Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Case of the Missing Mountain

Why shouldn't you tell jokes to a volcano?
(It might start cracking up!)

Now, before you all groan and walk away, I'd like to tell you about an awesome book and concept that suddenly appeared in my mail box last week. I had completely forgotten that I agreed to review The Case of the Missing Mountain this summer, but I'm tickled pink that my blog was chosen for the task. =)
Click here for more details and ordering info
Written by Kim G. Jones, a former guide at the Mount St. Helens' Seven Wonders Museum, this book is like a glorified version of Ranger Rick. And I say "glorified" for two reasons:

1. It is much better quality, as a book rather than a magazine. With 80 full-color pages and paper back binding, the book is filled inside and out with adventure and fun. The publisher, Master Books, is well-known for their exceptional work of publishing, and the author has done a remarkable job letting children interact with the book rather than just read it.

2. It is also "glorified" because it glorifies the Creator and teaches children the Truths of Creation from the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Hidden in the 80 pages, you are likely to find:
  • Secret Codes
  • Word searches
  • Gorgeous photos
  • Mazes
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Science experiments
  • Fun Facts
  • Volcano jokes
  • Hidden Ranger Clues
  • And MUCH, MUCH more!
 When the book is finished and all the clues uncovered, the children can go to Kim Jones' website: to receive their Official Mystery Ranger Certificate and Badge.

Personally, if my children were just a little bit older, I would use this for at least a full semester of science, supplementing with a few Creation videos. But it doesn't have to be used as school-work! I have a feeling that if you gave this book to any adventurous young person, they would instantly disappear themselves and re-emerge much wiser! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homeschooling Mistake #2

I guess living in the Amish community gave me a different perspective on a lot of issues. While we were there, one teenage boy chopped off his big toe with a machete. Ouch! But there was no screaming, no panic, no trips to the ER or calls to the doctor. The boy's dad simply went for the sewing kit and stitched that toe back on the foot with a needle and thread!

In our one-room schoolhouse, the "teacher door" was a revolving one. Unmarried girls from the community were all expected to take a turn teaching school for a year. There wasn't a specified teacher with a degree who continued as headmistress until retirement. All of the teachers had no more than a seventh or eighth grade education and none of them continued to teach after marriage.

But our world is so different than that. We idolize "professionals" and "education". We look to the government for aid and put doctors, lawyers, and teachers on pedestals-- whether they deserve it or not. If someone has a degree, that must mean they know what they're saying, right?

Wrong. I've known people with more degrees than a thermometer that just needed a good ol' dose of common sense!

Homeschoolers are not exempt from this "professional" mind-set. More and more are succumbing to government aid programs, as though they are incapable of giving their own children a good education. In our cyber-age of Wikipedia and Google, it seems we have forgotten that nothing is really free. And I fear the cost is far greater than any of us can afford.

Commenting on this homeschooling trend toward government assistance, Pastor Voddie Baucham, Jr. drew a parallel with the infamous Trojan horse saying,

"Individuals who could not get in through the front gate, 
have somehow found a way to give us a "gift". 
And this "gift" that we think is a trophy of our victory
is ultimately a ploy for our adversary to come in unaware."

"Equo ne credite, Teucri. 
Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.

Do not trust the horse, Trojans! 
Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bringing gifts.
(Laocoön from Virgil's Aeneid: Book II)

Trailer for "Exposing a Trojan Horse," 
produced by The National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership.

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 Homeschooling Mistake #1