Math For The Day

We’ve been having some fun with math today. Fun and Math are not 2 projects that work well together in my mind, but today was a Good Day.  My kids had wanted to do long division problems and we googled it, of course, to see if I could save some paper.  We found some good stuff, but our favorite ‘maths’ has been the BBC site. 

This afternoon I pulled out one of our Theoni Pappas books Fractal, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales and we wandered through that a bit.  The Youngest (by one minute) was daydreaming later and was counting the zeroes on the cover.  He thought there were 90 at first and wondered what that number would be called.  (There were actually 80 for some reason which we might find out if we keep reading.)  So we googled what number that would be called and found an interesting site called what else: Names For Large Numbers.   

I didn’t know a billion for us means a whole lot more in Europe.   And we found that a Googol was 10 to the 100th.  (Could it be that mathematicians get a little silly sometimes?) Wonder if that’s where Google came from?  Guess I don’t care that much to google it.  But I’m glad google was around for all of our other math adventures today.  Makes my life easy and pretty darn interesting.

Critters Coming In and Staying Out

Here’s a cute story about a homeschooling collector of animals. 

 About a year later, we added a 3-month old black kitten, Triskit, to the family. That made two adults, two kids, two dogs and a cat – all under one roof. And because we both work from home offices and home school both kids, that meant all seven of us under that roof all the time.

We have a few out and about here.  There’s the beautiful kitty that showed up at our doorstop and stayed.  (Outside the door as he has proven himself non-house broken).

And there’s the kitty that showed up by our corncrib a few months ago.  Well fed, house broken and looking to achieve monster cat size; he has become a mainstay of the household.  (Who needs the shelter when people around here have our farm to dump their animals in the middle of the night?) 

 And our sweet dog that we did get from the shelter.  He has a bit of Chow in him which concerned me a bit when I saw the spots on his tongue AFTER we got him home.  (I worked at a vet clinic for a few years and I haven’t met a Chow that I’ve liked and I’ve met a few.)  But after he was fixed, he’s been a pussycat.  Unlike our new kittie, who torments the dog unmercifully playing with his tail or stalking him. 

 And then there’s the two kestrels down the road hanging on the electric lines.  And our 3 muskrats roaming around our little creek probably annoyed to all ends by us trying to peek in on them.  (2 boys and gravel stones that make great plinking sounds from the bridge doesn’t make for mutual Muskrat Love, I think.  ) 

Attention Catcher

From one of the colleges I passed through after high school; the Western Courier starts out with this statement which seem to be the total focus of this particular governor.  Catching attention.

 Governor Rod Blagojevich caught the attention of his supporters, critics and college students when he delivered his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

Illinois is broke.  But he has some expensive suggestions for all.  Interesting thing is that even the recipients of some of these throw outs aren’t crazy about the ideas.  Reading the professors’ feedback, they’re concerned that they’ll be pressured to hand out A’s and B’s or have a student lose their $1,000 credit. Wonder how homeschoolers figure into this?  Hope they don’t.  And then there’s always this:

 We’ve increased education funding by $2.3 billion. We have made early childhood education a priority and we have put our money where our mouth is. We’ve expanded funding for pre-school by 50 percent," Blagojevich said in his address.

Despite what his critics and even those in his own party have said, the governor’s proposals will go before the State Senate.

Yep, afraid that’s true .  Wonder what Mr. Raoul or the other sponsors for reducing the compulsory attendance age last spring are up to?  A trip or two to Springfield certainly prove this as a real issue despite the nay saying of homeschoolers. 

Harper Lee

This got my attention in a homeschool news search with my fingers crossed hoping that the author of To Kill A Mockingbird was a homeschool proponent.  (I have used Scout’s experience in learning to read as a classic example of why we don’t do school.) 

Chapter 2 : The summer has ended with Dill returning to Meridian and Scout starting her first day of school.  Miss Caroline, Scout’s first grade teacher, scolds Scout because she already knows how to read.  "Your father does not know how to teach" (24) Miss Caroline pronounces of Atticus.  She forbids Scout from reading with Atticus and begins the year upset with, perhaps, her smartest student.  Miss Caroline is new to Maycomb so she doesn’t know any of the students, their families, or their family’s eccentricities.  Determined to help her learn Maycomb’s ways and egged on by her fellow students, Scout offers Miss Caroline pointers on how to get along with folks such as Walter Cunningham. 

Miss Caroline offers a quarter to Walter (whose father’s name is also Walter Cunningham) who did not bring a lunch to school with him.  When Walter refuses to take the quarter but Miss Caroline insists, Scout interjects, "…you’ll get to know all the county folks after a while.  The Cunninghams never took anything they can’t pay back—no church baskets and not scrip stamps.  Thy never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they have.  They don’t have much, but they get along on it" (27).  As she was with the fact that Scout already reads, Miss Caroline is not pleased with Scout’s imprudent behavior.  Scout describes her reaction: "Miss Caroline stood stock still, then grabbed me by the collar and hauled me back to her desk.  ‘Jean Louis, I’ve had about enough of you this morning,’ she said.  ‘You’re starting out on the wrong foot in every way, my dear" (28).  She pats Scout’s hands with a ruler and sends Scout to stand in the corner.  The chapter ends with Scout and her class filing out to lunch at the sound of the noon bell.

I’m happy to see that Ms. Lee gets it.  

 Ms. Lee lives with her 94-year-old sister, Alice, a lawyer who still practices, and keeps an apartment in New York. She is not a judge in the essay contest, nor does she make any formal statement at the ceremony. Her one stipulation for the contest was that children who were home-schooled be eligible to compete.

 I’d love to meet her.  Looks like she has many admirers; young and old.  I know that’s the case in my house.  Fascinating lady!