Saturday, May 31, 2014

Please remember to 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, which will be held at

This will be the 440th 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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Life Humor 3.1

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:
Life Humor 3.1 was originally posted 18 April 1988


This is a true story
Last night several people were in a computer lab playing games,  somebody who was visiting Crown College during the college's 20th birthday came in and watched Jamais (sp?) play multi-trek.  Upon seeing the words "energy", "warp", "antimatter", and so on, he asked what sort of physics experiment Jamais was doing by computer control.

Famous last words: "Oh no, I think I put in to much antimatter."


A little girl in a school in USSR was asked to use "communist" in a sentence.  She said "My cat just had a litter of kittens and they are all communists".

A month later the same little girl was asked to use the word
"capitalist" in a sentence.  She said:  "My cat had a litter of kittens and now they are capitalists".

The teacher was shocked and ask what had happened to the kittens. The little girl responded: "Well the have opened their eyes now!"


Two atheists were shipwrecked on a deserted Island. The situation was getting grim with the hot tropical sun beating down on them and no fresh water.   The First Atheist says "Maybe we ought to Pray.... "

First Atheist (loudly):  "I"
Second Atheist :     "I"

First Atheist:  "Seventeen"
Second Atheist:  "Seventeen"
The atheist had overheard a bingo game .........




A group of local homeless folks have announced their intention to join next year's traditional parade of mimes and other performers on New Year's Day in Philadelphia.

They're billing it as "The mummers and the paupers."


"Everyone's a little weird now, it's normal."


Has anyone noticed that the new movie, APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH, is being released *today*, APRIL 15th?


... stolen from Gary Larson's "The Far Side" ...

Pilot to Copilot: " ... Say ... What's a mountain goat doing way up here in a cloud bank? " 


Forgot one of my favorite laws.  In Sacramento it's illegal to kick the heads of snakes that stick their heads up through the sidewalk.


Just last month in my town ...

A local gas station attendant overhead a stolen car police report  on his scanner when working the late shift.  He jotted down the car's  plate number.  
Later that night he called the police and reported that he was robbed  at gunpoint by a thug, "but I got the plate number..."
It turned out that the guy was "robbed" after the stolen car was recovered and the thief was already in jail.


Soldier standing in front of a large sign . In the background is a huge gorge stretching from east to west. Behind the sign is a  bridge that goes to the other side. The sign reads -


The Monday Afternoon Club, an organization of wealthy city women, met and decided that this month's outing was to be at a dairy farm. Most of them had lived in the city all their lives, and had never seen such a thing.

The day came, and the ladies filed into the rented bus which whisked them off to their destination. On the way, they watched out the windows as the city squalor turned into lovely, unpolluted countryside. After they arrived, they were greeted by the farmer who invited them to look him up should they have any questions.

Myrtle, after looking about and being amazed by what she saw, stepped into a building and viewed something she thought was quite remarkable. She saw the farmer walk by and hailed him--he sauntered in.

"Sir," she inquired, "Why doesn't this cow have any horns?"

The farmer cocked his head for a moment, then began in a patient tone: "Well, ma'am, cattle can do a powerful lot of damage with horns. Sometimes we keep 'em trimmed down with a hacksaw. Other times we can fix up the young'uns by puttin' a couple drops of acid where their horns would grow in, and that stops 'em cold. Still, there are some breeds of cattle that never grow horns. But the reason this cow don't have no horns, ma'am, is 'cause it's a horse."


"Thank God we don't get all the government we pay for!"


In a similar vein, when Captain Cook was visiting Australia, he asked his guide what those animals that hopped around were called. The guide answered, "Kangaroo", which is Maori for "I don't understand you".


And now, things you'll never see in the Enquirer:

1)  Baby Born Normal
2)  Man and Wife Happily Married
3)  House Not Haunted
4)  Scientists Understand/Not Baffled
5)  Elvis is Dead
6)  UfO's Gone
7)  Family Pet Helpless in Fire/Auto Accident
8)  New Miracle Diet to Gain Weight
9)  New Horoscope Reveals Nothing
10) Celebrity Still Single/Married

Ah, what would the tabloids do without Elvis?


Major According to The Bathroom Trivia Book, by Jack Kreismer:

No one is permitted to carry an ice cream cone in their pocket in Lexington, Kentucky.

In Wilbur, Washington it's illegal to ride an ugly horse.

In Baldwin Park, California nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

A Texas law says that when two trains meet at a railroad crossing, both must come to a stop.  Then neither train may continue until the other one is out of sight.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This is what education is all about

I probably should read another book today:

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Great TED Talk - Simon Sinek on How great leaders inspire action

Simon Sinek gives a great TED talk on How great leaders inspire action:

Simon Sinek makes some great points.

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Wisdom Edition

Judy is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Consent of the Governed.

She starts the carnival with:

We've got some really interesting entries this week with some very helpful words and advice regarding life and homeschooling - plus a touch of humor ... Enjoy!

And at the end of the carnival she provides an update on her children:

Finally - an update on my own 3 homeschooled kids - because you need to know that homeschooling WORKS and that your kids WILL succeed!

D----, our oldest, is a Transportation Analyst with CDM Smith - and he graduated from Boston University with a degree in Political Science and Urban Planning.
J---, our next oldest, is a Computer Security Officer with MIT Lincoln Labs - and he graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a degree in Computer Networks.  He recently married too!
R-----, our youngest, works for the Grammy Foundation - and she graduated from the University of New Haven with a degree in Music Industry.

They all love what they do and were allowed to follow their passions and interests... we cannot be more proud of their achievements and we are so happy and thankful that we followed the path of homeschooling!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who is in charge

Interesting thought:

To learn who rules over you, simply find out whom you are not allowed to criticize.
-Voltaire, philosopher

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

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Homeschooling style over time

As our family has grown, our homeschooling style has changed.  Now that my family is shrinking, our homeschooling style is changing again.

When I started homeschooling in 1999, I had 2 children (ages 3-5).  Most activities involved both children, but things like worksheets were limited to my kindergartener.  Since we were just starting out, I was more focused on doing "school" type worksheets and compared my child to what her friends in school were doing.  The program we were using at the time emphasized read aloud books. My library had the book on tape, so I used that instead of reading aloud.

The following summer, I had another baby.  That year kind of passed in a blur.  It was also when I accidentally discovered the wonders of unschooling.  At the time, our local library was moving into a temporary location while a new library was being built.  The library would be closed for nearly 3 months during the move and you could check out books and keep them until the temporary library opened.  While I was standing in the long line that last day before closing, I happened to be standing by the audio book section.  On eye level was an audio version of Homer's Odyssey.  I think it had 26 cassettes but I figured I had 3 months to listen to it.  I also checked out book children's books on ancient Greece and Rome.

I did a little class with the two oldest while the baby was napping.  I cut up a few sheets to make togas, read stories and we did a art project.  That night I was up a lot with the baby.  The next morning when I finally got up around 9 am, I found my 4 year old and 6 year old wearing the togas, sitting on the floor by the tape player, listening to Homer's Odyssey. Over the next 3 months, we listed to the entire set.

The next year, with a kindergartener and a second graders, I changed my style yet again.  I would do "school" with one of the older girls while the other girl played with the baby.  Then I would switch.  I kept that going for the next few years. I was also helped start a homeschool co-op, so there were more group learning activities.  The co-op is now in its 9th year

When my youngest was in second grade, we change the style again.  We began doing foster care. Two out of the three girls would do school while the third daughter would play with whatever child was in our home at the time.  By this stage, the older girls were doing most of the school work online, mixed with music lessons, co-op classes, check lists and nagging.

Things really got interesting when Baby Bop (who is now our adopted son) came into our home.  His occupation therapy and speech therapy became the center of my universe and homeschooling worked around it.  All my girls helped out, but my youngest was most involved in his daily routine. The older girls did most of their school work with little supervision and the youngest did what we euphemistically called "unschooling" mixed with music lessons, co-op classes, occasional check lists and nagging. 

This stage lasted for about two or three years.  Some balls did get dropped like math and spelling. But by the end of high school, with the help of a math tutor, the older two girls had reasonably proficient enough to do well in community college.   And my youngest, who spent so much time doing therapy with her little brother, taught herself to read, can actually spell and did Algebra in the 8th grade

Then we began the school stage with Baby Bop.  By that time, my oldest was full time student at a local community college and her next younger sister was taking most classes online mixed  with community college classes, music lessons, a math tutor, co-op classes and a part time job.  The youngest was also doing online classes mixed with music lessons, a math tutor, check lists and co-op classes.

For our son, I had to reinvent the wheel.  It is a more organic process.  We study what he is ready to learn, when he is ready to learn it.  I make many of the worksheets and activities specifically to suit his developmental readiness and interests.

Next school year we will shift yet again.  My oldest children will no longer be living at home because of college and mission service. Our remaining daughter hopes to take one class at a local private school because it is just too quiet at our house, in addition to music lessons, co-op classes, check lists and my nagging.

Life Humor 2.T

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:
Life Humor 2.T was originally posted 10 March 1988


The new baby is like royalty, he's the prince of wails.


He heard she was stuck up and asked how much they got.


Ill-bred children are always displaying their pest manners.


When the father found he had quintuplets, he could hardly believe his own census.


He was kicked out of the army, he took a furlong, went too fur, and stayed too long.


In filling out a job application, he put as his school, Vietnam, Clash of 1973.


When asked if he had missed school lately, the boy said `Not a bit.`


The former ruler Russia and his wife were called Tsar and Tsarina, so clearly their children were called Tsardines.


A sign for a superintendent of schools was "Bored of Education"


His father made suitcases in Iraq, he was a bag-dad.


He thought a fjord was a Norwegian automobile.


He built a bed ten feet by twenty feet, it was a lot of bunk.


He knew a lot about railroads, but it had taken a lot of training.


Little rivers which run into the Nile, Juveniles.


One Saturday, a farmer was preparing to head off to the Farmer's Market to  sell off his produce.  On his truck, one of his wheels was a bit loose, but he  figured it would get him to the market, at least.

He loaded up the truck, and drove on his way.  He reached a particularly nasty  curve in the highway.  Just as he starts to make the turn, the wheel fell off,  and the truck veered off the road into a ditch.  His crop spilled all over the  side of the road.

Ten minutes later, a state trooper arrives at the scene.  As he exits his  cruiser, ready to help clean up the mess, he sees the farmer sitting at the  side of the road, his head in his hands, and singing to himself:

"You picked a fine time to leave me Loose Wheel."
(to the tune of Kenny Rogers)


"Say, Pooh, why aren't YOU busy?" I said.
"Because it's a nice day," said Pooh.
"Yes, but---"
"Why ruin it?" he said.


How did Bill Watterson pick the names "Calvin" & "Hobbes"?

[Imaginary scene of Watterson and college]

Didn't Hobbes (the philosopher) discuss the brutish nature of man?
Sounds like man could be described as a tiger. Doesn't Calvin (the character) often ask questions about predestination? Sounds like a certain religion I've heard of.

  Congratulations, you win the $64,000 prize!

There was an interview with Bill Watterson in the L.A. Times a few months back, which I am using as my basis here. In it, watterson explains that he got the name "Calvin" and "Hobbes" because of their philosophical and religious views (which apparently contradict and conflict with each other). Not being a student of this, I can't go into details, but I do remember Watterson saying "it's a subtle inside joke".

  While we're on the subject of C&H (whoopee!), you might be interested in how the strip developed:

Idea #1: "Spaceman Spiff", the misadventures and yuks of a cosmic superhero. Turned down by syndicates.

Idea #2: (Don't know the name), the misadventures and yuks of a suburban family. The father, the mother, the kid, and his stuffed tiger. Turned down by syndicates, but Watterson was suggested "try focusing on the kid".

Idea #3: "Calvin & Hobbes". Terrific art, whack-headed stories, reality shifts at the drop of a hat, and some of the most original jokes around. Instant success, and a very good candidate as the successor to "Peanuts"  (YEAH!)


My fiance's boss had his car stolen a couple of weeks ago.  They found the thief several days later, and about an hour away, driving the car around.  The car had no damage, nothing was taken out of it (there was a bunch of tools, etc. in the back), it was still the same color, and still had the same license plates!

If the guy was smart enough to steal the car without damaging it at all, you'd think he'd at least think of changing the plates...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

George Will on Common Core

I thought George Will made several good points about problems with Common Core:

Life Humor 2.U

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:
Life Humor 2.U was originally posted 25 March 1988


The more waist, the less speed.


A fool and her money are soon courted.


There is no time like the pleasant.


The busy lawyer wanted an alert young woman to act as deceptionist.


He didn't like cycling with friends, he wanted to clyclone along.


Why did they hang the picture?  They culdn't find the artiest.

A paper ran an item stating that "The departing Mr. Smithers was a member of the defective bureau of the police force." The chief of police made a strong protest, whereupon the paper published an apology as follows: "Our announcement should have read "The detective branch of the police farce."




Did you know that 'gullible' is not in Webster's Dictionary?


There used to be a saying:

"The sun never sets on the British empire, because God doesn't trust an Englishman in the dark."


The Poles have a saying about how communist governments rewrite history:"Only the future is certain; the past is always changing"


From the Toronto Star, March 10:

A would-be bandit failed because he had written a holdup up note on another bank's withdrawal slip. When Leonard Goodin decided to rob a Toronto-Dominion bank branch last Sept. 4, he wrote his holdup note demanding money on a withdrawal slip from the Royal Bank of Canada, court heard yesterday. The teller looked at the note and told Goodin, "You have the wrong bank. This is a Toronto-Dominion, not a Royal."  She returned his note but Goodin pushed it back at her along with a brown paper bag in which the money was to be placed. The woman again reminded him he was in the wrong bank and returned the note. "The accused stared at the victim, shook his head and left the bank," court was told. An hour later Goodin successfully robbed another bank - even though it wasn't a Royal branch.


A few months ago in upstate New York, a man decided to rob a local bank. He walked into the bank holding a brown paper bag. He looked around for a moment, and must have decided he was in the wrong bank, because he then left, walked across the street, and robbed a DIFFERENT one!

He took a bystander hostage, where she was forced to drove the thief to his  house, and drop him off! He then let her go. She promptly called the police,  and they went and arrested the man at his house.


     Pat and mike were walking down the street when their old friendly-sort-of-nemesis approached them.  He thought he'd have a good laugh at their expense because they, reputedly, weren't too bright.  He said: "Hey Pat! Hey Mike!  Did you hear the news?"  "The news?" asked Mike.  "What is it?" asked Pat.  "It's incredible, I read in the papers this morning that the devil died!!!"  Said the old nemesis.  "Is that so?" asked Mike.  "The truth is it?" asked Pat, and they both dug into their pockets and each gave the man a coin.  Thinking this terribly strange, "What on earth is this for?" asked the man.  Pat began to explain:  "In the old country, when someone dies," and Mike finished: "We all contribute a little something to help the surviving children."


A man was driving around the countryside in his new sports car, moving at speeds that bordered on unsafe. When checking his rear-view mirror, he noticed that a small object, followed by a trail of dust, was closing fast. His curiosity piqued, he slowed a bit to get a better look. As the object came into view, it was clearly a chicken. While the man watched in amazement, the bird whizzed by him. He checked his speed as this happened: could it really pass him when he was doing 35?

There was no way a chicken was going to make a joke of his $18,000 machine. He slammed down the gas pedal and went screaming toward the offending fowl. He grinned with satisfaction as he passed it, but a few seconds later, he spotted it running even with him, staying in view. He studied the bird and noticed that it had three legs! This was really strange. Suddenly, the chicken zipped ahead of his car, took a sharp left turn and disappeared behind a haystack.

The man had to check this out. He spun his wheel and barely made the turn. As he came around the other side of the haystack, he had to stand on his brakes to avoid the farmer, who stood complacently chewing a toothpick and looking blankly at the car that nearly flattened him. The chicken stood nearby, not even breathing heavily.

The man got out of his car. "This your chicken?", he asked.


"How is it possible that it has three legs?"

"Me and my wife, we raise 'em that way," the farmer droned.

The man looked puzzled. "Why?"

"Well," came the reply, "you sit down to dinner with your wife and a guest. You like a drumstick?"

"Sure, but..."

"And your wife, she likes a drumstick?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Your guest might like one too, you reckon?"

Now it was clear. "Oh, I see!" He smiled. He couldn't wait to spring this on his friends. "What does it taste like?"

"Dunno," said the farmer, "never caught one."


Heard a wonderful news report on the radio today:  Seems that there are some folks, somewhere in the U.S., who are passing bank checks which are chemically treated so that several hours after they've been passed they self destruct.

(No, I'm not talking about the U.S. government, they don't erode their money, just its underlying value, and they do it much more slowly so as to not get everybody too pissed off at them all at once.)

Anyway, back to the self-destructing checks:  The radio news report ended by quoting a local law-enforcer as saying that it is difficult to nail somebody for passing bad checks when the whole problem is that the checks in question basically don't exist any more!




Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.

We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable.  I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer.  Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain.  This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty's Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains.  I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below.  I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:

1.  To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance.

2.  To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

 Your most obedient servant


Please remember to 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, which will be held at Consent Of The Governed.

This will be the 439th 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

Maybe my son will be a comedian

This morning my son had about fifty of his cars on the floor upstairs. They were in a couple lines.

 I asked my son if they were going anywhere.

 He said "No," paused for a second and continued "it is rush hour."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Carnival of Homeschooling – Eliza Doolittle Day

One of my favorite musicals is My Fair Lady.  It is a beautiful story about a young girl who undergoes an almost magical transformation going from a street gutter snipe to a lady of culture.  Eliza Doolittle happens to overhear Professor Henry Higgins claim he could pass her off as a princess and decides to hire him.  Professor Higgins is a very capable man, but self-centered, obnoxious and oblivious to others. 

As My Fair Lady progresses Eliza is very frustrated by how Higgins treats and mistreats her.  She sings a song where she starts off saying “Just you wait enry iggins, just you wait.”  As her dream of revenge continue she sings:

One evening the king will say: 
"Oh, Liza, old thing, 
I want all of England your praises to sing.
Next week on the twentieth of May 
I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day! 

Today is the 20th of May, Liza Doolittle Day!

I greatly enjoy My Fair Lady.  In many ways as parents we are attempting to do the same task Henry Higgins accomplished, that of helping our children reach their full potential.  Though I’m sure all of our readers are a lot kinder and more understanding that Professor Higgins.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Here are these week's entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling:

In Summer Slide – The Big Myth Bon suggest that maybe there isn't really a summer slide, but authentic learning happens creating a summer climb, from

In Plagarism Update The Thinking Mother shares her thoughts and experience in the struggle of teaching our children to give credit where it is due.

Barbara explores some interesting thoughts in Is Homeschooling Better for Introverts Than Group Education?  This is the first of a series of posts that look at introverted children, how group education can hurt them, and how homeschooling can help them.  Posted at Barbara Frank Online.

CT shares her Summer 2014 Plans, posted at Petticoat Government.  With a baby just around the corner her plans for this summer are different from her normal approach.

In addition to academics there are a host of other important topics parents teach their children.  Mrs. White enlightens us with Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House, posted at The Legacy of Home.

Finding Your Child's Place with Math reminds us can help homeschooling Moms/Dads who struggle with how to find their child's place in math with the right curriculum. Shared insights into how we worked our way through that struggle to loving math.  Posted at Solagratiamom.

Christy tells us how to Make a Toad Abode.  This can be a fun summer activity for your children that helps control pests in your garden.  Posted at Eclectic Momma.

Listen to them and let them speak reminds us of the importance of treating our children well.  Posted at Notes from a Homeschooled Mom.

This is pretty amazing.  Annie Kate tell us how to Measure the Speed of Light with Chocolate.  Posted at Tea Time With Annie Kate.

In Kids hate homeschooling? Well, you told them to! Susan reminds us that through our words and actions, we sometimes tell our kids that learning is too hard and homeschooling may actually be a bad idea.  Posted at At Home & School.

With 10 Top Reasons to Homeschool Vicki shares a lighthearted-but-true collection of the 10 top reasons we homeschool our kids.  Posted at

Celeste writes about her plans for Summer School.  She plans to relax the academics some and explore other topics.  Posted at Joyous Lessons.

How can we teach our students to solve complex, multi-step story problems? Try Singapore Math style bar model diagrams. Let’s play around with a middle-school/junior high word problem, posted at Let's Play Math!

What an adventure: Next time I say that traveling with kids is a good idea just smack me.  A family of 9 set out on the ultimate homeschool field trip: An open-ended RV trip across the USA. "Most days, we think that downsizing our lives and reprioritizing our time seems perfectly logical. Then there are the other days where we wonder—for a moment—how we got into this mess."  Posted at Learning Across America.

Another blog carnival you might want to check out is this week's Math Teachers at Play Carnival, posted at Singapore Maths Tuition.

If you have enjoyed this carnival, please spread the word. Please mention the carnival on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other appropriate places. You can also help promote the carnival by adding the carnival images. Learn how by going here.

Go here for the archives of previous carnivals.

Next week the carnival will be held at Consent of the Governed.

If you are interested in submitting a post for a future carnival, click here for information.

We thank everyone who has helped out. Thank you to all the participants in this carnival. And thanks to all those who help promote the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, May 19, 2014

I know a lot of true heros

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

In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs.

-Daniel J Boorstin, historian, professor,
attorney, and writer (1914-2004)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Please remember to 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, which will be held at Why Homeschool

This will be the 438th 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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Our Curious Home.

Christine shares some family photos along with the carnival.  She starts with:

Oh dear, I need to read my e-mail much more carefully. I thought was on for next week, but it’s really today. Good thing I already pulled up May photos from years past.


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, May 12, 2014

Is it time to bring the Carnival of Homeschooling to an end?

Almost eight and a half years ago my wife and I kicked off the Carnival of Homeschooling.  We hosted the first edition in January of 2006.  With over fifty hosts helping out the carnival has been published every week since then.  There have been a few times of craziness and the carnival came out a bit late.  I'm pretty sure that it has never skipped a week.

Carnival of Homeschooling

At the start the carnival averaged around 40 to 45 entries each week.  We even had a few weeks of over 60 submissions.  I remember being up one night till two in the morning organizing 65 plus entries.  After the first year the average rate settled down into the 30 to 45 range.  This was fairly steady for four or five years.  Then last year we started seeing the submission rate drop.  We started getting 20 entries a week, then 15 entries a week and then early this year the entries fell again into the 10 or so a week range.

Carnival of Homeschooling

I have felt good about being the organizer for the carnival.  I often think of this quote:

"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

I like to think my ounce has helped to contribute to the homeschooling movement.

Carnival of Homeschooling

For the last month we've been averaging more like 3 to 6 entries each week.

Now I think it may be time to let the Carnival of Homeschooling come to an end.  Over the years I've put a lot of effort into asking people to submit posts.  If I spend an hour I can often turn out one or two new bloggers who contribute, or reactive some bloggers who have stopped submitting.  But we've been losing a lot of regulars over the last year.

If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please send me an email or leave a comment.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Please remember to 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, which will be held at Our Curious Home.

This will be the 437th 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

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Tips on giving presentations

Some where I came across an article titled: 10 Presentation HabitsMy College Students – And You –Must UN-Learn.  It is worth reading.

I am have attended Toastmasters for nine years.  I am a strong believer in the importance of learning how to speak well.  Our homeschool co-op gives the children lots of opportunities to speak.

The first five minutes of How To Train Your Dragon 2

My son is so excited.  How To Train Your Dragon 2 will be out in six more weeks!

Here is the first five minutes:

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

Jacqueline is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Nerd Family Blog.

She starts the carnival with:

I am hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling again! This time is looks a little different. We just have a couple of entries but they are fabulous!!!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The importance of play

A friend sent us a link to an interesting article called The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds.

Too often one of the responses to increasing academic mastery is to push academics into the younger grades.  The idea seems to be that if it is good for children to learn something in tenth grade it is even better to learn it in 8th or 6th grade.

But the problem is children's brains often aren't ready for learning to read at age two or three.

Our burdens

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

Everyone has a burden.
What counts is how you carry it.

                         -Merle Miller

Monday, May 05, 2014

My response to a few questions

Awhile back a homeschooling mother wrote me:

I have been homeschooling for just this school year, with my 5th grade daughter. I just read your post about how 75% of kids would do better homeschooling and 95% wouldn't do worse.

My daughter never seems to want to do or learn anything, and I'm constantly worried that she isn't learning enough. I have almost no support here at all, though my husband is teaching my daughter math. I took her out of public school because I worked at the school for 3 years and thought that the principal was a moron, and because she had developed a strong dislike for math and I wanted to get to the bottom of that (turns out she could never get help because the teacher was helping the kids who always needed help).

How do I know if I should throw in the towel and put her back in?

Here is my response:

Our children never went to a government school, so we never worried about the transition from public school to homeschooling.  My understanding is most parents find it good to give the children a bit of a break.  One book suggested giving a child a week break for each grade, so you might consider giving your daughter a month break.  Part of the thought is children in public school come to see education as a chore, something to be avoided or tolerated, but not enjoyed.  It sounds like your daughter may have this feeling.

You might consider trying some of the following:

Talk with her about what she does want to learn.  If she excited about butterflies, hit the library and let her just read the books.  If she likes dance, sign her up for some classes and start building a collection of music.  She may not have any suggestions at first.  If she doesn't challenge her to find something she wants to learn. And if she dabbles in something for a couple weeks and then decides to move on, let her.

I would make it clear that she can't play.  Don't let her waste time in front of a screen.  But give her lots of latitude on what she spends her time on, at least for a couple weeks.

If math has become a boggy-man, I'd put it on the back shelf for now.  Our older daughters struggled a bit with math and we let them go slow.

Take her to the library and encourage her to try looking in sections she has never visited before, especially the non-fiction sections.

Find some local homeschooling groups.  Many parents have been where you are at and can give you advice.  And your daughter can start making friends at park days and co-ops.

I think it helps to remember what is your long term goal(s).  I want my children to be competent, happy adults.  I want them to develop a habit of life time learning.  If they learn algebra in 6th, 8th, 10th or 12th grade it doesn't really matter.

Amazing - Christina Bianco does 'Let It Go" as various singers

One of my daughters sent a link to Christina Bianco's 'Let It Go' cover as Idina Menzel, Demi Lovat... It is pretty amazing:

One of the reasons why it is so hard to improve public schools

Thomas Sowell starts his column Demonizing the Helpers with:

It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it.

The Walton Family Foundation — created by the people who created Walmart — has given more than $300 million to charter schools, voucher programs, and other educational enterprises concerned with the education of poor and minority students across the country.

The Walton Family Foundation gave more than $58 million to the KIPP schools, which have had spectacular success in raising the test scores of children in ghettoes where the other children are far behind in academic performance.

D.C. Prep, in Washington, whose students are mostly poor and black, has also received grants from the Walton Family Foundation. Its test scores likewise exceed those of traditional neighborhood schools, as well as the test scores of other local charter schools. Other wealthy people across the country have been doing similar things for years, including high-tech tycoons like Bill Gates and Michael Dell. It is one of the great untold stories of a unique pattern of philanthropy that makes America truly exceptional.

Yet these philanthropists have been attacked by the teachers’ unions and by others in the education establishment, including academics.

It was painful to watch a well-known historian of education on a TV talk show recently, denouncing people from “Wall Street” who have promoted alternatives to the failing public schools. Apparently, in some circles, you can just say the words “Wall Street” and that proves that something evil is being done.

You can listen in vain for any concrete evidence that these philanthropic efforts to help educate poor children are creating harm.

Instead, you get statements like that from the head of the American Federation of Teachers, saying, “they’re trying to create an alternative system and destabilize what has been the anchor of American democracy.”

Those invested in the current government schools are hostile to anyone who shows them up or provides effective alternatives.    Public schools are only partly about the children.  Public schools are also about providing teachers and school administrators with jobs.  Many of them would like the children to get an education, but too many adults are more concerned about their jobs and positions of power.  

We need more alternative systems which give children chances at a real education.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Life Humor 2.S

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:
Life Humor 2.I was originally posted 3 March 1988


A rock band's drummer thought he would make a good policeman, he was use to pounding a beat.

A dishonest man and a harp struck by lighting are both a blasted lyre.

He agreed with the sign, "Fine for parking."

A taxi driver is a man who drives away customers.

Everyone knows the four seasons are pepper, salt, vinegar, and oil.

Cleopatra lived and loved on denial.

She enjoyed the song in sunday school, it was about a cross eyed bear named Glady.  The song was "Gladly the cross I'd bear."

At first the dog was named Ben, then it had puppies, now it's Ben Hur.

Dr. Jones fell in the well and died without a moan.
He should have tended to the sick, and let the well alone.
Ruth rode in my new cycle car in the seat in back of me;
I took a bump at fifty-five and rode on Ruthlessly.
He who courts and goes away, may court again another day;
But he who weds and courts girls still, may go to court against his will.

Q: What are the four enemies of Soviet Agriculture?
A: Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall.


Q: How do you stop a runaway horse?
A: Bet on him.


Q: How many animals did Moses take onto the ark with him?
A: None. Noah had the ark.


Tweedledee: Do you know how to save a drowning lawyer?
Tweedledum: No...
Tweedledee: Good.


Heard on the radio this morning about a guy who walked into a bank and presented a teller with a note that read "I have a gun.  Give me all your money.  Bang."  The teller gave him the money and he walked  out of the bank.  He was caught only a short while later.  Why?  He had written the note on the back of his parole card.


The fellow robbed something like a supermarket of about $5000 (value approximate and probably wrong, since it is from fuzzy memory).  The local newspaper ran the story, but with the amount given as $7000.  The thief called the newspaper to complain about the inaccuracy and to suggest that maybe the store manager ripped off the extra $2000 and was unjustly blaming the thief.  The people at the newspaper kept him busy on the phone giving his version of the story while the police traced the call to a phone booth and arrived to arrest him while he was still talking to the newspaper!


Here's another one about an unlucky purse snatcher.  In the middle  of last year, I heard a story about a purse snatcher (in England, I believe) who snatched a woman's purse.  Much to his surprise and dismay, he found an arm attached to it after he'd grabbed it.  It seems that the woman had a prosthetic arm, and he picked the right (or wrong) arm.  Apparently, the guy babbled for quite a while, and the woman called the police, and they picked him up, still babbling.


I heard on the radio this morning about a man who had a small amount  of cocaine in his suitcase when he was coming through customs.  For some reason, he knew that the customs officials were going to search his bag. So he grabbed someone elses bag off the carousel and went through customs. When the officials opened up the suitcase, they found several pounds of marijuana in it.

Mom's Night Out directed by a homeschooler

I had seen the trailer for Mom's Night Out.  I hadn't realized it was directed by a homeschooler:

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Please remember to 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, which will be held at Nerd Family.

This will be the 436th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

Blog Carnival is still having trouble again so it is best to mail it to:

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