Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Carnival of Homeschooling #456 - "Ozymandias" Edition

Welcom to the 456th Carnival of Homeschooling! This carnival's theme is "Ozymandias."



Doesn't it just make you happy to say the name "Ozymandias"? My voice becomes sonorous and commanding, and I envision stark desert scenes, which I love, having mostly grown up in the American Southwest.

Written in the early 1800s, the sonnet "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley deals with many themes in its short 14 lines. Among them are travel and history, the effects of time and the natural world, artistic creation, hubris, recording one's deeds, and the collapse of human power.

I met a traveller from an antique land

Christy submitted a post about the Borgia Family and Machiavelli, saying "I love the freedom homeschooling gives, the chance to follow interests and to use silly things like a comedy show as a jumping off point for a unit study. The Borgia Family lived in Renaissance Italy. They knew Machiavelli and Leonardo Da Vinci."

The Cates' daughter wrote an essay for college on her homeschooling experience and used it to help argue that homeschooling is a viable educational option.

April E. contributed ten lessons she has learned during the journey of homeschooling her high school students.

Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

No matter how powerful or enormous a monument, the forces of nature slowly erode it away. The blog What DID We Do All Day? includes a fun look at how one homeschooling family learned about erosion.

And speaking of science in general, occupational therapist Sharon Stansfield submitted some tips on how to help children with slow processing blossom when doing their schoolwork: "Children who process information slower than their peers are often very clever but need understanding and correct teaching methods to help them blossom. I give simple and important tips to use for teaching these children. The tips are just as useful for home-schooled children. Knowing the best way to bring out your child's true potential makes teaching and home-schooling so very rewarding."

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

While watching Dr. Who last night (Season 1, episode 3 for the Whovians out there), I was struck by how Charles Dickens, upon meeting a Time Lord, wanted to know just one thing about the future: "Would his books last?" Artistic creations, as ephemeral as they may seem, can long survive worldly powers, just as the sculptor's work in "Ozymandias" outlived the power of the real Ozymandias.

Real Life at Home has a post on "10 Reasons to Homeschool Your Creative Child." I can especially relate to the fourth point about conformity; my children's art appears very individualistic compared to that of their peers at the school they attend part-time.

A blogger I follow, author and linguist Katherine Beals at Out in Left Field, just posted about how her daughter wouldn't have time for all her musical pursuits if they weren't homeschooling.

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'

Not all public school administrators are guilty of domineering behavior, but Dewey's Treehouse links to an account of a family in New Jersey that was (wrongly) told by an assistant superintendent that "policy" required them to conform their homeschool curriculum to the Common Core standards. Mama Squirrel points out that some parents don't want their children's education to be that narrow.

Homeschoolers in the thick of things seem to be a fairly humble lot (at least when not having to defend their homeschool choices to detractors); they want to give their children the best education they can and constantly wonder if they're doing enough. Those worries can be magnified when faced with the task of creating an impressive transcript recording our children's studies. To help keep perspective, 7Sisters gives us "Balancing Life and the Homeschool Transcript."

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Here at my blog, I wrote about how seemingly all-powerful and permanent institutions, including public school systems, can and do go into decline.

Susan Raber submitted a post on why "free stuff" isn't always the best choice. One reason for that is that we may come to depend on a free resource only to have it become costly or even disappear later.

That's the end of today's carnival. Thank you to all who submitted, and for those who want to submit to future carnivals, you can find out how here.


Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ancient Egypt

We made it all the way through the four volumes of the Story of the World during the last four years, and we have now started over with Volume 1. That means Ancient Egypt! We're doing the usual supplements - pyramids out of wooden blocks and Duplos (the toy, not the chocolate candy, alas), British Horrible History comedy sketches like "The Mummy Song", library books like You Wouldn't Want to Be Cleopatra, and library videos like Prince of Egypt and Reading Rainbow's "Mummies Made in Egypt." On Friday we are going to begin mummifying a chicken.



And my favorite part of learning about ancient Egypt: introducing my children to The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.




Carnival of Homeschooling
This post is part of the Homeschool Carnival.