Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To Thine Own Self Be True*

So here's the deal--I love to cook. Being creative brings me joy. I am very interested in homeschooling. However, I did not start this blog for those reasons. They are a part of my life so they will creep into my blog. But I started this blog because I wanted to give myself a voice. And usually my voice is probably rambling on about stuff that is small potatoes, but they are my potatoes. So I want to use this blog mainly to voice my thoughts and opinions. Up front I want to say that I am well aware that they are just that--opinions--and that they may differ from what other people think and/or feel. I am o.k. with that and I hope you will be o.k. with that, too. I am absolutely not right all the time. I am probably not right most of the time. But I feel strongly that I have a right to my opinion just as does everyone else.

Here's the thing: I get pretty passionate talking about stuff. When I see something that needs to be discussed, I want to discuss it. That does not mean I have a desire to cause trouble, it just means that I believe that if no one speaks up for what they believe, things will never change. Look at our country. What if the founding fathers had just idly sat by because they did not want to be trouble makers. However, when only one person starts to speak up, even though they may share the same thoughts and feelings as other people, they are labeled as a trouble maker.

I don't want to be labeled as a trouble maker, so the safe place to be vocal is here, on my little home on the web. I would like to incite change, but not to my detriment. Am I a coward? Maybe. But although the cost would not be near as great as the price paid by our founding fathers, I do not know that I am willing to pay the piper. Not on my own.

So I need to keep my thoughts and feelings general, but I do need to voice them. I am literally going crazy by not speaking what I feel.

So buckle up and hang on. It may be a bumpy ride.

*No, this is not a Biblical saying. And, yes, I believe we are to be true to God and God alone. However, I also believe that God created us to be individuals. We need to guide our individuality by Bible truths, but He did not create us to shove deep down inside us the individual He created us to be. Truth can be spoken without gossip. Speaking up can cause a person to walk a fine line, and everything that is spoken should be tempered with what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and virtuous (See Philippians chapter 4). But we do need to stand up for what we believe.

My Little Boy Loves Me!

I was away from my family this past weekend. A couple of days before I left, Bubbie Boy told me that he was going to make me a cake for when I got home. I told him I would like a chocolate cake with chocolate peanut butter icing.

On the way home, I called my husband to let him know that I was about 1/2 hour away from home. He told me that Bubbie Boy had a surprise for me. And, boy, did he! He made a chocolate cake FROM SCRATCH!!! And it had chocolate peanut butter icing.

A couple of days later, I asked him where the recipe for the frosting was so I could put it in his recipe book. (He is taking a cooking class and does actually have a recipe book.) He told me that he didn't use a recipe, he just melted chocolate chips and mixed in peanut butter. Smart boy!

The cake was awesome. I am loved!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A&P Class - Day 1

Assigned reading: Pages 19-27. Stop at "Mighty Mitochondria"

Each class meeting is 1 hour long. I debated as to whether I should extend that time to 1-1/2 hours; however, now that we are into the semester, I am very glad that I kept it to 1 hour.

*I have a plastic dish pan that I am using to cart all my materials to and from class each week. This is working very well. I keep it in my dining room and add items as I go through the lesson in preparation. This way I can also take a quick look and make sure everything I need is there and ready to go. I suggest weekly items of paper towels and hand sanitizer.

Since this was our first class meeting, we had a little bit of a get-to-know-you time. I asked the students to tell everyone his or her name and link it to something that begins with the same letter sound. For example: "My name is Mary and I like milkshakes." I think the children thought it was a little silly and embarrassing, but it went a long way in helping me remember their names which was really the purpose of the exercise anyway. I am always so worried that I will forget kid's names. I know how important it is to remember people's names and I try really hard, but I am not that successful at it.

The next thing we did was go over the assigned reading material. I am not asking that the students learn vocabulary word for word, I want them to be able to explain what something means, not spit back a bunch of words that they have no idea the meaning of.

During this class we did the following activities:

1) Mummified Apple
Materials needed: 2 apples, vegetable peeler, two bowls with lids (A size to hold the apples with some room. I used 4-cup size Gladware containers.), baking soda, salt, measuring cups

The directions for completing this activity are found on page 21 of the text.

This activity need to sit for at least a week. We opened the containers during class the following week. At that time, I realized that I should have asked the students what they thought would happen to the apples. It was a little late to ask them once they saw the results.

We expanded on the activity by cutting the "mummified" apple in half, returning 1 half to the baking soda/salt mixture and placing the other apple in a container of water to further compare. We did this, then examined them during the third week of class. It was interesting to see what happened. I don't want to tell you because I had a picture in my mind of what was going to happen and it was fun to see if I was right or not.

2) Water Magnification
Materials needed: plastic wrap, medicine droppers or pipettes, water (I brought a pitcher from home to carry the water to the classroom and little disposable drinking cups to pour the water into for the children to use.)

The directions for completing this activity are found on page 26 of the text.

This is pretty straight-forward. The lesson I learned from leading this activity was: make copies of the word the children are supposed to be magnifying. My book bears the marks of not doing so and the pages are wrinkled and warped from getting wet.

I would suggest that a little research be done regarding water droplets and their shape and size and how that affects the magnification.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Page on my Blog

I'm branching out and expanding my blog. I've started a page on a homeschool co-op class I am teaching on anatomy and physiology. Follow our progress week by week and maybe get some ideas for a class of your own.