Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interesting Concept

Have you heard of unschooling? Here's an excerpt from the article that link goes to:

Unschooling isn’t a new idea. Thinkers from Socrates to Jean Jacques Rousseau have touted the benefits of letting a child’s interests lead their education.

But it was John Holt who penned the term ‘‘unschooling’’ in the late 1970s. He inspired some families to abandon the school system for a looser approach to education.

Recently, the idea has been catching on. Estimates are hard to come by, but within the roughly 1.1 million home-schoolers in the U.S., it’s clear many are being unschooled.

Very interesting. I can see where the "unschooling" method would definitely not work for some kids, but for others it could be just what they need to really excel. I wonder if it would be possible to find a working balance between the two opposite ends of the education spectrum.
Maybe a system where half to three quarters of the school day is normal, structured academics - "the three R's", as it were - and the rest of the day is (not teacher led, but supervised) free exploration of a student-chosen area of interest.

Maybe this could be done in a private school - I'm pretty sure there are too many obstacles for it to be attempted in a public school setting. There's no way to have 25-30 kids in a class each following their own path of exploration, and still have proper supervision, not to mention covering the costs of all the supplies that might be necessary to allow real exploration of so many possibly diverse ideas, or the issue of parent permission.

But, even with all of that, as with homeschooling, I still think it could be a worthwhile endeavor, for someone who is properly equipped to do it right. Done poorly, homeschooling, unschooling, or for that matter, traditional schooling, can be pretty much useless, but done right, either schooling method can be a very good thing. The article about unschooling mentions:
... some universities like Stanford and MIT have welcomed some of these unconventional students.

For Roya Sooroshian, getting into college wasn’t a problem. She’s been unschooled since the fourth grade. She passed the high school equivalency exam at 15.

That's fairly impressive.

So, read the article if you haven't already, and tell me, what do you think?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hello From Epcot

We're at Epcot (in Disney World) this weekend - yay!!
Epcot is our favorite Disney Park - we love the World Showcase. Our favorite countries to visit here are Japan, Morocco, and Italy. My older daughter also loves France - the perfume & makeup stuff. The younger one likes Japan best. We like Germany, too, except for the restaurant - the smell of bratwurst is not for us!
My sister says they're talking about adding some countries, so I'm hoping for Spain & Russia!
We'll have to wait and see.
We're off to Downtown Disney today for shopping - did all our "world traveling" yesterday. :-)
A fun & happy weekend to all!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fuzzy Logic Productions

I'm learning how to use Windows Movie Maker, just for fun. I love the in-game movies people make with Guild Wars, EverQuest, World of Warcraft, etc., and I wanted to make some of my own. So I downloaded Fraps & GameCam to try out, but so far I haven't gotten them working. I'm not entirely sure my computer can handle running both the game and one of the capture programs.
It meets the system requirements they specify, but just barely.

SO, until I can get the programs running, I've been playing with Movie Maker with video clips of my birds. And then I'll see what else I can come up with. Ooh boy, I'll bet you're looking forward to that. Hahaha.

So, for your viewing pleasure (& if you have your sound on, you may want to turn it down - the volume on YouTube seems to be high by default), here are the links to my very first movies, posted on YouTube -
Here are:

Bandit, my Goffin's Cockatoo
just being herself - hanging out on her "bar", trying to make a birdie pocket out of my apron that's hanging nearby (her usual pocket is the front of my shirt - she sticks her head in there, and camps out) and also playing with some "shreddie" - toilet paper that she shakes out, tears up, balls up, puts on her back, picks up, puts back, etc. She's a mess! :-)


Marley, my African Grey

also just being himself - checking out "the bar", on one of the few times he's left his cage so far. He's very shy, and prefers to stay in or on his cage. We're working on that. He's a very sweet bird, and talks up a storm, although he didn't talk in this video. He was too busy being nervous about being 'so far from home'.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Tyrian Community

You scored as Ascalon, Your will and heart are strong, much like the people of Ascalon. You have endured great hardship, but you remain steadfast and true. You persist in the face of opposition, for you know that your strength of will shall carry you through.





Shining Blade








White Mantle




Which Guild Wars populace do you belong to?
created with

I'm Back!!!

Well, the Re-scheduling went a lot faster than I expected! Since I had to dump most of what was there from the first time, I took the opportunity to make some changes to codes, which helped with sorting out the groups going into electives & whatnot. So the resorting of the kids into classes seemed to go a lot smoother, and now all I have left to do (as far as mass scheduling goes, anyway) is to rebalance a bit where I can, because there are always intances where a teacher has a class of say, 9 kids in one period, and 28 in another, and some of those can be reworked.

But the huge part is done, and now I can go back to what I was working on the last time I was "done". LOL

Yippee! :-)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Oh, This Should Be Fun

Well, the next 2 or 3 weeks look to be a little intense for me, as far as my job goes. There are some major schedule changes that will have to be done, due to changes in staffing, which are due in turn to enrollment numbers. So. What that all boils down to is that the work we've been doing all summer, and had all summer to do, now has to be started over & redone in the space of the few weeks we have left before school starts. Eep!
So yeah, I'm going to be a little busy for while. But really, I'm not too stressed over it at the moment. The same sort of thing happens every year, from what I gather, just not usually as extreme as we're having to deal with this year. I remember last year we had some major issues to fix, too, which were more due to other people not thinking things through, so all in all, I'll take this year's sort of issue if I have to have one! This one can't be helped, really, except for maybe the zoning to have been done better when they did it, but it's too late to cry over that one.
So, I'll be MIA for a bit, but not to worry. I'll be back. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! ;-D