When in Rome

You know that old saying: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It means we should immerse in whatever culture you find yourself- eat what the locals eat, do what the locals do, etc. If you’re traveling it’s a wonderful idea. If you’ve never eaten Sushi you should try it- but ESPECIALLY if you find yourself in Japan. If you’ve never tried French press coffee, give it a go- but especially if you’re in Paris and have some fresh croissants from the boulangerie!

When it comes to all things NATURAL it’s wonderful advice for homeschoolers. (When it comes to all things SPIRITUAL– not so much! But more about that in a moment.)

If you’re using Five in a Row you’ll be familiar with the Five in a Row Cookbook. In it you’ll find a collection of recipes and menus for each period of history, each region of the country or each nation you’ll be studying in your primary curriculum. Cooking and foods are a wonderful way to “do as the Romans do.” Tasting the cuisine of each area you study adds richness and depth to your lessons!

There are so many ways to add to your studies. Costumes and make believe are a delightful way to enrich your study. Dress up like the characters in your story. Pretend to do the things you’re reading about. If you’re studying Lewis and Clark go out in the backyard and “do as the Romans do” by paddling imaginary expedition rafts up the “river” and eating a lunch of bread and meat around your “campfire”.

Every time we “do as the Romans do” in our homeschooling, we add to our children’s broader experience and deepen their memories of our studies together. In the end, it’s this imaginative experience and the wonderful memories we make together as a family which will be our legacy to our children once they’re grown. And it also seats their learning at a much deeper, more unforgettable level as well. They’ll never forget Lewis and Clark if they never forget eating “buffalo and hardtack” around the “campfire” in your backyard after working hard to “paddle the expedition raft” up the “Missouri river.”

Now if you remember- I said this applies to the natural realm, but not to the spiritual realm. Why? Because we ARE DEFNINITELY living in a “foreign land” (spiritually speaking) and we don’t want to “do as the Romans do” in the area of spiritual life. In truth, we’re living in more of a spiritual desert than just a spiritual land.

In Hebrews 11: 8-10 we’re told “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

We too live by faith, like strangers in a foreign country as we look forward to “the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” We are not to “do as the Romans do” while living in this foreign land which surrounds us on every side as a spiritual desert.

Peter opens his first epistle with these words: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”

Peter affirms that like Abraham, we too are strangers in a foreign land. And we’re not to embrace the values, beliefs or habits of these “strangers” whose land we inhabit. We are to be a people “set apart” whose lives are different. When in “spiritual Rome” we are forbidden from “doing as the spiritual Romans do”.

Talk with your children about what it means to be a stranger in a foreign land- spiritually speaking.

And look for ways to “do as the Romans do” every day in your homeschool experience. You’ll build memories that will last a lifetime.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Jen said,

    Great post! I must say that we will be cooking our first meal from the FIAR Cookbook tomorrow night. We’re having paella to go with The Story of Ferdinand. We’re all really excited about adding cooking in to our studies this year.


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