Friday, March 30, 2018

American Government Course

Just about done with this government course, which K has been taking online throughout this school year through a free Harvard program.  Very detailed; I learned a lot just listening in.  It is taught through a series of video lectures, readings, online discussions, and four essay assignments. I was impressed with how current it was, with examples from the most recent presidential election and other recent legislative events and debates.

American Government
Political Culture
Limited Government
Representative Government
Civil Liberties
Civil Rights
Congress and Constituency
Congress and Party
Presidents and Domestic Policy
Presidents and Foreign Policy
Federal Bureaucracy
Judiciary and Supreme Court
Public Opinion
Political Parties
Campaigns and Elections
Political Movements
Interest Groups
News Media
Social Issues
Fiscal and Monetary Issues
Welfare and Income Policy
Regulatory Issues
Foreign Policy
Dynamics of American Politics

Thursday, March 29, 2018

SF Shakespeare: The Misadventures of Falstaff

And the kids had their play, a never-quite seen before set of excerpts from Henry IV.  The kids are less-than-enthusiastic about shortened scripts that don't tell the full story the way that the Bard intended, but they gave this a try.  Their impression of the outcome is still pending reflection, but I thought that they did a great job on stage and the costumes were awesome.

The best part of the day was before the class began.  Two and then three of their friends arrived early at the house and they were all full of such happy energy...   The girls take their Shakespeare seriously and part of taking it seriously is having such serious fun.

K in gray in top left of photo; G in brown right center

She gets to "die" on stage again

Dragging her body off stage

Missing one... but my battery died after taking this, so I'm just left bummed...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easter Crafts

Sisters!  One who loves crafts and one who... well, she surprised me this time!  I love seeing them work together...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Seder Meal

A fantastic Religious Ed class where we shared a ritualized Seder Meal, believed to be what Christ ate at the Last Summer.  I tried to arrange so that the day belonged to the kids and they rose to the occasion.  My girls worked hard for hours with me setting up.  Two sixth graders showed up with musical instruments and kicked off the meal with a live band.  Five kids volunteers to read the traditional readings.  The tables were decorated with tissue flowers that they'd made in a previous class.  Everyone dipped the maror, tasted the matzo and haroset, tried the pasch (veggie lamb), and drank their four classes of "wine."  The craft table that the sixth graders suggested was a definite enhancement that I doubt Christ had with His meal, but the kids enjoyed seemed to enjoy making Easter-pastel glitter slime.... and who knows, maybe kids have been drawn to crafts since the very birth of Christianity.

Wow... just wow!

29 kids plus some helpful parents...

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Track Begins

G's first meet!  Both did well in running and (for K) in her field event (G is still trying everything).  Thanks so much, Dad, for being there!

A new personal record (and the meet win)

Proud of this tough kid, running hard, running long, and running while sick.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Black Lives Matter Origins Class

Thought-provoking assignment, to review, museum-style, poster reproductions of advertisements for runaway slaves.  I appreciate the detailed learning of this "Black Lives Matter Origins" class.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Finishing her second season with this league, they had a close game and then they won!  Yay!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Baseball Begins

She's officially done with Little League and is an Intermediate player now.  First game was a tie, but her team won game #2.  When I arrived, her coach patted me on the shoulder in greeting and said, "it's our best hitter's mom!"  :-)  She's happier when she is doing well and that makes me happy too.  I'm glad that she can play the game she loves so much...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

NDNU's Into the Woods

We had the privilege of attending a performance of "Into the Woods" at NDNU.  Awesome voices, great acting and costumes, a lot of fun.   The best part was that I sat between the girls and they both kept whispering to me, predictions, comments, thoughts about what was coming next.  They had seen the movie and had comments and comparisons.  They are so much alike in some ways that what one would whisper to me, the other would unknowingly repeat... it was pretty funny.  They really loved the show and poured over the program afterward, reading the performer's bios, remembering some from previous productions, and generally talking about them like true fans.  Love it.  My experience was slightly marred by the temperature - I've never been so cold in a theater!  The girls thought something was wrong with me because I tried to wrap my cold nose in my scarf and that made them think that I was crying... not this time!  :-)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Balancing Chemical Equations

Oh my gosh, I remember this from long ago!  It's been so long, but now that the pressure is off, it's like algebra... almost (dare I say it?) fun.  I tried explaining it, did okay, but also found a Khan Academy video (or two) that explained it better than I did and suddenly K was better at it than I ever was.  Thank goodness for the internet and a wealth of ways of teaching any topic...