Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Musical Tribute: What Did You Learn in Homeschool Today?

I wrote a piece on Pete Seeger, the Hudson and how they tie into our homeschooling journey, which is going to be in the NYCHEA newsletter's next edition. Space considerations meant that the full version of my adaptation of Pete Seeger's "What Did You Learn in School Today?" needed to be trimmed... but our wonderful editor asked me to post the full version here, so she can link to it.

Here it is:


What Did You Learn in (Home)school Today

An updated version of Pete Seeger's song, by Chele Coyne of Homeschooling on Hudson.



What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned to fill in bubbles on a test

And that askin’ questions makes me a pest

I learned that funding is the key

To why they keep on assessing me

That’s what I learned in school today

That’s what I learned in school



What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned my teacher wants me to obey

And won’t make time for me to have any say

I learned that learning is irrelevant

Memorizing answers lets ’ em pay the rent

That’s what I learned in school today

That’s what I learned in school



What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned that girls are preferred to boys

Cause they sit quiet they’re the teacher’s joys

I learned that bein’ lively is ADHD

I need to be drugged for them to cope with me

That’s what I learned in school today

That’s what I learned in school



What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned that bullies are a fact of life

And I musta done somethin’ to cause this strife

I learned to go along to get along

And quietly endure when someone does me wrong

That’s what I learned in school today

That’s what I learned in school



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned to question authority

And not to let anybody think for me

I learned to stand up for what is right

They won’t take away my freedom without a fight

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned to value diversity

There isn’t one right answer or way to be

I learned to be friends with folks of all ages

And not just the ones at identical stages

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned there’s no honor in bein’ passive

In the face of problems that can seem massive

I learned that when I see something wrong

I can help make a change if I write a song

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned that I can help stop pollution

Lotsa little changes add to a big solution

I learned to think of my grandsons and daughters

And keep the planet clean, protect our air and waters

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned that corporations aren’t my friend

Their bottom line’s all they care ‘bout in the end

I learned that government ain’t my friend

In the name of reelection our rights they’ll rend

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned that money poisons politics

By, of, and for the people means it needs to be fixed

I learned that war means we all lose

And to hope in the future it’s peace we’ll choose

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool



What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in homeschool today, dear little boy of mine?

I learned from Pete, Gandhi and Dr. King

That if people stand together we can change anything

I learned that music is a powerful thing

They can’t stop the people when the people sing

That’s what I learned in homeschool today

That’s what I learned in homeschool!



Thank you, Pete and Toshi Seeger. You proved that a song and a dream can change the world, and I intend to go on singing.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Microsoft is Cabbage

Allow me to explain my idiotic title... since I am now a gibbering idiot, turned this way by the corporate stupidity that emanates from Seattle....

My computer died. It's only 6 months old and came with Windows 8 pre-installed (that is a whole 'nother hate filled rant...) The company I bought it from has gone out of business, so no help from that quarter...

I replaced the motherboard and some RAM.

It's now better, stronger, faster than it was before (cheezy humming of theme from The Six Million Dollar Man implied, folks...)

But, it lost its Windows Activation. Yesterday it didn't say anything about that. We went out to celebrate Kev's 50th Birthday blissfully ignorant of the corporate chicanery to follow...

We ate in a new to us place, where I ordered a roasted pumpkin stuffed pita. Well, it was phyllo dough, not pita, and the contents were decidedly un-pumpkiny looking.

Upon querying our waitress, she told us that "Ees garbage!"

Uh, what?

Eventually, someone with less accent explained that she meant Cabbage.

So in our house, cabbage has become a synonym for garbage these days...

Back to my computer woes. Since Windows was preinstalled and all I did was click a button that said "Activate", I never had the &&#@^$&@&*%$ product key code, so couldn't reinstall it...

So we tried Microsoft Support Chat.

I cannot even begin to tell you how incredibly unhelpful they were. But the basic gist is, have a hardware failure, lose your software license. Microsoft sees your frustrating and already expensive problem as an opportunity to pile on and add insult to injury.

We finally found a way around the insanity. We tried activating by phone, and they gave us a replacement activation code (the phone robot was more useful that the chat human!)

So, the evil thing is now reinstalled, and thanks to a nifty freeware product called Belarc Advisor, I have now managed to extract the actual product key number and stash that puppy for the future...

But I am now completely convinced that Microsoft is Cabbage!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mikro's Leprechaun Brownie

Mikro wanted to decorate a cake for our anniversary, so we let him loose with the frosting, and he made a leprechaun appear...

kitchenelf

frostedleprechaun

23 Years So Far

When we got married 23 years ago today, we had already been friends for 11 years. Still are. I can't imagine life without my big goofy leprechaun (or the little one!)

23yearsago

23years

chelenkev

annivfamily1bloggy

annivfamily2bloggy

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Frozen February Frolics: Homeschool Update

Besides the math carnival and the BAM Film Festival, which I posted about previously, we've done a few fun things this February. But if I had to sum up the month, it would probably look like this:

mikroshoveler

Besides doing battle with the weather, here are some of the other things we did in February:
  • Mikro's Comparative Religions class had a field trip to a mosque.

    yip02182014 mosqueexterior mosquegrp

    boymeetsmosque1 mosquedome mosquetapestry

  • We've been doing some art projects, like Sketch Tuesday, and keeping gluebooks. A gluebook is just a sketchbook for collages... We are having fun with them.

    mikrocolage sketchtuesmikrotool

  • Mikro wrote a book review of his favorite book, The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. He has read it about 15 times now.

    bookreview

  • The Nanowrimo novel continues, when I can convince him to work on it. He has waaaaay too many ideas for stories, so it is hard to get him to stick to one thing and see it through to the end, since he is always wanting to dive into the newest idea immediately. He read me a paragaph he had written one day, and I was absolutely blown away. Yeah, his punctuation still needs some work, but he can tell a story that no one would guess was written by a not quite 11 year old. He says he may want to be a writer, as well as a scientist.

  • He drew up a graphic novel based on the Aztec creation myth.

  • He's doing math on Khan Academy these days, and watching Vi Hart videos. He's also read some math poetry, having been inspired at the NYCHEA math carnival. He is talking about starting a math journal, but managed to lose the sketchbook I gave him for that... Hopefully he'll get started on that soon.

  • TED Talks are an obsession around here, especially the science and art ones. Microbiology illustration is a brand new interest. He's reading about marine biology and ecology, mostly. He also enjoys doing science on BrainPOP, and watching Discovery Streaming Education videos and The Happy Scientist. I'm hoping to get some more experiments done in the near future. He's making noises about robotics again, so it's time to break out the LEGO Mindstorms...

  • He's learning photography. We got him his own camera, but most of the time he borrows my backup camera. So far, he's learning the mechanics of using the cameras, and a little bit about composition. Eventually, I'll teach him to shoot manually. But for now, he's in program mode with autofocus. We use the parked car as a bird blind and take pictures of the visitors to our feeders. He actually managed to take a photo of me that I don't hate (as I do most photos of me..)

    yip02212014 yip02242014

  • We finally got to go see my parents. Christmas was in February, because Gramma had pneumonia and was sick since before Christmas. I'm happy to report that she and my dad are both pretty healthy now.

    yip02232014

Friday, March 14, 2014

First Scantron

Mikro took his first ever Scantron test, but it wasn't reading and math, which he is required to take next year. For practice, and to give my nervous of time constraints kiddo a good experience before it counts for the state, he took a test on something he loves: The National Mythology Exam. He did the Greek/Roman, Transformations theme, Norse and Native American tests. Unfortunately, we won't get results till May... It's hard to wait and wonder. He thinks he did very well.

nme1

nme2