Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gist Academy for Gifted Youngsters 2014-2015 Curriculum Choices

We will probably be doing a Savvy Homeschool Moms show on our curriculum choices for this year, but I thought it would be a good way to get back into blogging. Keep in mind, as with everything homeschooling this list is subject to change! 



TOGETHER:

History 
  • History Odyssey Modern Times, we are still working on the level one curriculum, but Dani still enjoys it so I think we will continue this as something both children do together. 
JACK-JACK, 3rd Grade (9 years old)

Language Arts 
  • Moving Beyond the Page, ages 6-8, this also incorporates Social Studies and Science appropriate to the books we are currently reading! 
  • All About Reading, Level 2, we are working on Level 1 now, and we are loving it! Jack has done so much better with this than any other language arts program we've tried, for learning the mechanics of reading. 
Math
  • Math Mammoth, 4th Grade, we are continuing with Math Mammoth, Jack is a grade ahead in math, and he continues to do very well with the concepts as they are presented by MM. 
Science

DANI, 7th Grade (age 12)

Language Arts
Math
  • This one is up in the air at the moment. Math Mammoth says they will have 7th grade available at the end of August, if so, we will continue with Math Mammoth. 
Science

And of course, they will continue to attend enrichment classes at Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center.




I suck as a blogger these days.

I was coming to my blog to check out my old Menu Planning Monday posts, for some inspiration for our menu for this week, and I see that I haven't actually blogged since October of last year! My goodness, I remember when this blog was so important.. but now with Facebook, I don't need this blog as an outlet to keep friends and family updated on our lives anymore. But I do want to keep it going, I still get hits (bizarre!) and I still enjoy the long form version that Blogger offers vs Facebook. So, here I am, and I am gonna be here more often. But for now, I think I will make a post outlining the curriculum we are going to use for fall this year! I have a 3rd grader and a 7th grader this year! WOW! 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Annual Halloween Post (#2)

Every year at this time, I climb on my soapbox like Andy Rooney on a bender, and rant and rave about how people are ruining my favorite holiday, Halloween. My usual favorite topics are the ever amusing Chick Tracts that people have the audacity to give to my children with their fun sized bags of M&Ms (check out the new one for this year, First Bite!), cities that postpone or worse yet cancel their trick or treating because of religious pressures or Halloween falling on a Thursday, and ANYONE who holds a Trunk or Treat in a church parking lot to help save their spawn from the horrors of the Pagan holiday. So far the airwaves have been pretty quiet, so I will just repost my post from 2009, and keep an eye on this space for any future developments ;)

REPOSTED FROM 2009:

Free Range Kids has a great post about how Halloween is being ruined for scores of children FOR NO GOOD REASON!! Something I have discussed on this blog several times ;)

Read it here!

Here is a repost of my classic posting from 2008 ;)

It's that time of year again...
When families are faced with the choice, to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween. Personally, I am sure all of you know, I not only celebrate Halloween, I revel in it! I LOVE Halloween, and would prefer to get rid of Christmas and Thanksgiving all together ;)

But I swear, the more I read people's arguments on why to NOT celebrate Halloween, I am filled with a dread that I can't shake. Are people really so paranoid of a holiday that PartyWorks and Hershey's have so corrupted from it's original form, that it is barely recognizable?? I understand the not wanting to expose your children to excessive blood and gore, okay, I get that. But to not even let them dress up and trick or treat?? Or worse yet, to be a TOTAL hypocrite and let them go to a trunk or treat at the local church. If they are trunk or treating, you are celebrating, so get over yourselves.

Let me give you a few thoughts to ponder. First off, if you have EVER gotten your information about Halloween from a Chick Tract, then please, click away from my page now and go and pray or something, cause you are too stupid to continue reading.

First off, Halloween started out as a harvest holiday known as Samhain. Now contrary to popular Christian belief, there was NEVER a pagan god known as Samhain. Samhain is derived from the Celtic word for Summer's End, cause DUH! it happened at the end of summer, LOL! So, no pagan god Samhain, and therefore no human sacrifices to him. Also, pagan's don't believe in Satan, and they sure don't worship him, cause he's NON-EXISTENT in pagan culture. So, no human sacrifice to him either. In fact, there is NO human sacrifice in paganism today, AT ALL! And if you look at history, Christians have killed many, many more humans then any pagans, I'm just sayin...

Secondly, the whole idea of poisoned, tampered with, or booby trapped candy. This is a myth that has been blown so far out of proportion, it's absurd! TWO, yes TWO cases of children being killed by Halloween candy have been recorded in the news since 1964 (yep, that was 44 years ago people). The first was a boy in 1970 who ate his uncles stash of heroin, and then the family tried to cover it up by saying the drugs were in his Halloween candy. The second, in 1974, a boy ate a pixy stick that was laced with poison. Upon investigation it turned out the boys own father planted the candy in his son's bag, to collect on the boy's insurance money. NEVER has there been a recorded incident of a stranger handing out laced, tampered with or poison treats on Halloween to random neighborhood children, and contrary to the Chick tract above, it is not common practice to do this to harvest sacrifices for Satan!

So, while I can go on and on about the non-horrors of Halloween, I do want to make a point. These days, Halloween is another hallmark holiday, cleansed of all it's original roots, and make palatable to the masses. If you are a family who chooses to NOT celebrate Halloween because of it's pagan roots, then I recommend you think twice about Easter and Christmas too. Because the "historical" activities attributed to those holidays, namely the birth of Christ and his resurrection, remain unproven at best, and the actual dates of said activities and the celebrating of those holidays are NOT specifically condoned in the bible. Shockingly the dates and MOST of the activities now celebrated for those holidays are in fact PAGAN in origin ;) Christmas trees or Easter bunnies anyone??

I will accept reasonable discussion of this topic in my comments. BUT keep in mind, any argument you make to me that uses God or the Bible as it's basis, will be countered with the teachings of the ALL POWERFUL AND KNOWING SQUIRREL IN MY BACK YARD :) After of course, the appropriate offerings of nuts and seeds are made ;)

It's that Halloween time of year again..

Time for me to step up on my soap box, with my annual Halloween Post! 

There is something I want to remind people about. There are going to be lots of children out trick or treating. And honestly, I'd hate for one of them to see me beat you down. 

Why, you might be wondering, would I be threatening the nice people who are just handing out candy to kids? Because every year there are a few ignorant f*cks who require my son to say "Trick or Treat" before making with the fun sized Snickers. 

My son has a speech delay, and while most of the time most people mostly understand most of what he says, he has a really hard time speaking to strangers, or in stressful situations. Such as when some idiot is holding a bowl of candy just out of his reach and saying, "what do you say??" Umm, I say make with the candy before I smack your stupid face. 

There are few things that actually get me as angry as this insistence on saying "magic words." Heck, I don't even make a fuss when people give my kids Chick Tracts (see previous Halloween post) or campaign literature with their cheap dum-dums. I calmly strip the offending paper off the candy and hand it back to them with a smirk. (Unless its a Halloween chick tract, I'm saving those for an art project). But insist my child says "magic words" to get candy and I will go mama bear on you. And yes, I suppose I could explain to all those people or better yet, make him wear a button, right? WRONG! 

There is an unwritten contract on Halloween, you have lights on, kids knock, you give them candy. Period.. 

As Wil Wheaton says, "Don't be a dick" especially on Halloween.. 


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

It's Back to School time again!! (2013-2014 Curriculum)

While the sounds of children screaming, "NO, NO SUMMER IS NOT OVER!!" gently waft through the air, homeschool parents fancy lightly turns to thoughts of curriculum. And here at the Gist Academy for Gifted Youngsters we are stocking up on school supplies and the mail carrier keeps bringing packages of shiny new books! With out further adieu, our curriculum for 2013-2014* 


Jack-Jack, age 7, 2nd Grade-ish

Explode the Code ~ Continuing on from where we left off, supplemented with lots and lots of easy reader books
Moving Beyond the Page ~ ages 5-7
Math Mammoth ~ Finishing up 2nd grade (light blue series) and moving on to 3rd grade as appropriate
Real Science Odyssey ~ Life Science, finishing up what we missed last year, then moving on to Earth and Space
He will also be continuing with the enrichment classes through our charter school, Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center, and Occupation and Speech Therapy weekly. 

Danielle, age 11, 6th Grade-ish

Moving Beyond the Page ~ ages 9-11
Winning With Writing ~ We started this one over the summer to touch on some of the mechanics of writing that I felt she was missing. 
Math Mammoth ~ Finishing up 5th Grade, and moving on to 6th Grade as appropriate
Real Science Odyssey ~ Biology 2 we are about half way through this, so we will finish this up. 
Elemental Science Earth Science & Astronomy ~ We will be moving to Elemental Science once we finish Biology 2
Plus the enrichment classes offered through our charter school, Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center

Both Children Together

History Odyssey Middle Ages Level 1 ~ Finishing this one up!
History Odyssey Early Modern Level 1 ~ Then on to the next time period! 

That's the plan for now, as usual, we'll see how things go and make adjustments as we go along


* (subject to change with out warning, warning: may contain traces of nuts, Do not use around pets, Be kind - Rewind)

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Regeneration is hard..

Whovians around the world right now are mostly likely doing one of three things:
  1. Laying on the floor in a fetal position sobbing
  2. Running in circles cheering
  3. Frantically watching everything with Peter Capaldi in it on Netflix. 
The reason for this is, while we have known that our current Doctor, Matt Smith was going to be leaving the show, we just found out today who is going to replace him, Peter Capaldi. If you have watched Doctor Who, you might recognize him as Caecilius in Fires of Pompeii, or on Torchwood: Children of Earth as John Frobisher. 

NeoWhovians, as in those who have only been watching since the 2005 reboot, often have visceral reactions to a regeneration, grasping desperately to their chosen Doctor (often David Tennant) and refusing to see the good points of any one who DARES try to take on the roll. I myself have been guilty of this at points in my life, namely when ever any Doctor has regenerated. But I pride myself on my ability to get up off the floor, and remember that each actor brings something new to the role, but the Doctor at heart remains unchanged. 

So while I may have initially reacted to the news in a less then joyous manner, I am reminded that Doctor Who is more then the man who plays the role. It's a huge fandom that I am proud to be a part of. It's a story about (if I may steal from Craig Ferguson) the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. 


Here are just a few actors who have played the Doctor, and there was a general uproar when they took control of the TARDIS, and yet, we all survived, and they were fantastic, and we were sad to see them go. I imagine the same thing will happen when Peter takes the controls, and that's all part of the Doctor Who experience :)


 The 9th Doctor

 The 10th Doctor

 The 11th Doctor

And, announcing, the 12th Doctor! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy Blogaversary to me.

9 years ago I started this little blog, and 9 years later I feel a twinge of guilt that I haven't worked harder to keep it up. With the advent of Facebook, I find I no longer need the blog to keep distant family and friends up to date on the younglings. I still enjoy the long form style of blogging for some things, but the day to day stuff has really shifted more to Facebook. 

Still 9 years isn't something to sneeze at, and I am still here posting now and again.