Integrating Bible into HIStory

Oleathia McKethan, 2nd Grade Teacher

Integrating the Bible into History and Science is easier than you think. Here at Logos, we integrate Bible, History, and Science; at the same time weaving in Reading and Math as much as possible. Our second grade curriculum opens with Ancient Egypt and Rocks; we study from Abraham, the father of many nations, to Moses and the Ten Commandments. While studying Ancient Greece and Astronomy, we delve into Genesis and the creation of the world. This leads us to what we are studying now, Ancient Rome and the four Gospels.

This week, as we discussed how bloodthirsty the Romans were and how they loved to watch the gladiators in the Coliseum, one of my students, Eliana, said, “It’s too bad the Romans didn’t know about Jesus; they needed Him.” That led to a great discussion and reflection of all the people God had sent to tell about the coming of Jesus. The students’ hands popped up as they began recalling the Bible stories from kindergarten and first grade. One student said, “Isaiah! He was a prophet!” Then another said, “There were a lot of prophets.” At that moment, I realized the students knew the Bible stories each as a separate one, but were just now making these connections. We talked more about prophets and I explained that they were not the only ones who told and warned the people; God sent ordinary people and made them extraordinary to do His work. These men and women were sent before Jesus was born AND after he died and rose again. One was the cousin of Jesus, John the Baptist, who introduced the baptizing of Jesus and explained why Christians should be baptized. I enjoyed pausing and watching my students make these connections deepen from their heads to their hearts.

Then, I went back to the original statement: Did the Romans know about Jesus? “Yes! They were even a part of his death.” This blew their little minds! Eliana again said, “But they needed him. Why did they help kill him? That doesn’t make sense.” I paused and explained, “Jesus knew that He would die not only for those Romans but for us as well. How many times have we done things that we knew were wrong but we did it anyway?” I stopped, astounded, that this entire Bible lesson originated during our “History time”.  The connections were smooth and seamless. There were no forced conversations or stop and start times. All students were fully engaged in the open discussion and eager to add their input. Before we ended the lesson with a prayer, I asked the students to think whether or not they would be ready to meet Jesus if he came today and reminded them that God is the God of History. I eagerly await to witness the awe and wonder that my students experience as we travel through the pages of the Bible and relate them to our lives and God’s eternal plan for us all.

Classical Education Can Transform Urban Communities

Guest Blogger – Nancy Snyder, K-12 Student Support Services Coordinator

A beautiful little girl, only seven years old, sat in my office weeping. A beloved family friend had just been killed. One more young man gunned down in our city. One more family with a bullet hole in their family picture. One more neighborhood in mourning. One more city rent by violence. One more little girl weeping.

After we talked and prayed, I asked this child if she knew why Logos was founded. Through her tears, she said, “So people would respect each other, instead of…“ Her voice trailed off.

At our Christ-centered school, one of the things our Vibrant Learning Community practices is respect for each person made in the image of God. In partnership with the Holy Spirit, teachers and students labor to work out problems in ways that make and maintain peace. Even a second grader can see this is what our city needs.

Because our second grade curriculum opens with ancient Egypt, even before this death caused her tears, my young friend understood the contrast between the land of the living lit by the eastern sky and the city of the dead spilling into the underworld. She understood the difference between Narmer, who united Upper and Lower Egypt to rule a great country, and Abraham, who waited for God to provide a better country (Hebrews 11:16). She saw Christ as a better treasure than the glittering gold of King Tutankhamen. A class discussion, about the God who prepares a home for His people, in contrast with the Egyptian practice of stockpiling possessions for life after death, provided the framework and foundation for our hard but healing discussion of her grief.

Soon, my young friend was ready to return to class, where she is now studying ancient Greece. This little girl and her classmates are learning that God is a better poet than Homer, and he is making each of them His poiéma (Ephesians 2:10). She is seeing that Christ is better than Greek military heroes because He has conquered our greatest enemies: sin, Satan, and death. Through our classical curriculum, children of our city are being shaped to love a different kind of courage. Not an angry bravado that shoots down, but a hope-filled bravery that loves.

Soon, as they study ancient Rome together, these second graders will learn that God is building a city far greater than Rome—a truly eternal city (Hebrews 11:10). Fueled by that hope, may these children spread the shalom of God in our city.

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Drawings by the student to her friendphoto1 (2)

Don’t Kick the Donkey


If there ever was a year at Logos Academy that we wanted to kick the donkey in our path, 2015 was it. Roughly half of our tax credit funding, about $750,000, appears to be lost due in large part to the Pennsylvania state budget impasse. That battle still lingers on 211 days and counting.

Like a stubborn donkey that refuses to listen, we have not been able to move this obstacle out of our path. Irritation, frustration, and anger, if allowed to simmer, might cause us to resort to metaphorically beat or kick that donkey out of our way.

The Bible tells a story about a man named Balaam who had a stubborn donkey who refused to obey him. Numbers 22 tells the story of how Balaam was summoned by the Moabites to pronounce a curse on the people of Israel. As Balaam made his way to the king of the Moabites to curse Israel, his donkey saw what Balaam could not: the angel of the Lord blocking the way. Irritated, frustrated and angry, Balaam began beating his donkey into submission but the donkey refused to budge.

After three beatings, the Lord finally opened the donkey’s mouth to reveal to Balaam that the donkey’s action proved to be for Balaam’s good. That stubborn donkey was protecting Balaam from the sword carried by the angel of the Lord. The immovable donkey was keeping Balaam from pronouncing a curse on God’s people. Balaam was being taught a powerful lesson: Don’t kick the donkey! I recently plastered that phrase to the wall of my office.

Events that look like they will harm us are ones that God loves to use for our good. The Old Testament patriarch, Joseph learned this lesson well. He was mistreated by his brothers who sold him into slavery, falsely accused of rape by his employer’s wife, thrown into prison, and forgotten by those he helped in prison. One might say that Joseph had plenty of donkeys to kick. Yet, Joseph trusted God and remained faithful. Years after his brother’s mistreatment he told them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” Joseph didn’t kick the donkey.

Jesus himself deserved nothing but a life of ease and blessing as he went around blessing, healing and helping others. Instead he faced numerous stubborn donkeys on his way: false accusations, questions about his identity, claims that he was possessed by demons, a gross miscarriage of justice in his trial, a wooden cross used to torture and kill him. Yet, Jesus endured the cross, scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus didn’t kick the donkey.

We have a choice to see the donkeys in our path as obstacles keeping us from progress or as opportunities to see God work in surprising ways. That irritating sickness, difficult relationship, obstinate legislative process, increased line of credit, loss of tax credit funds can be seen in one of two ways: obstacles or opportunities for God to shine.

We don’t yet have a full vision of how the Lord is going to sort out what has been a frustrating financial hardship for Logos Academy. We do have a joyful obligation though to trust the God who puts donkeys in our path for our good. Faith reminds us that all things work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). God is teaching us at Logos Academy and we are patiently learning: Don’t kick the donkey.

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