Monday, September 19, 2016

Another reason to read: Yale Study: People Who Read Live Longer Than Those Who Don’t

I found this encouraging: Yale Study: People Who Read Live Longer Than Those Who Don’t.

One of the findings was:

"Further, our analyses demonstrated that any level of book reading gave a significantly stronger survival advantage than reading periodicals. This is a novel finding, as previous studies did not compare types of reading material; it indicates that book reading rather than reading in general is driving a survival advantage."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Study finds: Universal Preschool May Do More Harm than Good

Research Review: Universal Preschool May Do More Harm than Good starts with:

A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that universal preschool programs fail to improve a range of outcomes for participants. New studies of large-scale preschool programs in Quebec and Tennessee show that vastly expanding access to free or subsidized preschool may worsen behavioral and emotional outcomes. In the absence of compelling evidence that subsidized preschool provides an important public good, the subsidies should be reduced, not increased. Policymakers should recognize that expanding subsidies for preschool is unnecessary, provides no new benefits to low-income parents, and would create a new subsidy for middle-income and upper-income families, while adding to the tax burden for Americans.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Fascinating: More children homeschooled than in private school, in North Carolina

I find this fascinating - In One State, More Children Homeschool Than Attend Private Schools. Why That Shouldn’t Shock You.  The article starts with:

In North Carolina, the number of homeschoolers has now surpassed the number of students attending private schools.
That statistic may seem shocking if you’ve been a stranger to the growth of the homeschooling movement, which has rapidly increased in recent decades.
In 1973, there were approximately 13,000 children, ages 5 to 17, being homeschooled in the United States. But according to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of the 2011-2012 school year, that number has grown to almost 1.8 million or approximately 3.4 percent of the school age population. Other sources report numbers well over 2 million.
In the Tar Heel state alone, homeschooling has increased by 27 percent over the past two years.

It will be fun to see what other states cross the boundary over the next couple years.

(Hat tip Joanne Jacobs)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Time To Talk by Robert Frost

I was recently introduced to A Time To Talk by Robert Frost.  I like this thought about the importance of priorities and friendships.

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?  
No, not as there is a time to talk. 
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground, 
Blade-end up and five feet tall, 
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.


Friday, April 22, 2016

A new space drive?

It would be really cool if this were true.  The Curious Link Between the Fly-By Anomaly and the “Impossible” EmDrive Thruster:

About 10 years ago, a little-known aerospace engineer called Roger Shawyer made an extraordinary claim. Take a truncated cone, he said, bounce microwaves back and forth inside it and the result will be a thrust toward the narrow end of the cone. Voila … a revolutionary thruster capable of sending spacecraft to the planets and beyond. Shawyer called it the EmDrive.

Shawyer’s announcement was hugely controversial. The system converts one type of energy into kinetic energy, and there are plenty of other systems that do something similar. In that respect it is unremarkable.

The conceptual problems arise with momentum. The system’s total momentum increases as it begins to move. But where does this momentum come from? Shawyer had no convincing explanation, and critics said this was an obvious violation of the law of conservation of momentum. 

Shawyer countered with experimental results showing the device worked as he claimed. But his critics were unimpressed. The EmDrive, they said, was equivalent to generating a thrust by standing inside a box and pushing on the sides. In other words, it was snake oil.

Since then, something interesting has happened. Various teams around the world have begun to build their own versions of the EmDrive and put them through their paces. And to everyone’s surprise, they’ve begun to reproduce Shawyer’s results. The EmDrive, it seems, really does produce thrust.

An update: Some German researches say the drive could get us to the moon in four hours!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Space Access - The moon has moonquakes

I am at Space Access for the next couple days.  I won't be blogging about it as much as I have in years past.  One thing I learned today that I found interesting is that the Moon has moonquakes.

NASA reports:

There are at least four different kinds of moonquakes: (1) deep moonquakes about 700 km below the surface, probably caused by tides; (2) vibrations from the impact of meteorites; (3) thermal quakes caused by the expansion of the frigid crust when first illuminated by the morning sun after two weeks of deep-freeze lunar night; and (4) shallow moonquakes only 20 or 30 kilometers below the surface.

The first three were generally mild and harmless. Shallow moonquakes on the other hand were doozies. Between 1972 and 1977, the Apollo seismic network saw twenty-eight of them; a few "registered up to 5.5 on the Richter scale," says Neal. A magnitude 5 quake on Earth is energetic enough to move heavy furniture and crack plaster.

Furthermore, shallow moonquakes lasted a remarkably long time. Once they got going, all continued more than 10 minutes. "The moon was ringing like a bell," Neal says.

On Earth, vibrations from quakes usually die away in only half a minute. The reason has to do with chemical weathering, Neal explains: "Water weakens stone, expanding the structure of different minerals. When energy propagates across such a compressible structure, it acts like a foam sponge--it deadens the vibrations." Even the biggest earthquakes stop shaking in less than 2 minutes.

I find this mind boggling, quakes that go on for hours.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Forbes article on The College Majors With The Highest Starting Salaries

I liked The College Majors With The Highest Starting Salaries.

According to Forbes Computer Science graduates starting salary is $66,000. The bottom of the twenty listed is Social Services at $35,000.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Choosing how to respond

I like this thought from Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

When tempted to fight fire with fire,
remember that the fire department
usually uses water.

                            -(Anon.)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Interesting shift from humanities to tech at Stanford

I found this quote in What’s eating Silicon Valley interesting:

If you want to win big, you have to get the best troops. Well-resourced tech companies are now on the hunt for talent like never before, building massive recruitment pipelines to hoover up top prospects and engineers. Google recruits the heck out of Stanford, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and other top schools offering six-figures to start, plus bonuses. Facebook sponsors hackathons at the top schools, stays in touch with professors, and invests tons of resources in order to be the most visible and obvious employer.
Don’t think that the smart kids haven’t noticed—the proportion of Stanford students majoring in the Humanities has plummeted from over 20% to only 7% this past year, prompting wails among History and English professors whose classes no longer have students. One administrator joked to me that Stanford is now the Stanford Institute of Technology. In 2014, more Harvard Business School Grads went into technology than into banking for the first time since the dot-com era.

Monday, December 07, 2015

The last Carnival of Homeschooling

Almost ten years ago we kicked off the first edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  This carnival will be the last edition, the 479th edition.

It is been a good run.  I am very grateful for all the homeschool bloggers, and others, who have contributed a lot of time and effort to making the carnival a success.  The first couple years were glory years.  We had dozens of submissions in a typical edition of the carnival, and sometimes a carnival would get over a thousand hits.

Recently a typical carnival gets a couple entries and a couple dozen hits.  It is time to bring the carnival to a close.

Carnival of Homeschooling

From Australia, Carol has two entries.  In Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room - ideas for Advent when life is busy...  she shares some ideas on how to slow down and remember to make room for our Savior.  She finds that music works well.  One of the things which drew Janine and I to homeschooling initially was the chance to spend more time with our daughters teaching them about the gospel.  She reviews Highschool Biology with Living Books: Mr Tompkins Inside Himself... and shares the high lights of the ten chapters.  These posts are from her blog journey-and-destination

From Missouri, Christine also has two entries.  In Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher! she has suggestions of the kinds of gifts children can do which really help. With Do Homeschooled Children Have to Learn Anything? she reports on a current court case about homeschooling.


Carnival of Homeschooling

If you have enjoyed this carnival, please spread the word.

Go here for the archives of previous carnivals.

We thank everyone who has helped out. And thanks to all those who help promote the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Reminder - Please send in a post or two for the December edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling

This is just a quick reminder, please send in up to three posts about homeschooling for the December edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  Entries are due December 7th, 6:00 PM PST.

The December edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling will be at Why Homeschool.


This will be the last edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  The interest has fallen off.  We are getting fewer and fewer submissions to the carnival. It is time to wrap it up.  This edition will finish the tenth year of the carnival.  It has been a good run and I'm grateful for so many people who helped the carnival.


You can send in up to three posts about homeschooling via with an email to: CarnivalOfHomeschooling@gmail.com

Please include:

 Title of Post(s)
 URL of Post(s)
 Name of Blog
 URL of Blog
 Brief summary of the post(s)

Or you can submit your entries via Google Forms.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, November 13, 2015

This month's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Homeschool Post

Sarah is hosting the November edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling at The Homeschool Post.

She starts the carnival with:

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It’s time for the monthly Carnival of Homeschooling and we’re glad to be hosting this month at The Homeschool Post. Get comfy and settle in for some great homeschool reads!
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I hope you enjoy the carnival.

And I hope everyone in the US has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My oldest's thoughts about homeschooling

Hello, Everyone!

I am the eldest and I am back in town for the next bit. Dad asked me to write a post. One of the things I have noticed while I have been home is how adaptable homeschooling is for my family. I have a distinctly different learning style than some of my younger siblings. Homeschooling has allowed our family to adapt, first to my needs and then to theirs.

I was a late reader. My Mom was able to alter the curriculum to meet my needs and then alter it back as I learned to read. We went through several different spelling programs before we found one that worked for our family.

I am an auditory learner. I used an online program of recorded classes for History, Science, and English. For Math, we used Saxon text books and when I had problems with we added DIVE, a recorded math tutoring program. One of my sisters on the other hand, does better in groups or interacting with people and so she takes some classes at a local private school.

Homeschooling has worked really well for our family and one of the reasons has been how we were able to customize the curriculum.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Reminder - Please send in a post or two for the October edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling

This is just a quick reminder, you have four days to send in up to three posts about homeschooling for the November edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling which will be held November 10th.

The October edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling will be at The Homeschool Post.

You can send in up to three posts about homeschooling via with an email to: CarnivalOfHomeschooling@gmail.com

Please include:

 Title of Post(s)
 URL of Post(s)
 Name of Blog
 URL of Blog
 Brief summary of the post(s)

Or you can submit your entries via Google Forms.

Please send in the entries by November 9th at 6:00 PM PST.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, October 19, 2015

This month's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at: Notes from a Homeschooled Mom

The October edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up at: Notes from a Homeschooled Mom.

The carnival starts off with:

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At this point in my homeschooling career, I am 3 years post homeschooling. My youngest child is well into the swing of her Jr. Year in college.  Someone recently asked me why I continue to blog about homeschooling and stay involved.  My answer was, because there are children that would fare better with an individual education. My days of slamming public schooling is long past. I have seen kids do poorly on both sides the argument and I have seen children on both sides do exceedingly well.  But whether people homeschool all the way through, or transition in or out of homeschooling, we need to respect and support each persons decisions.  This carnival of homeschooling features families that utilize or have utilized both homeschooling and traditional schooling.  
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Enjoy!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, October 12, 2015

Homeschool materials we use for 3rd Grade




These are the materials we are using for our 3rd grade son (who has a visual and language processing disorder).

Explode the Code – We are working our way through the series. 

Oral Language Exercises

First Language Lessons

Daily worksheets that I create myself – The date, a sentence , a few math problems.

Bob Books

Anything we can find about Dinosaurs.  Some of our favorites are Dig A Dino Excavation Kits.

Snap Circuits Jr.

Singapore Math 

Life of Fred Math Books

Story of the World

What your # Grader Needs to Know

Brain Pop

Peterson Handwriting

We do work on phonetics, but because of his processing disorder, he cannot read phonetically fast enough to gain fluency.  As a result, we focus on flash card reading.  We found online a list of all the words in the scriptures in the order of frequency.  I used this to create flash cards.   Since we read together as a family, he gets to practice the words in regular use.  He has a flashcard reading vocabulary of about 200 words, which goes surprisingly along way.  

For example, here are a few of the words that he recently mastered.

having   then    death    save     themselves     cause     house     Israel     Lord     give     called

We also use the online program Fast Forward.  This is an expensive program.  We have home access through an Educational Specialist.  

Science Class at Rock-it Science

Drama/Music/Dance Class 

Gymnastics classes - 3 hours per week

Cub Scout program

Homeschool Co-op Classes (Art, Choir, Lego's, etc. )

Friday, October 09, 2015

Reminder - Please send in a post or two for the October edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling

This is just a quick reminder, you have three days to send in up to three posts about homeschooling for the October edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling which will be held October 13th.

The October edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling will be at Notes From A Homeschooled Mom.

You can send in up to three posts about homeschooling via with an email to: CarnivalOfHomeschooling@gmail.com

Please include:

 Title of Post(s)
 URL of Post(s)
 Name of Blog
 URL of Blog
 Brief summary of the post(s)

Or you can submit your entries via Google Forms.

Please send in the entries by October 12th at 6:00 PM PST.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The September edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Pumpkin Spice Edition

I love the homeschool community, especially in the blogging world.  There are so many helpful people willing to step in and help out.  The host originally scheduled for the September edition recently had a move and was hit with some illness.  I put out a call Monday asking if any of the regular hosts had the free time to pull it together.  Susan replied yes.  Yeah!!!

So Susan is hosting this month's Carnival of Homeschooling at Susan Online.

She starts the carnival with:

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Welcome to the Pumpkin Spice Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling! I don't know about you, but summer was a blur, and I can't believe that fall has officially arrived as of September 23rd. So who's ready for some cozy homeschool days filled with pumpkin spice muffins, pumpkin spice coffee, and pumpkin spice candles?
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Please drop by and thank her for stepping in at the last minute.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, September 07, 2015

My first "Back to School" night

No, we have not sent our children to school.

We have a Japanese Exchange student who is in the 10th grade and who is attending our local high school.

It was a bit of an ordeal for me. I admit it.  It creeped me out a bit.  It is a large school with the whole assembly line feeling.

Here is what I learned.

The ESL (English as a second language) track is a joke.  If kid does the homework, he will get an "A."  If the kid doesn't do the homework, but asks for extra credit later, he can still get an "A."   If the kid blows the tests and asks for extra credit, an "A" is still a possibility.  I felt like the teachers were literally begging the students to do something and were offering all sorts of bribes with the promise of not only a passing grade but an "A" if only the student would try just a little (which apparently many of the students are not willing to do).

Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against extra credit.  But the whole tone was one of low expectations.
I'm also not necessarily a fan of homework either.  I love learning.  This didn't not feel like an "I love learning" kind of place. I got the sense that the "late bloomer" or "late arrival" student felt beaten down by the system.  They knew that they didn't measure up and many had given up trying.  Thus, the teachers tried to help with their constant flow of "do overs" and "second chances."

Only 3 parents of students in the ESL biology and ESL history class showed up. What are teachers to do when there is no support at home?The school does offer after school tutoring.  Even a student from a non-supportive household could get help with homework, if the student took initiative. But, that is a lot to ask of a kid who hasn't been raised to value education in a system that doesn't see them individual.

I learned that teachers are very frustrated.  Many students in the ESL classes won't do homework and are disruptive in class.  The teachers would like to spend more time with the serious students but they haven't got the time or resources.  However, if the school puts the serious ESL students in the regular classroom, they can become overwhelmed and give up.

After "Back to School Night," I spent some time thinking about what to do with public education and how to meet the needs of students on such different levels.  I wished that every student had an "IEP." (Individual Education Plan).  Instead of being placed in a class that was too easy or a class that was too hard, the student could have learning opportunities right at their level.

I know how to do that as a homeschooler.  I don't know how to do that in a large, inflexible institutional setting.