End of the Semester Update
As we enter the last few weeks of the semester, it is good to count our blessings. One of them is the gift of Catholic education. With so much going on in the world that is anti-faith, I count it as a blessing that my children (and yours!) have the opportunity to grow not only academically, but spiritually as well.
In religion class, both classes are finishing up saint reports. Since we'll start a new year, liturgically speaking of course, we'll take some time to review the seasons, feasts, and holy days of the Church year. We'll also mirror the Scripture readings at Mass as we examine what it means to be mortal with an immortal soul. As we enter Advent, we'll consider the four last things (death, judgement, heaven, or hell). As a school, we will be reflecting on the Stations of the Crib and connecting them to the virtues and saints.
In 6th Language Arts, we'll be reading the novel Where the Red Fern Grows. It is a great lesson on Catholic social justice and the importance of family. Because this is a full-sized novel, and the students want to take the AR test before the December cut-off, they will have to read some chapters at home. I encourage you to read it along with your child-get the Kleenex ready though!
In 7th Language Arts, we'll be dividing the class into two reading groups. One group will be reading a collection of short stories by well-known author Katharine Patterson called A Midnight Clear. Each short story we read deals with a character that is struggling (kinda like Charlie Brown) with the true meaning of Christmas-Christ and His love for us. We'll also be reading the beloved story, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This classic really captures Pope Francis' challenge for Catholic-Christians to go to the "fringes" to evangelize. In the story, we find that the fringes are really closer than you think. All of us are called to be missionaries, sometimes the simplest way to evangelize is to share the story of Christmas with someone who only knows it from a 30-minute TV special.
In 8th Language Arts, we'll be reading the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Most students are at least somewhat familiar with the character (or stereotype) of Ebenezer Scrooge, but the story is less about his vice of greed and more about the conversion process. Aren't we all a bit Scroogy in some way? Aren't all of us called to conversion in order to properly prepare for the Christ-Child on Christmas morn? While it was written more than 100 years ago, the themes are still very applicable to today-and that's what makes it a classic.
We'll also embark on our culminating project research. The official "start" date is the last week in November as the 8th graders gather their on-line research on their topics and then spend their big research day at the library December 7th. They MUST have their Wichita Public Library card to conduct this research.
Students will need to continue practicing lessons that I assign on Moby Max to reinforce content. Please make sure to keep checking PowerSchool. As Christmas approaches, focus on school drops, and sometimes so do grades... and eligibility.
Thank you all for your dedication to our class, our school, and our faith! God Bless us, One and All!