Today we finished our Gg Goat unit. That's right: goats. Because as a homeschool family, if you're not going to own goats, you at least have to study them, right?! (wink, wink) The goat unit is actually the first of three "farm" units, so I have a feeling the authors are trying to familiarize the students with life on a farm more than trying to make them experts on goat behavior and anatomy. But you know me; we did a little bit of all of the above just to be safe. (By the way, can you believe there are books written about nothing but goats?! And can you believe libraries actually shelve them?! Amazing!)
Anyway, as we read about goats, we learned some things that were new to both of us. For example, did you know that goats' pupils are rectangular? And did you know that they like to climb trees? No, not like monkeys; but if there's a ramp that will get them into a tree somehow, they climb up it just like a kid (no pun intended) on a jungle gym. And speaking of "kid," Hannah learned that that's what a baby goat is called; and we both learned that a female goat is called a "nanny" and a male goat is called a "billy." I had heard these words before but just thought they were different kinds of goats. (Just in case you were wondering why I'm going back and doing Kindergarten again!)
We also read a book called Life on a Goat Farm that gave us great insight into all the hard work that goes into maintaining a successful goat farm. Of course, it wasn't all work. The boys in the book did get to run and play with their baby goats sometimes, and Hannah thought that sounded really neat! She was surprised to learn that goats can make milk just like cows can. I told her that Mommy has had goat's milk cheese on pizza before and it was delicious! She asked if I had ever had the milk, and I told her no, but we would look for some at the store. Sure enough, we found some at Wal-Mart and bought it. Hannah loved it even more than cow's milk, which is really saying something! Millie and I decided we would just stick with cow's milk instead. Daddy wasn't even willing to try it.
Someone posted an idea on the My Father's World message board that I really liked, which was to read The Goat in the Rug, a book that follows a Navajo mohair goat from a shearing through the cleaning, carding, spinning, and dyeing of his fur and untimately the weaving of it into a Navajo rug. (The whole story is told from the perspective of the goat.) The follow-up activity is to use a potholder loom to teach the student how to weave. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my hands on the book, but we still talked about how some people use goat hair, llama hair, etc. to make rugs, and I went ahead and taught her how to weave anyway. She loved it!
Another fun activity we were able to do with Millie was to print some pictures of farm animals and glue them to popsicle sticks to make puppets. Then Hannah and Millie would take turns picking which animals were on Old MacDonald's Farm while we sang the song. We also planned to load up and head to Beaumont to feed the goats like we used to do with Ms. Rachel, but that plan is postponed until the weather is more cooperative.
Our special words for this unit were "Jesus died for my sins" . . .
. . . which brings us to the most amazing part of this unit: the Bible lesson. We actually looked back at passages from Leviticus that describe the sacrificial system and talked about how Jesus is the fulfillment of that system. He was God's perfect sacrifice that didn't have to be killed over and over but was sacrificed once and removed our sins forever. I love how her lessons teach these amazing truths, but they do it so gently! She totally got it! I mean, I didn't learn this until I was...oh...maybe 25, and here she is learning it as a 5-year-old. Praise God! The timing of it was so sweet, too, since it's during the Christmas season. Although we do Santa, presents, Christmas trees, etc. in our home, we absolutely focus on the fact that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But because of this lesson, Hannah has a better understanding of what his birth meant. He wasn't just a person who happened to be born and then God said, "Hey, I know! How about if you die for everyone's sins and then we won't have to do that silly old sacrificial system anymore?!" No way. In fact, he was sent to earth as a baby for the very purpose of being sacrificed, just as much as those goats were sent to the altar at the tabernacle and temple with the very purpose of being sacrificed. What a generous Gift! What a generous Giver! Jesus was nobody's afterthought. And I think it's really amazing that a 5-year-old can get that.