Category Archives: Home Schooling
It looks like my youngest is having a longer-than-usual school holiday. Normally, I would have gotten my act together and start school on the first Monday in January. I have almost always done that, even if that means starting on New Year’s Day, a public holiday.
It’s now the second day of the year and I haven’t started yet.
This year, we’re going to try to read through the Bible again. However, I’ve made a few changes.
I’ve always liked the idea of having four readings day, two from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. Of the OT readings, one is from the Poetry books, and one is from the non-Poetry books (History, Prophets). Of the NT readings, one is from the Gospels, and one is not.
This Bible Reading Plan attempts to have each of the readings arranged in chronological order.
Also, the plan is meant to be used in a 36-week school year, Monday to Friday. That’s 180 days of reading altogether.
It appears in three different versions.
This year, my youngest has been studying Eastern Hemisphere countries. To round off each topic, the student has to choose a project to do.
Here are some things she has done.
She cooked (with a bit of help) Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice and Mango Salsa. For dessert, Fakakai Topai (Dumplings in Sweet Coconut Sauce), a dish from Tonga.
Confession: I have never made lamingtons from scratch. Years ago, someone on the homeschool forums tried making lamingtons for their Australian project. She posted pictures of their attempts where they had trouble coating the little pieces of cake evenly. The cakes came out all splotchy. She asked the Australians on the forums how we got our lamingtons evenly coated.
Without fail, every single Australian on the forum said, “We don’t make them; we just buy them at the shop.”
That said, Miss 10 and I did try to make lamingtons from scratch. It’s a lot of effort, and it really is easier to just buy them if you ever have a hankering for lamingtons.
There is some controversy where pavlova — a meringue-based dessert topped with fruit and cream — originated. Some say it is Australia. Some say it is New Zealand. The Eastern Hemisphere workbook Miss 10 is working on says it is New Zealand. And the Oxford English Dictionary agrees with that.
Here is our feeble attempt. Everything was made from scratch and it is our very first attempt at making this oh-so-very-sweet dessert.
Read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and tried our hand at some origami, including making cranes and working out how long it would take to fold one thousand of them.
One paper crane: Roughly three and a half minutes.
One thousand paper cranes: 3500 minutes (58.3 hours if done continuously without stopping!)
We didn’t take a photo of our paper cranes, but here are some other origami creations.
We live in an area where it is very convenient to buy “foreign” ingredients.
Today is actually a public holiday since New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday. However, I cannot start school on a Tuesday. The curriculum we use has the weekly schedules all printed out nicely and I try to follow that. I know I don’t have to adhere to it strictly; if there are public holidays, or whatever, just move the work over to the next day. But doing that makes everything off-kilter and more difficult. We might end up finishing a book on a Monday, instead of Friday the week before, and start a new book on Tuesday, instead of Monday, which is the proper way to do things. So, over the years, my children have resigned themselves to doing school on a public holiday. Besides, they’ve been on holiday since November 12, so it’s been seven weeks, and that’s long enough.
November is always a busy month for the Yewnique household.
The youngest turned nine. This is the one who was supposed to be born in October, but decided to wait and wait for almost a week, so that not only would she share a birthday month with her older sister, but also share a birthday with my sister, her aunt.
Miss Nine performed in her dance school’s annual performance and also had the honour and privilege of being a student helper for the Mini Stars’ dance items. All in all she was in seven items: four with her class (ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre) and three as a helper (ballet, jazz, tap).
We attended the wedding of Mark’s cousin. The bride is a South African of Indian descent and there was an elaborate week-long string of celebrations. Here we are at the Mandap ceremony which kicked off the week.
The younger two finished up their home school for the year. Did they finish ALL their assigned work? No…. As the song says, Let it go, let it go….
The Boys’ Brigade and the Girls’ Brigade had their Annual Presentation.
Susannah received her Pioneer Pin, which is the highest national award for Girls’ Brigade.
Jeremy received the Queen’s Badge, which is the highest award for Boys’ Brigade.
And finally, last but certainly not least, Susannah had her birthday. This is the one who was supposed to be born in December, and therefore share a birth month with her father, but decided to be born early and have her own birth month thankyouverymuch . . . that is, until her younger sister was born eight years later.
I first heard of the Duggars when they appeared on a television special. There they stood all in a row in age order, smartly and modestly dressed, saying their names one by one for the camera. The youngest one or two at the time were too young to say their names, so one of the parents spoke for them and Michelle ended the lineup by putting an affectionate hand on her belly and said, “…and this is Jackson!”
They looked like such a sweet, adorable, Christian family! And they home schooled!!
What was there not to like?
Quite a bit, as it turns out.
At first I thought they looked so nice. A bit weird in the fashion department, but okay.
Later, I learned that they home schooled with Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute materials. Warning bells. And that they subscribed to Christian Patriarchy and all that entails. Huge warning bells. And then the television show that put them in the limelight. You know the tune.
“They’re a clean, wholesome family,” people said.
“The Duggars are upholding good, conservative, Christian values,” people said.
“I’d rather watch the Duggars than all that other junk that is on TV,” people said.
“The children are modest, well-behaved, role models,” people said.
Let’s talk about that. (Cue the “Good Mythical Morning” music. Or the “Twilight Zone” theme. Take your pick. I recommend the latter.)
A couple years ago, Allie from Hyperbole and a Half wrote about the Alot, an imaginary creature she created to help her cope whenever she encounters the “word” alot and she has to resist the urge to correct people. If you have not read that post, I suggest you stop here and go read it now. If you have read it before, it’s worthwhile reading it again.
In case you haven’t noticed, alot happens a lot. I’m not sure why.
Maybe people don’t have spell-check turned on. Maybe they think they know better than spell-check. For example, until a couple of weeks ago, I truly and honestly thought that desiccated was spelled with two ‘s’ and one ‘c’ – dessicated. Yes, I had my spell-check turned on and a red squiggly line appeared under it alerting me about the misspelling. What did I do about it? To my shame, I scoffed and thought I knew better. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I looked at the suggested spelling and was mortified to learn I had been spelling this word incorrectly for years! Had to find all previous posts with that word and correct them!
Maybe they think alot is an alternative spelling. It isn’t.
Maybe they think alot is different from a lot, where alot is used to describe “a large amount” and a lot is used when talking about “a piece of land”. It isn’t.
Maybe they are too set in their ways to change.
Maybe they’re like me and the word desiccated, ie, not being able to see the correct spelling even when it is right in front of them.
Or maybe — it pains me to say this — they just don’t care.
Alot is not a word; it is two words: a lot. It is always two words.
Still, it must be comforting to be able to create an imaginary creature as a coping mechanism.
Sadly, there is one particular grammar mistake for which I have yet to find a coping mechanism, and that is when compound subject and compound object pronouns are used incorrectly.
No get-together with former classmates this week!
In our home school, we continued reading about the First Fleet and their journey from Cape Town to Botany Bay, La Pérouse, Port Jackson, and finally, Sydney Cove.
The officers kept careful records of the events and happenings — as well as their feelings and opinions — so that we can all have a clear picture of what they saw and experienced.
For example, Phillip Gidley King, encountering a large group of inhospitable natives at Botany Bay, wrote this:
With great precipitation, I embarked & Governor Phillip joined me from the South side of the Bay where he has found the natives very sociable & friendly, we relanded on Lance Point & the same body of natives appeared. Brandishing their lances & defying us however we rowed close in shore & the Governor disembarked with some presents which one of them came & received thus peace was re-established much to the satisfaction of all parties. They came round the boats & many little things were given to them, but what they wanted most was the great coats & clothing, but hats was more particularised by them, their admiration of which they expressed by very loud shouts, whenever one of us pulled our hats off … When they found we were not disposed to part with any more things, they entered into conversation with us, which was very fully interpreted by very plain Signs they wanted to know what sex we were, which they explained by pointing to where it was distinguishable. As they took us for women, not having our beards grown, I ordered one of the people to undeceive them in this particular when they made a great shout of Admiration.
Can’t you just picture it?
On 26 January the whole fleet anchored at Sydney Cove, as it was deemed much better than Botany Bay to set up camp.
On 3 February, they held the first church service in Australia.
From the book:
On 6 February, the female convicts were landed. The male convicts, frustrated after twelve months below decks, broke out of their temporary gaols, ransacked the grog supplies and entered the women’s camp.
That night, as a violent electrical storm raged, ‘licentiousness was … unavoidable,’ wrote Tench. Arthur Bower Smyth was outraged ‘It is beyond my abilities to give a just description of the scene of Debauchery and Riot that ensued that night.’
I’m still chuckling at the classic British understatement. You describe your meeting with the natives in great detail, but are at a loss for words to describe a party.
Must have been some Party!
A couple of blogs that I have, in the last couple of months, started following and enjoy reading very much.
Tyler Francke is the man behind this blog which focuses mainly on the Creation/Evolution debate. He is an evangelical Christian and finds no conflict between the theory of evolution and Christianity and he blogs about it. He takes a good swipe at Ken Ham (and others like him) with unparalleled good humour which I find refreshing. Hey, if you’re going to fight your opponents, might as well do it with style, right?
God of Evolution racked up over 300,000 views for 2014 — a staggering number considering that the blog is run by one person, and he made fewer than 100 posts for the year. (In contrast, A Yewnique Life had 74 posts for 2014 and garnered fewer than 10,000 views. Must. Try. Harder.)
A couple of quibbles:
(1) One must to sign up to Disqus to comment on the blog.
(2) He does not post very often. This is not to hard to understand. The blog is a one-man show and life happens. I get it.
He also has a Facebook page here, where he posts more regularly.
Rebecca Trotter is the woman behind this blog. She is a Christian, a homeschooling mom, a writer, a talker, a thinker, a teacher and an odd duck…(not necessarily in that order).
I like what she has to say about Christianity and evolution. The posts are here.
In case you feel too lazy to click on the link above to the posts on Christianity and Evolution, here are some more links (with titles!) for you to look at:
Provocative titles, no?
I have not read everything on the blog, but so far, I like the ones I’ve read about evolution and Christianity.
She also has a great sense of humour. 🙂
In case you’ve missed it, a conservative Christian home-schooling mom (CCHSM) named Megan Fox visited a museum and audited it for bias. (Being somewhat culturally illiterate, I didn’t know there was another Megan Fox.) CCHSM Megan Fox posted a 30-minute video of herself going around the museum critiquing the signs and boards.
It is a very long 30 minutes and I watched the whole thing! (I feel I should get a medal or something. Maybe a paracetamol tablet would be better. Or two.)
The description of the video says it all if you don’t/can’t bear to watch the whole thing:
In this episode (“Field Museum”), Megan Fox toured the Chicago Field Museum’s “Evolving Earth” exhibit to audit it for bias. She found many examples of inconsistencies and the Field Museum’s insistence that people support opinion as fact without proof. The Field Museum pushes certain theories as if they are absolute proven law when that is not how the scientific method works. She found enough bias to show that the people who put this exhibit together at the Field Museum pushed an agenda with quasi-religious overtones: the cult of “science” where the “scientists” are more like high priests pushing a religion instead of using the correct scientific method. Aside from having time machines, there is no way these people can be this certain about things they speculate happened millions of years ago before recorded history.