Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Love My Country The United States!

One of my top priorities in our HS is to teach a love of Family, God and Country. Not only do we say the pledge and pray each morning, but we also sing a song from the Wee Sing America CD.

It has taken us WEEKS...but we have finally mastered song 17 on the CD which sings the 50 states in alphabetical order (mostly alphabetical).

This is not my daughter singing (although I also have a 4yo who successfully learned this song). But it's the same song we learned. Our version is slightly snappier.

Thanks Youtube.

To help us learn this song, and a little geography, I printed out a blank political map of the USA for each child. We worked on memorizing 4-6 statesin the song each day. Sometimes it worked out to do the states that all start with the same letter. (Ex: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas). We colored in the states on our maps that we were trying to memorize in the song that day.

The kids like doing that and I do think it helped with a bit of geography at the same time.

The only downside is that our whole family can NOT get this song out of our heads. We sing it in our sleep, at meals, while driving, at the store, during school, on the trampoline, at the get the idea. So, if you plan to learn this song...don't say I didn't warn you.

Weather Poems: Snow and Wind

We have had a really great time memorizing Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (1923). We made up hand motions to go with each line, learning 2 lines per day. We have kept this poem up for several weeks however, as it has been appropriate for our weather of late.

But our snow is gone and WIND is here. So we are now learning this poem

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Steven

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.

By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again

I'm sure we'll have fun making up actions to this poem as well. Initially I had planned to have a Friday poetry time slot this year. But our morning poetry memorization is filling our need for good poetry, I think. And it's fun.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Have you Thought of Going Off Grid?

Surviving Off Off-Grid: Decolonizing the Industrial MindSurviving Off Off-Grid: Decolonizing the Industrial Mind by Michael Bunker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read this book with a grain of salt. I enjoyed it a lot and learned a ton, but this guy is way over the top when it comes to his view of man's use of electricity. He believes it is pretty much evil, that city life is sinful, and that all civilizations who depend on electricity are doomed to the same fate as Rome.

I don't agree. Obviously, man has been able to learn, grow,share and advance in so many ways because of electricity. It is a blessing or a curse depending on how it is employed. However, I do agree with the author in that our absolute dependence on electricity and a consumption life style (on ALL levels) has resulted in the loss of certain individual liberties and some personal privacy.

I do think that getting rid of our "non essential" electronics is good. (Sorry my fridge and washer are keepers for now) And I think that a simpler life that is centered on your own piece of land where you make an effort to produce as many of your necessities as possible is a really positive thing and would do much to restore the American Family and the American Dream.

Do read it. But don't feel too bad if you're still using your vacuum and clothes dryer afterward.

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