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September 30, 2009

Subway: 2009-2010 Teacher Kits

Teacher (including Homeschooler) just need to sign up with Subway to get it the FREE "Get fit for the fun of it" kit. The kit includes: poster, stickers, teacher planners, and other things needed to help encourage healthy living and eating habits.

T/H (Tip of the hat) to: A Few Short Cuts

September 29, 2009

Empire State turns on Special Lights for China

I just came across this news story and I thought it was worth sharing. It's no secret that the Empire State building has used special lights to mark special occasions: Frank Santra's Death, St. Patrick's Days, the anniversary of the Wizard of Oz. However lights honor the 60th Anniversary of Communist China?? WAKE UP!!!

Have you lived?

If you haven't failed then you haven't lived.

PS: If you haven't voted in the poll about the radio show PLEASE VOTE! There's just 1 day left!

September 28, 2009

Should I have a Radio Show?

That is something I have been looking into and contemplating.  If you haven't voted in the poll in the sidebar to the right then PLEASE VOTE!! There is just 1 days left in the poll so I thought I would plug it! :) 

Thanks everyone!

September 26, 2009

Field Trips: Anything Cool?

It's that time of year! Many homeschool groups, co-op, are getting into the swing of things, and as a result it's field trip time! Yesterday we went to an Autumn Pioneer Festival. That was fun and I will have pictures posted about his trip soon.

However in the mean time feel free to visit "Winding Circle Life School" and view the pictures that are posted there of a field trip that they took to a "Refugee Camp". We are truly blessed aren't we?

Have you taken any cool field trips? Would you like to share them here? Please Do.

I was going to have a linky here, but I can't seem to get it to work. So please leave responses in the comment section. Thanks!!! If you want to learn how to make those comments "clickable" (hyperlink) then please see these instructions here. So if you had a post or website you wanted to share you can just follow those instructions to make the titles of those things clickable in the comment section. If you need more help just contact me.

September 23, 2009

Halloween Costume Ideas??

Dear Readers,

Several of you have proven to be very helpful in the costume department. So I once again I'm asking you for your help! I do NOT want to debate if Christians should or should not go trick-or-treating or participate in any other festivities associated with Halloween. Every family, regardless of their religion, has the right to decided for themselves if trick-or-treating is something they want to participate in. We have made the decision that this is something that we are going to do. I only ask that you respect my decision just like I would respect yours if you chose NOT to go trick-or-treating.

So now with that out of the way! What can I do for Superstar? As you know he's having his surgery the Wednesday before Halloween. This means BOTH of his feet are going to be in a cast! We have decided that we are going to take him out trick-or-treating, but clearly he can't walked; so he's going to be pulled in a wagon. At least that is our plan as of now!

Anyway what can he be? I'm thinking it would be good to try to include the casted feet as part of his costume. I'm just not sure how to do that. Any Ideas???

Update 10/22/2009: We have found a costume for Superstar and I have made a post about it: Christian Costume Ideas

September 22, 2009

The 6th Sense: Using technology

Will technology give us a 6th Sense? This is a very interesting video about where technology IS at and where it CAN take us! It's a 9 minute video but I think it's worth watching!!!

Sharing Ideas via Wiki!

I'M SO EXCITED!!!  I have added a wiki page to my website! This wiki page is for homeschoolers to share ideas for various subjects! If you look at the navigation bar at the top of the page right under the header you will see the tab "Sharing Ideas".

This tab will take you to Catholic Christian Homeschooling Wiki Page! Once you are on the Wiki Page you will see a Wiki Navigation Bar.

If you hover over the Wiki Navigation Bar you will see various "subpages" these subpages are listed by "subject". Once you are on a subject page you will have to hover over the the Wiki Navigation bar to see the various grade levels. If your grade level is NOT listed YOU are free to add it!!! If a subject is NOT listed YOU are free to add it!!

If you need help with this then you can contact me.

I'm just learning about wiki pages and how to build them, so we will be learning together. I will be honest and say if you go now it's pretty empty, but that's because I just added it! And I'm in the process of building up the basic structure of the wiki page.

It is my hope that together we can build resources and ideas!! ANYBODY can VIEW the pages, but if you want to ADD data to it you MUST become a member of my website.


September 21, 2009

Drowning In Bills!

I have shared publicly how Superstar is going to be having surgery and how we have been in and out of Doctor offices over the summer, not only that but he has had some testing done MRI, EMG, X-rays, etc.

All of these things can be read about here: Toe Walking.

What I haven't shared is how we are now drowning in medical bills! Oh we have insurance!! He just have one of those HIGH deductible plans that make us pay $5,000 OUT of pocket, every CALENDAR year, before the insurance will pay anything.

My husband's employer did offer us the option of a "traditional" insurance plan, but we chose not to take it. After all we are young, our kids are young, and for the most part we are a healthy family! Up until this last summer the only time we were at the doctor's office was for our yearly physicals. (The insurance will pay for a yearly physical so that's ALWAYS FREE for us). So it just made sense to get the high deductible plan.

We haven't even had the surgery yet and have already reached our deductible for THIS CALENDAR year, so any medical bills between NOW and Dec 31st will be covered 100% by insurance. However anything that happens Jan 1 or later we will have to pay for again, until we reach our $5,000 deductible.

So you can imagine my relieve when they said that Superstar would have to wear the cast for 4-6 weeks and not the 6-8 like they originally said. With luck the braces and everything should be done by the first weeks of December if NOT sooner!!

Of course there will be some follow ups after the first of the year, but office visits are cheaper then surgery, castings, custom made braces, etc. We are still hoping and praying that most of the expensive things will be done before the end of year!

$5,000 is a LOT of money already and we are drowning, but we would be drowning more if say we waited until AFTER the first of the year; seeing we would have to meet our deductible AGAIN!!!

I know we will be okay!!! I just had to share, because the bills are here one after another. It's just been stressful! I know we are okay and will be okay. It's just amazing what the cost is!!!

Oh and seeing we do have insurance it does get submitted to insurance and we do get a preferred provider discounts applied. Those discounts are applied and then the balance is what we are charged and what gets applied to our deductible.

For example we have 3 different bills for the MRI! One of those bills alone was $3,000. The preferred provider discount was applied, thus the bill was $1,500. So we had to pay $1,500  and that $1,500 was applied to our deductible.  That means if we did not have insurance we would have had to pay $3,000. Did you noticed that the preferred provider discount cut the bill in half? No wonder medical bills are the number one reasons people are in debt!!!

September 18, 2009

Superstar's Surgery

Superstar's Surgery for ITW (idiopathic toe walking) has been scheduled. He will have surgery on Oct 28, 2009 @ 7:00 AM. We have to be there at 6:00 AM.

Thank-you for keeping him in your prayers!

If you are NEW to my blog you can read passed post about Superstar and his toe walking here: Toe Walking

We're Open Again!

Dear Readers,

You may have (or may not) have noticed that for a short time today Catholic Christian Homeschooling was closed! I for short time had to make the blog private while I worked on the new template (layout) for Catholic Christian Homeschooling.

I still have some editing to to do to the template, but the major stuff is done! I just needed to close it down because I needed to do some editing, mainly to the buttons at the top along with the RSS feed direction etc...

So I didn't want anybody visiting and getting confused!

Nikki (aka SAHMinIL)

EDIT ADD: If you have already voted in the current poll about the radio show, please RE-VOTE!! I had lost the original poll when editing the site!!

September 17, 2009

Computer Programmer?

Do we have a computer programmer in the house? Superstar (who is not in the picture) is playing PS2. Web-Princess has made characters with paper, crayons, tape and pencils to "add" to the game.

Web-Princess is very proud of her "invention". When I went to take close up pictures of all 3 of her characters I got told "Take the picture of me. It's my invention".  So here is Web-Princess smiling face with one of her little characters!
I  instant message my husband this morning to tell him what the kids, especially Web-Princess, were up too! He told me I bet we could find a computer/game-programming class or program for them! I'm sure there is something in their age range out there.

Dear Readers,

Do any of you know of a programming program, book, how to, etc. that is geared to 7-10 year old?  If so I would greatly appreciate any input, recommendations, or suggestions. As you can see my daughter needs out of the stone age!!! She need the ability to make "real" programs. LOL

Actually, I'm impress with my daughters creativity and imagination. I really don't want to squash that!!! If you have suggestions on programming programs, classes, books, etc, PLEASE send them my way. In the mean time we will continue to use paper, crayons, boxes, and pencils.

Actually, knowing my kids they would still continue to do those things even if we did have something to teach them programming.

September 15, 2009

Why Homeschooling?

Why Homeschooling? That is a question I get asked every so often. Especially, when people learn that my kids did go to Public School. This school year (2009-2010) is our second year of homeschooling. We became "official" homeschoolers June of 2008.

Socially: There is simply the OVER sexualization of children, especially young girls. I knew that I would have to "battle" make-up, clothing, waxing, etc with my daughter. I figured that this most likely would happen in 5th-6th grade, but I also realized that it could happen as young as 3rd grade. Oh, I was so wrong!!

My daughter came home from KINDERGARTEN wanting a bikini waxing, eyebrow waxing, and make-up because that was what her peers, her classmates, were doing. That is just flat out wrong! It's interesting to note that within months of us deciding to homeschooling, MSNBC ran an article about the trend across the nation to send young girls (10 and often younger) to the spa for hair removal. One spa owner in CA, stated that 20% of her clients where Tweens. Tween being between the age of (9)10-13 year of age. Not, to mention that several spas are just for "kids".

This was what I was up against, I figured I would be at some point, but seriously not at 5 years old!  It was more then I could tolerate!  Given this; is it really a surprise that the UN is proposing teaching about masturbation to 5 year old, as the standard international norm?? I had to deal with waxings, clothing, and makeup. I'm afraid by the time my nieces and nephews get to school my sisters and sister-in-law will be dealing with explicit sexual education. I don't really know if they want their 5 year-old being taught about masturbation. I don't think any parent really wants that! 

You can read the whole guideline here: UN International Guidelines on Sexuality Education
Education: Aside from the messages they were picking up with their peers, I was seeing issue with the education.  First, I know that at least here the PS (public school) does try; it does have some really GREAT teachers! However, even the great teachers can't reach everyone. Every teacher I have met will say they are teaching to the "middle". They are hoping that those that are above the middle will not loose interest and that they can help those that don't understand. They also hope that those below the middle will come up to the middle so at least they can get "by".

I was watching my daughter struggle with certain subjects. Subjects that I tried to work with outside of school, but in all honestly she was done! She was 5 year old and had already spent 7 am -3 pm at school. She didn't want any more schooling! On the flip side my son was doing really well in some area; areas where he simply wasn't challenged. I know the teachers were doing all they could do, but I could just see this wasn't working. I wanted something more tailored for each child. I wanted them to be challenged in all areas. Challenged, not over challenged! I wanted them to have the time they needed for each area. If it needed to be slowed down then I wanted that. If it needed to be sped up then I wanted that. They can't get that tailored education in the schools as they are now.

I wanted my kids to be themselves: I wanted my kids to remained sweet loving children! My son's first grade teacher would tell me how every day my son, with his sister, would stop at his locker and drop off his bag and stuff, then he would walk his little sister down to her kindergarten classroom. When they got to her classroom, he would look around to make sure no one was watching and would give her a quick kiss on the forehead. He then would go to his classroom.

Everyday she would allow this and everyday she would watch. She told me that it was amazing to see a child care so much about his sibling. I would share that with my husband and would worry that someday he would stop, because of the teasing that may result from it.  That he wouldn't want to hold his sister's hand and walk her down the classroom, because the other kids would make fun of him. It was clear he was somewhat worried what others thought, because before kissing his sister's forehead he would looked to make sure no one was watching.

I wanted my kids to be kids! I want them to learn at their pace,  but most of all I wanted them to be themselves and not be afraid to show love and compassion for other people, especially their sibling. That is why we homeschool.

Why do you homeschool?

September 14, 2009

Our Daily Schedule

I don't know so much if it's a bid for trying to get more "free" time or what, but Web-Princess over the weekend asked if we could do school like this. Work-Free Time; Work-Free Time; Work-Free Time.

I thought about it and said why not? I could use the Free Time to make sure I had the subject ready and they wouldn't have to wait on me. So we agreed that we would do a subject then have 20 minutes of free time, do a subject and then have 20 minutes of fee time, do a subject.... (I'm sure you get the picture)

During that free time, the kids can play or whatever, and I can makes sure I'm ready for the next subject, do a chore, read a book, or even blog. I just have to make sure the timer is set and when it goes off we go back to the school work.

We'll try this for the week and I'll let you know how it went. :)

September 10, 2009

Hulu! Movies, TV shows, and more on demand!

Do you know what Hulu is? You may have seen the commercials on TV for hulu, commercials like this one:
Well some of the stuff on HULU is actaully educational!
There is a NOVA Channel, it allows you to watch things from NOVA. There also is Modern Marvel Channel and Biography Channel. There is a kid's channel that includes things like Sesame Street and Jonah a VeggieTales Movie. There are also things that would NOT be good for your kids in my opinion, so please proceed with caution! 

One of things the kids and I watched most recently from HULU was the following from the biography channel on HULU: Davey Crockett:
It's all FREE and it's all on demand, so you can watch it whenever you want! We have newer laptop and TV. Well the TV was bought in 2003 so it's not that new. With our TV and newer laptop we, with the correct cables, are able to connect the laptop to the TV.  This connection allows whatever is on the laptop screen to be viewed on the TV screen! Which makes watching these things as a family more enjoyable. I'm not sure what kind of cables they are, DH would know. I just know if i connect them to the laptop it works! LOL

I know not everyone would have that ability, but nonetheless I still wanted to share my knowledge about HULU with you! Enjoy!

But Mom It Fits? Measuring Objects

So we have this "cube" (see picture to the left). I will admit that some may think the kids are a little old for this cube, but for the last several years it has served as a stepping stool to get up on our yard trampoline.

Well the kiddos just realized this morning that they don't need to cube anymore to get up on the trampoline. They now can climb up without the aid of the cube. Something they are proud of....

In the course of play they came in and asked for the measuring tape. I asked if they meant this measuring tape and they said yes. So I gave it to them with clear instructions on not to break the tape or leave it outside. That when they were done they were to return it to me. (Something they did very well I might add)

So what does this cube have to do with the measuring tape? Well, besides measuring themselves, sticks, and other objects. (cool to see them use math). They decided to measure the width of the cube and the width of the door way. I might add I had nothing to do with these endovers. I just was really letting them do whatever they want outside while I get some housework done, then we'll do some school work.

Anyway, they measured the width of the door and found that it was 31.5 inches. They then went and measured with width of the cube and found it was 26 inches.  They then approached me with their sceme:

Web-Princess: Mom the door is 31.5 inches and the cube is 26 inches. Can we wash the cube outside and after we clean it can we bring it inside?
ME: No
Superstar: Mom we measured it! It will fit through the door.
ME: No, it's an outside toy so it's going to stay outside
Web-Princess: But mom!!! It fits through the door? Why would it fit through the door if it was an outside toy?
ME: It doesn't matter if it fits. It's an outside toy so it's staying outside.
Web-Princess: BUT MOM!!! It fits! Why would it fit through the door if it was an outside toy?
Superstar: It fits because it has to fit through the doors at the store. You have to be able to take it out of the store don't you?
Web-Princess: OH!!! Mom, why can't we bring it in?
ME: Because it's an outside toy and its staying outside. Ball fit through the door all the time, but we don't play with them inside.
Web-Princess: (sigh) Okay (sigh). Bro, lets go back outside

After that the kids went back to playing.....

September 8, 2009

Box Tops For Education

Did you know that homeschoolers can use these?

From Box Tops For Education Website Under eligibility:
It is also available to home school associations, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, in the United States organized and operated primarily for educational purposes and have 15 or more students.

I brought it to the attention of our group facilitator today. She's going to call the number to make sure we understand the rules, etc. If it does turn out to be go then I'll be one responsible to collect the box tops for education and send them, etc.

What's even cool is I did my normal grocery shopping today and now I have 20 box tops, translates to $2.00. With talking to the facilitator today we estimate that we could easily collect $100 worth of box tops if not more.

That $100 could help pay our facility fee (we have to pay the church a rental fee), or it could be used to help supplement the cost of field trip. Trips we have been wanting to do as a group, but have found that the cost per person is just to much. Really we would have freedom to use the money the way that we feel would benefit the kids and the group the most.

We are just learning about all the particulars, but I wanted to pass this on, because perhaps your homeschool group could benefit.

Where did I learn about this cool tip? It was something I got from PEAH'S Homeschool Curriculum Savings

What products? General Mills, Betty Crocker, Huggies, Cottenelle, Scott Tissue, Kleenex, Feminine products (Kotex), Ziploc bags, Hefty Garbage bags, and many more. Here is a whole list of products.

I really hope we can use this! And that you could too!!

September 7, 2009

Pizza Hut Book-It is STILL OPEN!

It's still NOT to late! If you were wanting or thinking about doing Pizza Hut Book-It with your kids there is still time!!! I know that when I originally posted about Book-It in February, I said the time to register is today. This was because Pizza Hut has been known to have limit enrollment period and generally ends over the summer.

I just learn that enrollment for the 2009-2010 school year is still OPEN! The 2009-2010 program starts next month. Now, I should be clear enrollment is STILL open, but FIRST come FIRST serve situation. Once supplies are gone enrollment will be closed.. So if this is something that you want to do for your kids be sure to do it today!

UPDATE 9/23/2009: I just learn that enrollment is NOW Closed for the 2009-2010 school year. You can visit Pizza Hut's website to sign up to be on the email reminder list for the 2010-2011 school year.

CurrClick: It's a cool site!

So I got my CurrClick Newsletter (via email) today and it mention a few LIVE classes that I thought was cool! However, this time once again it will not work for us. I had the same issue before, either the classes are just not at a time that we can do it or it's a cool class, in my opinion, but the kids are still a little young for it.

In today's newsletter 2 of the classes that caught my attention but will NOT work for us (so sad):
  1. Astonishing Atoms. Astonishing Atoms -- LIVE Class; Cost FREE
  2. Beginning Guitar Lessons -- LIVE Class; Cost $40
CurrClick is NOT just for live classes they do offer all kinds of materials for all age ranges (some free; some not)  2 recent examples:
  1. TBB Periodic Table of Elements Cards Kit -- FREE
  2. Labor Day Holiday Helper -- FREE (I wish I realized that was there earlier, maybe it's not to late. Just because Labor Day was today doesn't mean I still can't do something this week.)
If you don't already then I think you should sign up for CurrClick's Newsletter. It's always loaded with cool information!!

Update: Obama, Department of Education, September 8th.

Earlier this week I made a post about Obama and his schedule speech to the school kids on September 8th.
The text to the speech has been released!!! So check out Obama's school speech text. What do you think?

UPDATE: According to Christina Erland Culver, who is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education, the classroom activities provided by Obama for his speech may violate federal statute. (I learned about this from SpunkyHomeSchool)

UPDATE: The video of Obama's Speech! (It's suppose to be embedded here, but in case that fails you can go here to view it)

September 4, 2009

A little laughter: Kids say...

The last few posting on the blog have been a little heavy: Superstar's toe walking and political things etc. One of things I want to mention is what Superstar told the nurse yesterday while at the POS's office.

As you know it's standard procedure for the nurse to call you back into the examine room. It's also standard procedure for the nurse to weight the patient, get the patient's height (if needed), ask general question: Do you have pain, discomfort etc?

Well one of the questions the nurse asked Superstar is if his tummy has been upset. Superstar paused and responded "sometimes". I than right away said "It has? Why haven't you told Mommy your tummy has been upset/hurting?" The nurse probed some more into why his tummy has been hurting, etc. Well here's what he told her: Lack of food!

Yep that's right Superstar told the nurse that his tummy has been hurting because of lack of food! She was puzzled and didn't really understand what Superstar meant by that, so she was looking at me for answers. I responded with "In other words he's hungry".  She said oh and asked Superstar if that was true and he said yes. She then said Sorry buddy, I don't got anything....

I just want to crawl into a hole with that one liner! My gosh why would you say lack of food! I played it cool, I think, but my gosh, lack of food! Honestly, I feed them, we don't suffer from lack of food.

Over dinner, when daddy was home, we discussed what Superstar said. It was brought up by you won't believe what he told the nurse. (Not in a negative way of course) We all had a laugh about it. Then I explained how if someone hears "lack of food" they may take it to mean that there is no food to eat or that you may not get breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks etc. That you really don't have any food.

Superstar then said, I didn't mean that. We have food, I was just telling the nurse that sometimes my tummy is upset when my hungry. I said I know and that's normal for your tummy to be upset when it's hungry, she was asking if it gets upset because it may be sick or for other reasons. Superstar just said "OH!!"

~~lack of food~~why, why, why.

The other thing he did that was funny, that had the POS medical assistant laughing was Superstar and Web-princess were standing at the examine table playing with one of the toys. It was some magnet thing. They were playing nicely together I might add. Their backs were to the POS and to his assistant. The POS said to Superstar let me have a look at your feet again. You would think that Superstar would stop playing at that moment and would sit on the table so the POS could have a look.

No that's not what he did. He just lifted his leg so that his foot was behind him, as if to say okay here's the foot, and just went on playing with the sister. I just rolled my eyes, and the POS assistant just laughed. The POS said, "Well you get what you ask for", then he proceeded to tell Superstar that he needed him to stop playing for the moment and to sit up on the table.

September 3, 2009

The plot thickens: Celebrities "I pledge"

I know that this video may be "old" and has been around for a while. (Well since January 2009 at least). However with the president's speech to the nation's children this coming Tuesday this video has hit the spot light.

The video is made by Harpo Productions (aka Oprah). It consist of several Celebrities making various pledges. The I pledges consist of pledges to smile more, to love more, etc. Then there are other pledges like I pledge to makes sure every senior citizen has health care. Or I pledge to help in the advancement of stem cell research. One of the last pledges is: I pledge to be a servant to Obama. Many of these things are politically charged and don't, in my opinion, have a place in the classroom.

What classroom? What are you talking about? Well there is at least one report that I could find about a  public school in Salt Lake. The school played  this video as apart of a welcome back to school assembly. The principal of this school is reported saying:  

Oops, I wish I would have seen this before. I don't think I would have shown it
Oops? I should have seen this video before I shown it to a whole school full of kids. Are you kidding me? If you saw it before hand you wouldn't have shown it. Why didn't the principal view this prior to showing it to the whole school? The principal has told parents in her district that she's sorry and knows that it was wrong to show this in the school.

I have to ask  HOW MANY MORE schools have shown this video to the children WITHOUT the parent's prior knowledge?

Here is the video in question:

This is just another example of how parents NEED to be involved and NEED to know what's going on in the schools they send their children too!!! (If they are choosing to send their kids to school)

Results: Idiopathic toe walking (ITW)

Well we went and saw the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon today. I'm glad we went "early" because it took us 30 minutes just to go through the process of signing in, especially seeing we were "new" patients. They took Superstar's picture today too for his records, which I still don't understand why that was necessary.

Anyway to the point. The Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon looked at Superstar today, had him walk up and down the hall several times. Check his flexibility (or lack of it in the ankle area), reviewed his MRI and EMG/NCV results and told me that is diagnosis is Idiopathic Toe Walking (ITW).

Treatment: Well there are several treatment options, serial castings, botox, braces, and surgery. Some of these options can be done on their own, some can be in conjunction with other treatments.

However I was told today that Superstar's ITW is so severe that our only treatment option is surgery. The surgeon explained that we could do the serial casting and the botox, but he strongly felt that there would only be a 5% chance of them working. So in short he felt going that route would be a waste of our time and money. Surgery, would also require casting for 6 weeks after surgery, followed by Superstar having to where an ankle-foot orthosis for several years.

An ankle-foot orthosis is basically a brace that he would have to wear. His shoes would go over the brace. Part of the reason the Dr is saying that Superstar would have to wear a brace for years,  is because of how severe his toe walking is; that if not made to wear the brace of the extend period of time that Superstar would go back to toe-walking. (At least that is the doctors opinions)

I of course still have to talk to DH about all of this and we still have to process everything that was said. We could even go and get a second opinion, something the doctor even told me today, I could do. As I mention before in order to get a second opinion I would have to drive a several hours away. There simply is not another doctor with this specialization in my area. The doctor told me today that in the few months he's been in town, that he has seen 15 other cases like my sons, that have ITW, and that we are the first ones he has told that needs surgery. The doctor told us that even though he feels there is only a 5% change of the serial casting and botoxing to work that he would still do those things if that's what we wanted to do.

This was not exactly the news we wanted to hear today. Please pray for us.

Science: Animal Dissections

A while back I did a post about virtual dissections. Thanks to the archives and this IM box in my side bar:

this is just a picture taken from the right hand side bar.

I was able to learn about a NEW site (NEW TO ME) that allows people to buy dissection kits at an affordable price: Home Science Tool.  (The dissections kits are listed here)

How was the IM box and the archived post able to help me? Well I had a visitor and she was viewing the virtual dissection post and decided to IM me to ask if I knew about Home Science Tool, etc. Pretty cool, uh?

Okay, so that may not be the sole reason she IM'd today, but it was one of things we talked about today :)

UPDATE 10/18/09: FYI: I have removed the IM chat box from the site. You can still contact me via email. Just click on the contact button above. :)

Obama, Department of Education, September 8th.

What does Obama, Department of Education, and September 8th have in common? Well, President Obama has planned a 15-20 minute speech for September 8th. In his speech he will be addressing the nations children. The Department of Education is encouraging public school principals across the nation to show this speech to the children (during school hours). Not only that but the Department of Education has also sent out lesson plans with the announcement of this speech, encouraging the teachers to use these lesson plans. The Department of Education has also stated that the White House has had a hand in making these lesson plans.

The lesson plans had caused such a stir that the Department of Education has changed the wording in the lesson plans: WH withdraws call for students to 'help' Obama - Washington Times.

Is this indoctrination? Does this belong in schools? I will leave that for you to decided. Read the articles, Google it, do your own research and come to your own conclusion on what all of this means, if any thing.

Personally, I'm troubled, not so much with the speech, seeing it hasn't been here yet. I'll reserve my judgment on that until after I see the speech. I'm troubled by the actions surrounded this upcoming speech. I'm troubled by the FACT that the White House had its hand in making lesson plans for the children, regarding this speech. I'm troubled that this address is taking place during school hours. I believe that if the president want to address the nations children in a speech that it should be done at a time where the parents can be directly involved. At a time where the parents can sit down and watch with their children. I don't think the Department of Education should be using its limited resources (tax payer money) to make up lesson plans to go with a president's speech.

I'm interested to see what becomes of the speech. If it truly is about staying in school, then what's wrong with just showing the kids a simple Public Service Announcement?

Yes, I know that in 1991 President Bush (Sr) made a speech to the school children and that in its time it was criticized as being political, etc.  I really can't speak for the political climate of the time, seeing in 1991 I was 12 (about 6th grade). I didn't care about politics then, and I don't even recall seeing a president's speech @ school. I remember the sex ed video I had to watch in 6th grade. I remember the solar eclipse that happen that year and how we spent the day watching it. Of course we did NOT look at the sun, we used paper with a hole in it to monitor the progress. I have NO memory of this speech by President Bush. And if it was something that was done via school hours, then that's a shame, because I still believe something like that should be done at a time when a parent can sit and watch with their kids.

However, I already know that there is one significant difference between that speech in 1991 and the up coming speech. The speech in 1991 did NOT include lesson plans from the Department of Education.

UPDATE: I just read a report that stated some schools will NOT allow parents to let their kids opt-out from hearing Obama's Speech.

UPDATE: Obama will release the text of the speech on Monday. 24 hours before the speech is schedule to take place.

September 2, 2009

Museum of Animal Perspectives (M.A.P.S)

If you haven't seen or heard of this site then you have to check it out! (In my opinion, especially if you have an animal lover at home)

It is a catalog of videos from all type of animals. Some of the cameras have been mounted on the animals head like this one:

Other videos capture the animal in it's habitat like this one:

There are many, many more videos catalog, and way to many to share here!

So go check out the site: Museum of Animal Perspectives (M.A.P.S)
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