Monthly Archives: September 2011

Children as blessings and how not to starve the elderly to death.

One morning at Mass I admitted to a friend that I was pregnant with what would prove to be my sixth child. She gave me a hug and at that moment another friend came over and we both told her. She put her arms around me and said, “Well, if you are good at something, you may as well keep doing it.” I think that was the loveliest thing anyone has said to me about the fact we have dared to go beyond the culturally acceptable number of children of 1.4.

The fact is we have had children in the teeth of the massive propaganda campaign against the lives of children. We are told they are eating up the planet’s meagre resources which should be preserved for the Al Gore’s of this planet. We are told that disabled children must be killed before they get the chance to be born. The Malthus myth is alive and well and heavily pushed by the media and it’s darlings.

Then there are the frequent children cost far too much so don’t have too many articles. They are often based on the assumption that there will be a huge chunk of a family’s income spent on “child care”.  This in turn must be a reflection of the isolation of so many families, so that there is no one but a paid stranger to help with the children. Families are broken up and scattered and each person looks after themselves.

When talking to a fellow Home ed mum last night, she told me how surprised she had been at Think Tank to see so many large families. Some mothers, she told me, had even more children than me! lol. She is expecting her fourth and I know this hasn’t been joyful news to some.

I told her that one of the joys of HE for me had been that with six children I was just one of the crowd. Home educators over all do seem to have more children, or if they only have one or two they soon end up borrowing some more from somewhere, either as helping a family or fostering. My friend wondered if we home ed partly because we just like our children.

My friend discussed her sadness of so many mums complaining to her about having to be with their children through the six weeks Summer holidays. One mother I met said quite clearly in front of her child that she didn’t think it was right for schools to expect families to cope over six weeks!!

Bare these astonishing attitudes by adults in mind when I tell you the next demographic doomalist projection is we will have too many old people – which they are calling the grey tsunami.

As the answer to “too many children” has been contraception and abortion and a call for infanticide (Singer’s view which is increasingly mainstream) what will be the remedy for “too many old people”?

It’s not a leap to see that many elderly will fall under the increasing calls of “obligation to die”, prettily wrapped in a right to die rhetoric at the moment and the misuse of the words dignity and mercy.

This may seem to have little to do with home education per sey but the near the surface of every call to ban home education throughout the world, to stamp out the inherent rights of parents and children to the freedom and obligation of education is based primarily on hatred of Christian doctrines on life. I don’t think I have heard or read a single arguement against home education that doesn’t warn against “fundamentalist Christians” keeping their children away from the secular (a)moral doctrine. Even here in the UK, where as far as I can tell there is a sizable non-Christian non-deist group, the “fundamentalist” label gets bandied about.

Recently I have heard that more protestant communities are turning away from contraception and abortion, having seen the devestating effect it has had on their communities. They are beginning to see that following Scripture means being completely pro-life in marriage as well as “politics”. I would be interested to know if many of these families and pastors putting aside contraception and letting God back into their marriage are or will home educate. Especially in America where many school options are very expensive, more children will probably lead to more homeschooling.

Turning away from the culture of death means embracing the culture of life, which logically, it seems to me, means welcoming, not just whatever children God sends, but whatever elderly or disabled relatives He might send as well.

When families take back and embrace the culture of life, we can avoid the pit that yawns in front of us from the utilitarian secularists (pushed by the BBC of course) and no one needs to be killedd.

Thank God for oldest brother.

I think it’s s%d’s Law that the minute I get the letter from the doctor telling me to book the flu jab appointment, that I go down with the wobbly -shakies, which I am assuming makes it all too late.  I am reading Robert Hugh Benson’s Life of St. Teresa of Avila who suffered some serious ill-health and was very holy about it all. I am working on it…really I am.

Anyway I was in the horrible “I’ve promised the kids a trip to Think Tank” moment, when dear old Josh agreed to take them without me. They had a great time and met up with lots of other home ed families. As it’s Think Tank’s 10th Birthday they all got in for the princely sum of 10 pence. Very good.

The Montessori stuff arrived yesterday via friends who had added my order onto theirs and so when the children got back there was some fun with the sand tray, which I have poured a layer of split lentils into. It works just as well and saved me a trip to the shed to battle with the bag of sand.

I remember reading how one morning Dr. Montessori was late for her class and walked in to find the children had simply helped themselves to whatever they needed and were working away independently. Interestingly Avila simply sat down at the table and began making letter shapes in the lentils and then trying out different patterns without me suggesting anything to her. She then showed Heleyna some letters to practice. When I came to do some of the letters with her, she used what I had written in the lentils to copy by going over them. She does have some unique ways of forming some letters at the moment, so I am hoping we can correct this using the tray.

We’ve also broken out some more craft stuff so the girls have had a go at weaving and Ronan and I are learning the fine art of loom knitting (French knitting as it was called in my day).

What’s the problem with Young Earth Creationists?

David Attenborough, the darling of the BBC is the latest person I have come across who is demanding that creationism must not be taught in schools.

Apparently he means young earth creationism.

I am not quite sure which schools he has come across where YEC gets so much as a look in among the banalities of the National Curriculum, so where’s the problem? I assume he is terrified that a Free School might be set up in which YEC gets taught. Well, I suppose that’s possible. But frankly when you look at the appalling quality of science in schools, perhaps there is a massively bigger problem dear ol’Dave could be getting in a fuss about.

The thing that I am becoming more interested in is, why are so many people getting into such a state over those who are YEC believers? What are these people doing that is so awful? I have even seen some pretty nasty and pompous comments from Home Educators over YECs and I am at a loss to see why they are so up in arms over such a small and harmless group of people.

But it has occurred to me, that it could be people like me who are the real cause of fear and consternation from those on the Anti-YEC side. You see I have found a lot of science books to be just dreadful. Badly written, full of grossly unscientific assumptions and often just plain outdated. So, I confess I have bought and used a couple of well written, solid science books from Apologia – and they are YEC book producers. So, how can I say they are better written than some other science books I’ve had the misfortune to own? Well, the botany book is really well set out, has plenty of experiments and  studies for the children to do and frankly doesn’t have much YECiness to it. The astronomy book had more YEC science in it, but the author was very clear about her view and put forward just as clearly what mainstream scientists have to say on the matter. She then does something far more respectful of learners than David Attenborough – she leaves us to do further study and make up our own minds.

Obviously the underbelly of the beast is scienstism that newish superstition that tries to insist that only material science can show us anything. It’s a narrow and assumption laden view and because it is anything but scientific – and certainly does not come out of what real science should – the search for truth no matter where that truth might lead.

I wonder if the behaviour of these pseudo-scientists who are more wrapped up in the importance of their own opinions, careers and massive financial rewards is actually causing people to look more towards the YEC scientists? Are more people becoming YECs because of the very obvious corruption and dishonesty within so much “mainstream” and (worse still) “popular” science?

Attenborough himself is guilty of selective evidence delivery himself as Ian Maxwell so easily and expertly fisked. I think there is a much more pressing problem with science in both our schools and the media and that is so much of it isn’t science. It’s politics and opinion – nothing to do with science at all.

Lets get the huge log out of the eye of mainstream science before trying to go after that spec in the yec.

Quick Chesterton Quote

When you take away the supernatural, all you have left is the unnatural.

From Heretics.

 

You learn something new every day.

We’re more or less back into the swing of things with home education now. We’ve done some work with magnets. It happens that the children have a little wooden train set that works with magnets and to my surprise, quite strong magnets. They had great fun with repulsion pushing one carriage across the table with the other not touching it. Then it was time to make patterns with iron filings from Ronan’s little science kit.

We also made some copper sulphate crystals and we are attempting to grow sugar crystals on cotton. However I think I chose the wrong time of year for the evaporation. The house is too cold LOL!

Meanwhile we seem to have a house full of conkers and quite a few acorns. Ronan and his friend M discussed the fact that people have eaten them, so it has been suggested that we cook some and see. I know they need a lot of cooking to get the tannin out of them, but if we can get a few together I’m willing to let them at least cook them and see.

But conkers? What can we do with them? Well, there’s the obvious game and making autumn decorations with them, painting them, making them into spiders and other creatures with added pipe cleaners and googly eyes. But I wondered if they had any other uses.

So I googled. And I discovered that during the First and Second World Wars children in Britain were paid to gather conkers for the munitions factories as they made good explosive stuff – cordite. The first game of conkers was recorded in 1848, so there you go, you really can learn something new every day.

My Amazon store and Baldwin Project deal

I have made an Amazon store, which I suppose is anything but distributist of me, but then I suppose you could say it’s a bit like a corner store in cyber space.

Go and have a look at LIVING BOOKS, NO TWADDLE (Hopefully) To be honest I am not expecting to make much money from this, but as I am setting it out as a sort o curriculum I hope some one will find it useful. I’m still updating it so keep an eye on it.

I am presently setting up a separate blog with curriculum details that will include freebies and other stuff. It’s not ready to launch, and as things are busy right now, probably wont be for a while – but I’ll let you know when it’s done.

Meanwhile, if you want to spend your hard earned cash usefully, there is this lovely offer at the Baldwin Project where you get 200+ ebooks for under $100.

Enjoy.

What is forgiveness? final ramblings.

One of the aspects of forgiveness which I think cannot be truly about forgiveness is the “forgive and forget” bit. I am quite sure, thanks to my appalling memory these days in fibro-fog that I really have forgiven and forgotten and forgotten I’ve forgiven, but there are some things done to a person that they simply cannot forget. I think the “forget” side of forgiveness is not that we no longer remember what was done, or not done, but that we do not allow ourselves to dwell on it and become angry and resentful about it all over again.

Again this goes back to forgiveness being an act of the will and not a mere feeling or emotion. In fact the will has to fight those emotions quite hard at times.

But there’s another aspect of forgiveness that to be honest, I hadn’t thought of. Dr Ray Guarendi talked about how some people consider themselves forgiving when they forgive the other person magnanimously for something that doesn’t even need forgiving. I must admit I don’t think I have come across this, but I assume it happens. I assume its those kind of people who forgive you for not getting out of your hospital bed to give them a lift to the pub or something like that.

I think most people who struggle with forgiveness do so because what they must forgive is genuinely serious.

One other aspect of this, and it’s something Dr. Guarendi has talking about now and again, and that’s the fact that so few people say sorry any more. The general view is the victim of that other person’s horrible behaviour should simply carry on as though it never happened and the perpetrator should make an apology or attempt to make it right, but then I guess, that’s just something else we have to forgive.

As a mother though, I am trying to teach the children to say sorry. It’s one of those things that they resist doing. Not when they are little, but as they get older. What’s at the root of that I wonder? Bloomin’ concupiscence who needs it?