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Sunday, August 25, 2013

January Star Gazing at Robinson's Preserve
December Andersonville Civil War Prison
December Plains, GA
December Juliette, GA
January Stelliferous Live
Teen Acting
Battle of Gettysburg Presentation
Nina and Pinta Ships
Philly Trip
August 25, 2013 - South Florida Museum "Ultimate Universe"

Monday, June 10, 2013


Utilitarian Theory
a) We do what is best for the rest of society.

Retributive Theory
a) Just Desserts
b) Debt repaid in proportion to the crime.

 A charging document

Mens Rea
a) The mental state
b)and moral culpability
c) of the defendant

Actus Rea
The act
which becomes the criminal activity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Words For a Judge

I agree, but I also disagree with this judge. The problem with this sentiment is that it puts all of the responsibility in the kids' hands and none in the adults. How is a teen going to build a raft without some help and guidance? How is a teen to get to and from a job without someone to drive them? Teens are still kids and they still need us in many ways. Now, some teens will be great cooks or great mechanics. But that is probably because they had someone guiding them. The judge says "grow up." But then our society dumbs these teens down always reminding them that they're aren't grown up. We need to start treating teens with more respect if we want them to grow up. This judge was not respectful in any way, but very condescending. He could have chosen his words differently so as to encourage and empower these kids. He could have showed them all that they could accomplish and praised them to success, but he CHOSE not to do that. No wonder so many teens feel so lost. It seems that they just can't do anything right. And your Honor, they are NOT adults. They still need us and this is still their youth/childhood. And yes, they owe us their best and they should study, learn a skill, volunteer, etc., but we still owe them our best.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Three Kings' Day!

        This was my first year ever of celebrating 3 Kings Day. (Unless you count the time I was on a peace walk in Beit Sahour, Palestine on the feast of the epiphany.)
         The older kids and I had been building it up Seneca in the time right after Christmas. Then, on January 5, my back problems returned and I was confined to bed for most of the day.  I was afraid that there would be no 3 Kings Day on January 6th for us.  I contemplated moving it back a few days.  Since no one else in the family would be celebrating it, I figured Seneca wouldn't even notice.  The good news is that I recovered quickly and was able to get the few gifts under the Christmas tree.  The presents weren't wrapped but simply put into a small box which had recently arrived with my school books in them. I gave each of the older kids their gifts, again small trinket gifts, nothing fancy.
      Telling a 6 year old that the 3 Kings visited in the night got her up and out of bed in no time.  She got her gifts and then mama went to make cinnamon rolls.  Mama cheated big time on this one.  I bought the ready made dough, so that all I had to do was put the dough on the cookie sheet and bake.  Even with that simplicity, I still managed to burn the bottoms. DOH! Oh well, icing topped with red and green sugar - as well as scraping bottom of rolls - cured that little mini-disaster.  Just to clarify, they weren't burnt to a crisp on the bottom, but rather just a little more done than needed to be.
       Seneca and I drew the 3 Kings on our chalkboard along with the Star of Bethlehem and a couple of camels.  We watched Dora Celebrates 3 Kings Day.  A couple of days before, I read the book The Fourth Wiseman to her.     Seni and I also spent two hours at the park.  Going to the park had nothing to do with 3 Kings' Day.
     As you can tell, our celebration was small.  We had no fancy crafts, but I am sure we can expand things in the future.  Again, we were the only ones in our family celebrating, so it was bound to be a small event.  To be honest, small is fine with me.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

just a ditty on CM Method.

          For my seventh grade son, I spent time researching curriculum options and ideas on  I found this site to be very helpful and their free curriculum guide on the site is terrific.  The Charlotte Mason Method focuses on living books. The goal is to have the child read well written books on a subject or a person instead of text books or abstracts.
     I have ordered the books, but now I just need to work with him on focusing and on documenting his work.  I also need to work on documentation myself.

Returning to Homeschooling

   Wow, I have really neglected this blog.   At the start of this school year, all three children were back in school, as in public school.  The older kids were at a charter school.  Well, the two older ones decided to return to homeschooling, so we did.
    Yasmeen is in 9th grade and Liam is in 7th grade.  The youngest started kindergarten this year and she will  continue in public school at least until the end of her kindergarten year.
    I've been searching the web to decide how I best wanted to go about homeschooling the older two.  One option was an online school called Florida Virtual School. I'm sure it is a wonderful option for many families, but just not for ours.  One of Yasmeen's friends from school asked how she was being homeschooled if she wasn't doing it online.  I loved her response of, "My mom's really good at this sort of thing."  (Thank you sweetie!)
    In my homeschool research, I decided to read more about the Charlotte Mason Method.  Initially, I had been turned off by all of the mentions of Christianity.  This method does seem to be one of the darlings of he Conservative Christian homeschool world. However, after researching Waldorf and being encouraged to keep an open mind, I resolved to reconsider Charlotte Mason Method and see it through my humanist, liberal lenses.  Once I did that, I fell in love!  This does seem to be a nice middle ground between Waldorf and Classical.  In fact it was so similiar to Waldorf in many ways, that I began to wonder if others combined the two and yes many do!  I found some beautiful blogs by mothers who combine these methods.  My two favorites are and
 I will admit that is very, very Catholic and not my type of Catholic.  My mother is very liberal in her politics and is a Mass going Catholic.  So I was raised with a progressive interpretation of the Catholic faith.  I left the faith as a child.  It wasn't logical.  However, I have lately enjoyed going to Mass with my oldest daughter, the atheist.  She says she enjoys Mass too.  We missed it this week though.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Six Swans

Picture from inspired  by  The Six Swans
This week we have been working on the fairy tale, The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm.  On Monday I told her the story. On Tuesday, I re-told her the story and then we listened to it on story nory. is a website of free stories to listen to.  On Wednesday, Seneca told me the story of The Six Swans and I wrote down her narration in her lesson book.  A few times, I would prompt her with questions to help her remember the story, but all in all she did quite well.  I was going to have her practice writing some  s words, but she became so frustrated and angry when she felt her writing wasn't good enough.  I tried to re-assure her that she was doing a good job. In truth, she really was doing a good job.  She has perfectionist tendencies at time.  As a mom, those can get to be annoying.  I don't tell her that though.  She did calm down and took to cutting out construction paper to make shapes and forms.  Cutting is such an important fine motor skill and one that leads to developing writing skills.
     She has been digging in her grandma's side yard today and yesterday. She collected and washed off some rocks to share with me today.  I hope that can counter some of her time spent on tv, though I do try to be sure that she is watching PBS Kids if she is watching tv.

     We continue to play mini math games with mancala pieces. We call the pieces fairy or gnome jewels.  We did a pattern sequence together on Wednesday using the different colored pieces.  She did well with continuing the pattern.  She also drew some patterns of her own.