January 10, 2011

Remainders (1/10)

  • I recently put together a list of Bible verses about love. What amazed me as I researched for it was the overwhelming number of verses about God's love for us compared with verses about our love for God or others. It's really true that "we love because he first loved us."

  • Justin Hyde gives a peek into his family's intentional evenings in a blog post titled "How I Pastor My Family." 

  • If your the type who isn't into plowing through the Bible in a year, then maybe the Daily Bible Meditation Guide (pdf) is something you would be interested in. Actually, the whole life2gether blog is really good. (via)

  • Flip teaching, or backwards teaching, is a classroom teaching innovation that interests me. The idea is that kids watch lectures and videos at home, and then class is for hands-on work and face-to-face interaction with teacher and peers.  Check out this article in the Daily Riff and this one in the Telegraph. Like many other educational "innovations," homeschoolers have been doing it for a long time.

January 6, 2011

Beware New Year's Resolutions

by SarahFranco CC2.0
Not to put a damper on New Year's aspirations, but a book I'm reading suggests a good test when deciding whether to make a new commitment:

  1. Is this activity worth my time?

  2. What will I have to eliminate to make room for it?

  3. What will its impact be on my family life?
The book I'm reading is called Help for the Harried Homeschooler: A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life by Christine M. Field. It's a good book; I may write more about it later. She actually gets the test from James Dobson's pamphlet, "Fatigue and the Homemaker."

January 4, 2011

Chess with My Son: 8 Steps to Beating Dad

photo by Jose Daniel Martinez (CC3.0)
My ten-year-old son beat me at chess today for the first time. Not to make excuses, but the sun was in my eyes, not to mention that annoying hangnail I've been nursing. Kidding aside, I knew the time would come; I just didn't think it would be so soon!

Here is how he learned to play chess and beat me. Some things I taught him, and some he learned on his own.
  1. I first taught him how to set up the chess board and all the ways that pieces can move and take opposing pieces.

  2. I talked him through our first several games as we played, telling him what I was doing and why. I also asked him to explain his moves to me, and I gave him feedback on his strategy.

  3. When we first started playing, I allowed him to turn the board around at any point in the game (as long as he wasn't in check) and for us to finish the game playing each other's original pieces.

  4. I started playing with just half of my pieces, then increased the number of pieces I used as he improved.

  5. I let him take back moves if I hadn't yet touched a piece.

  6. I never lost on purpose; I handicapped myself, but always played to win. This kept things fun for both of us.

  7. Recently, he read this beginning chess book and did the exercises in it.

  8. He played a chess game on my ipod touch on the way to Kyoto and back.
And today he beat me with both of us playing at full strength! I'm proud of him. Pretty soon he'll be spotting me pieces just to keep our games interesting.

January 1, 2011

Japanese Kite-Flying on New Year's Day

Schoolchildren in Japan often make kites during the winter holidays and fly them on New Year's Day. T made one this year. He designed, built, and flew it himself. It's made of paper and bamboo sticks. The first flight ended with the kite in a tree. After patching it up, he went back and flew it well in the park, as well as could be expected on a windless day.
Japanese Paper Kite (patched up)
This kite will fly!