Monday, September 30, 2013

Introducing homeschoolers to Toastmasters

I’ve been part of Toastmasters for seven and a half years.  It has been both a lot of fun and very worthwhile.  I’ve been in two clubs.  The people in both clubs are working to improve themselves and are great to interact with.  And I have gotten better in my ability to speak publicly.

Three years ago Janine started attending with me.  I was working with another guy to start up a new club.  It was a pretty small group.  Almost out of desperation I asked Janine if she would join us.  She started attending and has also enjoyed the club.

Janine works with several other women to put together a Friday homeschool co-op.  This year they decided to introduce the teenagers to Toastmasters.  Last Friday was their kick-off session.  I was the guest speaker, and the Toastmaster and Table Topics Master.  (Janine was going to help out, but a small emergency came up.)

I went real slow explaining each of the roles in a Typical Toastmaster meeting.  I talked about the overall goal and various ways the meetings help people improve their public speaking.  I gave a speech I’ve been working on for a humorous speech contest.  I asked some table topic questions and the youth did fine in responding.  Then we did a quick pass through the evaluation phase.

I think the youth could see the value in Toastmasters.

This fall the co-op is going to have the youth each give the first speech in the Toastmaster sequence, “The Ice Breaker.”  They’ll be asked to introduce themselves in a 4 to 6 minute speech.  We’ll have each of the youth take on the various roles associated with the meeting.

Even though it is during my lunch hour I plan to go back a few more times.  Maybe I’ll go when my daughters talk.  It will be interesting to see how the group does.

Friday, September 27, 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: Homeschool Atheist Momma Blog.

I am pretty sure this will be the 405th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

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, September 26, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Science Experiments and a Printable Slime Recipe

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Foodie Army Wife.  The theme is Science Experiments and a Printable Slime Recipe.

The carnival starts with:

This week, I am hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling. I thought I would take a bit of a trip down memory lane.

Many moons ago I share this post on my old blog – it was actually one of my very first blog posts! I came across this and thought I would re-share it here, since it had a great recipe for SLIME – plus I can’t believe how much my kids have grown since then!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, September 23, 2013

A lunch conversation on homeschooling

Today I went had lunch with a few friends.  One of them mentioned to the group that my wife and I homeschool our children.  One of the first questions was the classic “How do you socialize your children?”

I responded by pointing out that not all socialization in public schools was positive.  The group agreed.  One of them pointed out that every high school in the area seems to have trouble with drugs and gangs.  I shared some of the positive types of socialization our children do have, like singing with a choir at an old folk’s home every month, and weekly choir and band practices.  I stressed that one of the aspects important to me is that our children are very close to each other, even though they do have several friends from other homeschooling families and from church.

The next major question was how does Janine teach everything?  I explained that with young children it is best to only spend an hour or so a day.  Hours and hours a day of school doesn't help a five-year-old.  As our children get older they become more independent and self-driven.  We switch from the provider to a general contractor model.  Janine gives them a weekly schedule and they report on their progress.  (Our goal is they report at the end of each day, it works out to be just a couple times a week.)

They also asked what do we do about college?  I told them that our daughters start taking classes in the local junior colleges in their high school junior year as our state allows this.  And our oldest didn't have any trouble then switch to a full time basis junior college.

By the end of lunch one of the group said something like: “You know in many cases homeschooling may be the best choice.”


I do think that the more parents really know about homeschooling the more most of them would homeschool their children.

Life Humor 2.3

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


Bummer sticker pair:

On the left corner of the bumper there was a sticker saying: "Eliminate and Abolish Redundancy"
On the right corner of the bumper there was a sticker saying: "Eliminate and Abolish Redundancy"


Bumper Snickers:

XEROX: Your BUREAUCRACY is our business.
You have a seatbelt; has it hugged you today?
Illiterate?  Write for free help.


Subject: Bumper sticker du jour

Help Stamp Out Intolerance!
I'm not FOR apathy and I'm not AGAINST it.
Prosperity is our God given right
Archaeologists will date any old thing.
I love, I owe, so off to work I go.
WARP 6 A Law We Can Live With
Seen on a plummer's truck: In my business, a flush beats a full house.
On a well worn, ca 1967 Volkswagen: Driver Carries No Cash
Seen on cars in Apple Computer parking lots: Honk if you hate the IBM PC


Mingled Metaphors:

There's a flaw in the ointment.
We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.
It can't hurt but help us.
Laughing on the outside, paneling on the inside, ...
Look at the camera and say "birdie".
Let me take you under my thumb.
That's all water over the bridge now.
You're treading on thin ground.
Before they made him, they broke the mold.
We've got them eating out of our laps.
No sooner said, the better.


Buttons Seen at SF Cons

I thought YOU silenced the guard!
Planetary Engineer, Fjords a specialty
I haven't lost my mind - it's backed up on tape somewhere
Freedom - It is our worship-word!
Mildly annoyed scientist
Incorrigible punster Do not incorrige
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations


From T-Shirts:

Rainy days and automatic weapons always get me down.
Dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off.
Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.
I'm not playing hard to get, I am hard to get.
There is intelligent life on Earth, but I'm just visiting.

I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
Don't be humble. You're not that great.
Whatever it is I'm against it.
I used to be lost in the shuffle, now I just shuffle along with the lost.
Perfect paranoia is perfect awareness.

We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
Talent does what it can, genius does what it must, I do what I'm paid to do.
I used to be an idealist, but I got mugged by reality.
My lawyer can beat up your lawyer.
Still crazy after all these years.
You can tell the men from the boys by the price of their toys.
Don't ask me any questions. I just might tell you the truth.
It's been Monday all week today.
One person with courage makes a majority.
If you're not an idealist at 20 you have no heart, but if you're still an idealist at 30 you have no head.
Nothing is impossible if you don't have to do it yourself.
What you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying.
Don't let school interfere with your education.
I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid.
When in charge, ponder. When in doubt, mumble. When in trouble delegate.
Mama told me there'd be years like these.
You don't know what you're talking about do you?
Nothing was ever accomplished by a reasonable person.

Good reason to get rid of our anger

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

      Anger is an acid that can do more harm
      to the vessel in which it is stored
      than to anything on which it is poured.

                    -Mark Twain

Great video on Common Core

I love this 25 minute video about how Common Core is developmentally inappropriate:

Hat tip: Spunky Homeschool

The Khan Academy is entering the classroom

The Khan Academy Takeover: Inside the New Classroom Revolution reports how public schools are leveraging the instruction provided by Khan Academy.

Saturday, September 21, 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: The Foodie Army Wife.

I am pretty sure this will be the 404th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

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

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up as Fisher Academy, from Peru.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Life Humor 2.2

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


"Common sense is the most evenly distributed quality in the world.  Everyone thinks he has enough."
   Descartes, 1637


Fanatic: Someone who, having lost sight of his goal, re-doubles his efforts.

"If you can't get your work done in a 24-hour day, then work nights!"

Don't marry for money; you can borrow it cheaper.

People tend to make rules for others and exceptions for themselves.


What it would mean if it already didn't:

concrete - to swindle a resident of Crete
information - how the Blue Angels fly
federation - having given a ration of food to someone
gruesome - what Farmer Brown did to corn last year
founder - what the police did to a lost female
paradox - a brace of physicians
boycott - a bed for a young male person
encrypt - where Egyptian kings are buried


Creativity is no substitute for knowing what you're doing.


From a forthcoming book by Arthur Bloch, entitled 'Murphy's Son-In-Laws', come the following rules that appear to govern our lives:

O'Reilly's Law of the Kitchen: Cleanliness is next to impossible

Lieberman's Law: Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter, cuz nobody listens.

Green's Law of Debate: Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

First Rule of History: History doesn't repeat itself - Historians merely repeat each other.

KI-MO-SA-BE:  (what Tonto calls his masked friend)
According to a Navaho translation it means:

1) A wet shirt on ones back or 2) A dirty rag on a bush.

So when Tonto says, "Lets go Kimosabe", he's really telling The Lone Ranger "It's time to wash your clothes".


A ship carrying red paint has collided with a ship carrying purple paint.  It is reported that both crews have been marooned.


A man starts work as President of a company.  His predecessor tells him as he prepares to leave for the last time that when he gets into trouble that he has left three envelopes that will help but that they should be used one at a time.

Things go along okay for a while and then trouble pops up.  The guy opens the first envelope and reads, " Blame previous management."  He does and things go better for a while.

When things get bad again he opens the second envelope and reads, "Re-organize". This makes things better for a while, but sure enough he finds himself reaching for the third envelope. 
Inside he finds, " Prepare three envelopes"


From the Jan 22 Portland OR Oregonian - Some one-liners from Stephen Wright:

I spilled spot remover on my dog.  Now he's gone.
I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.
I put instant coffee in a microwave, and almost went back in time.
Some people are afraid of heights.  I'm afraid of widths.
You can't have everything.  Where would you put it?
It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it.


"Producing a system from a specification is like walking on water, its easier if it's frozen."


From this morning's LA Times:

 A 20-foot metal sculpture is missing, and San Jose officials fear it may have been destroyed by construction workers who did not recognize it as art.
 "I feel awful about it, just awful," said city redevelopment Director Frank Taylor.  "It was not a traditional piece of art, but it was a real nice piece."
 The sculpture stood on Market Street where the Fairmont Hotel is being built.
 Consuelo Santos-Killins, a California Arts Council member from San Jose, said construction workers may have placed it in a trash bin and "squished it to bits."


Subject: It's how you say it.

"The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly.  They were just the first not to crash."


Subject: UFOs and the FAA

 "Why would we care about a U.F.O.?" said Louis Achitoff, a spokesman for the eastern region of the F.A.A., in an interview.  "If the pilot's up there with a clearance and at the right altitude, we don't care what planet he comes from."


My favorite reference book is "1001 Logical Laws, Accurate Axioms, Profound Principles, Trusty Truisms, Homey Homilies, Colorful Corollaries, Quotable Quotes, and Rambunctious Ruminations For All Walks of Life," by John Peers, who is also president of Logical Machine Corporation and the discoverer of Peers's Law, which is:  "The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem."  Although no book review could possibly do justice to this compendium of universal wisdom, a few brief excerpts are presented below.

The Gordian Maxim:  If a string has one end, it has another.

Kramer's Law:  You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

Brewer's Observation:  No good deed goes unpunished.

Jacquin's Postulate:  No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

Ralph's Observation:  It is a mistake to let any mechanical object realize that you are in a hurry.

Meade's Maxim:  Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.


COME AND EAT From Harpers New Monthly Magazine, September 1855:

There was a dry old fellow out in Jefferson County, in the state of Virginia who called one day on the member of Congress-elect.  The family were at breakfast, and the old man was not in a decent trim to be invited to set by; but he was hungry, and determined to get an invitation.

"What's the news?" inquired the congressman.

"Nothing much, but one of my neighbors gave his child such a queer name."

"Ah!  And what was that?"

"Why, Come and Eat."

The name was so peculiar that it was repeated.  "Come and Eat?"

"Yes, thank you," said the old man, "I don't care if I do," and drew up to the table.


Why do seagulls live near the sea?
Because if they lived near the bay, they'd be called bagels.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some of our best posts from April 2008

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for almost eight years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from April 2008:

One of the problems with our government schools is more and more teachers are feeling like they should use students as pawns in the political process as an effort to get more money.  This is mind boggling was about a recent event.

It soon may make cents not to go to college was one of my firsts posts about the skyrocketing costs of higher education and how it might be wise to skip college.

The Idaho version of how much people like public schools had my thoughts about how only 12% of Idaho parents would choose public schools if they had a choice.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The "In the clouds" edition

Gary is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at

The carnival starts with:

A word-cloud is typographic artwork, generated by a computer algorythm, based upon a given text. The more times a word is in the text, the larger it appears. I created word clouds for some of the contributed posts to this week’s carnival of homeschooling. I used to create these but there are many other free services out there. A quick glance should give you the feel, then read the article to see if it resembles the graphic.

The word clouds are pretty cool.

Carnival of Homeschooling

A cool Longfellow poem

I like this:

 The heights by great men reached and kept
 Were not attained by sudden flight,
 But they, while their companions slept,
 Were toiling upward in the night.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882)

Life Humor 2.1

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


The GILROY GARLIC DIET:  eat anything you want, plus a pound of garlic each day.  You won't lose any weight, but no one will get close enough to notice.


"Right-handed people think with the left side of their brains;  left-handed people think with the right side of their brains. Therefore left-handed people are the only ones operating in their right minds."


From yesterday's Chron:

"The structures threatened by the fire had included List's family ranch and the homes of Nevada Attorney General Richard Bryan, Manchester, N.H., Union Leader Publisher [capitalization theirs] William Loeb and several millionaire ranchers, developers and social parasites."


US vs Japan

"There are many reasons why the United States finds itself playing second fiddle to Japan today in so many high-technology areas where American pre-eminence was once unquestioned.  Some of the reasons are complex, but one can be put in a statistical nutshell:

Out of every 10,000 Americans, 20 are lawyers, 40 are accountants, and 70 are engineers. Out of every 10,000 Japanese, one is a lawyer, three are accountants -- and 400 are engineers."
                              July's Optical Spectrum


Real Headlines
[Courtesy of "The Lower case" page of the Columbia Journalism Review.]

Gov. Brown gives in; orders spaying to end fly infestation
                    -- LEDGER, Glendale, Calif 7/11/81

19 Feet Broken in Pole Vault
                    -- WICHITA EAGLE-BEACON, Kan. 6/21/81

'Mild' fertility drug produces quadruplets in 3 minutes
                    -- NEW MEXICAN, Santa Fe 6/14/81

Therapist Is Needed by Ann Landers
                    -- Gaithersburg, Md. GAZETTE 6/18/81

If strike isn't settled quickly, it may last a while
                    -- Baltimore SUN 6/13/81


From the November/December, 1981 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review's department "The Lower Case"

Navy Finds Dead Pilots Flying With Hangovers
     [The Washington Post 9/18/81]

Half of U.S. High Schools Require Some Study for Graduation
     [Los Angeles Times 8/10/81]

Guyer's widow rules out plans to replace him
     [The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 4/28/81]

White House Kills Fund Raiser After Complaints About Tactics
     Newsday 3/19/81

     The New York Times 3/20/81

Defendant's speech ends in long sentence
     Minneapolis Tribune 2/25/81

Museums utilizing TV to attack visitors
     Fort Worth Star-Telegram 1/7/81


Caption on a picture in an article about wildlife photos:

BLACK BEAR The black bear used to be one of the most commonly seen large animals because in Yosemite and Sequoia national parks they lived off of garbage and tourist handouts.  This bear has learned to open car doors in Yosemite, where damage to automobiles caused by bears runs into the tens of thousands of dollars a year.  Campaigns to bearproof all garbage containers in wild areas have been difficult, because as one biologist put it, "There is a considerable overlap between the intelligence levels of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists."


Here are some items adapted from the amusing British "Book of Heroic Failures" by Stephen Pile:

 This historic bird was released in Pembrokeshire in June 1953 and was expected to reach its base that evening.  It was returned by post, dead, in a cardboard box eleven years later from Brazil.

 During the firemen's strike of 1978, the British Army had taken over emergency firefighting and on 14 January they were called out by an elderly lady in South London to retrieve her cat which had become trapped up a tree.  They arrived with impressive haste and soon discharged their duty.  So grateful was the lady that she invited them all in for tea.  Driving off later, with fond farewells completed, they ran over the cat and killed it.

 We shall never know the identity of the man who in 1976 made the most unsuccessful hijack attempt ever.  On a flight across America, he rose from his seat, drew a gun and took the stewardess hostage.
 "Take me to Detroit," he demanded.
 "We're already going to Detroit," she replied.
 "Oh ... good," he said, and sat down again.

 In August 1975 three men were on their way in to rob the Royal Bank of Scotland at Rothesay, when they got stuck in the revolving doors.  They had to be helped free by the staff and, after thanking everyone, sheepishly left the building. A few minutes later they returned and announced their intention of robbing the bank, but none of the staff believed them.  When they demanded 5,000 pounds in cash, the head cashier laughed at them, convinced that it was a practical joke.
 Then one of the men jumped over the counter, but fell to the floor clutching his ankle.  The other two tried to make their getaway, but got trapped in the revolving doors again.


Three friends planned trips to Africa but were unable to go at the same time. The first chap returned from his safari and reported that he'd passed through a clearing and had seen Tarzan. Tarzan was painting white stripes on black zebras, black stripes on white zebras and black and white stripes on plain zebras. The second chap returned from his safari and reported that Tarzan was still doing the same thing. The third chap went on his trip, walked through the clearing, and there was Tarzan, still painting zebras. He stopped and asked, "What are you doing?" The reply: "Tarzan stripes forever."


I have a friend who was driving in his car with his five year old daughter, Sarah, when he was involved in a minor traffic accident.  As he got out of the car, Sarah asked where he was going.  He replied that he was going to exchange names with the driver of the other car.  When he came back, Sarah asked with a worried voice, "What's your name now, Daddy?"


 "Model Railroaders are a little loco."


Definitions of the Sciences
1) If it's green or wiggles, it's biology.
2) If it stinks, it's chemistry.
3) If it doesn't work, it's physics.


Love may make the world go 'round, but inertia keeps it from stopping.


My keyboard generated this of its own Accord.  Afterwards it Buick down Saabing. Probably needs more LUV and car.
(apparently, sung to (?), the tune of the theme from "Mr. Ed")
 A Porsche is a Porsche,
 Of course, of course,
 And no one would ride
 With a talking Porsche,
 That is, of course,
 Unless the Porsche
 Is the famous Doctor Porsche!


Intellectuals of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains!


A couple of weeks ago, on the steps of Boston City Hall, I heard a couple of fellows calling out: "Generic stickers, 50 cents! Generic stickers, 50 cents!" Sure enough, they had a supply of stickers, white background, black block letters: "GENERIC STICKER".


I held technical talks with my 14-year-old nephew, who is heavy into programming games on his IBM personal computer.  I tried to impress him with how superior the XEROX programming environment is, but he shot back:  "Heck, the only programming environment I need is a pile of chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk!"


Astronomers at Cal Tech, using the 200-inch Mount Palomar telescope, have sighted the economic recovery just beyond the orbit of the planet Saturn. The recovery, which passes periodically through the solar system, will not be visible to the naked eye until 2017.  (This was updated.)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Working hard vs. doing something useful

This is one of the important points made when learning how to use the Franklin Covey system:

"It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants.  What are you industrious about?"
  - Henry Thoreau (1817-1862)

Some of our best posts from March 2008

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for almost eight years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from March 2008:

We conducted a few polls in 2008 and posted the Results from our homeschooling polls.

I wrote about The Scary Teacher List.

I shared the Results from our homeschooling polls.

There was lots of buzz in California in 2008 about a court case having to do with homeschooling.  Janine and I were interviewed.  Here's a summary - The interview went well.  Unfortunately the video of our interview no longer works.  (Janine was a bit happy about this.)  We also made the front page news.

I really enjoyed Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams:

He did a great job.  His lecture is probably worth watching every year.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A powerful video

My oldest daughter shared this video with the family.  (You might want to have some tissue handy.)

It is a great message. 

Compulsory Education

Most of my contact with the public school system has been in behalf of the foster children who have come through my home.  We currently have a little boy, T, who is nearly 6 years old.

This little boy attended Transitional Kindergarten last year.  He lasted 8 days before his parents removed him from the program with the school's blessing.  One of the reasons the parents pulled him out of transitional kindergarten is because the school was putting pressure on them to medicate their active/impulsive son.  They decided to homeschool for kindergarten this year.  Some unfortunately circumstances brought him into foster care but we expect T to return to his family in a short time.

When I registered T for school, my school district wanted to put him in 1st grade because of his age. Originally, our district had a cut off date of December 1st for kindergarten.  This meant that some children started Kindergarten as young as 4 years 8.5 months old.  This doesn't work very well for many children, especially boys.

As a result, the state has finally begun adjusting the cut off date to September 1.  This year the cut of is November 1.  Next year will be October 1 and the year after that will finally be September 1.  Many parents opted to hold them back and start Kindergarten a year later.

T's home school district has already made the transition to the earlier cut of date.  Even though we explained the situation, my school district put T into 1st grade.  I notified the district that the parents (who still have educational rights over their child) say that he is in Kindergarten (which I agree).  They school legally had to accommodate the parents' request but they were not happy about it.  I can't tell you how many times I've explained why this kid is not in 1st grade and why it would be a bad idea to put an immature nearly 5 year old in a class where he will be the youngest child.

I got a call today to let me know that the school will put T into Kindergarten.  That's when I let them know the other issue.  The parents have requested that T attend part day (instead of full day kindergarten).  The educational code states that Kindergarten is only required to be 4 hours long.  More and more schools are going to the full day Kindergarten but parents theoretically still have the option to opt out. 

I'm waiting for the call back from the school district on what they will do about the request.  More and more I'm feeling like the compulsory education laws are holding children hostage. I find myself getting a little annoyed at this tone of "The School Knows best" and "the school can fix all problems."  

I know that the school and district staff mean well, but they really don't know this child and they are not in a place to judge what is in his best interests.

The sad part is that I could easily homeschool this boy with our son, Baby Bop.  That is what the parents want.  It is what I want.  But, social workers get very nervous when you mention homeschooling, so I don't expect to get approval.  Also, if the parents push the issue in court, the social services could make their life very difficult.

I concede that compulsory education does benefit some children, but I wonder how many it harms.

I met with the principal of the school.  They are allowing me to removing T early on Thursday and Friday so that T can attend homeschool activities.  While it is not the 1/2 day the parents requested (state law only requires 4 hours of K instruction), but it is more than I expected.

Looking for "the right" answer

Good programmers will try to come up with several designs to address a task before settling on one approach.

This is a great point:

By the time the average person finishes college he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes and exams. The 'right answer' approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems, where there is in fact only one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn't that way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers - all depending on what you are looking for. But when we think that there is only one right answer, we'll stop looking as soon as we find one.
-Roger von Oech, "A Whack On the Side Of The Head"

I try to teach my daughters to always consider more than one answer for most of life's problems. 

I find the trick is trying to come up with at least three possible answers.  Once I get best the obvious one or two normally I'll come up with several more.

Life Humor 1.V

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


Warning: May be offensive to Party officials and Communists. Has to do with shortages in the workers paradise.

One day a man walked into the fish store and demanded some meat. The clerk replied "This is a fish store". The man again demanded meat and the clerk again told him it was the fish store. The man threw a fit, demanding that he be given some meat. Finally the exasperated clerk replied "You must go across the street, that is where they have no meat."


Jaimie Sin, the Roman Catholic cardinal of the Phillippines, recently arrived in Portland to present a speech.  The local paper, the Oregonian, ran a article with a headline reading:

 "Cardinal Sin to speak in Portland"


Life is like an onion, you peel it one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.


Please oh Lord make my words sweet and tender for tomorrow I may have to eat them.


... Then there's the cookbook published by Life Magazine.  It contains all the
oriental recipes ever published by their magazine.  It's called:
Recipes From All Woks of Life

Saturday, September 14, 2013


A good thought:

Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it, anything but live for it.
-Charles Caleb Cotton

Friday, September 13, 2013

Life Humor 1.U

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:

What did the ocean say to the sand?
It didn't say anything. It just waved.


What do you call eight rabbits all in a row, hopping backwards?
A receding hareline!


 Once, I was in a room full of people when the power went out.  Somebody shouted for everyone to raise their hands over their heads.  Everyone did and the lights came back on.  I said, "Hey buddy, how come the power came back when we all put our hands in the air?"
 He said, "I thought everybody knew that many hands make light work."


The armed forces are a gold mine on aviation anecdotes.  Have you heard this one?  An F-4 was flying escort with a B-52 and generally making a nuisance of himself by flying rolls around the lumbering old bomber.  The message for the B-52 crew was, "Anything you can do, I can do better."  Not to be outdone, the bomber pilot announced that he would rise to the challenge. The B-52 continued its flight, straight and level, however. Perplexed, the fighter pilot asked, "So?  What did you do?"
"We just shut down two engines."


Gladstone, the famous British politician of the 19th century, was once asked to define the difference between misfortune and calamity.  "If Disraeli fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune," He replied, " if someone pulled him out, THAT would be a calamity."


 Seems a fire started on some grassland near a farm in Indiana.  The fire department from the near-by town was called to put the fire out.  The fire proved to be more than the small town fire department could handle.  Someone suggested that a rural volunteer fire department be called. And though there was doubt that they would be of any assistance, the call was made. 

 The volunteer fire department arrived in a dilapidated old fire truck.  They drove straight towards the fire and stopped in the middle of the flames.  The volunteer firemen jumped off the truck and frantically started spraying water in all directions.  Soon they had snuffed out the center of the fire, breaking the blaze into two easily controllable parts. 

 The farmer was so impressed with the volunteer fire department's work, and so grateful that his farm had been spared, that right there on the spot he presented the volunteer fire department with a check for $1000. 

 A local news reporter asked the volunteer fire captain what the department planned to do with the funds.

 "That should be obvious," he responded, "the first thing we're gonna do is get the brakes fixed on that damned fire truck."


According to a recent government publication ...
   A billion seconds ago Harry Truman was president.
   A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ.
   A billion hours ago man had not yet walked on earth.
   A billion dollars ago was late yesterday at the U.S. Treasury...

(The above record was published back in 1987.  In 2013 a billion dollars was spent by the Federal government in the last three hours.)


Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.


Be different.  Act normal.


A brain surgeon has some trouble with his sink so he calls a plumber.  The plumber comes out, works on the sink for about an hour and presents the surgeon with a bill for $200.  The surgeon looks at the bill and says, "My God! You worked for only an hour and you're charging me $200.  I'm a brain surgeon and I don't get $200 an hour!!".  The plumber says, "When I was a brain surgeon I didn't get $200 an hour either."


Reality is for people who can't face science fiction.


Bumper sticker:  I'd rather be teleporting.


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:

I am pretty sure this will be the 403rd edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

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

The War on Boys

Glenn Reynolds (of Instapundit) interviewed Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men.

I don't see how to embed a PJTV video so to watch it you'll have to go here:  The War Against Boys: How Feminist Groups Encourage Anti-Boy Prejudice/

I am so glad parents can homeschool their sons and protect them from the boy hostile environment that many public schools have become.

Accompishing important things

This is another great lesson to teach our children:

"A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a  spasmodic Hercules."
  - Anthony Trollope

Financing the Massively Open Online Courses

Because internet capacity has grown so much over the last couple years it is now cheap to provide streaming video.  There is a movement called MOOC which stands for Massively Open Online Courses.  A college professor teaches a course which is made available over the internet.  Some of these courses are getting tens of thousands of people to sign up. 

One of the concerns has been how to make money on this.  Even though it is fairly cheap for one professor to teach ten thousand students there is still some costs associated with the process.

Free Massive Online Education Provider, Coursera, Begins To Find A Path To Profits reports that Coursera has been able to raise over a million dollars via paid certificates for students who complete their courses.  This is a good start.  The article explains:

Online education providers may very well disrupt the higher education establishment, but, first, these for-profit companies need to find a way to finance the mammoth technical infrastructure needed to support millions of students. It’s a challenge that all mission-based businesses wrestle with, and why many have wondered whether Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) providers will ever become big business — or be around in five years — let alone “transform higher education,” as they’ve so often promised.

Today, one of the biggest MOOC providers on the Web, Coursera, showed skeptics that it has indeed found a way to monetize free educational content and may just be on the road to riches. In a blog post this afternoon, Coursera announced that it has raised over $1M for paid certifications, which verify that students passed (an otherwise free) online college course.

Once a viable financial model works to allow companies and colleges to make money with these Massively Open Online Courses we should see a huge implosion in the number of students who go to college classes because it will be orders of magnitude cheaper to take the MOOC courses.  I expect that some colleges may end up having to scale way back or even close due to declining enrollment.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A sign of how broken our higher education system is today

I have nothing to add:  Only 16% of the 420K students in the CA State University system graduate within 4 years.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Some of our best posts from February 2008

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for almost eight years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from February 2008:

I wrote a book review of The Surprising Power of Family Meals: How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier, and Happier by Miriam Weinstein.  This was one of the most surprising thing to me from the book:  "Family meals are eight times more helpful in teaching children vocabulary than reading to children."

I shared 14 ways to increase traffic to your blog.

I had some thoughts about Planning, Covey, and Cat's in the cradle.

You might enjoy A way to dramatically improve the learning process.

Janine has a great post about opting out of the current public school system in Then what would we do?

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Golden Grasses.

The Carnival starts:

One snafoo after another held up this week's Carnival of Homeschooling- my deepest apologies!

My tech crew gets home late on Tuesdays, but I think everything is finally fixed, working and raring to go!


Carnival of Homeschooling

What is really a failure?

Being a failure is not about winning or losing.

Failures are divided into two classes--those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.
-John Charles Salak

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Life Humor 1.T

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


Heard about the new restaurant on the Moon?
Good food, but no atmosphere!


What did the crow sit on the telephone wire?
He wanted to make a long distance caw...


    You see, there were these two old men who loved baseball. They loved to go to games, watch games, listen to games on the radio, and talk baseball. However, they both knew they were reaching the end of their lives and thus decided to make a pact with each other. Whichever of the two was to die first, he would try to come back in some way and let the other know if there was baseball in heaven.
    Well, as the story goes, one of the men soon took sick and passed away, leaving his friend alone. But not more than a week had passed since the funeral when a ghost appeared to the old man as he was watching the Red Sox-Yankees game. (Ed.-Death=Red Sox)
    He looked closely and realized that it was indeed the ghost of his old friend. He had been able to come back!
    "You've made it back!" said the old man.
    "Yes, but I've got good news and bad news," said the ghost.
    "Tell me, my friend, is there baseball in heaven?" said the old man.
    "Well, yes, there is, that's the good news."
    "Wonderful! Now, what's the bad news?"
    "The bad news is...You're pitching tomorrow."


     There once was this swami who lived above a delicatessen and one day had decided to make a stop in to the deli for some liver. Well he went in and ordered the liver. And while the clerk was weighing out the liver the boss (who was known to be real cheap-skate) whispered to the clerk, "Weigh down upon the swami's liver."


A newly-wed couple sat down to eat a ham dinner.  The husband enjoyed the meal.  But he noticed, both ends of the ham were cut off.  Being a newly-wed, he did not have enough nerve to ask why the ends were cut off.

They had ham several times.  And, it was always cooked the same way.  Finally the husband got enough nerve to ask his wife why she cooked it that way.  She replied, "that is the way my mother cooked it."

At Thanksgiving, they had dinner at is in-laws.  He noticed his mother-in-law did cook the ham the same way.  After dinner, he said, "I enjoyed the dinner; but, why did you cut the ends off of the ham?"  She replied, "that is the way my mother cooked it."

At Christmas, her family had a big get together.  All the relatives were there.  They had ham for dinner.  It was very good.  But, it - also - had the end cut off.  After dinner, he said, "I enjoyed the dinner; but, why did you cut the ends off of the ham?"  She replied, "my pot is too small to fit the ham in with out cutting off the ends."


This week's Homeschool Showcase is up

This week's Homeschool Showcase is up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

An important thought when raising children

This is a good thought for us to learn and to teach our children:

In a pond koi can reach lengths of eighteen inches. Amazingly, when placed in a lake, koi can grow to three feet long. The metaphor is obvious. You are limited by how you see the world.
-Vince Poscente, Olympian (1961- )

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tips for raising successful children

One of my cousins posted a like to Raising Successful Children

It is worth reading.

Some of our best posts from January 2008

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for almost eight years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from January 2008:

I shared some of my favorite lines from 50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School by Charles Sykes.

I wrote a review of Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age by Kay S. Hymowitz.

I shared The answer to why so many people are unhappy.

Do you stop and ponder very often Why do you do what you do?

January 2008 was the first time I saw Pachelbel Bedtime:

I love this saying

I've posted this several times on our blog.  I just love the saying:

"You say the little efforts that I make will do no good; that they never will prevail to tip the hovering scale where justice hangs in the balance.  I don't think I ever thought they would.  But I am prejudiced beyond debate in favor of my right to choose which side shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight."
   - Bonaro Overstreet

FYI: The Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum

The Libertarian Homeschooler posted a link to Why the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum?

We don't plan to use it, but thought many of our readers might like to check it out.

Some of the comments on the The Libertarian Homeschooler indicate the curriculum may still be in its infancy.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Life Humor 1.S

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


When uncertain or in doubt,
Run in circles!  Scream and shout!


There are two kinds of egotists:
      1) Those who admit it 
      2) The rest of us


Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood.


Pray to God, but keep rowing to shore.
        -- Russian Proverb


"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas.  If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."
                -- Howard Aiken


"Good judgment comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgment."
                -- Jim Horning


"Interesting survey in the current Journal of Abnormal Psychology: New York City has a higher percentage of people you shouldn't make any sudden moves around than any other city in the world."
              -- David Letterman


"Someone did a study of the three most-often-heard phrases in New York City.  One is "Hey, taxi."  Two is, "What train do I take to get to Bloomingdale's?"  And three is, "Don't worry.  It's just a flesh wound."
              -- David Letterman


       "When in doubt, tell the truth."
              Mark Twain

       "When in doubt, book 'em."
              Steve McGarret, Five-O


               Save the whales.
               Collect the whole set.


If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of progress?


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
 Edmund Burke, in a letter to William Smith.


Public schools almost destroyed this genius

Successful Homeschooling posted a link to Schools put genius child in special ed, tell mom he can’t learn. Now he’s free, and he’s on track to win a Nobel Prize.

I am so glad Jacob (Jake) Barnett's parents were able to save their son.

60 Minutes did a special on Jake:

TED Talks from a teenager's perspective

My oldest daughter contributed this thought about some TED talks she has watched:

Hi, Eldest here again.

You may have noticed that my dad really likes TED talks. He thinks they do a pretty good job choosing interesting speakers.

He went through a phase where he asked us to watch a TED talk and then write a report. So over a couple weeks I watched several different TED talks. I would like to tell you about some of my favorites.

Sugata Mitra’s new experiments in self-teaching was one of the first TED talks I watched. In this video Sugata Mitra discusses how to teach children in places where there aren’t a lot of schools.

He demonstrates that just giving children access to information and someone to report on their progress, like friends or little old ladies over the internet, kids will learn. They don’t need teachers, tutors, or high tech toys.

It was a really interesting TED talk and Mitra showed the real-life experiment that did this.

Another one of my favorites Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run? shows just how far humans can push their bodies. McDougall tells some amazing stories about ultra-runners.

This video really made me want to start running. I started first by exercising on the elliptical with the ipad in front of me. Close enough.

Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong is really awesome.  Eric Whitacre created a choir of people from around the world.  Each singer recorded themselves singing along with the score and then sent in the recording. These recordings were compile into one record.  All these voices created one amazing performance.

The entire song is not included in the TED talk; it wasn’t done when the talk was given.  It is now up on youtube in its entirety. Go listen to it; the list of names at the end is amazing.

Do you limit your children's access to TV & the internet?

This statement also applies to the internet:

If you came and you found a strange man... teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you'd kick him right out of the house, but here you are; you come in and the TV is on, and you don't think twice about it.
-Jerome Singer

Often we need to step back and think about what we are doing

A good friend posted a link to 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself. It is worth reading.

It is easy to slid into self-destructive modes.  This list is a good place to start on coming up with better ways to deal with life.

Addressing concerns about homeschooling

Paula Bolyard has a nice posts where she responds to 7 Objections to Homeschooling Teens and she explains why they are not really issues.

Hat tip: Instapundit

TEDTalk - How to make stress your friend

My brother shared this fascinating video - Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend:

If you have every felt stressed this is worth watching.

Saturday, September 07, 2013


For years we have told our daughters that "Not everything they think needs to be said."

This is the same thought:

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
 -Dorothy Nevill

The latest classical conversations carnival is up

The latest classical conversations carnival is up at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood.

Friday, September 06, 2013

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up at Our Journey Westward.

Life Humor 1.R

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


There was a flood in this town and they had to evacuate the city.  A man is standing in water up to his knees and a rowboat comes along  and the people say "Can we give you a helping hand?"  The man in the water says "No thank you, I have faith in the Lord, He'll save me."

A little later on when the water is up to the man's waist, a motor boat comes along and the people say "Can we give you a helping hand?"  The man in the water says "No thank you, I have faith in the Lord, He'll save me."

A little later on when the water is up to his neck, a helicopter comes by and the people say "Can we give you a helping hand?"  The man in the water says "No thank you, I have faith in the Lord, He'll save me."

Well, finally the water goes over the man's head and he drowns.  He goes to heaven and sees God and he says to God "Lord, I had faith in you and I  drowned anyway.  What happened?"

And God said: "I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"


A mother mouse was taking her large brood for a stroll across the kitchen floor one day when the local cat, by a feat of stealth unusual even for its species, managed to trap them in a corner.  The children cowered, terrified by this fearsome beast, plaintively crying, "Help, Mother!  Save us!  Save us! We're scared, Mother!"

Mother Mouse, with the hopeless valor of a parent protecting its children, turned with her teeth bared to the cat towering huge above them and suddenly began to bark in a fashion that would have done any Doberman proud.  The startled cat fled in fear for its life.  As her grateful offspring flocked around her shouting "Oh, Mother, you saved us!" and "Yay!  You scared the cat away!" she turned to them purposefully and declared: "You see how useful it is to know a second language?"


A circus foreman was making the rounds inspecting the big top when a scrawny little man entered the tent and walked up to him.  "Are you the foreman around here?" he asked timidly.  "I'd like to join your circus; I have what I think is a pretty good act."  The foreman nodded assent, whereupon the little man hurried over to the main pole and rapidly climbed up to the very tip-top of the big top.  Drawing a deep breath, he hurled himself off into the air and began flapping his arms furiously. Amazingly, rather than plummeting to his death the little man began to fly all around the poles, lines, trapezes and other obstacles, performing astounding feats of aerobatics which ended in a long power dive from the top of the tent, pulling up into a gentle feet-first landing beside the foreman, who had been nonchalantly watching the whole time.
"Well," puffed the little man.  "What do you think?"
"That's all you do?" answered the foreman scornfully.  "Bird imitations?"


What's the difference between a Ukrainian fairy tale and a Soviet fairy tale?
A Ukrainian fairy tale begins, "a long time ago, beyond the forests over the mountains..."
A Soviet fairy tale begins, "Tass news agency reports...."


 These are both old favorites of mine, and I hope they've not been submitted to this net too recently.
Woman walks into the divorce lawyer's office, and he begins to ask her some questions....

 "Ma'am, what are your grounds?"

 "Oh, 'bout an acre an' a half..."

 "No, I mean do you have a grudge?"

 "No, but we've got a carport..."

 "Lady, just tell me: why do you want a divorce?"

 "Why, total lack of communication, of course!"


Our family strongly believes this

My family is very slow to blindly trust authority:

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
-Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)

A TED talk by a 13-year-old Homeschooler

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante is a fun talk:

Amy Welborn on why homeschooling continues to grow

Amy Welborn has a good column on who homeschooling continues to grow - An intuition and an encounter.

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: Golden Grasses.

I am pretty sure this will be the 402nd edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

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, September 05, 2013

Another good explanation about protecting yourself when talking with the police or FBI

I like this video - Protect Yourself from FBI Manipulation:

Remember, when talking with the police or FBI you always want a lawyer.

True education

Are your children getting a true education?

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know.  It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't."
  - Anatole France (1844 - 1924)

Some of our best posts from December 2007

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

We shared Another reason to do foster care.

I wrote about some of the problems with Politics and public schools.

I shared one of my favorite poems The Ambulance in the Valley.

December 2007 was the first time I saw Tim hawkins' - A Homeschool Family:

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Informed Parent.

The carnival starts with:

I apologize for keeping you all waiting for this 401st Carnival! Life throws some curves at times and this week a loved one fell and broke a hip and needed surgery on the days I would have been mindful enough to do this.

Thanks to the Cates for their ongoing faithfulness and again thank you for patiently waiting!

Instead of being clever, or finding awesome photos, I’d like to just get everyone’s submissions posted. Please feel free to tweet, stream or share these submissions so others can read them as well!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Interesting point about school choice - It is really about How to learn

J.D. Tuccille makes and interesting point in his article School Choice Isn't About Fighting for Resources, It's About Choosing How To Learn.

He starts with:

On a family vacation a few weeks ago, my older nephew's unhappiness with school was a major topic of conversation. His fifth grade teacher, it turns out, required all of the kids in class to read assigned books at the same rate—sprinting ahead was strictly forbidden. For a kid who just tested at the reading level of a high school senior, this was a pointlessly morale-killing rule that contributed to a very smart boy's growing discontent with school. Sixth grade is now underway, and so are parental negotiations for a more flexible approach toward education, or else a healthier venue, including home. It's with this experience in mind that I read research psychologist Peter Gray's all too accurate piece in Salon comparing modern schools to prisons—horrible, curiosity-crushing institutions that teach all the wrong lessons. His points are excellent in themselves, and provide a major insight into why the school choice debate is often so off-base.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Progress with our public schools

When stated like this it is kind of scary:

"In one century, we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school  to offering remedial English in college."
  - U.S. columnist Joseph Sobran

Life Humor 1.Q

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft"
 A-flat miner.


Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage?
 To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump.


What's a wok?
 Something you thwow at a wabbit!


  Old man LaFontaine was duck hunting with his new bird dog down in the Bayous of Louisiana. He was fortunate and brought down a large goose which landed in the middle of a small lake.

LaFontaine told the dog to go fetch and amazingly enough the dog ran pitty-pat, pitty-pat, pitty-pat on TOP of the water and brought back the game.

The man was just amazed and thought he was coming down with swamp fever or something equally bad until the dog did this wonderful feat several more times.

LaFontaine could not resist the chance to gloat over this marvelous dog and brought his friend Couvillion hunting with him the following weekend. Couvillion drilled a Mallard and sure enough, the dog went pity-pat, pitty-pat, pitty-pat across the water to fetch the game. Couvillion acted as though nothing odd had happened.

LaFontaine said "Didn't you notice anything the least bit strange about the way my dog fetched your game?"

"Yep!" answered Couvillion. "The dumb dog can't swim!"


Looking for a cool one after a long, dusty ride, the drifter strode into a saloon.  He sidled up to the bar, ordered shot and a beer, and settled back to enjoy his refreshment.  Suddenly, a man galloped into the bar, shouting, "Run for your lives!  Big Mike's comin'!

The drifter watched as most of the locals bolted for the door.  Suddenly, the bar doors burst open.  An enormous man, standing eight feet tall and weighing at least 400 pounds, rode in on a bull.  Grabbing the drifter by the ankle, he tossed him over the bar and thundered, "Gimme a drink!"

The terrified fellow handed over a bottle of whiskey, which the man guzzled in a single gulp and then shattered on the bar.  The drifter stood aghast as the man stuffed the broken bottle in his mouth, munched the broken glass and smacked his lips with relish.

"Can I, ah, get you another, sir?" the drifter stammered.

"Naw, I gotta git," the man grunted.  "Big Mike's comin'."


A husband and wife had a human cannonball act in the circus.  One day the wife ran off with the lion tamer.  The husband was extremely dejected.  The strong man asked him what he was going to do.  The husband answered, "This is a disaster.  I don't know where I'm going to find another woman of her caliber."


An engineer wakes up in the middle of the night and smells smoke, goes to the bathroom, fills the garbage pail with water, douses the fire, and goes back to sleep.

A physicist wakes up in the middle of the night and smells smoke, grabs paper and pencil, does a page of calculations, goes to the bathroom, fills a glass with water, tosses it with great precision, douses the fire, and goes back to sleep.

A mathematician wakes up in the middle of the night and smells smoke, grabs paper and pencil, does four pages of calculations, exclaims "A solution exists!" and goes back to sleep.


The house is empty except for the family dog.  The telephone rings.  The dog walks over to the phone, pushes the receiver off the hook with his paw, and says,  "WOOF!"

No response.  The dog waits a moment, and once again says,  "WOOF!"

Still no response.  The dog moves closer to the phone and says, "William.  Oscar.  Oscar.  Frederick."


 A man walks into a bar with a dog.  He orders a drink and tells the bartender: "This here dog can TALK". The bartender says "Gad, I'm sick of you guys ... Get out!"

The man says: "Wait, wait ... Give me a chance, I'll prove it."
The bartender agrees to this, and the following exchange takes place:

Man (to dog):  "What does Sandpaper feel like?"
Dog:  "Ruff!"
Man (to bartender): "See? What did I tell ya!"
Bartender: "Get out."

Man: "Wait, give me another chance...."
Man (to dog): "What is on top of a house?"
Dog: "Ruff!"
Man: "See? He said a roof is on top of a house!"
Bartender: "Get out."

Man: "Wait, one more chance........"
Man (to dog): "Who was the greatest baseball player of all time?"
Dog: "Ruff!"
Man: "See? He said Babe Ruth!!! I told you!!"

     With this, the bartender throws both the man and he dog out of the bar. As they are laying in the gutter outside, the dog looks at the man and says: "Do you think I should have said Joe Dimaggio?"


Why is common sense missing from our public schools

Are zero-tolerance policies at school targeting harmless kids? has a summary of a number of incidents where public schools make federal cases out of children doing harmless things. 

I believe many of us have heard about the Maryland 7-year-old who got suspended for eating a pop-tart into the shape of a gun.  I hadn't heard of the 5-year-old who was suspended for talking about shooting a Hello Kitty bubble gun that blows soap bubbles. 

What are these people thinking?  A little child TALKED about a bubble gun.  What is wrong with these people?

It is a sign of our times that so many parents just meekly accept this as OK.

This is just another reason to homeschool - so your children can talk about guns without being thrown in jail.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Advertising in the internet age

This is cute:

My mom had sent me the embedded URL and I missed the first few seconds so I didn't know what they were advertising until the end.

In just four months they have 60,000,000 hits.  Just amazing.

How many of you will watch it twice?

Modern parenting may be a big step backwards

After becoming foster parents Janine and I have learned so much about the importance of helping brain development in children.

Modern parenting may hinder brain development, research shows is a good post about how recent practices of child raising are hurting children.

Hat tip: Instapundit

A problem with reading

I am so glad our children love to read. 

Someone once suggested that school is trying to inoculate our children against "Reading for Pleasure", since that has been known to stimulate thinking *gasp*!

Some of our best posts from November 2007

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

In Public schools - a Gordian Knot or a Sisyphean activity? I argue that public schools have crossed a point and they are no longer fixable.

I was surprised to learn that Having more than three children helps men live longer.

We live in an amazing time.  We are so greatly blessed.  I write about The servants at our house.

The cost of higher education has exploded over the last several decades.  I shared some ideas about The coming revolution in higher education.

We first came across this Homeschool Girl -- Sims video:

And I think November 2007 was also the first time I across Like_youknow.  I still enjoy watching it after having seen it dozens of times: