Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Victoria Woodhull ...

... was the first female candidate to run for President of the United States.  Ms. Woodhull was the nominee of the Equal Rights Party in 1872. 

What was the political platform of the Equal Rights Party in 1872?  Do you agree with the Equal Rights Party of 1872's platform?  Why do you agree or disagree?  What type of societal mores do you think contributed to the voter's acceptance or rejection of the Equal Rights Party of 1872's platform?

Who were the other presidential candidates in 1872, and which political parties did they represent?

Who won the presidential election of 1872?  The election of 1872 was filled with scandal and strife.  Please explain some of that scandal and strife.

If you were a voting citizen in 1872, who do you think you would have cast your presidential vote for and why?

We've been home educating our children since 2002.  Often folks ask, "How do you do that?"  The past three posts and today's post is a very small example of how home education often works. My questions in the last three posts just happen to be about U.S. election history.  But, the questions can be about anything - current events , both domestic and abroad, language arts, science, short term goals and long range dreams, ...  I personally think that once you've garnished a student's interest in a topic, asking the student "why they agree or disagree", "what caused a certain outcome",  "how something works", etc., is, not only important, but one of the easiest methods of developing critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills.  These sorts of questions require a student to think about, process and communicate various facts to support his /  her conclusions which is vital to learning critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills.

We've used a plethora of home school curriculum but I must confess three of my favorites are Progeny Press literature curriculum for grades 4-12,  Bob Jones University Press history curriculums for grades 9-12 and Apologia Sciences grades elementary through high school.  These curriculums consistently ask the "How?', "Why?" and "What do you think?" questions that I think are vital to developing critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills.

Regardless of a family's educational choices, I believe  it is important for all families to regularly engage their children with "Why?" and "How?" questions.  In doing so, our children will develop strong critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills that will ultimately assist them in becoming successful and productive adults.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Grover Cleveland ...

... was the candidate who was elected to the office of President of the United States in 1884.  He was the first Democrat elected to the presidency since the election of 1856.

Now, again without consulting historical references; since we currently have a female presidential candidate, can anyone tell me who the first female presidential candidate was, the year she ran for office and which party she was affiliated with?

Monday, September 19, 2016


noun; a Republican, who in the presidential election of 1884, refused to support the Republican candidate, James G. Blaine; hence, a person who is not committed to any side, especially in politics.

Now, without consulting reference materials, can anyone tell who won the presidential election of 1884 and which political party was he affiliated with?

Friday, September 16, 2016

A What?

We are only 53 days out from the 2016 Presidential Election.  Without consulting a dictionary, can anyone tell me what a MUGWUMP is?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sometimes ...

... I wake up at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning with an overwhelming urge to bake.  Fortunately, the zucchini bread turned out much better than my photography.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sometimes ...

... I just absolutely must stop whatever I am doing, or needing to do, and create.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Best Birthday Gift - Ever !!!

Musician and his lovely Bride's gift outshined all the others this year ...


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An Addition to the Dining Table Decor

When writing about meal planning, grocery budgets or posting recipes, I've often included my opinion regarding the importance of regular family meal times.  I've also mentioned that numerous studies on family health and relationships tout the positive benefits of consistent family meal times. 

However, there is an ugly truth regarding my own family's meal times.  Although we regularly and consistently eat together around our dining table, often times 3 meals per day, embarrassingly,  our conversations are lacking, at best.  The awful reality is that sometimes our entire family eats in silence except for the occasional, "please pass ________", or, most awful, "Thank you, that was good", before one excuses themselves while others are still eating!  On the occasions when conversation is present at meal time, it is often an overview of our family's "to do" lists or a lecture of correction given by dad.  These topics do not evoke a pleasurable environment.  And, to have family members hurriedly gobbling up their food and quickly exiting the dining table while others are still eating is a horrendous breach of etiquette - at least where I come from.

Instead of espousing the reasons and pointing fingers at others who, from my own perspective, have set a very poor example of this negative meal time environment; I am choosing to take some steps in an attempt to change this and bring pleasant, encouraging, thought provoking, interesting and inquisitive conversation to our family dining table.   Which brings the focus to the new addition in our dining table décor.

Although I'd like my home's décor to be creative, warm and inviting, it usually turns out being more clean and functional.  Our daily dining table centerpiece is a simple stainless steel lazy Susan that holds the salt & pepper mills, a bottle of hot sauce and a small container of toothpicks.  Today, I added a pint sized, decorated mason jar filled with strips of paper.  The paper strips contain various conversation starters, such as, "What was the best part of your day?", "If you had the attention of the entire world for 30 seconds, what would you say?" or "What do you think you could have done better today?".  These are only a very small sampling of the many conversation starters I found scattered across the internet today.

With Mr.B out of town and the littles at church activities and rodeo practice, I will be alone this evening but I look forward to each of my family members taking turns drawing a conversation topic from the jar.  I hope the conversations will be funny, interesting, encouraging.  Most of all, I hope those who rush through their meal in an effort to return to the television or other vices, will linger for a short while and enjoy some time with their family.

Does your family eat meals together on a consistent basis?  Have you ever used conversation starters?  If so, how did they work out for your family?  I would love for you to share your experiences in the comments section.  I could really use all the help I can get.