Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with yet another cat
3 days ago
The most competitive category, unbelievably, was the novel excerpt. No one could have predicted this! We received dozens and dozens of novels. Stacks and mountains. We certainly had no idea there were so many excellent novelists out there in the homeschool world, typing away at their masterpieces. We are so impressed. The most difficult categories to narrow down to finalists were the novels, the short stories, and the poems, all deep in quality and chock full of entries. At times we had three different people looking at your work, trying to get it down to three finalists in each grade division, each genre. That wasn't always possible, as you'll see in the results! I can honestly tell you that just being a finalist in these categories is a real accomplishment. The competition was fierce.
Some public health officials are concerned the growing popularity of home schooling has created gaps in the vaccination safety net, leading to outbreaks of rare childhood diseases
A new month needs a new focus, so thanks to the Pig whose fault this is, and October, because it is here already, I shall record the many reasons why Shark, Squirrel and Tiger do not go to school, but play all day long under the guise of home education. And when they plead Why, Mother, Why? I can point them to the blog, go open a beer, and hope that they can read.Another reason
The first reason we educate from home may as well be attention span.
All these are excellent reasons to home educate, and we use them daily. You can talk about what you like. You can find out things together. You can decide what's important to know, and you can pursue it in any way that works for you and your child. Really, this is empowerment of the greatest kind, because you can explore cultures and create knowledges together, and there's no-one to stop you. No blank faced Whitehall civil servant with a tick-box form because it's Wednesday, so today you should do commas and fractions, and stop crying. Next week we're going to test you.They homeschool because they feel like running
Sometimes we do, make, pursue ... and there's no intention and purpose to that ... we follow the sniff of the air, the beat of a heart, the sound of a hand clap, the shadows and the sunlines, and we make our day on impulse and do what we do, because we want to, and we feel like it.They also homeschool because they like to watch sport
I believe this is precious in childhood: this tidal surge of confident inquiry, thinking comes later; a sudden, irresistible urge to run at a clap across a field because limbs can take us there, those legs running across the grass surprised by energy and impulse, followed by laughter. In those moments of childhood, there's no self-doubt, no difficulty, no constraining hand to stay us and control us. There needs to be no thoughtful significance to the act, no result, no textbook, no purpose, no discussion. We enjoy.
We get to watch when Shark steps with singular determination to the sailing dingy; when Squirrel twirls, and with that face she thinks a serious ballerina should have; we get to watch how Tiger's eyes light up when she clings to a horse, and we even get to bite our knuckles and pray they don't all fall in, fall over, or fall off.They also homeschool for the creativity it allows grit to engender in her children (this btw, is one of my major reasons for homeschooling. I firmly believe that institutional school sucks the creativity out of children and teachers.
Every week throughout their lives we see some new and wonderful physical ability. From standing up to chew on the table edge, to falling off the climbing frame in the playground and not dying, swimming for the first time, cycling without pink princess wheels, then archery, abseiling, skiing. This month alone I've watched gym, trampoline, tennis, ice skating, kayaking. And the best of it is I can be right there when it happens. I can seek out any type of lesson that's wanted, we can choose the places and times to go, the instructors we like; and I can look at my little faces delighted and excited as a sudden new skill is found and disbelieved and found again.
Art art art. This is one of the biggest reasons why I home educate, if not the biggest, most important, and dearest to my heart. I have seen art, craft, dance, music, drama, play, imagination and creativity, all steadily removed from the primary curriculum. That is a loss to children; that is a loss to all our lives. And I know I am not a lone voice in the wilderness shouting that one.
But complaining in a staff room didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Marching right in, taking control to put a creative education in place, changing a state of mind from consumer to producer, imagining ourselves doing, learning for ourselves, and getting out the paints. That's creative.
First, the parts we agree with: There is no such thing as race (biologically), race is a social construct used as a political and economic tool, even efforts to use race in a "positive" way such as in medicine or forensics are doomed to failure because of the lack of biological validity of the concept, and so on and so forth.Stephanie Zinn has good commentary on Laden's post.
Here, the idea of the exhibit is really to help people to realize that well formed thoughts about their fellow humans that are based on the race concept are like well formed thoughts about the world they live in that are based on the flat earth. But more destructive.
The main thing we did not like about the exhibit and the AAA race model is the AAA version of the origin of racism. The AAA story couches racism in the context of American colonial history, slavery, etc. etc. It states that racism is a purely Western invention, and distinguishes racism from other forms of hating your fellow human being. The rise of the modern capitalistic system, the nation state, the colonial and post colonial economies and societies, and slavery are the kitchen and racism is the bitter and poisonous buffet, manifest in myriad ways.
True enough, but not broad enough.
T.E.S.L.A. (Totally Educational Science Learning Activities) is our science club for kids ages 7-11. We do hands-on experiments and learn from Galileo's "book of the world". We invite both homeschoolers and public-schoolers (it's not their fault their school's science program sucks!) These are our plans for the months of October and November.
I originally started compiling Science and Math activities when my first little girl was born. Because of my Science background, the intent was to introduce my children to these "hard" subjects through simple learning activities. I want my children to gain exposure and confidence in Math and Science. I have expanded the compiling to other subjects as well, including Music, Art, and Reading
Whether your children are enrolled in a traditional public school, private school, or are home schooled, the study of a musical instrument (including voice) can be a vibrant and important part of a child's education. Many parents are not experienced musicians, so they are unable to help their children at home when they are practicing. Eventually, the subject of private lessons is bound to come up. Here are some helpful tips for determining whether or not hiring a private music instructor is right for your situation.I wish that Thomas West lived in Norfolk. We desperately need a piano teacher like the one he seems to be. We've just had an experience with the piano teacher from hell. She came highly recommended and is the president of the local piano teachers' association. Despite proclaiming that she had taught kindergarteners for over 30 years, the woman had no idea how to teach young children. She taught way too many concepts in a lesson, didn't ensure that the children understood what they had to practice each week, or even if they had understood what she had just taught them, and wrote inadequate notes. We ended up with daily tears over practicing and Marc had to reteach each lesson. At our sixth lesson with her, I asked her to slow down on teaching so many concepts and to ask the children to demonstrate what she had taught them instead of asking them if they understood. Of course a child is going to tell a crotchety old woman that they understand what she's said, even if they don't. The witch started screaming at me that there was something wrong with my children because no one else had ever questioned her teaching methods. She had Shira in tears over her intimidation. Needless to say, we resigned, never to return to her studio.
It's looking like a great show! If you're into making things, looking for inspiration, or just seeing what some really creative people are doing, check it out! And if you're a kid--maybe you'll want to make some of these things out of your toys instead of the larger parts. I think they ought to have a showcase of kid-ventions too!
A controversial but important topic for all educators, including the homebased: Charles Murray (of the controversial "Bell Curve" book) has a new book out on education that argues, says the blogger, that some kids "are not worth the time and trouble to educate because they are 'just not smart enough,' in his words, to learn anything more than manual skills. And he can prove it! Scientifically!"
ANIMAL rights groups are up in arms over an annual festival in Peru that serves up hundreds of fried CATS to locals.
The 'Gastronomical Festival of the Cat' – dubbed the 'Massacre of the Moggies' – sees townsfolk in Canete, near Lima, feast on the fluffy pets for two days.
Biggest surprise: There were no pop-ups. Not one. After we humbly petitioned and then raucously celebrated getting Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart as judges, there were no entries. Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, people! These are paper engineering artists! They have an entire studio dedicated to pop-ups in NYC. They did the official pop-ups for Disney, for the Narnia books! They are the authors of Encyclopedia Mythologica and Encyclopedia Prehistorica, the cutting edge pop-ups that are redefining the genre. Shez collected a marvelous list of resources and how-tos for the pop-up page at the contest site, just in case people needed help finding tutorials. No entries. Not one.
Another surprise: There were fewer than 10 entries in all the K-2 categories, total. That shocked me! I thought the younger kids would be more involved.
The biggest stack on the table *by far* was the 7-9 grade group and the biggest category in that group was the novel excerpt! Amazing! I am so surprised and impressed with these middle school aged authors! The huge outpouring of prose, the staggering pile of pages -- completely glorious and inspiring.
Hey, it is ALL GOOD! Having said all this, we received another huge post office crate full of entries on Friday that we've yet to sort. Maybe that one is full of pop-ups -- who knows?! We've got a ton of entries and more coming in. We're going to be able to afford nice prizes and all the postage. We are very excited. It's awesome opening up these packages and seeing everyone's work. There are some beautiful, beautiful ABC books, some really awesome comics, lots of short stories and poetry, and even some novel cover art (my favorite category!). The panel is going to have a hard time narrowing it down in some of these categories! Very very gifted writers doing excellent work.
I'll keep you updated as we go along. This is fun!
You Must Be Kidding Yourself If You Are in Doubt
While it is impossible to predict with certainty any person's future health, time of death, or degree of disability, the evidence at hand clearly says John McCain is in relatively poor health and Barack Obama is in excellent health. All politics aside, no one could conclude otherwise. To McCain’s credit he appears to be holding up well during this grueling campaign, but his current appearances do not negate the medical facts.
Additionally, although it is impossible to accurately merge all the figures that predict mortality—38% (actuarial figures), 27% (cardiac risk), and 44% (melanoma mortality)—it would not be unreasonable to guess that McCain’s chances of dying within the two terms of Presidential office far exceed a coin toss. Add to this the risk of him becoming disabled to the point of non-performance, then who among well-informed voters would bet their stock portfolio or their subprime-mortgaged home that, if elected, McCain will still be our President come 2017? Would you, or the company you work for, hire an employee with McCain’s medical problems? How about someone with Obama’s health history? Of course, there are many other important issues that will determine the vote you will cast come November 4, 2008, but the health of our candidates is of paramount importance and should be weighed appropriately.
strong fatherly involvement in their early life can also improve a child's future career prospects, the research shows.
Academics at the University of Newcastle, who carried out the study, also found that men tended to pay more attention to their sons than their daughters.
The researchers warned that it was not enough for parents to live together, but that a father should be actively involved in a child's life to benefit their development.
The study looked at more than 11,000 British men and women, born in 1958.
The scientists asked their mothers how often the father of their child took part in activities with them, including reading, organising outings and general "quality time".
The findings, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, show that those children whose fathers spent more time with them had a higher IQ and were more socially mobile than those who had received little attention.
The differences were still detectable by the age of 42.
Dr Daniel Nettle, who led the research, said: "What was surprising about this research was the real sizeable difference in the progress of children who benefited from paternal interest and how thirty years later, people whose dads were involved are more upwardly mobile.
"The data suggest that having a second adult involved during childhood produces benefits in terms of skills and abilities that endure throughout adult life," he added.
Abele's sons, Bruce, Brad, and John, began working on a plan to find the sub after finding information on the Internet in 2002 that helped pinpoint USS Grunion's possible location.
In August 2006, a team of side scan sonar experts hired by the brothers located a target near Kiska almost a mile below the ocean's surface. A second expedition in August 2007 using a high definition camera on a remotely operated vehicle yielded video footage and high resolution photos of the wreckage.
a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that the average American child spends 44 hours per week (more than 6 hours a day!) staring at some kind of electronic screen. Studies have linked excessive television viewing to obesity, violence, and even lower intelligence in kids. Now, a growing wave of research indicates that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts.
Children who regularly spend unstructured time outside:
Play more creatively
Have lower stress levels
Have more active imaginations
Become fitter and leaner
Develop stronger immune systems
Experience fewer symptoms of ADD and ADHD
Have greater respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment
The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day, a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.
To give parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids -- and themselves -- outside, NWF has created GREENHOUR.ORG, a website rich in family-friendly content and which hosts a supportive virtual community where families can learn, explore, and share their outdoor experiences and backyard adventures.
This week we're focusing specifically on the Financial Crisis from an Objectivist perspective. This is a crucial point in our nation's history, and one which illustrates the value of good ideas, and the failure of bad ones. Your voice is necessary in this time of high anxiety. Hopefully, the Objectivists here help make things a little bit clearer. This issue is quite full so let's get right to the substance.
Also, the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights has set up a web site dealing specifically with the Financial Crisis and offering insight and analysis on this crisis and capitalism in general.
In the 2000 7-election their George W Bush coffee cup outsold the Al Gore cup by just 1%. The 2004 7-election results tracked identically with published national results. 51% for Bush and 40% for Kerry
None of the ministers heard on Christian radio have actually taped a program for two decades. As some ministers died or left the ministry, the program directors introduced "new" ministers by changing the pitch of a previous minister’s voice. For example, after the death of Christian radio personality Martin Wyse, Wyse’s old shows were digitally manipulated to give him a Scottish brogue, resulting in the creation of Alistair Begg, who does not actually exist.
The only other thing that changed over the years were the advertisements, the director says.
Potomac Conservancy's Growing Native is a partner with the Virginia Department of Forestry for seed collection. Growing Native is a year-round volunteer project that collects hardwood seeds and plants trees to help restore and protect rivers and streams in the Potomac River watershed.
This fall, Growing Native has launched a "Get Out and Get Nuts" Challenge. For every pound of seed that is collected, Ford will donate $1 to Potomac Conservancy's tree restoration projects. So, as you collect, don't forget to enter!
After you collect your seeds, let us know how many pounds you have gathered by entering the "Get Out and Get Nuts" Challenge. VisitGrowing Native for more information!
What is Growing Native?
Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds participate in Growing Native by collecting native tree seeds and planting trees along streams and rivers across the region. Not only are participants creating forests for tomorrow, they are also learning the important connection between healthy, forested lands and clean waters.
Since Growing Native’s inception in 2001, nearly 30,000 volunteers collected more than 94,000 pounds of acorns, walnuts, and other hardwood tree seeds. These seeds have generated seedlings that will be used to restore sensitive streamside lands.
In addition to providing native tree stock, Growing Native builds public awareness of the important connection between healthy, forested lands and clean waters, and what individuals can do to protect them
Growing Native evolved out of a need for native hardwood seedlings to support expanding reforestation and restoration efforts in the Potomac River watershed. Maryland and Virginia state nurseries are experiencing a shortage of native seedling stock due to the ever-increasing demand for trees, particularly for new streamside forest projects. To replenish the supply of native seedlings and ensure diversity in the nursery's tree stock, Growing Native was established in 2001. A majority of this program's tree seedlings are used to create diverse and healthy streamside forests, which are key to maintaining and improving water quality and providing wildlife habitat.
Growing Native ambassadors have a passion for the outdoors and want to share it with others. As a community representative for Growing Native, ambassadors encourage others to “get nuts for clean water” by organizing and leading seed collection events in their area!
Ambassadors attend a fun and free training, where they are trained to identify native trees and their seeds. Sign-up today and take advantage of this great opportunity to meet other nature lovers and give back to your community!
Join one of our Growing Native Ambassador Trainings in September! To view training dates, click here. For more information, contact Kate McNamee, Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 301.608.1188, x211.
One woman in the BBC documentary, married and in her 40s, said she wanted a real baby, but was too busy to commit to caring for a real one. A reborn doll satisfies her maternal instincts, she said, without all the carrying on and mess.
Reborns, she said, “never grow out of their clothes, never soil them. It's just fabulous. The only difference, of course, is these guys don't move.”
At least one nursing home in the United Kingdom makes dolls available to female residents, who become calmer and less disruptive when “caring” for their infants.
Walsh said her husband doesn’t think it strange that his wife plays with dolls. “He likes them too,” she said. “He says when he holds the baby it makes him feel good. It reminds him of the day his daughter was born. Everybody likes to hold a baby. It makes you feel at peace. It makes you feel calm.”
None of the women apologized for their love of reborn dolls or felt they were doing anything that is unhealthy.
“I don’t really worry too much about what people think about me,” Walsh said. “I just try to make myself happy, and it makes me happy to collect dolls. I feel like a little girl that just never stopped loving dolls.”