19 March 2012

Miscellaneous Musings on Monday

Welcome to a beautiful Monday, the first day of exams...for my oldest student. I am giving A.-Age-Seven a shorter week celebration of completing a term, but I'm still doling out reading lessons left and right, to whoever will take them. I want a break so badly, but I am still stubbornly holding out for Easter week. It's tradition!

In other {real} news...

  • Obama's History Lesson by Mark Steyn. Sigh.
    Christopher Columbus? Once upon a time, your average well-informed high-schooler, never mind the smartest president in history, understood that Columbus was laughed at not because everyone believed the world was round: Educated Europeans of his day accepted that the earth was spherical and had done since Aristotle’s time. They laughed because they thought he was taking the long way round to the East Indies. Which he was.
  • Kids Sleep Better with Outdoor Time from the National Wildlife Federation. Let's file this one under "not surprising."
    Natural light from the sun regulates the body’s internal “sleep clock”, which makes children more alert during the day, and tired at night.
  • Twix Brownies from Jasey's Crazy Daisy. Tempting. Very tempting.
    You ask if there was anything wrong with Twix candy bars before they met the brownie. Not really, and yet somehow taking the creamy caramel filling, crunchy cookie base, and delicious chocolate topping and combining them with a rich moist brownie layer some how transforms both desserts into one super decadent treat.
  • The recommended daily allowance from Mental Multivitamin. Modern science meets Charlotte Mason?
    A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed.
  • A Whale of a Distinction by Martin Cothran. Learning to draw appropriate distinctions...
    The classical conception of man considers him to be different, not just in degree, but in kind, from the beast. To the Greeks, man was a “rational animal.” This was not a judgment about his biological nature or origin: it was a metaphysical statement about what he essentially is. The Christian view of man—which, as in so many other things, was larger and more comprehensive than the worldviews that preceded it—incorporated the Greek view into its own idea that man was animal with a rational soul, an endowment he enjoyed by virtue of bearing the image of God.
  • The Fight for Foie Gras in California from Cheeseslave. I notice more and more that the people who try and make laws about how other people raise animals rarely have any actual experience raising animals.
    My mother visited a foie gras farm on a recent trip to France. When she asked if the gavage hurt the geese, the farmer said, “Are you kidding me? They line up for it.”
  • Trusted and True by Lanier Ivester. A beautiful tribute to friendship. I thought of the wonderful friends in my own life when I read this.
    But the reality is—I acknowledged it with a stab of grateful joy—that it’s the shadows themselves that have made such a fellowship possible. These women have walked with me through some of the darkest passes of my life. They have told me the truth when my soul was parched for it—they have not only spoken God’s love to me, they have lived it in the flesh.
  • Confessions from a recovering pride addict by Amy Scott. She always gets us laughing {and crying} at ourselves, doesn't she?
    I had the opportunity to say something cruel, something sideways and sarcastic. Instead, I asked this question: How will you wished you behaved in the morning? And then I did that. I chose not to be my authentic self, because at the moment, my authentic self sucked.
  • Things that undermine the complementarian position from Practical Theology for Women.
    Problem number 1 is calling this debate a gospel issue. Now it’s true that the interplay between husbands and wives in the home is a TESTIMONY of the gospel as it reflects the nature of Christ’s profound love for the church. But being a testimony of the gospel is not the same as being the gospel. I said in another post that the gospel informs everything, but it is not everything. And we start entering dangerous territory quickly when we are not precise in how we talk about the link between the gospel and the complementarian position. The gospel plus anything is not the gospel at all.
  • Robbing kindergartners of play in the name of reform from The Washington Post.
    Now the superintendent of the Hartford School District, Christina Kishimoto, wants kindergarteners at the district’s lowest performing schools (as measured by standardized test scores) to stay in class for 11 months a year instead of the regular nine, and stay hard at work. That leaves less time than ever for the thing they should be doing the most — playing.


  1. The last link about kindergartners is so sad. One of the reasons we choose to homeschool is precisely the opportunity to provide more time for free play. It's even on our schedule. Every day.

    However...I think it likely a great many of these children face home environments that are not very conducive to learning - child care providers who are elderly or unable to truly care for young children, back yards that are not safe for outdoor play, homes without many books at all let alone someone with the time to read to them, and a lack of reliable food. Wouldn't it be wonderful to provide, instead of "school," a safe refuge full of books, stories, free play and a haven to explore an outdoor garden. What are the chances we could find some funding for that?

    1. I think another thing to question is the impact of homework on this situation. A friend of mine with a child in the local public school was spending MORE time in homework with her K-1 students than I did ALL DAY with my students of the same age! First, she basically had to re-teach everything, so that took time, but it was like the school was sending home hours of stuff for kids to do. Much of it was busy work. So the precious few hours of daylight left when they get home are squandered because of homework.

      Of course, I'm sure TV, video games, and computer stuff contribute, too.

      I like your vision of a better environment for these kids. My church does some mission work where they are helping children, and I wish they could provide that for them! They DO provide food, but the play is, once again, supplanted by all the homework. Our church is basically supplying tutors. I wonder about the garden, though, and if that would be possible.

      A friend of ours works at local charter school (public) where children are taught at home 4 days, and attend the school 1 day (which is options and based upon the family's choice). At that campus, they have gardens and lots of animals (goats, pony, rabbits, poultry, etc.). It is one of the big attractions to that school, so I think a lot of parents would be on board for something like that if it was available to them.

  2. I love the way you have these laid out this week...with the quote under the link! :)

    1. Thanks! I tried this last week, too, I think and I noticed there were WAY more people actually clicking out and reading the articles, so I made the assumption that this is the format people prefer and I went with it. It'll probably be the new standard. :)


I absolutely adore hearing your thoughts, but...*please* remember to play nicely!