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Classics

August 30, 2014 Leave a comment

With a recent surge of events keeping my attention, posting has become difficult. Homeschool hiatus doesn’t help. I have to place a disclaimer here stating we do continue to homeschool throughout the summer but not at actively as the standard school year.

The push for Common Core and from many sources the lack of the classics has brought me into this realm of discussion today, provided I am able to spell. I have rewritten each sentence more than once. Morning brain malfunction at work. Java is not helping. My train of thought may be lacking, too.

As I stated in a horrible manner, the classics are not emphasized in Common Core. I do not know if this is state specific though the states I have looked into are not utilizing the classics. When we think of the classics, we generally think Greek and to a lesser extent Roman. This means studying the philosophy, history, art and even culture of the ancient period. This is not one of the favorite areas of study for many high school students. Typically you appreciate this after you graduate and maybe in college.

My oldest son has to read Plato in college for a honors course. Next week there will be a discussion about Book 1. This section asks the question “What is justice?” Ponder this for a moment. In your thoughts, what is justice? When I thought of Book I and the question, I began to ask myself this question.

To me, justice is a current viewpoint on right and wrong. This justice is determined by those in power. It differs from country to country and religion to religion. In fact, Christianity may not have a true definition of justice other than God will mete out justice in the afterlife. As for laws, these are current viewpoints. Look to four-hundred years ago at a crime and compare it today. Justice is different. The reality of justice is it does not exist. Justice is an explicit human societal meaning for in the wild there is no such thing as justice.

Okay, that is just a cobbling of my thoughts and likely what my son will have to discuss at the university.

Studying the classics is very important even today. These men of the past faced the same societal and political challenges as we do today. We can learn from studying the classics. The United States is a western based society where our past is linked to Rome and Greece. How do we understand ourselves if we do not understand our past?

I encouraged homeschooling parents and school teachers to teach the classics. This is more important than modern literature about sex, homosexuality or other narcissistic literature. Studying classical literature is as current as ever.

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Even the experts are wrong

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

I find it amusing to watch professors fight over a topic claiming the other is wrong. These are Phd individuals with huge egos stomping their feet. These supposed experts will dismiss anyone without the educational credentials or argue the ineptitude of another of equal standing.

This is very common in the world of academics. These individuals buy into their hype as elite intellectuals with knowledge and abilities that no other can possess. You see it in their actions like Mireille Miller-Young and her deplorable actions against those she feels unworthy. The unfortunate side effect to these people are the young, ignorant and impressionable college students who are unable to think for themselves. Yes, these students erroneously believe they think for themselves.

In history we find the past distorted because of emotion and affection. These people study a group and become emotionally attached. The flaws become purposeful and justified or even someone else’s fault. They distort the reality to vindicate their stance. There is a American Welshman who looks down on the Romans. He has a great podcast that is very flawed even though he does not see it. There is a university professor that is so pro-Chinese that he distorts the Imjin War as does the professor that slants towards the Korean side. There is the Islamic studies professor that ignores the inherent violence of the religion. This bias is very common throughout the liberal arts. You can’t escape it when studying the liberal arts. Unlike the science fields like physics, chemistry or even engineering, the liberal arts is influenced by emotion.

I live in an area where there are four or five universities nearby and have interactions with many professors. They tend to fall into a trap of believing their own hype. On more than one occasion I have encountered a professor who was dead wrong on a subject. They and I happened to cross paths on knowledge of a subject. I, too, had the opportunity to see copies of the original documents. Indeed, I have personal copies of these documents and have researched the subject.

I do not mean to infer or state these people know nothing of the subject they may teach or be considered knowledgeable about. They have too much of their emotion and soul into these subjects and are sensitive to opposing viewpoints. This reduces their expertise as they are prone to ignore all information in order to maintain their stance. They are human afterall.

Categories: Education Tags: ,

The Flaw Of Microsoft Word

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

When Word became available, it saved me from hours of tedious typing and correcting. I could now toss the typewriter and enjoy easy corrections. That was many years ago. Today Word provides more help than you could ever need except for what you truly need. There is one problem with this program. Just google or bing “sinister buttocks” and you’ll quickly discover part of the problem.

Reliance on the spell check and thesaurus is like chumming for sharks while you’re in the water. You’re going to get bitten. This doesn’t apply only to students but adults as well.My oldest child has grown to rely on Word’s spell check and Thesaurus, to the Educator’s and my humorous enjoyment. It really isn’t funny, but the sentence or phrase concoctions bring us to tears. Homonyms are his biggest bane next to his plane inability to spell the word. I’ll save him from displaying examples. He is not the only person to suffer from Word’s well-intentioned help. Instead, I’ll display an example that I created.

O Head! My Head! our terrible journey is complete;
The container has weather’d every rack, the flagship we required is gained;
The harbor is close, the chimes I hear, the persons all reveling,
While follow eyes the stable capsize, the vessel forbidding and bold:
But O emotion! heart! heart!
O the hemorrhage drops of red,
Where on the level my Head lies,
Tumbled emotionless and dead.
O Skipper! My Skipper! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is threw—for you the announce trills;
For you bunches and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the influential mass, their eager faces turning;
Here captain! dear father!
This support beneath your skull;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve tumbled emotionless and deceased.
My Leader does not response, his mouths are pale and still;
My father does not texture my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The boat is anchor’d harmless and complete, its journey closed and complete;
From fearful trip, the winner ship, comes in with thing won;
Exult, O shorelines, and ring, O bells!
But I, with sad step,
Gait the level my captain dishonesties,
Tumbled emotionless and deceased.

I do not think people need to be careful when using word. They need to know what they are writing about and have a dictionary on hand. If you’re unsure about the spelling, look it up. If you wish to substitute a word for another, understand the context and meaning of the original word. Then understand the new word, too.

Now do you know who wrote this famous poem?

Know Your Child’s Style Of Learning

August 12, 2014 Leave a comment

The ten plus years of homeschooling has taught my family much about my sons. We learned very quickly the differences between our sons. Even though they come from the same parents with the same morals, expectations and rules; they are different.

My oldest has always been a hands on learner. He requires the ability to do the learning with his hands or by mouth such as spelling. Spelling was done with my oldest verbally spelling out the word. A hands on child needs to experience the learning. He also has this habit of being preoccupied with something else as you teach him. This would frustrate me to no end as I assumed he wasn’t interested or paying attention. The Educator, who taught him all of the time, soon understood this and adapted to him. The solution was to allow him to do whatever he was doing as you instructed. The bugger (he was young, then) knew what you were teaching as he played with some toy. Another feature, I would learn is his glazed look – he wasn’t learning. This look appeared when my son was forced to sit and watch you teach. The Educator needed to learn how to instruct to my oldest in order to maximize his learning and succeeded in doing so. I’m not sure if I ever figured it out. What helped is my oldest enjoys learning for the sake of learning.

The youngest prefers the in and out method of learning. “Yeah, yeah give it to me, so I can do it and get it done.” With little instruction, he is off doing the work. We have to pull him back and have him read or listen to the lecture. Unlike his older brother, he does not learn with depth. He is able to identify and adapt to the curriculum. Shortcuts are key for him. If he can fake his way through reading a book, it will be done. His advantage is the ease with which he can do math, write or simply spread the BS. He is not purposely trying to deceive. Let me back that up. He is like any other teenager in the attempts to deceive. My son does not see the need or value in learning with depth. How can you argue with a kid that scores a perfect math score on a standardized test or writes beautifully. We don’t argue, we make it more difficult. This is our attempt this year. Challenge my youngest son.

I am sure there are parents out there frustrated with their children. They do not know how to relate to their children’s learning style. I have seen it with a few families I know of. These parents buy into the child will teach themselves mentality. This is not the case. Few have been able to be self-motivators. Parents should take the time to figure what type of learner their child is and prepare curriculum to meet their needs.

For those struggling at home with children who are difficult to teach, keep in mind a public school doesn’t care. Public and private schools use a style of teaching not suited for all students. It is not practical for schools to meet the demands for each student. I know my oldest would have gone from A’s to D’s and discourage about life.

Another Year

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

The school season is weeks away even though we have already done some schooling. There is a big difference this year. I’m not talking about high school sports. I’m not talking about the AP course my youngest will be taking. I am talking about my oldest. He is no longer being homeschooled.

This year we are focusing on one child while the other is in college. This provides more opportunity to work with our youngest, much to his dismay. Without the second child to educate, he house will not be as inundated with school projects. I may actually get my little library to read in. This is the room I planned to have as a reading room years ago. It was taken over by homeschooling. There will be many difference to be noticed as we school during the year.

Good luck to my oldest for the official first year and to my youngest playing on the high school sports team.

Mathematics is a mindset

August 1, 2014 1 comment

This is a short post and likely poorly constructed. I have a topic on the mind and little time. This topic will quickly fade and may have done so already.

I have a niece who didn’t like math. She could write poetry and received good grades in high school except for math. This was a struggle for her. When visiting, I would tell her she was smart enough to do math. Her mindset was dead set against my logic.

This is typical of the majority of Americans. They assume math is difficult, and they can not do it. Their brain is not designed for mathematics, therefore they will never succeed in math. I agree to a point. Yes, the brain isn’t designed for math, but… Yep, a big but here. Like anything we do, we are not designed to do an activity. Practice and experience allows us the ability to do the activity we choose.

If we get by the roadblock of believing in failure, we can succeed. Research has shown our brains have the ability to change throughout our life. This is brain plasticity. There is no reason for anyone to not do well mathematically. Open your brain and allow yourself to learn. Understand the mathematical concepts, and you’ll discover a beautiful, mathematical world.

Categories: Education, Homeschool Tags: ,