18 June 2012

Miscellaneous Musings on Monday

Greetings to you on this bright Monday morning! We have had some very hot weather this past weekend--103 on Saturday, and 108 yesterday--and so I can't say we've been very exciting other than running out to give the animals lots of water and allowing the rabbit inside the house during the hottest parts of the day. Yes. Inside. I have always been adamant about no-animals-inside-at-all, and yet here I am, with a house rabbit, at least temporarily.

The things we do for our children!


In other news...

  • The Sacred Right To Go To Quack Doctors by Bryana Johnson.
    Gay rights were abridged in California earlier this week when the California Senate passed a bill which would make it a crime for a mental health professional to conduct sexual orientation change efforts with a consensual minor. If this bill is signed into law, it will mean that California teenagers with gender identity issues will be prohibited from seeking reparative counseling from credentialed psychologists – even if both they and their parents want this therapy.
  • What is classical education? Revisited by Andrew Kern {scroll down after clicking--it's at the bottom of the page}. More to add to the discussion of what classical education actually is...
    Back in May I referred to the following quotation from Susan Wise Baur.
    Rather, “classical” refers to a pattern of training the mind first used in medieval education, and followed in European and even in American schools until relatively recently. Classical education proposes that learning take place in three stages. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium.
    At the time we had a brief dialogue, primarily about the history of the words being used. Having reflected on this question ceaselessly for about 13 years, I have concluded that, at least the way it is phrased in the previous paragraph, the formulation of the trivium as three stages as classical education is positively harmful.
  • “What is Classical Education?” Revisited by Martin Cothran. This is referencing the article by Mr. Kern above.
    Those who have used our Material Logic course will know that there are four questions that must be answered in order to know what a thing is: What kind of thing is it? What is it made up of? What brought it about? And, what is it for? Mr. Kern’s article dealt largely with the first question. He gave us what in logic is called the “formal cause” of classical education. He told us what kind of thing it is.
  • The Maverick by Tim Stafford. We usually think of technological development as something belonging to the Silicon Valley eggheads. But what if the first Jetson-era flying car was developed...for missionaries?
    I-TEC's flying car zooms up to 90 mph on paved roads. Off road, it handles ruts like a Land Rover. Yet in six minutes, a pilot can unfurl its fixed parachute wing and take off into the wild blue yonder—at up to 40 mph. "The Maverick" aims to revolutionize transportation "where the road ends," helping indigenous preacher-pilots sustain the church in the remotest rainforests and other uncharted areas.
  • African-Americans increasingly turn to home-schooling from FOXNews. A lot of folks think that homeschooling is for middle-class, white, Christian families. Think again! This is an option for anyone who puts their mind to it.
    Nationwide, home-schooling grew from 1.7 percent of the school-age population in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The total number of kids being home-schooled has more than doubled since 1999 to more than two million, according to estimates. Some 220,000 of those students are African-American, according to The National Home Education Research Institute.
  • Nature Journaling: A Conduit to God from Higher Up and Further In. Yes! Linda Fay is back and I am so excited! This inspired me to get back into nature journalling more than any post I've read in a long time.
    If I can’t find her around the house, she is out wandering the fields or hidden in a tree recording a precious nature find and journaling out her thanks to the Creator. This did not come naturally. I purposefully taught her to do this, modeling it myself. Now after years of nature journaling, this habit is as natural to her as breathing. It fills her life with truth and beauty and order, nourishing her soul. Nature study has a purpose that is deeper than some of us may realize. I encourage you to take advantage of nature study and use it as a tool to teach children to behold the face of their Creator.
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  1. Brandy, I wish people who think that homeschooling is for middle class white families could have been at our co-op's year end picnic today. The Brooklyn-Queens LEAH is wonderfully, beautifully ethnically diverse and a great group of people. I'm sad that my family's adventures in moving will be taking us away from these terrific homeschoolers. Thanks for the link.

    1. OH and the article is slightly incorrect about the NYS requirements. New York does not require that the number of hours per subject be reported. There is a requirement to complete 900 school hours, so each of my quarterly reports says that we did 225+ hours total.

    2. That's sounds beautiful, Sara!

      I wondered about the NY requirements--thanks for correcting them! That sounds tough to me, to have to be so conscientious about what and how much, but I suppose everything becomes "normal" after a while, right? :)

    3. It seems very frightening at first, but yes, I've gotten used to it. If I had to track the number of hours per subject it would be difficult. Most of us have adopted the "it's all school" attitude, so of course we exceed the 900 hours easily. I mean that in addition to formal schooling, bedtime stories and lectures about bicycle safety and playing outdoors all count.

  2. Wow! What great links this week. So much to consider and very timely for me. I tend to get caught up in subjects and I appreciate Mr. Kern's reminder to do a few things well. I also appreciated his comments as all subjects as a way to teach grammar to younger children - that history is a manner of inquiry. I'll have to think more on how that really impacts the day to day. Thanks!


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