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Book Reviews

Sadie – Courtney Summers

In our last episode, I introduced you to the two girls at the center of this podcast, Mattie Southern and Sadie Hunter. Mattie was murdered, her body left just outside her hometown of Cold Creek, Colorado. Sadie is missing, her car found, abandoned, thousands of miles away, with all her personal belongings still inside it. The girls’ surrogate grandmother, May Beth Foster, has enlisted my help in finding Sadie and bringing her home.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

Categories
Book Reviews

Lost Boys – Orson Scott Card Book Review

From bestselling storyteller Orson Scott Card comes a gripping story of terror within a small town. Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children move to Steuben, North Carolina with high hopes. But Step’s new job with a software company turns out to be a snake pit, and eight-year-old Stevies school is worse. As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers’ concern turns to terror. Young boys whose names match a list of Stevie’s nonexistent friends have mysteriously vanished from Steuben. And as evil strikes out from the most trusted corners, it’s suddenly clear: Stevie’s next on the list.

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Book Reviews

Cat’s eye by Margaret Atwood

I think I have a new favourite book! Margaret Atwood has this way of talking about relationships between men and women and women and other women that cuts through the surface and presents a raw image of raw emotions (Margaret Atwood -The Blind AssassinMargaret Atwood – Life before man, The edible woman – Margaret Atwood,The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood).

This one though, this one.. It was so good that I had to take breather days to be able to process the details correctly. Not since Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects have I been so disturbed by the life of pre-teen girls, the bullying, the meaness, the sorrow of the outcast.

Categories
Growing Up

Exploring Nature with Your Child, In Your Own Backyard

Backyards, they are where individuals of all ages go to relax and have fun. While many people enjoy being in their backyards, they are not the only ones. In fact, when you are in your backyard, you are rarely ever alone. At any given time, your backyard is filled with amazing, living things. If you are the parent of a young child, you may want to use this opportunity to explore nature with them. Not only will it be a fun experience, but it will also be a learning experience.

Birds are just a few of the many animals that can be found in your backyard. There is a good chance that a large number of different birds will make their way into your yard, especially if you have a bird feeder. One of the many reasons why bird watching is fun is because of all the birds that you will see. In addition to just watching these birds, you may to document what your child sees.kids-bird-watching

Categories
Book Reviews

A pale view of the hills * Kazuo Ishiguro

I’ve only read The Buried Giant and The Remains of the Day and when I looked on my book wish-list, I saw Kazuo Ishiguro’s dazzling debut novel called “A pale view of the hills” and I closed my eyes and made the purchase. When I saw the tiny book (181 pages which to my accounts is TINY!) that came back, I started wondering whether it’s going to have enough time to unfurl into a well-written piece.

It’s only when I hit the 70% mark I realized this was going to be a VERY, VERY well written-book with a good twist. As we’re still on the Mental Disability Awareness Month, I shall add this book to that list at number 11. All the characters are mentally disturbed to a point, we have two suicides and characters on the bridge between autistic and suffering from schizophrenia. Or both. I loved it.

Categories
Growing Up

SUITABLE CLOTHING FOR CHILDREN

During infancy.

Casual-brand-newborn-baby-rompers-set-kids-Spring-autumn-girls-Plaid-rompers-suits-Toddler-font-bInfants are very susceptible of the impressions of cold; a proper regard, therefore, to a suitable clothing of the body, is imperative to their enjoyment of health. Unfortunately, an opinion is prevalent in society, that the tender child has naturally a great power of generating heat and resisting cold; and from this popular error has arisen the most fatal results. This opinion has been much strengthened by the insidious manner in which cold operates on the frame, the injurious effects not being always manifest during or immediately after its application, so that but too frequently the fatal result is traced to a wrong source, or the infant sinks under the action of an unknown cause.

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Dean Koontz Excerpts

About Child Abuse – Excerpt from The Door to December – Dean Koontz

 

2f590d1a06e5d88172ba5ce1e9adc4fdWhen I read The Door to December (1985) by Dean Koontz, the following piece struck a chord in me. So many children are abused and the monsters doing it to them rely on the child keeping silent and making them feel like it was their fault.

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Fanfiction

Socialization and is it all that important?

Socialization is extremely critical for human beings, without it life would be dull.

In 1938 it was an unfortunate but true case study of this.  A girl named Anna was born to a mentally impaired woman that lived with her father. She was sent countless of places but was then returned home due to financial restraints. She was then forced into the attic and was given only enough milk to live on and lived there until she was five. She wasn’t given no affection, no smiles, no hugs, or anything else, just coldness.

Luckily, social workers saved the girl and sociologist Kingsley Davis went to see the girl immediately once he heard of the tragedy.  The girl was completely unresponsive, he reported and she did not laugh nor speak. However, with some help and guidance the girl did learn how to walk, speak a little, and even care for herself.  However, she died at the young age of 10.  This is an example of how lack of socialization can harm someone both physically and mentally.

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Growing Up

Homeschool – Field trips

15578-02dgIf you are going over a particular subject with the family and feel that a field trip would be beneficial, then that’s what you should do – go for a trip. If you are attached to a support group, you can plan to include other children too.
Here are some guidelines that will help you plan:
1) Collect the rates
2) Allowed ages
3) Special highlights
4) Size of the group
5) Timings
6) Eating facilities
Inform your support group of all these details well in advance so that the necessary circulars may be sent out. On the appointed day, arrange to meet with other parents and children in a particular place. Plan the mode of travel and reach the place at least 10 minutes in advance.
The field trip is not just fun. So, let your kids bring their writing material. Allow them time to stare and admire. Do not hurry them along. Collect data beforehand so that you can clear doubts. Get help from a guide, if necessary. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children.

Staying connected

The world has become a jungle of knowledge. Wherever you turn, you find a new fruit that just has to be passed on to your child. In the middle of all the knowledge flying to and fro, we sometimes forget to talk and relax with our children. A mom who doubles as a teacher needs to leave the teacher behind and simply become mom for a few hours everyday.
Listen to your child. Do not just hear the words, but notice the emotion too. Many children find it difficult to express exactly what they want. Talk to your child about general stuff and allow him to be ‘just a kid’. When you talk to your child, as for his opinions. Few things please him more. It also adds kilos to his self-confidence.
Most parents interrupt when their children talk. We, as adults, detest it when someone cuts across our lines. Kids keep mum because they are forced to be silent when we shut them up. But this is unhealthy and unfair. Allow your child to finish and then express your views in a rational manner. The child should have the confidence to confide in you.
Gentle parenting is the key to successful homeschooling. Be a parent first, and then a teacher.

Categories
Growing Up

Is Homeschooling legal?

Laws in the US

Without a doubt, homeschooling is legal in all the 50 States of the U.s. But, that is just about where the similarity ends. Laws and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from state to state.
Interpretations of these laws can vary from school district to  school district. Additionally, these laws may change every year.
The National Home Education network is a wonderful resource when  it comes to the legalities of homeschooling. It has a listing of
the actual state laws for each state in the U.S. Reading the laws that pertain to your state is perhaps the best way to get accurate information about these laws. But, most people need to get the laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can get valuable information from the support group at your locality. Additionally, many state education departments have online resources that will help you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling.
The internet is also a good source of information.
It is a good idea to check out your state laws regarding homeschooling before you start educating your child at home. This will prevent any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move, you will need to be aware of any tests or exams that your child may need to take.
parenting-children-child-development-2

Laws in the UK

Legal Information

This is what the government’s website (direct gov) says about educating your child at home:

What’s required of you?

  • You do not need to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home
  • Your child is not obliged to follow the National Curriculum or take national tests, but as a parent you are required by law to ensure your child receives full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude
  • Any special educational needs your child may have must be recognised
  • You do not need special permission from a school or local authority to educate your child at home, but you do need to notify the school in writing if you’re taking your child out of school
  • You will need to notify the local authority if you are removing your child from a special school
  • You do not need to observe school hours, days or terms
  • You do not need to have a fixed timetable, nor give formal lessons
  • There are no funds directly available from central government for parents who decide to educate their children at home
  • Some local authorities provide guidance for parents, including free National Curriculum materials

The role of your local authority

Local authorities can make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home to establish that a suitable education is being provided. If your local authority makes an informal enquiry, you can provide evidence your child is receiving an efficient and suitable education by:

  • Writing a report
  • Providing samples of your child’s work
  • Inviting a local authority representative to your home, with or without your child being present
  • Meeting a local authority representative outside the home, with or without your child being present (representatives have no automatic right of access to your home)

If it appears to the local authority that a child is not receiving a suitable education, then it might serve a school attendance order.
Although you’re not legally required to inform your local authority when you decide to educate your child at home, it is helpful if you do so. If you are taking your child out of school to home-educate them, you need to inform the school in writing.
It’s advisable, but not compulsory, to inform your local authority of any significant changes in your circumstance relevant to your child’s education, like a change of address.
Other cases:
German Children Seized From Parents for Crime of Homeschooling
The German government forcibly seized four children from their parents in a raid last Thursday in Darmstadt, Germany. Why? Because the Wunderlich children were home schooled – an illegal activity viewed by the German government as “child endangerment.”
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/german-children-seized-from-parents-for-crime-of-homeschooling/
PROSECUTOR WANTS JAIL FOR HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS
HSLDA said that when a nation has voluntarily signed up to obey international human rights obligations, the international community has the right to call such a nation to account for violating human rights standards.
http://www.wnd.com/2013/09/prosecutor-wants-jail-for-homeschooling-parents
Germany Uses Nazi Era Law to Imprison Mom for Homeschooling; Family Flees to Austria
German police hauled Mrs. Plett off to Gelsenkirchen jail, where she served a 10 day prison sentence for exercising her right to be the primary educator of her children.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2006/sep/06091407