Friday, June 28, 2013

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Dewey's Treehouse.

This will be the 392nd edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

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

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, June 27, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Amazing Superpowers edition!

Cristina is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Home Spun Juggling.

She starts the carnival with:

Mutant and meta-human. Born with it or developed special skills through some accidental event or sheer force of will. Superheroes have this in common: Superpowers. 
I've loved comics and cartoon heroes since I was a kid. I always imagined what it would be like to have superhuman skills. Would I fly? Walk through walls? Turn invisible? Becoming a mom and home educator didn't end these flights of fancy. If anything, superpowers are more appealing to a busy homeschooling parent like me. What superpowers would you have?


Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
-Arnold Glasow

I am always excited when one of my daughters says hey we are doing this next week, I'll start preparing now. For example when they go on trips they are often packed days in advance. In contrast Janine and I normally finish packing the night before.

Here is another great quote along the same lines:

The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.
- author unknown

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thoughts about various curriculums, from a student's perspective

Hey this is the eldest child again.  One of the great things about homeschooling is choosing your own curriculum.  You can select the curriculum that works best for you.

Through the years my family has used several different curriculums for English, History, and Spelling.

For English when I first started I would read a chapter of a McGuffy reader and write a paragraph prompted by the questions. We had the Original McGuffey's Eclectic Reading Series. It was old and kind of worn.

Then we did IEW for English. This we actually did as a group at co-op. We would read through a paragraph, highlight the key words, put together a key words outline, and write two drafts. We then would read our paragraphs out loud.

Then I took English at Liahona Academy, a distance learning program. With Liahona I did many different assignments. I watched video clips and listened to music for metaphors and similes. I wrote papers on the heroic cycle, and compared and contrasted essays.

For Spelling I first started with a spelling work book that had word search, crossword, and other activities designed to help memorize the spelling words.

Then we moved to Spelling Power. Spelling Power gave a quick spelling quiz every day and then I practiced only the words I missed.

The first History book I had was this thick old book called History of the World. It read like a fairy tale and was pretty cool.

But for most of school we used the Story of the World series by Susan Wise Bauer. For a couple months we had a long butcher paper timeline on our wall in the hall. I really recommend the text book. It’s engaging and easy to learn from.

Your perspective affects your response

From Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon makes you furious; if you like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.-Irving Becker

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some of our best posts from October 2007

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for over seven years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from October 2007:

The cost of education has risen a factor of ten over the last 78 years is a post about how the real price of government schools, adjusted for inflation, has exploded over the last several decades.

Economics in one lesson has some resources.

I wondered if Sputnik the beginning of the end? for public education.

I have found that one of the benefits of homeschooling is children retain their love for learning.

September 2007 was also when we were still new to Foster Care.  Here are some posts about our experiences:  Update on our third foster care child, First Day of School and First Day of School - Part 2.

And September 2007 was when I first listened to The Day The Routers Died...

Even now I find this amazing.

Life Humor 1.N

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


 Does anyone know why they have locks on the doors at 7-11 if they're open 24 hours?


What's the difference between the Boy Scouts and [name your org]?.......
The Boy Scouts have adult leadership!


Three men were in the hospital waiting room while their respective wives to deliver. 

Finally a nurse comes out asking for Mr. J.  "Congratulations, you're the proud father of twins!"  "Isn't that fascinating, I come from Twin Forks." and he runs off to see his family. 

The nurse returns for Mr S.  "Congratulations, you're the proud father of triplets!"  "Isn't that fascinating, I come from the Triple Cities."  and he hurries off. 

Immediately the third father stands up and starts to leave.  The nurse stops him and inquires about where he's going.  "HOME", he says, "to the Thousand Islands!!"


To meet a project deadline, my programmers worked overtime for several weeks.  On the final evening, one woman said: "Boss, do you have a copy of the latest IRS tax regulations? There's something I want to look up."
  "What's that?" I asked.
  "Use of the office as a home."


  "Nowadays, when opportunity knocks, you have to unlock both dead bolts, remove the chain, and turn off the burglar alarm..."


Message sent out:  If anyone is walking (or even sitting) around with a blue Pilot pen with a transparent barrel which doesn't belong to them; I think it is probably mine.  I've lost three.  They seem to have walked away from my office.

The reply:  Reboot your office. They might come back.


Werner von Braun said, "Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."


     Bad luck is having your operation by the winner of the local grammar school's doctor-for-a-day contest.


 Practicing medicine in the Bronx has its complications, but the following is something even we don't have to put up with:

 DHAKA (Bangladesh):  At least 50 patients ran screaming from their beds after five cobras reared their heads in a packed ward on the third floor of Dacca Medical College Hospital, officials said yesterday.
 Hospital employees killed the poisonous snakes after Tuesday's fright, but snake charmers were summoned today in case more serpents were lurking in the hospital.

         Craig Werner (MD/PhD '91)


Jumbo Shrimp
pretty ugly
good grief
friendly competitor
committed schedule
marketing strategy



Fascinate:    Ma had nine buttons on her nightgown, but she could only fascinate.
Pasteurize:   The water's only up to my neck, but it's pasteurize.
Gruesome:  My dad stopped shaving and gruesome whiskers.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A reason to homeschool your boys - because public schools want them to act like girls

Jessica Lehey has a nice article at The Atlantic on Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School.  She summarizes some of the problems with how public schools treat boys with:

Something is rotten in the state of boys' education, and I can't help but suspect that the pattern I have seen in my classroom may have something to do with a collective failure to adequately educate boys. The statistics are grim. According to the book Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Strategies That Work and Why, boys are kept back in schools at twice the rate of girls. Boys get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls. Boys are diagnosed with learning disorders and attention problems at nearly four times the rate of girls. They do less homework and get a greater proportion of the low grades. Boys are more likely to drop out of school, and make up only 43 percent of college students. Furthermore, boys are nearly three times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Considering 11 percent of U.S. children--6.4 million in all--have been diagnosed with a ADHD, that's a lot of boys bouncing around U.S. classrooms.

I am so glad we can homeschool my son and allow him to be a boy.

Higher education may really pay

The whole Higher Education world is starting to undergo some huge changes.  This is fascinating, Udemy reports that Their top 10 instructors together made $5M


Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Home Spun Juggling.

This will be the 391st edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book review: The Mountain Valley War by Louis L’Amour

The Mountain Valley War is one of Louis L’Amour’s best.

Louis  L’Amour wrote dozens of stories with non-reoccurring characters.  The hero would appear in one book never to be seen again.  On the other side was almost two dozen novels about the Sackett family.  The Sackett books spanned several generations.  In between these Louis L’Amour had a few characters that popped up in various novels and short stories.  Kilkenny was one such.  There were three novels and three short stories about Kilkenny.

For some reason Kilkenny is one of my favorite Louis L’Amour characters.  He had many of the traditional traits: fast with a gun, a good fist fighter, smart, stood up for justice and for most of the stories he rode off into the sunset, alone.

“The Mountain Valley War” is the last Kilkenny novel.  Once again our hero is minding his own business.  He is up in the mountains of Idaho building up a small ranch.  Then a cattle baron starts pushing his weight around.  He wants more land, and he kills for it.  Kilkenny gets involved and rallies to the side of the small settlers.  In addition to all that, trouble has followed him from the story of “The Rider of Lost Creek.”  We have lots of gun battles and some fist fights.  The action just moves from page to page. 

Personally I recommend you start with “Kilkenny” and “The Rider of Lost Creek” before reading “The Mountain Valley War.”  But if you like Louis L'Amour or westerns in general you can jump straight to "The Mountain Valley War."

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

ChristineTheCurious is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Our Curious Home.

She has a theme of "Floods and Picnics" and starts with:

This is the time of year when my kids wish we didn’t school year round (we do take off August and most of December, and random days we are grumpy in February, and you get the idea.)


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm glad we can homeschool in the United States

I was reflecting today at just how glad I am we can homeschool in the United States.  The public schools are so broken.  They will arrest a young children for wearing a politically in-correct shirt or for drawing a picture of a gun.  Hundreds of thousands of students drop out each year.  And many of those who do "graduate" don't know how to read or write.

Recently I've been reading a few articles in the new about a bill in the California legilature.  The bill may have a noble goal of providing equality between the sexes.  But the approach seems so crazy.  AB 1266 will allow students to students into the locker room of the sex they identify with.  So if a guy says he feels like a girl it appears these bill will then allow him to take a shower in the girls' locker room.  One article explains:

The cultural debate over "transgender rights" in public schools has moved to California, where a legislative committee passed a bill April 17 that would outlaw sex-segregated bathrooms and athletic teams.

Under the bill — which passed the Assembly Education Committee by a vote of 5-2 — a student will be "permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and facilities, including athletic teams and competitions," consistent with "his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records."

This means that boys who say they identify as girls can use the girls' restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa. It also means that girls who want to play on boys' teams, and boys who want to play on girls' teams, will be allowed to do so. The key will be their "gender identity" — what sex they identify as — and not their birth certificate.


It is no wonder that homeschooling has exploded over the last decade and many expect it to continue to skyrocket. 

In general the United States is pretty friendly to homeschooling.  For example a recent ruling from the Nebraska Supreme Court says a homeschooling family can set their own school calendar, that they don't have to start in August or September.

It is sad that other countries persecute homeschoolers.

For example the Johansson family in Sweden was getting read to leave the country when officials boarded the plane and took Domenic, a 7-year-old boy, from his parents.  It appears that in part the officials in Sweden took the boy because he was being homeschooled.  The parents haven't seen their son in three years.

And the Roemeike family, from Germany, fled their country because they were not being allowed to homeschool.  I'm said that the Obama Administration has denied the Roemeike's bid to seek asylum in the United States.

There are still many issues and problems with education and homeschooling in the United States, but I am glad we can homeschool here with relatively little hassle.

College 2020

It is clear higher education is changing.  It is not clear exactly how things will shake out.  My expectation is that as more people move to these new massive online classes from a few universities that other universities will go out of business. 

In Seven Years 'til the Revolution? Jane Shaw shares her thoughts.  She starts with:

In spite of all the alarm over rising costs and excessive borrowing for college, one person is confident that college will be far less expensive in just a few years.

In the vision outlined by Vance H. Fried, there will be little need for federally subsidized loans. Many parents will be able to pay for college for their children out of current income.

Some of our best posts from September 2007

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for over seven years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from September 2007:

I posted eight Reasons to Blog.

I shared Some of the benefits of homeschooling.

I challenged parents to teach their children to Keep looking after you find "The right answer."

Janine continued to write about our experience with music and homeschooling:  What about Band? - Part 2, What about Band? - Day Three and Music lessons.

We had a few Thoughts about the Value of Education.

Life Humor 1.M

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


Tom had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work. His boss was mad at him and threatened to fire him if he didn't do something about it. So Tom went to his doctor who gave him a pill and told him to take it before he went to bed.

Tom slept well and in fact beat the alarm in the morning. He had a leisurely breakfast and drove cheerfully to work.

 "Boss", he said,

"The pill actually worked !"

"That's all fine" said the boss, " But where were you yesterday ? "


Did you hear about the midget who was running away from the Prague Police?

He ran up to a house, knocked on the door and asked the woman who opened the door if she would cache a small Czech


One day a three-legged dog moseyed into Dodge City, Kansas. He was your typical western dog, he had a bandana around his neck and a snarl on his lips.

Anyway, Matt Dillon met the dog in the middle of Main Street amidst all his fans and said, "Three-Legged dog, this heres a peaceful community, we don't want no trouble."

To which the three-legged dog replied, "Matt, I'm not looking for no trouble neither, I'm just lookin' for the man that shot my pa(w)!"


Q: What do you call a short psychic who escapes from prison?

A: A small medium at large.


Know why they don't let government workers look out the window in the morning?

So they'll have something to do in the afternoon!


Seems there was a barber in Chicago by the name of Joe Garibaldi. Joe loved to brag to his customers that he "knows everybody who's anybody." The walls of the shop are resplendent with autographed pictures of celebrities and notables.

One regular customer grows a little weary of hearing all the bragging, and decides to call Joe on it by telling him "I bet you 50 bucks you don't even know Sinatra!"

"Frankie?" sez Joe, "We were childhood buddies. For the price of the airfare, I'll take you to Vegas and prove it".

Being comfortable financially, the customer agrees to add the airfare to the bet, and they fly to Las Vegas and catch Frank's show. After the show, Joe takes the guy back to the dressing rooms, where Sinatra greets him warmly and has them both in for drinks. Back in Chicago, the customer is even more peeved at losing the bet, and determines to find some way to win it back.

One day he asks Joe if he knows Reagan. "Hell," sez Joe, "I got him into pictures." For the price of the airfare, I'll prove it to you." So off they go to D.C., where they join the daily tour of the White House. As they stroll through the East Wing, a door opens and old Ronnie steps out, surrounded by G-men. He spots Joe, pushes his way past the Secret Service guys, and embraces him like old times...

Back in Chicago again, the customer decides to have one last all-out attempt at retribution. "Hey, Joe," he says, "I'll bet you don't know the Pope ... heck, he ain't even Italian this time around!" "You betcha I do," sez Joe, "and for the price of the airfare, etc. etc."

They do indeed jet to the Vatican, and arrive at St. Peter's basilica during one of the large open-air masses the Pope conducts from a balcony. The piazza is packed with pilgrims, rosaries in hand, waiting for services to start. Joe and the customer are sandwiched between some sweet little old Italian senoras.

Joe turns to the customer and says "This is gonna be tough .. I don't think I can get us both into the chambers before Mass starts, but I'll tell you what. You keep an eye on that balcony up there, 'cuz that's where the Pope says Mass from. I'm going inside to meet him, and then I'll be back."

With that, Joe elbows his way off into the crowd. Left alone, the customer soon sees a small figure appear at the balcony and begin the ceremony. Soon, a second figure joins him, and they turn and hug each other warmly.

Pondering all this, the customer speculates that:

(1) he is so far away he can't really make out either of them and
(2) Joe has won so much money from him that he could conceivably stage the whole thing.

With that in mind, he nudges the little old lady next to him, who looks up from her rosary. "Excuse me, senora, but can you tell me, is that REALLY the Pope up there?"

The old woman squints hard in the direction of the balcony, and responds "I'm-a not sure, but the other fella with him is-a Joe Garibaldi!"


This week's Homeschool Showcase is up

Kris is again hosting the Homeschool Showcase at her blog Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Boy is facing jail for wearing a NRA shirt to public school

This is mind boggling. 

14-year-old at the center of "NRA T-Shirt Controversy" now facing possibility of 1 year in jail starts with:

Suspended and arrested after refusing to change his NRA shirt. Today, 14-year-old Jared Marcum appeared before a judge and was officially charged with obstructing an officer.

A $500 fine and up to a year in jail, that's the penalty that Jared could face, now that a judge has allowed the prosecution to move forward with it's obstructing an officer charge against him.

The court documents say the policeman is upset that Jared wouldn't stop talking.  Imagine that a 14-year-old boy in a stressful situation.  Maybe he is nervous.  Doesn't seem like a year in jail is the right response.  I am surprised the judge let this continue.

I am so glad we homeschool.  Our children can wear whatever shirts we allow.  We don't have to worry about the capriciousness of others.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book review: The Tall Stranger by Louis L’Amour

The Tall Stranger is an average Louis L’Amour, which means it is still pretty good.

Rock, the hero, is a young man who joins a wagon train. He is awkward with words, but not with guns.  He helps the wagon train through some tough times, but they don’t trust him.  Then a smooth talking man shows up and tells the wagon train about a “short cut.”  They follow him.

The glib man wants to use the people in the wagon train to take land away from a cattle baron.  Rock is suspicious from the start, but as he is not elegant with words the people in the wagon train ignore his concerns.  The story moves pretty quickly.

I am always amazed at Louis L’Amour ability to make every page a page turner.  Once started, his stories are hard to put down.

I enjoyed the story and would encourage anyone who had liked other Louis L’Amour stories, or westerns in general, to give “The Tall Stranger" a try.

The latest Homeschool Showcase

The latest Homeschool Showcase is up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Too many laws

From Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.
      -Charles de Montesquieu,
      philosopher and writer (1689-1755)

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up at Simple Charlotte Mason.

Hobbit Trailer - It is going to be a long six months

It looks like a lot of fun:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Be careful about donating money to "charities"

America's worst charities is a long article about how some "charities" rake in a lot of money but do little good.  One common tactic is to give a lot of the money raised to the solicitors who raised the money, who often have connections with the leaders of the "charities."  And many of these "charities" have names which sound similar to good charities, so you need to be very careful. 

For example the "Kids Wish Network" (which sounds like the good Make-A-Wish organization) took in $127.8 million in the last decade and paid $109.8 million to solicitors.  Then those in the organization took a salary and after other expenses only 2.5% was spent on direct cash aid.

Janine and I never give money in response to a phone call.  If they sound legit we'll ask them to mail us.  Very few have ever followed through.

Be careful about donating money.  There are many bad charities.

The key to failure

From Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
          -Bill Cosby

Some of our best posts from August 2007

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for over seven years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from August of 2007:

I strongly recommend that everyone read  How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler.  Here is my Book Review.

In What about Band? Janine writes about how we have incorporated music into homeschooling.

And we shared an update on pets in our home, where we wrote about our corn snake.

Life Humor 1.L

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


"Attempting to rob a bank, Gerald Rodgers handed a teller a note in which he threatened to blow up the bank with a bum.  The bum, said the note would 'go of whenever I won't it too, and I won't hesitate to kill anybody starting with you first.'  The note warned bank personnel against using 'markt money ... exsplosive rubber bands' and further directed, 'And you get of out thing alive.  And whenever I leave act like nothing happen or eles.' 

Rodgers got away with $4550 - temporarily.  It seems he had scribbled the note on one of his mother's checks, from which he's cleverly scratched out her name but left her account number."


From the 9 Feb. '87 New Yorker:

CONSTABULARY NOTES FROM ALL OVER [from the Arcata (Calif.) Union]

Tiffany's ice cream parlor alerted police to a person defacing the statue of William McKinley on the Arcata Plaza.  Police apprehended a suspect and released him with a warning not to stick cheese in McKinley's ears and nose anymore.


I recently opened a fortune cookie and found the following fortune:

"New encounters could change the course of your file."

Is this a spelling error, or the start of a new wave of fortune cookies aimed at Computer Scientists?


     Part of being sane, is being a little bit crazy.
         Janet Long

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Our Curious Home.

This will be the 390th edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

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

Instapundit says sending children to public school may be child abuse

Here is another one of those zero tolerance at public schools seems to mean zero common sense. 

Suspension over gun-shaped toaster pastry is now permanent mark on kid’s record starts with:

This week brought more bad news for Joshua Welch, the Baltimore-area second-grader who was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped a breakfast pastry into something resembling a gun.

School officials have denied an appeal to have the suspension expunged from the boy’s permanent record, reports The Baltimore Sun.

This is one of those truth is stranger than fiction incidents.  If someone wrote a similar situation in a story people would say it was unreal.  People want fiction to make sense.  This is unreal, but it is true.

Hopefully more people will start to see that sending children to some public schools is a form of child abuse.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Time4Learning Community Blog

The carnival starts with:

It's here, it's here! The Carnival of Homeschooling has arrived at the Time4Learning Community Blog . . . and just in time for summer! Sit back with a cool drink while you check out these summer-related blog posts.


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homeschool, socialization and a wedding

When homeschooling first took off many critics claimed that mere parents were not qualified or able to teach their children. They felt it was clear that only “experts” were able to properly school children. Clearly parents would flounder and fail. But as time passed it became apparent that in general children who are homeschooled had greater mastery of academic topics.

So then the critics turned to “socialization.” They again felt it was clear that children who missed out on the public school experience would not be able to function in society. That somehow being forced to be with other people all the same age in a prison like environment was an appropriate way to learn how to get along in life, and by missing out on this experience homeschooled children would suffer. But again as time passed it became apparent that in general children who are do just fine in getting along with others.

Janine and I saw this recently with our children. Last week one of my nieces got married. Our daughters were interacting with the rest of the wedding party just fine. They helped prepare for the reception. They helped serve at the reception. And they helped clean up. At times they were taking care of small children. They met many people they had never seen before in their life and they got along just fine. There were no comments about how socially awkward they were. On the contrary a few people complimented me on how wonderful the girls were.

It is always nice to see your children do well, especially when when the “experts” predicate failure.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at:

This will be the 389th edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

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

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Life Humor 1.K

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


        "Leaving Florida?  Take a friend."
                -The Commision Against Progress in Florida


Subject: Praise or attack? Open-Apple, Feb '87 mentions a Wall Street Journal article...
Recently, Apple Computer Inc. purchased a $14.5 Cray Research supercomputer to aid in the design of their next-generation Apple computers.
John Rollwagen, Cray Research Inc. chief executive, told Seymour Cray about how Apple was using their newly purchased Cray supercomputer.  "There was a pause on the other end of the line, and Seymour said 'That's interesting, because I'm designing the next Cray with an Apple'."


Last month, after one the boats was eliminated from the Cup, the crew members decided to go sightseeing for kangaroos.  Sure enough, they were successful: They were motoring through the bush when the car hit a kangaroo with a thud.  The driver was taken aback.  But then he decided it might be neat to take off his official team Gucci jacket, put it on the limp kangaroo, prop up the animal and pose for pictures with it.  This worked fine until the kangaroo, who was merely stunned, woke up and bounded away - with the car keys inside the jacket.  The stranded crew eventually made it back to civilization, but only after a long, long walk.


At a recent aviation safety conference, Jack Eggspuler told a story similar to that of the student with the extra $25,000 credited to his account
[Steve Thompson, RISKS-4.46]:
He had banked for years at a small-town bank.  One day, a large banking conglomerate bought up the small bank.  After this, Jack noticed that his deposits weren't being listed.
He went into the bank to talk to them.  It turned out that his account number, which had been assigned to him when the bank was independent, was identical to Borden Industries' account number with the conglomerate.  Yup, his penny-ante deposits were going into Borden's account.
He thought it was straightened out.  A week or so later he went in to cash a check, and asked for his balance.  It was:  $9,238,345.35.  Ulp!  He thought of a new Piper, but settled for a copy of the printout.  He's got it hanging on his wall...
GIBU:  Garbage in, Bucks out?


     MARIETTA, GA. -- If you *really* hate that clunker computer of yours, you can put it in the car, drive to the Bullet Stop in Marietta, GA (off Cobb Drive at Powder Springs Rd.) and put it out of its misery on the two-year old shop's firing range.  With a machine gun.
     Cathy Lavista of The Bullet Stop explains, "We had an Apple, a little old Apple, and there was a Xerox copy machine.  Hewlett-Packard also brought in one of their printers, one of the great big ones, and set circuit boards on top of them.  And they blow apart nicely -- little pieces go everywhere.  You wouldn't need a very big gun.  You could knock it out with 50 rounds off an HK, a German machine gun.  Then if you really want to finish it off you could put it out of its misery with a Thompson sub-machine gun.  That shoots .45 caliber shot, it's the old gangster gun, and it really cleans it up."
     Of the customers: "They shoot from pretty close.  By the time they get them in here they hate them.  They usually take them out at 30 feet, you like to see what you're doing.  When we sweep the range we find little bytes and pieces of things."  (She laughs at her cleverness on that last line.)  Actually, Ms. Lavista says, computers aren't the only things The Bullet Stop will let you shoot.  "You can shoot it as long as you can get it through the doors and it's already dead. We had to open a side door for the printer."

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

“I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy.

Becky Gerritson gave testimoney yesterday to the Ways and Means Committee:

I loved this set of sentances:

I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being, and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered.

In response I wrote my congressman and senators asking them to make sure all Americans received equal treatment before the law.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Notes from a Homeschooling Mom.

The carnival starts with:

So it was my turn to host the Carnival of Homeschooling, I was so very excited, as I am officially a veteran homeschooling having recently graduated my second and last child from homeschooling.  She attended a homeschool-hybrid program for the Arts and some literature, and did the rest of her academics at home.  So anyway, I was soooo giddy from the sheer glut of all the submissions coming into my email box, but didn't open too many of them right away, because I was still planning the graduation party, so my attention was directed elsewhere.

Well, I can tell you that looks are deceiving,  because when I did start digging into the submissions, I found a big-ole-mess of spam.  Now correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think us homeschoolers need to read a dozen posts from nanny services on how to keep in-laws from babysitting, or summer activity suggestion.  (If I'm wrong, let me know and I will add them in.)  I also don't think our main focus here is creating a professional looking garden, from a gardening website.  Perhaps these guys need to find the appropriate carnivals to participate in.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, June 03, 2013

Homeschool co-op over the years

Hi, oldest daughter here.

One of the things that we have done as homeschoolers is put together a homeschool co-op. This homeschool co-op has gone through several incarnations.

Our first co-op was held at the in-law suite in the back of one of the member’s house. Here we did chess, theater, IEW writing projects and science projects. Then the owner of the house moved away. Since then we have moved through several different venues. 

We held co-op at a local park community center, a church and a garage. We continued to have chess, theater, IEW writing projects, and science projects. We have also added book club, choir, and Lego Mindstorms.

We then moved to another church were we held co-op for several years. At this church we had art class, both appreciation and drawing, gym class, choir, chess, Lego Mindstorms, theater and book club.

Last year for theater the co-op did a production of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. It was lots of fun because an actual drama teacher Mom knew from Church came and helped us. She helped a lot and it turned out rather well.

This year I was not able to participate because of school and work. But the co-op did a collection of skits and songs.  Among the highlights were the boys rendition of ‘Sherri’ by the Four Seasons and two girls reenactment of Vizzini’s death scene from the Princess Bride.

Co-op has been really fun and very rewarding.

Some of our best posts from July 2007

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for over seven years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from July 2007:

Janine has some scary numbers in 250% Increase in use of antipsychotic drugs on children.

She also explores why many teachers haven't mastered basic skills with More on teacher certification.

Janine has two posts about why we homeschool: Part 1 - to promote moral development of my children and Part 2 - to promote fiscal responsibility.

I really enjoyed "The Long Tail" so I wrote Book review: The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson.

Life Humor 1.J

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:
A few Light Bulb Jokes:


Q:  How many Psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Only one, but the bulb has got to really WANT to change.
A': None; the bulb will change itself when it is ready.


Q:  How many pre-med students does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Five:  One to change the bulb and four to pull the ladder out from under him.


Q:  How many valley girls does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Oooh, like, manual labor?  Gag me with a spoon!  For sure.


Q:  How many Carl Sagans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  Billions and billions.


Q:  How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  How many can you afford?


Q:  How many Harvard students does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  Just one. He holds the light bulb and the universe revolves around him.


Q:  How many bureaucrats does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  Two.  One to assure the everything possible is being done while the other screws the bulb into the water faucet.


Q:  How many accountants does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  What kind of answer did you have in mind?


Q:  How many civil servants does it take to change the light bulb?
A:  45.  One to change the bulb, and 44 to do the paperwork.


Q:  How many members of the U.S.S. Enterprise does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  7. Scotty will report to Captain Kirk that the light bulb in the Engineering Section is burnt out, to which Kirk will send Bones to pronounce the bulb dead. Scotty, after checking around, notices that they have no more new light bulbs, and complains that he can't see in the dark to tend to his engines. Kirk must make an emergency stop at the next uncharted planet, Alpha Regula IV, to procure a light bulb from the natives. Kirk, Spock, Bones, Sulu, and 3 red shirt security officers beam down. The 3 security officers are promptly killed by the natives, and the rest of the landing party is captured. Meanwhile, back in orbit, Scotty notices a Klingon ship approaching and must warp out of orbit to escape detection. Bones cures the native king who is suffering from the flu, and as a reward the landing party is set free and given all of the light bulbs  they can carry. Scotty cripples the Klingon ship and warps back to the planet just in time to beam up Kirk et. al. The new bulb is inserted,  and the Enterprise continues with its five year mission.


Q:  How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Only one. They don't like to share the spotlight.


Q:  How many dull people does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  one.

A draconian focus on zero-tolerance has led to a lost of common sense

The media reports fairly often about how schools over react to young children even talking about guns.  The zero-tolerance war on kindergarteners has some of the worse examples of this I've seen.

The article covers four instances in where young children are suspended from school because of tenuous associations with guns.  The worse example was:

Noah had no gun, toy or otherwise, but Aguirre said his son still was punished for talking with other students about the Nerf guns the family recently bought during a trip to Lincoln City, Ore.

Yes, the boy was punished because he talked about "Nerf guns."


Hat tip: Instapundit

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Notes From A Homeschool Mom

This will be the 388th edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

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

Good column on the future of online education

I enjoyed Andy Kessler's column Professors Are About to Get an Online Education.  He writes about some of the recent experiments in the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  There has been a lot of push back because MOOCs threaten teacher's livelihood.  Andy makes a great point:

I was upbraided for not understanding the plight of teachers. The plight of students, as is too often the case in discussions of education, didn't seem to rate the same concern.

If you are interested in the future of MOOCs the column is worth reading.

Hat tip: Instapundit