November 6, 2010

To Infinity And Beyond!

Haven't cried over a cartoon in a long time!


November 5, 2010

Don't Think And Drive!

Do you know what's really hard? Driving on a winding freeway after dark, cars screaming past your shaky, plodding, struggling minivan, while listening to...

Runny Babbit CD: A Billy Sook











at max volume because your kiddo doesn't want to miss a single switch-spelled word (and neither do you).

Hilarious...but dangerous! I'd ask you to try it, but only if you're not behind the wheel.

November 4, 2010

Changing Education Paradigms (RSA Animate)

Seen this RSA Animate video several times on other blogs and recommended on homeschool lists. Bookmarking here for my own inspiration.

Watch Sir Ken's full lecture here. The man presents so much food for thought.


October 27, 2010

Field Trip to Bunge Lab (Oct 22, 2010)


This was definitely a highlight of our month. The kiddo and I had the good fortune to accompany Yen and other homeschoolers from our local group Bunge Lab at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute in UC Berkeley.


What an awesome opportunity to get some of his questions answered! The kiddo was happy to meet and discuss brain and behavior issues with the grad students while I was in awe of the MRI and the cool brain scan images on the computer.


And, yes! This is a real human brain!
Thanks for organizing this Yen!

October 24, 2010

Five of My Favorites...and Tell Me Five of Yours!

Christina (Fiddler) of Rockhound Place is playing tag! And she tagged me with five questions, which I will attempt to answer to the best of my ability below.

Wanna play too? This is how the game works. A blogger tags you to answer a number of questions. Write a post in reply, and then, make up your own questions and tag other bloggers to answer your new questions. Since Christina assigned 5 Qs and tagged 5 new bloggers to answer them, I will follow her example.

Here are her questions. I must admit, I find it tricky to choose just one answer!

1. What book from your childhood do you remember the most, and why? Taking childhood to mean the years before I turned 13, I would have to choose the Amar Chitra Katha series of graphic novels from India. I practically devoured them and would often bicker with my brother about whose turn it was to read one title or other. We usually either bought them from Indian grocery stores in Malaysia or would stock up on the rare visits we made to India. These books were a wonderful source of cultural literacy for me, helping me learn tons about my ancestors' religion, and the myths, heroes/ heroines and legends they grew up with.

2. What type of music do you enjoy the most? Please include examples! Indian film songs. Mainly compositions by A.R. Rahman, and Illayaraja oldies. Performed by singers like HariharanShankar Mahadevan, Unnikrishnan and Shreya Ghoshal. Growing up, I was a huge fan of Yesudas, S Janaki and SP Balasubramaniam.

Here's one from the 90's that I loved and now, the kiddo enjoys too:




3. What subject do you find most challenging (to teach or to learn)? It would have to be a toss up between English Grammar and Science. I think I'll go with Science. That's why we unschool it! I find Science challenging to learn on my own as well. It's always more fun and more deeply satisfying when the kiddo is discussing it with me.


4. What is your favorite hot drink? Bonus points for including the recipe! Malaysian teh tarik (literally, pulled tea). For one serving, steep one Lipton teabag in 1/4 mug of boiling hot water. Remove teabag after 5 minutes. Top up with warm milk and sugar to taste. Stir well and heat it another 30 seconds to one minute in the microwave. When I'm in the mood, I "pull" it like the guy in the link does for a nice frothy top. Enjoy with Khong Guan butter-free cream crackers. We buy these crackers from an Asian market. We break the cracker into two, dunk a half in the hot tea and savor it slowly as it almost melts (and releases the tea's sweetness) in the mouth. Sigh...lovely, comfort food.


A Child's Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People - From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China5. About what new book, movie, or tv series do you want to let others know?  A Child's Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People - From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China by Heather Alexander. Published in May of 2010, this beautiful tome follows in the tradition of  A Child's Introduction to Poetry and A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky with glorious pictures and all the wonderful basics of its chosen topic...in this case, geography concepts including map notation, longitude and latitude and hemispheres. The kiddo has outgrown this (although the pictures still attract the two of us) so I thought I'd recommend this to homeschoolers with younger kids (I'm guessing it will work well for ages 4 onwards as a read aloud).

OK! It's my turn. I'm tagging (in alphabetical blog order)
Nonie at Applied Life Academy
Kerrie at Kez's Blog
Annie at Learn At Every Turn
Lisa at The Joy of Learning
Michelle at Whimsy Way

And the questions are:
1. If you had one super power to wish for (X-ray vision, invisibility etc.), what would it be and why?
2. What is the one book, resource or homeschool curriculum that you feel you will not sell or give away, and maybe even want to save for the grandkids?
3. If you had a chance to learn one European or Asian language, which one will it be and why?
4. When time is short and/ or when chaos reigns in your home, what is the one task, family routine or household chore you prioritize?
5. What does your dream learning environment (study/ den/ school room/ kitchen/ outdoor space) look like? If you've found something similar online, post a link! If you have broken the bank remodelling your home to achieve it (lucky you!), post a photo!

LOL, you probably smell a rat already...yup, I'm hoping to live vicariously through your replies :)

October 14, 2010

So Impressed...

This probably has little to do with homeschooling but it touched me very deeply. You know, in a world where sometimes things just keep going wrong or sheer idiocy rules, it is astounding how well everything was orchestrated to get the miners out. For someone as claustrophobic as I am, it's incredible to comprehend. In this video, we see anticipation, fear, relief, joy, love, gratitude...more profound, more meaningful than any Oscar-winning movie will produce.

This one is for the human spirit.