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Fiona’s Gift opens tonight. We had both morning and afternoon practices yesterday. Dress rehearsal is this morning. Mary Evelyn and I are exhausted and exhilarated and we have already talked a little bit about next year.

You might have heard about the educational method called immersion learning. The cast of Fiona’s Gift is in the midst of an immersion learning experience. For the last two weeks they have lived one hundred years ago in New York City. Some have been newsboys. One has shined shoes. Two have been homeless street children. One has been a policeman walking his beat. One has owned a pawn shop. Many have worked in a sweatshop. Almost all have been poor.

The children have acted on a stage with three-story tenement houses and with the interiors of a shirt factory, a butcher shop, and a tenement apartment.

Though today is dress rehearsal, the cast has been wearing their costumes every day this week. All girls are in skirts, the little boys in knickers. Wearing costumes helps the children learn how to be comfortable in these clothes and helps them get into character.

When Mary Evelyn began the Homeschool Dramatic Society, she had weekly practices for a few weeks and then many practices just before a play. One year we decided to make the switch to doing everything from the first practice to the last performance in just two weeks. That decision has worked well for us. Yes, people are busy and tired for those two weeks; but we have found that practices get really stacked up just before opening night anyway. So, why not have only two stacked-up weeks?

One of the greatest blessings of this two-week experience is the immersion learning that happens. Combine wearing clothes from an era, acting out emotions caused by events in the time period, and singing about issues from the time–and children are going to learn.

Fiona’s Gift reveals the faith of people who lived one hundred years ago. I believe that learning about the faith of people who lived before us increases our own faith. We are not just part of people of faith today, but of the eternal church Jesus established.

Some might wonder if it is worth giving up two weeks of homeschooling to be part something like this. That decision is one each parent must make, and it might be different in different years. However, no parent needs to worry that their children are not “doing school.” They are most certainly learning, and learning is more important than “doing school.”

Jesus used many methods to teach His disciples. One was immersion learning.

And He appointed twelve,
so that they would be with Him.
Mark 3:14a

 

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  1. Congratulations and best wishes on your opening night. Break a leg, all you homeschoolers! I’m sure it will be a wonderful play … wish we lived where we could see it. 🙂

  2. Sounds like it will be really great! I look forward to hearing your posts after the opening performance. Hope you can share a few pictures. Merry Christmas!