Monday, October 17, 2011

Homeschool Mother’s Journal: October 15, 2011

In Our Home This Week: I have been learning more and more about natural healing using herbs.  Greg and Grace have bodies that respond ideally to natural medicine.  Last year, Greg was told to clear his calendar and prepare for surgery for a severely herniated disc.  Rather than accept this fate blindly, we visited a Naturopath.  Two weeks later, we was walking, back to work, mostly pain free and at his follow up visit with the surgeon was dismissed for any medical procedure.  More recently, Grace’s ankle healed beautifully and quickly.  I feel it was attributed to our intense regimen of both herbal and homeopathic remedies.  
This week Grace has a gluten stomach ache.  These are painful and in the past she had to just wait it out usually falling asleep with a burning pain in her gut.  This time, I refused to accept that pain is something she just had to deal with.  I applied peppermint to her stomach and rubbed it in gently.  In 15 minutes, her pain was gone.  She has realized that she must maintain a mostly gluten-free diet so that when she wants to enjoy things like an occasional dinner roll or french toast she can.  
I have a thick book of material to read, loaned to me by a friend.  It is interesting to me that this type of reading would have been “work” before.  I was never really a read for knowledge type of gal.  I read purely for pleasure.  Now, I may squeeze in a fiction book here or there but mostly my reading serves to continue my own personal education of  changing the overall health and happiness of my family.
In My HomeSchool This Week:  Time is flying by.  The leaves are falling.  Wood is being stacked and we just might get the first fire of the season today.......I love fall.  While I have been on my own personal journey of learning, so have my girls. 
Lilah has been drawing all.the.time.  8:00a.m. Drawing.  10:00pm. Drawing. Drawing pictures of girls.  Some have super powers, most do not.  She has just ventured into drawing other things that interest or challenge animals and boy characters.
Grace has been reading.  She has more books out from the library right now than any person could possibly read in three weeks.  But that is okay.  I am so glad that she is inspired to read that I don’t care if she takes out 100 books, we can always renew them!  
Math: We met with Aunt again.  Lilah received a chance card of 50% off all new inventory orders so she redid her entire inventory....45 multiplication problems all done by hand, not calculator.  Grace received an additional sales card for $440.  After Lilah deducts her 50%, it will be interesting to compare who received the best deal!
History:  We read Chapter 3 in Story of the World.  I Netflixed a History Channel documentary about the middle ages but somehow missed the “dark, gritty” description.  After 30 seconds, we quickly agreed that is was NOT for us and youtube’d the much more docile art of medieval book binding.  We watched two short documentaries on how the parchment is made and how the books are created, printed and illustrated.  We then found a video on how to do calligraphy with a pencil.  The girls spent and hour practicing!
We are still plugging away with Beowulf.  Why do our real alouds take FOREVER to finish???  But we did listen to Joey Pigza Swallowed A Key this week in the car.  Not only did we finish that book, but we are half way through Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech. A pleasant surprise was that the Odyssey is mentioned frequently as the main character summarizes her summer reading and relates the Odyssey to her life.  This time last year, we were reading the Odyssey, so this gives us a nice little review!
Places We Are Going and People We Are Seeing:  This week, like most of our weeks, was full of friends.  I am grateful that we were able to connect with new friends that we have not seen in over a month.  They are in their first year of homeschooling and are figuring out how things will work best for their family.  I don’t miss that time.  I loved the new found freedom of being home, but I remember the conflicted feelings of “we must do this so it looks like what you would do in school” vs. “WHY???”  You all know that the why won out in our case and now our week’s learning is never the same.  Some weeks I may feel like we have accomplished more, but I never discount the little things that pop up in random and unexpected ways.  Last week we may have done more writing, but this week we clearly did more art and history.  Last week we may have taken an fantastic field trip, but this week we stayed home and read book after book.  It is all good.  It is all learning.
What We Are Reading:  I am reading a follow up to the herb book I read a few weeks ago.  The first book is more of a catalog for herbs classified by ailment.  This book is how to use the herbs to cure/relieve a specific symptom, ailment or illness.  I find it fascinating.  For pleasure, I read one of Lilah’s books, a book I really enjoyed.  
Lilah read a few Baby Mouse books, and Judy Moody and the Mad Mad Treasure Hunt.  
Grace finished her Diary of A Wimpy Kid book just in time for the much anticipated release of the next installment of the series.  She also read a Judy Moody for fun.  
Questions/Thoughts I am Pondering:  The Occupy Wall Street movement is frightening me.  I find it very Bolshevik.  Countries who have renounced Capitalism in favor of Communism eventually found that Capitalism works it’s way back into the system.   Capitalism is not the evil.  Capitalism is what allows protesters to blog and Facebook their protest on their iphones.   Capitalism is the GAP jeans they wear and the North Face fleece that keeps them warm. Capitalism is the Dunkin Donuts cups filled with coffee. If you look closely at the pictures posted all over the Internet, there contradictions are jarring (at least to me).  
The United States is not a truly capitalist country.  Socialism is also at play.  If this were entirely a market based country and social policies were set according to the theory that the market will provide, there would be no unemployment to extend, no food stamps, no free school lunches.  According to our Constitution, the Government does not exist to “take care of us”.  Good times or bad, we are supposed to take care of ourselves and when we fall upon bad times, we fall back on our faith, follow the Golden Rule, and help others of our own free will, because we care, not because we are forced to.    Corporate taxes and individual taxes are what makes social programs possible.  Glass houses.  Be careful when you cast stones against a system that is supporting you.
Rather than looking at the corporations and businesses of all sizes, who do pay tax (perhaps not as much as some would like, but are taxed nonetheless) how about we look at the vast majority of citizens in this country who rely on, benefit from, and feel they are entitled to the social services while relying on a majority of citizens to pay for them.  We have more people in this country receiving from the system than those who are paying into it.  Sustainable?  I think not.  
I agree that we need change.  Our country is at a turning point.  I fear for the direction in which it turns.
How many symbols of Capitalism can you spot?
“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.”   
 Frederic Bastiat

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