I signed up for Support a Catholic Speaker Month and got to interview Mike Aquilina via telephone earlier this week. He was very gracious and even shared a few tips with me for public speaking. I should have a formal post for the project up at Love2learn Blog early next week.
It's cats' cradle week here. I'm not exactly sure why this came about (except that someone stumbled upon the Klutz book and it's been quiet week) but all the kids have been up to it like crazy.
Click the picture and look at #3. I can vouch from personal experience for the veracity of Jen's comments.
We just happened to be finishing up a read-aloud of Stories from Herodotus by Glanville Downey (very nice, though out-of-print, children's version of Herodotus' Histories) when Bethlehem Books' newest title (by Jeanne Bendick no less) about the life of Herodotus arrived. (You can read my review of Herodotus and the Road to History here.) Couldn't be better timing and it was neat how tidbits from his biography helped explain parts of his emphasis in story-telling. It turned out that one of the characters he talked about (a female commander on the Persian side) was a relative of his. Fun stuff.
It's transcript, admissions essays and test-taking time around here for Ria. I managed to crank out the first draft of her narrative transcript (thank goodness for all those booklists I had been saving online each year!), while she's been working on essays and such. Last night I discovered I had forgotten an entire section of history and literature (which I grouped together for practical purposes). Yes, she did read a bunch of books, like Beowulf and the Song of Roland, from the Middle Ages. We are loving ISI's College Guide (which we were lucky enough to acquire from a local thrift store) and the fact that they generously give you three free college descriptions on their website (a few weren't included in our 2008-2009 guide). The details in this guide are both fabulous and motivating, especially as she gets a chance to compare her sample test scores with the averages (or mid-ranges) at various colleges to get a sense of where things stand.
Like many students, Ria has areas of great strength and lesser strength. Homeschooling high school is no cakewalk and I frequently come into contact (and at times frustration) with my own shortcomings. There are certainly things that would have gone more smoothly (or at least more consistently) in a school setting, but overall we've seen the rewards far exceed those difficulties. It will be very interesting to see how things turn out in this next challenge, but it's certainly a very exciting process.
It was fun doing the "geek the library" post yesterday, partly because it reminded me of why our family loves being fairly seriously involved with our local public library. It's definitely a helpful thing in this world to be able to encounter someone and recognize the good that we are able to work for together in spite of potential differences. Our involvement in our local library has been an entirely positive experience in this regard. I am thrilled to again be entrusted with the library's Holiday Tree which gives us the opportunity to get a lot of very good books and movies into the library.
This is the map I hung on our wall this week. This map and I go way back. I fell in love with it when it first arrived in an issue of National Geographic Magazine (my dad was a faithful subscriber for as long as I could remember) when I was about 14 years old. I covered it with contact paper and later inherited the rather messy affair when my dad sent us a bunch of his cool old maps. I used a hair dryer to make the contact paper lay somewhat flat and it took about 10 push pins (since the creases of the map have a lot of tears in them in spite of the contact paper), but I think it looks rather nice from a distance with its ancient-mapish appearance, don't you?