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Monday, June 29, 2009

Neglecting My Blog?

Very tiny frogs

Yes. I am.

Lately, I have been enjoying the boyz when I am not working on school.

We have been indulging in lots of video games, cooking, baking, hanging out, talking, thinking of cool stuff that we want to do and try, and just generally enjoying one another.

They will be leaving tomorrow to spend two weeks at their father's house. I hope to get back to documenting our lives then.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fire Truck With Tall Ladder

The fireman's gear was set up and ready to go.

The ladder on the fire truck is taller than it appears in this picture.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Police Dog Demonstration

The police dog demonstrations were neat.
There were two police men and two dogs. The dogs obviously loved the exercises. Each police officer took turns commanding his dog to sit and wait for the attack command. Then the dog attacked the big arm pad.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Replacing the "D" Key

My son was snacking on a granola bar over my computer today. Later, I noticed a crumb on the keyboard. I tried to brush it off. Instead, it fell down between the keys. As I was working, the “D” key continued to not work.

I took the "D" key off, took out the crumb (and a whole lot of fuzz), and could not get it back on. I did a google search to learn how to fix it.
gave excellent and simple instructions with great pictures, like this:

I had my “D” key back on my keyboard in a matter of minutes…after I dropped the tiny parts a few times. Sheesh!

Thanks !!!

After seeing all the fuzz that was under that one key, I think I should take the others off and give it a good cleaning. I will get to that someday, when I have a few spare moments in my busy life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Smoke House Photos

"Z" exiting through the door.

Bash exiting through the door.

"Z" exiting through the window.

Bash exiting through the window while "Z" waits.

"K" finally decides to join in on the smokey escape.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Do Children Learn Without Being “Taught”?

Most of you know by now that the younger people that live with me (aka my children) learn at home. Some of you may not know that we do not use a “boxed curriculum”. Don’t freak out. My adult children did not use a boxed curriculum either and they are happy, healthy, productive adults. The longer we learn at home the more I am convinced that forcing a child to work through a boxed curriculum is completely unnecessary, and even harmful.

I found this article, which is based on research on the topic of learning, including learning that took place long before organized education existed. It is quite interesting, and effectively reaffirms my experiences with “curriculum”. It answers the question, “How do hunter-gatherer children learn what they need to know to become effective adults within their culture?.” This is a great question since my hope for my children is that they become happy, healthy, productive people.

Although we are not "hunter-gatherers", we do understand that humans are hard wired with the need to learn. No one needs to teach another how to do it or force another to do it. We are naturally driven to learn every day.

The Wisdom of Hunter-Gatherers by Peter Gray, Ph.D.

1. Hunter-gatherer children must learn an enormous amount to become successful adults.
It would be a mistake to think that education is not a big issue for hunter-gatherers because they don't have to learn much.

2. The children learn all this without being taught.

Although hunter-gatherer children must learn an enormous amount, hunter-gatherers have nothing like school. Adults do not establish a curriculum, or attempt to motivate children to learn, or give lessons, or monitor children's progress.

3. The children are afforded enormous amounts of time to play and explore.
In response to our question about how much time children had for play, the anthropologists we surveyed were unanimous in indicating that the hunter-gatherer children they observed were free to play most if not all of the day, every day.

4. Children observe adults' activities and incorporate those activities into their play.
Hunter-gatherer children are never isolated from adult activities. They observe directly all that occurs in camp.

He concludes his paper stating:
The desire to grow up is a powerful motive that blends with the drives to play and explore and ensures that children, if given a chance, will practice endlessly the skills that they need to develop to become effective adults.

So I do not plagiarize the author, Peter Gray, Ph.D., I shared only the highlights of the article. If you wish to read more you may find the rest of this article here

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Paramedic Helocopter Pics

While we were waiting for the locksmith to come and get my keys out of the trunk (oh my!) a paramedic helicopter flew real low and landed in the parking lot. After a bit, and I was pretty sure no one was hurt, the kids went to find out what was going on. The pilot was in uniform and answering questions. The helicopter was fully equipped and all doors were open so we could inspect everything. It was really neat!

"K" and Bash are walking on the left.

Say cheese!


Bash and "Z" are on the left.

On the left, "Z" is casually inspecting the door while "K" is half-way in the helicopter inspecting the inside.

"K" and "Z"