Category Archives: Homeschooling

Ted Talk on how to reach your goals (Its not how you think)

Video

I have been amiss in posting but trust me I am working on new project but I can’t tell you about it.

Why? Watch the video.

Chicago Bonsai meeting

Gallery

Teaching sharing

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The following question does not necessarily express the practice of the writer it is only presented as a topic of discussion.

“Why as a society do we tell our children to share their toys, books, crayons when we grow up sharing of that kind is not practiced.”

Is there something wrong in telling our children something that is not the way society works?

I look forward to your replies.

10 ways to celebrate Poetry Month

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Since this is National Poetry month I thought I would gather up a few ideas to spark interest. Have fun!

  1. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day
    The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with co-workers, family, and friends.
  2. Put a poem on the pavement
    “Go one step beyond hopscotch squares and write a poem in chalk on your sidewalk.”
  3. Recite a poem to family and friends
    “You can use holidays or birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate with a poem that is dear to you, or one that reminds you of the season.”
  4. Memorize a poem
    “Getting a poem or prose passage truly ‘by heart’ implies getting it by mind and memory and understanding and delight.”
  5. Promote public support for poetry
    “Every year, Congress decides how much money will be given to the National Endowment for the Arts to be distributed all across America.”
  6. Buy a book of poems for your library
    “Many libraries have undergone or are facing severe cuts in funding. These cuts are often made manifest on library shelves.”
  7. Play Exquisite Corpse
    “Each participant is unaware of what the others have written, thus producing a surprising—sometimes absurd—yet often beautiful poem.”
  8. Watch a poetry movie
    “What better time than National Poetry Month to gather some friends, watch a poetry-related movie, and perhaps discuss some of the poet’s work after the film?”
  9. Visit a poetry landmark
    “Visiting physical spaces associated with a favorite writer is a memorable way to pay homage to their life and work.”
  10. Start a commonplace book
    “Since the Renaissance, devoted readers have been copying their favorite poems and quotations into notebooks to form their own personal anthologies called commonplace books.”

source: http://www.poets.org

Beethoven, Mindfulness and Meditation

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In Buddhism we speak of being “Mindful” during meditation. In meditation there are two parts of the mind; Concentration and Mindfulness. Concentration provides the power to keep you focused on the object of mediation. If and when your mind wanders Concentration is the force that guides the mind back onto the object. Mindfulness is the gentle part that pays attention to the object and notices that the attention has wandered. In this posting I present one of my favorite Symphonies, Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony as a focus for our meditation.

To facilitate our mindfulness I put forth some questions that I found in a very old album at a yard-sale recently. Please read through the questions before listening. The questions were devised to help measure audience perception in music appreciation class. But, it was found to do much more: the questionnaire ended up heightening attentiveness! Think about that, if you prepare yourself before you meditate upon something you will pay increase your mindfulness.

For those of you who do not share my love of classical music and are not familiar with some of the terms used I have included a list at the bottom of this post.

1. (True or False) Throughout the Eroica Symphony Beethoven uses startling changes in key and rhythm to achieve surprise and shock.

2. (True or False) The first movement opens with a quiet pastoral melody.

3. (True or False) The first theme of the movement is built on three notes.

4. In the developing section of the first movement Beethoven departs from usual practice and introduces a:
a. Fugal Passage b. Canon c. New Theme

5. (True or False) The first movement concludes with a short coda.

6. We would characterize the main theme of the second movement as:
a. somber b. dramatic c. wistful

7. (True or False) There is a fugal passage in the second movement.

8. The third movement is a:
a. Rondo b. Scherzo c. Theme and Variation

9. Would you describe the third movement as:
a. Dark and Sinister b. Frivolous and Gay c. Powerful and Driving

10. (True or False) The trio of the third movement features a fanfare for horns.

11. The fourth movement is a:
a. Set of Variations b. Waltz c. Rondo

12. Which of the following instruments prominently play one of the melodies in the fourth movement?
a. Bassoons b. Flutes c. Trombones

Here is the entire symphony. If you do not have time to listen to the whole thing listen to one movement at a time and return. They can also be downloaded at Archive.org

Answers for Quiz here. (In white text so you will have to highlight them to see them.)

1. T; 2. F; 3. T; 4. c; 5. F; 6. a; 7. T; 8. b; 9. c; 10. T; 11. a; 12. b
Musical terms:

Waltz – A dance written in triple time,
where the accent falls on the first beat of each measure.
Coda – Closing section of a movement.
Movement – A separate section of a larger composition.
Sonata Music of a particular form consisting of four movements.
Each of the movements differ in tempo, rhythm, and melody;
but are held together by subject and style.
Sonata form – A complex piece of music.
Usually the first movement of the piece serving as the exposition,
a development, or recapitulation.
Scherzo – Pertaining to the sonata form, a fast movement in triple time.
Rondo – A musical form where the principal theme is repeated several times.
The rondo was often used for the final movements of classical sonata form works.
Canon – A musical form where the melody or tune is
imitated by individual parts at regular intervals.
The individual parts may enter at different measures and pitches.
The tune may also be played at different speeds,
backwards, or inverted.
Fugue – A composition written for three to six voices.
Beginning with the exposition, each voice enters at different times,
creating counterpoint with one another.
Theme – A melodic or, sometimes a harmonic
idea presented in a musical form.

Margaret Atwood

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One of my favorite Authors.

LadyRomp

Margaret Atwood

Homa Khaleeli

The Guardian, March 7, 2011

Article History

Margaret Atwood

Novelist behind The Handmaid’s Tale, a cautionary story of a world without feminism

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale has been a relevation for millions of readers – offering a terrifying glimpse of a parallel future where biological determinism and misogyny are taken to their logical conclusions. It’s a cautionary tale of a world without feminism, and after the excesses of the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan seems more prescient than ever. As Atwood, 61, said: “People would blithely say, ‘It couldn’t happen here,’ but this kind of thing can happen anywhere given the right kind of turmoil.”

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Bottled light

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Recycling at its finest.

dimitri seneca snowden

The slums of the Philippines are getting an extreme home makeover in the form of two liter bottles in their ceilings. The bottles function as 60-watt lights powered by 100% solar energy. Refraction is an amazing thing, if you drilled a hole in your ceiling light would drop directly through the opening in a straight line casting a shadow on the ground in the shape of the hole. By placing a bottle filled with water into the hole, the light is refracted by the water and emitted at 360 degrees like a light bulb. Light bulbs are taken for granted in America, yet are luxury item for the Philippines slums. The two liter bottles filled with water and a small amount of bleach to keep algae from growing, act as a light in the often-unlit slums.

The initiative in the Philippines to provide these lights to those who need…

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Happy Birthday Leonard Nimoy

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Today is the 81st birthday of Leonard Nimoy aka Spock of Star Trek. He is my wife’s favorite on the series and in honor of our meeting him we celebrate his birthday. Here is the cake we ordered.

I also wrote a haiku earlier this year about him titled

Met Spock

Taken at Star Trek convention 2011

Wild Monks

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When mankind creates a ecological niche by wiping a species off the face of the Earth it is good to see another species filling that place. The Carolina Parakeet was extinct by 1920 due to hunting. The Monk Parakeet is filling that niche and humans helped them do it.

Wild Monk Parakeets
Good to see them in the sky
Filling eco niche

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Monk Parakeet

Carolina Parakeet by John Audubon

Virtual Schoolhouse

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Virtual Schoolhouse

Virtual classroom
One room school, parent teaching
Customized learning

We are a homeschooling family. My wife and I decided that taking responsibility for our children’s education was the best option for us.