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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday Fragments: Kid's Update

It's Time once again for Friday Fragments.  Since I have not said a lot about the kids.  Here's  1 fragment a piece about them.

Before I do, let me just say that Friday Fragments, aside from being a part of your balanced breakfast is brought your way from Half Past Kissin' Time.  Click here for this week's installment.

Kid 1 -  Audition Edition

Bunny surprised us a few weeks ago when she showed some interest in trying out for a local production of Seussical: The Musical.  She worked hard  practicing her audition piece with my Mom.  I suggested she sing Suppertime from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown as she was often  singing it at home.

About  150 children auditioned for a cast that will be about 80.  Whether she makes it or not we are very proud of the effort she put forward.

Kid  2 - Army Surplus

Spider Droid continues to be very creative and 100% boyish.  Here is a video he made yesterday.  If you know any 8- 12 year old boys  who would like to watch this please send them the link on you tube.

Kid 3- A Puppyism

Wolfina FKA Puppy was taking a bath a few nights back when Amy overheard this gem.  Apparently she had just finished washing her toes when she said:

"Step aside fingers there's a new cleanest body part in town, toes."

So those are my family of fragments for the week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thanks Blago A HSD Rewind

From time to time, I like to check my statistics to see what if any of my previous posts are getting the most hits.  This month, the most looked up of all my posts (by over 100 looks) was a post I wrote about former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich back in June 2011 shortly after he http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/11/10/blagojevich-to-start-working-in-prison-library/
was found guilty on several counts.  I wrote this post as an epilogue of sorts to all the teaching and parenting material Blago's missteps had given me. 

I am reprinting it here, as an HSD rewind. 

It was a Tuesday, that's all I remember for sure. That's the day the kids had their enrichment course. (It's a co-op, but they don't call it a co-op. They call it enrichment courses.) Puppy and I played in a kid's area while Bunny took an art class and then Spider Droid took a chess class. I was driving to enrichment classes, (that's how I knew it was a Tuesday) when I heard on the radio that our state's governor Rod Blagojevich had been arrested on federal corruption charges. The most egregious of which was trying to sell the then President-elect Obama's vacated senate seat to the highest bidder.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich by captainleadbottom
Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a photo by captainleadbottom on Flickr.

It was there in the car on the way to enrichment classes, that our 2 1/2 year civics lessons began. Theses include lessons in filling vacant seats, abuse of power, impeachment, trials, hung juries and retrials. Then today as I went to run errands with the bigs, I turned on the radio and they announced a verdict had been reached in the Blago retrial and would be announced in the early afternoon. As quickly as that, our civics classroom started all over again.

Here are a few educational and pseudo educational moments from the last 30 months of Blagomania:

  • When Spider Droid first heard about the Blagojevich arrest he assumed that the governor had been framed since a governor would never do anything wrong. What I wanted to say to him was "live in Illinois much?" But I went the AWANA route and reminded him of his memory verse, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

  • Many of Blagojevich's public appearances gave us quite a lot to discuss. I tried to find a video of him quoting Rudyard Kipling shortly after his initial arrest. The only one I could find was merged with Simpson's clips. So instead here is the beginning of an interview he did with Dave Letterman shortly after the impeachment.

(The video did not come up when I cut and past my original post. Click here if you are interested in seeing the video.)

  • The kids' impression of him was aided by the media. At one point between the arrest and the impeachment, the kids got to calling him "Governor Deadmeat" because he had been referred to that way in a local paper.
  • We even did a Lego workshop about him. . .

rod blagojevich by robayre

Just kidding! Here's the real credit: rod blagojevich, a photo by robayre on Flickr.
Blagojevich's downfall seemed to be that he felt that his years of service to the public entitle him to some sort of payback. During the past 2.5 years, even in his trial, he talked about all the great things he did for the state of Illinois. His defense seems to be (a) This is what politics is(everybody's doing it)and (b) I deserve something out of this. I am sure that in his mind, which must be an amazing place to visit, he did nothing wrong.

Interestingly enough, these are my kids' two biggest excuses for not admitting when they were wrong. "They started it"and "But I wanted it." Blagojevich serves as a warning to my kids and hopefully everyone who tries to cover up their misdeeds with excuses.

So thanks Blago, for all the civics lessons. I guess we'll just have to wait until your sentencing date to learn more.

Meanwhile back in 2013 . . .

After Blago was sentencedin late 2011, I did glean a few more lessons from his transgressions.  That post can be found by clicking here.  I had not heard anything about him since his incarceration until I saw this article http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/11/10/blagojevich-to-start-working-in-prison-library/from November 2012 in preparation for this post.

Wolfina Takes Over

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

COH Now and Then

Now: This week's carnival of Homeschooling is up at Living Life and Learning  Please enjoy All About Changes.


I will be hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling next week at Dave Out Loud.  Click here to watch and read more info.

Back and Hosting COH

The current Carnival of Homeschooling can be found at Living Life and Learning.

Click here for more on submitting an article or video to the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Coming Attractions: Wolfina Takes Over

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year at CWF

We skipped the Fall 2012 semester of our co-op because of my job.  One of the first things I did once I quit my job was to sign up for the Spring Semester.  I am co teaching a class on Discovering America.  I will be teaching the States and Capitals portions.

Here is an idea that you can use in your classrooms tomorrow.  Ask your children to take turns naming states  as you write them down.  The first 25 are pretty easy but the next 25 may be difficult especially if you make sure there are no maps out.

I am also assisting in a pre-school class about animals and a high school class about storytelling in film.

Spider Droid is taking a street drumming class he is very excited about.  I am more excited about the Desserts, desserts, desserts class he is taking since he will be bringing those treats home along with the recipes.  That means more eating and less banging.

Puppy is taking a class called Heroes and Heroines.  Bunny Girl is an assistant in that class.  Today they studied Marie Curie.

Bunny Girl is taking a mural painting class.  This ambitious class will create a travelling mural as well as a mural to be made in the church that we use for our co-op.

I will be blogging more about these and other classes as the co-op continues through the end of April.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip