Category Archives: Al Gore

Homeschool Ramblings

Blogger AOW once told me, “To do homeschooling successfully, the task must be all-consuming.”

That’s pretty much right.  Like an ever-expanding balloon, it squeezes other stuff right out of the daily routine.  The days speed along so swiftly that they meld together.  I haven’t experienced this much blur since the boys were newborns.

So, okay.  Hard work.  The rewards are already pretty obvious, though.  First and foremost is the freedom.  Let’s be honest:  if your kids have any academic ability whatsoever, that ability is at risk of being stunted in the modern school setting.  Whether applying mind-numbingly boring “reading strategies ” to tedious, unrealistic stories or alphabetizing vocabulary words they already know by heart, the task is mandatory.

Not here.

So when I read the following in my 1st grade lesson book:

Objective:  to practice drawing conclusions

Briefly review “Go Away, Otto!” and “Fluff Is Missing!”  Remind your student that when he read these selections, he used story clues and what he knows to draw conclusions.  Explain to your student that when he wants to draw conclusions, he should stop, think, and decide.

Ask:  How can someone’s feelings change?  Discuss his answer.  Model your thinking:  After reading “Go Away, Otto!” I think that a person’s feelings can change. . . .  Have your student give examples of how feelings can or cannot change from the stories he has read.

Have your student retell the story of “Go Away, Otto!”  Then discuss what conclusions he can draw from the story.

I ignore it.  Really, it’s like boring children to death is the actual goal here.  Is it just me?

The internet is a game changer.  We have a whole world of information at our fingertips.  When an Aesop fable is assigned in the lesson (the curriculum does have some good stuff too), then I think, hmm.  That’s a name I should probably know more about.

So we end up here for thirty minutes reading fables, then we learn that King Croesus hired Aesop, and I remember that name from The Story of the World, so we revisit the King Croesus section and find that King Cyrus defeated the very rich Croesus while expanding the Persian empire.

I’m learning every bit as much as these kids are.

Then, when we read sentences in the science text like, “Hurricanes are becoming more and more common in some places.  Scientists are finding that higher temperatures are a factor,” well.  I can explain to my “students” that the statement is a load of baloney.

“Some places,” feh.  Which places?  If they are going to bring it up, why don’t they explain how higher temperatures affect storms?  That’s a pretty basic part of meteorology.  Are they really trying to explain weather, or just laying the foundation for global warming indoctrination?

What do you think?

My older is already very attuned to the whole “endangered Earth” thing.  The concept is virtually everywhere, and it initially frightened him.  He felt better when I told him about how acid rain was supposed to destroy the earth when I was little, but it never did. 

Then one night, he wandered into the office when I was watching this video:

He couldn’t stop giggling.  Several repeat plays were necessary.  I have to admit, the chase scenes are pretty funny.

Ever since that video, my older has been positively fascinated by Al Gore.  So, I once used Al Gore to teach him a new wordhypocrite.  Recently, Anthony Watts proved that Al Gore’s Climate 101 video contains a faked experiment.  After learning about this new development, my older proudly declared:  “Al Gore is not just a hypocrite.  He’s also a liar!”

So, yeah.  Homeschooling has many rewards.  I think we’ll start reading The Sky Is Not Falling soon.

Enough rambling.  Have a great rest of your week.