Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The New Homeschool Carnival

The 5th Carnival of Homeschooling is up. Some good ideas for homeschoolers in this one.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, Part 2, the Review

Well the Lovely Wife (LW) took the two older boys to see Chronicles of Narnia Friday night. LW said that Aslan should have been bigger, had a more majestic main, and been more "golden." There were a few parts where the kids said, "This wasn't in the book." But overall, they loved it. A few of the changes were needed to get the story moving quickly enough for a movie, but a few were unneeded, so claims the LW.

We don't take our kids to the movies very often, that was clear. They didn't quite know what to do with the tickets, they thought they got two tickets and could come back, they spent way too much (of their own money) on popcorn and soda, but it was a big night for them.

I didn't go. I will probably see it on video, but I'm not over anxious. I thought the books were ok, but I'm not really into that kind of stuff. I'd rather watch Casablanca again.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Kansas Trivia

In my box today, a photocopy of something from Kansas State Secretary, Ron Thornburgh. I have adapted it here.

  1. What is the state song?
  2. What does the state motto "ad astra per aspera" mean? Come on you Classical Homeschoolers!
  3. What Kansas Woman was first to to fly her plane across the Atlantic Ocean?
  4. How many Kansas have been the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States? How many have won?
  5. Which Emporia journalist won the Pulitzer Prize?

  1. Home on the Range, of course.
  2. To the stars through difficulty
  3. Amelia Earhart
  4. Three ran; Alf Landon 1936, Dwight D. Eisenhower 1952 & 1956, and Bob Dole 1996. Only Eisenhower won. Too bad, Dole would have been a good one.
  5. William Allen White

Let's see some quizzes on other states.

End of the Spear Reviews

Christianity Today Movies rounds up reviews of the movie End of the Spear. Read them here. They include links to most Christian reviewers and some secular reviews.

Thursday, January 26, 2006



I was worried that I wasn't getting any comments, but somehow I just stumbled across several today that I had to "approve." If you have commented, I'll be sure to read them. And figure out why they need approving when I turned on the random letters thing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Outsourcing Parenthood

Spunky has written about this, but here it is again. Jacob Sullum writes about parents suing Dora the Explorer. Actually they are suing Viacom, Nickelodian and Kellogg. (I really need to think of some corporation to sue. Just one nice settlement and I would be comfortable, but not happy with myself.) These people want the courts to take over for the parents who obviously can't say "No" to the kids.
"While I have no doubt that advertising encourages children to request certain products, what happens after that is up to their parents. Neither Viacom nor Kellogg has the power to dictate whether SpongeBob SquarePants Wild Bubble Berry Pop-Tarts are purchased, how often and in what quantities they're eaten, what else children eat or how much exercise they get."

Now we have bought our kids Scooby-Doo fruit snacks (they aren't true fruit, I know), but we don't give them a steady diet of that kind of junk. Even if we did, is that the fault of some corporation, or worse, the courts? Of course if we all just got rid of the TV our kids wouldn't know who Dora, or SpoungeBob, or Scooby-Doo is. Then they would just want any sugar source, not a particular sugar source. That would be better. Right.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Carival of Homeschool #4

The 4th Carnival of homeschooling is up at the Common Room. What amazes me about this one is how many new blogs there are, like there is a whole other wing of publishers that I didn't know about. x-posted at Robert's Rants.

Children who Rebel

No Greater Joy has several articles on Children Jumping Ship. This is the fourth installment. Links to the other three are at the bottom of the page. I am aware there is some controversy over the methods that the Pearls use, but you should read these articles. They contain a lot of wisdom about what it takes to keep kids "on your ship." I'll flesh this out a little more later. Hopefully later today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

3rd Carnival Of Homeschooling

The third Homeschool Carnival is at http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2006/01/carnival-of-homeschooling-week-3.html Enjoy! Lots of good stuff, just like the last two.

Raising Cain on PBS. A Show About Boys

Raising Cain was on PBS last Thursday on my local station. I thought this programt might be kinda goofy, the tag line went, "To understand boys, we must understand their psychology." However, the show was quite good. There were parts that were very depressing and it was especially hard to watch as inner-city teens teach 9 year-old boys to be cruel. There were also some scenes from a nice suburban high school that makes me glad I homeschool.

One good point that Michael Thompson makes is that schools used to have two recesses, now they have one, and some schools are going to no recess. That is not the best way for boys to learn. They need that time to run around and expend excess energy. If that energy is used, then they can concentrate better during class. This applies to homeschooling as well, but we are much more flexible than the traditional school. When the boys get wound up, they run laps, or they get a recess, either way, the energy is burned.

Another thought that came to me was "How can anyone live in the inner-city?" Surely there must be a way out. Rent is cheap in smaller towns, there is less violence and less overt trouble. Yes there is drugs, and trouble, but not in the concentrated form it is in the inner-city. There was an 11 year-old boy that rides two buses and two subway cars to and from school each day. Almost an hour each way. Just so he can get away from the bullies and anti-academic nonsense. There has to be a better way.

The next night I watched the John Stossel 20/20 show on Education. Read about that here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Standardizing Education Lowers the Standards

I am an academic librarian, but we frequently host local public school classes that come in for a day to research. It's good for my university, it's good for libraries, and it's good for the middle-to-high school students.

We had a teacher in today with her 8th grade class that told me this is the last year they will be here. Now the students have to take some reading-assessment test. So, she has to "teach to the test," rather than have the kids do a research paper. She is not happy about it.

In order to make sure everyone makes it to a certain level of learning, students have to take an objectively scored test. While real learning happens while doing things like; going a huge (for these kids) library, doing research with computers, old magazines and microfilm, learning to put words together in a way that an adult can understand, and getting feedback.

I have taken several standardized tests in my day, and I remember filling in dots at random, not finding out the results, and not really caring about the results. It's just sad that these kids will miss out on a great opportunity in order to satisfy some over-achiever in Washington. Or Topeka. Or wherever educational over-achievers are found.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Homeschool Carnival submissions requested

Go here to submitt a blog post for the next Carnival of Homeschool entries.

Go here for the current Carnival.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A not too good picture of us on someone's birthday. Posted by Picasa

Me and my lovely wife. Posted by Picasa

My Ideal Major?

You want to know a little about me? Here you go. This isn't exactly acurrate. They don't have History listed. And Dance? I'm a Baptist! Not that I mind dancing, but I never learned and looked absolutly goofy on the dancefloor. Not that I care. And I don't really read much fiction, so English maybe isn't ideal. I would put Sociology up higher.

You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
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Large Families and Movies

The Opinion Journal of the Wall Street Journal has a great article on large families in the movies, but takes on more than that. Here are a few excellent quotes:
Today fewer than 10% of Americans live in households of five or more people and only 1.8% in families of seven or more. That means that if your family consists of a mother and father and five children, you live where I do, which is statistically on the lunatic fringe. "Omigod, five kids?" people gasp when I tell them. "Are you nuts?"
They really freak out at the two couples we know with 9 kids each.

In this latest litter of movie features, we are shown that the more children in a household, the more deranged and uncivilized it becomes...The odd thing is that, off the screen, large families are seldom the ones with wildly misbehaving children.

Spunky Homeschooler has written on this topic as well.

Monday, January 09, 2006

How did we end up homeschooling?

Why we homeschool. We actually sent our first two kids to public school for a couple of years. I had only heard of homeschooling about a year before the first one started and thought it sounded like a great idea. My wife said, "Never."

Our oldest, Joshua, is a "spirited child," or "strong-willed," or ADD, or unique, though not as bad as some kids we know. He did not adapt to the public school system at all. I don't mean, a little, I mean, at all. When his first grade teacher had my wife come to class to watch him, he was sitting upside down in his chair, not doing anything that required a pencil, and was generally a problem. In addition, we couldn't believe the amount of work they were sending home for us to have the kids do after they had been in school for 7 hours and wanted nothing more than to run, fight and get dirty. Joshua had all the work he didn't do during the day in addition to all the work they send home. Lezlie said "I feel like I am homeschooling them"

Then we went to parent-teacher conference. That was when the first-grade teacher said the fateful words, "Drugs can do wonders." I couldn't believe it. You can believe it. I decided right then that we were homeschooling. By this point, my wife was in total agreement.

The first year we only homeschooled Joshua, but then realized that Erik was missing out on lots of time at home with the family, and lots of Bible training as well. So we brought him home the next year. Now we are committed to homeschooling all of them. Erik sometimes misses his friends at school, but Joshua says he never wants to go back to public school.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Anti-Homeschool Pressure & God's Involvement (should be 2 posts, probably)

Reading the Carnival of Homeschooling, I was struck by how many people have to defend homeschooling. We haven't had any complaints, protests, or even awkward looks. There were a few family members we thought would question our decision, but no one has. I guess we've been lucky (blessed).

I do think that God is doing something with all this homeschooling. I was very involved with a campus ministry while in college and worked with them for a few years afterward (mid 1980s to mid 1990s). A couple a years ago we had a reunion. Of about fifty couples there, all but one or two were homeschooling or planning on homeschooling. Lezlie and I only knew of one other homeschool couple before we went and expected to be the odd ones. Now to fully appreciate this, you need to understand that we had never heard of homeschooling while in college. It was not discussed, no one was planning on homeschooling, in fact, the university we attended is known as an education college and most of us were education majors. So in less than ten years time, we went from a complete ignorance of homeschooling to almost 50 couples homeschooling. That is something, and I think, a work of God. Feel free to disagree.

Carnival of Homeschooling

The Carnival of Homeschooling has started at Why Homeschool. Check it out to see many different homeschool blogs of interest.