Ready to Read!

February 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

My son is ready to learn to read because he sees me teaching his big brother to read. This is exciting but it makes me nervous. I have been on pinterest pinning things about teaching letter sounds with lowercase letters. I am enthused about going to the file cabinet to find the Montessori letter sounds activities. I need to soon find little 3-d objects so he can do 3-d Montessori letter sounds activities. 

This makes me feel overwhelmed a little, too. I homeschool many kids and here is a new one ready to learn to read. Now I will have many things to tach yet another homeschooler. It is not that I have not already been helping him learn. It is just that learning to read is a big, important growth step in learning.

At the same time, I am nervous that my eldest child will be a high-school aged kid this coming fall. The more homeschoolers, the merrier, and seeing her become an adult is beautiful. Nevertheless, it makes me nervous. How have ai done? Have ai taught her well? Is she ready for the big world of adult life? What shall I make sure she is taught before she is an adult?

Vegan Art Supplies

January 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

For many years now, I have been striving to buy only vegan art supplies. Sadly, there have been things I was unaware of. I was aware that paintbrushes need to be made of synthetics. I have been aware that most glues are not vegan. I was not aware of all of this, though, in these links. Please read them. Thanks!

Vegan Art Products, by EmptyEasel.com

Windsor & Newton Vegan & Non-Vegan Products List

Recommended Vegan Values Childrens Books For Your Homeschool

January 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Lorax

Horton Hears a Who

The Secret Garden

Hubert the Pudge

My Mom Eats Tofu

The Giving Tree

Benji Bean Sprout Doesn’t Eat Meat

Saving Emily

Real Superheroes Eat Tofu

Plants Feed Me

The Magic Finger, Roald Dahl

Not a Nugget

Charlotte’s Web

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

How to Eat a Rainbow

National Geographic Safari

Counting Safari Adventure

Blocky book set: Safari Friends

Baby Animals on Safari 1&2

Safari: a Photicular book

Dive In!

National Geographic: Dive!

Magic Schoolbus takes a Dive

SkippyJohn Jones Takes a Dive

Deap Sea Dive

Deep-Diving Submarines

Yellowstone: Eye of the Grizzly

Yellowstone National Park: An A,B,C Adventure

Bugling Elk and Sleeping Grizzlies

When the Wolves Returned

Big Mammals of Yellowstone for Kids

Yellowstone and Grand ateton Babies

Snow School

Grey Wolves: Return to Yellowstone

Yellowstone Moose

Deep in the Swamp

The Swamp Where Gator Hides

In the Small, Small Pond

Song of the Water Boatman

Butternut Hollow Pond

“One Small Square” habitats series

Here is the Coral Reef

The Hidden Forest, Jeanine Baker

Down, Down, Down by Steve Jenkins

Here is the Southwestern Desert

Way Out in the Desert

Desert Giant

Creatures of the Desert World

Rocky Mountains Plants and Animals

Good Night Mountains

Color the Wild Rockies: Discover the Great Outdoors

Rocky Mountain Wildlife

Rocky Mountain ABC’s

Good Night Texas

Sounds of the Wild: Forest

Moose, By Meryl Magby

Grandpa Skates with a Bear

Hyenas: On the Hunt

A Hummingbird Miracle

In Denali: A Photographic Essay

Ice Bear

Whales and Dolphins

An Octopus is Amazing

What It’s Like to Be a Fish

In the Sea

Whales

The Blue Whale

National Geographic Kids: Penguins

National Geographic Explore: Penguins

National Geographic Kids: Frogs

Antelope, Bison, Cougar: A National Wildlife Alphabet Book

National Geographic Kids: Pandas

Llamas and Other Latin American Camels

South American Animals, by Karen Arnold

Amazing Animals Series: Rhinoceroses

Animals in Danger in Asia

Peacocks for Kids

Cheetahs for Kids

Gorilla Mountain: The Story of Wildlife Biologist Amy Vedder

Animal Atlas

Tiger Rescue

I See a Kookabura!

National Geographic: Mission: Elephant Rescue

African Animals: Elephants

Elephant by Suzie Eszerthas

Marine Habitats: Life in Saltwater

Beaks!

Life in a Rainforest

Life in the Temperate Grasslands

Life on the Tundra

Kangaroo Island: Wild Habitat: The Story of An Australian Mallee Forest

Finding Home 

Chimaka the Chimpanzee

Mia the Meerkat

Destination: Australia

Kangaroos, by Sara kras

The Forest in th Clouds

Explore the Tropical Rainforest

Talking With The Animals: Patti Summer

Tidal Wave Learning and Improvement

December 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

I have decided that this is my “style” of homeschooling. In a facebook group about a year ago, someone said they did tidal wave homeschooling for their kids. She described it as unschooling for days at a time. Then, sometimes for a few days in a row, she would teach them “school at home style” academics. I was so excited that there was someone who had invented a name for what I do.

I do not think we really need label, or do I? Maybe I have a need for it. People ask me all the time what style I use to homeschool. It is so hard to explain it to people and for others to understand. My husband does not “get it,” because last night he said that unschooling is basically just “when you don’t do anything, then.” No. He has no clue that we do a lot of unschooling and has no clue that ltting kids learn waht they want to and love to learn, is termed “unschooling,” although he does support it and love it. But for him, for our kids, for me, for homeschooling families who want a wuick answer and for other peopel who just want a quick answer, having a group which follows a similar style and having a name for ourselves (a label), would help immensely.

This morning, after a year of searching, I finally found another woman who has blogged about what she terms, “tidal learning,” which is what I have decided I do  too. I really want to connect with her and any others who feel that this is their style, too. She started writing about this long before I started to homeschool. I do not know whether she is the reason the other woman on facebook mentioned it. She has about 10 posts about this style. She is an author, so I’d really like to talk with her about writing a book with me about the way she homeschools, the way I homeschool and the way other tidalwave learning and improvement moms, or tidal learning moms, homeschool.

She mentioned in her blog that she does not think labels are necessary. I agree. She also said sometimes, she wants to fit in somewhere and have a group. Well, that was implied by how she worded it, anyway. I also agree. We need a group of us who are not quite unschoolers but love unschooling, and not quite regular homeschooling full-time with lesson plans made by mom, but love that, also.

I agree with her that unschooling is great and we mostly DO that, BUT I also feel there are things that, if just left to discover things on their own, my kids would never know about. I feel it necessary to my happiness and theirs, to make lesson plans, teach and give assignments. My kid actually get to missing and longing for, a formal teaching session by me and some formal assignments. I get to longing for it after a little while, too. This makes me, Melissa Wiley and anyone else who does it this way, very different from those who do other styles. I use less Charlotte Mason than she does, but I do have the styles I like. Unschooling is about 70 percent of my “eclectic” mix.

I do need to write more about it and not be afraid to write here about what we do here.  I have been to now, very reserved about it. I get anger from unschoolers and, frankly, I shy away from talking about what we do here because of that. 

ESSA, ESSA re-write; Elimination of Common Core or NCLB ???

December 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

First off, I am going to ask you a question. Have you read the bill, or have you read an article or blog post about it? Or have you read the summary? Please, if you haven’t yet, read the bill.

The propoganda says there will be less testing and more local control, that it will get rid of the Common Core and the No Child Left Behind Act. The propoganda lies. Let’s break it down.

Less Testing? Nope. You’ll see after it passes. The U.S. Dept. of Education gets to take your state’s proposal for testing and look at it to decide upon approval. It does appear that your state is now in control of testing, but, no. You will see after it passes off of Pres. Obama’s desk, into law. It does make mandating testing more constitutional. It does make reporting the state’s trat scores to the Feds, constitutional and required. Added bonus: Data mining legalized and made o.k., even more, by constitutionalizing it. HIPPA? Just because you sign a HIPPA agreement that nobody gets to share stuff about you when you are at the doctor’s office, does not meanty don’t share it with the Statewide Healthcare Database. The State has to share it with the Federal Govt., tol. This is the same with educational data, including any psychological and behavioral data they want on kids. 

More local control? No. More Federal Control. The U.S. Secretary of Education has to approve the standards your state writes. If he does not approve, the bill forces him to give your state “a chance to change the standards” until he allroves. Oh, how sweet! I am just tearing up because of how sweet the U.S. federal Govt. ks going to be with your state by granting your state some rights IT USED TO OWN ALL BY ITSELF WITH NO U.S. DEPT. OF EDUCATION ON ITS BACK APPROVING THINGS! It was called Ammendment X. Hey, does that still exist? 

Oh, look! It is still there, after all these years. But then, there wqs no U.S. Dept. of Education, ans the states had not given up their right to be in charge of education, in exchange for Federal Money.

          “Article [X] (Amendment 10 – Reserved Powers)

          “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are      

           reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Federal Money. Is this really all about money? Did your state really give up its rights, for money? Um, yep. Talk to your state government. Get them to give up the movey and take back its constitutional right to govern itself!

Gets rid of Common Core? Oh, sorry. Were you sick of the words “Common” and “Core”? So annoying, right? Well, this bill gets rid of that name. Won’t it be nice? A new name. (It just gets rid of the name “Common Core.” So, look for the new name soon.) The U.S. Dept. Of Education and the U.S. Secretary of Education are now the ones who will replace the Common Core. So, instead of the Common Core, we get a Common Judge (The U.S. Secretary of Education). I wonder to what sort of guide he will look do decide whether to approve your state’s Standards. Hmm. Maybe he will call it, “The guide.” Maybe he will call it, “College and Career Readiness Standards.” Or maybe he will call it, “Federal Guidelines for State Educational Standards.” Who cares? It is still the same as Common Core: Federal Control over a state decision (in exchange for money).

Gets rid of No Child Left Behind? Pretty much the same as the above. It will get rid of the name “No Child Left Behind.” However the principles of punishing and rewarding schools and teachers will remain intact. The reporting of all teh scores and data to the public? Still there. People can choose which school they send their kids to? Still there. The arts and P.E. and all subjects except math and ELA getting the shaft? I am sure we will know after it is passed when the U.S. Secretary of Education gives your state the chance to rewrite its standards over and over again until they meet his approval.

Here is the full text of the Bill. Do not just read my blog bost. Read the bill. S1177 Full Text

I also recommend this book. It is a great book. If you are to understand our day, you must understand the 1700s and the 1800s and the battle between the U.S. Govt. and the State Governments. 

ESEA (ESSA) Bi-Partisan Re-Write Agreement is NOT What the Summary Will Tell You It Is

November 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

U.S. Senators:
December 2, please vote against the ESEA re-write which will have been created BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (not open to the public or to you). Let me explain why I am against it. There are a few reasons.
Although nobody can read it yet, I know which bills (ideas) are merging, so these are what I think will be happening in the bill:

1. It will solidify the College and Career Readiness Standards agreed upon by many states (which is the Common Core and anything named by any name which is actually based upon the Common Core) as something more accepted as “Constitutional” even though Education, according to Constitutional Ammendment X, is reserved for the individual states to be in charge of–Education should NOT be under Federal, but under State jurisdiction.

2. It will solidify Data Mining as normal and no big deal in yet another bill. HIPPA privacy laws are already “out the window” because the state (and therefore Federal) government and anyone who needs to use the data (private companies, etc.) can access and share any collected data without parental consent. Data will be collected about students It does the same with testing.

3. It will make Pre-School a program paid for by the Federal Government and we will be taxed for it. This will likely push kindergarten into compulsory status AND it will make it so kids will have data collected on them when they are only 4 or 5 years old.

4. There is no time for Senate and House to actually read the bill, let alone time for the general public to read it. This should not be written in secret and brought out right before the vote with a biased “summary” being presented. Please, do not trust the biased summary. I know you can close yourself in your office and read this bill all the way through. Please do so! If you don’t have time, then please vote against it simply on the grounds that you were not given enough time to read it before the vote.

5. My final reason: I do not want Karl-Marx-based Government here in the United States of America. Russia, China and other communist countries are NOT good models for us, whether Harvard and Stanford Socialist propoganda say so or not. I want kids to get the chance to live their dreams.

This is what I mean by that: 

Say the Federal Government decides 50% of the kids need to work in automated jobs, 10% need to be in the medical field, 10% need to be in STEM jobs, 2% need to be teachers, and so on and so forth. Then they get data on each child. This child “J” has the dream to be an inventor, but her test scores, psychological profiling, medical history and so forth, show that it would be best for the community, for her to work in the fast-food industry as cashier or a cook. Millions of kids like this child “J” will be told they cannot live their dreams. In fact, no kids will be able to live a dream they would come up with on their own. Their “dreams” will be to work in the careers the Federal Government wants them to work in. 
My dad told me years ago that this was what was sad about watching the Olympics in the 80s. He said, in Russia, China and other Karl-Marx-government-based countries ike them, these cute little girls and these young men were told when they were 5, that they were chosen to server their country as gymnasts–and they did not get to choose that path. He said, “look, these U.S. girls and boys got to choose that they wanted to do gymnastics. They do it because they want to, because they love it!”

This is the reason for my “inflammatory” words: I do NOT want ANY U.S. gymnast to be a U.S. Gymnast because he or she was “chosen to serve” their country in this way. I want U.S. Gymnasts who are there because it is their love, their dream, their passion!

Sincerely, Lisa Christensen Jackson

Also read this related blog post: States Rights and The Common Core (or the ESEA re-write that buts the U.S. Federal Government in charge of Education)

Sale! nov. 2015 Thrive

November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

ThriveLife foods and ShelfReliance shelving are on sale today through Monday. Comment if interested.

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