Monday, February 23, 2009

“The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one’s mind a pleasant place in which to spend one’s leisure.”

-Sydney J. Harris

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Just as eating against one's will is injurious to health, so studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in."

Leonardo Da Vinci

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders."

--Abigail Van Buren

"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."

C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Little Britches...

We recently finished reading and rejoicing with Little Britches in the story of The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody. There are a couple lines I wanted to quote. A longer dialog with Ralph's mother is added to my quote section.

Ralph was once afraid to get back up on a horse that he was thrown from. This is what his father said and Ralph is recalling his father's advice.

"You don't have to be ashamed of that. every man who ever did a brave thing was afraid. It doesn't take courage to do the things you're not afraid of."

"...nothin' worth while gets learnt easy-"

"We done our best, and when a man's done his best he's got nothin' to bawl over if he loses."

We was wondering if any one knows what the sound of a telegraph wire on a cold night sounds like? I do not suppose there are any folks left to tell us.

After my last post entitled Urgh, maybe I'll get edumacated enough that I can start writing when I turn 50, just like Ralph Moody.


I'm frustrated. I think I've hit a wall in my personal journey towards intelligence. (Not that I've had much :) to begin with but still I've been trying up until...hmmm... oh late December I'd say. I'm serious here. My wisdom and knowledge that equate to intelligence is and has been limited.)

I've been wanting to say something about two government issues but find myself unable to express anything that would be of value...yet I'm going to try anyway.

My whole being gets so upset when I hear about another government bailout, this time over 830 billion dollars. As I drive to different errands and listen to the news or talk shows, I just feel like this is wrong and a big mistake to cover up the sins of corporate America with a bailout. (I don't know if it's corporate exactly)

I don't feel that this stimulus package is going to help our economy. I feel that it's going to help some peoples pockets. I think we are in for a long crisis. I hear more about spending and no suggestion of saving and living under or within one's monthly income.

I have no answers, I've read The Fourth Turning that says we are entering the Crisis stage which is the fourth cycle to go through before the High. These cycles can be quick like what 10 years? Or drag out for twenty-ish years. There is much I don't understand nor can articulate.

That's what I'm so disappointed in myself about. My lack to change or make any difference because I can't seem to say what I think on to paper. Of course my thoughts aren't grand and more then thoughts these are emotions playing out in my head.

I think this new law regarding lead in toys and clothes is fine from the stand point of new items. But it's crazy that second hand thrift stores will have to find a way to test products and know which are recalled or they can be fines $100,000.00 for having the item on their shelves.

Now I don't know what this all means. Except it's going to be harder for families to get used clothing, even books with certain metal spiral bindings are on the list or maybe not on the list but need to be tested to see if they hold to much lead. Apparently some clothes with metal buttons or appliqu├ęs have lead in them.

It feels like something more sinister is going on that I can't put my thoughts upon but my spirit tells me I should not be comfortable with either of these situations I just mentioned.

While reading a little about the fall of Constantinople in 1453 this morning I read this quote by Cardinal Nicholas Cusa.

We should always seek for truth and knowledge, but we should remember that knowledge and wisdom are of worth only if we let our lives be governed by them.”

I Did Not Know...

So today during our group learning time, we started reading Understood Betsy by Dorthy C. Fisher. I think this story is going to have great lessons. At this point the kids are understanding why we want them to think and do many things for themselves and not be told at every turn but excise the intelligence God gave them. Poor Betsy has grown to age nine and has never made a decision for herself until she meets her Vermont cousins...

We added to our time line when we came across Charlemagne of 800 AD who was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor of the western nation on Christmas day. Whats interesting is that he apparently reestablished the idea of a Nation Assembly each year in May to hear from the people. With so many people he established a representative system to present the ideas of the people. Now the book said he was the first to establish this system. But I think the Romans and Greeks did that much sooner at different periods in their respective histories. Didn't they?

Charlemagne was the grand son of Charles the Hammer who in 730's lead the Franks (who came from Germany) of France against the Muslim Arabs, (I think the Moors who had invaded Spain) from conquering France.

That's when I remembered in Pastwatch about the Spanish (King Ferdinand) not excited about Christopher Columbus because they had been fighting to expel the Moors from the southern end of Spain. If what I read is correct now I see the connection. I also noticed that our time line is getting pretty crowded between 1400 and 1500 which is not a bad thing but we seem to be in the general area recently.

We are in the afternoon and holding personal projects time. Mattia is trying to dissect a fish and is telling me how hard this is but she is going to keep trying. She painted this funny cat last week and I love the green background. I just have to share it here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"A child can learn well only if he is happy, feels safe, content, confident, secure, accepted, and loved. … In order for a child to identify with his parents (relate closely with them) and be able to accept their standards [incorporate and accept parental values], he must feel loved and accepted by them"

Kelli Poll Nurturing the Foundation

Help Me To Remember This...

"Education comes from within; you get it by struggle, effort and thought."

-Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cows, Music, and Uncle Eric...

This morning we had an interesting learning time thanks to the Hobby farm magazine. It turns out that Scotland breaded a cow most likely from a Dutch version and created the Belted Galloway in the 16th century.
If we ever have a hobby farm, this is the beef cow for us. Belties are smaller then commercial breeds. They carry a double coat of hair to keep them warm in winter and like a pond to help cool off in the summer. They are happy to eat grass, birth their young easily, and are disease resistant. They carry less fat on their bodies, are hornless, and apparently the bulls are friendlier then the cows. Lastly they all look like big Oreo cookies.

I'm just beginning to digest the Uncle Eric series this afternoon. I'm reading Richard Maybury's Evaluating Books: What Would Thomas Jefferson Think About This? I have a feeling this is going to be worth reading for PALMS after the 5,000 Year Leap book. In this book he describes his objective and outlines the value of his books. He says that once I understand the models that economics, justice, and other fields are based upon then I can understand the flow of history in different fields.

I finished listening to The Teaching Company's Great Composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. No wonder I've only ever heard his name as Tchaikovsky. It was eight hours of interest mingled with sadness. There was a big cover up over his death. He was homosexual. He was called upon to kill himself because he was caught. It was said for many years that he did not boil the water he drank and died of Cholera. He married once, but could not continue this way and was always in fear of exposure by her.
Perhaps I will dream about sugar plums tonight instead of beef stroganoff.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This evening I was reading to Gove our next book for this Thursday's colloquium. There's ideas presented that I've put to the side for no good reason and see that it's the right time for me to be reviewing the principles of leadership education presented by Oliver DeMille. I have held some reserve for this author since learning more about his degrees which seem to be in question, yet I am reminded of something my husband said on the phone this evening; "you don't throw the baby out with the water". I may question the author but the principles presented by Oliver have been true to us. However, I've been lax on a number of quality ideas, one of which is the use of a Commonplace book. The idea is to write a paragraph or an essay if older about your learning experiences at the end of each day. A commonplace book provides a way to show processes and progress in your education and allows you to formulate thoughts of your learning on paper each day. The nice thing about this type of book today is that my blog is just as convenient.

We are considering a change in the style of the colloquium we host. We have had a wonderful support of families for over 14 months. Maybe it's just the winter season but I sense a change coming. Our main families have new directions to tend to. Last week we finished the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers and sadly had three people attend. That includes both of us as well. This is to be expected of course. Gove suggested a possible family colloquium. I think this is an idea to consider.

I too have found myself in a sort of odds. My desire for reading is in a slump and motivation for supporting homeschooling is waning at present. I do have one thing going for me. Faith. I have a sure knowledge, because of experience, that I will pull out of this and God will help me and comfort me not necessarily at my time but in His time. Lately I found many wonderful words of support and encouragement in the scriptures both the Bible and The Book of Mormon.

We just finished our third episode of The Waltons tonight. I'm off to bed. But wait! I learned that bats are great for eating mosquitoes. By placing a bat houses at a certain height and direction the bats will come and live. I had no idea and plan to learn more on the topic. We can have bats, honey bee hives, wild flowers, chickens, and fruit trees this year. It's exciting to grow.