Thursday, January 30, 2014

My juggling act

Hello everyone! It's been a long time since I posted, so I'm sorry about that. I've just been really busy with my classes!
For JA Finance Park this Tuesday, we went to our local branch of a credit union and they gave us a presentation. It was cool to see all of the things we'd learned at work from their side. I've been writing opinion papers every week for JA too. Maybe when I actually write a good one I'll post it here!
Shakespeare has been really fun too! We've played many acting/improv games to begin learning our acting skills. Every week at the end of class we read through a scene. And every day I have to memorize 10 lines for my part!
We had our annual homeschooling family ball, which was way fun! Our DJ was the girl who played a lead in our last Shakespeare play - 2 years ago; and she did a great job! The decorations were really cool, too. I wish I could put a picture here, but I don't have any of the photos that were taken!
I'll keep you guys informed as much as I can - hopefully every week or so! If anything cool happens in classes, I'll definitely write.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Summary of a chapter in 'A Thomas Jefferson Education' - about our national book

I was reading the book 'A Thomas Jefferson Education' with my family the other day, which is a book covering the state of our modern day society and how we can better it with education. I took some notes (basically a summary of what the chapter was saying), and I have put them here:

If a people chooses mediocrity, they end up with a mediocre society. If they choose excellence, they get an excellent society. If they choose decadence, they get a decaying society. It happens every time. Societies are successful when people choose to be good.
People choose to be good when they are taught and believe in good. In order to truly instill goodness into them, they must be taught the truth by everyone around them and involved in their lives. Teaching influences good and betters society.
The thing which determines how well a people is taught is their national book. A national book is a book that almost everyone in the nation accepts, reveres, and believes in. Good national books will lead to good nations, until they reject that book. Bad national books lead to bad nations, until they reject that book.
What of a nation with no national book? Such a nation is without culture, or is in the process of losing it. In the 50's and 60's, it was the Bible and the Declaration of Independence. In the late 60's, nobody believed in a single book - so we had no national book. That changed again in the 80's. It began to be rock and roll. Students would study it daily for many hours and believed in it passionately. Try to tell a group of youth that their music is bad, and see what happens. But even this is only shared by the youth, not everyone, so it's not a national media. So what is our national book today?
There is no national book today. We cannot agree on a book to accept as true! If we cannot establish a national book, we will decline in ignorance. The fact that we are lacking such a book is not attributed to schools, but to the family!  Homes are where we are really taught what we think, not schools. Families have been unraveled by modern concepts, and children are raised, not educated. Families sometimes do activities together, but they don't think together. Parents don't aspire for their children to be wise; instead they want them to get a good job and be 'successful'. Because families are falling apart, the nation is too. Nobody thinks the old books are up to date and have truth. The very idea of a national book is disappearing. People don't think that one book can have all the answers.
If this is true, and it is, then America cannot remain free. We must adopt a good central text. This is imperative to the survival of our nation and culture. We must be based on good, light, and truth. We must regain our freedom.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Classes for this week

So I had my first Actor's Training session yesterday. It's what we'll do during class time for Shakespeare from now on until rehearsals in mid-Febuary. Basically, we do activities and play lots of fun games to help us learn how to act. Then we read through some of the play, with everyone speaking their parts. We read through Act I yesterday. It was interesting seeing everyone and their takes on their characters so far, but it's not my favorite act. For one, it's all a little monotonous, even though it's basically a back story of everything leading up to the action in the play. It's basically Prospero talking the whole time, which yay for me because I get to do the talking, but otherwise... boring :P but I'm sure it will turn out much more interesting than it seems to be right now! Plus we got our scripts for the play! We will be going over to my teacher's house to watch a version of 'The Tempest' this weekend.
In JA Finance Park we learned about balance and checking accounts and simple vs. compound interest and the like. All of it was really interesting, since I don't know very much about financial things - it was all pretty new to me. My presentation has been assigned to me. It will be next week - the first presentation of the semester, which, I suppose is what happens when your mom is the teacher! But anyways, it will be on how to make money. This is a fascinating topic to research, and to see everything that people have come up with for ideas on how to make money. I'll let you know how it goes; for now, though, I can't think of any good ideas for how to make it engaging to the audience!
Well, I'll post again next week after homeschooling classes, and maybe before then!

Friday, January 10, 2014

My part for The Tempest!

Hey everyone! So I know which part I will be for The Tempest! It is... Prospero! I got the lead! Which means, now that the rest of my homeschooling classes have started up too, I'm going to be BUSY, memorizing all those lines and doing my schoolwork.
What is a funny coincidence is that my sister got the role of Antonio, who is Prospero's evil brother. So we're siblings in the play, too!
I have been working on my presentation for my financial literacy class. It's on 'Taxes and the Constitution'. I haven't come up with any amazing ideas on how to present it yet, but... I'll get there. Still doing research!
Also, I've been asked to be on the decorating committee for our annual homeschooling family ball. We are theming it after the Civil War, since several students, including me, will be awarded their swords that night. It's going to be really fun, and I've already got lots of ideas!
I'll be having lots of things to do for my classes - practices for Shakespeare and homework for JA, but I'll try to post as often as I can.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First day of homeschooling classes

Hey everyone! Today I had my first homeschooling classes this semester - Junior Achievement and Shakespeare Conquest.
JA is my financial literacy class. Since today was just an orientation thing, we didn't do too much. But we played a game with candy that showed statistics on people's varying financial welfare situations throughout the United States. We also took an assessment so that we could show our mentor how much (or in my case, little) we knew about financing stuff. Plus, we got assignments for an opinion paper and reading assignment.
Shakespeare Conquest was pretty fun today. Since we had already been taking the class, it wasn't as much of an orientation as a transition from the learning-about-Shakespeare semester to the putting-on-a-Shakespeare-production semester. And we had auditions, which were a lot of fun! We performed the set piece as we wanted to first. Then we got a slip of paper giving us scenarios to act out with the words of the set piece - for instance, mine was 'be a weatherman', which, given the text and context of the set piece, ended up being quite humorous! The last part of auditions was with a group of myself and two other students (with the rest of the class likewise situated). We were given a bit of the script of The Tempest to act out. My group got quite a funny piece with drunken dudes in it. When we acted it for the class, they all laughed so hard! It was really enjoyable.
So I'm really looking forward to the rest of the semester for homeschooling classes, and I'll know what my part in the play is by next week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Classes, classics, whatever

Classes are starting tomorrow! I have been practicing my set piece. I've had it memorized for a while - I just needed to get the right mood and acting and all the rest of that stuff. My sister Ryanna and I have been practicing that together. I really hope I get a good part! But I'll have to wait until Saturday or so to know that. :)
Meanwhile, you should go listen to some classical music. It helps you think.
Or read a classic book. Those help you think too.
Or even look at classical artwork. Those are thought-inspiring.
Or you can try to make something classical. That's the best.
By the way, I know when I'm getting my sword from Sword of Freedom class! It will be on the 24th of this month, at our homeschooling family ball, which I'm really excited for. The ball is going to be Civil War themed, so that will make it even cooler, since that's what Sword of Freedom was about.
Anyways, I'l post ASAP!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Auditions and astronomy

Hi again! It's break, so I can post pretty often for now. I wanted to show you the set piece I'll be memorizing for Shakespeare Tempest auditions. Everyone in the class will get a part, but the auditions will help my mentor know who to put where. So, here it is:
"I have bedimmed 
The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault
Set roaring war - to th' dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and by the spurs plucked up
The pine and cedar; graves at my command
Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let 'em forth
By my so potent art."
This is a excerpt from Act 5, Scene 1 of The Tempest. We'll be having auditions this next Tuesday!
There's also another pretty cool thing. This is called the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), and it's done by NASA. They basically have one photo every day that shows something interesting about our universe. The website address is and I suggest that you take a look! You can also go into the archive for past days. This is the APOD for today.