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31 January 2010


And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

-Genesis 22:2-8

This story also shows the goodness of God in protecting Isaac and in providing a substitute so he would not have to die. Because of our sins and our mortality, we, like Isaac, are condemned to death. When all other hope is gone, our Father in Heaven provides the Lamb of God, and we are saved by his sacrifice.
-Dallin H Oaks

24 January 2010

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
-Genesis 2:18

A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. Of necessity there must be in the Church and in the home a presiding officer (see D&C 107:21). By divine appointment, the responsibility to preside in the home rests upon the priesthood holder (see Moses 4:22). The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters. For a man to operate independent of or without regard to the feelings and counsel of his wife in governing the family is to exercise unrighteous dominion.

Keep yourselves above any domineering or unworthy behavior in the tender, intimate relationship between husband and wife. Because marriage is ordained of God, the intimate relationship between husbands and wives is good and honorable in the eyes of God. He has commanded that they be one flesh and that they multiply and replenish the earth (see Moses 2:28; Moses 3:24). You are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it (see Eph. 5:25–31).

Tenderness and respect—never selfishness—must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Each partner must be considerate and sensitive to the other’s needs and desires. Any domineering, indecent, or uncontrolled behavior in the intimate relationship between husband and wife is condemned by the Lord.
-Howard W. Hunter, Oct 1994 General Conference

23 January 2010

Monkey Reads!

I knew he was close last week, and this week he did it! That's the biggest news in our week. It's really hard to top something like that. He made it through the first of the Bob Books, the one called "Mat." It was hard work, particularly on pages with 4 words, but he did it! Hurray Monkey!!

In Math this week, we drew a picture of 5. Monkey's fine motor skills really aren't up to this sort of thing yet, so I did shapes in groups of 5, and we both colored them in. We also counted eggs while making scrambled eggs, and talked a little about "partners" in numbers. It wasn't a very intense week for math. I did discover that I've lost Anno's Counting Book, which is more than a little irritating. I just bought that in November.

We also did a cool science experiment because Monkey's been asking why snow melts.

Our current read-aloud is the Boxcar Children #1, which we've only got 1 chapter left in. Monkey said he wanted to save that for another day, so we'll probably finish it up this weekend. I'm planning to do The Complete Winnie-the-Poohwhich I bought at Half-Price Books this afternoon. I've been wanting to do a story that featured a BOY, and this one includes a silly BEAR, so it should be a hit, as Money-boy loves bears.

It's really a last week thing, but we visited my sister and she and her husband went with us to the Chicago Art Museum. We had a blast, and she did a lovely job of blogging it, including Monkey's imaginative "car ride" on one of the touchable displays, wherein he took us on many trips to Home Despot to buy... soda, soda, and more soda. He had us all rolling. It was so funny! I, on the other hand, have felt crummy much of the week, which resulted in many more naps than blog posts.

Visit Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read more weekly wrap-ups.

22 January 2010

Classical Homeschool Carnival #6

Welcome to the sixth edition of classical homeschooling carnival. We'll keep things short and sweet, with only two entries this time.

Annette presents Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions posted at Craft Stew, saying, "I’m a big fan of technology books written for kids. I first discovered them when I homeschooled my son for 7 years."

Ritsumei shares a quote from Charlotte Mason and some thoughts about the cumulative value of daily effort in The Daily Endeavor posted at Baby Steps.

That's all this time! Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Classical Homeschooling Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

19 January 2010

"of the People, by the People, for the People"

I'm still working my way through America's Constitution: A Biography. It's a great book, and I've learned a lot, though I'm still not halfway through the book. That's largely because I only read it when I have time to sit down with my notebook and write about it too, and I haven't been getting a lot of that sort of time this year, for some odd reason!

This week, I've been working on the section about the powers of Congress. But before Mr. Amar really talks about the powers of Congress, he talks about sovereignty, and that's been a very interesting discussion. Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that governments function by "deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed." Ezra Taft Benson discusses this in his essay, The Proper Role of Government, so I was already familiar with the idea of popular sovereignty. What I hadn't considered before was what a huge departure from established ideas of government at the time.

Mr. Amar begins by laying some historical background information:

Prior to 1763, a rough working arrangement had emerged within the [British] empire, whereby each provincial American assembly decided matters of taxation and internal affairs while London regulated trade among different parts of the whole and promulgated general foreign policy. In most colonies, a resident governor appointed in England could irreversibly veto all assembly bills, which could also be set aside by the British Privy Council. Then came the 1765 Stamp Act, the 1767 Townshend Duties, the 1773 Tea Act, and the 1774 Coercive Acts, by which Parliament asserted authority to saddle colonists with newfangled internal taxes, other revenue-seeking duties, and a variety of intrusive internal regulations. Outraged, some advanced American thinkers in the mid-1760s laid the intellectual framework for complete American independence from Parliament. ... Most American patriots before 1775 took a more moderate position. Essentially, moderates proposed to constitutionalize an early version of federalism by codifying the working arrangement that had prevailed before 1763: Provincial assemblies should retain power over internal matters and taxes while Parliament and the king could continue to manage imperial trade, continental defense, and foreign affairs.

British authorities countered American moderates' proposals with the absolutist logic of parliamentary sovereignty. Sovereignty implied legal omnipotence - plenary power over all colonial matters, whether external or internal. (Page 105)

From the perspective of Parliament and King George, it actually kind of makes sense: absolute rule had been the rule for a very long time, and they saw no reason why it should change now. The colonists were in a snit over some taxes, but those taxes had been levied in order to pay for the French and Indian War - essentially, to protect the colonists - and they'd get over it. In the mean time, it makes sense to assert their proper authority over the colonies, lest things get out of hand. Only that wasn't the way things happened. The colonies didn't get over it. They created new ideas about how sovereignty works, and a whole new form of government to go with it.

In response, Americans ultimately declared their independence not just from the old empire but also from old ideas of sovereignty. Led by Wilson, American legal theorists in the 1780s conceptually relocated sovereignty from Parliament to the people themselves, and thereby fashioned an intellectual framework facilitating the constitutionalization of federalism, separation of powers, and limited government. In this new framework, no single government entity had, or of right ought to have, all power. Sovereignty originated and remained with the people, who could parcel out and reclaim discrete chunks of power as they saw fit. Thus, the people could divide power howsoever they chose between their state and continental officers, or among different branches within the continental government. Or they could choose to withhold some powers from all governments.

The challenge confronting America in 1787 was to avoid both a dangerously strong central government (Parliament) and a dangerously weak one (the Confederation Congress). (Page 105-106)

There are a couple of ideas in here that I find intriguing. One of them is that the main arguments of the anti-federalists was not that there would be too little government, but that the Constitution would create a central government that was much to strong. Given the current opposition to limiting government - to a live and let live culture - objecting that the proposed federal government would be too big and too strong, particularly when it was so small compared to current levels of federal intrusion, was not something that had occurred to me.

Another idea worth of some time and effort is this idea of Popular Sovereignty. As I watch what happens in our nation, politically, I am struck by how little "We the People" pay attention. I certainly didn't pay attention much, prior to the 2008 election! I think that the People are too little aware of their sovereignty, or of the powers and responsibilities that go with it. We talk about Congress as if they have the powers that Parliament asserted they owned: unquestionable right to do whatever they want. And when the People do speak up, as they did in the 2009 Townhall Meetings about health care, Congress (particularly Democrats this time) belittles the People when they do show up and chastise their elected officials, as is their right. Congress reacted as if such chastisement was beneath them and was completely out of line. In reality, that was the People of these United States acting in their proper, sovereign capacity. Congress blew it off, saying it was the work of a few well-organized malcontents. I think - I fervently hope - that Congress has dramatically misjudged the mood of the nation. The recent election of Scott Brown is, in my eyes, an encouraging sign that the People are awakening and becoming more willing to act in their proper capacity: as the ultimate "check" on our out-of-control federal government.

17 January 2010

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the dearth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

-Genesis 1:27-28

14 January 2010

The Daily Endeavor

I was thinking this evening about how nicely the small and simple things - the baby steps - Monkey and I take with his education are adding up. This afternoon, we were reading Green Eggs and Ham. Now, most of that book is WAY beyond him still. But those first 3 pages? Challenging, yet almost do-able.

"I am Sam."

"I am Sam."

"Sam I am."

Of course, I asked him to try it. "Sam" is one of the words we've been practicing blending, and "am" is from the Webster's Syllabary list that we use regularly with his penny game. So it was all words he's somewhat familiar with. After the second page, he gave me this sparkly look, this bright-eyed look that said, "OH! I get what you've been trying to do here!" Then he guessed his way through the third page. (He's not a very good guesser.) He's still not quite there, but I think he understands now what's supposed to be happening with these letters that I keep asking him to sound out. Very exciting.

It's wonderful seeing the effort that we've put into letters, letter sounds, phonics games, and so on start to come together in his mind so that he begins to get it!

Then, this evening, I saw this from the Simply Charlotte Mason blog:

“To ‘endeavour ourselves’ to the daily effort of education, to live and act, think and speak before the children, so that they shall be hourly the better for all that we are, is harder, no doubt, than to make one enormous sacrifice” (Vol. 5, p. 156).

They've got a great post about this quote, which focuses on the importance of what we are, verses what we do, and how it impacts our children much more than the lesson of the day.

Thing is, I'm sleepy, and I missed all that, noticing instead what Miss Mason said about how the daily endeavor is both harder, and more fruitful, than a large, single sacrifice. And that is so true in this case! Learning to discipline myself to the routine of doing school, learning to remember all the different elements we've decided to include at this point, and requiring myself to actually do them each day, each week, is MUCH harder than, say, a week-long letter marathon would be. And I think it's more effective too. One of those small and simple things that accomplishes so much. And they really are small and simple things: we seldom spend more than 15 minutes on any school activity (other than reading stories), except that the penny game invariably takes a little longer.

I'm getting better at this "daily endeavor." It's still not perfect: I bailed on Math today on account of lack of nap (for me) and feeling queezy (thank you, Sparrow). We'll see about picking it back up tomorrow. But even if it waits until next week, we're still getting most of the things on my list accomplished most of the time, and the consistency is bearing some lovely fruit.

13 January 2010

The Origin of Man

Contrast the ideas of the last few centuries with the ideas that God has revealed from heaven. They would make man look for his origin down to the very reptile and the worm that crawls upon the earth, and to the fish of the sea—as the first father, the first origin, the first oyster. Such is the reason of the learned of the last few centuries—the evolution theory; in other words, that which you learn from books, the creation of man's folly and foolishness. But when we learn through the revelations of God that instead of man's coming up from the poor worm of the dirt, he descended from that being who controls the universe by his power; that he descended from that being who is the fullness of all knowledge, and who sways his scepter over more planetary systems than there are sands upon the seashore. We are his offspring, we are his sons and his daughters, we are his children, he has begotten us, and we existed before the foundation of the world.
-Orson Pratt, 1878

12 January 2010

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens ...prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this.” -Neil A. Maxwell

11 January 2010


We had a lovely time experimenting with Vinegar. I got that thrifted library book out this morning, because I've got a doctor's appointment in a few days and we'll have to go right past that library, so I thought I'd best do a couple of those experiments before we do that on Wednesday. When I got looking at it, quite a few of the ones that we have the ingredients for call for vinegar. So we did a few. Monkey liked to watch, wanted to drip vinegar, but he didn't want to touch.

First, we polished up some pennies.

Then, we did some "volcano" reactions. Though Monkey liked to keep an even fizz, rather than an explosive uprising. He told me I was doing it wrong when I tried to show him how to make it overflow.

We had a good time doing it. He told me that he liked the "fizzy one" the best.

08 January 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: Bubble Wrap Edition

We got several packages in the mail this week that included bubble wrap. Monkey loves it when that happens. He gets the bubble wrap! While there was some "regular" pop-pop-popping, that happened one bubble at a time, Monkey is also beginning to experiment with ways to get a bigger POP out of his bubble wrap.

Phonics: We did some review this week, since it's been several weeks. We're still waiting for the lightbulb to turn on with the blending, though I think we're getting closer.

For Math we did a little of a lot of different things to practice counting. Monkey did some counting and working with our "tiles" on the flannel board, where we made groups of 2 and then copied each other's groupings, and talked about how it's still 2 if you change the way the tiles look. This was an activity from our Math Expressions book. We still need to do it for 4 and 5, but Monkey didn't have the stamina to do those at the time. We also played Uno one day, and Hi Ho Cherry-O another. It was a good week for math.

Monkey had a couple of different Art projects this week, which he very much enjoyed. He loves to use my scrapbooking punches, so we did some "scrapbooking" one evening. I realized that one of the reasons we have Aunts and Uncles who are disappointed about not getting any "refrigerator art" for a long time is that most of the "art" that we do is rather open-ended, and it ends up chopped into tiny bits, which does not lend itself to display. I tried a coffee filter art project this week, with sponges and food coloring, but the results were disappointing, so there's no final product yet. I'm thinking that we can do it again and get better results, we just haven't gotten to it.

Read other Weekly-Wrap-ups at the Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers' blog.

07 January 2010

Classical Homeschool Carnival #5

Welcome to the January 7, 2010 edition of classical homeschooling carnival! Lots of people have been busy with the holidays, but we have a few with things to share.

Susan shares several games she found to help her children prepare for the National Mythology Exam in Odyssey Games posted at The Homeschool Librarian.

Ritsumei shares a week in the life in Weekly Wrap-up posted at Baby Steps.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
classical homeschooling carnival using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

05 January 2010

Problem Solving

Monkey loves clementines, and I bought a big bag of them this afternoon. This evening, Monkey had a problem: his inexpert peeling lead to juice squirting into his eye. He jumped down from the table and went into the computer room, and I wondered what he was doing and if he had lost interest in the fruit. But I didn't wonder long. Pretty soon he came back with Daddy, who grabbed Monkey's safety glasses from the top of the fridge. Monkey very happily resumed peeling and then ate the clementine, all with his eyes safely protected by his safety glasses. Good thing he had some!

04 January 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... from My Daybook

Outside my window... it's cold and icy. We're just past the full moon, shrinking into a lovely gibbous. Why is it that it's always dark when I'm blogging?

I am thinking... about what did I do with my maternity pants anyway? Clearly I'm going to need to do SOMETHING sooner, rather than later. Isn't this a little early for that? I mean, the baby's only 1/2 inch tall!

I am thankful for... so many things. It's hard to pick just one. But right there at the top of my list is my Treasure: Andy, Monkey, and Sparrow. And also my new niece.

I am wearing... jeans, socks that have monkeys on unicycles on them, a white tshirt, and a ratty old gray sweater that probably ought to be replaced sometime.

I am remembering... how little Monkey was when he was a baby. Lots of babies around right now to make me think these things. What a bunch of cuties!

I am going... to find something more comfortable to wear until I can find my maternity pants, and until I decide that I'm far enough along to use them.

I am currently reading... ah, I'm actually between books right now. Though I am attempting to read the whole Old Testament this year. I've never yet managed that, and I think that I should. 77 chapters a month, to see it done by the end of the year. About 2 1/2 chapters a day. Not so bad, right? Can I just point out here how much I admire folks doing the Bible in 90 Days thing?

I am hoping... Monkey hurries up and gets better. He's been under the weather since before Christmas, poor little sausage!

On my mind... well, I guess I'll have to repeat myself here, cuz it's the little guy in sleeping on my couch that I'm thinking about. Hopefully a nice long nap will help a lot.

Noticing that... I've been sitting and blogging for a while: I'm getting cold. Plus, I need to find some water.

Pondering these words... The Importance of Rewards. "People do what they do because of what happens to them when they do it" (Dainels, 25). This illustrates one of the basic principles explaining human behavior. Furthermore, the more instantly gratifying a behavior is, the more likely it is that that behavior will reoccur. "Immediate consequences... far outweigh... delayed and uncertain consequences" (Daniels, 31). If our children misbehave, regardless of what they have been taught, one can only conclude that the consequences of misbehaving are more desirable than the rewards of good behavior. That is why it is so important that parents are pleasant to be around and that they create a pleasant, safe, Christlike environment at home so children will be gratified for being there - and will want to be there rather than somewhere else. --Christlike Parenting, pg 55

From the kitchen... not much today. Pancakes for breakfast, then leftovers for lunch, and probably more leftovers for dinner.

Around the house... between being tired from growing a baby, and Monkey feeling crummy... if you come over today, please don't look too closely. OK?

One of my favorite things~ taking pictures

From my picture journal...

A chickadee leaving my feeder with its seed, from the middle of last month. Man it's been crazy! I'd meant to post this ages ago!

Read more daybooks here...

Classical Homeschool Carnival Guidelines

Classical Homeschooling Carnival

Welcome to the Classical Homeschooling Carnival! The idea behind this carnival is to bring together resources and encouragement for those who are working to bring their children the benefits of a Classical Education. Families following a Classical philosophy are often familiar with authors Susan Wise Bauer, Charlotte Mason, and the Bluedorns.

Submission Guidelines

Posts suitable for submission might be on topics such as the Grammar, Logic, or Rhetoric stage, books and resources used in your family's classical education, curriculum reviews, a day in your classical homeschool, Latin, Greek, History, Science, Reading, Grammar, and so on, including "day-in-the-life" or "week-in-the-life" sorts of posts. All posts will be considered based on their relevance to the Classical Homeschool. Please play nicely: no profanity, nudity, and so on. Please email with any questions. Unrelated and advertising submissions will be deleted as spam. This carnival receives a LOT of spam (the current edition had 2 "real" submissions out of 14), and while I try to be careful not to exclude actual homeschooling posts, I'm sure that mistakes will happen from time to time, so please email me if your submission isn't showing up. I reserve the right to exclude any post at my sole discretion.

Hosting Guidelines

Bloggers who wish to host the Classical Homeschooling Carnival should email me with the following information:

-your name/screen name
-your Classical Homeschooling blog address

I will then email you and we can work out the details of which edition you would like to host.

Bloggers wishing to host this carnival are encouraged to demonstrate your willingness to take a leading role in the carnival by submitting articles and visiting and commenting on articles other participants submit.

Thank you for visiting!

02 January 2010

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

-Matthew 7:21-23


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