). Pat to “dry,” then hang in the window and watch the light show through!

For our stained glass coloring sheets, we used the weekly sample from Dover publications…if you haven’t signed up to receive the weekly Dover sampler yet, you should! They’re usually related to the current season or holiday, and you get a good idea of the different kind of coloring books (and other activities), they offer. I also used sample sheets from Dover for our Columbus Day lessons this week.

We also continued our regular math and language arts lessons, and fit in a little American history, learning about the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. Bunny was very interested in this, although she was quite dismayed to learn that there was a time when women weren’t allowed to do things like vote or serve on a jury. In science, we finished up the chapter on the digestive and renal systems. Turkey especially enjoyed our Friday science activity…designing a theme park based on the digestive system (disturbing, yet fun). I think he could have designed rides all day long!

We took a field trip to the pumpkin patch this week, which is always fun, and is another way to involve Moose in our school. We have another fun field trip planned for tomorrow…I can’t wait!

Learning About the Reformation

Every year that we’ve been homeschooling, we’ve had some sort of special lesson on Reformation Day. It usually involved reading a book about Martin Luther and doing a craft (often some kind of Luther’s Seal). I realized this year, though, that while the children know a lot about Martin Luther’s corner of the Reformation (of course), they don’t know much about the rest of what was going on in the Church. So, I’ve decided that this year, throughout the month of October, we’re going to replace our regular religion lessons with a special unit on the Reformation, as well as some general Lutheran history!

I started by replacing our Olympics “Special Event Wall” with one on the Reformation. The central focus of the wall is a “Reformation Era Timeline” I picked up at CPH. While the focus of this timeline is the Lutheran Reformation (naturally), other world and Reformation events are included on it, and I really like having a visual representation of just how much was going on in Europe at that time, from exploring the New World to the creation of famous works of art and literature. I added the “Solas” to the wall, as well as a list of key reformers, a map of Europe with key Reformation countries highlighted, a copy of Luther’s seal, and the LCMS seal. We’ll also be adding some things to the wall as the month goes on.

There are 23 school days in October this year, including five Wednesdays, which culminate on Reformation Day itself. I’ve planned something special for each of those Wednesdays, having each Wednesday be a special craft day:

  • Personal Coat of Arms
  • Stained “Glass”
  • Illuminated Letters/Scribe for a Day
  • Reformation Day Banner (to be used in the schoolroom for occasions such as future Reformation Days and Pentecost)
  • Tissue Paper Luther’s Seal

There are a few books I’ll be reading aloud, either in part or whole:

And book basket selections from the “Hero of Faith” series for the children to choose from:

Plus a few other book basket choices:

The bulk of our lessons will come in the form of a lapbook (actually several lapbooks)…our first ever! We’ll be learning the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the Reformation while we make these books. We’ll focus on seven reformers (John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, William Tyndale, John Calvin, and John Knox), who will each have a mini-unit and lapbook dedicated to him.

We’ll also learn about seven rulers (Charles V, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, Philip II, Elizabeth I, and Mary Queen of Scots) who were either supporters or opponents of the Reformation. Instead of a lapbook, the rulers will each have a dedicated notebooking sheet.

Over the course of the month, we’ll make a lapbook that provides an overview of the Reformation, including where each of the rulers fits, and their relationships to the reformers, where applicable.

Since Ladybug is too young for a lot of the lapbook activities, I got her The Story of Martin Luther Activity Book to color in while Turkey and Bunny complete their books. It’s technically a preschool book, but I thought she’d have fun doing the sticker activities, and it will give her something of her own to work on, so she doesn’t feel left out…very important for a little girl who has two older siblings who “get to have all the fun!”

And field trips are a must. We’ll be visiting the Saxon Lutheran Memorial and attending a Bach at the Sem concert, where “Ein Feste Burg” will be performed. I don’t think we’re going to visit the International Center to see the Concordia Historical Institute Museum, but it has been a few years since we’ve been there, so we’ll see. We’re also going to be having a special Reformation Family Night at church, which, while not technically a field trip, should help reinforce some of the things we’ve been learning at home, and maybe even teach us some new things!

Music is a huge part of the Lutheran church (just ask the “fifth evangelist, J.S. Bach!), so we’ll be listening to some special selections throughout the month. We have both the Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth and the Heirs of the Reformation collections from CPH. We’ll also be listening to various works by Bach…I’ll let Ryan pick which ones. To reinforce what we’ve learned in Luther’s Small Catechism, we’ll also be playing our copy of Sing the Faith.

Our children are a little too young for these kind of strategy games, but I do have some good ideas for games that have a Reformation-era or theological feel. I’m looking forward to future game nights in keeping with this theme!

I’m very excited to get started on this, and really dive into church, and Lutheran, history. It should be a fun month!

October 31–Reformation Day

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

On October 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk posted ninety-five statements for discussion on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Dr. Martin Luther hoped that posting his theses would bring about an academic debate regarding repentance, the sale of indulgences, and other matters of concern within the Roman Catholic Church. However, Rome eventually excommunicated Luther, judging him to be a heretic. Luther’s reforms, centered on the teaching that a believer is justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, sparked religious reforms not only in the German states but also in many European countries. In 1667, Elector John George II of Saxony standardized the custom of observing Luther’s October 31 posting of the Ninety-five Theses.

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