Rivendell, WIS

O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

HIstory of Home Education, Part I

The wandering trails I follow when I have a little time to surf the web... I started at a blog of someone whom I've actually met (Hi, Mother Auma!), CM, Children and Lots of Grace. I noticed a nifty little sidebar note that said, "I'm a Multicellular Microorganism in the TTLB Ecosystem," which I couldn't resist clicking.

I ended up at The Truth Laid Bear for the first time in my weblife (Some of you committed bloggers may find that hard to believe). I began to explore this unique Ecosystem and found Spunky Homeschool. The article there, Homeschooling for God, led me to an earlier post, The Homeschooling Movement, which led to the interesting, if rather involved, discussion in the comments.

What caught my eye there were some comments about history. Specifically, a history that may not be as familiar to many of us U. S. home school parents, as, say, the story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The history of home education.

Yes, we have a history. I may be wrong, but I think home education seems like such a new idea that we forget that it has actually been around as long as the human race. More to my point, I think we forget that the modern movement has a history. In forgetting the brave souls who kept their offspring out of school 30 years ago, we may be missing some vital links.

So, for starters, here's a well-documented article by Patrick Farenga giving us A Brief History of Homeschooling. If you haven't heard of John Holt or Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, you need to educate yourself!

See History of Home Education, Part II and History of State Home School Organizations for more reading.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The First Carnival of Homeschooling...

As the town crier strode down the cobble stones he yelled: "Hear ye! Hear ye! Let it be known that the first Carnival of Homeschooling will be gathering at Why Homeschool on January 3rd for your entertainment, enlightenment, and education. Submit your best post on homeschooling by January 2nd. Hear ye! Hear ye! ...."

There was some buzz as the villagers wanted to know details. What was the Carnival of Homeschooling? Who was invited? Where would it be? Why should they come? Behind the town crier were a couple pages who were handing out pamphlets with details and information.

Check out Why Homeschool to learn more. I think it sounds fun... AND, given that people normally have time off during this time of year, prospective home school parents might be looking for information. What can blogging home schoolers write that will help them?

A quick look at some of my friends' blogs shows that recent posts are dealing with Christmas. Heart-warming, yes, but for the carnival, ladies and gents, let's put up some posts about home education. :)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry, Merry!

Scrooge has relented! Or, perhaps there was a lack of communication about what days my better-half's department would be working next week. Thankfully, he will only work Tues/Wed/Thursday, giving us two 3-day weekends in a row. :) :) :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!

My better-half came home from work last night to announce that he may not have any weekdays off for Christmas or New Year's. We had planned Christmas gatherings with relatives on Dec. 24, Dec. 25 (after remembering our Lord's death at our chapel), and Jan. 1. We had hoped to have our little family celebration, including brunch, stockings, gift exchange and lounging around afterward, for Monday, Dec. 26. Well, now when do we squeeze that in?

Normally, the foundry gives employees two days off for Christmas, two days off for New Year's, even if the holidays fall on a weekend. So, we are disappointed...

Here's an appropriate reading from A Christmas Carol. I should, however, at least give the foundry credit for giving him Dec. 25 off... more than Scrooge wanted to do!

At length the hour of shutting up the counting- house arrived. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool, and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank, who instantly snuffed his candle out, and put on his hat.

`You'll want all day to-morrow, I suppose?' said Scrooge.

`If quite convenient, sir.'

`It's not convenient,' said Scrooge, `and it's not fair. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it, you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound?'

The clerk smiled faintly.

`And yet,' said Scrooge, `you don't think me ill-used, when I pay a day's wages for no work.'

The clerk observed that it was only once a year.

`A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!' said Scrooge, buttoning his great-coat to the chin. `But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning.'

The clerk promised that he would; and Scrooge walked out with a growl. The office was closed in a twinkling, and the clerk, with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat), went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honour of its being Christmas Eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman's-buff.

~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What's Wrong with this Outfit, Mom?

"Women once complained about being reduced to sex objects. Now, their daughters are volunteering to be sex objects," from an article by Patricia Dalton in The Post. Read it at In Beauty and in Grace, linked below.

Thanks to those who prayed and left comments...

...in regards to my depressing day.

Thanks for the book suggestion, Athena. It's available at our public library, so I'll check it out. I've thought my blues may be related to my time of life (age 44), but it comes and goes almost at random--seems to be related more to stress than to health.

Update: Yesterday I laid down in the afternoon, feeling totally unable to tackle any of my normal tasks. After a brief time praying and crying, I all-of-a-sudden felt that I *could* get up and do something useful. Felt fine the rest of the evening. Did my Shepherd hear my cries and send relief?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The World's Shortest Personality Test

So, what do I tend to do when I'm depressed? Spend more time online, sometimes. Here's one thing I found this evening...

Your Personality Profile

You are pure, moral, and adaptable.
You tend to blend into your surroundings.
Shy on the outside, you're outspoken to your friends.

You believe that you live a virtuous life...
And you tend to judge others with a harsh eye.
As a result, people tend to crave your approval.

The Narnia Movie

I haven't seen the film yet, but I've been reading about it online. The review that most makes me want to see it is linked below. Thanks, Donna-Jean, for delving into the difference between reading a book and watching a movie.

How to home school when depressed?

Unexpectedly, I am depressed. I went through this late last winter/early spring, learned a lot about keeping myself healthy, had a very happy summer, and now... the same feelings and thoughts are back.

We just took a day off school yesterday to relax from the hectic weekend and to plan for our new term. Today, I'm unable to work with the students without snapping and yelling at them. I'm grumpy, teary-eyed, and full of discontent. I'm planning to do some writing, some reading, some praying, some resting. Perhaps I can take a walk... if it's warm enough.

Please pray for us. If you have any suggestions on what to do about schoolwork when Mom is emotionally distraught, please send them. TY.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why read Shakespeare?

And, at what age can human beings begin understanding Shakespeare? Take a peek at one family's touching and hilarious adventure with a brief excursion into the Bard's Julius Caesar...

Target's amazing change of heart...

The breaking news on christian radio is that Target has changed its policies re: mentioning the name of the upcoming holiday. Yes, Virginia, the holiday is called Christmas. And Target will now include the word, "Christmas," in their advertising, etc. Here's one article explaining Target's policies.

A gentleman on the radio station I listen to said, "Target has had a change of heart in response to the boycott." Now, I am not writing this to argue about what this holiday should be called. Nor am I writing to argue for or against christian boycotts.

My basic question is this: How can a boycott produce a change of heart? Is it just me, or is there a contradiction here? Can Target serve God and Mammon (i.e., money)?

Many of the arguments used for fighting against a "generic" holiday sound very valid to me. Yet, I keep coming back to the idea that if we have to force people to acknowledge the holiday--especially by appealing to their greed!!!--we really haven't accomplished anything.

For a viewpoint you probably won't hear on christian radio, see this Capital Times article, titled Try a Boycott of Real Value. Warning: If you are all for the American Family Association tactic of boycotting, you may be offended.

God's Unchanging Truth in a Brave New World

The theme for the 2006 L'Abri Conference in Rochester, MN, is Living in a Brave New World. Dates: February 17 and 18.

My better half and I attended in 2003 and 2004, if I have the dates correct. We are considering whether or not to go in 2006. If you are interested in thinking christianly, check it out.

Titles of sessions that look intriguing to me (Oh no! Too many from which to choose!):

Confronting a World of Designer Babies, Saviour Siblings and Re-engineered Transhumans: Towards a Theology of Biotechnology
--- Christopher Hook

It’ll Change Your Life: Popular Music as Cultural Dialogue
--- Denis Haack

Beauty and Body Image: Reclaiming Our Media-Saturated Lives
--- Marsena Konkle

Common Grace: God’s Commitment to Care for all Creation --- Jerram Barrs

A Culture of Commodification, or How Much is For Sale?
--- Dick Keyes

Good, Evil and Human Nature
--- Dick Keyes

Echoes of Eden in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia Stories
--- Jerram Barrs

Already a Brave New World: Romance, Sex & the Human Condition in Contemporary Cinema
--- Greg Jesson

Piercing the Veil: Can Prayer Realize the Presence of God?
---Jerram Barrs

The Beverage of the Friends of God: The Story of Coffee
---Denis Haack

The Best Toy that You Can Be: The Tabloids vs the Bible on Sex
--- Mark Ryan

Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism
--- Richard Winter