Monday, April 7, 2008

The Fifty Days of Easter

Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar--even more important than Christmas. Since Easter is such a great feast, the Easter season lasts 50 days, from Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday.

This year, I got so wrapped up in our Lenten Activities that I wasn't very good about planning out anything for the 50 days of Easter... Our Easter week was wonderful, as was Divine Mercy Sunday, but this past week it seemed that our celebration of the season was fizzling out.

Garden_detailAfter seeing the wonderful plans that Dawn & Matilda had for celebrating the Easter season this year I ordered The Garden of the Good Shepherd: A Sticker Calendar to Count the Fifty Days of Easter, a great little booklet booklet by Peter Mazar, with illustrations by Tomie dePaola, (for an incredible price--in fact, I ordered a few...) with the plans of using it next year.

Well, it arrived on Saturday, and so yesterday I thought, "Why wait... Let's just do it!" There's nothing wrong with starting late, right? If I put everything off till the perfect time, I'd never actually do ANYTHING!

So, yesterday afternoon I took a few minutes (literally) to get it ready. I started out thinking that I would hang the eggs, but then I decided that could wait till next year, and shifted gears to numbering the eggs 1-49 (day 50 is actually Pentecost Sunday) and placing them in a basket. One for each day, since the Easter season lasts seven weeks -- a week of weeks-- of course, since 7 is the perfect number! :-) My thought was that this could also double as math practice for my little ones, by finding the correct number each day.

After dinner, the children gathered around our learning table and we did a bit of catch up! Yesterday was day 15 of the Easter season. It was quite fun, and got us off to a great start. The symbol for yesterday was "the sun" so we finished up by making a modified paper plate sun craft and hung it on the window of our school room.

My plans are to refer to Matilda's ideas for each day, modify them for our family, and then fill the correct eggs. So far she has posted ideas for Week 1 and 2 and Week 3.

Week 3 is all about how "The Heavens Tell God's Glory!"

I surprised the boys with a Weather Kid Kit that has been in my closet forever, so we will be doing a few extra weather experiments this week, in addition to the following:
Here Comes the Rain/Hail Game
from Little Saints Pre-School Program

Prep: Take 2 aluminum pie pans and place 1/4 of beans in one of them. Staple the other pan on top. You will also need couch cushion and/or child's special blanket.

1. Discuss how animals seek shelter when it rains. Have child choose to make believe they are an eagle, dove or butterfly. Instruct them that they will have to listen carefully in this game so they can hear the storm coming and seek shelter before they get wet.
2. Have them place the cushion (nest) or their blanket (tree) where their nest/tree will be.
3. Have child pretend to fly around; butterflies seeking nectar, doves and eagles seeking food.
4. Hidden from view, gently start to shake the pie pan, building up to storm level.
5. Once the children have landed in their nest or under their tree safely, slowly stop the "rain/ hail" and repeat.
Well, that's the plan... Now I feel like we are still celebrating Easter at home!!!

4 comments:

  1. If my husband hadn't taken it upon himself to drill the holes, I was going to do the same thing and number them on the outside!

    I love the picture of your learning table!

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  2. Jessica, I think you should write a book, with all these ideas, so I can take it with me wherever I go!! I am constantly inspired by you and your wonderful ideas! Do you think it's too late to order that Easter Season book? By the time I get it we could do the 20 days of Easter!

    With Summer coming, what do you do? Do you still school? Just curious...we take off, and spend lots of time outside, since the weather is so poor in MN the rest of the year!! We do read a lot though and do lots of experiments.

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  3. I say order it! Mine arrived fairly quickly. You could even start now with the bible readings (I can let you know what they are) and projects, and catch up on the stickers once it arrives!

    As far as summer, we usually take it off--except for reading & religion.

    However, since my oldest is struggling with an Auditory Processing Challenge and just started his tutoring, we will be at least continuing that through the summer, minus the few weeks we will be traveling.

    OH! During the summer, my kids also take a daily 2-4 week swimming class, which seems to pretty much take up those weeks once you add in the travel time!

    I'm sure between our trip and swimming, the summer will most likely fly by--so hopefully sometime in there I will get a chance to plan out next year!! :)

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  4. Oh! And thanks for the complement Jamie!! It is Dawn & Matilda that should write the book!! So much of what I do, is just things I have seen done else where! :)

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