Questions and Answers: Common Core, Essential Oils, Turnips, Guestbooks, E-book Winners!

freezer meal cookbook cover2 Scroll down for results of the freezer meal cookbook drawing!

What does your guestbook look like?  

The one we are now using was gift that somebody bought at the store. It’s nearly full, and would be totally full if I had no forgotten to have about half our houseguests this year sign the book. I’m working on making some alterations to a blank lined book to make it functional as a guestbook. when we run out of space in this one. I’m adding quotes on hospitality to the bottom of each page. I think I’m going to make a rubber stamp ‘form’ to note places for things like email addresses, snail mail addy, phone numbers, and maybe ‘where’d we meet?’ as well as comments.


I want to learn more about essential oils, can you suggest any good books?

Once you’ve read this post, check out the comments.

Robert Tisserand is a good author on the topic.
“Essential Oil Myths” at is useful.
Cynthia Hillson at writes about oils and their use in Bible times. 
Robert Pappas is a chemist and researcher who has an essential oils study program on the internet and several interesting articles on the internet.

Learning About Essential Oils has a lot of information.   They also raise money for third-party testing of multiple brands of EO’s. Donors have a say in which brands are tested, so it won’t be the same brands each time. I think they’ve done four so far.

What do FYG and FYB stand for? IS there a cool story?

The only story behind it is my shortsightedness. Most of the blog names and the blog itself come from British boarding school references. When we started the blog, they were our First Years- that is, they’d just started formal homeschooling that year and the year before. So, First Year Girl, First Year Boy. It’s too tedious to change their names now that they are 10th years. So we go with Fine Young Girl and Fine Young Boy, thanks to a reader. Don’t know what we’ll call them if I’m still blogging when *they* get married.

What do you know about Common Core?  Is this something that should worry homeschoolers?

To answer the second question- while I am a homeschooler, I still care about the nations public schools and the children institutionalized within those walls.  In addition, since the Common Core includes changing the current educational atandards, this will be reflected on standardized testing.  Textbooks will be changed to match Common Core, and eventually this will be true of many resources homeschoolers use as well.  Furthermore, in states that require homeschoolers to follow the state’s standardized testing program, homeschoolers who object to the Common Core program will at some point find themselves at odds with the way their children are being measured.  I believe the goal is a fully federalized education system, from early childhood education on, and I find that appalling, as well as unconstitutional. The Federal government has no Constitutional authority to be involved in education, in fact, the opposite is true.

What do I know about it?  Well, there’s this:

““Common Core adopts a bottom-line, pragmatic approach to education,” the Catholic scholars point out. “The heart of its philosophy is, as far as we can see, that it is a waste of resources to “over-educate” people. The basic goal of K-12 schools is to provide everyone with a modest skill set; after that, people can specialize in college – if they end up there. Truck-drivers do not need to know Huck Finn. Physicians have no use for the humanities. Only those destined to major in literature need to worry about Ulysses. Perhaps a truck-driver needs no acquaintance with Paradise Lost to do his or her day’s work. But everyone is better off knowing Shakespeare and Euclidean geometry, and everyone is capable of it.”

Professor Anthony Esolen, of Providence College, who teaches literature and poetry to college students, told a South Carolina legislative committee that Common Core evinces a “cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form.”

“We are not programming machines,” he said. “We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women.””

Children really deserve a rich and generous education; merely utilitarian based schooling short changes them and fails to meet them or respect them as whole people.


For more in depth analysis and legislative updates, keep up with Spunky Homeschool’s blog.  This is a useful overview of how it will lead to federalized education.

Do you have anything special you do for bumps and bruises?

Ice, and Pip’s comfrey salve.

How do you fix turnips?

I like them raw, sometimes with salt. I also cut them up and use them in stews like potatoes. And they are good combined with chopped onions and other root vegetables, tossed in oil and seasonings of your choice and roasted in the oven.

Turnips do vary in flavor from slightly sweet to bitter based on how cold they’ve been in the ground. I’ve read that they are actually best after at least one freezing temp night, but I don’t know that I’ve been able to tell a difference.

Freezer Meals Drawing

Using this random number generator, the following people have won the freezer meal cookbook I recently offered:

Juanita; MacKenzie; Rachel; Stefanie in Arkansas; Connie Sue

Shoot me an email at heartkeepercommonroom and I’ll email you the kindle formatted e-book.

IT’s a gmail address.=)


P.S.- be sure to visit Kim at Life in a Shoe.  She’s doing 30 Days of Thankfulness.

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