Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gearing Up for a Great Holiday Season

Well, it's that time of year again.  The holidays are upon us, and I've been busy scouring my oven and cleaning my refrigerator in preparation for the Thanksgiving Feast.  The kids and I have made our Thanksgiving decorations, and our "Turkey-cookies" (following the method advertised on Nickelodeon).

Not that we eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

My husband's family are practically full-blooded Scottish, and it's a long-standing tradition for them to eat Lamb on special occasions (though I think it's just an excuse, since neither my hubby, or his father, like turkey).  So I will be cooking a leg of lamb this year (no worries, it's not my first time!).  I like lamb, if you've never had it--you don't know what you're missing!  I'd never had lamb (psst--it's not actually lamb, as in baby-sheep, it's mutton, but here in America they call it lamb, probably because a lot of people have a bad impression of mutton--can't say for sure) before I met my husband, my family certainly never ate it.  But it's SO good!  Tender, and flavorful, lamb is a delicious roast.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend, my eldest son "Winter" will be walking with his Scout-Troop in the Santa Parade on Sunday.  And, what I'm looking forward to most, this weekend signals the end of hunting season!  I don't like to take the kids hiking in the woods when the hunters are out, even with orange it's just too risky.  But I have this part of me that needs to connect with nature on a regular basis, so during the hunting season here in Maine, we only go out to the Farm on Sundays, when no body should be in the woods with a rifle.  Once the threat of danger is past we can take any beautiful day that comes along, and venture the four miles out of town to the old Burns Farm.

Forty or fifty years ago, the Farm was the typical New England homestead, with cows, pigs, chickens, goats, the works.  It sits near the top of one of the tallest hills in our area, which is fairly tall, as we're located amid the Foothills of Maine, along the northernmost section of the great Appalachian Mountain Range.  Half a mile from the main road, the dirt road runs up to the farmhouse now, but back then it was only serviceable on a seasonable basis.

Now the Farm is a Tree Farm.  Not to be confused with a Christmas-Tree Farm.  The Burns family are growing our own forest.  Trees have grown up tall on the old farm pastures, pines, hemlock, maples, birch, popple, and a handful of oaks, just to name a few.  We have our own personal two-hundred-acre park to hike any time we please, we have high hills, and low-swamps, we have a vernal pool, and criss-crossing the land are skidder-trails, where we've had a forester cutting the "trash-wood" so that the others can grow taller and thicker.

Anyway, I'm excited that we'll be able to go out any day, because I want to take the kids and my pruning clippers, to go cut pine-boughs for the Winter Solstice.  I'm hoping to be able to do our own wreath, and maybe some real pine-bough garland.  We also want to have pine-boughs about the house with other elements of nature, like pine-cones, acorns, etc. to remind us that nature will subsist through the long winter.

We typically make most of our own holiday decorations, this year is no different.  Wreaths are a bit of work, between clipping the boughs and wrapping them, but I've had some experience in my adolescence, so I'm not too bad at it.  I guess I just enjoy it, I love the smell of pine, and the feel of working with the cool boughs.  I love the way the wreaths look when they're finished, and the way you can embellish them any way you like.

So after Saturday, you can be sure, we will be bound for the woods, kids, dog, and clippers (and something to tote all those pine-boughs! probably burlap-bags and a sled).  And we'll probably go back twice more before we get snow!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

I am really excited about the up-coming holiday season (okay, so I'm always excited about holidays, but especially so this year!).  This will be our first year not celebrating Christmas.  Instead we will be observing the Winter Solstice, on December 21st.  

Why?  I'm sure you must be wondering.  
 I've narrowed it down to three reasons:

Reason #1 Why We No Longer Celebrate Christmas:

Keith and I are not religious.  Actually, neither of us believes in a god, and we don't promote a religion with our children, either.  So, since we're not religious, why should we celebrate a holiday that holds no meaning for us?

Reason #2 Why We No Longer Celebrate Christmas: 
We don't support commercialism.  I could go on and on about the evil that commercialism spreads and how the masses are annually induced into what I have fondly termed: "sheep-on-a-shopping-spree", blindly spending money on inane drible in the name of a a faith few truly believe in.  

But I'm not here to talk about my opinions of society's downfalls and betrayals.  I'm simply explaining why my husband and I have seen fit to veer (yet again!) away from the mainstream, to follow another path, by observing the winter solstice.  Some may see it as a Pagan or Wiccan celebration, however Keith and I adhere to no God or Goddess, and we perform no religious ceremonies.

Reason #3 Why We No Longer Celebrate Christmas:

We feel an affinity for the Earth that compels us to observe the changing of the seasons as the awe-inspiring phenomena that it is.  And that is what we hope to impart upon our boys.

I hope that there are other non-believers out there who might be encouraged to leave behind the commercial trap that Christmas can be, and find their own path, whatever it may be. 

For more information and a better understanding of how our family will be celebrating the holidays this year please see Seculars Celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scientists & Free-Thinkers

I'm going out on a limb here, inspired by the bravery of several other secular homeschoolers who have come out of the shadows of the ranks of christian-homeschoolers, to admit my godlessness to those who would listen.

Both my husband and I are of a non-religious persuasion. For my husband, I would say science and fact rule his life; for me, nature. It's just incredulous to me that there are still so many people who believe the medieval superstition that is religion. I'm not seeking to offend anyone, though I know I invariably shall, but I feel this so strongly down to my core--it's unfathomable to me that there could be some almighty grandfather sitting somewhere beyond the clouds.

We teach our boys about this Earth, space, nature, evolution, science and the scientific method. Our schooling revolves around science and history, a unit I put together myself, beginning with the Big Bang, and proceeding through Earth's many eons and eras, and thoroughly discussing abiogenesis, and the evolution of life of Earth. This will carry us for several years as I instill in the boys an profound knowledge of our Earth, and how it came to exist as it does today.

I do not claim to know the mysteries of the Earth; I do not seek to change the minds of others.  I accept that people need to believe, they need their faith.  But for me, there is another way.  To me, it is clear, that the universe was not created, but that it has always existed, always ebbing and flowing, like the ocean.  In my mind, this is all a chance circumstance, and we can only make the most of life while we are here.  We have one hundred years here, if we're lucky, and to me, the most important thing is to be happy, to live my life to the fullest, and let go of resentment, fear, hate, and other negative emotions that only hold me back.  Maybe it is scary, to think of one's self as so insignificant, to think that there is nothing more for yourself, no reason, no purpose, no eternal safety net after your life's flame had flickered out of existence.  But it is my life's path, and I am upon it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Society is a Sham and People Have the Right to Marry Whomever they Please

The recent debate over gay marriage in Maine really aggravates the begeezus outta me. Who am I to say who can't marry the person they love?

I am not gay or a lesbian, but I honestly believe that in this world we need more love. Why take that away?

The opponents say: Stand up for marriage. Marriage is the cornerstone of society.

I hate to tell them this--but marriage is a farce. The government killed it one hundred and fifty years ago in order to weaken society. To weaken families they promoted porn, delayed choosing of mates, and created easy divorce laws. Society does not exist today. Today we have networks. Most people don't even know how to have a conversation--let alone interact with someone outside their network.

The church seems to think they have a monopoly on marriage.  People quote the dictionary for the definition of marriage.  I don't care what the dictionary has to say.  I prefer to think of marriage as "mating-for-life"--like some animals do.  Do eagles, swans, penguins (and whatever other animals follow the habit) need to stand inside a church to have their union recognized?  No, the piece of paper is irrelevant to them.  They know they've devoted themselves to each other, just by the fact that they're still there with each other, supporting one another through life.

I think the piece of paper does not matter so much; its the relationship that matters.  However in this world, in order for families to receive much-needed resources, benefits, health-care, etc--that piece of paper is needed.  We should not deprive good people of something so irrelevent at a marriage certificate.

America was created equal for all. Not for some. Stop the hatred. Vote No on Question 1.

An article from the Huffington Post

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This 10-minutevideo gives you a good idea what Gatto stands for and preaches.
I just can't get over the injustice that has been done to the American people.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Scientific Homeschooler

I'm so excited about my first-ever web-page!  I started the project to make a better home for my Earth-Studies Units, but it's taken on a life of its own.  Now I want to help other homeschoolers who might be struggling to incorporate sciences into their academic pursuits.  I want to provide encouragement, resources, pertinent articles, and so much more.

When I first began putting together the earth-studies units for my own children, I was disappointed when trying to find materials (especially materials in my price range--our budget is incredibly tight) regarding the Big Bang, and the history of the Earth prior to the dinosaurs.  And then, most of what I found related more to the history of man and civilizations than that of the Earth itself.

I want to teach my children about the Earth, I want my two boys--and all children--to have such a foundation of knowledge regarding the how and whys of Earth and life upon it, that they will be better equipped to make decisions that might heal the Earth--rather than scar it--as their ancestors have done.

So--The Scientific Homeschooler is up--it's a work in progress--but it's up and running at:
  The Scientific Homeschooler.

I've also begun a new blog:  The Scientific Homeschooler's Blog

And a Facebook page:  The Scientific Homeschooler at Facebook

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This is so great!

This music video really speaks to me; I hope others might appreciate it as well.
I love the premis of global-togetherness.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Benefits of Living in Poverty

I've lived below the poverty level all my life. As a child at school, I was painfully aware of my second-hand, thrift-store clothes. I wanted the cool clothes and toys everyone else had, I wanted to be like everyone else. Today, though, I have no qualms about being different from everyone else. I'm realizing just how truly beneficial this poverty-stricken life has been for me.

Because we were poor (and be mindful that my mom's family, with six kids, were poor, and my father's family, who had seven kids, were poor), I grew up with a firm foundation in how to do without, and how to make the most of every dollar. There were three of us children, I was the oldest. We bought second-hand clothes at the thrift shop, or lawn sales. My mother sometimes made clothes for us, and she taught me how to sew, too. We picked berries (something I always enjoyed and excelled at), and carry with me today. I remember Mom cooking the jam and canning it, though I've yet to get enough berries to follow suit (my 2 boys are voracious berry-eaters). Some of my best childhood memories are of long summer days spent at Mullin Cove--a sandy little beach on the east shore of Embden Pond, in Embden, Maine. It was free, and a simple pleasure to partake in.

My husband and I have chosen to keep one parent at home (namely me), for the sake of our children, as a result we suffer from a reduced income. We're very fortunate to have a lovely little house on a large corner lot in the rural town of Anson, Maine. But even without rent or mortgage hanging over our heads, every dollar is precious to us, and we go to great lengths to stretch every penny. My husband fixes most problems that arise mechanically and technologically--out of necessity (though he does have the inclination and aptitude for it). We buy older vehicles specifically so that he will be able to work on them, and also, by buying used vehicles we're able to avoid an auto payment, and enjoy lower insurance rates. He fixes, cleans, and fixes-again radios, VCRs, telephones, often scavenging parts from spare machine we have kicking around (I actually have found it was worth it to let him keep some of the old tape decks, stereos, and other 'junk' he insists on hanging onto), in order to prolong the life of what we do have.

I bake my own bread, which saves me $3 a loaf, and tastes fresher, better than the stuff from the grocery store. My family loves bread fresh from the oven, with butter on it. But when I decided to stop buying bread at the store I had never made bread before. I remembered a few of the techniques my mother had once shown me, and armed with a few recipes from the internet, I set out to teach myself how to bake bread. It turned out to be a delicious skill to develop, and well worth the effort in savings to our food-budget.

The point is, that being poor has forced us to learn new things, master new skills, in order to get done what needs to be done, and to have the few luxuries that we do have. Because I've always been poor, and because my mother was poor, I can use a sewing machine to make curtains from old sheets, to make my boys' Halloween costumes, to alter my own clothes, or to make my own blouses.
Those outings that cost my mother nothing at all, but created memories that have stuck with me, I utilize that, and provide my boys with fun and adventurous outings even when my wallet is empty. We'll take a snack from home (or lunch), water from home, and set out to places unknown (such as scenic rest areas, hiking along a nature trail, visit a park, go to the free playground, etc.)--so long as there's no charge or fees involved.

Because we've been poor since we started out on our own, Keith (my hubby) has been forced to finally learn mechanics, something my father-in-law had long wanted to teach Keith, but waited and waited for Keith to show an interest/inclination. With every broken tie-rod end, and every oil-change, Keith has learned more and more about auto-mechanics.
When it became imperative we move, my husband learned how to plumb base-board heating, repair a furnace, and what-ever-else is involved when pipes freeze and burst--the work he did saved us thousands and enabled us to move into our current home.

Being poor has made us unafraid to take on challenges that crop up in our life, to learn what we need to scrape by, to over-come misfortune. It has actually, in some ways, allowed us to succeed. And it is with that same can-do attitude that we homeschool our two boys. A frightening, and daunting (and some days frustrating--)adventure, to turn out two honorable, intelligent men to be a productive part of society. But I have faith in myself, and in Keith, and I trust that my boys will find their way, and will be successful in their own right.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

America Broke My Heart

I hesitate to write what I am writing, but this is what I feel in my heart, and I can not deny it.

I have been sad lately-or saddened.... My faith in what I thought our country--the America--represented, has been shaken. And this shattering of my youthful naivity has wounded me to the core of my soul. Maybe it is late in coming. I suppose I should be grateful to have awoken at all, as so many others are still unaware they are lost to the system. Much like Neo in The Matrix, I have learned the truth, and I can not go back to the unknowing. Not ever.

Eight years ago, when my husband and I decided that homeschooling was the right choice for our family, I could not have guessed where my research would lead me. It started with the homeschooling books. Then a series of life-events led me to research autism, sensory-processing, and other neurological disorders (and with a mother-in-law in college who did her senior thesis on the Autism Spectrum, I had a chance to look at and study research papers written by doctors from all over the world). After that I began studying learning styles and how the memory receives information, and so forth. I even studied the history of homeschooling, the 'revolutionists', like John Holt, and Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Then I got my hands on John Taylor Gatto's The Underground History of American Education. He goes into great detail to explain how the whole school and economic system came to exist. And oh what a tangled web it is! So many different threads weaving together the society of a mangled Utopia.

I created a Lens at Squidoo just for this research, it's still a work in progress, as I'm still researching, verifying facts, and such, but it's so fascinating! Here's the link:

Now I see the truth everywhere. And the truth is they created the system to suit what they believed a modern industrial Utopian-society would need. They wanted an army of workers (they call us human resources!) which they could manipulate to suit the needs of the economy. In fact, they prefer us stupid and illiterate, simply because we pose less of a threat to the system-and them (the wealthy elite).

I see it in the people that surround me in every day life. I see it in the news, in the country, in the city. I can't tell you the sorrow I feel for our country. When America was first settled people were thrilled to be free to do as they pleased, to read, to pursue knowledge that had been forbidden or just out-of-reach for them in the old homelands. And so they did. There was a 98% Literacy-rate in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and not just the fourth-grade reading level that is considered literate today. But the 'elite', those of power and wealth, and influence, devised the system (though they did so out of a misguided intention for good), sought to dull-down the American, and today, as we look around, we know they have succeeded.

Anyway, if you want to know more of the details you can read more about it on my squid-lens, also this lens possesses a link to John Gatto's book The Underground History of American Education, which is online in its entirety for free.

I don't know that there's much to be done today to undo this travesty. It seems like a herd of mad elephants running wild, this system. It would take a complete dismantling of this bureaucratic system that has taken on the guise of democracy, and I even feel sad for saying so, because I truly loved my country. Now, how can I?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Chronological History of the World; Unit Study for Secular Homeschoolers

This is our first-official year homeschooling our first-born son, in that I have to notify the state, since he will be turning 7yrs this school-year. We've been doing just the three-R's before now, 'unofficially'; but this is the first year I'm to be held accountable to my home state of Maine for my son's education.

I'm ready for the challenge.

We'll continue with our three-R's. But this fall I'll be adding a combination unit-study of history and science. I thought it would be easier for both my children, and myself, to just start at the very beginning, with how the Earth came to exist, and how land masses formed, and how life came to exist and evolve into life as we know it today.

I didn't realize what an undertaking it was going to be when I made the decision.

I had thought I would put the whole entire planetary time-line on one squidoo lens; that was silly. There's just so much to cover, and there are a surprising amount of free resources on-line to pull a program together! Obviously nothing beats good books, both fictional and non-fiction, but to fully flesh out the unit-study, you need to find resources somewhere to create activities, and projects, to ensure that that information gets embedded in those little brains for a life-time. You need printables, worksheets, graphics, pictures, diagrams, timelines, charts, visual aids--aargh! It's a lot of work! And sifting through the innumerable christian-based materials out there can be tedious.

But I've taken all the "leg-work" out of it, and put all of the quality links related to the chronological history of the earth, and incorporated science into a unit-study that will carry you, and me, through at least the next four years. I'm so pleased with it! This is the first in the series, as I mentioned, there's just so much to cover, and so many quality links to utilize, that I've decided to chunk the units into time-periods. I hate to divide them into periods of time defined by civilizations, because this is not meant to be a study of man-kind, but more an investigation into the Earth.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We Saw Moose at Little Austin Pond!

I feel it's incredibly important to create lasting memories for my children's childhoods. I will put myself through the great misery of sleeping on the hard earthen ground inside a tent with my boys and hubby--and the dog--in order to cement such lasting memories for them.

I say it that way, and all of that is true; but what is also true is that I actually enjoy being in the great outdoors, in the far-flung reaches of wilderness where nature's beauty and glory are everywhere if only you choose to look--to take the time to slow down and literally smell the flowers. Nature--the beauty of our Earth--inspires me continuously. In everything I do.

We went to Little Austin Pond, which is in an obscure part of north-central Maine, to camp overnight with friends. The kids enjoyed the beach--which was no where near our campsite, but still fun.

And best of all there were Mountains and Moose. In my mind, somehow, the one is synonymous with the other, and I love both with equal fervor. When I see mountains, no matter how large or how small, my heart sings with indescribable emotion, so strong and so powerful that it can not be ignored.

"MOUNTAINS!" I screeched as we were driving the to the pond.

I think Keith, who, despite our nearly-ten years of marriage, had not yet experienced my emotional outbursts over nature (particularly mountains and moose), was shocked and surprised.

"What?" he dared to ask as the kids echoed my screeches from the back seat.

"Mountains!" I cried exuberantly, reaching out the window to gesture at the looming form of the mountain beyond the dirt road and the trees and the marshes. "MOOOOUUUNTAAAIINS!"

I had to actually master my enthusiasm so that I could repeat myself more calmly over the joyful yells of the boys, so that Keith could finally understand what we were yelling about.

And to make the whole trip worthwhile this guy was hanging out in the marshes along the rutted dirt road that winds itself around Little Austin Pond. We'd visited the beach one last time before we had to make the drive back to civilization, and home--and showers!--and there he was waiting for me.

He didn't care that we stopped to gawk; he was too busy with his Brunch. And he was so beautiful. Keith can't understand why they're so gorgeous to me, and maybe many other people would echo his sentiments. But to me, they represent mountains and wilderness. They speak to me on a gut-level, and touch my heart because they represent the mountains that I call home.

Moose, like many other northern-hemisphere creatures, are at risk of extinction now, due to climate changes.

This knowledge gives me great pain.

To think that some day moose will have to be preserved in zoos, as Tigers, and Elephants have been, in order for the continued existence of their species wounds me deeply. And it only reaffirms my desire and motivation to do all I can in this world to prevent such sacrilege.

These are good articles discussing climate change and the animals in question. The Forest Ecology Network has plenty of articles, information, and links for you to check out.

I love moose, and mountains, and all the creatures great and small that make Maine home, like me; so I may be a leeeetle biased. Fortunately the internet is a wealth of resources, so you don't have to take my word for it. See for yourself.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Importance of Nature

I don't know about my readers, by for myself, it is crucially important to me to feel connected to this world around me. I have to feel the wind, the water, and the soil on my skin. I have to touch the rough bark of the trees, and listen to the wind as it rustles their leaves. I like to smell the soil in my garden, to dig in the earth. It is part of me, and I am part of Earth.

I want my boys to have such a relationship with our home planet. We are all connected, and it is imperative that we remember that when we harm our Earth, we harm ourselves as well. So many people in cities, and suburbs, I fear, have lost touch with our Earth. It has been bred out of so many of us. Just to be satisfied with the status quo, and the mundane of every day life.

But not so for homeschoolers. My heart clings to the hope that we homeschoolers can lead our fellow man out of the darkness that has been imposed on the masses by the system. If we can help people to realize this connection between us all, we might yet have a chance to save my beloved Earth.

Homeschoolers spend time outside. They do nature studies. They realize the importance of conservation and recycling. Homeschooled children are not incarcerated all day, so they have time--and the inclination--to play outside, exploring, and discovering things about our world that you cannot learn in a book in a schoolhouse.

So many traditions from childhood have been all but lost. But homeschoolers keep them alive. Catching fire-flies. Watching turtles bask on a log in a bog. Inspecting the lichen on a tree. Building a fort in a brush pile. Attempting--and/or succeeding--in constructing a clubhouse.

The most simple--and free!--things in life are right outside our doors. The whole world is a homeschooler's playground, and it's waiting for us...

Find out more about homeschooling in nature, and encouraging your kids to get outside, at my squid-lens at: http://www.squidoo.com/naturalhomeschooling

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Study History Chronologically

I'm in the process of gearing up for the up-coming school year. Our first official year of homeschooling our first-born. I'm so excited!

We've been doing school-sessions for years now anyway, and already we study the three R's. William is probably reading at a first-grade level. He struggles with handwriting, but has made significant improvements. And he has a good grasp on adding and subtracting sums, the concept of time, and money.

Fortunately we're a very sciencey-sort of family, so that has come naturally, and largely through life's experiences (and maybe a little help from mom or the library). I have already a great program called REAL Science, Level One, that we started, and will likely take back up at the end of summer.

We will be taking up the subject of history soon, and so I find myself trying to pull together resources wherever I can get them, regarding the
chronological history of the world from a strictly secular point of view.

NOT easy.

I'm trying to put everything together on a new lens at squidoo, I can't wait until it's finished. Until then you can check out my newest lens, regarding companion planting and my fav. ten allies in the battle against garden pests.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Eyes are Open and I See a Garden Full of Weeds!

Okay, my garden is actually full of weeds; it's been raining here in Maine for practically two weeks. And with kids and homeschooling, and all, I haven't been able to spend much time out there pulling out the offensive plants. So my garden is full of weeds.

But mostly, this is all a metaphor for the way I feel now that I'm beginning to learn some of the history behind the education system, the politics of our government, and within society itself. I realize now how naiive I was, and I feel like my eyes are finally open to the reality of the world in which we live.

I see the system in effect all around me; every day in the most mundane actions of life--there it is before me, confronting me with the truth of it all. This knowledge
has changed the way I perceive things. It has changed my opinions about so many things, that before I would have taken for granted. Now--I'm confused.... I wonder and speculate about everything; the motives driving people all around me, and especially those that are far away from me. Is there any truth to it all? Should I be worried about my safety or that of my family now that I know the secret? And I'm learning more--it fascinates me. I'm curious, I'm anxious, I want to change it, I want to avoid it; I want to scream with my frustration; I want to cry with the pain the knowledge brings me.

And what could I possibly do to cause some change to the system, which is, effectively, an elephant gone mad? Is it out of control? Do people actually control society from behind the scenes? It tickles my brain! This damnable need to know the truth of the matter!

And then Keith set me to searching the Freemasons and the Illuminati, which is another thread in this tangled web that was created to ensnare the population. The materials I've read through so far regarding the Freemasons merely supports what Gatto had described in his book The Underground History of American Education (which is also online free: The Underground History of American Education

So, despite the
neglected appearance of my garden, I have been busy. Yet I remain confused, and I feel somewhat betrayed by my country, whom I have plenged my alleigance, and my heart; how could they take everything that was America, everything that made her great, and individual, and turn her into this theorized Utopia?! How could they do this to us?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Fight for Education

I wonder how many people out there think very much about the global system of education we have. I wonder about it a lot, because I think a lot about the masses of children that are wasting their days locked up inside these institutions that teach next to nothing. I think of these children, who grow into these muddled, angry and hurt people; who just seem to have no idea what to do with themselves, or where to turn; and I feel so badly for our entire planet. I feel guilt and pain when I think about the masses, and what we've been reduced to. And to know that we had everything we wanted for a brief instant during the time of America's youth, and then it was snatched away from us.

For more info about how the system came to even exist in the first place, go to my Squidoo-Lens:
The Fight for Knowledge

They didn't know what they were doing. They thought they were creating the ultimate Utopia. This is supposed to be the society of the future. Us. Look where we are.... It's my personal belief that the recent market melt-down is directly related to the Industrial Revolution, and the creation of a system that would turn out predictable citizens they could manipulate as the economy demanded. They industrialized the education system the same way they industrialized all factories at the time, and began mass-producing a 'workforce'. It was funded, in the beginning, by the coal industry. And it was inspired by Prussia--pre-nazi Germany!
Anyway, if you're interested in learning about where the system came from, and how our own government used it's people for the purpose of capital gain, then follow my link, and read more.

But what this blog is really about is reforming that system to make it work properly--you know-so people actually learn during their incarceration? And maybe, just maybe, make it something other than a prison--but that would be a miracle, I think. To give the world back it's children; to go back to our grass-roots--to a civilization that prides itself on its society, not one who condemns humanity for what comes naturally--family and community.

I declare that our world governments have stolen our youth! Our childhoods have been stolen! We were imprisoned inside the institution and conditioned to suit their consumption-driven economy! And along with it, they've squashed (for most of us!) that creative instinct that drives human ingenuity. They snubbed out over the last three and four generations our imagination and independent thought through long-range social engineering, and it's primary target was entrepreneurialism in America! No more Benjamin Franklins or Thomas Eddison, they set a bad example.

So they set about abducting our children--and in the beginning no one wanted to hand their children over to a stranger to be molded by a stranger's ideals--that's why they had to make it compulsory. Gawd--I could go on and on in detail, but what I mainly wanted to say was that I feel that Obama's "drastic education reform" isn't nearly drastic enough in my opinion. I think they should completely do away with the compulsory nature of the school system. The system should not be standardized. And, while I think that the government should not be involved in the system, I also realize that the funding is necessary and needed; but I say instead of trying to extend the child's incarceration to a younger and younger age through head-start programs (especially since research has proven that starting children on serious studies later rather than earlier, proves more successful in the long-run.), put the money into the system where it's already so desperately needed, in the elementary schools and the junior-highschools. I think they should do away with high school, or maybe make them more 'vocational'; as 'adoescents' we're more than able to be a useful part of working society. Did you know that they extended childhood specifically to delay our working-lives?

So--there's my two-cents worth. I hope someone other than me finds it interesting.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why I Homeschool

My husband and I decided to homeschool our children before they were even born, and I have never wavered from this. I feel so incredibly strongly that the public school system does NOT have the best interests of children at heart; so I keep them home with me, despite whatever controversy this brings to me--and it has already brought it's fair share, even though my boys are only 6 & 2!
So I have spent the last six years researching homeschooling, and teaching methods, learning styles, the people behind the homeschool movement, and the history of education--along with all of the other things I've taken an interest in along the way (ie: gardening, which led me to companion planting and bio-intensive gardening, writing, eco-action, and even an interest in current affairs and politics that has cropped up recently).
I feel that we've all become enslaved my the institution of School for the purpose of driving the economy for the rich and elite. Over the last one-hundred years our intellect and ingenuity have been slowly filtered out of us. Our children are locked away from the world and every day life under the guise of education, they learn nothing except to obey. Most people likely don't even know how to think; and I believe that most of us don't even realize it! I often wonder how easy it is to manipulate us through television and the media? I wonder what it looks like en-masse?
Anyway, I could go on and on about the downfalls of the school-system, but that's not what this post is about.
While my dissatisfaction with the system is by and large a major role player in why I refuse to put my children in the nearest public institution, the main reason why I keep my boys home with me twenty-four-seven is simply because I enjoy it! I LIKE learning new things; I LIKE to study, to do research, to explore new things I'm curious about, and to experience new things, places, and meet interesting people. There is a whole big world out there around us. I'd like to experience some of it; and be a part of it during this lifetime. Though I got a late start in life, I can give my children a good head-start, and, maybe, an advantage that some of the drones won't have. Maybe that will give them some sort of advantage. Maybe someday the homeschoolers will step forward, and lead the Bewildered out of the Institution and into the light of day to think for themselves. And Oh! What a world we could have!
If there are parents, mothers, teachers--ANYONE--out there who feels trapped by life and society--I encourage you to encourage others to step away from the institution and the path that is so easy to tred. Think for yourselves; learn new things; and encourage all to give their children the gift of a REAL education, the power of knowledge is real, and we only have to seek it to reap its rewards.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's Planting Season Again!

Hello World!
Spring has come to my home in the foothills of central Maine, and with it has come the time for sowing seeds and planting seedlings. I can't even begin to describe the feeling it gives me when I tuck a new, green plant into the dirt. Or the great pleasure I derive from just watering my gardens and seeing the progress each plant has made.
This connection I feel for the Earth is so strong, so powerful. I can't help but wonder how people can abuse this place the way they do. To me, it's all so beautiful and every bit of it is precious--down to every last cockroach, and mosquito. Yes, even the--gulp--spiders are beautiful (though I can't be held responsible for my actions if they come near me or actually get on me!).
I like to invite bugs into my garden through companion planting, and enjoy the wonder that is life on this planet we call home. Everyone knows about the bad bugs that eat your hard-won vegetables; but when you use companion planting, you can 'invite' predatory insects into your garden to eat the offensive buggers. It's life--but without the man-made chemicals. Also, some plants can be used to repel the party-crashers, like strong flavored herbs, and practically anything in the onion and garlic family.
Planting flowers--particularly those in the 'Aster' family ( ie: marigolds, daisies, chrysanthemums, coneflowers, etc.) gives pollinating bugs food, and draws them through your garden, which helps to increase yeilds. And, adding diversity to your garden also provides places for those beneficial insects to live when they're not dining, not to mention it all looks really great thrown together like that.
So if you're into organic gardening, and you can tolerate a bug or two, give companion-planting a try!