How to Make Homemade Clay Dough

Homemade Clay Dough Recipe

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Water
  • Iodized Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Measuring Cup
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Food Coloring (Optional)
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

Instructions

Mix 2C of All-Purpose Flour with 1C of Salt.

Add 1C of Water into the dry mix.

Mix all three ingredients until it starts to clump up. Add 1TBSP of vegetable oil to make it easier to knead. Transfer the dough in a flat surface, and knead by hand until thoroughly mixed.

Add some food coloring or even essential oils, if you wish. 

Enjoy your homemade clay dough!

Make sure you place these inside an airtight container to avoid them from hardening. Some salt crystals may appear when the dough is stored. If that happens, add a few drops of water and knead the dough properly.

What are your favorite homemade clay recipes? Share them below!

What is Classical Christian Education?

Teaching Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to the Glory of God

What is classical education?

Classical Education is language-focused, and it has a lot to do with content instead of images or visuals. It is a method of teaching children according to the medieval understanding of how children develop. Dorothy Sayers defines these three stages as Parrot, Pert, and Poet in her wonderful essay, The Lost Tools of Learning.

Grammar (Parrot)

The first stage calls for the storing of knowledge, often referred to as the Grammar Stage. Children find it easy to memorize facts and rules. It’s all about filling up the “sponges” with as much content as possible. Ages 4-10.

Logic (Pert)

The second stage calls for understanding, otherwise known as the Logic Stage. Children now begin to make sense of what they have learned. They will start to reason and analyze the information they have accumulated. Ages 10-14.

Rhetoric (Poet)

And the last stage calls for wisdom, what Classical educators call the Rhetoric stage. Most children at this age yearn for self-expression and independence. It is also at this stage where they acquire communication skills so that they apply and integrate the things they have learned. Ages 14-18.

Distinctly Christian WORLDVIEW

While modern education seeks to put the child in the center of all learning, Classical Christian Education sees that God is the center of all learning. It recognizes that all truth is God’s truth, and that one cannot fully distinguish truth and error without understanding God’s truth as revealed in the Bible. Everything should then be examined through the lenses of Scripture, as it relates to God and His revelation. Children need not be shielded from the plethora of opposing philosophies and harsh realities of life. Rather, they need to be grounded firmly on the Word of God, which will then arm them with the grid whereby they can sift through different ideas that will come their way.

N.D. Wilson, son of Classical Christian Education proponent Doug Wilson, wrote this excellent piece on how to train children in his book Notes From The Tilt-The-Whirl:

The world is rated R, and no one is checking IDs. Do not try to make it G by imagining the shadows away. Do not try to hide your children from the world forever, but do not pretend there is no danger. Train them. Give them sharp eyes and bellies full of laughter. Make them dangerous. Make them yeast, and when they’ve grown, they will pollute the shadows.

I truly believe that Classical Christian Education will give children the tools to do just that. Children will learn how to acquire information (Grammar), how to think critically (Logic), and how to communicate with clarity (Rhetoric).

Francis Schaeffer once said about education:

If Christianity is not just one more religion, one more upper story kind of thing… then it has something to say about all the disciplines, and it certainly has something to say about the humanities and the arts and the appreciation of them. And I want to say quite firmly, if your Christian school does not do this, I do not believe it is giving a good education… True Christian education is not a negative thing; it is not a matter of isolating the student from the full scope of knowledge. Isolating the student from large sections of human knowledge is not the basis of a Christian education. Rather it is giving him or her the framework or total truth, rooted in the Creator’s existence and in the Bible’s teaching, so that in each step of the formal learning process the student will understand what is true and what is false and why it is true or false. It is not isolating students from human knowledge. It is teaching them in a framework of the total Biblical teaching, beginning with the tremendous central thing, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It is teaching in this framework, so that on their own level, as they are introduced to all of human knowledge, they are not introduced in the midst of a vacuum, but they are taught each step along the way why what they are hearing is either true or false. That is true education. The student, then, is an educated person.

Classical Christian Education is where knowledge and virtue converge. But ultimately, the goal is for children to recognize and treasure truth, goodness, and beauty, to the glory of God.

 

Resources

Learn more about the Trivium and Christian Christian Education from these valuable resources:

How to Raise Multilingual Kids in the Philippines

I am a third-generation Chinese Filipino, and I grew up in a multilingual home. Speaking in different languages was something that came naturally because of what my siblings and I have been exposed to. I spoke Amoy (Chinese dialect) to my parents and other relatives, spoke Hiligaynon or Ilonggo (Visayan dialect) to my friends, learned and used Filipino in class, and used English for different occasions. Over the years, I’ve acquired a bit of Mandarin when I was in seminary, and learned to speak in Bisaya or Cebuano while I was working in Cebu.

We’ve used the Amoy dialect to speak to Little Miss for the first three years of her life. But she learned English and Filipino when she started school shortly after that. She now mainly converses in English, although we still try to speak to her in Chinese. She reminds me of my younger self who refused to speak Chinese because none of my peers would ever do so. I guess that is the dilemma most later generation of Chinese immigrants face. Perhaps we fail to see the practical use of speaking Chinese in the Philippines. Little Miss also learned to speak in Filipino by imitating us. Although she has a funny Chinese accent when speaking Filipino, most store clerks are surprised when a Chinese-looking little girl can actually converse in Filipino. She is a local, and she ought to speak the language!

I was asked by a mom in Instagram how to teach a second and third language to children. To be honest, I never really thought about a systematic way of doing so. But here are some practical tips we’ve applied in teaching (whether actively or unconsciously) kids any second or third (even fourth) language.

Define Terms

Once a child learns a certain term in one particular language, try to introduce the very same item using a different language. For example, my two-year old now knows the colors in English. I am now introducing the colors to him in Chinese when he tries to mention the words in English. Classical Education is all about content in the early stages, and it is the same with learning any language. Provide the content by defining animals, colors, places, actions, etc. 

Repetition is Key

You may sound like a broken record. But that’s alright. Children learn by constant repetition. For example, if your child says “eat” you can respond by saying “kain” until they repeat it after you. Pretty soon they will realize that the same word means the same thing.

Mixing Languages is Normal

Don’t worry about them mixing up languages because that usually happens. They’ll learn to determine or categorize the words when they grow older.

Determine Fluency

You have to realize that there are different levels of fluency. It moves from Understanding, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and to Composing. Traditional Filipino schools teach English and Filipino proficiency through reading and writing. My aim for my children is to teach Chinese fluency in speaking or communicating. I don’t really mind if they don’t know how to read and write it. I’ve been schooled in Chinese for most of my school years, but I still cannot read a lot of Chinese. I’d be happy if my children learn to converse in Chinese. You have to decide how far you’d want your kids to learn a certain language. Your decision will also determine the lengths you’ll go to actively teach them proper writing or grammar rules.

Practice by Speaking

My husband and I can communicate in three languages fluently: English, Amoy, and Filipino. We usually interchange these languages at home, and the children are exposed to it. Nothing beats constant exposure and regular practice by speaking the language. The language loses its relevance when it is not being used, so keep using it if you want your children to learn the language. Simply put, if you speak it at home, your children will catch it soon enough.

Did you also grow up in a multilingual home? What are some of the ways that helped you learn different languages? Or how did you teach your own children to learn different languages? 

How to Teach Kids the Events of the Passion Week

The Passion Week is usually referred to the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is nothing special or holy about these dates at all. We should celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus every day of the week!

The reason for this post is to help parents teach their children these events on any day of the year. You can use six items that you may already have at home: a sprig of herb or leaf, a piece of bread, a string or thread, a nail or three, a piece of white cloth, and a rock.

Leaf/Herb

I used a sprig of rosemary herb to signify the branches that people used when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem while riding a donkey. nA alternative is to use a toy donkey, if you have one at home. Read the passage from Matthew 21:1-11. Jesus was riding into the city as the king of Israel had always done when they came to the throne.

Bread

The bread represents the Last Supper as recorded in Matthew 26:17-29. The Passover meal with the disciples points back to the night in Egypt, and points to the time when God would send His own Son to die in the place of sinners like us. This meal shows us that Jesus was the Lamb, who came into the world to be slain for the sins of His people.

String/Thread

This piece of jute string represents the whip used by the Roman soliders to mock Jesus, as well as how Jesus endured the betrayal of his friends, particularly Judas. These events were written down in John 18:1-19:27. It was you and I who deserved to be beaten, ridiculed, and rejected because of our many sins. But Jesus took our place, and bore all this suffering for us.

Nails

I realized that using nails can be a bit dangerous for younger kids, so using screws without pointy ends would be better in this case. Making a small wooden cross out of two toothpicks put together would be another alternative. The three nails or the wooden cross signify how Jesus was nailed on the cross. You may retell the passage found in Matthew 27:32-56. Jesus gave His very life to pay for our sins. Jesus lived the life that we should have lived, and died the death that we should have died. And this same Jesus calls us to follow Him, trust Him, and love Him. Shall we not serve Him who finished the work of salvation for us on the cross?

White Cloth

Matthew 27:57-60 shows us the story of Jesus’ burial, and this piece of white cloth represents the clean linen shroud that was used to wrap the body of Jesus.

Stone

You could use a stone to represent the earlier point about Jesus’ burial or you could use it to illustrate this next story found in John 20. When Mary Magdalene and other women came to garden to visit Jesus, they found that the stone was already rolled away. And the angel told them not to be afraid for He is no longer there. He is risen! He is risen indeed! The disciples didn’t believe the story of the women. Their hearts were so sad with grief that they hardly realized what Mary was saying. They had not understood that Jesus is stronger than death itself. By rising from the dead Jesus brought eternal life to all who love and trust in Him.

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how to TEACH THE STORY

Some people like to use these items and place them inside plastic eggs. The seventh egg would be left empty to signify that Jesus is no longer in the tomb for He is risen. I love the idea of a surprise but since eggs do not have anything to do with the story of the resurrection, I would like to avoid it as much as possible. There are also pagan overtones represented in those eggs.

So an alternative would be a sensory activity (as pictured above) using a salt box or kinetic sand box.

  • Put all the items in a box with iodized salt or kinetic sand.
  • Ask the child to find all the items.
  • Retell the story by arranging the items according to their proper order.
  • For an additional activity or memory work, scramble the items and ask the child to rearrange them according to their proper order.

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You may also use the book The Donkey Who Carried a King by Dr. RC Sproul to share the story of the Passion week. An audio recording of the story book read by Dr. Sproul himself is also available for streaming at Renewing Your Mind.

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Another additional activity is to sing the hymn of the month suggested by Happy Hymnody, that is Man of Sorrows aka Hallelujah, What A Savior by Philip B. Bliss.

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full redemption—can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high;
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
To His kingdom us to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

I truly pray that you would find this resource useful and Jesus beautiful as you teach and train children about our wonderful Savior!

Please feel free to share how you will use these items to retell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

Read and Match

We’re on our second week of The Classical Preschool, and we’re off to a great start! I found a classic book that would surely rouse my two year old’s interest. This morning, I read an abridged board book version of The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Since he adores trains, it certainly caught his attention.

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The book was adorned with colorful pictures of animals, toys, food items, different trains—everything that my toddler loves. It also teaches hard work and resilience, virtues that seem to be amiss among millennials these days. But the little steam engine was as optimistic as she could be. We’ll certainly return to this book for a narration activity.

After reading aloud, I added a short matching work. Matching work is actually good for brain development. It helps little children identify similar items, relating pictures with actual tangible items.

I gathered a few toys that were included as characters in the book—a train, an elephant, a giraffe, a red bear, a monkey, and an airplane. I wished we had a clown lying around the house, but we didn’t.

When doing read aloud everyday, I would ask about where the characters are in the book. He would usually point them to me, but this time he was able to match the little toys to the images in the book. I understand why parents homeschool their children. It is truly encouraging to see their development albeit in small ways.

Perhaps you might be wondering what makes our Read Aloud days different that most of our reading time? Maybe some people are more keen that I am. But most of the time, I read to my kids for the sake of reading because I know it’s good for them. I read to my kids all throughout the day. But Read Aloud times for our homeschool is a notch better. You could say that I have my game face on, if that makes any sense. So what makes it better? I would say it is Intentionality.