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Update on a school book

I mentioned Eyewitness: Life here, and said:

this is hard slogging. I thought it would be easier, but the FYG is really not enjoying it at all. The FYB likes it a little better, but finds it hard to understand in places as well

The two youngest were not particularly helpful or enthusiastic about school when I pulled it out yesterday morning to read our next section, so I was surprised at the reaction I got when I said, “This is a little stiffer going than I expected, we may not keep doing this one for school.”

The HG sat up straight and wanted to know why not, because she liked it, and the FYB asked if we weren’t going to do it for school could he just have it and read it himself. I asked them a couple of questions about what we’d read previously, and they were both able to answer those questions accurately, so we’re keeping it in as a school book.

We do go through it slowly- about two pages at a time, and we only use it about twice a week. I like take books with meaty concepts in short bites, with space between them to mull over the information.

For my YEC friends who are wondering, yes, it’s evolution based, and, in fact, I bought it because the blog of a well known evolutionary apologist recommended it.

For those who wish to know what I believe, I am of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what you believe about the creation debate (or any debate, really), at some point you need to be sure your kids know the most common and the best arguments of each side of an issue to the best of your ability to give them this information.

I also think that diatoms are one of the most breathtakingly lovely things in the universe, and I am glad I live in the post-microscope edge so that I am privileged to know of them and what they look like, and this Eyewitness book has one of the prettiest pages on diatoms I have ever seen.

They’ve always amazed me since I first learned about them in the dark ages of my own schooling. They’re like three dimensional glass spirograph designs.


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If the furniture is rep or woolen of any description, dust about each button, that no moth may find lodgment, and then cover closely. A feather duster, long or short, as usually applied, is the enemy of cleanliness. Its only legitimate use is for the tops of pictures or books and ornaments; and such dusting should be done before the room is swept, as well as afterward, the first one removing the heaviest coating, which would otherwise be distributed over the room. For piano, and furniture of delicate woods generally, old silk handkerchiefs make the best dusters. For all ordinary purposes, squares of old cambric, hemmed, and washed when necessary, will be found best. Insist upon their being kept for this purpose, and forbid the use of toilet towels, always a temptation to the average servant. Remember that in dusting, the process should be a wiping; not a flirting of the cloth, which simply sends the dust up into the air to settle down again about where it was before.

If moldings and wash-boards or wainscotings are wiped off with a damp cloth, one fruitful source of dust will be avoided. For all intricate work like the legs of pianos, carved backs of furniture, &c., a pair of small bellows will be found most efficient. Brooms, dust-pan, and brushes long and short, whisk-broom, feather and other dusters, should have one fixed place, and be returned to it after every using. If oil-cloth is on halls or passages, it should be washed weekly with warm milk and water, a quart of skim-milk to a pail of water being sufficient. Never use soap or scrubbing-brush, as they destroy both color and texture.
The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking, Helen Campbell, 1893

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Vocabulary Words

These are from a word list from my 12th grade English class:

  • salient
  • marital
  • martial
  • nepotism
  • wax
  • immutable
  • recant
  • wane
  • ambiguous
  • complaisant
  • onerous
  • garner
  • decrepit
  • enigmatic
  • inter
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CDC to recommend circumcision for all baby boys?

The reason is a study in Africa, and while:

…the clinical trials of circumcision in Africa had dramatic results, the effects of circumcision in the United States were likely to be more muted because the disease is less prevalent here, spreads through different routes, and the health systems are so disparate as to be incomparable.

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