When you start seriously believing in God, and you believe he set the world in motion, that indeed he breathed upon the waters and it was good, you get an advanced appreciation of nature and of the beauty of the not-man-made world. History is the working out of man's fate on earth. That's an expression of God. It didn't make me more "antiabortion"; it made me more loving about life.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Feche-boy keeps working diligently on the MP study guide to the Odyssey. Like both of his older sisters, he has a love/hate relationship with the book (see new quote on blog side-bar). Nevertheless, I love how deep he is going. Omnibus was great last year and I felt like he was exposed to a lot of quality literature and history, but the pace was soo fast. I like the depth we're getting into better this year. I've been invited to call MP's excellent sales force this spring to work out Medieval Lit/History for 10th grade and I have every intention of doing so!
He also started IEW's Advanced Spelling & Vocabulary program, starting with Ancient Greece and Rome. It is excellent. The words are advanced, like plebian, and clearly relevant to the subject. There are 24 words on a list, along with 8 geography locations (ancient Greece and Rome). Every 8th word, a poem is read, "for your relaxation." Feche-boy went from getting 19 words correct to 28 within 3 days. It uses the same philosophy as Sequential Spelling. Hear the word, spell it, correct it, rinse, repeat, until you have mastered the list. Perfect.
The rest of the week we did play practice. Tuesday, Wednesday and today a dress rehearsal. We have the best kept secret this year- Mz. Michelle- she is seamstress and prop specialist extraordinaire. Our props and costumes ROCK, I tell you. The acting is fine, too. The kids have really worked hard and are excited about the competition on Saturday.
Tomorrow we are going to an all-day history fair at one of the state universities. They are offering 50 workshop/booths, everything from Bee Keeping and Beaver Trapping to Blacksmithing and Buffalo Bill.
Off to bed so we can hit the highway early.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
So, how is drama even remotely related to Classical Education. I am so glad you asked!
- For starters it's a fun way to make quality literature come alive. Sure, there is lots of crap lit brought to life through drama (I mean, seriously, check out most movies rated Pg13 or above), but we pick quality lit, of which there is an abundance.
- Drama engages many of your student's sensory receptors such as sight, sound and touch. The more sensory receptors that are engaged, the more learning takes place.
- Drama trains your brain to retain, a.k.a. memorization. There's not much else like the pressure of being on stage to force even a reluctant student to commit lines to memory. It also teaches how to memorize- repetition.
- Drama develops rhetoric skills. Rhetoric is about communication. Drama requires good communication- the ability to clearly articulate, to have a stage presence, to project ones voice, to get over ones own shyness, or being unnerved by the public spotlight or pressure. Public speaking is still a greater fear for most people than death and drama is a good way to inoculate ones students against that fear in a fun and engaging way.
We have found good scripts from Logos Press, Contemporary Drama Services, and other sources but by far the easiest way to get a script quickly and cheaply is to adapt a simple story on your own. We've used children's classics like Rumpelstiltskin, Aesop's Fables and more. Cub is determined that someday soon we'll be performing Beowulf, buy KB has her heart set on The Magician's Nephew- mainly cause she wants to perform Jadis! Last year we performed a play on Teresenstadt, doing a very small WWII unit study along the way while campaigning together on Friday's after co-op for Measure 11. The kid's understanding of religious and political freedom will never be the same. The combination of study, drama and political activism was a winning combo and worth all of the drive time and hours put into it.
How does drama fit into classical education? Perfectly. After all, the World's a Stage- so get performing on it!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
"Here's the problem, as far as I'm concerned: Over the years, as we became less closed-minded and more tolerant of all the right things, like civil rights, somehow, we became indiscriminately tolerant, "You're so judgmental" became a major-league put-down in Anything Goes America - as if being
judgemental of crap in the culture is a bad thing...In a way, this tolerance - or avoidance- gets to the very heart of the problem, and to some of the names on the list of 100. There's always been ugliness in the world, and there have always been those who peddled it for profit. We live in a society that is free enough for even the demented to operate in the marketplace. But until very recently, those whom society regarded as "responsible people" -including leaders in the entertainment field and critics at important national publications- treated them with the contempt they deserved, thereby protecting the culture by holding the line on standards. No more. Today, too many of those who should be protecting the culture at too busy applauding those tearing it down. "In the end, there will be a price to be paid for this, "says Herb London," the price one always pays for ignoring evil. Some of the best potential minds will be decimated. Culture will be assaulted beyond repair and the nation will be undermined from within." Or, as author John Underwood, has so elegantly put it, "In a society where anything goes, everything, eventually, will. A society that stands for nothing will fall for anything- and then, of course, will just simply fall."
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The study’s findings shocked its authors, who had concluded in 2005 that use could not possibly grow further, and confirmed the fears of many parents whose children are constantly tethered to media devices. It found, moreover, that heavy media use is associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades.The third in a series, the study found that young people’s media consumption grew far more in the last five years than from 1999 to 2004, as sophisticated mobile technology like iPods and smart phones brought media access into teenagers’ pockets and beds.
While most of the young people in the study got good grades, 47 percent of the heaviest media users — those who consumed at least 16 hours a day — had mostly C’s or lower, compared with 23 percent of those who typically consumed media three hours a day or less. The heaviest media users were also more likely than the lightest users to report that they were bored or sad, or that they got into trouble, did not get along well with their parents and were not happy at school."
Victoria Rideout, a Kaiser vice president who is lead author of the study, said that although it has become harder for parents to control what their children do, they can still have an effect."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
SCOTT BROWN WINS US SENATE SEAT
Scott Brown (R): 52.4% (1,036,855)
Martha Coakley (D): 46.6% (921,459)
89% of precincts reporting
AFP - Republicans won a stunning upset in Massachusetts' Senate election Tuesday, US television networks reported, dealing a potentially fatal blow to President Barack Obama's health care reforms.
Republican Scott Brown pulled off the surprise victory in the historically Democratic state in a rebuke of Obama one year after he took office.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Also watched Masterpiece Theater's The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton, the most famous cookery writer in Britain's history. The deceased Mrs. Beeton is the narrator, which is an interesting perspective. While the real Mrs. Beeton died of Childbed fever the premise in the story is that she contracted syphilis from her philandering husband,and died as a result. The movie was a tragedy and left me feeling unsettled and sad.
- Joseph lived where he was put, did all that he did to God's glory, and was not corrupted by the culture. How often are we transplanted by unusual or difficult circumstances and gripe and complain?
- The brother's Jacobson stood on their own righteousness, despite previous questionable activity. How often do we do the same? Reminded me of the Mrs. Beeton flick. Often, maybe more than we realize, a priori rules.
- Judah, the root of the Tribe from whence Jesus comes, offered himself up as a living sacrifice, that his brother might live.
For the record, I love our Bible Study. It is full of thoughtful, kind, committed Christians who are hungry for the word, laugh out loud and pray with purpose.
That's about it- did check out the weekly political cartoons: http://www.worldmag.com/editorialcartoons/
Praying for Haiti.
A blessed Sabbath.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
and know that I've given enough.
It seems so much
compared to what I have.
My Lord smiles at me.
Lovingly, His deep resonate voice speaks
I've given so much, more than enough.
He smiles. Pure love.
Do you not see the others?
In their finery and pride.
What they've given is left overs. They won't even miss it.
It's not a sacrifice. It's not from what they need.
This story is all yours. Why compare?
He shows me another.
With less. Giving More.
and I know the question.
Would He compare me to her?
No, I slowly shake my head.
But I'm tired. I've worked hard. Certainly I deserve a rest.
No more worries. No more stress.
No more giving this when that demands a payment.
Despite what I give.
Despite how I whine.
His holy presence, though, is question enough.
I can not breathe. Sleep. Go about my day.
He breathes the answer.
Wind words touch the air around me, convey to my heart His answer;
Everything. All that you have. All that you are.
Nothing held back.
I gasp. Too much, Lord. Too much. You demand too much.
You can't mean my ideas, hopes, dreams, stuff, family, kids?
You can't mean that.
What will be left?
Who will I be.
He smiles. Pure Love.
And I know. He won't take what I won't give.
His love is steadfast and true. He is reliable.
He invites me deeper in to His adventure.
Unfathomable mysteries await
Where hidden manna is served
And new names, written on pure white stones, are given.
But my hands on my stuff hold me back. My heart with my treasure ground me.
He waits. Patient and Sure.
He is compelling.
I am dazzled. Suddenly sure.
More of you Lord.
Wind words lovingly unclench my fingers.
Those that gripped too tightly are gently removed.
People, stuff, hopes- released.
Just He and I now. Unfettered by all that I brought.
My mite has grown, consuming dross.
I offer it up.
And on His breathe the words, "Well done."
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some for the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. Revelation 2:17
His Lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord. Matthew 25:23
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
KB (who goes by "The Disturber" as well as Queen KB) had doll cleaning duty this week after another foray to the Pod People. Above is what I found in my bathroom later that day.
But, for the record, can I just calmly state:
So, I spent time yesterday looking at kitchen remodels. Not that I don't already have, pretty clearly in mind, what I'd like the kitchen to look and function like. But, as soon as we decide, for.sure, on a yes to a re-build, I'll be calling my mil. She has this gift for space, which I do not. And she and Grandpa Bob, along with their 2 sons, one of whom is my Man, have done lots of home construction and re-builds that would blow your socks off. Seriously. They are handy men/women extraordinaire. So, it could be a fun, creative, new venture kind of spring.
But, then again, I have loved living closer to civilization, a.k.a the largest TOWN in the Territories, which is technically a city, albeit a small one, though no one ever calls it that. I am a visual person. VISUAL. I have a minor in ART, o.k, mainly cause I am addicted to color and texture and ideas and possibilities. And I love the prairie. I really, really do. But, let's face it. Once you've seen it, and looked at it for, say, 14 years, it's not that visually stimulating. At least in town, you can watch the cars whizz by. So, I'm trying to get over my need for visuals and console myself with the thought that we might be able to create this dream home on 10 acres bordered by a river. Without getting too invested in that either, cause, ya know, it might all change tomorrow.
This letting God be in control thing and trusting Him for what's ahead is WORK, can I get an Amen? And I do, really, but, True Confessions, I have a stomach ache and have actually chewed my nails. But, always I come back to God, relieved that He is God and I am not. Relieved that He has plans and dreams for me that are full of extraordinary possiblities, despite my puny ways of understanding.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Lo -27 °F
We survived another blizzard this week. We survived shoveling by hand (in the midst of Snowblowerville) our driveway. Below zero temps had our nature loving, outdoor junkie children begging to come in from snow removal duty to guzzle down boatloads of coffee laced with syrup, steaming cups of tea and huge mugs of hot chocolate. Cub's new fav movie quote, done TimAllenesque...."Whoa, Santa's got a buzz!". Probably unchristian of us to laugh as long and hard as we do, but he does it deadpan. Another offspring with brilliant comedic timing.
You can participate in 7 Quick Takes every Friday at Conversion Diary
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Dance With Me - Paper Religion - 2007 - 4:57
Love You Much - Paper Religion - 2007 - 5:42
Your Only Child - Paper Religion - 2007 - 5:07o
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Yesterday at Saturday morning prayer I was seeking an answer about a situation that has had me stuck for a month and a half or more. Actually about a 1/2 a decade. Stuck in others ideals, stuck in what's not happening, resources not available, discouragement, people being disappointed and angry with me. Stuck in the obstacles ahead. Why do I have these longings when it seems like the reality I face has nothing to do with the heart vision?
And it's enough. Because I realized I was trying to fulfill others expectations, make them happy, fulfill their vision, keep everybody satisfied. I don't have in my hand what it takes to do those things. I have in my hand what I've been equipped for. And frankly, I'm not the happiness guru.
So, that's what I'm going to do. Simple. Stick to forms. Do what I know. Clarify the vision.
That's how it goes. I can't be more than I am and I can only do what I know.
Back to basics.
New Year. New Beginnings.
What do you have in your hand? How is God calling you to be faithful to what He's equipped you for?
I'd love to hear about it; it's in the sharing of testimonies that our faith is built.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
- The Last Samari- I'm not sure I buy PTSD among survivors of the 7th (this is the 2nd movie, Hildago was the first) that uses that as a major premise. My historical sensibilities aside, it was a great drama and an intriguing look into a unique country.
- Iron Man- Marvel Comics did a marvelous job. Good, clean, cheesy entertainment. Love it.
- The Kid -Some screen writer's Inner Child Therapy on the Big Screen. Witty lines, lots of laughs. Lilly Tomlin is brilliant in her cameo.
- Bee Season -Beautiful Mind from a feminine perspective. What happens when people seek the Spirit without connection to the Father. Well written and interesting look at Kabbalaism and Family Dynamics.
- Narnia I & II. True Confessions, I can't stand Susan in these films and that ruins the whole thing for me. The WonderWorks productions are better. The books better yet. Read them often and outloud.
- The Nativity - Beautiful and poignant. My fav flick of the year.
- Barbie Nutcracker - loved by my 6 yo. I watched it with her - that's love, baby.
- Star Trek, The Movie - I loved Star Trek, and Ray Bradbury, as a kid cause sci-fi used to be written by scientists and who knew what could end up being the real McCoy? Now it's just cheesy fantasy with special effects thrown in.
- Rome: The History Channel - Violence, power, narcissism. Lots of detail. Very well done.
- Santa Claus I, II, III -Tim Allen, despite the mild bathroom humor, is always funny. We loved III- Martin Short and Tim Allen together- twofer! Marty is brilliant as Jack Frost... "Yea, And?!
- The Bucket List - Coming to terms with one's life. Better done before the end.
- Pendragon - Good message. Well done flick by a group of homeschoolers.
- Paul: The Apostle - Interesting perspective on Paul's conversion and ministry. Showed the beginning of Peter's ministry as well, though little was mentioned of James.
- Another Perfect Stranger - A skeptic sits next to Jesus on an airplane and He responds to her doubts and disbelief. Difficult to create a lot of visual excitement when the majority of the movie is dialog. Still, the notsolittles enjoyed it and had lots of questions as a result.
Friday, January 1, 2010
I'm a list maker and love this time of year (and early summer) to plan, tweak, think, research, and over plan what's coming. Oftentimes I'll find lists later and realize that they remain unfulfilled, but just as frequently I'll discover that long-forgotten hopes and dreams have became reality. The power of the pen. How bout' you? Do you make a resolution list?
2. Goals that I'm concerned I won't meet are those I'm not willing to publicly expose. I hate not getting to where I want to be.
3. The fine line between my resolution's and God's will for my life remains a genuine query for me. Certainly we aren't the only ones who struggle with this? The pragmatists in our life are certain that it's all about personal will. Thoughts?
4. I'm doing a Book Challenge this year- 52 Books in 2010. I had a list going but misplaced it in the move from the hotel. Life of Pi keeps coming up and Christianity Today, news to me, has a mag called books and letters with lots of great literary recommendations....so many books and I'm determined to read more of them in 2010.
5. The Daniel Academy (the U.M.S that we started this past fall) has been taking up lots of brain space lately. What to do with it this spring. Where to go with it beyond that...
6. Contentment and lack of has been something I've been meditating on. I'm always looking for the next thing. Always seeing "out there," never feeling settled or "at home." Not sure if it's a visionary gift or a discontentment curse.
7. Our 3 older kids are back "in place." KB and Feche Boy were at a week-long youth conference and returned home today. Miss. R and I rendezvoused with her ride in MN yesterday and she arrived in the south late last night. Just in time to miss a night of -25 degree weather!
Wising you a New Year filled with warmth and fulfilled HOPES!
Jen has more Quick Takes today at her blog, Conversion Diary. Stop by and wish her a New Year!
However, it was great to be more intentional about reading. Robin, host of the 52 Books a Week Blog, had some great questions for year-end-review:
- Even if you didn't, how many did you manage to read? 24 + part of 1 (Climbing Parnassus)
- Did you discover a new author or a new genre. Chiam Potok
- Did you rediscover an old classic or reread a book from years gone by? Old Yeller-beautiful and poignant. Little House Books- maybe my 5th time reading them outloud. Classic, charming, beautiful.
- What book did you finish up the challenge with? Old Yeller...wait, can I add another Amelia Bedelia? I read "....runs for Mayor" last night before bed and that takes me to 25!!
- Did you read from a list and fly by the seat of your pants choosing a different book each week? I started with a very carefully planned list. hahaha. Reverted quickly to flying by the seat of my pants...
- What was your favorite book? The Chosen. Wow. And Climbing Parnassus.Wow.
- What was your least favorite book? The Road. Blech.
- Did you learn something new about reading, yourself or a topic you read? Reading Potok more clearly refined my vision for education. In his writing education and relationship are intertwined. Education is not about learning facts or knowing how to do a thing, it is about becoming the person you are called to be, stewarding your gifts, talents, skills, place and time in life, serving the Master of the Universe with all that you are. The educational model that Potok writes about (Hebraic) blows away the triviality of post-modern thinking, gets way beyond the pragmatics of modernistic thinking and gets to the heart of who a person is. As an educator, mom, friend, Christian, I want that for myself and I want to inspire others to get there.
- What is on your wish list for 2010? Revisiting the Odyssey and the Iliad (partly cause Feche-Boy has that on his list next and partly cause The Trojan War was so good). Finishing Climbing Parnassus. A couple of books on Writing and Getting Published. I'd also like to re-visit the list I made last year that included several books on the "World of Google" and other marketing related books. Still have a couple Potok books to read and I never did get to "Three Cups of Tea."