Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And our word for today is...empathy.

I remember a Coke commercial from the 70's that featured people from all around the world holding hands in a circle, on a mountain top.
"I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony.
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company.....
I'll like to buy the world a Coke--
It's the real thing."

Umm, not quite.

Empathy is the real thing.
I am starting to think that empathy is the root of all love.
Empathy allows us to really consider how it must feel to live in another person's skin.
It helps us to step outside of our self centeredness and try someone else's life on for size.

Imagine the wars that could've been avoided,
the arguments that could've been abated,
the insults that wouldn't have been hurled,
the feelings that wouldn't have been wounded,
the children whose trust wouldn't have been violated,

Maybe we should have Worldwide Empathy Day, where we all just take a moment before responding to the people around us, and think "How will this make her feel?" or "How would I feel if someone said/did this thing to me?"

Yup, it's the real thing.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Organizing Science...

If you're anything like me, you've kind of dropped the ball on teaching Science consistently. Don't get me wrong, I totally believe that kids can learn plenty about Science simply by helping out in the kitchen, the garden, even cleaning the bathroom. I don't think that there necessarily needs to be a lot of formal study of science in the early years. But this year I will have a Sixth Grader. And I'm feeling like it's time to tighten up our act a little in that regard.

So we're going to use Jeannie Fulbright's Botany book. I think that it'll be an interesting and fun study, and while all of the kids will be involved, I'll expect the most from Tall Boy.

Again, if you're anything like me you've bought other Science books/curricula and you've trotted along nicely until it was time to do an experiment. And then you go tearing through the house like MacGyver searching for a plastic funnel, a box of Epsom salts, and the lid to a quart sized container of yogurt so that you can build your own car battery. You finally give up because alas, the recycling went out yesterday and there isn't any more yogurt in the fridge and you tell the kids to just skip it. "Don't worry, we'll do it next week." Umm, yeah.

So it makes total sense to collect all of the supplies in advance. There are vendors on the internet (of course!) who will happily sell you all of the things you need to succeed at Science experiments, but if you're cheap frugal like me, you're thinking "I'm supposed to pay $50 for a bunch of stuff that I can easily collect on my own for about $12?" Besides, those kits don't contain every-single-thing that you'll need anyway.

So my solution (and the thing I've spent most of today working on) is to buy 13 extra large zippered storage bags. Each bag gets labeled by chapter, and I'll insert a list of items needed for that experiment. I've also collected many of the "ingredients" and I will put (nearly) everything needed in that bag. There are a few things (live flowers, a melon, water) that obviously won't go into the bag, but those items will be listed on the front of the bag so that the week before I can easily glance at the bag and know what I need to pick up from the store.

All of the bags will go into a milk crate, and voila!
Okay, that's my Big Idea For The Day!! :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

6 Unspectacular Things About Me

Sarah has kindly all of her readers to the "6 Unspectacular Things Meme," the rules of which, slightly modified by Sarah, are:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Invite all readers of your blog to participate!

Okay, so here goes....

1. I think that celery tastes like soap. I will only eat it if it has been disguised in something like tuna salad.
2. My high school didn't have a football team...only soccer.
3. My mother and mother in law share the same first name.
4. I've lived in this house longer than I've lived anyplace in my life.
5. I know all the words to "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General."
6. I had pneumonia when I was two and can remember sleeping in a plastic bubble at the hospital.

Whew! I'm glad to be done with that.
Oh, and speaking of being done with things: I'm not done with my Lesson Plans. Not by a long shot. But I did have a really nice lunch date with my hubby, thanks to my good friend Michele. So I have two more days to soldier on. Let's see how it goes!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Planning Week...

So tomorrow is the first day of Planning Week. My hubby has taken vacation so that he can do all of the kid care and I can do all of the school prep for next year. I have so much to do!

I went to my favorite addiction er, um, homeschool message board to tell them that they'd better not see me hanging around much this week. I will actually going to try and stay away as much as possible, although I might need them to answer some questions, you know? ;)

And yes, Mamagistra, I will mention my progress here. If I remember. Maybe I'll remember...
You'll have to check in to find out! :-)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ohhhh yeah, I did start a blog......

Okay, I think we'll give this another try, why not?

So, as I was saying (don't ask when or where, just follow along and nod.)
As I was saying, it's summertime and the livin' is easy. We spent the afternoon lolling about at our friend's shore house which has a lagoon running through the back. It was lovely and relaxing.
As usual I completely forgot to take along my camera, so I'm relying on the pictures that my friends took. When I get them I'll post a couple here.

I really, really don't understand how people do this blog thing. There is just nothing at all exceptional about my life, so I cannot imagine that anyone would want to read this.

We'll see....