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The Right Thing, Amazing Robotics, Holidays YOUR Way

Added by Heather Idoni

Monday, December 2, 2013
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Vol. 14 No. 10, December 2, 2013, ISSN: 1536-2035
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(c) 2013, Mary Beth Akers and Heather Idoni
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Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================
Notes from Mary Beth
-- Doing the Right Thing
Winning Website
-- The Kelly Gram
To Think About...
-- Comparing Philosophies
Tidbits and Tips
-- Robotics at Amazon
Reader Question
-- Holidays... Your Way!
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

=======================
Notes from Mary Beth
=======================

You Are Doing the Right Thing

---

You are doing the right thing because...

You have chosen to disciple your children, not just "school" them. This matches God's plan for building character and nurturing wisdom -- which are the ultimate educational goals.

You are taking full responsibility for the education and upbringing of your children, and not putting the burden on the taxpayer.

You are willing to be accountable for the way your children "turn out"; willing to obey God in the face of disapproval of others and willing to stand firm against the trends of society -- this takes courage and faith.

Your evenings can be spent reading good literature and doing wholesome family activities, rather than struggling with homework.

You can cultivate your relationships with your children during your best hours of the day, not when all of you are tired and stressed out.

You are free to design your own lifestyle and live it.

You are not competing for the position of authority in your children's lives; you don't have to be the bottom on their list of authority figures; nor do you have to compete with children for your child's loyalty and affection. This, too, fits with God's plan.

You exhibit unselfishness by putting the future of your children ahead of what you want to do. Unselfishness is always the right thing.

You are doing the right thing, and you are to be commended for it.

-- Mary Beth

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Winning Website
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The Kelly Gram

The Kelly Gram is a monthly e-newsletter whose subtitle is, "Wisdom and Wit About the Wonderful and Often Wacky World of Words". Bob Kelly describes his mission as, "Providing the Right Word for Speakers, Writers, Ministry Leaders, Business Executives and Just Plain Folks -- since 1979!"

I can't say much more than that, except that if you'd like to subscribe, you can do so at the website or by sending an email to Mr. Kelly: bob(at)kellygram.com



=========================
Something to Think About
=========================

[Please note that I use the masculine pronoun when referring to the student. I do not intend to exclude our daughters; it is simply more efficient, and back when I learned grammar, was considered an appropriate referral to a person of unknown, or either, gender.]

---

Because every family's situation is unique, it's difficult to counsel homeschoolers. So I'd like to share with you the foundational concepts on which we based most of our homeschool decisions -- not to impose my philosophies on you, but to clarify why I say the things I do.

The best explanation is a comparison between two very different historical models of education.

In Bible times, the Hebrew culture adopted the practice of mentoring and discipling their children. The Hebrews (who generally were followers of God) took their children through daily life with them, and taught by example and experience. It was usually easy to recognize what a child needed to know and whether he was ready to learn it by how he handled the tasks he was being expected to do. The condition of the heart was readily apparent, and the parent cultivated character along with skills and information. All instruction came within the context of the parents' values and convictions. The teacher/parent was motivated by love for the child and obedience to God. Knowledge and skills served the higher purpose of serving God and the needs of others.

The Greeks, who represented the pagan culture of Bible times, valued knowledge for its own sake. They studied knowledge and broke it down into very specific subjects, and subjects into specific areas. For example, Science has areas of biology, zoology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, botany, and so on. They divided the content of each subject area into step-by-step increments of bite-sized learning. Students were placed in groups according to age and received those bites of learning as prescribed by scholars who were very knowledgeable about... well, knowledge. All students progressed at the same pace, regardless of individual needs, gifts, or interests. Teachers were motivated by their interest in the subject matter and the social and political trends of the day. Academic knowledge was the goal.

The Greek model might remind you of the modern day institutional pattern for education. The Hebrew model more closely represents what I believe is a more natural and effective learning paradigm. "Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." 1 Corinthians 8:1b

-- Mary Beth

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Tidbits and Tips
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Here are a few fun things Heather found for you this week! :-)

---

How does Amazon fulfill the millions of orders it receives, especially during the holiday gift buying season? The answer is in Amazon's amazing robotic warehousing and order fulfillment system! I think your children will enjoy seeing this cool video...

www.chonday.com/Videos/how-the-amazon- warehouse-works

Fast forward technology a bit now... could an Amazon Prime AIR delivery be in your future? Check out this article and video!

Amazon Testing Drones for 30 Minute Delivery Service

---

Make Awesome Star Wars Snowflakes!

"Designer Anthony Herrera has released a brand new set of Star Wars snowflake templates, free for downloading and making en masse as you settle into the holiday season. Anthony's been offering a fresh batch each year (previously here), and says about this round: "It happens every year. The days get shorter, a sub-zero chill is in the Hoth air, the wampas start venturing into your hidden home base, and new Star Wars Snowflakes are introduced for holiday crafting fun. New to 2013, battles. It just isn't Christmas without a T-47 Snow Speeder making an attack run on an AT-AT, or Luke Skywalker facing down a hungry Rancor beast. Enjoy 13 new designs. So, get yourself a sharp cutting blade and have fun."

---

And a funny for you! :-)

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook:

"I came to check on my daughter doing her math, and I found this note. Good thing, because I probably would have panicked...




Yes, the laxative property of schoolwork is amazing!"

 

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Mary Beth's Question...
========================

"How do you explain to your children the reasons that your family observes holidays in a way that is different from others around you? OR -- How do you maintain your standards for observing holidays while you join family gatherings which conflict with your standards?"

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Our Readers' Answers
======================

"Let me say I love the new asking questions format -- it really got me thinking! Especially about holidays because for many years I totally caved and did things to suit our extended families instead of ourselves, which always spelled disaster. I have a special needs daughter, which no one seems to understand needs certain things to have a good day. She ought to be thrilled to see cousins, loud people, strange animals, unusual food, and general chaos. I tried to make her fit the mold and it never worked -- not even once. We would always leave gatherings in screaming fits and tears. I'm still not perfect and try to take her sometimes, but only to the limit of what she can successfully handle. I'm slowly starting to just decline invitations (even though I feel bad about it), but to say instead that we'll get together on a quieter day. This is a great thing because now we have family time and we get to do holidays the way we want to and in ways we can enjoy. You can't stop the 'drop-ins', but I encourage everyone to 'just say no' to gatherings and do things their own way!"

-- Elizabeth G.

---

"Christmas to us is a special and deeply religious holiday. We have many traditions such as the yearly Christmas program at church, decorating the tree, setting up the Nativity, reading the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 2, wrapping gifts, filling stockings, baking cookies, etc. So we decided when our children were very little that we would not have a visit from Santa, but we didn't want to take away the 'magic' that so many stories and cartoons have attached to Santa and Christmas. Our explanation to our children was that Santa came to the homes where their parents could not afford to get them presents. This satisfied them and kept them from spoiling the magic of Santa for their friends who still got gifts from Santa. Now our children are continuing that tradition with their own children."

-- Loretta W.

====================
New Question...
====================

You folks sure are quiet these days! Since no one asked a question this week, how about answering another one for me?

---

My son is considering joining the military. He spoke with a recruiter who told him that since he was home educated, he would have to either get a GED or go to college for one semester before being accepted. I'm wondering whether that information is accurate. Do any of you have children who enlisted in the military, and if so, was your home school transcript adequate?

---

I love getting feedback from all of you, but would very much prefer that you submit the questions for other readers to answer. I think it would be more representative of what's on your minds. Blessings to all of you!

-- Mary Beth

Send your answers to: hn-answers(at)familyclassroom.net

And please send your NEW QUESTIONS to: hn-questions(at)familyclassroom.net

 

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ADDITIONAL NOTES
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All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to questions may be reprinted. [Occasionally your contribution may have to be edited for space.]

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