That is the English pronunciation for “Hello!” in Korean. I have befriended a lonely Korean lady lately. She has only been here for a few months and her American husband has had to leave for Hawaii, for his job, while she remains here in Tennessee. She has some kind of complications with her green card. Her name is Ji Yeon and she told me she was overjoyed to see another Asian face. It was fascinating for me to visit with a ”real” Korean. As opposed to me, a “fake” Korean who imagines herself American. I kept laughing while she was talking because… well, I’m not sure why. She probably thought I was crazy. She and her husband lived in Seoul, South Korea for the first 5 or 6 years of their marriage and she hopes to return there soon. She is not loving America, I am thinking. So she came over for dinner one night this week and brought along her young son, who, up until 2 months ago, lived in a downtown apartment with his family and extended relatives. Now, he attends public school from 6:30 am to 3:30 pm. I was happy to see him be able to run around outside and enjoy our farm animals.daniel 004 He really enjoyed the horse ride and informed us all that he will be back soon for another one. He thought it was quite hilarious to chase and catch a baby piglet as well. How good for him to be able to experience nature and fresh air and exercise. His mother and I have plans for an excursion to Fort Campbell where there is a large population of Koreans and, best of all, Korean restaurants! daniel 007

He gets it!

I am reading a fabulous book. A book so good that I have to share it with you. I started to highlight my favorite parts, but then had to stop when I realized the entire page was yellow. John Taylor Gatto was a public school teacher in New York City and was a 3 time New York City teacher of the year and New York State teacher of the year. He now travels and speaks extensively about education reform. He is an outside the box thinker. He is outspoken, blunt, humorous, and honest. I have never been a “school at home” type homeschooler, but, to be honest, sometimes I wonder if I should be more that way. I am surrounded by people who place a HIGH emphasis on academics. I stoutly maintain that the best learning is done by living life, not by sitting in a desk. But occasionally doubts can assail. This man, John Gatto, a school teacher, affirms what I wholeheartedly believe.. “It is absurd and anti-life to be compelled to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age… In centuries past, children and adolescents would spend their time in real work, real charity, real adventures and in the search for mentors who might teach them what they really wanted to learn.” Another fantastic quote..”School people should stop implying they possess some magical secret that bestows a good life on those that catch on to it and dooms others to lifelong ignorance…We need to get students out of the classroom more often.” and “The curriculum of family is an attitude that allows many different activities. It acknowledges that parents are the crucial factor in growing up strong and sane.”

Mr. Gatto, in his position of homeroom teacher, allows his students to attend “school” only 2 days per week. The other days, he assigns them to other tasks. Such as community service (nursing home, food kitchen) one day. Family service (shadowing mom or dad, helping out with siblings) one day. Pursuing an interest (independent study in an area of personal interest) one day. He is constantly in hot water with his school board. He regularly bypasses protocol and leads his students on discovery trips all over the city. What a teacher! What vision!

John Gatto recognizes that schools do not “fail”. They are exceedingly successful at what their purpose is. Horace Mann, John Dewey, Plato.. these men wanted to and have succeeded in fractionating the family and indoctrinating the children to “move like laboratory rats when a bell is rung.” “Schools teach that nothing is very important-certainly nothing is important enough to spend more than forty minutes on it.”

The most scary quote of the book? “No effect of compulsory mass-schooling is more resistant to remedy than the damage it has done to the American family by separating parents and kids.” This book is not written by a “whack-o” homeschooler. It is written by a man who loves teaching and wants children to have a “real” opportunity to learn. It is called A Different Kind of Teacher. Read it!

Weekly Garden Update 8-31-14

Same-o, same-o

Not much going on here. Some greens and carrots sprouting for the fall garden. Beautiful luffa gourd plant.

I can't believe the cows don't eat this. It is right inside their pasture.

I can’t believe the cows don’t eat this. It is right inside their pasture.

Moles!!!! They are coming to eat my delicious earth worms, I assume.

I have tunnels and eruptions all over the garden. I can only assume I am growing fat juicy worms.

I have tunnels and eruptions all over the garden. I can only assume I am growing fat juicy worms.

Corn looking good. I hope it doesn’t become ripe while we are away in Wisconsin! garden 003We harvested this beautiful rabbit manure and compost from our rabbit / chicken pen. Just waiting to side dress my greens with it when they get a little 005

A Riddle #3

The answer to last weeks riddle

What’s the difference between Ignorance and Apathy?

“I don’t know and I don’t care!” Again, both answers will be entered into the drawing for a prize at the end of September.

Riddle #3 “How do animals blend into the desert?”

I relish this recipe

garden 007These bright peppers have been made into something wonderful! I love all these gorgeous colors. This recipe was shared by a friend and is easy and quick to put together (provided you have a food processor). relish

Sweet Pepper Relish

24 colorful peppers

5 white or red onions

1 apple (optional)

1 pint sugar (or honey)

1 pint vinegar (apple cider or white)

Chop peppers and onions. Cook with vinegar and sugar until softened. Pack into jars and put into the water bath for 5 min.

It’s the only thing that make hot dogs palatable!

A Riddle #2

The answer to last week’s riddle (submitted by Jimmy)…

“Where do cows go for fun?”      the MOOOOvies!

But all answers will be entered into the drawing because we thought all the answers were funny!

This week’s riddle submitted by Katie…

What’s the difference between Ignorance and Apathy?

Thanks for participating!

What’s for dinner?

Do you hear that question 1500 times a day? When you don’t know the answer, it is even more irritating to hear it. And it’s hard to plan what’s for dinner when your recipes are all in disarray. Am I the only one who prints off promising looking recipes from the interent or my favorite mommy blog and then stuffs them into a folder never to be seen again? Who can’t recreate a favorite meal because I can’t remember which recipe I used and where it is? Tell me I not. Mia is eternally frustrated by my recipe organizational skills. She has tried to whip me into shape before, but it didn’t stick. My mom gave me a recipe binder with all my favorites in it one year, but it is falling apart at the seams and is hopelessly stuffed with papers and recipe clippings. Tonight, all that changes! From here on out, I will be reformed. I promise, Mia. She has helped me organize, weed out, and put into page protectors all our favorite recipes. So at least when I don’t know the answer to “what’s for dinner” I can tell her to go make something from the “dinner” part of the recipe binders. recieps