Archive for September 2009

September 2009 Reading List

September 30, 2009

1.  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque : I don’t know what to say about this book.  I am glad that I read it.  It takes a very deep look at the insanity of war, but not quite in the fun way that Catch-22 does it.  It gave me a much better understanding of World War I, but it was especially interesting to remember that it is written from the perspective of the “bad guys”.

2.  Star Wars Fate of the Jedi:  Abyss by Troy Denning:  The plot thickens…and after all these years I still love reading Han and Leia tease each other.

3.  Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman:  I totally agree with Klosterman’s assessment that everyone wants “fake love”.  I also tend to agree that all probability is really 50/50.  I had to really push myself to read through the chapter comparing everything in life to a Lakers/Celtics rivalry.  I did find it amusing that he asks people what kind of speech he would give if at a party whose entire guest list include former sexual partners especially since I’ve only had one partner who happens to be my husband.  Something tells me he doesn’t hear that a lot.  Overall, it’s a very fun book to read.  One thing that struck me (being me) is the influence of his Catholic upbringing in ways that Klosterman probably doesn’t even realize.

4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh:  I’ve heard this book recommended in Catholic circles but I’m not exactly sure why.  It does center around a wealthy Catholic family between WWI and WWII, but I don’t know that I would really call it a “Catholic book” thematically.  There were two things I found interesting. 1) Lady Marchmain was more concerned about her daughter marrying a non-Catholic than her son having a homosexual affair.  I find this interesting given the idea that society was more unforgiving of homosexuality back then than it is today.  Secondly, there’s a part where Sebastian Flyte (I wish I could find the exact quote) where he explains to Charles that Catholics see the world in a completely different way than most other people.  Charles argues otherwise because he just can’t see the world as Sebastian and his family do.  Interesting book; I’m glad I read it.

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7 Quick Takes (v. 7)

September 25, 2009

7_quick_takes1.  It’s amazing sometimes how one small thing can lead to much bigger things down the road.  For instance when we first moved into our house, we started recycling newspapers and milk jugs.  Three years later we now recycle grocery bags (paper and plastic), aluminum cans and foil, plastic and glass bottles, and various food boxes.  I have two recycle boxes in the house:  one for sheets of paper and this wonderful one I bought for tossing everything else.  Three years ago we put out one recycle bin each week; most weeks we now set out two or three.

2.  When it came to healthier eating, that one small thing was buying fruit spreads with no added sugar or sugar substitutes.  Now I constantly check labels hoping to avoid things like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and food colorings as much as possible without completely killing our desire to eat.  This is how I happened to have a jar of Polaner All Fruit Orange Marmalade in the refrigerator (not something I would expect to have in my refrigerator).

3.  For the past few weeks I’ve been really trying to stick exactly to my grocery budget of $140 or even come under.  So, when it came time to get a new jar of sweet & sour sauce to go with my Aldi-brand chicken egg rolls, I decided to save a few dollars and try them with the Polaner Orange Marmalade.  Since the sweet & sour sauce I had been using was apricot based and it looked kind of like  jelly, I figured the orange marmalade wouldn’t be that big of a stretch.  And, ya know?  I think I actually liked using the orange marmalade better.  It added a touch of flavor but wasn’t quite as sweet.

4.  I can’t get Katie to try any fruit spreads or cream cheese or regular cheese or peanut butter or pasta or anything that isn’t a close cousin to junk food.  She’s eats the following:  crackers, cookies, yogurt, bananas, fruit and cereal bars, french fries, and various cereals like honey puffs, fruity rice, and fruit loops.  That is pretty much all she will eat.  She will also drink some whole milk and apple juice (mixed with water).  So, I’ve been hesitant to wean her because I figure she needs all the vitamins she can get from the Mommy Milk.

I don’t know if I will be able to survive the eruption of her top molars, though.  She doesn’t sleep well, waking up sometimes every hour.  And she insists on nursing.  By insists, I mean Katie throws the biggest temper tantrum and claws at my shirt if I try to resist giving her what she wants.  The older two might have whined a little bit, but Katie gets really pissed off.  Of course, the one down-side of co-sleeping is keeping her from waking up Piper or my husband.  I’ve nursed Katie slightly longer than I did the other two, but I think her time is almost up.

5.  I have a feeling, though, that in order to make the weaning process less tortuous I am going to have to do two things.  First of all, I am going to have to be less lazy about feeding her.  I’ve fallen into the bad habit of putting her in her feeding chair with things she can easily self-feed  while I do other things.  So, I need to make a more concerted effort to feed her myself and snuggle with her when she is drinking a cup of milk.  Maybe then she won’t just connect nursing as her only intimacy.  Secondly, I think I need to starve her a bit.  Maybe if I only let her eat every two to three hours and give her a chance to build up a real appetite she’ll be less picky about eating a wider variety of foods.

6.  There’s a third thing that I really need to do, too.  I need to start getting Piper out of the family bed.  I think not nursing Katie at night would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to worry about her waking up Piper.  I meant to start the process months ago, but then Piper got in this habit of snuggling with her head on my chest.  Since she’s not been big on physical affection for the past two years, I really hated to give that up.  But the snuggling has turned more into bucking around while pretending to snuggle, leaving me with a sore arm and shoulder much of the time.  She has recently conceded that I can kiss her on the cheek a bit as long as I’m not wearing lipstick (which I rarely do anyway).

In two weeks, Piper will turn four and two days later I will be separating the twin bed and the queen-sized bed to prepare her to move out.  I am still a little unsure about whether to move her into the bed with Bailey (the original plan) or put her and the twin bed in the play room.  The past few times I’ve tried putting them into the bed together it’s only lasted about 30 minutes before they’re both crying that they want her out.  Bailey is a late to bed/late to rise kind of person and she also feeds off of conversation to stay up later.  Piper tends to be an earlier riser, and when she’s ready to go to sleep she’s ready to go to sleep.  I think there will be lots of trial and error and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

7.  Speaking of teeth, we’ve been calling Bailey “snaggle-tooth” for the past couple months.  Her two front teeth started getting loose and the one on the right turned sideways and slid behind her other one.  We finally got it to come out a few weeks ago.  Well, the one on the left shifted dramatically once the right one was gone.  It’s looked like it was dangling by one root for weeks.  The sucker won’t come out, though.  Now her two adult teeth are starting to come in right behind it, and it is actually less loose than it was before.  We’re kind of worried that if it doesn’t come out soon it might damage her permanent teeth (leading to a lot of extensive and expensive orthodontics work).  So, we’re off to the dentist again tomorrow morning…

7 Quick Takes (v. 6)

September 11, 2009

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1.  In an attempt to save some money, I finally took the time to fill out some of those surverys on the White Castle receipts.  It took about two to three minutes, and you get a code good for three free cheeseburgers.  I had been hesitant to do it for a couple reasons.  1) I’m lazy.  2) I have other things I’d rather be doing.  3) I don’t even really like cheeseburgers.  However, in the interest of frugality, now that our fat summer paychecks are a thing of the past, I filled out the surveys.  It should save us a couple dollars at least.  I’m hoping, though, that they’ll let me trade in each receipt for three free White Castles (no onion, extra pickle) instead.  After all, it would save them money since the cheese is always so expensive.  Or I could see if they would give me two of the three plain cheeseburgers without the burger, since that’s how Piper eats them.  Bailey usually opts for one plain cheeseburger and one plain fish sandwich.  Or I could pass on the fruits of my hard work to my dear husband.  After all they were his receipts for his cheeseburger purchases.  We’ll see.

2.  Katie has been kind of ban from the kitchen.  Bailey and Piper were rarely allowed in the kitchen before the age of three.  This rule started not only as a safety precaution about having babies underfoot while cooking, but because when we had a cat his litter box and bowls were in the far corner of the kitchen in our apartment.  This kept little baby Bailey was eating the cat food or worse.  When we moved to our house, we kept up the tradition even though we no longer had the cat.  However, I can’t tell you how many times we knocked down the gate in a rush, and it did a bit of damage to entryway walls.  So, when Piper got old enough, we just put the kitchen gate away in the garage.

Katie has had free reign of the kitchen since she started becoming mobile about six months ago.  When she was crawling I just had to make sure everything was swept up, which I needed to do a better job at anyway.  When she started walking, it wasn’t too big of deal.  We started having problems when she started climbing up into the kitchen chairs.  I can’t tell you how many times she has fallen out or almost tipped them over.  Then she started pushing kitchen chairs over to the sink and dumping my drying clean dishes in the sink with dirty dishes.  And the front of our utensil drawer broke a while back, so she kept pulling out forks and spoons and licking them and putting them back.  Then she kept pulling stuff out of the garbage can.

Tuesday morning I wiped all of the cobwebs off of the gate and put it back up.  Katie has not been very happy about being shut out, especially since I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen between my chores, homeschooling, and the computer.  I think she may be starting to adjust, though.  She’s only allowed in to eat or get a diaper change in the office area unless she is being closely supervised.  It’s a bit of an adjustment, though.

3.  My parents are taking a two-week bus tour into the Wild, Wild West.  Their trail takes them from Louisville, Kentucky to Las Vegas, Nevada and back.  I had my dad send me their rough itinerary, so that the girls and I could track their progress during their trip on our big U.S. map in the kitchen, taking advantage of a teachable moment.

4.  Isn’t it funny how a person can feel two completely different emotions at the same time?  Relief and Disappointment.  Fear and Excitement.    I’ve been feeling very conflicted about a lot of things lately.

5.  I haven’t been reading as many books lately.  I’ve had many other things to do with the start of the school year and trying to do a better job of keeping our home funk free.  Usually by mid-afternoon I spend my time playing around on the computer instead of relaxing with a book while Katie naps.  I’m beginning to wonder if I wouldn’t be better served by doing the latter instead.

6.  Unfortunately, the cooking class that Bailey was supposed to start this week was canceled.  She was the only person who signed up for it.  On one hand, I was disappointed for her because I know that she was looking forward to it, plus I had signed her up because I don’t feel confident in my ability to teach her how to cook since I’m not really good at it myself.  However, I was kind of having second thoughts about bending our “1 activity per child per period” rule.  We really only have so much time and money to go ’round, and once Piper turns four she’ll have more class options through our parks district as well.  This cooking class could have really been opening a can of worms.

But, my mother-in-law is teaching both girls how to sew at her house.  Since I don’t even know how to sew on a button or do basic repairs, this is a really blessing.  This is a much more important knowledge than the majority of things they would learn in any type of school.  Bailey keeps offering to teach me what they have learned, and maybe some day I’ll let her.  I like the idea, though, of them having a skill that I don’t.  I think it could be very confidence boosting as they get older.  Plus, if I learned then as they got older they might turn to me to sew on their buttons or mend their garments instead of taking the time to do it themselves.

7.  We’ve kind of had a Beatles week this week.  On Monday we came across Beatles Trivial Pursuit at Barnes & Noble.  When we learned it had three different challenge levels, we couldn’t resist buying it.  We played the basic game (skipping the extra outer track) with Bailey answering questions from the easy level and Rick and I doing a mix of medium and hard questions.  The hard questions were really hard and asked for extremely obscure facts.  Even on the easy level, though, Bailey answered a lot of questions that a six-year-old would not be expected to know, like which Beatles album starts with the sound of a jet plane (The White Album).  When I tell you that Bailey won it probably sounds like we just let her win, but she answered all of the questions herself with just the occasional hint from us.

Then on Wednesday we picked up our copy of Beatles Rock Band.  Last Spring when we bought our Wii we specifically chose Rock Band over Guitar Hero based on which program would be compatible with the Beatles game we heard was coming out.  Bailey and her daddy decided that we would start at the Cavern Club and work our way through the Beatles career in order instead of just skipping around to different songs.  Bailey and Piper took turns playing the drums while Ricky and I took turns playing guitar and singing.  Piper and I tired out first, though, and left the other two to keep playing some.

It’s really nice.  We got through entire song list in two nights, and both of the girls were getting really high scores for their drumming.  I don’t know if it’s because the Easy setting is so much easier on this compared to regular Rock Band or if the Ringo’s drum parts were really that much easier.  (Poor, Ringo.)  They each got to play on some of their favorites (Bailey-Octopus’s Garden, Piper-Birthday) and I got to sing on a couple of my favorites (Something, Here Comes the Sun).  We see this being a family fun-time favorite for many years to come, especially as Bailey and Piper get old enough to try out the guitar and Katie grows into the drums.

The Wonder of Boys

September 7, 2009

Even though I don’t have any boys, I decided to check out this book by Michael Gurian.  While I didn’t feel the need to take extensive notes like I did for The Wonder of Girls,  I thought I would jot down a few things that caught my attention or made me think.  For instance, I did learn some interesting things like that most boys/men hear better out of one ear than the other and process information better through their left eye.  He talks about how male empathy is more task-oriented.  A boy won’t allow empathy for others to interfere with completing a task at hand unless he has been given responsibility to look after a certain person who requires empathy at that moment.

Gurian talks about the importance of male role models to the proper development of boys into men and puts a big emphasis on the importance of competitive and team activities to fulfill a boy’s natural need for competition, physical exertion, socialization within a large group, and meeting other male role models.  This made me think a lot about male-only schools and clubs.  Having gone to a single-sex school I always heard that studies showed that girls did better academically in a single-sex environment than boys.  However, perhaps single-sex education is good for boys in other ways besides academics; perhaps it fulfills other develomental needs.  And maybe some all-male clubs were less about just trying to keep females down but more about just offering places where men could just be men.  Of course, the problem was that these all-male places sometimes had the side-effect of holding back female businesswomen when business deals were made at a place they couldn’t access.

One thing that I thought was kind of sad even though I understand it was when he talked about how mothers must be prepared to hand the emotional and moral training of her son over to his father or another male around age 10.  A boy needs a good man to teach him how to be a good man.  I couldn’t help think about one of my friends who lived with his father after his parents divorced when he was in early adolescence.  I couldn’t help but think about how hard that must have been for his mother to let her only child go live away from her.  And I wondered if she had agreed simply because that is what my friend said he wanted or if she somehow knew that it would be in his best interest to go live with his father at that time in his development.

A lot of what Gurian said really resounded with things John Taylor Gatto and David A. Alberts have written about the necessity for real work for adolescents, especially boys.  And I also couldn’t help thinking about how the Amish put a great importance on work that keeps the father with the family all day so that boys have a constant model of behavior and mothers aren’t given a disproportionate amount of responsibility for discipline.  Sometimes the Amish have an amazing understanding of things that us Englishers lost a long time ago.

I don’t care for the set-up of this book as much as I did the other-one.  Of course, having written this book first maybe Gurian realized that a structural change was needed.  He also seems to twist himself into a pretzel trying to emphasize that while boys need spiritual direction that doesn’t necessarily mean they need a religion.

I think the two biggest flaws of the book, though, are that he doesn’t even mention pornography and he condones masturbation.  Pornography is a huge problem for men, especially in this internet age.  These are huge missing pieces of the puzzle that I hope has/will be remedied in later editions.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to the parents of boys.  And if I ever become the parent of a boy, I will probably add this to my book collection.  It does have certain lessons that parents need to learn.

7 Quick Takes (v. 5)

September 4, 2009

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1.  This morning Piper started back with gymanstics classes; Bailey starts in less than an hours  We took a break from gymnastics starting in mid-March since we knew that tee-ball would be pretty time consuming.  (Piper tried morning swim classes in the latter part of the spring.)  It’s always neat to see how much they have retained and how much their bodies have developed since the last time.

It makes our Fridays extra hectic, though.  I really didn’t plan to schedule both girls for the same day, but it kind of happened that way for this 8-week session.  So, we have classes at 10:00 and 4:00.  In between there, I have to make my weekly Aldi run and work in my daily chores.  Thankfully, the only school-work I have scheduled for Fridays is math, and Bailey was able to do that while Piper was in class.

I’ve realized two things today, though.  1) We need to go ahead and shell out some money for new crocs for the girls.  They are required to wear shoes in and out of the gymnastics room and crocs work really well, especially when they have water breaks.  2) I’m going to get in the habit of doing dishes after dinner on Thursday night, because there just is not time in the morning and by the afternoon it is too hard to get motivated.  In fact, this might be a habit worth cultivating in general….hmmm.

2.  Bailey is soooo awesome.  On our way back from Aldi (it was her turn to go with me this week), she noted, “Beatles Rock Band will probably kill original Rock Band just like Nintendo killed the Atari.”  Not only was I shocked that she knew about the Nintendo and Atari (although I have vague memories of her father and I discussing them with her), but that she made such an astute analogy.  These days she defines every event in our life as being Before Beatles Rock Band Comes Out and After Beatles Rock Band Comes Out.   September 9th…

3. Piper has the deepest voice I have ever heard in a little one, especially compared to her big sister’s munchkin-like one.  It’s very comical to hear sometimes, especially when she is singing around the house.  She tries to sing like a pop or punk star and her voice gets extra low with these great inflections.  She sounds a little bit like a 30-year-old chain smoker.

4.  Katie got her first hair cut this week, a bang trim.  She handled it much better than her sisters did, although they were older at the time.  We have a stylist who become one of our first friends up here.  So maybe Katie felt a little less wary of her since we just saw her two weeks ago at the American English concert.  I tell you, though.  There is Cute.  There is Super Cute.  And then there is Katie with bangs.  If we still had a digital camera, I would sooo add a picture.

5. We’ve officially made a sign for our front window to let the neighbor girls know when we are available to play.  It’s one of those things that sounds completely ridiculous on one level, but completely brilliant on another.  Whatever happened to just knocking to ask if someone can come out and play?  Then again, we don’t want to bother them if they’re in the middle of something and vice versa.  Plus, since our kids still need quite a bit of supervision to play, sending the kids out to play involves us as well.  I also know the hell I would have to deal with from my kids if they knocked on our door and for some reason I could not allow the kids to come out.  They’re not real keen on dealing with fussy, whiny kids any more than usual, either.

6. My mother-in-law and I are trying to work out a date for our big fall/winter shopping trip for the girls.  We want to give the stores plenty of time to get their warm clothing out, but Bailey really needs some new clothes before the weather starts getting too cold.  Last night I went through all their drawers and all of my boxes and took an inventory of how many shirts, pants, etc. they each have, so I can put together my master shopping list.  My parents also have some items they are bringing up in early October for the younger girls I had to keep in mind, too.  Since we try to get it all done in one big day, it’s a lot to coordinate.  I’m just glad that Piper is still at an age where she gets really excited about hand-me-downs.

7.  I have mixed feelings about this whole 7 Quick Takes thing.  On one hand I enjoy having an outlet for some of the slightly disconnected thoughts that flitter around in my mind.  On the other hand, I’m not so sure about this whole dead-line thing.  It puts a little more pressure on me than I really like.  Sometimes I also feel like I am really stretching it to come up with something by number five or six.  The last thing I need is something to encourage me to drivel on about irrelevant things more than I already do.  I will probably keep this whole 7 Quick Takes thing in my repertoire, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t make it on-stage every week.

“Real School”

September 2, 2009

When Bailey threw a fit Monday morning because at 11:15 I told her she had to stop playing, get dressed for the day, and do her school work, I pulled out the “If you were in real school you would have been at school for three hours already and had no play time.”  Then she started pestering me to have a real school day.  I tried to explain that real first graders don’t get to sleep in until 10:30, so in order to have real school I would have to wake her up way earlier.  We agreed, though, that she could start at noon and have school until six.

I petered out around 4:00…she wanted to do it again on Tuesday.

Like my husband noted, it was all just a game to Bailey.  She loved having a set time limit to eat her lunch (at 3:00), although she did complain a slight bit about only having ten minutes for recess.  (Ten minutes is only the first third of a television show.)  She also knew that I wouldn’t completely hold her to the same standards as would be expected in a school.  She knew that I wouldn’t really put her in the corner if she forgot the rules and got up or spoke without raising her hand first.  I wasn’t as hard-ass on her as I probably should have been if I wanted it to be miserable for her.

I gave her lots of extra work, but in the end I kind of ran out of things to give her to do.  We did our minimum Monday requirements of math and a new Greek root word.  I did actually give her double the math load, then I added Explode the Code, read aloud time to me, read aloud time from me, logic exercises, religion, and history.  (I had her watch a DVD on Ancient Mesopotamia while I slipped away to take a shower.)  And then I didn’t have anything else new to give her.

Teachers in a school usually don’t have to plan a full six hours of work because they lose a lot of time just to administrative issues, moving the kids in lines, and specialty classes where the kids go with another teacher for awhile.  So, it’s no wonder that I ran out of stuff when I only plan about an hour of work per day, and I only have two kids standing in line for bathroom breaks (Piper wanted to play along for a little while, too).

Bailey wanted to do it all again the next day, except she wanted to get up as early as the other kids.  I told her that I would get her up earlier than usual if she wanted, but I was not getting us both up as early as schooled kids.  Plus, I explained that there is no way I could dedicate that much time just to her every single day.  I have two other kids to take care of as well.  They need just as much of my time and attention, if not more.

On Tuesday I woke her up at 9:15 (the same time the rest of us woke up), and we started school at 10:00.  We worked until around 1:00.  Our timed lunch became sidetracked when she bit into her food and a very loose front tooth started bleeding profusely and became very dangly.  It took about ten minutes for me to calm her down, unsuccessfully try to extract the tooth, and stop the bleeding.  (Her daddy heroically got it out when he arrived home from work.)  Later that night, with her tooth tucked under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy, I explained that we wouldn’t be able to start school early the next morning since everyone needed a bath.  “That’s ok,” she said, “I’m getting kind of tired doing the school thing anyway.”

So, real school lasted for about two days.  I was both glad and a little disappointed.  I was glad because as much as I love Bailey the intensity level always goes up a few levels when she gets up.  I was used to having at least an hour before she woke up to get chores done and interact with Piper in our quiet way.  And without that calm before the storm, I felt more overwhelmed trying to juggle school, childcare, and housework.  Also, on Monday Bailey did terrible on her Explode the  Code; she made lots of little careless mistakes.  I think she was mentally fatigued from a particularly challenging math lesson.  If she hadn’t insisted on doing real school, I probably would have made her take a break before starting the next thing.  It is more important to me that she really learn concepts rather than just get through a to-do list or meet a time limit.

I was disappointed to see real school go because for two days I was able to have read aloud time with no complaining.  In fact the lack of complaining in general will be missed.  Whenever I would slip into Mommy-mode and ask, “Do you want to stop?  Is this too much work?” ect., Bailey would shrug and say, “You’re the teacher.  Just tell me what to do.”  For two wonderful days we read the The Secret Garden; it was great to snuggle with all my girls on the couch sharing a classic book.  This just reminds me for the millionth time that this is something I must start doing with Piper and Katie on a daily basis.

Overall, I think it was more of a learning experience for me than for her.  I learned that the reason I set such a limited amount of school work each day is as much for me as it is for her.  It keeps me from being overwhelmed or depressed if it doesn’t all get done.  I realized that I have more history resources than I can get through in just one day.  I also learned that Bailey is capable of much more work than I thought.

So, when we start our third week of the semester next week, we’ll be doing some more tweaking.  For instance, I’m going to add extra sessions of history and Explode the Code on Mondays.  As part of our real school day, we started each morning with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Morning Offering.  Bailey really does need to learn the Pledge of Allegiance since that’s a basic cultural thing, so we’ll keep practicing it until I think she’s got it down.  The Morning Offering I’ve been wanting to incorporate anyway, so we’ll continue that indefinitely.  I think Bailey and I are both glad, though, that “real school” was just a game for us.

August 2009 Reading List

September 1, 2009

1.  So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel:  In preparation for the upcoming semester, I decided to reread the book that first made me consider homeschooling.  I always like this book because it uses personal narratives to teach you about homeschooling instead of dry facts and figures.

2.  Eat This, Not That! for Kids by David Zinczenko:  I first saw this series in our local used book store.  I decided to go with the version for kids since they are the main ones that I cook for.  It had a really good evaluation of the kids’ menus at various restaurants, and some ideas for at home.  I liked the assumption that I wasn’t going to be making every meal from scratch using all organic materials and the smoothies wouldn’t include yogurt I cultured myself.  And Bailey and I were able to have a good discussion about how the healthiest thing on the menu might not really be healthy just less unhealthy than the other things on the menu.

3.  Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey by Gregory and Martine Millman:  I had read this once before but grabbed it from a homeschooling/education display at the library as an impulse.  It was alright.  One thing that bugs me is how easy they try to make it seem to travel all over the world and take your kids with you.  I think it helps if you have an uber-flexible job like the father had, and if your job is probably covering part of the expenses for sending you to places like Rome or France.  It’s just not something that every homeschooling family living on one income can afford to do.

4.  E=Einstein edited by Donald Goldsmith and Marcia Bartusiak:  I read about two or three essays from this collection about Einstein.  They had a lot of detail about his various theories, which required more brain power to understand than I felt like expending.  Next time I’ll stick to a regular biography.

5. Homeschooling for Excellence by  David and Micki Colfax:  I think I may have also read this once before a few years ago.  Since these days I seek homeschooling books that discuss the experiences of others, it had that going for it.  I didn’t get too much out of the book, though.  Their lifestyle was so removed from mine, especially since they were homeschooling in the pre-internet era.  The resources now available to homeschoolers make it a whole different enterprise than it was for them.

6. The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian:  Have a post that should be published soon.