Writing, Big History, Worldview, New Year Interviews, Working Outside the Home, and More
From the Editor
With each new year often come resolutions and many people choose a word for the year, focusing on implementing more of that ideal into their lives. For the past several years my word has not changed, and it applies to both life and homeschooling: simplify. From buying too much curriculum to planning too many activities or lessons, it’s easy to overburden our kids and ourselves with too much. Too much stuff, too much to fill our time, too much frustration.
My goal is less of the things that take up all of the excess time and money in my life. In art, it is what isn’t there that brings beauty and balance to the rest of the work. Negative space is the part of a piece of artwork that is unfilled. The margins in our lives are like the negative space in art — they bring beauty to what is there. More margin in our lives means less frustration, less stress, and less rushing around. More joy is the result of more margin. My wish for you this year is that you would have less, and it would bring you more.
Mary Ann Kelley
Since so many high school students read Cyrano de Bergerac as part of their literature requirements, Bob Jones University has decided to make their entire Classic Players production available on YouTube free of charge for anyone wanting to watch it. It is a 2 hour production based on the translation from the French by Edmond Rostand Brian Hooker and includes actors of all ages. The costumes and sets are well-made and the filming is excellent.
Often in our desire to teach excellence in writing to younger children, we have the opposite effect and may not even know what happened. Jeff Miller offers 9 ways to encourage your writer in this article (the second in a series) at Five J’s.
“The Big History series asks questions guaranteed to change the way you look at the past. Did Napoleon’s invasion of Russia come undone because of…tin buttons? Did New York become America’s biggest city because of…salt? How does the sinking of the Titanic power your cell phone? What’s the connection between ancient Egyptian mummies and a modern ham and cheese sandwich? By weaving science into the core of the human story, Big History takes familiar subjects and gives them a twist that will have you rethinking everything from the Big Bang to today’s headlines. The series creates an interconnected panorama of patterns and themes that links history to dozens of fields including astronomy, biology, chemistry, and geology.” All seventeen episodes of Big History are available online for free along with study guides. The study guides are 2 page downloads that i
nclude terms, discussion questions, activities, reflections after watching, and links to additional information. The series covers many topics throughout history and includes the theory of evolution in its videos.
Recent Blog Posts
College Prep Homeschooling: Worldview and Confirmation Bias
by Jeanne Faulconer
A big emphasis of homeschooling at our house is thinking critically about the resources we use for information. I have always wanted my kids to understand that books, websites, presentations, magazines, television, and newspapers have a point of view, and that in order to be well-educated, we need to challenge ourselves with information that comes from a variety of editorial viewpoints.
As part of my commitment to inquiry-based learning, I have frequently played “devil’s advocate” with my kids, especially by the later elementary years, and certainly throughout the middle school years, high school years, and beyond. Sketching out the corresponding point of view for the sake of argument, I’ll ask…
What if the (Democratic/Republican/Libertarian) view is right about that?
What if the (industrialists/economists/environmentalists) have a point here?
What if the (pope/president/prime minister/military leader/grandmother/congress member/pastor) is the one who has the most information and wisdom on this subject?
What if the science is (wrong/right)?
What if the ethics are (right/wrong)?
What might you think about this if you were (older/less healthy/a different race or ethnicity/from another country/unable to connect to the Internet)?
Who wrote that historical account? Was it the victors? How would the account differ if the losers had written it?
How are rural people and urban people impacted differently by that policy?
And so on.
Asking my kids — and myself — to consider things from multiple angles means asking them to consider using a variety of sources to inform themselves about issues of the day.
As a regular and ongoing part of our homeschooling, I have urged our tweens and teens especially to beware of the following three tendencies people have… Read the rest on TheHomeSchoolMom.com »