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Archive for February, 2009

Rant on homeschooling (not by me)

February 26th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

This was a rant by a friend in reply to an email of a friend

I think it is worth sharing so here you have it:

> People are not going to vote for universally-mandated home schooling,

That's a blatant red herring. Unlike the Soviet Union, we didn't collectivize the farms. Does that mean everyone is mandated to grow their own groceries? In reality, only a few percent grow their own groceries; the rest rely upon the market, which (burdened though it may be with taxes, food stamps, and other nonsense) is still a lot more free than a soviet-style collective.

If we stop collectivizing education, that does not mean home schooling will be mandatory; it means that people won't be coerced to pay for or send their children to educational collectives. They'll be perfectly free to teach kids at home, or send them to free-market schools - which will be better and cheaper than the collectives.

Historically, free-market education has worked very well.. One of the key planks of Karl Marx was the collectivization of education. I'm sure he is absolutely thrilled with your support.... His propaganda campaign was so successful that people now forget that free-market alternatives are actually possible.

The Soviets finally abandoned collective farming when they saw how much better free-market alternatives were. I am hoping that our brains haven't been turned into such collective mush that we can't recognize the advantages of liberty.

I hate IE

February 26th, 2009 at 08:18 pm

I really do, not only is it a lousy system that ;lags behind other browsers in all the cool features, it is riddles with easy access for viruses.

I am not a careless person, in general I stick to sites unlikely to harbor ill intent, and when down loading I follow reasonable precautions.

But I still get a virus on occasions. Right now I have a virus trying to convince me to run a virus scan..which when checked allows the virus to download other nasty stuff (just cause it looks a good deal like Microsoft doesn't mean it is) I only have to deal with this virus when I work on IE..which I only have to do for scout work. I would really prefer them to reconfigure their website to accept Firefox. but since I gather the website is volunteer run, I don't really get to complain.

But I am anyway aren't I...

Dona Nobis Pacem by Leopold Mozart

February 25th, 2009 at 09:47 pm

This is the song we will be singing for Girl scout Sunday. I found many choirs singing it on youtube, very nice work, but, not helpful for my family to learn.

For one thing I cannot sing a round! I know most folk make fun of me for it, but it is true, I simply cannot handle singing one thing while others sing something different, but then I really don't sing period. I just sort of change what I am singing to follow someone and if I have lots of someones to choose from, I get confused as to what I am supposed to be doing.

Anyway, found a girl hoping to make a big project out of many different voices, has her own voice doing just one 'track' so we are listening to that, and will do so every day to learn the words.
sing for peace
I also found the words here

Now I have JC singing 'donna nobis pachem' in all sorts of different tunes all over the house. She likes to sing, but cannot carry a tune to save her life. (GMC can do the timing, but his notes are..a little off)

I need a nap, and a thimble

February 24th, 2009 at 08:19 pm

My fingers are all busted up from sewing patches on, though I did find this glue that works well to 'sew' patches for things that don't move much, works on the daisy tunic, but not so well on a back pack.

Tonight GMC gets his Wolf badge so I will have to sew that one on too, I am debating on sewing it to his shirt that is too short in the sleeves, or getting him a new shirt and sewing it along with all the other patches anew.

sure would be easier to make up my mind if he were a bear, Webelos have a different shirt, but as wolf he needs to be in blue for another year and couple months.

one item off the list

February 23rd, 2009 at 04:22 pm

I completed the scout newsletter (cub) so now I can move on to one of the thousands of other items on my list.

Tomorrow is our Blue and Gold, I have no doubt I will forget any one of the millions of items that need done, but I am trying to keep things straight with a black book.

It even fits in my pocket.

Speaking of my pocket, I now have a ton of photos of scouts, and I do not look very good in any of them.

Apparently I need to work on how I fill the uniform. Wonder how far down the todo list that will fall.

Nanny and professor

February 20th, 2009 at 07:15 pm

So while hunting around Hulu (free online tv shows) for something to kill time when L refuses to nap in her bed (I do get nighttime off, but she really hates napping)

I stumbled across nanny and the professor adorable old school show about a nanny and three children. Oh of course it is old and has the stereotypical nanny stays home while professor works (though he works with plenty of women) and the sound effect for her 'magic' is just silly. but it is sweet.

Happy kids, little troubles, and cute. and at the end of a short show I can go back to working. Though I would rather not. I want to hire a housekeeper to do the cooking and cleaning...

lights out March 28th

February 19th, 2009 at 09:20 pm

Last year I didn't participate, not because I didn't like the idea, but because my kids are always asleep about 8:30 so the lights are always out.

I could carry the lights out to no TV while I put my youngest to bed, but..what else am I supposed to do? Computer time is the same amount of electricity, playing the Wii as well. I could read, but by candlelight that is rough on the eyes, and if I just go to bed she is likely to stay there all night, which while not terrible, she tends to wake me up with funny noises in the wee hours of the morning if she sleeps with us. Oh and conversations keep her up, so no to that either. Most crafts require both hands, or at least more freedom of one.

So This year I had a revelation..why not move it back an hour or two?

Yeah simple thought, but took me all year to come up with it!

So I wont be joining in the proper hour of 8:30, sorry, but I will be doing my own at 7:30

I thinkg etting ready for bed without alight in the bathroom while you brush teeth, or to read by, would be a good for them to try.

Found a link to this site with some info and even lesson plans.

Now I have to be honest, I am not a chicken little thinking the sky is falling, in fact I see plenty of evidence it isn't, but I do feel there is no need to pour excess junk into our air, and I feel children should experience life without electricity sometimes, even if only for an hour. So join in, even if only for a little old fashioned fun.

A better writer says ditch the baby junk

February 19th, 2009 at 04:08 am

I have mentioned before how most baby 'stuff' is really not needed, and today I happened to read a much better article including safety links about car seats, strollers, baby baths, cribs, and diapers.


She does take 5 different posts to tell you, but that is because of the important information.

my two cents:
Everyone has their own quirks, habits and desires. So if you want a special pillow just for nursing go for it, I want two computers and at least 2 laptops for two adults, and really GMC needs a computer or laptop of his own... I just don't go telling others they HAVE to have the same number of computers (Do you folk really share computers?) Oh and I do have a crib, and bucket seat, but it stays buckled to the car, not a carrier.


If you want more of a laugh try silly baby contraptions

I wish all new mothers caught up in the gotta have it lists could read these kinds of articles. But the advertisers wouldn't make much money on it.

Quickies

February 17th, 2009 at 08:51 pm

***Do you know where your highschool diploma is? I do, I just had to copy it to register my son as a homeschooler here. I do not however have a copy for my husband, so I guess he wont be allowed to teach, hope the kids don't need to now anything about physics or chemistry since I certainly don't. (just so you know that was a joke, I never bothered to wait for the govt to tell me when/if I could teach my kids)

***I wonder when folk will say '800K isn't that much'. wonder what the avg postal worker makes?

***How are you supposed to glue 'pipe cleaners'? they don't stick!

Recycle

February 16th, 2009 at 08:34 pm

Even though my husband has been willing to use cloth bags on occasion, he still frequently comes home with plastic bags. My least favorite are the ones holding one lonely item..

So while googling something completely different I came across this site, with instructions to make plarn, or plastic yarn from grocery bags.

With it you can make a pretty valentine bag:


among many other crafts in the blog.

I don't know how easy plarn is to work with, but it would be a cheap way to learn to crochet without having to buy yarn.

Plus on the same sheet is a recycle craft I think I will do with my daughter no crochet needed.



Amazing what you can do with garbage...

That's not part of the lesson...

February 13th, 2009 at 06:25 pm

So today my son had the age old doubling question in his math book.

There are many ways to word it, from rice bowls to pennies, to gold pieces, but in general everyone should know the answer.

one version
the gist is you can have one penny the first day, then it doubles each day, 2 the second, 4 the third and so on. Or a large flat fee. Which is better?

I know the theory, but I am not a fan of numbers, so I generally let excel do the math.

But today doing the math, "How much will you make on day 30?" was the question so some number crunching was in order (he can do the math himself but I have to check it)

After discovering day 30's amount, he wanted to know what day you would get over 1 billion, so off he went to crunch numbers. Wasn't done with his other work, but it is prolly better to let him do math when he wants, than to force him to do work in any particular order.

here is a one grain rice
doubling with a moral.

On a related note I keep finding that boy reading when he could be working..still rather hard to make him stop reading for little things.

What would the world say if I told EL (7 months old) she had to learn to talk right this minute, no matter how interested she was in walking?

For the anti social

February 12th, 2009 at 05:01 pm

Just had to share what made me laugh Ou Loud today (like for real, not just a smile and type LOL, but honest my kids really want to know what is so funny.)

Venn diagram

If it doesn’t show up well in this picture please go read it on think geek!


floor mat:
Also comes in a shirt form. But in my case you wouldn’t be able to read it around the kid perpetually tucked on the hip so I pick doormat.

Perfect timing for me as we are about to head into a month or two of no company. This Friday will be our last games night for the lent season, We need a break and most folk know when Easter is, so we decided to take time off.

I am hoping that we will build an entertainment wall and replace most of our CD and VHS collection. We want to convert completely to DVD and MP3, which takes up so much less space. Really that is my only reason for wanting to switch.

I don't really want to get away..

February 10th, 2009 at 08:34 pm

I would like a vacation, but a maid at home would do the trick just as well really.

Oh I don't like all my kids do, and many times, like this morning I wonder why I even try. But then, really would not being here help? I would still have to come back to the same kids.

I hear a lot about retreats, and weekends away from the kids, and I really just don't get it. Not saying anything against it, I don't get football either, but not planning on a national campaign to ban it.

So given a choice of a weekend away from the house (and away from kids) or one at home...I choose home.

Now if I could get home and kids elsewhere, that would like once or twice. Not to often though, I do like spending time with my kids.

Stuff for Stuff:

February 9th, 2009 at 04:58 pm

I have too much stuff, so I need to organize, and I found the perfect items to organize my stuff in!


bag of holding Oh I need one of these for my collection of stuff! Scout stuff, (boys and girls) church stuff, kid stuff, baby stuff, a bag of holding would be perfect!


For the massive collection of papers to go in the bag, one needs some organization stapleless stapler


And everyone could use more shelves for that stuff

The Science I really want to do!

February 7th, 2009 at 08:21 pm


awesome video

Some kids had a great time with corn startch water and a speaker (oh plus video camera and some editing software)


I really want to do this, but not sure if we have any speakers to spare.

Aha! I found the signal

February 6th, 2009 at 02:15 pm

I knew fans wouldn’t let me down, there is more lego


Plus a Serenity made out of paper

(link to design not working)

Along with plenty of terrific cartoon versions of the BDH


For showing your love we haveButtons

(actually I do want some patches)

For reference while making your own Lego Serenity Wallpaper



Or to spread the signal, an entire website devoted to guerilla art



While you are out shopping show your love of firefly verse and ours with a cloth grocery bag


There is even crossover art from firefly and starwars


Where would you put the lightsaber?

For your next local convention here you can find your very own Jayne hat


Speaking of crossovers, ever consider firefly and the Beatles?

Me either but apparently someone has

For more of a spoof:
(sorry no photo, have to visit this one)

Finally the eternal question all browncoats ask…how much?

Free Kiva loan came through

February 5th, 2009 at 05:10 pm

I signed up at think.MTV.com

And then found Kiva on there, clicked the support button and about a week later got a message telling me how to redeem a certificate for one $25 loan on Kiva.

I found out how via the freemicroloan site

This time I picked fried chicken because I am hungry...

I get a headache (or heartache) reading all the stories and trying to decide, it is sometimes just easier to go with a picture I like.

Can't stop the bricks or can you?

February 4th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I happened to find this link in my mailbox: brothers brick

IMO this guy does the mini figs better, he has to use homebrew parts.

Then I thought, hey I wonder if anyone has done a lego Serenity yet? It seems the perfect fit, legos and Firefly.

Turns out this fellow has

Pretty nifty but I thought about how long ago the movie came out and surely there would be more...

Nope, after sifting through several pages of google results for lego serenity they are all links to folk talking about the first guy's ship!

Even Chris over at Reasonably clever hasn't updated his attempt at a larger serenity since 2007!

Say it ain't so, can you really stop the bricks?

On a side note if you have a lego collection you have GOT to read this!


Edit to add, got another email: several very good kids' creations

How do you define yourself

February 4th, 2009 at 07:44 pm

I have read many folk who define themselves by their jobs (paid or unpaid) and I find that sad.

I am more than a sum of all my roles.

Mother, teacher, lover, housekeeper, maid, cook, Education director, scout leader, committee member, bookkeeper, reader, writer.

Whichever task of the day I am on, I could make a title for.

But it wouldn't change who I am.

If I drop a job, such as finances I would still be me.

If I take on a new role, such as plumber, I would still be me.

Though at the heart of it all I am a teacher, just as much as my son is a math-magician, you can't change that by changing our jobs.

So how do I know I am a teacher? I constantly do it.

I don't sing 'this little piggie' (not that there is anything wrong with it) I talk about "Tickling Toes" that start with "T" you have Ten of them!

I don't make 'airplane noises' (not that there is anything wrong with it) when I want my baby to open up, I make animal noises "cows say Moooooo" (or letter ones, A says AAAA)

I don't listen when placement tests tell me 'this is not a teaching opportunity' YES IT IS! Everything is a teaching opportunity! Whether you use it or not, ALL of life is a series of teachable moments.

Just as my son sees all numbers as things to be manipulated and played with, I see all life as opportunity to share.

So yeah, I do define myself as a teacher, but not because I home-school, nor any other role I fill. I define myself as a teacher, because in 20 some years it has proven to be the thing I am best at.

But you know...I am still more than that, you would miss a large part of me if all you looked at was my teaching habits.

Just as you would miss a large part of GMC if all you looked at was his math ability.

Assesment brag

February 2nd, 2009 at 08:46 pm

I have been contemplating what to do with math as my children near the end of their workbooks.

First I must explain why I care about a math workbook. While we are mainly an eclectic/un-schooling family I do believe in formalish work for the 3R's - Reading wRiting, and aRithmetic.

In my experience computation requires repetitiveness so we have solid math courses. Though most of the education and such for math is done with games, daily written computation sans calculator is required. The same with writing, all the fun games, and making letters out of duplos wont help when you are filling out an application or writing a resume. As for the reading, done daily but no formal program.

So back to my need for a math program.

I found this site and had my kids take the placements for Saxon math and the free reading one.

Now for the brag...

Are you ready for what GMC placed at?

Really ready?

Algebra 1........

If you know the kid you are prolly not that surprised,he is a math genius, but I just have to say it again, Algebra 1!!!!!

I actually hunted the test because he is about to finish his Saxon 7/6 book and when I said Algebra 1 was next he said he wanted the MAth 8/7 first. I thought about compromising with the Algebra 1/2, but figured I would let the test tell him how good he was. He is a number cruncher, so he dislikes throwing letters into the mix, I prefer the logic of letters, so we shall see how much we can get Daddy to help him (Daddy is also a number cruncher)

JC placed midway between Saxon 2 and Saxon 3..mainly because she is doing Horizons math now and they do not do as much with clocks or with temperatures. That and she STILL writes numbers backwards.

I decided to try the Singapore tests for JC, and decided to try the Horizon test for UE. Tomorrow though.

Now I am off to hunt up a Saxon Algebra book for GMC Smile (and prolly soon Singapore and something for UE)