It’s finals week!

It’s the time of year when I need all possible motivation: after putting in months of effort it is easy to feel somewhat apathetic about the last few homework assignments. One way to get through them, however, is to listen to suitably motivational music. What’s my motivational music this time around?

* the soundtrack to Rudy, music by Jerry Goldsmith. Goldsmith actually makes a football movie sound heroic with this soundtrack (quite a feat for a sports-scoffer like myself) and his orchestral fervor can’t help but be contagious.

* Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. You can only listen to so many oldies rock songs on the radio before sensing that they’re not really musically original, and that you’re going to go nuts if you’re forced to hear some Harmonising Sad Folk belt out a Lament for their Love. Solution? Tchaikovsky. The 1812 keeps you waiting with tense excitement for each new development of the theme and, of course, the cannons.

* for relaxation, the Sense and Sensibility soundtrack is my chosen fare right now. Apart from Patrick Doyle’s good music, listening to it reminds me that someday I can indulge in a real Austen Feast again.

* Last but not least, every one at the Common Room likes an album of really foot-thumping music for cleaning-accompaniment. It’s the silver lining in a cloud. “Housework? What shall we listen to, then?” Yesterday, in a bedroom purge, I listened to the Roan Inish soundtrack. Pure Celtic music. The movie is weird. The music is fantastic.

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Institutional Homeschooling

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldpatterns/3828031565/sizes/m/in/photostream/Suppose I went to a large institution and visited their kitchen. I see their incredibly huge dough mixer, capable of handling enough dough to make 20 loaves of bread at once. I am impressed by the oven, which has eight burners on the stove top and four huge ovens beneath.

I really like the automated dishwasher, which only requires me to fill up a basket, push it through the front of the machine, and then pull it out at the other end- the dishes are done in minutes. I love the walk in cooler, which is as large as one of my bedrooms at home. This is cool. I want to make food at home like they do here.
So I take the tools and methods designed to accomodate several hundred people each day and I try to use them at home to cook for a family of four (well, my family has nine people, but you get the idea). How well will that work? Are those appliances really the best choice for my funds and my time and space?  Is that expense, floorplan, and design really ideal for a family?

vintage dishwasherSchools, both public and private, have to do some tasks that homeschoolers do not. Schools, the institutional types, must bring a dissimilar group of children together more or less in lockstop through a set amount of material in a limited number of hours in a limited number of days within a single school year- with a student/teacher ratio of 20:1. In order to accomplish this as best they can and make the most efficient use of a teacher’s time, they developed some tools to streamline the process. These tools are things like text books, multiple choice and fill in the blank tests, and so forth.

If you are a homeschooler you do not have to do what a school does in order to commit education upon your child. Your child is with you 24 and 7, a teacher only has a child for 6-8 hours a day. You do not have to start at a set time and quit at a set time. A teacher has to stop educating the students when the last school bell rings each day. You know what your kid had for breakfast and whether or not his dog
died the night before, and you can accomodate those things. A teacher has 20 or more students, all with a variety of different problems and issues going on in their homes. It’s almost impossible for one human to meet so many wildly differing needs.

You can slow down when he has questions and speed up when he does not. You can continue a lesson in a dinner table discussion or at midnight while watching the stars together.

vintage woman sifting flour blogTrying to use an institutionally based traditional programme for a homeschool can be a little like using the firehose to water your garden, or a blow torch to light birthday candles, or a wrench for a hammer. It’s not a tool designed for the job _you_ are doing.

If you know that, but still like textbooks and school tools, you can maybe make adjustments to make them work for you, or maybe you want something different altogether. You’re the homeschooler, so now it’s your call. If you don’t want to use textbooks and workbooks, you don’t have to. It’s okay to be different.

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Need a Laugh

Conservative Cat has a list of links to funny stuff- haven’t read it all, but our blog is included.=)

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Love Chocolate?

Feel like diving into a huge batch of chocolate?

Literally?

According to this,

“Women are being given the chance to ‘dive into chocolate’ to make themselves beautiful at a health spa in Paris.

Beauty treatments include a Chocolate and Cranberry Body Scrub, a Toffee Chocolate Wrap and a Deep Chocolate Massage.”

To wrap up the ‘Decadant Chocolate Package,’ you receive of bowl of, what else, next to the massage table.

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The Marriage Test

WitNit has a brilliant marriage test– three questions to ask yourself about your potential spouse- before it’s too late. The DHM is proud to say she can still answer all of them in the affirmative, some 23 years later.

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