Thursday, March 27, 2008

Exciting New Movie

Granny just posted about a new movie coming out that I'm SO excited about. A movie that challenges the sacred cow of Darwinism in the 'scientific' community. And it exposes what is happening to those who dare to question.

You know the old adage, those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it? Well, this is nothing new, folks. In The History of Medicine book that the boys and I are reading, you can see this happening in the earliest times of medical history. Galen wrote medical books with very little study of the human body because dissecting the human body was not allowed in his time. Later his book was used for many years and considered the authority. Even when viewing the insides of the human body contradicted it, teachers would refuse to acknowledge the errors. Evidence against their previously held belief was not enough to cause them to question the man they had set up as the "authority".

"If the corpse and the book don't agree, then the error is in the corpse! No one would dream of doubting Galen."

Then a man came along with the courage to change that.

...the grip of Galen's dead hand upon medicine will begin to weaken. It won't happen without a fight!"

A man named Vesalius fought that fight and he realized the trap they had all fallen into.

"They had repeated Galen for so long it had blinded them to the true facts."

Sound like Darwinism to me. I think Darwin's dead hand on science is beginning to weaken...but it's not going to happen without a fight. And this film is a part of that fight!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Started A New Study Today

Even though this is written for elementary kids, I can see I'm going to learn a lot too!

Today we started with an excerise that taught about taxonomy by classifying shoes. When the directions said to get one shoe from every pair in the house, we knew we were in for a massive pile! It was a lot of fun and it did a great job at demonstating classification.

I'm really looking forward to this and plan to journal right along with the kids!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Rewards of Exploring

I found these down by the creek this afternoon. I was so excited! My best guess is raccoon, but I'm brand new at this. At first I thought oppossum, but when I came home I checked and the oppossum has fingers more spread and a very unique back track that I did not see down there. I also saw evidence of a clam feast. If anyone else has a different idea, feel free to comment.

I also found a track down by the spring that looked just like a cat print but it was 2" wide (not pictured here). I think it's either it's a bobcat track or a dog track without the claw marks.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nature Study Tips

"We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things. "
~Charlotte Mason in Home Education

Heart of Harmony blog has a great post with links to nature coloring books or line drawings to help with illustrating your nature journals.

This morning I have read about two thirds of Kamana's The Young Naturalist and it looks like a great place to start with younger kids. Kamana sells it for under $26.00 here. So far there is only one episode of the characters sending "our thoughts out to the forest" in order to call out a character who will come and teach them some things. I will say again that I think it's easy enough to edit out these kinds of things if they are offensive to you and still get a lot of use out of the materials.

Here's a list of tips inspired by our work in the Kamana program:

1. Get to know one place, even if it's only your yard or even just a tree in your yard. Pick a place that is convenient so you will visit it often, preferably daily. Practice using your senses to learn about what is around you.

2. Take it slowly and get to know one thing at a time, one plant, one bird, tree, mammal, etc. from your area. Use the range maps in the field guides to find local species. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all there is out there. If you just take a baby step at a time, you will be amazed at how much you will learn over the years.

3. Use your journal to record what you've learned or even questions you have. Don't stress about the artwork but instead focus on recording details that will help you remember and be able to identify the object in the future. Don't even spend a lot of time on your journal entries. Kamana suggests aiming for 20-30 minutes each. You are not aiming for a beautiful work of art.
4. Use field guides to sketch from. Practice the Charlotte Mason method of picture study with the pictures of the object you are journaling about. Simply look at the picture until you can see it in your minds eye, then close the book and sketch it quickly in your journal. If you need to, repeat the process until you feel you have included the major components of the illustration.

5. Also use the field guides to gather information. Again, use the Charlotte Mason method of narration. Read the information and then write from memory. Repeat as often as you need to until all important elements are included such as field marks, habitat, habits, etc. Kamana Two suggests taking notes in this manner on a scrap piece of paper and then writing your journal entry from your scrap paper.

6. Read inspirational nature literature - fiction and non-fiction. We are currently reading Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter.

7. For you homeschoolers, take a day a week to focus on nature study. It covers science, art, writing and reading. Even if that is all you did that day, it would be a day well spent. Start when your kids are young. They will be much better prepared for high school biology when they have a first-hand knowledge of many of the flora and fauna that they will study later, not to mention that learning to care about the earth will help them become better stewards of it.

As I have said before, I have been amazed at how well the Kamana program melds with the philosophy laid down in Charlotte Mason's writings. And here's another quote to prove it:

"In Science, or rather, nature study, we attach great importance to recognition, believing that the power to recognize and name a plant or stone or constellations involves classification and includes a good deal of knowledge. To know a plant by its gesture and habitat, its time and its way of flowering and fruiting; a bird by its flight and song and its times of coming and going; to know when, year after year, you many come upon the restart and the pied fly-catcher, means a good deal of interested observations, ad of, at any rate, the material for science."
~from School Education

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Candace and Michael

My beautiful girl and her talented husband. Too bad I'm not allowed to link to one of his songs that they sent to us. Maybe someday.

**You can click on the picture to enlarge.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Busy Two Weeks

It's hard to believe it's been 2 weeks since I last posted. A lot of activity has taken place in two weeks. We've had the MOPS meeting, dinner guests, a daughter admitted to the ER, my monthly library meeting, lunch guests, an overnight camping trip for the boys and Ford, out-of-town family come to visit, Hope's first voice lesson, a birthday party to attend, the cold crops put in the garden plus all of the other parts of life that are just normal routine! Whew! And I thought spring break was actually going to be a slow time. I'm not complaining though because with the exception of the ER visit, it's been a lot of fun. Although, there were several things we had to cancel like other dinner guests that we were really looking forward to having, a picnic at a park with some local homeschooled teens and their families and we had to turn down another dinner invitation with some people we have been really hoping to get to know better. It's a bummer when there is just not enough days in the week.

The MOPS meeting was great. Spending time with those ladies took me back in time and reminded me how much disciplining children was the most important thing back then. As I remembered taking 5 kids, 6 and under, to the grocery store, I recalled how important order and control was. I am currently re-reading some of the child training books that I read when I was a younger mom to see if I could recommend them again.

Priscilla gave us a little scare. She went to visit our doctor in order to look into why she was so tired. He sent her over to the lab at the hospital to get some blood work done. She passed out and the ladies who were with her apparently thought she had a seizure because that is the news we got. Turns out she did not have a seizure and all of the blood work came back fine. What worried me is she was absolutely wiped out. Even the next morning she could barely sit up to eat and hardly had the strength to cut her toast, which was quite a difference from before her "episode". She called the doctor again and he said he was fairly certain she had mono, even though the test was negative so far. So, she has had to lay off working and she spends a lot of time sleeping. Now we are wondering if that is what Grandma had recently when she had some of the same symptoms that lasted for 5 1/2 weeks. Pris is hoping with a doctor's note to get a leave of absence at work so she will still have her job when she is well.

I'm really getting addicted to time spent outdoors in the woods and fields. Even in the midst of all of this activity, I have still found some time to be outdoors. I dragged my poor cousin all over the place and she is used to flat land, not all of these crazy Tennessee hills! The thing that is intriguing me the most is the many sorts of holes I find all over the place. I keep wondering what made them all. I'm still pathetically unobservant though. Today, I was taking Abel to show him a cool animal den, walking along the route I had been on many times, and he showed me one I had never seen even though it had been right under my nose the whole time. The idea of animals surviving without any help from man has always fascinated me. Another current mystey that we are trying to solve is finding out which bird has a certain song, Annalise says it sounds like "tin-ker toy, tin-ker toy". The next time I hear it, I'm just going to have to drop everything and go stalking.

One more thing I just have to tell about is my weekly women's meeting. We recently decided to allow our daughters to be a part of the small group. We just got talking one night about our concerns with the whole youth culture and one thing led to another and before you knew it we were talking about having the girls meet with us each week so we could study the Bible and fellowship all together, without any segregational walls. And believe it or not, I was not the one who suggested it. Ok, I know you don't believe it, but it is true nevertheless. We've only had one meeting since then, but we had a great time. The girls all enjoyed it too. The great thing was that my girls enjoyed the mother of the woman who hosts the Bible study as much as the other young girls. I'm so excited about this weekly meeting and other fun things we are planning to do together.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A New Place to Serve

A new opportunity has come my way that I am so excited about. The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry which meets at our church is in need of a mentor. Last week I saw the request for a mom with older kids to be a mentor for this group and my heart leaped. I can't think of anything I would love more than a chance to encourage young moms who are in a culture that is at war with family values.

I came home and emailed the leader who had put the request out, told her a little about me and gave her a list of other women in the church she could talk to about me. We emailed back and forth and today I went to look for her after church. I had just turned and asked someone if they knew who she was so they could possibly point her out to me and she had just walked up and said she was who I was looking for. We talked for a bit and I'm going to their meeting this week to start finding out what I can do to help. So far I know they need someone to be there, to listen, to give godly advice, to sometimes speak and lead devotions. I can't wait!

Friday, March 07, 2008

This Should Concern Everyone

Dr. James Dobson addresses the situation in California today on his broadcast. This should concern parents all over the country no matter how your children are being educated because it's about basic freedom.

"A California state appellate court ruled last week that it is illegal for parents in the Golden State to home school their children without the appropriate state teaching credentials. If this ruling stands, home-schooling parents could, in effect, become guilty of a criminal offense. Tune in today to find out how you can oppose this chilling decision, which Dr. Dobson calls "an unprecedented assault" on parental rights - one that could have nationwide consequences. Joining Dr. Dobson are public policy expert Carrie Gordon Earll, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Roy Hanson of Family Protection Ministries. You'll also hear from a California home-schooling mom whose right to make educational decisions for her children is now under attack."

"At the heart of this case is a distrust of parents."- Michael Farris

We've also had a recent attempt at interfering with homeschooling and private schooling here in Tennessee and it's not over yet. My friend at Becks Bounty posted about it on her blog. The current proposal would require all students to be taught from the public school curriculum. I could never consent to what I believe is not only academically inferior, but against God and Truth. The state legislators received over 4,000 phone calls protesting what was going on. And they haven't seen anything yet. For many of us, this issue is worth fighting for. Wars have been fought over less.

If you go to Homeschool Legal Defense Association's site, you can read about the situation in California and other attacks on our freedom.

**Update: Here's another link to a blog that links to lots of information about the record of homeschoolers.

***Update #2: The Common Room links to a great explanation of why turn about is NOT fair play...

It's all about control, folks. The basic question should be "To whom do the children belong?" Is the answer the state or the parents?

Historically men and women have suffered and died in the fight for freedom. If we gave in to tryanny now, it would be shameful to put it mildly. In the famous words of Patrick Henry - "Give me liberty or give me death!' If you are not familiar with the rest of that speech, it's worth your time to read it. Look into how the founding fathers felt about what they were fighting for. Think about what they were willing to do in that fight. Imagine. They didn't know how things would turn out. It's easy to read history from the hindsight view. Knowing the end of the story makes it seem less scary. But they didn't know they would be victorious. Imagine it from that perspective.

Now, if your history education came from dry, boring textbooks, it may be difficult for you to IMAGINE these people and events as real people. I'm sure that was the goal, and it has been successful in creating a apathetic and brainwashed people. That's one reason I will never give in. The lessons of the past are too important to loose. They must be kept alive somehow. Someone must remember the truth.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Saturday's Hiking Pictures

Saturday we went to the Occoee Whitewater Center to explore the hiking trails. For once, I remembered to not only take the camera, but to actually use it. So, here's our photo journey.

Getting caffeinated for the hike...The bridge that leads to the trails.

Annalise found a hollowed out tree.

The views were actually nicer because the leaves were still off the trees so we could see the hills in the distance.

The kids all ran ahead to surprise us with this weird pose when we came around the bend. They were perfectly still and looked like they were posing for a CD cover.

Then we came upon them in this pose - a fake campfire scene. They were all acting like they were roasting marshmellows over an imaginary fire.

A moments rest on a bench overlooking the river.

Heading back over the bridge.

Playing down at the river after the hike.

Kamana Page

Luke finally allowed me to post something of his on the blog. This is his page from the Kamana study we are doing. Geesh. This blog is starting to look like a Nature Study blog.