30 October 2014

Do You Want Some Ebola With That Spaghetti?

I don't feel our government has any of this under control.  I think we're being lied to.  And I think healthcare workers - you know, those people who actually had contact with Ebola? - should be on quarantine for 21 days when they get back to the US.  No reason aid groups can't raise some money and deliver food/ cover some expenses for these folks. (My opinion is based on what little we've been told about the virus and is subject to change without notice.)

So I'm concerned.  And coverage about people hopping onto cruise ships and so forth and gagging all over passengers on crowded subways really doesn't do anything to allay my fears here.  But I'm also not in panic mode.  I'm in "stop it now" mode and I think that's where most reasonable other people are, too. 

Anyway, I enjoyed this video about the differences in Ebola coverage between here and the UK.  It has some strong language, but if you're up for that, I hope you enjoy it. 

24 October 2014

Go Royals!

It seems everyone is wearing a blue shirt this week because the Royals are in the World Series! Rose and Woodjie are wearing the Royals crowns they made during craft time at library story hour.

22 October 2014

Cutest Call Center Guy Everrrrr...

21 October 2014

Teaching Textbooks, Grade Three

What it is:

Teaching Textbooks is a math program on CDs, but it responds to what the child types.  "Great job!" or, "Sorry, that's not the correct answer.  Try again." and several other phrases will let your child know if he's on the right track.  Every answer to every problem is explained in detail on the program.  They also (if you really get stuck somehow!) have a toll-free number you can call to have someone explain the math in person.    We got the set that includes the workbook after doing a fair amount of second-grade work from other curriculum providers.

Teaching Textbooks begins with third grade and continues through Pre-Calculus.


What we love about it:

Woodjie's autism means he'll get a bit overwhelmed if you throw some worksheets his way and expect him to "get cracking."  This kid thrives on being riiight next to you and being praised over every little thing he gets done.  Teaching Textbooks is the next best thing to that.

Here's where we are now!
One thing both the children particularly love is the "study buddy" cartoon mascots that cheer and celebrate right answers, and give hints as requested.

I have the children do their workbook sheets after they do the work on the computer.  Hopefully doing the work in two different ways will help them remember.

What you might not like about it:

Price.  It's expensive!  $120 a year just for maths isn't cheap.

It's also a bit below grade level.  My son is a second-grader.  It's really more like a grade 2.5 to 3.5 than a grade 3 to 4 sort of program.  It isn't a bad thing but definitely something to be aware of when ordering!  Be sure to use their placement tests for the best fit.  Would you like to see some sample lessons, or maybe print out a placement test for your child to take?  Click here! 

18 October 2014

Another Homeschooling Abuse Case.

When it's a homeschooling family that goes wackadoodle, it's about the homeschooling or the fundamentalism.  But when a public school family goes crazy, it's about "poverty" or "culture" or "mental illness."  Go check the news sometime and see if I'm not right.

Now, look.  I'm not saying child abuse didn't happen in the most recently publicized case.  But I sure wouldn't bet a whole lot of money that it did, either, particularly as the teen witness to the alleged abuse didn't report it until years later as an adult.  Don't give me this "victims are trapped" bullcrap.  This ain't Pakistan or Yemen.

And the very fact that the allegations are published in some "let's talk about the horrid things that happen in homeschooling families and how we need to regulate these people" type blog also should give people a bit of pause.  (That's one reason why I'm not linking, by the way.)

Like I said:  I'm not saying abuse didn't or did happen.  That's a question for DFS and the courts and so on.  What I am saying is that people love to jump on this kind of crap, because they want to "prove" that homeschooling is bad, or wrong, or is somehow "led" by a bunch of child-molesting, patriarchal weirdos who believe in things like using essential oils to combat Ebola.

There are so many new homeschoolers out there it's just incredible.  I frequently come across new homeschooling parents who I'll bet don't even know who Mary Pride is, let alone most of the people at the center of this crapola.  So to be all triumphant about this family's problems 1. probably isn't going to affect the homeschooling community too very much, and 2. is really poor form.  Publicizing the identities of allegedly molested children?  Yeah, that's pretty much what you are doing when you print the names of their parents.


10 October 2014


 Patrick has another semester of community college and so rather than run about constantly and getting nothing done, I bring the children to the local library during his class time.

That means I can no longer use a different notebook or workbook for every subject, particularly as my surgeon has limited me to lifting 20 pounds for the rest of my life.  (Had three hernia surgeries and would prefer my intestines stay inside my body from now on.)

So I've torn out all the workbook sheets and stapled them into weekly "packets."  When I'm getting ready to leave for the college, I'll put the relevant packets in a hard folder, grab our LIFEPAC science workbook and our pencil case, and head to the van.

I bring sandwiches and we have a "picnic" before heading in and grabbing a table.  Rewards for good work mean the children each get to pick out three books and on particularly long days, they can use the kindle for a little bit before heading back to pick Patrick up for the drive home.

When I'm feeling particularly adventurous, I'll pick a restaurant that looks homeschool-friendly.  The problem is that we need to stick around for several hours.  McDonald's is friendly, as is the local Taco Bell.  I had never been in a Taco Bell before and doubt I will go to another again (barring national disaster and so forth - never say never).  We've also done the coffee shop thing a few times.

03 October 2014

Which Would You Choose? A Math Lesson From Rose

Oooo, you should choose the second one.  Because that's a way lots more money.  Patrick thinks they are the same, but he doesn't know that more zeroes means more dollars.  See, but now I am in first grade and so I know that.

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...