Archive for the ‘Home Learning’ Category

New version of the Ant and Grasshopper

A new, modern version of “The Ant and the Grasshopper” is now making the rounds. To draw a comparison, here is the:


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs, dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

THE MORAL OF THE OLD STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs, dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”. Occupy the Anthill stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the SEIU group chanting and marching with placards. Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper’s sake, while he damns the ant. President Obama condems the ant and blames President Bush 43, President Bush 41, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Rachel Maddow that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper and call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it. The ant has disappeared into the snow, never to be seen again. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood. The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2012.

Keys to Maintaining Creative Flow and Banish Burnout

Whether you are trying to write a book, create a new product, teach history to your homeschooled children (not your subject), or just grasp a new perspective on some other aspect of your life, you probably become stagnant from time to time or may even experience creative burnout.

It’s NOT time to give up!  The real secret to conquering creative burnout and keeping your edge is to prevent your imagination from stagnating in the first place. Before you become sluggish in the imaginative arena, try one or more of these creativity boosters daily and soon you’ll find that you are moving closer to the mountaintop!

1. Keep a journal.  Write two or three pages every morning.  It doesn’t matter what you write about.  Carry it with you during the day, just in case another fleeting thought comes by so you can capture it.

2. Add “change” to your routine.  Move your desk across the room.  Drive a different street.  Read someone else’s magazines (but ask first).  Add some physical activity to an otherwise inactive day, maybe a round of hoops with your son.

3. Study a new technique every week. Change brainstorming techniques the way some people ought to change their toothbrushes – often.

4. Chill.  Ever get an idea while driving?  Taking a walk in the park?  While singing in the shower?  The subconscious does a lot of work while you’re relaxing.  Again, have that journal or recorder ready to jot down ideas!

5. Paint, draw, play music.  Skills that force you to think creatively – but to do things alien to your routine – can jumpstart a slumbering mind.  Build a birdhouse or work on origami or calligraphy with your child.

6. Practice problem solving.  Musical people often learn languages faster.  People who do crossword puzzles live longer and stay sharper.  The mind, it turns out, is a muscle.  Let’s keep it exercised!  Try out Sudoku or even that algebra problem that has stumped your teen.

7. Read. Walt Disney called Reader’s Digest a “gymnasium for training the mind,” probably because of the variety of genres that may be explored in each issue.  Live books, historical fiction and science books are wonderful for unlocking the brain to strive for new and higher potential.

Caution! Beware of Dream Killers

Ever dream of having your own business, inventing a widget, learning to fly, or taking that missions trip …..?

Most of us at some point in life have had a dream, wanted to try something new, or wanted to go on the adventure of a lifetime, only to have that dream to be squashed at inception by mostly well meaning loved ones or friends.  How many people do you know that encourage you in your dreams?  I find it hard to find the true encouragers, but there are a ew of them out there!

You open your mouth and let someone in on this dream just to hear that it would never work, it has already been tried before and it failed, it would be too costly, ………. the negative reasoning goes on and on until you decide not share your dreams anymore, even talk yourself out of doing it because it is too risky, not safe, or just a crazy idea.  Just think about it – you can only imagine what a success it might have been, but you’ll never know how it would have turned out because you never followed through to the end.  It may have just turned into a brand new beginning!

Consider David, a pure at heart example of what to believe in!  He knew what he knew, stood on that, removed himself from the naysayers, found favor in the sight of another, made a plan and followed through, come what may! (many times over)  Look what his strong faith and convictions took him through!  Let us learn from his example!

Hang on to that entrepreneurial spirit by being careful of who you hang around with, keep trying it again!  Stick with what you know!

A New Way – Use every day as a learning experience to test your wings and take the failures, and use them as a springboard to find your success!  Remove yourself from the dream killers, surround yourself with positive influences, and find/follow your dreams!


Making Banana Pudding from Scratch!

Our little chef was at it again!  She saw the bananas getting a little too ripe to enjoy and asked if she could learn how to make banana pudding.  She had watched me before and just needed a little coaching!

All of the tools and ingredients were gathered on the counter.  The double boiler was set up and the eye turned on while she measured the flour, sugar, and adding the milk slowly to mix without lumps.  Then she separated the egg whites from the yolks, whisking in only the yolks to the mixture in the double boiler, which was by now heating up well.

Then, in between frequent stirring with the whisk she peeled the bananas, and put the first layers of nilla wafers and sliced bananas.

All of the sudden the mixture in the double boiler started transforming from a runny sweetened milk to a thicker, silky smooth pudding texture!  It was time to turn the heat off and add the vanilla!  That was the prettiest pudding I’ve ever seen!  It’s consistency was perfect!  Now was the time to finish the layering process and garnish with nilla crumbs!

There’s nothing like warm homemade banana pudding!  MMM MMM Good!  Maybe next time we’ll try to make the merange for the fun of it!  I hear that is a huge transformation as well!

Help us serve JESUS.
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