He had fun… I just tried not to completely lose my cookies.

Biology and Thanksgiving dinner, all wrapped up in a flesh-colored package.

Yup.

We turned the turkey into a biology lesson.

GeekBoy wanted to check out the turkey’s neck.  So after checking out the inside of the bird, flapping the wings, and checking out the legs, we inspected all that fun stuff they send in little plastic baggies inside the birds.  We checked out the neck, and the muscles and tendons that make it work.  Then we looked at the liver.  We dissected the heart, and checked out the different chambers and saw all the blood vessels.  Then we cut into a gizzard, though, honestly, we weren’t sure what it was at the time.  Dad and I guessed at kidneys.  Close, but  no cigar.  I can now tell you that the Gizzard is the turkey’s stomach.  More accurately, it’s the part of the bird’s stomach that contains tiny stones, used in digestion.

Yup.   The learning never stops at Casa del Yuriar.  There is no such thing as a holiday here at Apredemos Academy.  Everything and anything can be turned into a learning experience.  How awesome is that?

Thanksgiving links and more

Check out BlackDog’s Thanksgiving Fun for online games and printables and more.

Check out Scholastic’s First Thanksgiving for lots of info in a fun, online format.

Don’t miss the History Channel specials, THC Classroom: Home for the Holidays on Friday the 16th at 6am est (check your local time to be sure!), and Desperate Crossing: The untold story of the Mayflower, a three part series on the 19-21st of November at 6am est. *disclaimer – I haven’t yet seen these. I can’t verify their kid-safeness.

And it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving with Charlie Brown.  I believe he’s coming on ABC on the 20th at 8pm est.  Check your local listings to be sure.

no such thing as a sick day

We’ve actually done more “school” today then we have in several weeks. Yet the fact that we are all sick, some sicker then others, has not slowed us down today!

In between movies, GeekBoy has done a page of a math workbook (which is something he almost never touches!), and 4 pages from a language workbook. Meanwhile, thePinkDiva and Lil’Chicano practiced identifying their numbers with flashcards. tPD is working on numbers 9-12 right now, and the Lil’Chicano is already id’ing 1-4 all on his own! How awesome is that?

I continue to be amazed at how much information these kids soak up, just living life. I grew up in the “sit at your desk for 8 hours a day” environment. It really is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it is not necessary. This is the point where you could start calling us “unschoolers”, and we are… but not really. We jump from topic to topic with lightning speed. Usually the kids, all three, are interested in knowing everything they can fit into their heads about a subject for about one week. Then they are on to something new. But I do insist on the classic fundamentals of Math and Language. We gravitate towards books, a la Charlotte Mason Method, and utilize unit studies and lapbooks on occasion. All of that makes us more of an Eclectic Homeschool.

Speaking of being eclectic…  I found this great Thanksgiving Lapbook unit over at HomeschoolEstore (soon to be Currclick.com).  Looks like fun.  I’ve got to get into it and really figure out how it’s supposed to work and all, but it looks like my kids will love it.  We shall see.

the politics of education

The NEA (National Educator’s Association) Not only believes that Public school is “the cornerstone of our social, economic and political structure, and is of utmost significance in the development of our moral, ethical, spiritual, and cultural values.” They also believe parents are too stupid to know what is best for their children.

B-75. Home Schooling
The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency (read: licensed teachers only), and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.(read: you must teach what we say you must teach.)

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)

So, to recap… the NEA disapproves of homeschooling and wants all kids under the control of the government and public school. I mean seriously, do you want the government training your child in morals? In an age when teachers having sex with students is rampant, do you really want to trust them with the job of instilling moral values? I don’t think so. Are they for real when they say that public education is “of utmost significance in the development of our… spiritual… values”? Seriously? Since when? Since they took prayer out of schools? Since they refuse to teach Creationism as an alternative to Evolution? Since they began indoctrinating young skulls full of mush in the gay and alternative lifestyles? Since they started teaching sex ed in elementary grades? Since they declared AlGore is be all, end all of Global Warming? (And yes, they are teaching Algore’s global warming propaganda, don’t believe me? check out this letter to a teacher of a friend’s daughter.)

The NEA likes Ron Paul, granted not as much as they like Clinton or Edwards. but they like Paul more then they like Tancredo, or McCain even.

The NEA says that full time Kindergarten is awesome and necessary. They also say that the amount of time kids spend in school isn’t enough . So not only do they think homeschooling is bad, but they want to keep kids in schools longer, and at younger ages! Ugh.

To give this some perspective, check out the NEA ratings of the candidates:
Credit :OEDB.org and On the Issues.

NEA Ratings of the candidates:

Joe Biden (D) – 91%
D. Kucinich (D) – 90%
Chris Dodd (D) – 82%
Hillary (D) – 82%
J. Edwards (D) – 83%
Ron Paul (R) – 67%
John McCain (R) – 45%
Sam Brownback (R) – 27%
Duncan Hunter (R) – 17%
Tom Tancredo (R) – 8%

Huckabee, Guliani, and Thompson aren’t given a rating on the websites I found. I think this is because the NEA rates based on votes in the congress, and Thompson’s been out of the game for a while, and the other two are state level, not former congressmen. BUT! Mike Huckabee went to talk at the NEA convention, the only republican to do so.

I’m not trying to diss any one candidate. just. something to think about it.