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1. True confession - my Christmas tree is still up. So is the manger scene. So is the garland draping the doorway and fireplace. Last Sunday we were on the mend from a week with the flu so although we weren't sick, we were all just a little fatigued. Tackling the tree just seemed unnecessarily burdensome.
It was also Noah's first Cross Country Banquet for school, and since I had never been to a sports banquet on the collegiate level, we went.
It was nice. Every runner that showed up was recognized and appreciated, which was nice to hear as a parent.
The food was good too.
Here's the difference between high school and college as far as I can tell - in high school they need you to keep your grades up to stay on the team. They do in college as well, but it seems that having a high grade point average helps the team in a broader way that I am not totally clear on. So, even though Noah is the slowest guy on the team (and by slow I mean running 6-minute miles instead of 5-minute miles) he is a valued member of the team because of his high GPA.
I'm still trying to figure all of this out, but I know Noah was glad to know that his contribution is appreciated.
2. Over the holidays, Miss C's parents let me know, somewhat informally, that she will be doing pre-school and perhaps even kindergarten here. I am happy about that but also a little nervous. Homeschooling your grandchild is a little different than homeschooling your own child. For one thing, when we have a war of wills, Miss C will demand to go home!! and at 3 years old, she definitely has her own strong will.
But overall I'm excited to teach her some of the things I have learned in teaching her aunts and uncles, and I look forward to revisiting some of our favorite books again.
3. The logic class I am teaching for co-op is interesting. The ages are 8th grade through 12th, with Izzy being the oldest student in the class. Three of the students are siblings, and as of Tuesday there was only one boy. I think there will be two more boys but they have already missed two classes, so I wonder how that is going to work out.
As we get to know each other, I hope that I can fill our class time with more discussion and that it's not just me up talking for 30 minutes or more. I'm also hoping that the students will start finding logical fallacies on their own to share with the class.
As I mentioned earlier, I was very blessed to have Meryl Streep's speech to illustrate the Strawman argument this week. I also used the Trump/Clinton second debate to illustrate the Red Herring.
One of the books I am using to prepare for the class suggested resorting to humor when someone has used an ad hominem attack against you, and this exchange with Ronald Reagan is classic. I played it for the kids and they loved it!
4. This class is not brimming over with high schooled homeschool students. There are a couple of reasons for that. Of course, the most obvious reason is that many homeschoolers start attending public or private school during their high school years. But in Ohio, there is also a big push to have high school students do college work to save money on a college education.
I am of two minds on this- depending on the day, I could argue it passionately either way.
Argument A) High school is a relatively recent invention that came about to warehouse young people and keep them out of the work place so that adults would have a better shot at finding and keeping jobs. This is why you read that our founding fathers finished college at such a young age - they didn't have to mess around with high school! Their education just naturally flowed into higher education and was rewarded with a degree.
5. Argument B) But since we know that the adult brain isn't done developing until the 20s, it makes sense to keep teenagers in an educational environment constructed for them so that they can continue to be nurtured and develop in a mentally, psychologically and physically appropriate way. Thrusting them into collegiate academics at a younger age can be stressful. Also as homeschoolers, I think there is something to be said for using the last years of childhood to instill the values we want them to have and spend the last precious moments of youth with our kids before they leave the nest.
But honestly, I go back and forth on it. I'm glad Noah graduated with some college credit from CLEP tests. I wish he had more credit for cost reasons. But I'm glad I had him home last year and we were able to work on his studies together.
Like I said, I could argue passionately for either way.
6. The joy of having a daughter- I can finally delve into the Bronte Sisters!! Something I knew my sons wouldn't enjoy as much as she is!! We started Pride and Prejudice this week!
Sonia Moratta via Flickr licensed cc The Bronte Sisters
7. I don't like Joe Biden's politics , and I disagree with just about everything he stands for - but I did think this was touching (even if it does take this award "with distinction" down a couple of notches).