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29 March 2018

Nick Freitas Speech on Gun Control: An Analysis {part 1}

Nick Freitas gun control speech analysisI watched the speech that Nick Freitas, a Virginia candidate for Senate, gave on gun control and the debate that has been going on. My initial reaction was that I liked it, but I wanted to dig into it and see how it stands up to close scrutiny. Listening to the speech, which isn't very long, I made my own transcript, and I'll have his words set apart, and my commentary after.

So, over the last several days, Mr. Speaker, there's been a lot of discussion about an open and honest debate with respect to school shootings, gun violence, gun control, etc. And an open and honest debate, as I understand it, is one that would rely on data, facts, evidence, analysis, reason, and logic, etc., etc. And I'm certainly willing to have that debate.

22 March 2018

The Importance of Models in Copywork

Miss Mason was wise to insist on frequent models in copywork.

 We use the traditional copywork method as our primary handwriting method; the kids first write letters, then phrases or sentences, and then longer passages, as their ability matures. In the beginning, especially, the amount of writing actually done is relatively small; handwriting sheets from outside of the Classical education philosophy typically are too long for the beginner. More importantly, they have too few models for the student to look at.

Set good copies before him, and see that he imitates his model dutifully: the writing lesson being not so many lines, or 'a copy'––that is, a page of writing––but a single line which is as exactly as possible a copy of the characters set.
-Charlotte Mason, 1:235

20 March 2018

Zirrly Super Beads {Crew Review}

Super Beads from Zirrly are fusable beads: you just spray them with water to fuse them together. We were given their Mega Pack for this review, and the kids were super excited when it came in the mail; I'm not sure that I've ever had so many "when will it get here" questions the whole time we've been with the crew!

19 March 2018

A Civil War Foldout for our Book of Centuries {Crew Review}

I was excited when I looked through the Á La Carte products from Home School in the Woods for review this time and realized that The War Between the States Timline was included in the wide range of products that they offered crew members: Hero(11) is just starting to study the Civil War era, and I wanted to include it in our Book of Centuries as a foldout. They have a whole collection of timelines available, but this one is just perfect for where we're at.

There's so much going on in the war, and in the events both before and after, that I think that it'll be good to have a special fold-out, which will leave room for other world events from that time on the main pages of our timelines. We don't have a lot of wall space, so our timelines have always been in binders. This has a number of advantages, including that they last really well, and so we can accumulate a lot of the different things we read about into the timeline over years of reading, so I was excited to have a space-efficient way to include a lot of information about this important period of American history.

16 March 2018

This Week: Garden Planning and More

A peek into what we did this week in our classical LDS homeschool.

I'm excited: Once upon a time, I used to participate in the Daring Bakers cooking challenges, but I struggled to keep up and dropped out after a while: it was too hard to be consistent. When I finally felt ready to try again, they had finished. And I haven't found a different baking challenge -- until now. King Arthur Flour is hosting one. And they're doing Gruyère-Stuffed Crusty Loaves. I'll need to find the fancy cheese, but otherwise, it's ingredients that I've got on hand. However, it's a method that I've never tried before, so that ought to be fun to do.

06 March 2018

CursiveLogic and Art of Cursive {Crew Review}

For this review, CursiveLogic was kind enough to send us their CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack, which has two parts: a student workbook and a webinar, as well as The Art of Cursive, which is an adult coloring book. The student workbook is designed for teaching someone who is new to cursive. The adult coloring book is an abbreviated course for adult learners or students with some cursive experience, with a very clever system of working the necessary practice into  lovely coloring sheets.

05 March 2018

Magic Stix Washable Markers {Crew Review}

For this review we received a 24 pack of Magic Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc. These markers are unusual because you can leave them uncapped for days, and they won't dry out. They come in a lovely selection of bright, beautiful colors, with a tough plastic "briefcase" carrier.

We've previously reviewed a set of 12 Magic Stix markers, and when we did that, I deliberately left one of the markers uncapped for hours while we were out, and it wrote just fine. It still does; at this point the kids have mixed the two sets of markers and I'm not confident that I could say which brown marker came with what set: both of them work very well. Considering that one of these markers was left out for hours with no cap, and that you can't tell the marker that's six weeks old from the one that's three months old, I'm pretty happy with the way that they color and the way that they've held up over time.

04 March 2018

Reading Scripture Closely

Reading scripture closely: using sentence diagrams to clearly understand the meaning of a passage.

The more time I spend studying the scriptures, the more that I am convinced that there is great benefit and clarity in taking time to read it carefully and closely. The more exactly that our understanding of the gospel aligns with what our Father in Heaven is actually trying to teach, the better off we are. Sloppy thinking leads to sloppy conclusions, and this becomes particularly problematic in gospel contexts. He has given us the power of reason, and expects us to develop the ability to think logically, carefully, and thoroughly, in order to detect fallacious ideas and doctrines: this is one of the ways we can try to avoid being taken in when the doctrines of men are mixed with scripture and passed off as Truth.

01 March 2018

Watching the Eagles' Nest Cam

It feels like it's been such a long winter, but it's finally getting to be Spring again; hurray!! One of the early signs of Spring is that the nest cams start to be available, and we are big fans, particularly since getting outside has been happening... but not not consistently yet. Winter can be done any time.


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