All green, nature, and sustainability posts have been moved to Loving Nature's Garden

Monday, September 29, 2008

Homeschoolers Guide to the Galaxy - lesson plans on the galaxy

Got kids who are curious about space and the galaxy? DON'T PANIC! I've gathered educational debris from the corners of space and time and squeezed it together here for you in the form of lesson plan links. I can also recommend several books with great information, including the Usborne First Encylopedia of Space which gives you access to over 40 great pre-selected websites. One of the links takes you to a kid site at the European Space Agency.

I think the Earth, space, the planets and all that stuff are amazing, but I've put off sharing on this because it's not an area of expertise for me. If you're an astronomer, or something similar, professional or amateur, and have some input I'd love to hear from you. I've focused on picking out legitimate sources.
If you've a teen at home who loves science fiction can you do an exploration of the galaxy without a copy of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy? It's the mostly harmless classic that inspired the title of my blog. I must admit to being inordinately fond of the original BBC series in preference to the more recent movie. The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has many pages on the web that relate - see a list. I've picked out a few favorites - a summary of the story, memories from the original radio series, and Vogon poetry. Here's a pdf study guide to the book - handy for me because Game Boy just finished reading it! Check out this inordinately irritating quiz - get one question wrong and it sends you back to start over!

I'm done wandering the galaxy for now, though I'm sure I'll be traveling again later because there are so many places to go!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nintendo, Sushi, Japan and Homeschool Lessons

Look What Came From Japan at

Today Artist Girl, Game Boy and I took a day out to visit the Kansas City Japan Festival. We must have had a really fun time - Artist Girl voted it the most fun she'd had outside of Christmas! So what made it so great?

A few years ago we spent several homeschool weeks learning about Japan and exploring the food and culture. It was a really fun time for us - one of our most memorable homeschool projects. Nintendo systems and games have also been pretty big in our house at times. Between one thing and another Artist Girl developed enough fondness for Japan to choose Japanese for her foreign language study.

There are lots of aspects of Japan you can explore with your kids. Here are a few fun ideas:
There are so many more things you can do with your children to learn about Japan. I think I'll have to come back to this!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Children's Books on the Presidency and Election

Books on the Presidency and Election from

Try searching for children's books related to the election and presidency and you'll find that most books for elementary aged kids are textbook style and designed for school needs on the history of our government. For reading at home you probably want something more fun!
I was alerted to this by a friend of mine who wanted books to share with her 10 year old. It took a bit of searching, but she was delighted with what I found. She has now been recommending the books I found to her friends.

See the full list of books I found, find out more about this specific book and take a look inside at, or see Getting the Inside Scoop on Elections (a 2008 book with facts and activities).

For some fun and informative links related to the election head over to Sweet Serendipity. Haben at My5LittleMonkies is also studying the election and recommends the curriculum she is using.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catching up on September

Monarch Magic at
Sometimes weeks go by and I wonder what on Earth I've been doing with my time. I find that writing is a great way to review what is going on in my life and to realize that I really have actually achieved something. With that in mind, her's an update on items I've blogged about in the last month or so:

Monarch, Mini and Tiny, our monarch caterpillars, successfully transformed into beautiful butterflies. We had the amazing pleasure of watching them fly off to a new life. I'll never tire of raising monarchs!

Four weeks after planting, my fall vegetables have given us our first green salad. I wasn't sure what to expect with this gardening adventure. Germination was faster than I expected, then the weather cooled and everything seemed to grow very little. The weather warmed back up and now the greens are at least six inches tall. I picked a salad while thinning them out a couple of days back. That was 4 weeks from planting to yield the first food - not bad!

My green improvements have not gone anywhere to date - they exist only in my head.

The spikey trees are still standing, but Handyman Hubby has studied and so have I. He has a plan and is ready to go as soon as he has some time to get out there. Everything we've read and everyone we've spoken to says that herbicide is the way to go when removing trees for prairie restoration. I don't like to spray, but I reluctantly agree that in this situation that carefully targeted herbicide is the best approach. OK, send me the hate mail now for using herbicide if you must! Humans have created this problem of trees invading the grassland and we need to be responsible and clear it up.

I'm on my own so far as I know with the Green Laundry Challenge (no readers told me they joined in yet). I've successfully cut my use of the tumble drier down to practically zero. Initially I planned to just air dry when I felt like it, but soon I began to do this for more and more laundry. To date I've air dried 18 loads of laundry - some of them were very full loads too. I've even started making crunchy towels; I discovered that if I really want softer towels 10 minutes of no-heat tumbling in the drier will soften them up reasonably. This is nice because that uses a LOT less electricity.

I'm happy with our homeschool choices for this year. It's the first year I've been able to say that. I'm particularly happy with Rosetta Stone. It's totally awesome to hear Japanese and German coming from the other side of the room; it feels like my kids have been replaced with strange counterparts! I'm proud of how we are doing with homeschooling this year. It does look like we need to make a change on how we're doing social studies; the one subject we have been doing as a family seems to need a change, which I suppose is not terribly surprising given that we have a 3 year age gap and two kids who take dramatically different approaches to learning.There are many things I'd like to have done this last month, but I think I've done the things that are most important to me and to my family and that feels good :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September Celebrations Lesson Plans 25th to 30th

The Giving Tree at

It's hard to believe that September is almost gone. Join with me in celebrating the following Weekly Celebrations taken from September Fundays Calendar. I'm glad to learn that I've not missed all of September!

September 25th, Shel Silverstein's Birthday, 1930
September 26th, Johnny Appleseed's Birthday, 1775
September 27th, Ancestor Appreciation Day
  • Send a free e-card to celebrate and share.
  • If you are an American there's a pretty high probability that your ancestors came from another part of the world. For Ancestor Appreciation Day bring out a globe, atlas or wall map and talk with your family about where you came from. Research the places, traditions, food and culture and share stories. Take a few moments to say thank you to your ancestors; after all you'd not be here without them!
  • Archive some family stories for Ancestor Appreciation Day. If you can't visit with an older relative call or e-mail them. If you have no older relatives visit with an older neighbor or a resident of a retirement community or nursing home and record or write notes about their stories.
  • Take the time to familiarize your children with ceremonies related to the end of life transition. Talk about your experiences and what you like and don't like about ceremonies. Visit the grave or memorial of a relative if possible, or talk about people you knew growing up who are no longer alive and how you are happy to have known them.
September 29th, Stan Berenstain's Birthday
September 30th,The Flintstones Premiered, 1960
Have some wonderful Weekly Celebrations!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ideas to Benefit Your Family

I've been thinking hard about what to share with you to benefit your family. Thanks to those who already completed my poll, I see that homeschooling and saving energy are your two biggest interests. If you've not yet completed my poll, please do take a minute to do so and let me know what I can provide.

Coming up for you here:
  • More Movie Madness - lots of ideas on how to jump off movies into homeschooling or just family activities. If you liked The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music I have plenty more ideas.
  • Make a Change for our Earth - ways to do things better, save energy, learn about our planet, or even just explore ideas and maybe change your thinking a bit. If you liked my Permaculture Roundup, Green Improvements List, and/or Air Dry Your Laundry Outside. I'll have more related to this with updates on my progress (or not) and links to products and homeschool ideas.
  • Weekly Celebrations - a new thread on some of those crazy, fun, thought provoking, or historical celebrations like Talk Like a Pirate Day and Johnny Appleseed's Birthday (September 26th).
Of course I'm going to complete my journey through the 10 Attributes and no doubt I'll be wandering off to find other things I've not yet thought of. I do have 3 other threads that I'm keeping a secret for now!

Happy Reading :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sound of Music Lesson Plans

The Sound of Music at

It's movie madness with the Sound of Music! Game Boy (that's my son) watched The Sound of Music for the first time ever this week. I'm not sure why we waited until he's almost a teen to let him see this - perhaps because it's one of my favorites and I wanted it to be his choice to watch. Anyway, he thoroughly enjoyed it.

I asked Game Boy and Artist Girl to come up with a list of lesson plan ideas related the The Sound of Music. I hope you find something to enjoy! In no particular order:
This is less than half the ideas we came up with, but the others are going to have to wait for another time! I do love The Sound of Music and I'll want to come back to it again :-)

Arr... Talk Like a Pirate Day

I don't want to miss the boat and sail past Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is September 19th. Besides, I need just a little light relief after getting half-way through my 10 attributes list!

Join me and have some fun with me ye hearties:
I have more but I'd better go and swab the decks!

Procrastinating - 10 Attributes to Positively Influence Your Family and Community and How to Grow Them #5

This is part 5 of a 10 part series. Read part 1...

#5 = procrastinating

My kids say I'm good at procrastinating :-) I guess I've taught them to be honest! Could someone write about how procrastinating is a positive attribute for me while I go off and.... think about what to write?

OK, a few hours have gone by. I have some other topics I want to blog on and I ought to finish this one first!
  • Julie over at HomeschoolingIdeas suggests that procrastinating is a good thing if you put off doing laundry and snuggle up to read with your kids. Maybe she read my mind! I'm sure I must have done this before; I agree wholeheartedly!
  • Procrastinating seems to be the antithesis of impulsive action. Would you rather rush into danger or take time to consider your actions. Give me procrastination any day!
  • Procrastination can save the planet! Well, maybe that's a bit of a stretch but I've certainly thought of buying many things that I decided I could do without after some procrastinating.
  • I really believe that certain kinds of procrastination are worthwhile. If you're someone who takes in a lot of information but needs time to categorize and organize it in your head, that may appear as procrastination. However, if you trust yourself and just wait a little, your answer may appear when you are ready. Of course this is not much use in an emergency.
  • There are plenty of resources to help you learn decision making from adult self-help websites to lesson plans for a variety of ages. Hey, if you've never procrastinated would you have the patience to help a child through this? Here's a selection of links: simple laws for decision making; making good decisions; decision making techniques; learning to make good decisions; problem solving lesson plan; empowered decision making; decision making lesson plans.
  • If I'm getting tied up over a decision where there are two choices and neither is perfect - there's seemingly not much to choose between them - it's easy to make a choice. After all, if I simply can't tell which is best I may as well choose any of the options and just get the agony over with and live with the results!
  • Oops, chronic procrastinators are the ones who drop out of college. Hey, maybe I'm not so bad because I did make it through college! If I didn't procrastinate would I even think to share this with you?
Well, do let me know if you can think of more great things about procrastinating, but I'll go ahead and post rather than waiting for your reply :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cooking - 10 Attributes to Positively Influence Your Family and Community and How to Grow Them #4

This is part 4 of a 10 part series. Read part 1...

#4 = cooking

My kids say I'm a good cook. I'm not talking here about gourmet cooking; I'm not someone who spends hours in the kitchen following recipes, or who watches cook shows on TV then shops for ingredients and creates fabulous meals. Artist Girl says my style of cooking is Comfort Food. It's just fairly plain and wholesome.

My best cooking uses simple, wholesome, inexpensive ingredients - the fewer the better. It's done without a recipe book. It's the food that reminds you of happy grandmas who put love into what they do and who are economical and can make-do in the kitchen. It's a mix of the frugal cooking I watched Gran do every Monday, incorporating the little adventures Mom made with the aid of recipe books, and my own sense of what tastes right, using whatever I have to hand.

Kids need to know how to cook basic food. Adults can benefit from ideas on being more frugal - saving time and energy in their meal preparation. Let's explore cooking up some good, wholesome, comfort food!
  • If you're an adult and the closest you've come to preparing dinner is lifting the phone to order pizza don't despair. You can learn to Cook Like a Grown-Up. Joylynn is doing it and you can too!
  • has plenty of links on home cooking. They have Cooking 101 and also plenty of classic recipes. It looks like a good place to start if you need some new ideas or just want to increase your skills.
  • Recipes at Home Cooking Recipe Box look to be straightforward and use basic ingredients. Many of the recipes have accompanying photos, always a help when deciding whether something will look appealing!
  • You can take online classes at Dinner Made Simple. Hmmm... that looks intriguing.
  • How about going to a live cooking demonstration? Places you might find demonstrations include farmers markets, ethnic festivals, and local TV stations.
  • One of the most fun field trips I've done with my kids was to a local herb and spice store. Other ideas are ethnic food stores, candy factories, and ethnic restaurants. If your kids are at all adventurous it's fun to try foods from different parts of the world. For world cooking at home I can recommend the Usborne Children's World Cookbook. It's full of yummy foods with additional information and internet links to learn about the countries.
  • Your kids can learn the joy of giving by baking cookies or preparing a meal for a friend or neighbor. They might even want to sell cookies or brownies to raise money for their favorite cause.
  • Learn about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and shop locally.
  • There are plenty of lesson plans related to food and cooking. AtoZTeacherStuff has a multitude of ideas that relate food to all areas of the curriculum. KidsCookingActivities has explanations of which skills different ages are ready to learn with age appropriate ideas. EducationWorld has lots of food and nutrition ideas, and this site has links on everything from agriculture and forestry to food science.
  • If all this talk of food has made you hungry, you might head off for a simple, healthy snack of peeled carrots, or wholewheat bread with sunflower butter. If you want a book to look at while you are snacking, check out Starting Cooking (a favorite in our home for the last 8 years), Pasta and Pizza for Beginners, or the absolutely fabulous Children's Book of Baking with photos that make your mouth water and not a hydrogenated fat in sight.
Do let me know your favorite cookbook, style of cooking, or your kid's favorite food.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Asking Questions - 10 Attributes to Positively Influence Your Family and Community and How to Grow Them #3

This is day 3 of a 10 day series. Read day 1...

Seemingly I'm on an endless quest to find the answer to life, the universe and everything. Somehow '42' doesn't do it for me (maybe I'm just not in the right place to 'get it'). Many of my earliest memories are of asking questions. Unfortunately the answers don't seem to have been very satisfactory -- not sure there if the adults were lacking in patience or just didn't really know how to explain to me.

I've always tried to do a good job of answering my kids' questions, while at the same time helping them learn how to find their own answers. In fact I think one of the fundamental advantages of homeschooling is the opportunity to ask and answer questions. What could be more frustrating for a child who needs to ask questions than to be in a classroom where they can't do so? Let's explore asking questions!
Got any questions? Just leave me a comment :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dreamer - 10 Attributes to Positively Influence Your Family and Community and How to Grow Them #2

We all have our little peculiarities. My family have helped me to write a list of 10 things they think I'm good at... more

#2 = dreaming

Yes, my family say I'm a dreamer. If a day goes past when I'm not dreaming up some new idea to make life better then it's a bad day. It's so important to recognize and appreciate our kids for who they are. If one of your kids is a dreamer, or if you just want to explore dreaming and dreamers, follow along with me into the world of dreaming:
I hope I've dreamed up a few useful ideas for your learning. Dream on!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 Attributes to Positively Influence Your Family and Community and How to Grow Them #1

We all have our little peculiarities. My family have helped me to write a list of 10 things they think I'm good at; I was looking for qualities that would show I have something worthwhile to share through blogging. Let's say that some will be a challenge to put a positive spin on! I'm up for the challenge though. Over the next 10 days I'll share them one at a time and include ideas for growing these qualities in yourself and your kids, and for homeschool lessons, should you feel so inclined.

#1 = nice
Comes from the English word for foolish or stupid! I think my family were aiming for pleasant and kind, but maybe I should check with them. Then again.... maybe not!

Here is a list of resources related to "nice":
Have fun!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wizard of Oz Lesson Plans

If you're like me and are just a bit fond of The Wizard of Oz, you'd be amazed at the homeschooling lessons you can do based on this old favorite. Firstly, if your kids are not familiar with the original story or movie you'll want to read the free e-book (link below) and check your TV stations, cable service, local library or video store for the movie. Want to watch it over? You can obtain your own movie copy, and lots of other Wizard of Oz stuff besides at

I looked through some of the study options and picked out these favorite resources:

We all need a little magic in our lives. Enjoy!

Brought to you in association with - home of Amazon Video on Demand.

Over the Rainbow

If you'd have told me when I was six years old that I'd end up living in Tornado Alley, I'd likely have thought you were 'Over the Rainbow' yourself! What were the chances of a wee Scot who's biggest adventure was exploring a weed patch at the end of her street ending up living in the place that Dorothy was whisked away from?

Well, somehow I ended up Over the Rainbow, but in Kansas, not in The Land of Oz. Yesterday I spent over an hour in my basement watching radar pictures and storm commentary on our emergency TV. I feel fortunate though, whilst I would not have to worry about tornadoes if I'd stayed put in Scotland, I'm glad I moved somewhere with tornadoes and not hurricanes! I've not seen the news today, but I'm guessing it's not pretty - I hope the help this time is what these people need.

It's amazing how every topic can turn into an exploration. A google search on "wizard of oz" lesson plan turns up a whole host of ideas for further learning. I'm going to take a look at them later today and make a note of the best ones here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Free Resource for Presidential Election

While watching C-SPAN on TV yesterday I heard about their free resources on civics, government and the election. You can sign up to access them at

The materials were developed by 4 interns who worked with C-SPAN over the summer and they provide full lesson plan structure, or you can pick out items to supplement other approaches.

Start Here Obama - Abominable Math Textbook!

If the book I'm referring to has anything to do with it, no wonder America is far behind in producing engineers!

A couple of years back Handyman Hubby asked me to find a math textbook to provide an outline of what he should cover when tutoring one of our kids on math. He kinda needed the scope and sequence. One of my friends very kindly supplied a 5th grade math textbook she'd picked up at our local free textbook store. Now, don't get me wrong, a free textbook store is a wonderful idea. They probably even had a ton of math books to choose from - I don't know because I saved gas and didn't make the trip there.

Anyway, with said textbook in hand I began to read how to teach math to a 5th grader. Half a page into reading I had to stop and think. Here was a book that was teaching math using English. Something didn't seem quite right. Here's an extract from the first lesson: "There are billions and billions of stars in our galaxy. How big is one billion? Work with your partner to find out how many sheets of grid paper it would take to draw one billion stars." On that two page spread there are more words than there are numbers. Maybe it's not clear yet what I'm talking about.

Let's take a look at the inside of some math textbooks. Boy, are these hard to track down. I just spent over 30 minutes trying to find inside views of math textbooks from major American textbook publishers. McDougal Littell are kind enough to show some inside pages for the middle school math textbook. For comparison, you can take a look at some sample pages from from a UK math textbook publisher. Scroll down until you see Year 6 pages 49-53 or Year 6 page 21 and page 128. Personally I think the non-color approach is least distracting. However, maybe you'll get an idea what I'm talking about.

I don't know, maybe I lost you somewhere. It seems to me there is something fundamentally different between math teaching in America and what I experienced in Scotland. Is it any accident that Scotland has a tradition of producing good engineers while America is importing engineers from around the world? Maybe someone who actually knows about math can explain this for me!

BTW I'm proud to report that yesterday both my kids told me that they are enjoying math this year. I don't know if either will be an engineer, but at least they are using decent textbooks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

1 Monarch Becomes 3 plus!

One of our all-time favorite homeschool experiences has been the raising of monarch caterpillars to butterflies. We are "blessed" with milkweed vines - they consistently try to take over every vertical surface in our garden! When we first moved here handyman hubby confused them with virginia creeper (it's a story for another time) so I attempted to wage war and remove every milkweed vine I saw. I soon discovered a monarch caterpillar munching and was stopped in my tracks.

I'm getting to the 1 monarch turns into 3 here in a minute, honestly! The milkweed vines and I have a pleasant truce. Every year I remove enough to prevent them becoming a monoculture, but I leave enough so that monarchs will have a home. They're not as pretty as as the orange butterfly plants most people think of in association with monarchs, but they're here, and they're free, and I love monarchs!

Well, 10 days ago I was out maintaining the truce, pulling up most of the mikweed vines, when I hit the jackpot - one very large, stripey, monarch caterpillar! Of course I had to rush in to tell the kids and grab our butterfly habitat (a large, plastic jar that used to house pretzels). If you've ever tried raising bugs in a jar and discovered the mess you get with bug poop, there's an easy secret on fixing this. Just put a small layer of dirt from the garden in the bottom of the jar -- nature will take care of the mess for you. I can't believe it took me half a lifetime to discover this! By the way, don't use the lid that came with your jar, a tissue held on with a rubber band allows much better airflow.

Back to our 1 monarch. He settled himself right into our vine and dirt habitat and by the next morning had turned into a beautiful, bright green, jewel-studded coccoon. While we were a little disappointed to have missed watching him grow, it was very exciting to know he was on his way to emerging as a buttefly. Imagine our surprise when we then noticed a tiny monarch caterpillar, and his buddy, a miniscule caterpillar who had entered the habitat with the food source vine!

For the last 10 days we've watched Tiny and Miniscule grow up at an astounding rate. As I write, Tiny is busy spinning silk and preparing his cocoon attachment. I know that Miniscule will soon follow in Tiny's footsteps, assuring us a front seat at the future emergence of not 1 monarch birth, but 3! Who knows, there may even be other little monarch guys and gals hidden in the vines I brought in this morning, but if not we are waiting patiently to discover the adult identity of two more avid milkweed consumer larvae, which we suspect will grow into beetles.

Life surely contains surprises -- these are one of the good ones :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The best-laid schemes o' mice and men...

"Gang aft agley." - go often astray, or off-track... better make that women too!

How true is that? Here I sit with all these great ideas on how I'd like to change my little corner of the globe, but they're just that, ideas!

Achievements to date:
  • Laundry, occasional - a good proportion of it air dried but I've not done any at all for at least 4 days.
  • Permaculture planning - stuck - I just can't get my mind around the landscaping part of what I want to do. Handyman hubby can do that 3-D stuff but he has other priorities and interests.
  • Wood stove - stuck - put on the back-burner!
  • Homeschooling - going well but leaving me brain dead this week. I also keep seeing so much MORE we could do if there was the time and energy!
  • Winter veggies - coming along nicely, but I'm impatient to get eating them. At least we had sun today.
  • Writing - how did I end up with two websites and three blogs to maintain? These things must be self-replicating!
  • Business phone calls - far behind. I have to get some daytime energy to devote to these.
Time to cook dinner!

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Inconvenient Truth - homeschooling

Considering that An Inconvenient Truth was published more that 2 years ago, it's not exactly news. However, I'll admit that I just saw it for the first time during the last week as part of our homeschool studies. Now I know that I should have watched it sooner!

It's not that I was a skeptic of the whole climate issue, or that I was in denial about global warming. I really wasn't avoiding viewing. Somehow it just seemed to me unnecessary. "What could this movie tell me that I didn't already know?", I wondered. I read the New Scientist every week; I'm more than conversant with the issue of global climate change. Maybe I was even a little smug that I'd read about this long before Al Gore "jumped on the bandwagon", as I saw it.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I was wrong. An Inconvenient Truth most certainly had something very important to teach me. I feel that watching it has caused some kind of change for me. It's a good time to feel that change - with the November election, the first ever one that I can vote in as a USA citizen, coming up. Time will tell what impact this viewing will have on my family. I'm really glad we watched it!!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Homeschooling Women's Health

Three weeks ago I wrote about what we're doing for homeschooling this year. I'm happy to report that everything is going well.

However, the CyberEd classes through Homeschool Buyers Co-op, which we chose for the core of our science this year, are only just now available. We couldn't sit around doing no science for three weeks while we waited for the deal to complete; we went off and explored some other things.

One of my friends had recommended Our Bodies Ourselves as a reference book to have around the house. We've been using it to study women's health the last few weeks. I love that I have open relationships with my children - it's wonderful when we are able to read together and stop to discuss things at will. I can state that this book is very comprehensive.

In the name of full disclosure, the above book is liberal. I also have an Associate relationship with, which means that if you click on my link then purchase I will get a very tiny amount of $. So far I'm proud to disclose that I've earned a generous $1.80 in referral fees during 2008. Oh boy! This could get me excited! If only I were allowed to purchase my own stuff under the assoiciate agreement it might have been worthwhile already :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Going to a Fish Fry

Mmmm... what could be nicer than freshly fried fish and what could be more special than friends who spend their precious leisure time fishing then save up the fish they catch to share with friends and family? I've lived here for over 10 years now, but last year (2007) was the first time I tasted deep-fried freshwater fish. All this time I'd been very sad over the loss of fish ala fish and chips from a Scottish fish and chip shop. What a wonderful thing to discover the delights of being invited to a Fish Fry. Mmmm... I only have the pleasure once a year, twice a year if I'm lucky -- it's worth waiting for.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm Green, Gold and More

I am the green-gold of sweeping prairies rippling in long winds as the sun drops toward evening. I am the fresh, green of sprouting seedlings after the rain. I am the sun-dappled green of twirling oak leaves on a spring day. I am the soft blue of summer skies through a canopy of leaves. I am the gold of sunflowers nodding on tall stems. I am the green of dragonflies and the brown of flitting butterflies. I am the gold of leaves gently settling on autumn grass. I am the gray of storm-clouds sweeping past. I am the white of snowflakes floating toward the Earth. I am the red of lava and the deep blue of the stormy ocean, the gray of granite and the red-brown of sandstone. I am all of these.

Scribbit's September Write Away Contest

Monday, September 1, 2008

Competent and Industrious Homeschool Teens?

Will homeschoolers be happy and successful in adult life? Given how much time and effort parents put into homeschooling their children, I for one hope so!

I recently came across this Harvard study which showed a connection between being industrious at age 14 and future life success. Admittedly this study only looks at men and may not tell us a single thing about women. Also, the results may even be somewhat specific to the generation that these particular men grew up in. Nonetheless, I found the following statement interesting: "a psychologist studying the resilience of these inner-city volunteers, noted three major reasons for their success: a strong attachment to their parents; high-quality supervision, especially by their mothers; and dedication to schooling."

That certainly sounds a lot like homeschooling to me!
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