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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The tornado that hit Mic's house & Nim's Island-Ch 11 & 12

~ Understanding Fear ~

Fear can either protect or paralyze us.  In these two chapters of Nim's Island, and in real life this week, we learned about the difference.  

Nim is kid, on an island . . . alone.  She has to weather storms, falls, and encounters with the Troppo Tourist "bad-guys."  We simulated Nim's situation by playing with balloons.  We intentionally popped one, causing some of us (okay, it was mostly me) to jump. I asked the kids "what did you feel?" and we discussed how surprising things can signal that something is wrong, causing us to feel afraid.

The kids created a chart listing things that they are afraid of, and categorized them as good or bad.  Good fear being things that keep you safe - fear of standing in the middle of the road, or fear of falling off an unsupported ladder.  Bad fear being fears that are emotionally real but unnecessary, and prevent us from enjoying life - fear of the dark, or monsters. 

We talked about how the body's first reaction to the stressful situations we experience is physical.  We often call this the "fight or flight" reaction.  Muscles tighten, respiration increases, heart rate increases, and palms sweat when we are afraid.   After the initial physical reaction, is the emotional fallout which varies greatly from person to person.

After we discussed the physiology and psychology of fear, I allowed the kids to brainstorm how fear can be measured.  Then we conducted simple study using the materials from Homeschool Share to measure fear levels, compare groups, and create an average.  

Just for fun the kids watched classic cartoons of David and Goliath and Daniel.  I paused it several times to discuss the character's emotions.  

The kids studied only one bible verse and we added our bible verse and fear mini-book to our notebooks, but because of the tornado (which I keep alluding to and promise to share the story of soon) I'll post all of the verses that I studied while preparing for this lesson. 
1st occurance of fear - after the fall
Genesis 3:10  He (Adam) answered "I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

Fear Not
Isaiah 41:14 Do not be afraid ... for I myself will help you," declares the Lord "Your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel."

Matthew 10:31  -  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Fear God = Respect
Proverbs 1:7  -  The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Psalm 112:1  -  Praise the Lord.  Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.

Psalm 112:7  -  He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast trusting in the Lord.

Should we be afraid of God?
Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heard in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:19  -  Therefore brothers, since we have confidence to enter the most high place by the blood of Jesus.

What should we do?
Phillipians 4:6  -  Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

When we can't, He can
Psalm 56:3  -  When I am afraid I will trust in you.

Phillipians 4:13  -  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Hebrews 4:16  -  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive your mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commended you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

And just for the record, the opposite of fear is courage - taking the right action even though the emotion of fear still exists.  It is okay to feel afraid, but let God dictate your actions.  

As a final activity we allowed the kids to watch Professor H and do his parachute craft.  This one was a HUGE  hit and the kids were thrilled to be allowed to interrupt their uncle's work and drop their parachutes from the highest point in the house (aka. his office).

Unfortunately we got a real life application just a two days later.  (yup - here is that story I keep promising)  My sister sent me this series of text messages.
we are in the basement.  a tornado is headed for our town.  i love you
Aug 19, 3:49 pm

we have no power and are sitting in the dark listening to the sirens...thanks for the prayers! i love you.
Aug 19 3:57 pm

its hitting us.  please pray.  i lovce youa!
Aug 19 4:03 pm

glass is breaking.  we are so scared.  i love you.
Aug 19 4:08 pm
I didn't hear from her again until 4:16 pm - The longest 8 minutes of my life - and when she did call she was speaking so fast that I could barely understand her - that fight or flight response kicking in.   I'm not kidding, I really have no idea what she said for the first few sentences.  I wanted so bad just to reach through the phone and hug her until she felt better.  

I can honestly say that it was one of the most fearful experiences of my life - and I wasn't even the one in the tornado.  Thankfully my sister and her family are all safe, although they lost a large chunk of their home to the storm.  You can see the sad photos on her blog.  

1 comment:

Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

I am planning on doing a Nim's Island Unit study with my kids this summer and had the link to your blog. This looks awesome! I am glad you documented everything you did and the real life experience. I can see how scary those 8minutes were!