January chit-chat, an essay, a product review, and snow pics!

Hope your new year is off to a great start. I love January. Cleaning up, cleaning out, a fresh start, quiet(er) days, back into the routine, and maybe even some snow.

I had wanted to say hello a little sooner than this (other than telling you about our new card game)…. but due to unforeseen computer difficulties, my communications have been limited. (Disaster struck when one of my children, who will remain unnamed, spilled a cup of hot chocolate on my laptop. I’m afraid I came close to failing that test of spirituality.)

I’ve really been wanting to show you these pics that Ethan took after our first snow of the year, back in December. Since then we’ve had only one other snow and it wasn’t much to speak of.IMG_6722

IMG_6697Remember how I told you about the book of E.B. White essays that we were going to study in our homeschool this year? In hopes that my older children would learn to write a good essay? Well, here you can get a glimpse of how this effort is either succeeding or not succeeding, depending on how you look at it. I thought I would share this essay that Katelyn wrote in school last week. She chose her own topic. (Shared with her permission.)

Why I Hate Writing Essays
by Katelyn Hall
1/17/18

I hate writing essays, especially ones that are four hundred words long. First of all, it is extremely hard to think of a topic to write about. I sit and think, and think, and think some more, then I get sidetracked and stop thinking about the essay and begin thinking of what I’m going to eat for lunch, or the book I’m reading, or who is playing football this evening. By the time I finally start writing the essay I am out of time, and it’s lunch break (which really isn’t that disappointing, because as I said, I hate writing essays and I am glad for the break). When I eventually do get around to writing the essay, I have forgotten what my idea was and I have to start all over again.

In my opinion, essays are totally useless, in fact I think the whole world would be a much better place without them. Essays just go on, and on, for an eternity and seem to never end. The essay study we do by E.B. White is supposed to be “interesting”; I cannot imagine what an uninteresting essay would be like.

After writing about the first two sentences in my essay, I run out of what to say. I can pretty much sum up a whole topic in two sentences. It could actually be considered impolite to do an extremely long essay because you’re taking up the precious time of the person reading it. You made them read two whole pages, when you could have easily told them in two sentences.

Once I finally finish writing the essay, Mom takes it and gives me about a million corrections, so I have to go back and fix them all. After that, she takes it and gives about half-a-million corrections more. This process continues until everything is perfect. (Such as commas, and periods.)

No offense to any essay writers out there who are reading this, even though I think what you do for a living is useless, and a waste of time, I still would probably like you as a person in general, as long as you don’t try to convince me of why essays are a good thing, because I have made up my mind that they are bad, and once my mind is made up there is no changing it. So that is why I hate writing essays. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and maybe if we can get enough people to agree with this essay, then we can start a riot and ban the world of essays.

IMG_6671IMG_6668The winter months are a happy time for our homeschool. The fall semester seems to be full of so many distractions every year. When we finally land in January after the holidays, homeschool becomes our only main focus, at least for a few months. Time to re-evaluate where we are and where we are headed.

Time, also, for a few extra things, like our Physics 101 DVD* by Wes Olson. I can’t speak highly enough of these science DVDs. Last year we enjoyed Chemistry 101, which was our first exposure to these well-crafted, interesting, and inspiring DVDs. Although I am the daughter of a scientist (physicist, more specifically), I was a music major, and consequently my ventures into the world of science have been pretty sparse over the years. We have been learning so much from these DVDs. Science is utterly mind-blowing and amazing, reminding us of just how small we are in this vast universe, and yet God has given us the privilege of searching out and understanding His ways. (Proverbs 25:2)

All of our school-age children gather once a week to watch a segment.  Each segment could be called a “lecture”– but guaranteed to be among the most interesting lectures you have ever heard. I asked Joshua and Toby to comment on these DVDs.

Joshua (12th grade): “Very entertaining and comprehensible. Helped me to understand concepts that I previously had not fully understood.”

Toby (1st grade): “The Physics DVD has a lot of cool things on it. I like watching all the different experiments.”

Mr. Olson teaches from a Christian worldview, with such passion for his subject matter that it can’t help but be “caught” by the student. Hats off to the Olson family for such quality educational products. Check them out sometime; I don’t think you will be disappointed!

IMG_6683.eIMG_6643IMG_6713*{As always, when I tell my readers about a product, it is not for any financial gain on my part whatsoever. I only review products that have enriched our lives as a family; products that I think others would like to know about.}