We’ve been busy here, recovering from the Festival and celebrating the kids’ successes (including Laura’s big wrap-up prize for most outstanding student performing in three disciplines and going on to provincials for poetry/public speaking and musical theater), doing some more Spring cleaning (I still have a few walls to wash and all of the windows except the lovely big new one in the bedroom, but I’m going to hold off on the window-washing because we’re expecting some unseasonably cold weather — -7C — and snow), attending a 4H livestock workshop, and having the semiannual home school facilitator meeting. I’m failing miserably trying to keep up with blog reading and writing, but have found a couple of interesting links
* Ruth at Traveling Jews has a terrific post with a selected survey and reviews on Science for the secular homeschooling family. On a similar subject, Lynn at bore me to tears has The latest on science-free science curriculum.
* The kids have been intrigued by news of the World’s Longest Beaver Dam found with Google Earth, which happens to be in Alberta. A very long drive from here, but the kids are ready to sally forth.
* Nicole at Baking Bites has all sorts of tasty goodies: news of a Giant Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan, which looks adorable, a review of How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science by Paula Figoni, and a recipe for nectarine turnovers, which I plan to save for summertime
* Via John at Confessions of a Science Librarian, his mention of the new Clifford Pickover book, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (Oxford University Press, April 2008)
*JoVE and I were writing back and forth, off blog, about the recent Lenore Skenazy article in The New York Sun, about Skenazy leaving her then nine-year-old-son at Bloomingdale’s and letting him, at his request, find his own way home. Now Skenazy has a blog (with a familar but nifty template), Free Range Kids. Not to be confused, by the way, with the nifty home schooling blog Free Range Academy. I find Skenazy’s adventures, especially the reaction to her articles on the matter, more interesting than her son’s adventure. I grew up in New York, and though the city is considerably safer now than it was in the seventies, I was riding to school on the bus from West 96th Street to East 62nd Street on my own, or with young friends, by the age of 10; and, on the way home from school, ranging along Madison Avenue with a friend stopping in at stores to add to our growing business card collections; the worst thing that ever happened was a couple of Browning boys, true upper class twits I realized years later, jumping out from around a corner to yell at us, “When did you last see your gynecologist?!” (The subway was another matter. I had a very unpleasant episode on the subway in eighth grade, going downtown during rush hour — to take the entrance exam at Stuyvesant — with my mother and some fellow with wandering hands. The memory still makes me shudder.) Anyway, as you probably already know from the green “Courting Danger” button above, over the pink zinnia, I thoroughly approve of a dash of benign neglect when raising children. Not for nothing is our unofficial family and home school motto, BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON’T DROWN.