Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
"Children don't need toys that do everything for them and it is much better to get back to the basics and to have parents engaged with their children," he said.
"Parties should be a time to celebrate the presence of your life with family and friends and not a competition. It just makes one more expense that you don't need to have."
Monday, January 29, 2007
|You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.|
Are you a heretic?
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Sunday, January 28, 2007
This article's writer twists, perhaps not deliberately, a mom's words on the positives of homeschooling overseas.
"A lot of military families homeschool because they move so much," she said. "But with homeschooling you don't get the learning gaps, because every school uses different curriculum. They can pick up where they left off."
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
"They are silent all day," she said. "They have to get some type of release."
This is socialization? This is the great unspoken reality of schooling these days. Children are constantly shushed and hushed all day so they can "learn." What is learning without asking questions? Without discussion? If they must be silent, perhaps the school could adopt a practice of our household, reading aloud to the children during meals. When we are in the middle of an exciting tale, such as Journey to the Center of the Earth then the children beg for me continue, even while they are shoving peanut butter and jelly into their mouths. If I stop for a sip of water or to pick up Timmy they will impatiently urge me to get back on task.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Pray for the safety of the marchers and that they may change hearts today. Also, pray for those who are carrying children in their womb. Our little, tiny parish is bursting with 5 pregnant moms (2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th children in the families!). The pressure is getting intense here guys! Also, please pray for those who have lost children due to miscarriage, including Margaret, over at Minnesota Mom.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
All the children clambored in and out of the bunkbeds reserved for members of the crew on the three cramped ships. They were encouraged to try out the huge tiller and ring the bells to signal the half hour. Tim and I tried to listen but most of our energy was spent trying to keep the kids from going over the sides.
The fort itself was filled with timber and mud buildings, including a impressive church and a blacksmith's forge where a large, friendly man was making hinges for a door. Charlie was terrified of the fire so he ran off and spied a chicken. He enthusiastically spent the rest of his time chasing, looking at and chatting about the small flock of "oosters and ickens". The other kids really enjoyed a presentation of muskets and the fort's cannons and later trying on armor.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
"17-year old Sabrina Herndon was wearing a jacket and strapless top and was changing in the girl's locker room at Palm Beach Gardens High School. A teacher noticed the strapless top which is a dress code violation. A male assistant principal then entered the girl's locker room, and within minutes Herndon was in a choke hold. "He came behind me and he picked me up with it and he tried to carry me out of the locker room and then I fell, then he came from under me and choked me a second time."The question of course is what prompted the assistant principal to resort to such tactics?
Friday, January 12, 2007
Before Christmas I found several gems in our local Catholic bookstore (run by a couple that homeschool) from Sophia Press.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The curriculum we use, Seton is very traditional. I love to check off the subjects after we finish our work each day in Phonics, Reading, English, Vocabulary, Spelling, Math, History, Science, Art, Music, and Religion.
However, art is my tough subject because it requires hauling out supplies, free time, and cleanup. Therefore, we are officially about 3 months behind in Art. I read on other mom's blogs about lots of creative projects that they do with their kids to learn and highlight their faith, but that is as far as I get. The reading about it part. I do teach the kids cooking and sewing, let them loose with art supplies and they do produce lots of creative things such as catapults, homemade cards, and lots of drawings and paintings. But, sitting down with one child to do a specific project? Perhaps I am lazy or perhaps I realize that the odds of any project being completed without a smaller sibling destroying it are almost nil.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
That's the conclusion of a bipartisan group of scholars and business leaders, school chancellors and education commissioners, and former cabinet secretaries and governors. They declare that America's public education system, designed to meet the needs of 100 years ago when the workplace revolved around an assembly line, is unsuited to today's global marketplace. Already, they warn, many Americans are in danger of falling behind and seeing their standard of living plummet."
Sounds good, right? But then they get into specifics of the plan:
"In its place, the group proposes a series of controversial reforms:
*Offer universal pre-kindergarten programs and opportunities for continuing education for adults without high school diplomas."
Shuttling them into school earlier? We have tried that over the past 30 years with K and now preschool- studies show it doesn't help 90% of children. Our test results are fine in comparison with other countries for the first few years of school, it is at the 3-4th grade level that we start to fall-where students have to learn specific skills such as math, spelling, writing, grammar, history, and science.
We already have an extensive system of community colleges in our nation- anyone can take a myriad of courses to improve themselves at little cost.
"*Create state board exams that students could pass at age 16 to move either on to community college or to a university-level high school curriculum."
"Graduating" students before they drop out would only improve statistics. The last stumps me: is this admitting that today students don't learn anything in the last 2 years of high school? Are they saying that they would track 14-15 year olds to graduate early (meaning drop out), technical program (CC), or professional program (university)?
"*Improve school salaries in exchange for reducing secure pension benefits, and pay teachers more to work with at-risk kids, for longer hours, or for high performance."
More pay with no benefits discourages burnt-out teachers to hang out until retirement. The economics of having to pay more for harder-to-fill spots also sounds good, but who decides which are the at-risk kids? Special education teachers already get the same pay for 8-10 kids in a class. (I worked with LD and ED students for several years) Where is the incentive for the teachers of the high achieving students- the ones who will be our future professionals? And which kids always get left out? The ones in the middle, the majority of kids. What determines "high performance"? High test scores?What we really don't need is more testing. What we need are more answers to the question "What is the point of all this schooling?" asked by the children and therefore more learning.
"*Create curriculums that emphasize creativity and abstract concepts over rote learning or mastery of facts."
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The other day at the grocery one of the checkers said, "I saw a bit on the TV about a mom of 2 complaining about how hard it was to go shopping with her kids. I laughed, because I thought of you doing it with 5 so effortlessly." Thanks Kim for the compliment. However, I do recall how hard it was many years ago with 1 and then 2 children. Experienced mom that I am now, spending a few hours with just one infant is a breeze. Thank you my dear husband for taking down the Christmas tree and letting me have the day out!
Saturday, January 06, 2007
VERT COMBINES the purpose of a gathering place like St. Blog's Parish and Amateur Catholics with weekly themed writing prompts that I hope is complimentary to the un-themed Catholic Carnival while being specifically geared for converts and reverts. While I am an amateur and I think most members will be amateur Catholics VERT allows pros to join too.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Here are some bits from an article out of a North Carolina paper.
Two million students are being home schooled in the United States and that number is rapidly growing. No longer a taboo topic, parents now admit they'd rather keep their kids at home to teach lessons they won't find in public schools.
"We are professionals, we know how to teach and you need to be their parents,” said high school history teacher Diane Birdwell.
"I have seen the results of when they don't do it right and they fail or give up and the kids come into the public school system and they are behind their peers both socially and academically,” Birdwell said.
However, studies show home schooled students score up to 30 percent higher on standardized tests than public school kids. But what about their socialization skills?
Most homeschool parents overcompensate for their child's social "isolation". My two school-age children are involved in swimming lessons, riding lessons, piano lessons, art lessons, Cub Scouts, Little Flowers, CCD (Catholic Sunday School), serving Mass, co-op field trips, and have siblings and friends to play with.
High school history teacher Diane Birdwell says there are some lessons parents aren't qualified to teach. ...most teachers say parents can give Bible lessons after school, as long as they leave the reading, writing and arithmetic to them.
So, you suck up the best 8 hours of a child's day (and assign 2 hours worth of homework) and we are supposed to fit in religion class, sports, and music lessons in the remaining time? You fill their heads with secular humanistic philosophy, multiculturalism, and sex ed, leaving little time for parents to instill their values and morals to their children (but maybe that's the point).
Slowly, slowly it comes and it brings a smile to my face.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I hid the tin from my family and ate every last cookie myself. I even swallowed before I came downstairs so no one would ask,"What are you eating?" and then entice me into sharing.
Should I go to confession for such a thing?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
Resolution #1: lose 8 lbs.
Now, I'm inspired by Michelle's running log so I think that I'll try that too.
Resolution #2: keep running log and run (hmmm, some achievable goal) 250 miles
I need a goal for my spiritual life so, let me think...