Sunday, September 29, 2013

A spiritual thought

I don't often talk about religious things on this blog, for that is not its focus. There is an important principle I just wanted to throw out there for anyone who might need to hear it.

Jesus Christ really lived. That is historical fact. The records handed down over the last 2000 years teach us that Jesus testified that God would send His Spirit--the Comforter and Spirit of truth--to witness of Jesus and guide us into truth.

This Spirit is the Holy Ghost (Ghost just means Spirit). When we pray for guidance, humbly listening and sincerely desiring to follow the guidance, the Spirit imparts guidance to us, often gradually yet sometimes suddenly in ways that seem miraculous. If you doubt it, have enough faith to pray to God and ask him to know the truth of His existence. He is there and loves us all very much. He'll answer you.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Homeschool Carnival

This week's homeschool carnival is up at The Foodie Army Wife. I contributed to this one.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

National Piano Month

It's National Piano Month! And to celebrate I will...continue fixing up the piano I got in August. I'm so close now.

All I have to do is glue some felt back on (I should never have taken it off, but I didn't want to damage it with varnish) and finish putting the piano back together. And get some polish and a buffing cloth to really make the wood shine. Then I'm really done with it. Really.

And then on to varnishing the new organ bench and refinishing the two tabletops my kids have most utilized over the past five years. Homeschooling is hard on the tables.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome, new niece!

My sister just had a baby girl. It was her third child, and mom and baby are doing well.

She waited a bit too long after the amniotic sac broke to head to the hospital and ended up giving birth ten minutes after getting there. Her husband missed the birth because he had to park the car and register her with the hospital. It makes me grateful for the valet service offered at the hospital in our city. If I ever use the valet service again in connection with a speedy childbirth, I will remember my sister's experience and tip the valets generously and with a good will. :)

Because it happened so fast, there was no chance for her to get an epidural. It's funny to see her grousing about how labor hurt so much. Seriously? She had the baby two hours after the water broke and then she got prescription pain meds after the birth! Maybe it hurt so much because it went so fast. Funnily enough, she's extremely athletic, as in she does triathlons for fun. I do sympathize (I felt like a train had run over me after my third delivery), but I have every expectation that she'll bounce back quickly. And I look forward to seeing lots of cute baby pictures in the near future.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Art and Khan Academy

Each Friday we do an art lesson. I decided to use the art history videos on Khan Academy even though their intended audience is a bit older than my girls. But the videos have been surprisingly helpful and inspire interesting art projects.

Two weeks ago, we watched the video on Greek columns, and then at the park, dd8 sketched playground equipment supported by different kinds of Greek columns. Last week, we watched the video on the vanishing point, and then dd8 and dd6 drew pictures using the vanishing point concept.

Vanishing Point exercise drawn by dd6 in September of 2013

Today, we watched the video on Albrecht Durer and woodcuts; I wasn't about to set the children to carving wood, but I let them make potato stamps and use them in tempura paint to make their own stamped pieces of art.

I think Khan Academy is a great boon to education.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Civil War

We finally reached the American Civil War. It's near the beginning of Volume 4 of The Story of the World. My children are too young to understand the seriousness of that war, but I'm trying to give them a feel for it. I'm stretching our coverage of it over 2-3 weeks and showing them multiple videos about it. But I know that in four years we will all be able to get much more out of our study of it.

I consider myself a Westerner, and I grew up reading the histories "written by the winners", i.e., from the Northern, anti-slavery point of view. I don't have a good feel for the Confederacy or its motives, but I have a friend from Georgia who I hope can come over and tell us a bit about the Civil War from a Southerner's perspective.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Homeschooling Carnival is up!

I actually submitted a post this time, too. I often mean to, but life gets in the way. Anyway, here's a link to this week's Carnival of Homeschooling.