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Saturday, September 14, 2013

He Said WHAT???

All over Facebook the past few days I have seen headlines and posts titled something like "Pope Says Atheists Go to Heaven." Some went ahead and included a small quote of a paragraph that if read alone would confirm the Pope did indeed say such a thing.

The responses have been interesting. Many non-Christians like this quote, but it's the response from the Protestant Christians that leave me dumbfounded. Many are using it to spew their hatred of Catholicism. Of course if the Pope really did say such a thing and intend it the way it sounds, they would be right in getting the "truth" out. But did the Pope really say that? Did he? Are you sure?

Did these people take the time to read the actual letter this quote came from? If so, do they still believe the Pope said that in the context they are sharing it? Yes, they may have read a secular media news article that confirms their belief that the Pope says atheists will go to heaven. But did they read the ACTUAL letter written in his own words? Probably not...

HERE is that letter translated into English.

My advice is when something seems so outlandish, like this particular case of one of, if not the most well known heads of a church or religious group supposedly making such a comment,  go to the original source before sharing on your news feed. Read it in the context in which it was written and intended. Then, if you still want to share on your social media feed, also share a link to the ORIGINAL document.

This is good and true advice in any matter. I happen to be a huge fan of this particular pope so of course I want to see the truth shared and not yet another gross misquote as has happened so many times with this pope. But the same caution should be applied whether sharing quotes from presidents we may not care for, movie or rock stars or anyone. Do your research, check Snopes, original documents, and more. Doing anything other is risking someones reputation, not to mention making you look foolish when you realize you shared wrong information.

Many of my family members shared this quote from the pope, as did a well known religious figure who prides himself on being a Biblical Scholar and Theologian. This is someone I have respected for a number of years as he is also well known in homeschooling circles and I have gone on more than one occasion to hear him speak. His gross misquote of this yesterday and his response caused me to "unlike" his page and I most likely will not follow him any longer. Not because he misquoted someone I respect and admire, but because his carelessness in not linking to the original document so we can see the quote in context, has made me now doubt anything he has posted in the past or will in the future. A little time googling is all it takes.

This is just one of many reasons I have such a love/hate relationship with Facebook and other forms of social media. So much misinformation gets shared as facts. It can be fun, it can be useful, it is an excellent way to stay in touch and share photos and such with faraway family and friends, but stuff like this makes me wonder if it's all worth it in the end. If everyone was honest and did their research before sharing things, it would be, but unfortunately, that's not often the case.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our 2013/14 School Year

Monday we start our SEVENTEENTH year of homeschooling! This year we will have a 1st grader, 8th grader and an 11th grader!

I have to be honest and say that the thought of already having homeschooled for 16 years with TWELVE more to go kind of overwhelmed me. No, that's an understatement to say the least. The thought of homeschooling for a total of TWENTY EIGHT years scared me to death! So much so, that I seriously considered putting my new 1st grader in a small local Christian school this year. I came so close in fact, that papers were filled out and we even attended orientation.

It was only last Tuesday that I finally made up my mind to keep him home. When I thought of paying someone else a rather large sum of money every month to use what I feel is a less than adequate curriculum, not to mention six and a half hours a day of being taught a religious philosophy that doesn't totally line up with our own, well...the answer was very clear what we had/have to do.

With all that out of the way, I am actually really looking forward to our new year.

Our first grader is fully enrolled with Seton Home Study School. We tried Seton last year for the first time, and I was VERY impressed with their program at all grade levels. It moves at a gentle pace in the early grades, but as it moves on, becomes more rigorous and challenging, but with their well written lesson plans, very doable, as everything is broken down step by step. Even though it is a Catholic program(VERY Catholic at that!) I have to say, I feel it has one of the best, if not THE best English, especially writing programs I have yet to find in sixteen years of homeschooling. While my family is not yet, and may or may not ever be Catholic, this is a program I plan on sticking with as it is truly THAT good!

My 8th grader has some catching up to do in some areas to fully prepare him for Seton's fully enrolled high school program next year. So we are still using many Seton materials, but not fully enrolled this year. Here's what his program for this year looks like so far:

English& Composition: Seton
Vocabulary: Seton
Math: Saxon Algebra 1/2 & Homeschool Connections
History: Notgrass Uncle Sam and You
Science: Life Science All Creatures Great and Small
ASL: ASL University
Latin: Homeschool Connections
Reading and Literature: Selections of novels and historical fiction from the Notgrass History book as well as the Reading Comprehension and Thinking Skills books from Seton.

Our 11th grader was already a little too old to start all over for a Seton diploma, and a bit behind in Math, so we are putting together his own program and working through the summers to hopefully graduate on time.

English: Easy Grammar.
Writing and Composition: Classes from Homeschool Connections
Science: ABeka Books Biology
History: Notgrass He will finish their World History and begin their American History
Math: Saxon Algebra 1/2 & Homeschool Connections
ASL: ASL University
Latin: Homeschool Connections
Music: Weekly violin lessons with local instructor.

For both the older boys we are still looking for a Bible/Religion program. If we don't find something that suits our needs better they will use a course through Homeschool Connections.

So, that's our plan for now. I am sure as the year progresses, there may be changes. Then again, maybe not. Having used most of these programs at one time or another, we are familiar with most and have thought our choices out quite a bit.

We're looking forward to our year. We love the structure and routine our school year brings and are looking forward to that as well as all new books, supplies, etc..

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Subtitles..for American English???

I guess I don't watch that much T.V. or at least recently produced TV. Recently, on a whim I made the mistake of watching Honey Pie Boo Boo or something of that sort. Oh, what a disaster! Besides being obscene, one thing that really stuck out to me is how poorly this family spoke. So poor in fact, that subtitles were needed. This is an AMERICAN family. I don't know what part of the country they were from, but they didn't even have any strong accents, it's just their ability to speak and form words was SO poor, subtitles were needed.

I wrongfully thought that perhaps it was just this one show and this was an extreme case. WRONG!! More recently I watched "Beyond Scared Straight" and SAME thing. Subtitles needed for American born and raised people!

First thought I had was that perhaps these people spent so much time online and were used to using "internet slang" IE: LOL, BFF, ROTFL, etc...that they were left incapable of speaking proper English due to lack of practice. Second thought though, I wondered how much was due to lack of education.  I really don't know, but I have seen other shows with subtitles for English speaking people too, and I am no longer shocked, but just sad and scared for the future of our country. Seriously.

Meanwhile, I think I will stick to the classics and older T.V. shows or better yet, DVD's of Oldies but Goodies where the people still speak an understandable version of the once beautiful English Language.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Walk For Life 2013

This year for the first time ever my family participated in a "Walk for Life" event.  This was the first time there was one in San Diego, rather than the much further away San Fransico or Sacramento. 

We heard about it kind of last minute and basically went on a whim, not sure what to expect. I am SO glad we went and we will be planning on going next year and possibly even to the bigger event in San Fransico next year. For little publicity the turn out wasn't bad. Nearly 3000 was the last report I heard. 

One thing I found so neat about this event was the interdenominational support it received. The opening prayer was offered by a Catholic Priest, the closing by a Lutheran Pastor and several talks by other pastors and speakers of all denominations, all with one goal in mind; to speak out and not remain silent on such an important issue of our time.

Even my teen boys are eager to join in again next year.

Just a glimpse of the large crowd.

My youngest son marching.

My 13 year old and husband.

My family with another couple that we do a lot of volunteer work with for Compassion International.