Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reading assignments and Russian History

I got my daughter (9 years old) a book for her reading assignment. I decided to go with something a bit more challenging for her, so I chose a work of historical fiction. It is over 200 pages, and it has references to the actual history that the story is based on (complete with pictures). The book is about Anastasia, the last Grand Duchess.

Because I know my daughter, I prepared myself for this, too. I figured she would ask a million questions about the book (and she has), so I am reading the non-fiction book The Russian Century - A History of the Last Hundred Years.

Mom and daughter have been learning a lot about Russian history - and this isn't even what she is doing for her history assignments! (She is studying American history this year.) She has fallen in love with this series of books and wants the rest of the series.

I love the book for two reasons - it is challenging for her and it is teaching her more than just reading.

Homeschooling is not just for the kids. The parent learns just as much as the kids do when they get involved!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Go watch the lunar eclipse!

The lunar eclipse is visible tonight!

Totality begins at 10:01 pm Eastern time.

This is the last total lunar eclipse until 2010 - so it is great to get the kids seeing it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Homeschooling and resources for special needs children

This topic recently came up on a message board I am on.

For the purpose of this post, the term "special needs" can refer to anything from ADD to autism and anything in between.

How do you homeschool if you have a special needs child?

Sometimes (as in the case of an ADD or ADHD child), homeschooling can be the perfect way to alleviate the hardship kids suffer in a traditional school setting.

But what if your child needs professional resources in addition to homeschooling?

Laws vary from state to state, but most of the time homeschoolers can use the resources offered by the school district/county to help with a special needs child (at little or no cost).

However, some homeschoolers want nothing to do with the governmental system. Period. And they prefer to use a private doctor/therapist/program.

Both have their pros and cons. Do your research and do what you feel comfortable doing.

The important thing is to make sure your kids get whatever help they need.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

WANTED: Homeschool teacher

"Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us." (Psalm 68:28)

Have you ever thought about how an advertisement would read for a homeschool teacher? If truthfully stated, the ad would probably go something like this:

"Now accepting applications―Family seeking fun-loving, godly homeschool teacher. Applicant will be responsible for providing total educational development and daily personal care for children of multiple ages. Applicant will assume the following roles: cook, housemaid, nurse, taxi driver, administrative assistant, accountant, athletic coach, social director, computer technician, household and automotive repairman, gardener, course instructor in multiple subject areas and grade levels, and various other responsibilities.

This is a full-time position―approximately 120 hours or more per week.

Qualified candidates must be able to work well under pressure, multi-task, and prioritize work loads while maintaining a friendly, enthusiastic attitude. Quick thinking, good memory, and a varied background in extensive subject matter are a must. Promising candidates will be resourceful, adjust easily to distractions, and display creative, hard-working leadership abilities. Organizational and problem solving skills are a plus. Previous teaching experience and/or college preferred, but not required.

If you're interested in working in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, this is the position for you! For more information on this exciting opportunity to earn fulfilling, one-of-a-kind rewards, please apply in person today."

After reading the above qualifications, no wonder many parents walk away from this employment opportunity. Who can measure up to these standards? Praise God, you can! As you step out in faith and yield your weaknesses to God's strength, you'll not only get the job, you'll also successfully homeschool and discover the fantastic benefits of teaching your children at home. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." (Ephesians 6:10)

The above post is taken from the Homeschool View Newsletter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On a lighter note

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'
Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only..Ladies Forbidden'...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S . Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... 'goodnight, sleep tight.'
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.'
It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!
Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I want to change the way we elect officials

Yeah, I know....like anyone is going to listen to me.

But that's never stopped me before. Hehehehehe

The way we elect officials now (especially the President) is ludic lewdi loodic stupid.

In this day and age, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Why go through the delegate process? For Heaven's sake - Florida isn't even GETTING democratic convention delegates!

The technology exists for every vote to be counted for each and every citizen. The one who wins the most votes wins the election. Period. This could work with both nominees for each party and for the actual Presidential election.

I think it is time for the system to be overhauled.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Parental Rights vs. Government Interference

I imagine this post will get strong comments on both sides of the fence - and that's okay.

I just received my copy of the The Home School Court Report (put out by the HSLDA), and I have to say I am shocked and appalled by what I read.

  • In Michigan, homeschoolers are harassed by school officials (illegally) in order to coerce homeschoolers to submit to taking a survey. Two years in a row.
  • In Montana, homeschoolers were (illegally) asked to register with the school district.
  • In Ohio, homeschoolers were asked to submit paperwork not required by law.
  • In Pennsylvania, school districts are (illegally) attempting to impose additional, unauthorized testing for homeschooling students.
  • In South Carolina, school officials came to the homes of homeschooling families and insisted that families provide information about their homeschooling family not required by law.

There were many more instances, but these are a good sampling of the kinds of things going on.

Our public school system is broken. Period. I am not saying that there are not a few schools out there that I would send my children to, but I know they are few and far between.

Perhaps there are those out there who want to change the public school system. That's fine. (Right now, it doesn't need to be "fixed" - I believe it needs to be completely restructured and redone, but that's another story.) I don't want my kids sitting in a broken system for years while politicians bicker about how to "fix" the schools. I want my kids to receive an excellent education without the fear of being shot in school. My children are too important to me for that.

Yes, private school is an option. I am not sure if I want my kids in any school at this point (the whole group mentality thing bugs me), but if I had to put my kids in school, I could live with private school.

The issue I have with reading all of these stories is that officials (from a broken, inefficient system) are knocking on the doors of homeschoolers (who are trying to help kids escape this broken system) and harassing them.

Where were these officials when I complained that a newsletter sent home by my child's public school teacher had more mistakes than I could count? Where were these officials when I had my public-school-educated child asking me if they spoke English in Michigan? Where were these officials when I repeatedly went to them and asked for protection for my kids because the hoodlums in the school were physically assaulting my kids? Where are these officials when I listen to the kids in my Sunday School class struggle to read? Where were these officials when I corrected schoolwork/study sheets the teachers sent home with the kids?

In my honest opinion, these officials need to worry about what is going on in their own backyard and try to fix what is wrong in their schools - not harass families who are trying to escape their broken system.

Homeschooling works. There are numerous studies (that can be seen on the HSLDA website) proving how much better homeschooling students perform academically compared to public school students.

My message to those school officials:

"Quit wasting your time and resources going after homeschoolers. Go work on the problems staring you in the face in your schools."

Friday, February 1, 2008

Upcoming project! Warning! Warning! Warning!

Just giving you a heads up, people!

The kids are going to be working on a postcard project next month! Trying to see how many and from how far away they can get post cards. They will be making a science/geography project for display.

Just warning you to go buy some stamps! LOL