An Experiment to Remember : ReviewNovember 1, 2019
Advent, that month long waiting, is a time many choose to do something special and it’s no surprise the internet is awash with ideas. From paper-chains with the names of Christ on each to to ornate and expensive daily ornaments, all ideas designed to build up until the day we can sing that Christ has come and Emmanuel is held by a humble carpenter and his teenage bride. Last year I did prompt cards (over on JWL) but I was also privileged to get a copy of “An Experiment to Remember”.
“An Experiment to Remember” bills itself as ‘An Advent celebration for little scientists’ and that science comes through strongly. Elephant toothpaste, pencils through plastic bags of water and other classics are used to tie to an idea of Christ. Each day’s part is posted online individually, but you can also buy a compilation book that lays everything out beautifully to print in one go.
A single day includes the bible passage, central thought with a question, supply list, instructions and an explanation of the science behind the outcome. It’s well written, short and clear about every part without being too theology or science heavy.
The slightly abstract nature themes means it would be easy to do days slightly out of order which is always a bonus when you have materials to gather.That said, there ere nothing too daunting, nor materials that are too difficult to source.
There are also little daily baubles to print, colour and add to your tree – overall, it’s a nice extra touch.
Interestingly, rather than cover the story of the nativity it follows the whole gospel story, by the end of the first week Jesus is being baptized. In the final days before Christmas Day you cover the Easter narrative. Then the final day celebrates the birth of Jesus where you spring you right back to the beginning of the gospel narative.
What I thought…
Having read through the first batch of days I’m quite impressed the experiment come object lesson isn’t trying to do too much. Having grown up on ‘Jesus is like a *lawnmower because…’ I find object lessons tiresome and having studied child psychology (under 12’s use concrete not abstract thought) I have some serious doubts about how appropriate they are – but these feel more like a science lesson with a twist and that appealed more to me – why not link a gospel message with your science lesson, even if the link isn’t made you still discuss both.
I could see the reasoning behind covering the whole gospel but did make me question if I’d want to be going carol singing then returning home to talk about how Jesus died. However, it could easily be used as a study at other points in the year which is how I’ll probably use it.
I really like what the author has tried to do with this. It may have some small shortcomings but if your kids are used to object lessons or if they are budding scientists then it would be a great way to do advent a little differently.
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