Wingnut Gift Lists Put the Party in Christmas Party

30 11 2007

Top 10 Political Gifts – From the Left
Ten Holiday Gift Ideas for Conservatives

Via BlogHer, where there’s lots more holiday fun and we’re encouraged to add our own custom-crafted gift lists, say for evolved homeschoolers or unschooling dads? Obviously we need some political gifts for Unity 08 sympathizers, disaffected moderates and other post-partisan types.

All my lists for giving and getting turn into book lists — this year I found a couple of great word books for my pubescent nephews, but geez, “Word Books for Pubescent Nephews” might be a bit too esoteric a list, even for BlogHer? 😉

Top 10 Political Gifts – From the Left by Morra Aarons-Mele

“What do you get for the political junkie who has everything? A Hillary Clinton nutcracker? A ticket out of Iowa? Here are some ideas- and while some scream “I guess I’ll give this to my father in law since I don’t know what else to get him,” there are some great gifts here, from silly to serious. Read on…”

Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Conservatives by Dana Tuske

“What do I buy for my Uncle Hank, the die hard Republican? I’ve got ten great gift ideas sure to please the conservatives in your life…” (Don’t miss #5, “The Dittohead’s Guide to Adult Beverages.” And if you don’t know who The Dittohead is, that means this present’s not the right one for you.~ LS)

Give One, Get One

30 11 2007

Frisky cock of the snook to Daryl.  NPR did a piece about this intriguing idea today, and Daryl offered the link just now:

In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege.

College Admission Advice I’ve Thought Better Than. . .

27 11 2007

What I started to comment on but thought better of it, from a homeschooling adviser and big e-list leader on college admissions (someone I don’t know and who doesn’t know me, and understandably wouldn’t want a strange unschooler challenging her “expertise”):

> If you’re giving them what they ask for, I don’t think it’s too much.
> If you’re giving them what they need to best evaluate your child, I
> don’t think it’s too much. . .
> I actually find it a good sign that the colleges are requesting all
> that info. It means they are taking homeschooled applicants
> seriously, and want both to give the HSers an even chance and to make
> sure the college selects the students who have the best chance to do
> well there
. It lets the student who took challenges shine, and the
> one who just did the minimum work take the consequences because they
> aren’t painting all HSers with the same brush.

So I will challenge it here instead! 😉
This is the most neutral, respectful response I had drafted, before I gave up and came back here: Read the rest of this entry »

Tech-Minded Dad Understands What Our Kids Already Know

26 11 2007

Oh hai.

I can has geezerblogger now?. . .

(love the cartoon, Chris)

ParentalTech is blog about technology and kids, written for parents. Technology and internet culture are deeply ingrained into the lives of our children. This blog will help you keep up with them.”

Probably too late for me but younger, cooler parents can still be saved! Go NOW!

Thought Experiment: Unschooling Lessons for a School-Minded Dad

26 11 2007

This harebrained (or is it hair-brained? I could make either case)  idea was inspired by new unschooler Colleen wondering how to prepare a concerned dad for the disappearance of traditional academic lessons and measures. So I credit her for the idea and I did write it in the form of a letter to her, but I bear full responsibility for running amok with it based on many other dads I’ve known and read about through the years. Blame me alone for the fictional composite dad created as a result or for any glibness or generalizations you may find offensive. Any resemblance to her dear husband or any other individual, living or dead in your home or otherwise, is not intentional!


Okay. Suppose you do leave your son’s academic lessons completely aside, and stop thinking about getting him to learn a little of this or that to pacify Dad (which really doesn’t accomplish anyone’s central goals, including Dad’s.)

But Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding Dads To Help Them Understand “Unschooling”

26 11 2007

Scott Somerville asked me last year to help him help Christian homeschooling dads begin to understand and appreciate (if not necessarily embrace) unschooling as an alternative to the traditional schoolish rules and structure with which dads so often seem more naturally comfortable.

Thanks to Colleen and her family’s quest to unschool, I just found this terrific essay for Snook’s blogroll, “An Unauthorised Guide for Unschooling Mums dealing with (still developing) Unschooling Dads”:

. . . you want to understand that guy that has become the father to your children? Here are some pointers, dare I say, “A Beginners Guide to Understanding the Average Dad”… believe me I know… I am often extraordinarily average.


. . .We Dads love focus. . .most Dads are already focused on their jobs, their career and bringing in the cash. . .why would a Dad want to suddenly break rank, flip around and swim against the current? All that effort and for what?
Yes you have all the supposed benefits but we can just see the potential pit falls. Meanwhile its drawing our focus from what is important.
. . .Yes kids are important too… but bringing them up should just be as simple as possible.

That’s why your work is cut out for you. . .

Also study popular sports, from baseball and football to NASCAR, for help understanding dad-think about education.

Boot Camp’s Bad Name Doesn’t Extend to Computer Cure

24 11 2007

“When his parents told him he had to go to school, he reacted violently. Desperate, his mother, Kim Soon-yeol, sent him to the camp. . .”

In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession

. . . these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially deadly addiction: cyberspace.

They come here, to the Jump Up Internet Rescue School, the first camp of its kind in South Korea and possibly the world, to be cured.

. . . Researchers have developed a checklist for diagnosing the addiction and determining its severity, the K-Scale. (The K is for Korea.)

. . .The rescue camp, in a forested area about an hour south of Seoul, was created to treat the most severe cases. This year, the camp held its first two 12-day sessions, with 16 to 18 male participants each time. (South Korean researchers say an overwhelming majority of compulsive computer users are male.)

The camp is entirely paid for by the government, making it tuition-free. While it is too early to know whether the camp can wean youths from the Internet, it has been receiving four to five applications for each spot. To meet demand, camp administrators say they will double the number of sessions next year.

During a session, participants live at the camp, where they are denied computer use . . . the campers are under constant surveillance, including while asleep, and are kept busy with chores, like washing their clothes and cleaning their rooms.

. . .As a drill instructor barked orders, Chang-hoon and 17 other boys marched through a cold autumn rain to the obstacle course. Wet and shivering, Chang-hoon began climbing the first obstacle, a telephone pole with small metal rungs. At the top, he slowly stood up, legs quaking, arms outstretched for balance. Below, the other boys held a safety rope attached to a harness on his chest.

“Do you have anything to tell your mother?” the drill instructor shouted from below.

“No!” he yelled back.

“Tell your mother you love her!” ordered the instructor.

“I love you, my parents!” he replied.

“Then jump!” ordered the instructor. . .

Fav D’s Contests:More Fun Than Voting on Blog Awards?

23 11 2007

In honor of the holiday blitz-en now officially underway, Favorite Daughter announces two contests (for worst Christmas song and worst Christmas movie) — nominations open at Snook Too now.

Not to influence you or anything,  but here is Young Son’s perennial favorite, which I’m pretty sure is one of my “worst ever” nominations and a twofer to boot (fits both categories):


To What/Whom Am I Giving “Thanks” Today?

22 11 2007

Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals? Performance artists? Our beloved but dead ancestors? My apparent general good fortune? Nah . . .

Harry Potter and Real-World Unforgivable Curses

21 11 2007

Each generation must re-create the rule of law for itself, and:

“Literature shapes law,” declares Aaron Schwabach.
“For every real-life model of advocacy, adjudicative, and rule-making roles that the average first-year law student has, there are a hundred fictional models, from Atticus Finch to, well, Albus Dumbledore.”

. . . Snicker if you like, but Schwabach’s assertion that “For millions of readers, especially younger readers, the legal regime of Harry’s world will form expectations about legal regimes in Mugglespace,” is entirely defensible.

We Had a Tough (and Schoolish) Unschooling Weekend. . .

19 11 2007

because, imo, we spent it in school-world and it felt like my whole family (me, both kids and their dad) were being absorbed by the Borg.

Mere cogs in the Great Edu-Competitive Corporate Complex.

Do y’all get that head-pounding cognitive dissonance when you go away to these schoolish competitive weekends, you know, whatever it is that your kids love so much that you make it happen for them and do it with them, sports and martial arts, dance, horse shows, spelling bees and brain bowls or whatever? I’d love to hear your thoughts. . .

Maybe it’s just because I’m older than the average parent of kids my kids’ ages, but I spent the whole weekend feeling but suppressing the fight-or-flight instinct, almost did both at the same time — and the effort of not doing either one while restraining their dad too, almost made my head explode.

I guess I could use a little talk therapy, a little help from my unschooling friends?

Video Games Bonanza Site, Save This Link!

19 11 2007

Is PBS a credible enough source for whoever in your child’s life clucks disapprovingly at screen time? Click here now — don’t wait, your child’s education and entire future could be at stake! 🙂

My favorite moment in the article is when the author is showing his seven-year-old nephew the SimCity neighborhood that he built. When the author notes that he’s having problem getting a certain area with factories to come back to life, the boy turns to him and says, “I think you need to lower your industrial tax rates.”