Friday, October 30, 2009

This fall

Our schooling life has changed profoundly this year, what with Yakov in Israel and Shoshie rarely at home because of working and community college courses. Noach, 13, is really the only one who needs daily attention. It's so quiet here now.

Noach, who has usually been along for the ride with whatever his sibs were doing, is now looking for his own way in the academic world, and social world too. He is not a big reader, so unlike his brother and sister, and this has caused a major shift in how we are doing school.

History is being done largely with movies. Our focus right now is Medieval history. We watched a 5 hour version of Ivanhoe that we loved. We also enjoyed Becket. Now we are watching a PBS documentary, Islam: Empire of Faith. Before we move on to the Renaissance, I plan for us to see Kingdom of Heaven and either The Name of the Rose or a Father Cadfael mystery. The former has one of Noach's favorite actors, Sean Connery, and the latter, one of my favorites, Derek Jacobi. I ask him to write some dates, such as the death of Becket or the reign of Henry II, in a timeline book that he has been keeping for years and we look at maps to get a feel for geography and the settings of the movies.

Science is being done in a homeschool class once a week. They are doing introductory Physical Science. From my standpoint, this is a social activity as much as science. It does require homework weekly and this is a new experience for him.

Math is daily but we aren't following a particular program right now. MUS provided some review earlier in the fall. Soon we will do Hands-On-Equations and I want us to work on probability which he seems to have missed.

We read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and are now reading Treasure Island. I plan for us to be continually reading some classic. We started Lightening Lit 7 but the formal lessons have fallen by the wayside.

He attends a class with 2 other boys on Monday and Thursday mornings where they discuss NY Times articles. Each brings one article to discuss. The boys have varying interests and so the class tends to have lively discussions on a variety of topics. The mom who leads the group also gives them vocabulary words and makes some informal research assignments, such as find out who Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela are and what they have in common. This too is a big social event for Noach and he has really enjoyed the class.

The new Chaplain's Aide also is supposed to be working on his religious award for Scouts. He should begin that next week. We have to ask someone to be his supervisor. And we have to start going to synagogue more often. Fortunately the new student Rabbi seems to be quite good.

Noach, the aspiring cook, has been cooking some too. I want him to plan, prepare and clean up from one dinner a week. Today he will plan next week's menu so we can shop for the ingredients over the weekend. He has baked 2 cakes from scratch. I purchased a Mixmaster mixer for him because I only have a handheld one and it is old. Maybe he can take a cake decorating class. I'll be looking for one.

So that's what we are doing. I have been blogging very rarely lately. I'll try to do better as if anyone cares. And soon I can blog about Shoshie's college search. And my creating another transcript. PRM

Three years old

Zissa punim.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Chaplain's Aide

of Troop #. Noach decided that he was going to run for Chaplain's Aide in his scout troop. "So I can be sure we don't have any campouts on my holidays," he said. I'm really proud of him for taking on this position. He will be adding a bit of diversity. He had to lead a prayer for a meal on a campout a few months ago and he did a motzi. Then he explained what it meant to the other boys.

And he advanced to Second Class Scout. Finally.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Our chief zombie fighter is out of the country now so I'm feeling a little vulnerable. But he trained his siblings and we have a lot of duct tape so I think we will be okay. PRM

Wordless Wednesday

All my children. And grandchild, too. PRM

Friday, October 9, 2009

I think the Nobel means 3 things

1. a thumb in the eye of George Bush,
2. an appreciation for Obama's turning the US back to diplomacy, peacemaking and moral leadership, and finally,
3. a challenge to live up to the fine words and ideas Obama has expressed.

Let's hope he meets the challenge. PRM

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Remember to place your own bra mask on first

before helping your neighbor or small child.
At the 2009 ceremony, Public Health Prize winner Dr. Elena Bodnar demonstrates her invention — a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander. She is assisted by Nobel laureates Wolfgang Ketterle (left), Orhan Pamuk, and Paul Krugman (right). PHOTO: Alexey Eliseev.

Yes, it's the IgNoble Awards. Krugman looks like he just can't stand it unless he gets to help with the bra placement. PRM

Desert Adventure

Here is 19yo son in Israel, enjoying the desert with his friends. They have done a lot of hiking.

Wait, wait! What is he doing? Climbing down into a tunnel? Oh, we forgot to warn him about climbing down into strange tunnels in the desert.

And we forgot to warn him about old guns in tunnels in the desert.

What else did we forget to warn him about? What difference would it make if we had warned him? None. PRM

Friday, October 2, 2009

Letterboxing today

Beautiful day. Four boxes. PRM