Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Blogger's block
I started that article on prioroties in homeschooling, but I didn't have time to finish it, and the inspiration left me. I know what I want to say but I'm having trouble getting it down. Today I meant to post a link to an article by Carmon about the nursing mother's cotton brain syndrome, but I can't find her archives.

Speaking of that cotton-brain thing, net friend Jane, wife of pastor Bret McAtee, told me that it's a seratonin depletion caused by a lack of sufficient fatty acids. I've been taking cod liver oil and trying to use only cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, as well as limiting the wrong kind of fats. It seems to be helping.

Milk fat is good, too, if it's unpasteurized*, but that's next to impossible to find. There's an interesting website out there called Real Milk about the nutritional benefits of unpasteurized milk.

Along these lines, I just discovered that Wal-Mart sells organic milk. No antibiotics, pesticides, or added hormones. It's about six times the cost of the regular stuff, but I figure it's worth it. There is some speculation that the early puberty seen in girls these days is at least in part attributable to the hormones given to cows to make them produce huge quantities of milk. My 10-year-old daughter is starting to show signs that she'll be Maturing in a year or two! Scary thought!

Speaking of maturing daughters, my oldest is fourteen now, and I'm facing the fact that from now on I have to keep really good records of her school work in case she ever wants to go to college. Some days she says she never wants to leave home, and others she talks about what she'll be studying in college. Elijah Company has a forum where I found this bit of good advice:
I did have my dc keep a list of books read during highschool. We just used a simple spiral notebook, tabbed it off with various categories (classics, historical fiction, sci-fi, biography, etc) and they would jot down the title and author in the appropriate section. This was helpful to me when it came time to put together a transcript as I could give credit for American history or science or whatever depending upon what books they had read.

Katherine reads so much, she should have a notebook full in just a few months. She's great at all the Language Arts. I just need to get her math up to speed. We've decided that our kids can graduate from homeschool when they are able to keep a budget and balance a checkbook. LOL

Well, so much for writer's block. I guess the stream of consciousness style works better for me than trying to get my thoughts organized!

*Edited for Cotton-brained content. Milk fat is good if the cattle actually get to eat grass all day long, not just grain. Pasteurized milk is good for other things, though.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
We are getting in so many tomatoes each day that we're giving them away! Our chaplain's wife, admirable woman, told me how easy it is to freeze tomatoes, so I'll be doing that next week.

Monday, July 21, 2003

"They love Texas!"
Tonight Grace was telling me about King John in Disney's Robin Hood:
Texas! Texas! Beautiful, lovely Texas! Ha-hah, ha-hah!

Saturday, July 19, 2003

A milestone
Today, at 1:23 pm, somebody clicked through Rabe Ramblings and was my 2000th visitor. Thanks to everyone who visits here, and especially to those of you who comment!

Friday, July 18, 2003

Take Carmon's quiz

You're an opossum...a dreamy homebody who has
trouble rousing himself from his stupor,
wandering aimlessly straight into trouble. Wake
up from your slumber, and walk circumspectly
(Eph. 5:14-15).

What Kind of Road Kill Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
New books from Draught Horse Press
Last year when we were studying American history, I looked everywhere for these books by Clarence Carson, and couldn't find them. I'm so glad they're available now. DHP says Carson's "assesment of the trajectory of American history is solid and conservative. His opinion, like ours, is that Leviathan is the problem, and he traces its development over the past four hundred years."

A Basic History of the United States

Basic American Government

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Priorities in Homeschooling
Part I

The obvious priority, because it applies to all parents, is to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Since "man's chief end is to glorify God and fully to enjoy him forever," everything we do should be with the ultimate goal of glorifying God. Beyond this obvious priority, I've had quite an *ahem* adventure figuring out how to work academics into the equation.

My first year was an academic disaster. The curriculum I had chosen was so overwhelming! Every day I had to do Bible, reading, math, calendar, penmanship, history, science, health and safety, music, poetry, and physical education. The curriculum said it could be done in two hours a day, but I found out that whoever gave that estimate obviously did not have, in addition to the first-grader, a preschooler, a toddler, and a nursing baby.

The first day, I got through Bible, reading, math, calendar, and history (plus two loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning up after three meals, and countless dirty diapers). On the second day, I did Bible, reading, math, calendar, and science (plus two loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning up after three meals - you know the rest). The third day I did Bible and calendar, and got caught up in history. I was beginning to realize that I might never get to some of the other lessons!

On the fourth day, Hurricane Opal inturrupted us, so we did Disaster Preparedness, that is, we went to the BX and bought a camp stove and a lot of bottled water, then came home and taped up the windows – plus two loads of laundry.... That night and the next day we had a family with us that had had to evacuate a military base in Florida because of Opal.

Because of that storm and the chance we had to minister to another military family, I realized that Real Life should be as much a part of homeschooling as learning math.

By the next Monday, I had decided that the two really important things were to read through the Bible with my children so that they would become familiar with God's Word and love it, and to teach my children to read! History lessons were so much fun we did them in the afternoon during our regular story time.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

I guess I should read the book
(Found at Carmon's blog.)

I'm Jean Valjean!

(No, really.) Some people may see me as a little sanctimonious, but though I care deeply about doing right, I'm not above a little skulduggery in a good cause. Being in touch with my spiritual side doesn't make me an easy target... on the contrary, in fact.

Which Les Miserables Character Are You?

If LOTR Fans Were Allowed to Rule The World

Fun little conincidence
This morning during Katherine's Latin lesson, we came across this pair of sentences:
Num Creta oppidum est? Creta oppidum non est!
Is Crete a town? Crete is not a town!

Then this afternoon, while reading Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night I came across this passage: "He renewed his offer of marriage on an average once in three months.... One First of April, the question had arrived from Paris in a single Latin sentence, starting off dispiritedly. 'Num...?' -a particle which notoriously 'expects the answer No.' Harriet rummaging the Grammar book for 'polite negatives,' replied, still more briefly, 'Benigne.' "

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Well, I was back in town by the 4th...
...but I didn't make it back online when I meant to! We took a long trip to visit all the relatives, some of whom we haven't seen in over two years, and so Mike could go to his 20 year high school reunion.

From west Texas, we drove to Arkansas to visit my folks, then to Georgia, to visit Mike's 94 year old grandmother who still lives at home and does all her own house- and yardwork (I want to be like Nanny Jewell when I grow up!), and on to Florida to spend a few days with Mike's family. Then we made the whole trip in reverse, leaving our two oldest at my mom's house in Arkansas.

In all, we covered about 3300 miles in fifteen days! Our kids are good travelers, but I don't think I'll ever make that long a trip with a nursing baby again. Having to stop every two and a half hours or so to nurse the baby sure made it take longer than it would have otherwise.

The two oldest are back home now, and since we took a break beginning in May, today was our first day of the new school year. More on that later.