Another note from the wonderful world of homeschooling

There is a writing program that is very highly regarded among homeschoolers known as the Institute for Excellence in Writing, or IEW, for short. Andrew Pudewa, who created this program, started it as a conference for homeschooling parents, which is still in high demand. Then he taped it to make it available for people who couldn't make it to the conference. As a result, the center of the program is a ten-hour DVD set to be watched by the homeschooling parent. So there's a very logical source for my frustration, which I didn't feel like taking into account when I wanted to rant.

So, this is what I wrote today on a thread I'd started over at the Well-Trained Mind Forums:

There's the subject for another random rant. Why in the world does what is widely considered an excellent resource for teaching writing require parents to watch a ten-hour seminar?! "Hey, Mr. Pudewa, may I expound on the superior properties of writing? It requires less total time from the readers, allows them to easily return to a point they may have partially forgotten or gotten confused even weeks later, and means that they don't have to have specialty equipment to use your resource, indicating that they could review it in the bathroom, or in bed, or even in the company of their families. I know you know about how very busy a family can make you, since you have seven children. Yes, writing is difficult and time-consuming and hard, but I think you could manage to write your program out if you worked really hard at it. You may be particularly fazed by the prospect of organizing your thoughts, since you're apparently much more comfortable speaking in ten-hour blocks with bits of what you mean say scattered throughout, but I think it would be worth it to the people who are hoping to learn from you! If you need help on the whole 'organizing' or 'writing' thing, I'm sure you could find some excellent resources intended to help you learn how. They may be a little pricey, but I'm sure they'd be worth it to you in the end." //end hijacking of the thread for a non-related topic

And now you know what I've been thinking about lately. Suddenly the fact that I only have five posts on this blog starts to make sense, right?

Edited to add: I've now deleted this rant from the thread it had hijacked, because I figured, my blog is the place for rants I feel like sharing with the world at large and nobody in particular; the Well-Trained Mind forums are the places for great minds and experience to get together to support each other and the rest of us in the great adventure that is homeschooling.

Catechism quandaries

So, here's the conversation I just had with my three-year-old, as I was putting shoes on him preparatory to his going outside on a comparatively warm winter's day.

Silas: God made the trees and the leaves.
Me (trying to curb Silas' violent impulses towards his brothers): Yes, God made the trees and the leaves. And God made Nathanael. And God made Titus.
Silas (obviously sharper than that): God made lightsabers!

I mean, really? How are you supposed to respond to that?

Primetime Adventures: My Take on the Rules, Part I which Morosophe waxes long on the rules for creating a show concept and your characters.

For those who are currently playing in my Primetime Adventures game, and for the prospective player, I thought I'd put this out there to "refresh" everybody's memory on the rules.  I actually wrote this before we started playing, and I thought, since I'm posting absolutely nothing else, I might as well put this out where somebody might be tempted to read it.  To anybody else reading this, if I make no sense, or, conversely, make the game appear extremely interesting, go check out Dog-Eared Designs, the official website.

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Next time: Season Arcs and Screen Presence, or, the Wow! Factor of Primetime Adventures.

(Since I haven't written the next section, don't expect to see it anytime within the next two months.)

The 20-cent bookshelf

Since I feel it necessary to post something, but have gotten stuck on my story, I'll post a little consumer reports entry. I know, I know, I'll sound like an advertisement, but why shouldn't I share a good deal with friends? (I mean, deal like bargain, not deal like, too much information, in which case you'd have to deal. Poor you.)

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So, looking at it a little more sanely, my shelves actually cost me $20.20. (In comparison, here's what you can get from Ikea for about the same price. It may have more shelves, but it's nowhere near as classy-looking. Plus, it doesn't fold up.) Watch me collect a full set!

Al and Wossname (all right already, Jennifer de Beaufort-Franklin)

Note: originally posted to my grad school web page, which long ago disappeared, of course.

Al'd noticed the girl's slightly superior gaze on and off through the night. She didn't seem attracted by what he was doing, and he'd braced himself for the lecture she would probably eventually work herself up to giving--about how he was exploiting and reinforcing people's outmoded superstitions for his own pitiful gain. Either that, or how he oughtn't to squander his obvious talent on such worthless subjects, but do something useful with them. College-aged kids were always wanting it to be their turn to lecture, he'd found, and he didn't usually mind it, although the latter kind of lecture made him feel more of a con artist than the former. It was a game, that was all, and most people who "consulted" him understood that, first giggling at his patter and then trying to appear serious listening to the wildest futures he could come up with. Those who actually took him seriously usually got the equivalent of "Results fuzzy; try again later"; they tended to make him nervous.


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Please comment on this. I know it needs loads of work, so any suggestions or corrections would be appreciated.