A Quote to Start Things Off

"Passive Aggressive. It works for my mother, it works for Duolingo" Luis Von Ahn , co-founder of Duolingo from his TED talk, How to make learning as addictive as social media.

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bribe your kids? Get on board!

Our kids are passionate about some of the same things we are passionate about. Amy and I love books and libraries, and so do the kids. Amy and I love going swimming at the local pool, and so do the kids. This is good because, otherwise, we'd have to get a babysitter while Amy and I played Marco Polo with other people's kids.

One thing our kids have not shared our passion about, is jumping off the diving board. Amy and I love jumping and diving off the diving board. Before we were married we would sometimes take her cousins swimming and be the only people over 14 in line for the diving boards. Our kids do have strong emotions abut going off the board: fear and dread. Puppy is still not ready for such an adventure. But the bigs are excellent swimmers and love spending hour after precious hour in and under the water.

So yesterday, I paired irresistible forces, Bunny's love for money, and Spider Droid's pathological need to do whatever his sister does, with an immovable object: fear of going off the diving board. I offered Bunny $5 American to jump off the board. I also offered it to Spider Droid, but knew it would have no impact unless I could get Bunny to budge. You should have seen the internal argument that her face betrayed. Five dollars....sink to the bottom of the pool. Buying what I want....not living long enough to buy what I want. (You get the idea.)

Finally, she decided my offer was too lucrative to pass up. She waited in line, climbed up onto the diving board, and jumped in. She didn't sink and swam right to the ladder. When she got out, she went back in line again. And guess who was behind her....Spider Droid.

Spider Droid waited in line, climbed up the ladder, climbed down the ladder, waited in line again, climbed up the ladder, and finally jumped in the water. He also did not sink. Nor did anyone sink the next dozen or so times the three of us jumped off the board.

You see, I knew that they would love the diving board if they tried it and I was right. I just needed to find a motivation strong enough for them to get over their fear. Each kid is motivated differently. Five dollars alone would never have been sufficient to get Spider Droid on the board. Don't get me wrong, he'll take the money. But he could not resist trying something that his sister said was fun.

So call it what you will: bribery, knowing your kids' triggers, speaking their love language, or just giving them an offer they can't refuse. Seeing my kids love something that I love and that we as a family can love together, wasn't exactly priceless, but worth a whole more than 10 measly bucks.

Next Time: Little Town Review

Monday, May 30, 2011

Raising the Bar on Fractions

Visual learners I love them! I married one, but I am not one. I am pretty sure the girls are visual learners. Spider Droid is very good auditory and a good kinesthetic learner.

The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Fraction Book is a great tool for the auditory, visual and kinesthetic crowd. Especially if you provide your own chocolate.

We used our own chocolate bars and placed them over each page of the book.

The kids took turns reading the book, placing the chocolate and even taking the pictures I am sharing here.

I like these pages because it gives a strong reinforcement that 12 twelfths is the same as one whole.

We really weren't able to stack the pieces exactly like in the book. But the kids got the idea.

Note: To put chocolate on each page as we did, you will need at least 3 candy bars.

The idea of addition and subtraction of fractions is very tangible with manipulatives. And Hershey's makes for a very tasty manipulative.

We split them up after the lesson and there was even some left behind for me.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is at Why Homeschool this week. Click here to check out all the fine entries in the Memorial Day Edition.

Next Time: Bribing your kids? Get on board.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday's Cool: Dead Mice

Sunday’s Cool

A Link Up & A Look Ahead.

A Link Up: Spider Droid is our featured blogger today. A recent visit to a local prairie yielded two posts. I hope you enjoy Dead mouse on the prairie and Questions for a dead mouse.

Speaking of Spider Droid, he mowed the lawn for the first time this weekend unless you count this.

I was thinking it would still be a few more years before he would be up to the task. But he has been bugging me for days to let him try to mow. So even though he’s just 9, I’m thinking when someone wants to mow your lawn. you say yes!

A Look Ahead: This is going to be a short week school wise with Memorial Day tomorrow and me away at the home school convention on Thursday and Friday. If the weather ever gets slightly summerish we will get a pool pass and do some swimming. Blog wise, I will be putting up a post tomorrow about a fractions lesson we did last week. I hope to post it just in time to submit it to the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Memorial Day weekend also marks the start of my summer reading season. Each summer I try to read at least 10 books and review them. Besides reading for just myself, I also spend time reading to the entire family. We just finished Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder the American Frontier author (not to be confused with Laura Impala Wildebeest the African Savannah author). I will post a review in the days to come.

When I hosted the Carnival of Homeschooling earlier this month I mentioned a contest Circle of Moms was holding to pick the top 25 homeschooling blogs. The voting has been closed for some weeks now and I have decided to feature the top 25 blogs in a sidebar here. Mine are not listed in the order of votes received, (for that info click here) but rather by most recently published. 5 of the top 25 vote getter's were already appearing here, I hope you enjoy them all. Well that’s it for today’s edition. Thanks for stopping by.

Next Time: Raising the Bar on Fractions.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Six Words: Green With Envy Trailer

My wife and I are big Muppet Fans. Especially we love KTF. But we love all of them. Kermit even attended our wedding. He was draped over the piano. Today Kermit and company are the subject of my six word Saturday submission.

Here are my 6 . . .

Not Easy Being Green With Envy

It seems there's a new rom-com out with Amy Adams and Jason Segel. I really liked her in Julie and Julia. Now while Julia Child did live in France for a while she wasn't exactly a frog. SO what does that have to do Muppets?

View the trailer to find out.


Yes it was just an ingenious bit of stunt publicity. Green With Envy isn't a real film. The Muppets is coming in Thanksgiving and Green With Envy was just an elaborate way to get the message out. Cinema Blend blew up the GWE poster to reveal a very special guest lurking in the trees.

And if that wasn't all Disney put out a second trailer today to spoof the Hangover II movie which came out this weekend. Now I hadn't even heard of the hangover until like 2 weeks ago but the Muppet Trailer is epic.

For me the best part of the trailer is the fake names of publications in the fake reviews. My favorite: This Week Monthly.

Well That's my 6 words disguised as a Muppet Plug or vice versa. For More Six Word Saturday show your face or at least your browser @ http://www.showmyface.com/

Next Time: Sunday's Cool

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Dog Day of Spring and other Fragments

It's Friday and it's time for some fragments. These aren't technically fragments, but the way I've been rolling lately if I don't post them here they may never get out.

Last Tuesday we had fun at the old ball park. The White Sox have a Kid's club and each year our kids get two tickets to see a baseball game. We parked for free brought in our own dinner so besides some lip balm in A White Sox container that Amy bought and some cotton candy for the kids it was a cost free affair (Okay gas is like $4.00 a gallon, let's not rub that in!)

Here we are on our way to the stadium.

Spider Droid and I playing catch before we head in.

Each year we try to go to Dog Day. Which is where some fans can bring their dogs and the dogs are able to walk around the field. Puppy loves this for obvious reasons.

Nothing beats food at the old ball park.

One of the best features of U.S. Cellular field for our kids is a place called Fundamentals. It is a number of baseball skill related games that the kids can play for free. There are batting cages (more on those later), and other batting and throwing drill games. There is a miniature field where you can practice fielding and throwing with the staff there. Here is spider droid making a solid play.

My favorite of the games by far is a running race where the kids practice running from home to first base. Here is puppy running for the dogs.

Oh yes there was a baseball game and yes the Sox won.

Now Bunny also participated in some of the athletic stuff. She is a very fleet runner and even tried the batting cages which is way out of her comfort zone. There are two batting cages ans she had to go into the 8 and older one which is medium speed. She did fine the first time and a few innings later she went back. On that occasion she got hit by a pitch which gave her a nasty contusion.

What followed was we went to the bowels of the ball park to first aid. She was treated like royalty even being taken there in a wheel chair, which of course she both loved and embarrassed by. (she's almost a teenage that is a mix of emotions she needs to get used to.)

While we were in First Aid a 20 year old came in with severe alcohol poisoning and perhaps drug use. The nurse had to leave Bunny for a while to help this girl. When the nurse and helper were able to help bunny they were very impressed with her and made some nice comments about her deportment and about her being home schooled.

On the way back to our seats we walked by the main offices of the Sox and I took a quick picture of Bunny with her arm in a sling in front of the 2005 World Series Trophy.

All in all it was a great night. A week from Monday Aim and I will go to a game and plan to actually watch it.


Fragment 2: Bird Feeding

Bunny got a book about birds from the library and wanted to make a bird feeder craft so she could sketch some birds in the back yard. She obviously didn't get the memo that neither her mother or I are crafty but we tried it anyway.

A) Start with some pine cones and then coat them with a peanut butter lard mixture. Then put some eye screws on the pine cones.

Step 2 string the pine cones between 2 trees.

Step 3 get on a ladder and try get the pine cones up properly.

step 4: Pine cone treats for obliging birds.

Fragment 3: Drawing Birds

There is a restored prairie land 1/2 way between out house and our church. On Monday morning I took the kids to the prairie so they could sketch some birds.

And of course so Spider Droid could be goofy. He found a dead mouse and will post about it in his blog soon.


Fragment 4: Light Show

The other day Bunny tried to create a way to turn a light on just by opening a door here she is to tell you about it:

Well that's all the fragments I have for today for more Friday fragments stop over at half past kissing time click here.

Next Time: Six Word Saturday

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's not the end of the world

I wasn't going to blog about this. Really, I wasn't. False teachers preaching the end of the world is not a new thing and it will probably go on right up until the end of the world. But recently Harold Camping began proclaiming that Jesus was returning on May 21, 2011.

I used to make a joke back in the 1980's about these kind of proclamation's of Christ's return. I would say that it preempted his coming back because He would be all set to come back on a certain day and then someone would say He's coming back on that day and then of course Jesus would have to choose a different day because no one could know the day or the hour and someone found out.

Of course, May 21st came and went and Christ did not return. The next day this billboard went up in Greensboro, N.C.

The reason why I did blog about it is twofold :

1) That is awkward is one of my 3rd grader's favorite expressions, right along with why interrupt a very good show with kissing.

2) The whole prediction thing reminded me to live like today could be our last day on earth. On Friday, I talked with all my kids one on one and made sure they understood what Jesus did on the cross for them. I made sure that Amy knew how much I loved her. I didn't really think that the rapture would happen on May, 21st. I was just reminded that our time on earth can end at any moment. Just because you can't predict it does not mean it's not going to happen.

(If there is a )Next Time : The Dog Day of Spring.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Story Behind The Picture

The problem with Wordless Wednesdays is inherent in the title. No typy, no talky, just the flash ma'am. I am a blogger who likes to say things so when I show you a pic like this . . .

or even this one taken about a minute before . . .

Is that without words it doesn't tell you what happened between the two. Or the story behind the picture.

So, Puppy had her ballet recital and she did great. I had bought flowers for here and I was lined up with them behind my back to give them to her as she walked into the gym.

So after taking the first picture, I did just that. What the camera did not catch is when I handed puppy her bouquet, she handed them right back and said "Not, yet!" and marched right into the gym.

Of course all the other parents thought this was adorable. Apparently giving Puppy flowers as she was walking back in the gym was before the event was over was (in her mind) not acceptable.

She gladly accepted them when in the gym and the first picture was taken. I still plan to post wordless pics on occasional Wednesdays. But from time to time I'll tell you the story behind the picture.

Other Words:

For those who saw yesterdays post here is the correct order of the sentences:

3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 4, 6 , 10, 8, 2, 1


The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Home Spun Life.

Next Time: The Dog day of May

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Morning Paragraphy

Mondays can be a real jumble. You get up and you try to get everybody ready for a new week. But inwardly and outwardly can be something of a muddle. Last year I heard about a teaching tool called paragraphy @ http://www.byrdseed.com/. You write a paragraph. Paragraphy switches the order of the sentences. Your students then put the sentences in the correct order. Since Mondays can be a real jumble, I have decided to occasionally put a post through the paragraphy machine and let you you loyal readers try to make sense of it. This really isn't much different than my regular posts.

Today's installment will actually be a little piece I wrote about my current Monday jumble. I hope you enjoy.

  1. That's the plan any way.

  2. I hope to have Bunny work on some of her stuff before we go, some at the library and then we can all do some table activities when we get home.

  3. Mondays are not just for morning quarterbacks.

  4. Yes, I can say I knew him when.

  5. Generally our Mondays are spent at our home school co-op and Awana.

  6. The interview will be at the church where our co-op usually meets.

  7. Since they have both ended for the school year, our Monday's have become a regular school at the table day.

  8. Not sure what all we will do after the interview.

  9. This week is going to be a little different from our new routine.

  10. I am going to take the girls to a branch library near the church while the team meets with the reporter.

  11. Spider Droid's robotics team is going to be interviewed for a magazine article.

Next Time: The story behind the picture

Sunday, May 15, 2011

500th Post Proclamation

It's finally here. My 500th post here at HSD over the past few weeks I have been making some tweaks to the blog but have not really announced them.

First of all, I have joined the 2nd decade pf the twentieth century and am now on twitter. Going forward I will be tweeting a link to all my new posts. I will also be tweeting my Next Time announcement that appeared and have now reappeared at the bottom of my posts.

Secondly I have added two new pages to the blog. Earlier this month I hosted the Carnival of Homeschooling with a post about my Top 10 Films of all time. I have made that a page as well as a 500th post page.

There are a few other changes, but you can check those out yourself.

I promised something very special for 500 posts. To commemorate the occasion, I have written a song. Within the lyrics, there are links to some of the posts that have appeared in HSD over the last 2+ years. So without further explanation and WITH my apologies to the Proclaimers, I present . . .

I Just Blogged (500 Times)

When I wake up, yeah, you know I'm gonna blog
I'm gonna blog about playin' puppy on the floor.
When I go out, well you know I'm gonna blog
I'm gonna blog about a field trip to the store.

If it's Christmas, yes you know I'm gonna blog
I'm gonna blog about how much we like to bowl.
And if it's Easter, yes you know I'm gonna blog.
That it's not a little rabbit that makes us whole.

I just blogged 500 times
And I might blog 500 more
To blog and ask what you guys do
With children screaming on your floor.

When I'm teaching, yes you know I'm gonna blog
About something good that Bunny or Spider did.
And when puppysims come
I'm gonna post 'em here. She's really quite a kid.

When we travel. yeah, you know I'm gonna blog
Whether close to home or Washington D.C.
And when we get back you know I'm gonna blog
With words and pics and videos for all to see.

I just blogged 500 times
And I might post 500 more
Just to be the guy whose 1000 posts
Will make you laugh but never snore.

When I'm fed up, yeah you know I'm gonna blog
I'm gonna blog 'bout how my family drives me mad
But when I think straight yeah you know I'm gonna blog
I'm gonna blog about the super times that we have had.

I just blogged 500 times
And I might tweet 500 more
Just to be the guy whose posts and tweets
reveal the passion at his core.

So that's it for post #500. Unless I get a lucrative contract in the music biz. I will be back very soon inching my way to 1000.

Next Time: Paragraphy for a Monday Morning.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Post Card on the Edge (of 500)

I don't want to be one of those bloggers who checks in once a week or less often and comes back to tell you how busy I've been to blog. When I lived in Russia my roommate used to call me the post card king because each Sunday as we would write home. I would generally turn out post cards promising a longer letter in the future. By the moniker bestowed by my roommate you can tell that the longer letters hardly ever came.

This is my 499th post and one of the reason why I have not been posting as regularly is I have been promising some big doings for #500 and I wasn't quite ready for it.

I am nearing completion of the 500 preparation and should have that post for you on the tails of this one.

After that I hope to me less post cards and more actual correspondence with my loyal readership.

Next Time: 500

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In the past 24 hours . . .

I went to a fundraiser for Japan earthquake victims at my wife's school where, among other things, Amy and Spiderdroid got to play volleyball together.


I helped out at a Bebo Norman/Chris August concert at our church:


I went to Spiderdroid's soccer game where they tied a team that pounded them last year (giving them their only defeat of that year)


I went to Puppy's (she's the one in hot pink) last ballet practice before her dress rehearsal and recital next weekend.


No wonder I hardly ever get time to post stuff here anymore. Running out the door to do more stuff. Be back soon. I hope!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Fragments: Levis, Bunnyisms and Give-a-ways

My clock say Thursday evening but it really must be Half Past Kissing Time, The time of the week for Friday Fragments!

Fragment 1: In October I mentioned how one of my favorite musicians Allen Levi only updates his blog about once a month. In fact, His last post was only written at the excoriation (his word, not mine) and cajoling of faithful readers. The post was a masterpiece. His prose is almost as good as his lyrics. (By the way, IMHO, His music and lyrics are so powerful I would just rename the Grammys to the Levis.) His post about 2 sets of fathers and daughters just oozes poignancy.

Yet with as good as his blog is, he only updates it kicking and screaming, which leaves his readership wanting. Allen, must blog more. So, I have decided to do something about it. I have written a song: Since I can't carry many tunes with or without buckets don't expect any viral videos any time soon. (Some people have said that my singing may cause a virus.) Be that as it may here are the lyrics to my song.

Blog Allen Blog

He likes to sing
He likes to play
He doesn't like to blog
But that's OK

He likes his dog
And he likes his town
He doesn't like to blog
So word gets around

But he's really good at blogging
Eloquent, sincere, and charming
So the fact he doesn't like it
Can be quite disarming

Blog Allen Blog
We think you're quite a guy
Blog Allen Blog,
we need a regular dose of Levi

He hooks us in August with a song a day
And before we're saturated he just goes away
He can go a month or more without a single post
When he does it's great
But then the blog goes comatose

Blog Allen Blog
Come and press some words together
Blog Allen Blog
Your posts keep us on our tether

He's a poet
He's a critic
He can be a clown

The cyber space
is a better place
When he's around

Blog Allen Blog
I'm an Allen Levi geek
How about posting twice a fortnight
Which boils down to once a week

It can be a poem
It can be a song
It can be a recipe
A video of planting a tree
A thought on a sermon
A song about Ethel Merman
A tip about killing vermin

Blog Allen Blog

To hear some good music (Allen's) click here to go to his website.

Fragment 2: As you know Levi's come in pairs. So I think it's time to give an update of my favorite current t.v. show (Chuck) starring my second favorite Levi (Zachary)

Zachary Levi Autograph
Originally uploaded by TravelShorts

Last year I was very clear in my opinion that Chuck was humming along in season 3 with brilliant episode after brilliant episode. Season 4, in no means a disappointment, has not been as consistently good as season 3. Instead of building from episode to episode, it reminds me of a title of another Chuck's (Swindoll) Book: Three steps forward. Two Steps back.

Despite it's unevenness (one mediocre episode of Chuck is worth a handful of CSI, NCIS, or the rest of the alphabet soup that's out there.), I still love Chuck and hope it staves off cancellation for yet another year.


Fragment 3: I don't dabble in to too many Bunnyisms here at HSD. My 5 year old puppy tends to get all the good lines. Bunny had a doozy this week. I was reluctant to mention it, since it doesn't really put me in a good light. The fact is that I am very inconsistent in the way I structure the household and discipline the children. This past week I was much more consistent much to the chagrin of a certain 11 year old.

After handling some preteen rebellion, she came up to me and said " I liked you much better before Mom taught you how to parent." Well it is not her earthly Mom teaching me to parent but our Heavenly Father. I just need His grace to get better and better at it.


Fragment 4: A few weeks ago, I started giving away an mp3 of an on line home school conference. So far, I have had only 1 entry. So it looks like I know who is going to win. Sure you may not home school yourself. But you may know someone who does. You could be a big hero in someones life to win such a useful prize for them. I have decided to lengthen the contest 1 more week until March 7th. Click here to see complete rules and to enter by leaving a comment.

That is all my Fragments for now. Other's are just a click away.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

COH # 279 Top 10 Film Edition.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Hello and welcome to Carnival of Homeschooling #279.

The theme of this week's carnival is movies. Specifically my 10 favorite movies. As I list each of my favorite films from 10th to the first, I will give a mini explanation of why each film made my list and a pertinent quote from each film. I have also asked many of you to participate by sharing some of your favorite or least favorite films.

I asked some of you to share a film that you have seen recently that you have really liked. Catherine Taylor of Petticoat Government says that a good movie she has watched in the past 3 month's is the Bollywood film, Jab We Met. A recent movie I have really enjoyed is the Disney film Tangled. In my opinion the Disney cartoon musicals have gone down a notch since the period that gave us Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin & The Lion King. Tangled is a film worthy to be mentioned with the best of that list. I mention Catherine because her COH submission this week was some musings she had about Tangled. I hope you all enjoy Rapunzel, Unschooler.

This week I asked my daughter, bunny girl aka reader rabbit, to write whether a book that she has been putting daily chapter summaries of in her blog, Bookworms & Bunnies would make a good movie or not. Her response is Ereth's Birthday, The Movie?

Now it's time to get started with my top 10. Before we do, here's The Queen of Carrots from Introducing the World who says "It's a TV show, not a movie, but here's how *Lost* inspired my teaching". Here she is with John Locke Teaches Handwriting.

# 10 The Princess Bride (1987)

I say: "This movie has it all . . . romance, fantasy, action, and laugh after laugh after laugh. Buy two copies so they don't wear out as quickly."

And I Quote: "When I was your age, television was called books." - Grandfather (Peter Falk)

Speaking of which, Read Aloud Dad shares The 3 most important words when reading aloud and they are not "As You Wish!"

As You Wish, it turns out is engraved on our next contributor's wedding ring. Yep Cristina of Home Spun Juggling is a TPB fan as well. Like Read Aloud Dad she also talks about the educational aspect of the relationship between performer and audience. Here she is with Educational Showmanship.

# 9 Miss Potter (2006)

I say: "This biopic of Beatrix Potter was an instant classic in our house. Beautifully filmed, expertly written and excellently acted throughout; without a doubt, Zellweger's finest portrayal."

And I Quote: There's something delicious about writing those first few words of a story. You can never quite tell where they will take you. - Beatrix Potter (Renee Zellweger)

Beatrix Potter spent her summers in the country with her family and those summers were foundational for many of the stories she would later write. This summer Annie Peters of Learn at Every Turn, who says Amelie (2001) is one of her favorite films, will be doing foundational things with her children. She writes about it in Homeschooling During Summer.

Beatrix Potter illustrated her books. Speaking of art, Pamela of Blah, Blah, Blog, posts about Art in El Paso, part of her family's southwestern adventure.

# 8 Marty -1955> I say: "Quite possibly the best screen romance I have ever seen. Ernest Borgnine is uncanny as an aging single butcher looking for his place in life."

And I Quote: You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog. And I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna get down on my knees. I'm gonna beg that girl to marry me. If we make a party on New Year's, I got a date for that party. You don't like her? That's too bad. - Marty Pilletti (Ernest Borgnine)

Margot Keyes of Learning Beyond the Book presents Terrariums. She says her favorite films are those in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy.

Sarah presents Titanic Unit Study (revisited) posted at Small World. She says: "Our newly revised unit study on the Titanic, includes a link to our field trip to the Titanic Museum"

#7 Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

I say "This is the best adventure movie I have ever seen! Errol Flynn gives an amazing performance in this quintessential swashbuckler. This movie has it all, action, comedy, romance pathos and the best musical score I have ever heard."

And I Quote: Now, this forest is wide. It can shelter and clothe and feed a band of good, determined men - good swordsmen, good archers, good fighters. Men, if you're willing to fight for our people, I want you! Are you with me? - Robin Hood (Errol Flynn)

Speaking of Action movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the favorite movies of our next contributor. Here is Alicia Arnold of Daily Creativity with Encouraging a sense of play
builds creativity skills for life

Lisa presents Extraordinary Living posted at Golden Grasses.

# 6 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

I say: ""The perfect fish out of water comedy. Stewart is fantastic as an honorary senator who accidentally stumbles on corruption."

And I Quote: Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that. - Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart)

Mr. Smith isn't the only one who goes to Washington. Robin Phillips recently went and now presents Your Library of Congress and Homeschooling: History and So Much More posted at Crack the Egg.

Her post reminded me of our families special adventure at the Library of Congress last year. Me and the two bigs went into a special meeting with a children's literature specialist and we saw this one of a kind manuscript from children's author Jame's Marshall.

Meanwhile back at the Carnival, Aneri Kärkkäinen of Cats Meow shares why she takes care of her daughter in Why I Take Care of My Own Daughter.

Nebby talks about a kind of field trip she likes in Children's Museum Alternative: Something Positive posted at Letters from Nebby.

# 5 Chariots of Fire (1981)

I say: "Excellent story of two runners in the 1924 Olympic Games. Understated Epic showing the dichotomy of faith and self determination."

And I Quote: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. . . .

. . . I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race. - Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson)

One of the movies two featured characters, Eric Little became a missionary to China after his olympic success. Our next article comes fromMichelle Sweeney of Yours Faithfully who began her daughters education by teaching her @ home while living in China. One of her least favorite movies is my #10 favorite, Princess Bride. She, like my wife and possibly 3 other people on the planet don't understand all the hype. But don't judge her until you've walked a mile in her cardboard sandals.

Happy Elf Mom of Homeschool and Etc. has found that chess can cost you practically nothing, which makes it the perfect homeschool elective. In Homeschool Chess Lessons, she discusses some nearly-free resources for teaching the game. She also says that a movie she has watched and enjoyed recently is Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) , A chess movie, naturally!

# 4 Cassablanca (1942)

I say: "This movie is worthy of all the hype. Intrigue, romance, a deep cynicism and a fierce patriotism woven together amid great star performances from Bogart and Bergman."

And I Quote: And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you killed all of us? From every corner of Europe, hundreds, thousands would rise up to take our places. Even Nazis can't kill that fast. - Victor Laszlo (Paul Henried)

Nancy of Sage Parnassus doesn't just "loaf " around home educating all day as she illustrates quite nicely in Hominus Vis - The Strength of Man.

Mary Arnold presents Three Reasons To Attend Your State Homeschool Convention This Year! - Blogs - Parent Community and Forum posted at Parent Community and Forum.

# 3 Ordinary People (1980)

I say: "Redford's directorial debut is possibly best film of my generation. Hutton, Hirsch, Moore, and Sutherland have breakout performances. This film works because it is so real!"

And I Quote : Happy! Ward, you tell me the meaning of happy. But first you better make sure your kids are good and safe, that they haven't fallen of a horse, been hit by a car, or drown in that swimming pool you're so proud of! - Beth Jarrett (Mary Tyler Moore)

Mental health is one of the key issues of Ordinary People. Sherry of Large Family Mothering talks about maintaining hers in Homeschooling Sanity. Sherry, a big fan of Ben Hur (1959), says this as an introduction: After raising 6 of our 15 children, I thought it might be helpful to share what I have learned through research (and trial and error) about homeschooling methods for the large family.

Linda Dobson presents Why Do So Many Parents Think They Can’t Homeschool Their Children? posted at PARENT AT THE HELM. Perhaps they feel they have to be A Miracle Worker, which by the way is Linda's favorite film.

# 2 The Muppet Movie (1979)

I say "The question is not why is this on my list, it is why is it not on yours? This is pure entertainment fun for the whole family. Mel Brooks is hilarious in mad scientist cameo."

And I Quote: [to audience] I hope you appreciate that I'm doing all my own stunts. - Kermit The Frog (Himself)

After something muppetational, you may need something motivational . So, Nancy Flanders shares 10 steps to succesfully homeschool your special needs child at Parenting Squad.

Jamie presents The Future of Homeschooling posted at Faith and a Full House... She says homeschoolig is huge, but what about our future?

That's a good questin Jamie. But the better question would be: What is my favorite movie of all time?

And my # 1 favorite movie of all time . . .

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

I say "Simply put the best film of all time. Definitely worth watching anytime of the year. Capra and Stewart at their finest."

And I Quote: Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. - George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart)

Barbara Frank presents Preparing Our Kids for a Challenging Future, Part 4: College is a Tool, Not a Goal posted at Barbara Frank. She says "The idea that every homeschooled young person can and should go to college makes no sense in light of the changes in our economy." She also adds that One of her favorite movies of all time is The Talk of the Town (1942),which features Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Smith/s co-star Jean Arthur.

Susan Ryan, who hosted last week's Carnival and likes the movie To Kill A Mockingbird (1962 ), presents Science Observation Opportunities for Kids and Other Interested Parties posted at Corn and Oil.

I made some changes to my top 10 list in preparation for this carnival. In order to fit in Marty, Miss Potter and Robin Hood, I had to remove 3 movies that had been in my top 10 for a long time. This means Singing In the Rain (1952) fell to # 11. It was agonizing to take it out. It is one of Read Aloud Dad's favorites as well. (It must be a Dad thing.) I like it because it is the best studio musical ever. It has a perfect blend of music, comedy, dancing and romance.

Misty presents Free High School Math and everything else you ever wanted to learn posted at Homeschool Bytes. She says her kids enoying meshing Khan University's free math videos with their daily math lessons. She says it's an amazing resource.

In a virtual tie with Singing in the Rain would be The Sound of Music (1965). This movie is so good it would work without the songs. The production is lavish but also very accessible. Hands down best film adaptation of a Broadway work.

Also dropping out from the top 10 is Braveheart (1995). The story of William Wallace is beautifully rendered and has an evocative score. It's amazing how an Australian can make my Irish/German heart embrace a zeal for Scottish patriotism.

I'd like to thank everyone who particiapted in this week's carnival. I would like to especially thank the Cate Family @ Why Homeschool for doing such a great job week in and week out of supporting the revolving host of the carnival. They also provide us with our last post of the carnival entited Homeschooling and Foster Care Part I. Janine writes about some of the issues of doing foster care and homeschooling.

Several of the participants this week, including the Cates are nominees in The Circle of Mom's Top 25 Homeschooling Blogs contest. You can vote or even add your own blog by clicking on the link. For this carnival I have created a special blog roll for all this week's participants. Hang around, or stop by again and check out some of these great blogs.

Next weeks carnival will be held at Dewey's Treehouse. For more info on how to submit an article click here, or submit through blog carnival.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip