Tag Archives: home learning

Little Bits

Leela, while eating breakfast, “Mumma, some day, you are going to die.”
Thus begins day 3 of our scheduled learning, after a night of the littles crying most of the night from some sort of weird sickness that came on quickly around 10.
Meanwhile, Stryder is running around the house in his underwear, humming The Flash theme song and going between telling me he’s going to rescue me (as Flash) and kill me (as Zoom).
Zoe is crawling all over and showing me how she can look at me upside down, through her fingers, under a blanket. And laughing a lot.
Melody, who rocked with Zoe in her hammock, while Daryl and I took turns with Stryder and Leela through the night, got to sleep in and is now working through some subjects lounging in the living room. We are in brush-up week because the break was so long, but I am reminding her this is not “baby” work, it’s FOUNDATION work.
Today is a foundation kind of day. It’s okay if all the boxes aren’t checked off. I will let the peace of Christ reign in my heart and through my home as much as possible.
I will light a candle, burn some herbs to cleanse the air, and seek His face in quiet contemplation. I will ask my children if they want to breathe in His presence, deeply, with me.

Current Events


“These ten maxims give us plenty of material–not for lectures, but for discussion. This gives an example of how current events should be used as opportunities to talk with our children. This kind of thing should be a part of the school curriculum. Students need to know how to follow an argument and detect fallacies for themselves [rather than accepting our opinions and arguments.] Just like every other function of the mind, reason needs raw material to work on, whether it comes in history or literature, or news of a strike or revolution. It’s crazy to send youths out to face a confusing world with nothing but one specialized skill, such as the ability to solve math problems.”

~ Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education

But Public School Is Religiously Neutral!


This is an older post from my older blog, with lots of interesting quotes.


Not even the people who founded it thought so; for us to be lulled into thinking this is beyond ridiculous.
To start off with, public school in America was founded by two major groups at the time: Marxists who wanted to rip children away from families (is it just me, or has this been successful so far?) and Protestants who were convinced by Marxists to fear (sin; not trusting God) Catholics because of previous dealings and then thought it was their duty to indoctrinate Catholic children into a Protestant view. The foundation of public schools was: control, indoctrination and severance from family ties, but especially parental authority (this was certainly more the Marxist’s ideal! but there none the less). Even though many of the public school teachers did not know or want to know then nor know now, this was the formation for the public school system and has been seen to fruition today.

Values clarification disguises itself well, but one of the most obvious ones is the drug “prevention” program, D.A.R.E. in which drug use is never called wrong, harmful, etc. but rather it asks the child what they think personally, and allows them to come to the final conclusion. Sadly, this is a sick sort of indoctrination all on its own. I won’t even get into the values clarification that intertwines with New Age philosophy – that’s just as rampant in the public school system.

At any rate, here is a lovely little interview with a Marxist, Leonin Trotsky, on what the Socialist (Marxist) agenda in public school has always been.

A Real Interview With a Marxist Mastermind

The following questions were asked of and answered by Soviet mastermind Leonin Trotsky in the year 1932:

Question: “Is Bolshevism deliberately destroying the family?”

Answer: “If one understands by ‘family’ a compulsory union based on marriage contract, the blessing of the church, property rights, and the single passport, then Bolshevism has destroyed this policed family from the roots up.

“If one understands by ‘family’ the unbounded domination of parents over children, and absence of legal rights for the wife, then Bolshevism has, unfortunately, not yet completely destroyed this carry over of society’s old barbarism.”

Question: “Is it true that Sovietism teaches children not to respect their parents?”

Answer: “…It is true that rapid progress in the realms of technique, ideas, or manners generally diminishes the authority of the older generation, including that of parents. When professors lecture on the Darwinian theory, the authority of those parents who believe that Eve was made from Adam’s rib can only decline.”

Look around Doug Phillips blog for more on the effects that Socialism and Communism have had on our culture, including mother hood and family structure (where I found the above article).

An interesting pamphlet to print off on why little children are NOT to be “salt and light” to others through the degenerated public school, but are rather to be trained up so that when they are older they may then be the salt and light with strength and a firm mindset is: Exodus Mandate: Salt and Light.

A brief but enlightening view into several of American public school founder’s lives and life-views, please feel free to look up other people, I have yet to find one that was not looking for public schools to start from a reason apart from something crazy:

Robert Owens

Horace Mann (I think my favorite quote of his is referring to education was that, “other reforms are remedial; education is preventative.” Yes, education outside of God is our societal salvation. It’s the Great Hope. See what it’s done? I am impressed. As a note on him, he was very much what we today would call a New Ager – believing that humans could save themselves by themselves.)

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, who started the first formal kindergarten (her beliefs are pretty interesting…. what is real is not real… transcendental idealism).

A review of the book, The Harsh Truth About Public Schools by Bruce Shortt, has been made by Steven Yates here. It is a very good review and goes over a bit more of the history of public school than I do here. Look at this site, which shows our intelligent and extremely suitable founders did not have any public schooling. A neat blog entry at Christianity Lived Out goes over the excuses Christians use for why they don’t/can’t/shouldn’t take their children out of public school. A few of my favorites from that site (check out the link for more “great” reasons!):

“But our government school is different.”

Read the book. If you still think that the federal laws, court decisions, and teacher’s unions do not assure that your government school teaches a secular humanist world view, read the book again.

“But my child is salt and light.”

If this was being said of well grounded college students with a great Christian world view, I might agree. To expect a 8-year-old to withstand the constant spiritual battery of a government school let alone change it is mind boggling. Children must be trained before they can be sent out.


“But our pastor hasn’t said it’s a problem.”

Really, if you can’t think and reason for yourself, I feel very bad for you and worry about your spiritual well being.


“But our government school has some Christian teachers.”

Even Christian teachers are bound by the law, curricula, etc. that make getting a Christian education via government schools impossible. All they can provide is a less corrosive environment. They cannot teach Christian values such as you matter because God created us and loves us. They cannot teach that there is right and wrong and God decides what is right and wrong.


“But we went to public schools and we turned out just fine.”

I went to public schools too. I didn’t get pregnant or do drugs or get involved in the occult. I also don’t think that I reached my full spiritual potential in school despite reading the Bible daily and having Christian parents who made sure that we did at least know the Bible. And government schools get worse every year because of new court decisions, laws, etc.

At the end of the day, my primary thought has been the best thing for our country is that public schools are ended. I should also be up-front that I think Christian private schools are not a solution for Christian families, either, as we are then still not taking the teaching of our children into our own hands, as God instructed us to. However, this article was still a great find for me, indeed! What if Public Schools Were Abolished? by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Murray N. Rothbard’s Education: Free and Compulsory explains that the true origin and purpose of public education is not so much education as we think of it, but indoctrination in the civic religion. This explains why the civic elite is so suspicious of homeschooling and private schooling: it’s not fear of low test scores that is driving this, but the worry that these kids aren’t learning the values that the state considers important.


All studies have shown that average cost per pupil for public schools is twice that of private schools (here is a sample study).

This runs contrary to intuition, since people think of public schools as free and private schools as expensive. But once you consider the source of funding (tax dollars vs. market tuition or donation), the private alternative is much cheaper. In fact, the public schools cost as much as the most expensive and elite private schools in the country. The difference is that the cost of public schooling is spread out over the entire population, whereas the private school cost is borne only by the families with students who attend them.

In short, if we could abolish public schools and compulsory schooling laws, and replace it all with market-provided education, we would have better schools at half the price, and be freer too. We would also be a more just society, with only the customers of education bearing the costs.

I italicized the last sentence myself, as I have always thought it unfair and disturbing that even people without children are forced into paying for others’ children’s education.

Bruce Shortt says, and I agree,

“Even if you believe that there is nothing wrong with institutionalizing Christian children in public schools, you need to read this book because you may be wrong. Remember, you only get one chance to educate your children. There are no do-overs.”

Reflection: 2009-2010 Curriculum Overview


Golly! I was looking over some of my old blog posts and when I read this, I was wide-eyed and laughing… what a difference a half a decade makes in my selections and reasoning.


Last year, I was looking at the cost of everything, which is good to a point. Through my experiences this last year with two unfortunate investments that I thought were “great deals,” I learned that sometimes, it pays to… pay.

The two $90 products I bought last year were Ray’s Arithmetic and McGuffey Readers, each 12-13 year programs.

I *love* that Ray’s Arithmetic is advanced. The drawback, for me, is that there is no how or why to the problems given. Ray’s simply gives the problems and the answers, with no explanation of how to get there or why we do the problem in the manner needed.

I am still unsure about what to use for math. We will be doing a lot of hands-on activities and printed off free worksheets until I can find a curriculum that seems to fit. I want a curriculum that is advanced, fun, and gives the how-to-do-it, as well as the why (for the student and the teacher!).

Edited 10/22/09 – I’ve found an awesome program for math! It’s free, aside from printing, which can be cheap if you refill your own inkjet cartridges. It’s MEP Math. Seriously wonderful, and we’ve been using it for several months now. It fits all of the qualifications I mentioned above. It’s actually so “advanced” that I needed to put Melody into the “First Grade” year (called Year 2) to help her prepare for the next level!

I appreciated some of the content in McGuffey’s Readers. I love it that God is mentioned liberally, but I dislike how God is portrayed. Here’s just a sample of my discouragement: “Bad boys hurt the cow. God does not like the ways of bad boys.” I get the overwhelming sense when reading these that God is an overwhelming force that is ready to punish us at every turn. That one little snippet doesn’t do justice to why I feel that way.

I felt so good to look at the money spent for those two products and think, “Holy cow! Under $8 a year per subject? That’s awesome!” However, it’s not a savings when you won’t or can’t use them effectively.

This year, all the homeschooling Mom’s advice of how I have to go with the flow, and be willing to change curriculum if need be, hit me square in the head.

Here’s Melody’s pre-planned school list for the coming year. There will be more things we will utilize, from the library, used book store, and also the _____ (homeschooling organization) is going to send us more stuff to utilize as well, that may or may not be permanently implemented for the rest of the school year.

Grapevine Studies, Old Testament Overview Level 1

Rod & Staff Little Jewel Books, as readers

Math Mammoth – Clock

Art Adventures at Home, Level 1, year 2

Little Annie’s Art Book of Etiquette & Good Manners

Rod & Staff’s Proper Manners and Health Habits, Grade 2

Getty & Dubay Italic Handwriting Series, Book C

Stepping Stones Level 1

Rod & Staff’s Beginning in Music, 1 & 2

Music Flash Cards (much cheaper than the ones offered through Rod & Staff)

Rod & Staff’s Patterns of Nature, Grade 2

Sign Language Made Easy

Ten Boys/Ten Girls stories by Irene Howat

MEP Math, Levels 2 and 3

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie


Ambleside Online and Old Fashioned Education pieces:

Pilgrim’s Progress (audio)Aesop’s Fables

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

40 Missionary Stories

High Roads to Geography

50 Famous People

The Goop Directory

More Goops

Looking Ahead to High School health, some more



I was looking over Jeanne’s site for a microscope post I may be imagining I once read, when I came across a post she’d written before or slightly after the AO Year 8 science was redone.
She listed off a bunch of great books, including one she’s mentioned on the forums before, about “our immune system.”
I’ve had this on my Amazon wishlist for awhile now, but wasn’t sure what kind of bias would be present – and there always is one when it comes to conveying how the immune system works and talking about vaccines. To say otherwise would be deceptive.
I don’t think this bias to see it from one side or another is right or wrong – it just IS. (Unless, of course, you hide information for your own profit, that’s questionable to me and outright wrong to not allow informed consent.) I don’t hide my inclination at all (not written by me, I just find much value in it) and I’m amused when others pretend they are not biased.
I digress.

Anyway, I was really glad for her short description of these books, because while I’m more than willing to have us reading books outside of my own belief system, I also want to make sure I give both sides to an issue when it comes to “science” topics that are debated, like creation/evolution, vaccinated bodies versus those with intact immune systems, etc. I enjoy reading both “sides,” even when I choose a side to stand on. 🙂
So, I am interested in Why Aren’t We Dead Yet by Idan Ben-Barak, finding another pro-injection source, and adding in a few things, not quite so CM “living” sources, and some living books.

I’m going to try to obtain vaccine packet inserts for Melody to look at that list the vaccine manufacturer’s own known list of side effects (oh, actually not totally true. It’s the list they are forced into providing by law, and omit anything not mandated to) and “ingredients,” the CDC Pink Book with the ingredients and what they actually mean, an article about Scripture and the ingredients within vaccines, Bought the movie, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave and Suzanne Humphrey’s Dissolving Illusions.

I’m not sure where I’ll place these yet in the context of health selections, but at least one will definitely be read alongside Ben-Barak’s book. Possibly just Scripture, and the other books will fill in later.
It’s a little more to add to the later years, but not much. It is something important to me, that my children are fully  informed about, to make their own decisions, even if they choose something different than what I have. ❤

Difference Between the Phrases


Last weekend, I reread the first section in Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics and had a moment where my heart swooned yet again for mathematics:


“For Tr Bernadette, the problem 64-46 was not, as suggested in the borrowing explanation, two separate processes of 4-6 and then 60-40. Rather, it was an entire process of ‘taking away a number in the forties from a number in the sixties.’ Moreover, Tr Bernadette thought that it was not that ‘you can’t subtract a bigger number from a smaller number,’ rather, that the second graders ‘are not able to do that.’ Finally, the solution was that ‘we go to *the other part of the number*’ (italics added), and ‘pull it over to our side to help.’ The difference between the phrases ‘other numbers’ and ‘the other part of the numbers’ is subtle, but the mathematical meanings conveyed are significantly different.”

~ Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics, Piping Ma, pg 4

CM Open House – amazing bonus guest blog


I need to give you all something for being so patient with me – and that is to share with you Karla’s beautiful nature study time with her children. This is epic, to me. I hope it is for you all, too! Take a look at these gorgeous images!

Nature Study in Our Home

“Adults should realize that the most valuable thing children can learn is what they discover themselves about the world they live in. Once they experience first-hand the wonder of nature, they will want to make nature observation a life-long habit. All people are supposed to be observers of nature and there’s no excuse for living in a world so full of amazing plants and animals and not be interested in them.” Charlotte Mason Volume 1

It is kind of ironic that I find myself writing this post about Nature Study. I was raised in a city that had a few trees in it left and it was safer to stay indoors. All bugs looked the same, all trees looked the same, the wind was too windy and the sun too hot. You get the idea. Soooo, if I can do Nature Study, anyone can!!!

How we make it happen?

One of the things that help us make Nature Study happen in our home is making the effort to go out on a Nature Walk everyday if the weather permits. We are NOT perfect about doing this and some weeks we just go out to walk twice or thrice. The kids do go out by themselves to play in our backyard but taking the walk together helps all of us to see, hear and connect with our surroundings.

Here are a few things that help us:


Our Nature Table is right next to our front door. It has the majority of the things we need to do our Walk a success: Binoculars, magnifying glasses, earphones for my autistic son who has trouble with barking dogs, a compass (you can’t see it in the picture), several field guides, and containers to put our discoveries.

If by any chance we haven’t gone out the day we are doing our Nature Journal then I will ask the kids to go to the Nature Table and choose something from there that they would like to record on their Journal. This is very helpful especially when the weather is too cold or too hot.


I also keep our Journals, calendar of firsts, watercolors, and coloring pencils all together close to our school table so we can grab them and start working.


The Nature Walk

Going out in our Nature Walks is just as easy as walking! We do the same route every time and it never gets old. We always find something new to discover and learn something new about old friends.

This particular day we found a beautiful colored caterpillar. Sometimes we look things up as soon as we get home and sometimes we just enjoy interacting with nature and leave it at that.



We also “rescued” an earthworm. My kids love to play heroes and “rescue” the poor earthworms by putting them back on the grass when we find them “lost” on the pavement because we know that when it gets too hot the poor worm can become fried worm!

Then my son found a Praying Mantis. From looking at it we believed it was a female and my daughter decided to take it home to draw it on her journal. While we were walking back home she stopped and showed me a little larva that was on her hand and I asked her where she had gotten that. She responded that the Mantis was having babies so we stopped and put the Mantis on the floor and watched as these larvae were coming out of the abdomen of the Mantis. Now I know that a Praying Mantis DOES NOT give birth to live larvae but at the time I didn’t have time to think and well, didn’t you read the first paragraph where I said I was a NOT an expert on this? Anyways, the kids were excited and happy thinking that these are Mantis babies and can’t believe they were there to witness it. I know, very disturbing, just be glad I decided not to show you the pictures of the whole event! Here is the poor Praying Mantis (a Carolina Praying Mantis in case you were wondering) after the whole ordeal:



We went home and started working on our journals as soon as we got home.


The journaling part is simple: we look at our specimen and record what we see and write about it and about the walk in general. I remind the children that this is not a drawing class and the point of this journal is not to make beautiful drawings but to record, as a scientist would, what they are observing.


For those of you wondering what on earth where those creature coming out of the Praying Mantis (do you really want to know?) it turns out these were some kind of parasites. I will give you time to let that sink in. After I found out what really happened I had to go back and tell the kids that we had been wrong on our theory that these were Mantis babies. They were shocked, sad, and my daughter even called the parasites “the mean guys.”

We learned a bigger lesson here than if we had just seen a Praying Mantis putting her eggs: science is always changing, there are new discoveries all the time and what we think is “right” today might be not so right in ten years. We need to be open minded and remember that the only one who knows everything is God…and of course, we learned that parasites are definitely the mean guys.