31 January 2013

New Law: Schools Need to Know if YOU Own a Gun.

When you enroll a child in a Missouri school, you will need to make sure they know what firearms are in your private home.  It doesn't matter if it is a public, private, or charter school.  So even if you "homeschool" with the internet through a Missouri-recognized cyberschool, this proposed law will affect you.

The new law won't violate the Second Amendment, proponents say, because you can still own a gun or what-have-you.  You just have to share that information with the school. 

I'm thinking no, thanks.  I cannot believe the knee-jerk reactions on both ends of the political spectrum in light of recent events.

NO Punishments in School.

"Punishment can never achieve anything but temporary, resentful compliance, and it generates significant problems in the bargain," writes Alfie Kohn.  "It doesn't make the school safer. The wrongdoer doesn't become a better person—just cleverer about avoiding detection."

I'm not so far down the gentle parenting path that I would take his argument to the conclusion that he does:  punishing corrupt bankers, even, isn't helpful.  And we should never punish children because it teaches other children that they, too, are only there under the good graces of those in power.

Well, my.

I'd like to see schools do more "working with," as he calls it.  Certainly we don't need to paddle children or lock them in closets when they misbehave.  And yet, this sort of thing is happening daily in public schools.  Daily.  So many of the teacher blogs and the like go on and on about, "Should Johnny get detention and what if his mom doesn't support us?" types of questions.  The reality is that children are beaten and mistreated in schools by staff every. single. school day.  So maybe we need to work on some of the parameters of what acceptable methods of "punishment" would even entail before we even talk of student bullying.  We all of us lead by example.

29 January 2013

Random Gunman Style

It's important to do shootout drills in public schools “in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire.”  Seriously.  Holy crap.

27 January 2013

Normalcy Awareness Month!


Photos courtesy and by written permission of  Disability and Representation website.

Don't you just love the "My Child has AWEtism" and "Handicapped people are such inspirations!" type pics all over facebook?  Yeah.

25 January 2013

Rose is Reading!

                            I've started Rose on some first grade readers from ABeka Book.  Right now she is halfway done with the Phonics Reader and Fun With Pets.  :)

24 January 2013

80,000 Kids Learning Little to No Math.

Orthodox Jewish schools in the New York City area teach little to nothing in the way of "secular" subjects like math and science.  Mayor Bloomberg (God love him!) stated recently that he isn't sure if it's his place to do anything about it.  Because he's too busy making sure no one drinks more than 21 ounces of soda at a time.  Or maybe some state department deals with that.  Well, he doesn't know. *shrug*

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz implied that doesn't really care whether little Jewish kids learn to do algebra.  I mean, just as long as they're ignorant for religious reasons.

"It’s not for me to intervene in the priorities of education of religious institutions, whether they be Catholic or Protestants or Jews or Muslims or whatever it may be in any other religion, Buddhist and Hindu," he said.

It's not for me to intervene in his choice of career, either, but I think "Marty Mark" would make an excellent name for a rap star.

Anyway.

It seems odd to me that the same state that literally persecutes people for failing to file paperwork just rolls over and goes "meh" about something this big. 

Why are people not caring?

Driving Drunk Should be Legal!

About two-thirds of all accidents are caused by sober drivers!  So we need to focus on sober drivers instead of people who drive drunk.  Also?  "The campaign against so-called 'drunk drivers' is another feminist hate men program."

Yessss... there was really a serious news article about allowing drunks on the road legally in County Kerry, Ireland.  And I gleaned all that rockin' wisdom from the comments section.  But the local council reasons that allowing a few drunks on the road is a net social benefit because then these boozers wouldn't have to drink alone.  It will decrease depression!  Those poor rural men.  There is no way, I suppose, that an Irish man can socialize unless he's good and drunk.

I didn't say it!  But the article certainly implies that boozing it up is the only thing to do.  Have they not discovered basketball or golf in Ireland yet?  Pool?  Cards?  The Super Bowl?  I mean, really... there must be something else to do in County Kerry.  The Council thinks it's ok because nobody's been killed yet?

Thankfully the reaction from officials at a more national level has been more along the lines of, what the hell are you thinking.


21 January 2013

Writings.

Rose is beginning to write!  Can you tell that I taught her to write her a's like a typewriter?  I hate those circle-with-a-stick a's they make the kids do in schools.  Too hard to differentiate between those and o's frequently.

20 January 2013

Disdain = Discrimination?

"Special needs children need to be special somewhere else."   Article.

A child with Down's Syndrome is dissed in a private conversation at a nearby table, loud enough for others to hear.  The child's mother says that this is a case of discrimination because he wasn't being loud or disruptive.  To my mind, if it's discrimination, it doesn't matter if the person in question is being loud or disruptive.  If someone from Mexico were loud and obnoxious, it isn't somehow then OK to make racial remarks, you know?

I don't think it's discrimination, though.  This child is not being discriminated against.  Perhaps a matter of words or semantics, but discrimination would be if his employer said that.  Or his teacher at school.  Not a bunch of hoo-has at a nearby table.

What I think it is, is hateful.  And unacceptable.  And a form of bullying.  And I applaud this waiter for refusing to serve the table.  The customers left and the waiter is not sure if he will be able to keep his job.  But I think it's important in a restaurant or other establishment to make sure customers feel welcome. 


17 January 2013

Poor? You are a TV-Watching Screamer.

"Children who don’t go to preschool are usually from more disadvantaged families, which means they watch lots of TV and are yelled at more than they are praised, which some researchers believe can stunt cognitive development." 

This sounds really scientific!  But it got one commenter very confused.

"What happens if my kids are from a middle income family who does puzzles with them, reads books with them, plays games, takes them on outings, but also lets them watch television and the praise/shouting ratio is probably around 50/50 depending on the day?" wrote Reality_Jane.  "Do we send them to preschool for half a day, then?"

In totally unrelated news, my four-year-old attends preschool for four half-days each week. Ha ha!

13 January 2013

Grandma

This is my grandmother, Maxine.  She was born in 1909.  What you do not see in the picture is that she had very blue eyes and was rather commanding.  She was a librarian before she was married and she had perfect penmanship.

10 January 2013

You Are Fat

How do you have a discussion with a family member about how fat he is?  Dawn Lermon discussed her embarrassment growing up with a morbidly obese father on Talk of the Nation today.  Her family life as a child, she related, was never normal.  Her dad took up two seats on a plane.  He couldn't walk up the stairs.  When he had to go out, he had to get a special taxi. 

So.  We obviously need to give "stop being so fat" advice to our family members.  It's absolutely appropriate to clue them in that you notice what a hog they are.  That will motivate change!

One listener emailed that her father was very fat and diabetic to boot.  At Christmastime, he had ordered a huuuuuge danish and was about to eat it when the daughter snatched it, told him he shouldn't be touching food like that in his condition, and do you know how many calories are in this thing? 

And she called the pastry chef so that the dad could be educated on how bad this food really is.  Oh yes, she called.  Somehow, the father didn't react well to this discussion!  Can you believe that?  I mean, here is this daugher being oh so helpful, and he goes and gets mad. 

This is amazingly poor taste.  The show hosts didn't seem to have a problem with people confronting others or having "loving discussions" about what a lard-o someone is and how they need to change.

Is it just me?  I'm thinking you just don't everrr have a discussion like that with someone.  Unless you're that person's spouse (and maybe not even then), I can't see how it's even remotely appropriate.  I mean, even my doctor should know better than to bring this crap up. 

You think I don't know how fat I am?  Or how bad it is?  Who in the hell do you think you are if you feel the need to bring that up?  Do you think that if losing weight were do-able that I'd have done it by now?  Oh yes.  I have.  Several times over.  I just always gain it back.  Worse than the last time.  Bah.  Shut up if you notice my big butt, ok?  Thanks.

It's one thing to make a New Year's resolution, but it's quite another to make one for someone else.

09 January 2013

Some People Should NOT Homeschool.

I take it as a matter of faith in humanity that all parents can homeschool.  I really think everyone can.  It's just that not everyone should.  So here's my personal list of judgey-judgey reasons you shouldn't homeschool.

1.  You are a child abuser.  Now... I don't just mean the registered (tm) kind.  I mean the kind who doesn't just let an unkind word slip every now and then, but calls his kids  @#4ing maggots frequently, says he wishes they were dead, could have had a much better life without your stupid *2s around, and so on.  Or the kind who doesn't teach his children anything, or to clarify for you "unschoolers" out there, doesn't encourage, guide, or model good learning behaviours.  You know what I mean. 

2.  You can't make up your freaking mind and/or are psycho.  No fair pulling your kids one week because the schools are ungodly hotbeds of heathenism, doing a couple of colouring projects, reading three Bible verses and doing a math worksheet, and then sending the kids back to school six weeks later because they "need the socialization."  Ok, I could see this sort of thing happening once.  But frankly?  I've seen too much of this sort of "whatever works this week" attitude and I'm concerned that your stupid behaviour is going to make my homeschooler look like a dodo.  And I don't want any new laws regulating my homeschool because other people saw what a dumb bunny you were and voted accordingly "for the kids." 

For the kids? For your kids?  Make up your mind and stick with it.  I know things change and sudden shifts have to happen.  We pulled Elf out in the middle of the first semester of first grade ourselves!  But give it some real time.  At least a half-year, or begin a new educational endeavour after Christmas or summer break.  Hey.  We pulled our kid because he was being abused and the devil with the school calendar.  But otherwise?  Plan ahead, ok?  Thanks.

3.  You think you can change your child, or somehow "train him up" in the way you think he should go.  I had so many lovely books and was ready to teach my child to write his heart out.  What I was going to do is (and it shames me to say it) just get the kid by on grade level with his math and focus on literature and writing because those are the easier/best subjects to teach.  God saw fit to give me a math child.  I had to change my homeschooling to suit him. 

And honestly?  You need to know when it's time to turn your kid loose.  We might be nearing that time with Emperor.  At present, however, I don't see better educational opportunities on the horizon so he's going to stay put.  But someday he's going to spend some time away from me.  That's going to be really hard.  But when he succeeds away from me, I know I will have succeeded. 

If that makes sense.  I hope it does.

Do you know what inspired me to write this post?  This crazy facebook update from Sonlight.  Ok, the status is not nutty.  The comments make my brain explode!  You know you are a homeschooler when "you comfort yourself by believing your children's spouses will teach them how to read"???  I sure hope that is a joke.  But I've noticed many of these people on the homeschooling threads are into both housework AND hoarding homeschool materials.  Why that intersect?  Puzzled.

07 January 2013

What to do With Unmarried Daughters.

You know, I love my daughter.  I don't want anything bad to happen to her when she is outside my range of protection.  So I'm sorta thinking that her going to a far-away college is a bad idea.  We still have a little time to think about it, though, with her being four years old still and all.

But thankfully, I found a handy-dandy article about what to do with grown daughters that is pretty helpful.  I mean, I could use this as a guide if Rose hasn't landed a husband by the time she's 18.  One good suggestion would be to get together with other Christian families and start match-making.  Adult children don't need time and space to make up their own minds, or meet their own spouses and decide for themselves.  Bah.  Free will is like, really over-rated.

Another thing I could do is to find good volunteering opportunities that would lead (somehow) to her meeting Prince Charming.  Like signing her up to clip toenails of the old people in the nursing home!  No, really.  It's in the article, and besides, acts of Christian service are important in our community.   Not to mention,  I need to guard my daughter's virginity really, really well and old people?  They're never sexual, and old men never attack young women.  So there you go.  Nursing home.  Toenails.  I'm sure my daughter would be really likely to meet the man of her dreams that way.

If she doesn't, that's ok.  I can keep her as my perpetual (Christian) servant and make her homeschool my younger children.  Doggone it, I don't have younger children.  Well, I'll think of something.  Housework, errands and assorted chores were on the to-do list.  I will be pushing 60 when she is in her early 20's, so I'm thinking this will be my retirement.  Ahhh.

One caveat:  whatever you do, don't let your girls actually work.  That's the big Truth with a capital 'T" I came away with.  If you let your daughter work, she'll start to earn money.  And she might like that.  She might also realize that, you know, she's an adult and then she'll start making her own decisions.  That would be very bad.

Seriously.  I don't know how long this article has been around, but it's Crazy Comment Monday-worthy.  All hail the craziness.
This is one of my fave pictures of Woodjie.  He is so stinkin' cute that I have to repost this when I do a Crazy Comment Monday. 

03 January 2013

Should Math Be Taught In School?

Hey, Girl...

  
A 15-year-old girl from Iceland wants to use the name that her mother gave her when she was born.  It's "Blaer."   Weird?  Maybe.  But certainly no weirder than "Stulka," or "Girl," which is what she's currently being called by everyone.  See, her mom didn't choose from the government pre-approved baby name list for girls.  Over 1800 choices and she went and chose something different.  Well, I went and generated this official Ryan Gosling meme in her honour.  :/

Star Trek Roller Skating!

Woodjie LOVES the audience.  I made these little outfits for the children and they danced to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme...