End of the Year Homeschooling & Best Summer Science Experiments

 

Our school year officially ended right before Memorial Day weekend, culminating in a week-long celebration of just doing whatever we could think of to have fun and let our son know how proud we were of his accomplishments throughout the year!¬† And there was so much more he was able to learn at home than he would have learned in school! ūüėĬ† It was an overall success and I can’t believe how much fun it all was ‚̧ .¬† He was already doing well in school, making all A’s, but hating the structure and the boring busy work, along with the teachers’ negative attitudes.¬† I’m so glad he doesn’t have to depend on only 20 minutes of recess anymore to get his freedom of play!¬† And seeing him go on to become even more proficient at math, reading and writing was encouraging to me as his teacher.¬† He can now, hands down, write a compare and contrast 1-page paper, or a critical thinking paper where he analyzes the truth about a situation, and on top of that (!!) he’s learned how to do all the prep work himself by creating brainstorming pages and learning how to organize his thoughts!¬† My heart is just swollen with so much pride for him, and he’s only about to be 9.¬† I can see how homeschooled kids have the opportunity to benefit so much more than public school kids from one-on-one daily tutoring styled teaching.

You just can’t beat 1. Going at a child’s own pace, whether it be faster or slower so they really grasp a complicated topic, and 2. One on one attention with a teacher/tutor.¬† Consequently, you also can’t accomplish those two deeds with a classroom of 20+ children.¬† It has been eye-opening realizing that having our son in public school, was actually holding him back from his full potential being realized.

I also loved being able to dig down deeper into the historical facts about the places and people we learned about in the coursework.¬† Instead of a progressive and anti-Christian/anti-family/anti-male academic environment, he was able to learn so many Christian facts about the European people who construct our history.¬† And instead of being taught the liberal propaganda of the Native Americans being all good-natured, kind and oppressed people groups, we were able to dig into the realistic advantages and disadvantages of being conquered, and the effects of refusal to assimilate now on some of the residual tribes’ economy and way of life in contrast to other groups who excelled in comparison.¬† When researching all the early explorers and conquistadors, we were blown away with how Satanic the Aztecs were, and in reading letters and diary entries, were able to, “see,” from firsthand accounts just how diabolical they were in the eyes of Cortes’ frightened, deeply Catholic soldiers.¬† Walls built entirely of human skulls, the altars constantly burning from human sacrifice, hearts rotting as they were left in offering to the demonic gods they worshiped openly and joyfully.¬† The entire city smelled of rotten flesh and death, and Cortes’ normally brave men were terrified of all of it.¬† History books try to paint it as a paradise of sorts, being naturally beautiful due to the island set-up, but according to his men, it was like a paradise in hell.¬† Do public schools teach all this now?¬† I’d bet money they don’t!

I didn’t know Cortes was such a strong Catholic that he desperately wanted to place crosses around the city, and over the idols they worshiped.¬† He repeatedly tried to convince the Aztec chief they were worshiping demons, which they clearly were, and I don’t remember learning the many times he gave them the opportunity to forgo war and be peacefully overtaken.¬† His men even allowed the Aztecs to still carry on with their festivals, provided they would not engage in human sacrifice, (which didn’t work out, as they refused to forgo human sacrifice and preferred to revolt/have war).¬† In harsh contrast to the education I had on this man, he came across as humble, kind, deeply religious and overly gracious in his desire to persuade them to avoid war and violence.¬† It’s ridiculous how much progressive propaganda has taken over the school system with distorted facts parents have to correct at home.¬† How much better it is to just teach the truth from the get-go!¬† ¬†

*

Our curriculum also encouraged us to do a Family Tree project that ended up becoming so complicated we’re extending it into the summer and next year!¬† Even just today while researching some more on the history of our relatives’ house and the town they settled in, I found out that a different ancestor on my dad’s side (a Texas Ranger Captain), personally collaborated with the town’s founder to scope out the territory that would eventually become my mom’s¬†great-grandparents’ hometown.¬† How amazing for our son to find out these two families were already in a strange way, connected.

We also learned that their house was written about by the man who designed Central Park, American landscape artist, Frederick Law Olmsted.¬† The house was already unique (built by Napoleon’s guard and a place where Robert E. Lee once stayed), but to read Olmsted’s description of it in his book, A Journey Through Texas, where he described it in first person, was just amazing.¬† He calls the town and the people who settled there, in comparison with the rest of Texas, “as far from Texan as possible,” as they were Alsatian, which is a French-German population of people who came from Alsace, a french province that has been passed from France to Germany in ownership I believe five times.

IMG_0619

Here is his excerpt on my great-great Grandparents’ house:

IMG_0622

Perhaps the most remarkable thing is the hotel, by M. Tarde, a two-story house, with double galleries, and the best inn we saw in the state.  How delighted and astonished many a traveler must have been, on arriving from the plains at this first village, to find not only his dreams of white bread, sweetmeats and potatoes realized, but napkins, silver forks, and radishes, French servants, French neatness, French furniture, delicious French beds, and the Courrier des Etats Unis; and more, the lively and entertaining bourgeoise.

I think the best part of this first year in our homeschooling adventure is wealth of Christian knowledge we were able to interject into what he was learning at the time.¬† Even with our family tree project, he’s finding out how important the Christian faith was in building communities that had strong morals and structure.¬† Or in crafting strong families with strong roots who were able to be sustained in hard or impossible times.¬† Even scholastically, our son was able to practice and learn most of his writing techniques in the second half of the year, while using the timeless classic Pilgrim’s Progress!!!!¬† So much of what he wrote about are concepts that most adults these days don’t even understand about theology and the spiritual journey!¬† His faith and love for God deepened so much!!¬† What a success it all was!!! ‚̧¬† You can’t get a Christian education within the public school system, and I’m¬†coming to believe that it is our job as parents to give our kids a Christian education.

So even though we did science experiments all throughout the year, he still wants to do more science over the summer.¬† Hence the video at the top ūüėÄ

 

Related Links

Christian Kids Need a Christian Education

Public Education: Trapped by the Progressive Agenda

New Perspective on Mother’s Day – Christian Families 100+ Years from Now

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: You Will Have Deep Roots to Withstand Persecution

 

 

 

Advertisements

1888 – Happily Married Couples Respond to Article Calling Marriage a ‘Failure’

In tandem with yesterday’s post¬†1888 ‚Äď Letters Show Women Who Create Happy Marriages Pick Well & Are¬†Mature, where I presented letters from couples who were in “Miserable” marriages,¬†today I wanted to focus on the letters from the “Happily Married” couples.

These letters were in response to a woman named Mona Caird, who wrote an article for the Westminister Review in 1888, calling marriage, “a failure… servitude to a man… the primary instituion by which women continued to be held in bondage… and for which their freedom has to be sacrificed.” ¬†The article was so provocative that it produced no less than 27,000 letters from women in response to it.

While many agreed that marriage was indeed, a failure, most of their responses could be identified as having either not picked (or been pushed to pick) men of good character who didn’t have the AAA characteristics (Alcohol, Abuse, or Affairs), or that they simply were not mature enough to create a good life with the good man that they picked. ¬†Many of the miserable married women’s attitudes displayed victim mentalities, selfishness, lack of conviction in how they should respond in unfavorable circumstances, and admittance that they were embittering their own children.

So what did the Happily Married group have to say about marriage being declared “a Failure?”

“Will you allow a married woman of twenty years’ experience to say a few words?… Marriage was instituted, I humbly conceive, in the interest of the weaker portion of humanity, viz. women and children, and it works more to their advantage than otherwise. ¬†Men could probably content themselves very well – and many do – with a system of free, i.e., temporary marriage.… ¬† The woman, I suppose, was intended to be subject. ¬†“He shall rule over thee,” was part of the curse pronounced on the first human sinner, Eve…. I write from a feminine standpoint only; and while admitting that marriage is often very disappointing, it cannot be considered a total failure so long as it carries on the race legitimately and surrounds the woman with the dignity – almost sanctity – of true wifehood and honourable motherhood. ¬†-FAITH AND HOPE

If you are sensible, intelligent, and diplomatic women, and do not expect too much of your husbands, you may be happy wives as a rule…. ¬†Use your own judgement in the treatment of the particular specimen of the genus homo on whom you bestow your affections. ¬†Above all, recollect that there must always be something on both sides to put up with, so bear and forbear; and if you get a decent fellow, he will love, respect, and appreciate you for it. ¬†If you find that your husband is at all inclined to go astray, give him a latchkey; he will soon tire of a liberty which is not disputed. ¬†Don’t sit up for him. ¬†Go to your rest contentedly, and meet him with a sweet, unsuspecting smile, and no embarrassing quesitons on his return in the small hours of the morning…. ¬†Under these circumstances your husbands will find no sport at all, and I warrants, will return home nightly at regular and respectable hours less than a month after. ¬†It rests with yourselves to a great extent whether your marriage turn out failures or not.” ¬†-EMILY COFFIN

On the eve of my marriage I made three mental vows. ¬†They were – never to aggravate him, never to have a secret from him, nor by any selfish or thoughtless act of mine to lead him one step towards bankruptcy. ¬†Fifteen years aftewards I told him of those vows, and alhtough I have been a widow for ten years, I should blot this paper with my tears if I attempted to put it in writing the love and tenderness of his reply…. ” ¬†-A BELIEVER IN THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE

“Will you give a workman’s wife a chance to say a few words on the marriage question?… ¬†Now, I am a married woman of forty years’ wedlock standing; therefore what I say is entitled to consideration. ¬†My verdict is “Marriage is not a failure,” and I will show you why I think so.

At fifteen, when I was an apprentice girl, I fell in love with my – well, my old man. ¬†He was an apprentice boy, four years older. ¬†We were very happy – happy as the finest swells that ever wooed, though neither of us consulted our parents as to our choice, and we enjoyed courting on the quiet, and we longed for the day when we could get married. ¬†As soon as he was out of his time we fixed the day; and one morning we both of us took the day off and marched away to church with a shopmate a-piece for witnesses and wedding train, and were united by a good-natured person, who seemed to relish the job of making so young and good-looking couple man and wife. ¬†My dowry was the love I had to give. ¬†His means were just what he could win week by week as a journeyman. ¬†With no bank account, and with but the slenderest sort of “establishment” we set up in matrimony, and we were as happy as was possible. ¬†Within a year my first boy was born. ¬†He has had eight brothers and sisters, and seven of them live in manhood and womanhood….. Why are we made men and women? ¬†Clearly to be partners one to the other, and to fulfill the divine mandate “Increase and multiply.” ¬†We are not put on this earth by God merely to amuse ourselves, but to do a work. ¬†Woman’s work is to be a mother, and form her children’s minds and educate their hearts. ¬†But in acquitting herself of these duties she finds wondrous joys if she be a true woman. ¬†What greater prize can there be in life than to find, when the hair has grown white and the step is losing its spring, that the children one has borne return her love and care a hundredfold and that every day the interest on the outlay grows apace? ¬†I don’t know of any; and I would not exchange the love of my sons and daughters, and the fireside quiet that is mine at near sixty, for the wealth of all the Rothschilds….

-A WORKMAN’S WIFE

“I had known my husband over three years before we were married, and saw a great deal of him; consequently we thought we understood each other’s disposition sufficiently to live happily together. ¬†But we had not been man and wife many months before I found he was drifting away from me…. The advice from different friends was: “If he goes his way, you go yours.” ¬†But I knew this was not the way to win him back; so, after bearing it pretty patiently for three years, I set about in my mind the best way to go to work…. I always met him at the door myself, as though nothing had happened, and paid the same little attentions I had always paid befor ewe were married, took great care to study what friends he liked, and made a rule to ask one or two cheerful ones to dinner two or three times a week.… So by degrees, I was enableed to wean him from bad companions, and now, for the past year or more, we have been as happy as possible….” ¬†-MIDDLE CLASS WOMAN

“Before many years pass we hope to celebrate our golden wedding, please God, and we are not tired of one another yet. ¬†But¬†I made many mistakes…. I know how to manage my husband now, and have learned to double his pleasures, which are not many, by sharing in them….” ¬†-WINNY JONES

***

There are so many distinctions between these happily married wives and the miserably married wives, that AAA men aside, reveal the overall conviction, passion, love, and maturity of the happily married women.

It is not that they were merely lucky, although maybe some luck played into some of their stories, but it’s obvious that even when they had maritial troubles, or mismatched personalities, the happily married wives showed patience and long-suffering sometimes for years so that they could come to a point where they were both on the same page together.

The happily married wives also showed characters of women who believed in “winning him over without a word, but in deed.” ¬†Instead of complaining, nagging, allowing themselves to be miserable companions, ruining their life and their children’s lives with the, these happy wives focused on doing what was right, having a good pleasant attitude, supporting their husbands even when it was difficult, and committing to take responsibility for¬†the marriage they desired.

Any thoughts on the differences or things that stuck out? ¬†For me personally, the happily married wive’s tales touched me. ¬†They had so much love, so much affection and conviction of their duty to their marriage, and to truly love their husbands, it was touching to see that even when friends would tell them to go their own way, they knew it was the wrong advice.

1888 – Letters Show Women Who Create Happy Marriages Pick Well & Are Mature

About a year ago, I picked up a book from the library thinking it would be an interesting read. ¬†I had no idea I was picking up a book written by a feminist author, who’s agenda was clear and intriguing through all it’s 400 pages. ¬†I’m so glad I read it, as it helped me to understand from a feminist perspective, the lies that are promoted about women and marriage.

Although there could possibly be 100 different post ideas or more from this one gem of a feminist book, one of the more interesting ones to me that caught my attention, was centered on what creates happiness in marriage.

So what creates happiness in marriage?

According to feminism, it’s all on the man. ¬†He has to meet all her needs first, no matter how outlandish they are, and then she’ll meet his needs in return, like a reward for letting her get her way. ¬†He has to accept her the way she is, or the way she will let herself physically and emotionally become (if she gains weight or acquires a contentious spirit after marriage), and he can’t ask her to change because that would be uncomfortable for her to face her faults. ¬†It’s the whole “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” meme… if “Mamma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!”

And that is very true.  If the mom/wife decides to not be happy, to be miserable even though she has a good man, has a nice house, has more than enough money and has the blessings of children, then everyone in the house will suffer because of it.  It comes down to immaturity or lack of character.  If a woman cannot earnestly create a happy marriage with a normal, good man, then she is failing not only herself, but also her husband and even failing her children.

It’s my opinion that it’s fairly easy to create a happy marriage.

Unless you’re married to a AAA man who’s truly abusive, or an alcoholic, or a philanderer, (Abuse/Alcohol/Affairs), men are simple and are quite easy to make happy or content. ¬†So the AAA issues aside, in my opinion, it’s the wife who has a lot of control in either creating or destroying their marriage from the inside out. ¬†A woman who is not married to a AAA member, and who is still harping on minor things like jealousy over his hobbies, flying into emotional rages, making everyone miserable in her household, is selfish and has never learned how to become a mature woman.

This expectation that a wife needs to be mature, is something that society thinks is asking too much of her. ¬†It’s the man’s responsibility to do everything the way she wants it right? ¬†He’s supposed to make her happy… never mind that she actually controls her own happiness.

So it seems that not only must a woman pick well (avoid the AAA types and personalities), but also she must grow into maturity in order to accept her part in creating a beautiful marriage.

Back to feminist book I read a year ago, in describing the “New Woman in England,” the author talked about a Mona Caird, who was the first one to bring this issue to the public, and wrote an article in 1888 entitled, “Marriage,” that was published in the Westminister Review. ¬†Her article received no less than 27,000 letters sent in as the public responded to her claims about marriage.

Caird pronounced marriage “a failure.” ¬†Because a wife was still subject to a “system of purchase,” she was forced to develop her moral standards “in accordance with her servitude to man.” ¬†A wife did not honor her own intelligence, education, or chastity, except to the extenet that it was “relative” to her husband. ¬†…

Because the wife’s virtues “belong” to her husband, he sees himself “dishonoured” by any of her failings. ¬†the idea that a man’s honor can be injured by his wife’s infidelity is, in Caird’s eyes, “a most naive proclamation of the theory of proprietorship.” …

Caird offered a number of radical proposals to alter this state of “degrading bondage” (aka marriage). ¬†One solution was to reject marriage altogether. ¬†this was the option taken by “an increasing number of women… refusing a life of comparative ease in marriage, rather than enter upon it as a means of livelihood, for which their freedom has to be sacrificed.”

I found in reading the short clips from the marriages that they could be separated into two groups: Happy or Miserable, and within the Miserable Marriage group, into 4 more separations: Abuse, Alcohol, Affairs, or Immaturity. ¬†Here are some of these women’s personal thoughts from 1888. ¬†I found them all fascinating, and it comforting to know that people really haven’t changed that much. ¬†That even over 100 years ago, women were either capable of creating a beautiful marriage, or were only focused on themselves and whether or not all their circumstances were perfect.

Miserable Marriages in 1888:

“I must say I concur in the suggestion that greater facilities should be afforded for divorce. ¬†Let me cite my own case. ¬†My husband is a helpless drunkard. ¬†It is true, he earns a good living and keeps me in comparative luxury; but is this an adequate consideration for the fact that i have to associate with a drunken, besotted husband five nights out of seven?”

-Lucretia

“I should indeed be grateful to Mrs. Mona Caird, or to anybody else, who would show us unhappily married folk a decent way out of our difficulties. ¬†Marriage, in my case, has been a miserable failure, simply because my husband and I do not suit each other. ¬†Ours is a clear case of incompatibility, proved beyond all doubt by the almost daily jarring and wrangling of some fourteen years.… ¬†We have both broken every vow we made to each other on our wedding day, save one; and being highly moral, if nothing else, we must still endure, wearing out our days in mutual misery, and darkening and embittering our children’s lives by a loveless and joyless home… ” -A TIRED WIFE

“I myself am a deserted wife, and my husband has treated me with exceptional contempt and unkindness, but I am proud to say that so great is my reverence for the sanctity of the marriage vow, that if my husband sent for me to return to him to-morrow, I would go, and with a hearty will and friendly affection strive to do my duty to him. ¬†-A City Merchant’s Wife

“I married, unthinkingly, a man whom I did not love. ¬†I thought that perhaps I might grow to care for him, but I did not do so…. ¬†As I am his wife, I consider that I ought to stay with him, but my whole soul revolts against being tied to a man for whom I have no particle of love, and who, in tastes, character, pursuits, is my direct opposite. ¬†I reflect how much better a woman I should have been had love and not duty, ruled me…. ” ¬†-MATRIMONIAL ADVENTURER

“My partner and I suffer from a total incompatibility of disposition. ¬†We do not quarrel but there is an absolute want of sympathy – an absolute antipathy of every thought and feeling… ¬†I believe there would be fewer fretful, unhappy, and brokendown wives if husbands would see that their wives had amusements and occupations, apart from domestic matters…. ¬†Another case of “Failure” in marriage is the objection English husbands have to their wives being independent in money matters… Few men realise how humiliating it is to a woman of independent spirit to ask for every sixpence, nor the spirit of bitterness and rebellion that it engenders…. ¬†” -A LOST LIFE

The Happily Married women of 1888 who were part of the 27,000 letter response will be featured tomorrow, along with their secrets to what made a marriage happy even then.  Will it be the same things that make marriages happy today?

(Quotes and excerpt taken from A History of the Wife, by Marilyn Yalom)

My Grandma’s Garden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yesterday we spent Easter at my Grandma’s old house. ¬†Really it belonged to my Great-Grandparents, and the house itself is nearing it’s 100th birthday. ¬†It’s architecture style, the way the front and backyard is lined out, tell a story of long ago; it’s both mysterious and inviting. ¬†Many family memories have been made there, my own mother’s memories, my Grandfather’s memories of being raised as a boy there with 3 sisters, not to mention my memories of being there with my own Grandparents! ¬†It’s a generational house, passed down again and again.

In the backyard there is a secret place, a concrete slab that is easily hidden by grass and leaves that reveals the little handprints of my Grandpa and his sisters’ when they were young. ¬†So much history is there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Great Grandmother had a beautiful rose garden, she was English and they love their roses. ¬†When she passed away, my Grandma took it over and made it her own. ¬†I’m just not a rose bush girl… the thorns always seem to get me one way or another, no matter if I’m careful and wearing gloves, there always seems to be one thorn that is skilled in cutting through. ¬†My favorite flowers (that look like roses) are Gardenias – the beautiful white, satiny petals, the rose-like shape, but the gentleness and friendliness of being thornless.

They are the “perfect rose” to me, perfumed with a heavenly scent, equipped with an ethereal beauty, and no danger of drawing blood.

But my family has loved roses, and they are so beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the midst of a bustling city, very close to the heart of our downtown, it is still a strange oasis – time stops when you’re wandering in their garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGenerations of Beauty.

My First Love

Image

I’ve always loved downtown. It really doesn’t matter the city, although I love our city the best – almost any city’s downtown ambiance has captured me since I was a little girl.¬†

Maybe it’s because I went there so much when I was young, that downtown carries with it a sense that something magical could happen to you.¬† My grandparents took me there frequently – it was always magical with them.¬†

Or maybe it’s because I spent a couple week-nights each week, dancing when I was a pre-teen to age 18 in a place that became like a second home to me – my favorite dance studio was in the middle of downtown.¬† My class lasted 3 hours (it was very intense dancing – we weren’t just dancers, we performed on the weekends around¬†and for our city), and before every class my mom and I spent precious time together shopping around downtown, looking at art downtown, eating delicious food downtown.¬†

Maybe it’s the rare experiences that come from performing in front of crowds or in parades; having had been on a stage since age 4, I took this feeling for granted.¬†Either way, a majority of our performances were held downtown, and¬†I still miss performing.

Or maybe it’s the beautiful history in all the buildings, that captivate me with their exhilarating stories!¬† My mom loved educating my brother and I on the beautiful stories about the people and the buildings – she frequently scared us by taking us on real ghost hunts – it was intense.¬† Oh how I wish I could go back in time and meet some the most incredible people – people¬†that did some amazing things, accomplished such difficult tasks –¬†in war, in politics, in love, in life.¬† Every city’s downtown has history, and history – knowing the truth of things that were¬†– is beauty.¬† Discovering the truth, peeling back the layers of time is exhilarating.¬† Downtown is fascinating.¬†

I could go the romantic route, and reveal to you that downtown is where my husband and I had our first date Рand also where he brought me back to pop the question with a gorgeous diamond ring.  Downtown brought me love, and each year we celebrate it there.

Now that I’m a mom, it is beyond description to explain to you the JOY I feel in taking my son downtown – he absolutely loves it, and we take him there fairly frequently.¬† It’s so wonderful for my husband and I to see his eyes light up with the sensations buzzing around him, the noises, the fragrant smells, the perfumes, the delicious foods.¬†

I can already see the love for downtown growing in his heart lol.¬† And how could it not?¬† He might look like a photocopy of my husband, but he’s still my son.

(Picture taken Spring 2013, of the San Antonio Riverwalk)