Rabbit trail: Scrabble in the digital age.

Saw this on the big dining table where the kids were playing Scrabble yesterday:

dox

verb: informal

  1. search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.

    “hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”

 

Le Sigh…

I hope to have the next -and last- installment of Modern Romance posted tomorrow.

Go check out Ljubomir Farms!

Those of you who have followed my writing or commentary know that I am a big believer in supporting the business enterprises of people I know and admire. I also like to pass along a good word for them.

I am thankful that to date, every single book written or product made by friends has been high quality or worth advertising to my friends and readers. Today I am blessed to have another opportunity to support a stellar fledgling business

Scott and Mychael operate Ljubomir Farms, a hobby farm in Texas where they sell high quality home, kitchen, and food products for a fair price. I recently received a shipment of tea towels, which Mychael got to me in record time!

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She also added a jar of blackberry lavender jam which I slathered on a biscuit with butter, temporarily suspending my hiatus on wheat products. Again, it was totally worth the splurge!

I want to add an extra bit of encouragement to support fledgling business endeavors by smaller online and local Christians who for obvious reasons can’t compete with the cheaper pricing of big box stores like Wal-mart or Target. It really is worth the bit of extra money or the slight bit of trouble to make this extra effort.

We often use the promise “you reap what you sow” to remind us to do right by others and refrain from doing ill. I like to think of it in the other direction more often. When you are blessing to others, especially fellow believers, you make deposits into you own resevoir of good will and blessing.

Of course, quality matters as well, and I would never suggest you buy unworthy products, but no worries on this one. Mychael’s tea towels and jam have my seal of approval.

Other books/items from my friends for wich you can find reviews here:

Wardrobe Communication, by Amy Fleming, aka Hearth.

You’re te Cream in My Coffee, by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Christmas stockings, handmade by Joanna.

At My Savior’s Feet, a Bible Study.

Note to self…

It is probably not a good idea to try and *do* school full tilt the last two days before you leave for vacation. At least, it’s not reasonable to expect your children to be fully attentive while visions of fun and games dance in their heads.

I’m currently reading Write These Laws on Your Children. The author has taken his kill shot yet, but I’m only 40 pages in. This should make for an interesting review.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

School’s Out For…Spring?

It’s April, and within the next two weeks every supplemental homeschool program we know of (including the two we participate in) will wrap up their activity for the 2016-2017 school year.

Because of that, it takes a lot of mental energy to stay engaged and maintain our educational zeal for another 6 weeks. After all, when you’re attending end-of-the-school-year parties, events, and promotion ceremonies, that means it’s summer. It’s time for summer vacation to begin!

However, in our house, a full summer off from school doesn’t bode well for the fall. It would be especially detrimental this summer because the upcoming fall will find our kids in a program slightly more rigorous than they have experienced to date. We cannot take the summer off.

What we will do this summer is spend time doing activities, experiments, and field trips that will serve as supplements to the subjects we gave less attention to during the regular school year.

Specifically, we spend a lot of time doing science experiments, building things, and doing the attendant research to explain the principles behind why and how these things work.

It is never a good idea to go without math reinforcement for weeks on end so there will be some lightweight math review and reinforcement once or twice a week.

We’ll have a book club, and once I decide which books we will read together, I will review them here.

We’ll be doing field trips, and the girls will be writing summaries of what they learned to give to their father. They always write markedly better when they are writing with him as their primary audience.

In other words, we’ll be doing school in a way that doesn’t feel as much like school.

Fellow homeschoolers: Do you take summers off?

*I am still reading The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt. It tweaks a lot of my mental rabbit trails and it is taking me longer than I anticipated. I hope to have it finished by the end of next week.

Curriculum Review: Student Writing Intensives

 

swiLast year I asked for reviews of the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s program because we were considering using it with our fifth-grader. Because we are friends with several families who are a part of Classical Conversations (we are not), I wasn’t unfamiliar with it. It is the writing program endorsed by CC. However, I couldn’t get a good read on whether or not it would be a good fit for us.

The veteran homeschoolers who read the post were really helpful in helping me to narrow down what would be helpful and what might be expensive and extemporaneous. Not long after, as if it were serendipity, a mother who found the program too overwhelming let me borrow the Teaching Writing Structure and Style dvds. Frankly,  I found those overwhelming as well.

Included in the very back, however, were three samples lessons of the Student Writing Intensives, which the student is supposed to watch, follow along with, and do the writing assignments. I turned on the first lesson for our daughter, and she enjoyed it a great deal.

We briefly considered if it was worth the investment to buy the discs since theoretically, I could teach her everything covered through the program. Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that this is one instance where it would be worth the $149 to buy the program and let Mr. Pudewa teach her the basics of how to write effectively.

It has turned out to be worth the investment. Firstly, she genuinely looks forward to writing and following along with the lessons in a way that she simply didn’t when I was teaching her the principles. Secondly, Andrew Pudewa is more entertaining and engaging than Mom, and his way of breaking down the principles of writing is simply better than what I could have come up with on my own. Lastly, her creative juices are flowing without as much interference from me. She’s a more creative and effective writer.

In a nutshell, I heartily endorse Student writing Intensives, and I agree with the original commenters here that if you’re already a decent writer, you can save yourself $100 and skip the discs on Teaching Writing, Structure and Style.

Modern Gnosticism

If there are thoughts worth contemplating as we transition from the old year to the new, these are among them. Enjoy!

Hands, Heart, Hearth

I’ve been people watching for the last few months and I see a common problem – something I’d like to refer to as modern gnosticism.

Because our flesh is inherently flawed, we distrust the flesh.  Because we can now choose to retreat to the realm of the intellect through being plugged in to the internet, we pull ourselves away from reality.  This affects our ability to deal with reality.  As we draw ourselves away from others, from the life of the flesh, we forget that we need each other, flawed or not.    We forget that the flesh matters – that we cannot simply deny the flesh entirely, that we were made to enjoy the flesh – but within limits.

We’ve lost the pure mammalian reality of life in flesh suits – we don’t know how to touch other humans in non sexual ways, so we keep animals so we have…

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El’s Rabbit Trails: Stockings to hang by the chimney with care.

My friend Joanna is an amazing woman. She wifes and she mothers six kids, homeschooling five of them. She runs half marathons and can cook up a storm. If those aren’t enough things to be good at, she’s also an excellent seamstress. This holiday season she has decided to use her sewing talent as a means to start an entrepreneurial venture and sell her original design Christmas stockings.

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You can find her stocking for sale here, at her etsy shop, JoMamas Calling. She really does do excellent work and if you buy a stocking from her it will be one that will last for years as part of your Christmas collectibles.