My 1st grader and I read this story. I needed a few review questions for her, to help her summarize the story. I looked all over and couldn't find any that were age/level appropriate. So, I decided to make my own and post them here so they are available to others.
Saint George and the Dragon

  1. Who is the main character in this story? (Saint George of Merry England)
  2. What other name (or title) does St. George have at the beginning of the story? (The Red Cross Knight)
  3. What is St. George's mission? (The mission is to defeat the dragon who frightens the people of the town.)
  4. Who goes with him on the mission? (The princess, Una, and a dwarf come with him on the mission. The princess brings her lamb, as well.)
  5. When St. George battles the dragon, what does he have to protect him? Name as many things as you can think of. (St. George wears heavy armor and a helmet. He carries a shield, he has a spear, and a sword.)
  6. Was St. George defeated or was he victorious? (St. George is victorious after several battles with the dragon. He does not give up.)
  7. What happens to St. George in the end of the story? Does he keep his promise to the Fairy Queen? (Once the dragon is defeated, St. George and the princess get married. He keeps his promise to the Fairy Queen by going on brave adventures when she needs him to serve.)
There are several versions of this story.  Please be warned that the story does detail the battle, so if fighting knights and dragons don't sit well with you and/or your babes, then this is not the book for you.This version has lovely artwork that beautifully tells the story on its own. Many of the answers come from a combination of the story and the illustrations.

I found a unit study on Saint George and the Dragon at Homeschool Share. The unit study offers many parallels between St. George and wearing the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17), as well as some history on St. George, being a knight, and the meaning of the Red Cross and much more!

Hope this helps!!

So, the kiddos and I were in the back yard, tending to our vegetables. I thought I was so cool and clever, because I was able to double gardening with a science lesson for the day. We had been discussing plant life and various bugs that were helpful or harmful to gardens. I thought, "I'm going to round this lesson out with lettuce picking. I'll show them those big, fat juicy green caterpillars that eat little holes in the lettuce. We'll talk about the way God made those caterpillars green so that they blend so well with the lettuce." I just knew this was going to go so smoothly.



So, there we were picking lettuce. Every thing is going great! As is my habit, I let the dogs eat any leaves that are a little wilted or yellowing on the edges. They love it and think lettuce picking is really treat time for them. Well, while we're discussing the bugs we were finding, one of our dogs begins to run over to a corner of the yard and back to me . . .he keeps doing this, back and forth, with a bark each time. Now mind you, this little dog of ours isn't my 1st choice in a companion, and honestly he irks me most days. But he stays because my daughter would be heartbroken without him.

Anyway, I ignored him because he sometimes barks randomly at any and everything. So there I am talking bugs and plants, when my oldest daughter says, "Mommy, I don't know why Wimbley keeps barking. Maybe he wants you to give him more lettuce." I'm like, yeah probably so. So when I turn to offer him another piece, I see him run to the corner of the yard to bark at something. So I'm like, what is he barking at this time.

I go a little closer, and my first thought is, "Is that a vacuum hose? Why would my husband leave a vacuum hose curled up in the corner of the yard?" My next thought (very brief next thought) was what type of yard equipment would require a hose??? Then it clicks, "Stacie, you are staring at a black snake that is all coiled up." I do NOT tolerate snakes AT ALL, so in my head I screamed, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

But to my children I said, "Everybody inside now! Everybody inside now!" I didn't yell and scream and kick and run the way I wanted to, but my point was clear. They all went inside without a word. When we got inside, I was shaking and completely outdone by the nerve of a snake to show up in my back yard!!!! My daughter told me, "Mommy, I didn't know why you told us to go in, but when I heard your voice, I thought there could be danger." (Later, my mom told me that what my daughter said reminded her of the Scripture that says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." -John 10:27) Thankful for children who obey (most of the time)! :)

Well, a few panicky hours later, and after a phone call to animal control, I know now that the "Black Snake" is apparently not harmful or poisonous, and is common in our area (although we've lived here for 7 years and this is our first encounter). Apparently, this snake is good for catching field mice and the like. I also now know that it was apparently coming out to warm itself in the sun, which is apparently normal this time of year. All of these "apparent" facts don't make me like the snake any more, and I never want to see it again, but at least the panicky shakes are gone. And eventually, one day, the kids can go outside to play again, eventually. LOL!!! I can laugh at myself now, especially the part when I asked myself, "Is that a vacuum hose?!" LOL!!!!

Meanwhile, I have forgiven Wimbley of all his "irk-iness." He's now welcome to stay in the family. Although I now know my fear of the snake was "apparently" unwarranted, I am so glad Wimbley was there to warn us. I know that he will try to protect us. . .even me, the one who has never really been too fond of him. Wimbley, my new best friend!!! ;)

A Snake and My New Best Friend

by on Wednesday, May 30, 2012
So, the kiddos and I were in the back yard, tending to our vegetables. I thought I was so cool and clever, because I was able to double gar...

My day had been full . . . .piano, math, reading, orthodontist appointment, cranky-eared baby, sleepy baby, lunch time, grammar, art, and cleaning and so forth.

I thought I handled it all well.

Then, the dog killed a mole in the back yard, the other dog made a mess in the laundry room. So my afternoon was taking care of the mole situation, dog baths, cleaning floors, gathering trash, rushing to prepare Husband's after work snack (Yes, I spoil him!), getting the baby's applesauce and peas together before he starts to cry, and by the time the spoonful of baby peas went splat on my kitchen rug, I was a wee bit stressed.

So, I let out a very aggravated sigh, groan, grunt. . .some kind of noise that meant FRUSTRATED! I complained, "Mommy is having a tough time this afternoon!"

Immediately, my 4 year old son comes rushing in the kitchen as I wiped peas out of the rug. He said, "Here Mommy, I have a new heart for you. Here you go!" And he places my "new heart" on my chest. He said, "Take this new heart Mommy, then your heart won't be sad anymore." In that moment, I recalled the Scripture, (and read it since it was right above my head, hanging up in my kitchen!), "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me." -Psalm 51:10

Mmm, seems like Mommy needs to read that verse a little more often! :o) None of my tasks were "end of the world" situations and I had allowed them to get the better of me.

So, I thanked my sweet boy for my "new haert." And I thanked my Heavenly Father for the funny ways in which He works on me through my children. God is always standing there, offering a new heart in exchange for the old one; if only we would just receive it.

I thanked Him for my new heart's attitude, a right spirit. I collected myself, took a deep breath, chuckled at my son, and started afresh . . .

A little bit of "Change My Heart, O God"
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A New Heart

by on Tuesday, May 22, 2012
My day had been full . . . .piano, math, reading, orthodontist appointment, cranky-eared baby, sleepy baby, lunch time, grammar, art, and c...


Whenever I am out and about with my children, the conversation begins. . .

So, is school out today?
Wow, you sure do have your hands full, don't you?
I bet you have a lot of "help," from your older kids, huh?
So, you homeschool????????

The question people really want to ask me is, Are you crazy?

Ladies, I have to say, I was just not prepared for this constant, on-going, reiteration of explaining myself and my situation to random people. I was just not prepared.

In this, our first year of homeschooling, God also graciously expanded our family. So, it seems like all at once, we became a homeschooling family of 4 children.

It is as though people can accept one or the other, but not both. It would be okay if I had 4 children, but only if I sent them to school. Or, it would be okay if I homeschooled, but with only 1 or 2 children. So to be with all 4 of my kids everyday shocks the socks off of many people, namely other women, many of them are also mothers . . .

Baby JD has had a grumpy ear, so I took him to the pediatrician. I've known the medical assistant since my oldest was 18 months old. And each time the Lord has given us more children, the more and more bewildered she becomes with our family. For the past few years though, one or both of my daughters were in public school, so when I came in, usually everyone wasn't with  me. But now, the gang's altogether again, plus new baby. I guess she reached her breaking point and so the conversation began.

Hands on her hips, skepticism in her eyes: "Will you ever let them go to school? I bet it's hard to homeschool 4 kids. Look at her," she says to a coworker, "she has 4 AND she homeschools. Do you want more? You just had them so close together. You can't even go out for a quick trip to the store, because you have to take everyone with you. None of your children can really stay at home by themselves. . ." These were just some of the things she said, in front of my children, of course.

So I replied with a question of my own: "Since they are my children, why wouldn't I want to be with them?" She was at a loss for words. I asked again, "Why wouldn't I want to be with my own children?" Again, a blank stare. (Thank You, Holy Spirit, because in that moment, His Grace fell down to usher in peace, because that was NOT what I was going to offer her. Thank You, Holy Spirit.)

Moving on, this time in God's Grace, I asked her to think about some things, from a different perspective. Why is it in our society we look so poorly upon the children God has blessed us with? Why is it that we have them, but can't wait to rid ourselves of them, looking at them as being so burdensome? I explained to her, that often times, we have to change our perspectives.

If I'm not wanting to be with my own kids for any length of time because they are "getting on my nerves," then perhaps it is me (the parent) that needs some readjusting. After all, children cannot give what they have not been taught (a quote from a friend of mine!). If I am not working with my gifts (teaching, training, discipline, etc.), then their behaviors will show it.

Gone are the days when I can be out of the house in 5 minutes and jump in my car to run an errand. I have accepted that it's going to take at the very least 15 minutes just to get everyone into the van, to run an errand that would have only take me 5 minutes if I was alone. I'm okay with that. I've welcomed that. I know that, so there's no need to be stressed about it. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

I explained that I will willingly receive however many children God gives me, because when you receive a gift, you say thank You, not turn it away. I explained that God opened our eyes to another way of educating our children, one where we are free to teach and promote our family's faith-based values. . .we're Christians, yes. I explained how homeschooling coincides with our daily living. . . it's part of life.

I explained, again; reiterated, again; answered questions, again. By the end of our conversation, her hands were off of her hips, there was a smile on her face, there was wonder in her eyes, because I don't think she'd ever heard that perspective before. . . .God's Grace.

I am praying that through this conversation, she would want to know more about the God who gives Grace to the strange lady who homeschools her 4 children and has the  nerve to bring all 4 of them to a doctor's appointment. I pray that God would help me to be kind, less defensive, not so frustrated with all of the questions, because if I can answer in a way that has brought Honor to His Name, and curiosity about His character, then I've done well. . .

So, baby JD ended up needing to be seen by an otolaryngologist (special ear/nose/throat doctor) and I had to take him directly down to the 2nd floor for that appointment. And guess what? The conversation began again. . ."My goodness, you have 4 children, huh?"

:o) God's Grace is sufficient!
My children on
Mother's Day 2012

Conversations . . .

by on Monday, May 21, 2012
Whenever I am out and about with my children, the conversation begins. . . So, is school out today? Wow, you sure do have your hands fu...
My heart is SO disappointed by what our President has declared, stating that as an extension of his Christian faith, he believes that same-sex marriage should be accepted.

I believe as Christians, we must be EXTREMELY careful what we say, especially when we attach Christ to it. Also, I believe as Christians, we must proclaim the message of God with boldness and be unashamed. . .so here goes:

According to my faith as a Christian, and the Truth found in the Word of God, the Bible, I believe that Holy Matrimony (Marriage) is ordained by God, created for one man and one woman. {Gen. 2:22-25, Matt. 19:4-6, Mark 10:6-9, Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, Rom. 1:24-27}

Yes, I have sinned and I'm sure I'll sin again (thank God for His Grace and Redemption, because I need it!). But just because I have sinned doesn't mean that I cannot, or should not, proclaim the Truth found in God's Word.


This is not a political message. This is not a social message. This is not a message to gain popularity. This is not a trendy message. This is not a hate message. What it is, is a message of Love. I cannot Love when I don't tell the Truth.

"Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." -Proverbs 27:5, 6

Marriage

by on Friday, May 11, 2012
My heart is SO disappointed by what our President has declared, stating that as an extension of his Christian faith, he believes that same-s...

{This is a post from last year, but it's timely. And, since I still struggle with this, I thought I should repost it.}

So, I know it's the middle of July and Mother's Day was officially months ago. But, I've been on a bit of a journey between then and now, and there's something I want to share.

When May comes around, I see all of the sweet commercials showing how husbands and children surprise mom with a wonderful gift of appreciation. In the grocery stores, there's an abundance of roses, balloons, and candy, just perfect for mom. The card aisle becomes devoted to mom, making her cry tears of joy because of the love her family has for her.

As a result, I begin to wonder: what will my Husband get me? Will my children create something sweet? Have they all planned some big surprise? Is it a fresh-cut bouquet of my favorite flowers? Dinner out to some fancy restaurant? Maybe it's going to be a fabulous breakfast in bed? What about one of those necklaces--you know the ones with the gemstones representing each one of my children? What will it be?!?!

Horrible, I know, but I think you get the picture. . .I probably could go on and on. In our society, we are saturated with this message: "Because I am a mother, I am supposed to receive special recognition by way of material things. Things, things, these things are what should bring me honor. . ." And there I sit, glued to commercials, flipping through magazines, embracing a message that not only do I deserve these things, I should also drop "hints" all over the place on the best ways to honor me.

Mmmm. . . .let's go to the Word. . .

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
“ Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:27-30

If you are familiar with the "Proverbs 31 Woman," then you know there are many wonderful, noble, and excellent things that she does for her household. The way she manages her time and makes provisions with what she has; how she cares for her household; and the way she brings honor to her husband, all to the glory of God. With all that she does to care for her home and those she loves, not once does this passage mention that she deserves to be rewarded with gifts and material things to reflect her worth.

How is this beautiful woman, the very epitome of Biblical womanhood, just how is she "rewarded"?

With the fruit of praise from the lips of her husband and children.

They simply tell her what she's worth . . .

In the days and weeks after Mother's Day, the Holy Spirit really impressed this upon my heart. In talking with my Husband about it, his thoughts were that he can honor me at any time as wife and mother, so why the pressure to do it only one day out of the year, in a certain way, with certain "things" and unspoken expectations?

So, I walk away thinking, Lord, when does my family honor me? What are their words of praise? When do they tell me what I'm worth to them? All the while I'm asking these questions, still holding on to the societal expectation of things, because things mean I'm a good mother, right? Isn't what I do year-round supposed to be summed up and reflected on Mother's day, by way of all the things I get?

The Holy Spirit urges me: stay in My Word, continue to care for your family and home, serve Me when you serve them, and most importantly pay attention--don't be dismissive. I'm like, pay attention? What am I missing? So, I've tried to quiet myself as I go about my days, still wondering and trying to pay closer attention. . .

I begin to notice things, that really aren't out of the ordinary, but shed so much light: My son randomly says, Mommy, can I give you a kiss? I love you! My daughter tells me, Mommy I just want to hang around you today. My oldest daughter watches me as I do the laundry and asks me to write down some tips so she can wash clothes the way I do. My husband says, babe, dinner was good, what did you put in it . . . Mom, we love you. . . Stacie, thanks for making that appointment for me. . .Mommy is like our nurse, she always makes us feel better when we're sick . . .Honey, I'm glad you've been working with the kids on "this and that". . .

These words, these little tidbits here and there. . . it is the praise of their lips!! They honor me more than I've given them credit for. . .they've already told me and continue to tell me what I am worth to them. Just pay attention, Stacie!

I am humbled, and also horrified at how I dismissed their words, their awesome, precious praise, in exchange for wanting things. . .things that don't measure up to their expressions of what I am worth, their love and appreciation for me. May God forgive me.

It has certainly been a journey. And though my flesh may still struggle, I am over joyed at the possibilities that come from a new way to think about my worth as a mom and wife. Their unprompted, un-asked for, non-hint dropping, precious praise is what I must treasure in my heart.

My family is teaching me that any day (or moment) can be Mother's Day.

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Growing Home

Mother's Day At Any Time??

by on Monday, May 07, 2012
{This is a post from last year, but it's timely. And, since I still struggle with this, I thought I should repost it.} So, I know it...

I don't know your name, but I think of you, wonder about you.

Today at lunch, I started singing, "He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands. . ." Your brother and sisters joined in.

I had your baby brother in my arms. I looked at him and sang, "He's got the little, bitty babies in His hands. . ." and by the time I sang those words again, all I could think of was you...the little, bitty baby I never held in my hands.
Photo Credit

Most times when I think of you, I have to fight the tears away. Many times, I lose the battle. But this time, singing about you being in His hands--there was a sense of peace.

I always knew that, but today, peace instead of pain, confirmation instead of confusion. (Thank You, Father.)

Rest comfortably in His hands, baby.

Love,
Mommy

Words For Baby 4

by on Friday, May 04, 2012
I don't know your name, but I think of you, wonder about you. Today at lunch, I started singing, "He's got the whole w...
As wipe crumbs from my kitchen table, I am reminded of my children, my little olive plants that sit around my table. I am reminded of how precious they are. I don't mean precious in a "aren't they cute?!" kind of way, but precious as in sacred, extremely special, not to be taken lightly, a serious responsibility. It has occurred to me that so often we under-value children. . .their worth, what effects them, our influences on them, what they learn from us, what they "pick up" along the way. We are their examples, their teachers, whether we want to be or not. Whether we want to accept it or not, we are teaching them something, good and bad.

There is a not-so-good situation going on within our extended family. It concerns a family member and so I will keep the details private at this point. But it effects the children of our extended family. Not only them, but my own children, no matter how much my husband and I try to shield our children from this situation, it still has some effect, simply because we are family.

It bothers me because the "situation" is recurrent, not a "one and done," but again and again. I've had to remain daily in prayer. . .not to judge, not be hypocritical, not to criticize, not to condemn. I am struggling with this. And I cry out to God, "What about the children??? Do they not see beyond themselves to realize what the children will go through? The questions the children will ask? The brokenness they will feel? This is real, God, so real." I find myself recalling the Scriptures about a Christian household, the dynamics of family life, why the husband is covering and leader, why the wife submits and keeps order, why children are a blessing, the ministry that God calls husband and wife to as parents. . .do they not see this?!?!!?

Then the sweet Holy Spirit (thank You, Lord) steps in to remind me: "Stacie, you are not perfect. Stacie, there was a time when you were misinformed. Stacie, you have matured over the YEARS to BEGIN to understand what I want from you with your family life. Stacie, you have failed, repeatedly with some things, yet My grace remains for you--why not for 'them'? Stacie, pray for this situation, don't just be merely frustrated. Stacie, listen to your husband and use this as a teaching moment for your children, not as a moment to be judgmental. Stacie, pray without ceasing. Stacie, I'm trying to use you as an example in this situation. Stacie, you still are in need of my love, forgiveness, grace. . . ."

So, I'm praying, for the adults, for the children, for the "situation," for God to work it out for good. I'm praying that God would season my tongue and that I can be used for His glory, not my own. I pray that I would forgive and not be angry. I pray for myself as much as I pray for "them" because we all need His grace.

Lord, teach us to care for Your children in a way that is pleasing to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.



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What About the Children?

by on Tuesday, May 01, 2012
As wipe crumbs from my kitchen table, I am reminded of my children, my little olive plants that sit around my table. I am reminded of how pr...
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