IN THIS ISSUE
Homeschooling Teen Profile: The Best of Homeschooling Teen
Homeschool Friendly College: Bucknell University
Readers Write: Homeschooling Lessons I've Learned, by Millie
The Bookshelf: The Mysterious Benedict Society Trilogy, by Rebekah
Catherine's Column: by Catherine
Anime Reviews: by Xbolt
Homeschooling High School: A Call for Class
Career-of-the-Month: Race Car Driver
E-Mail Etiquette: Tip-of-the-Month
And much more!!!
Be Somebody...Be Yourself
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
National Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month
Mental Health Month
National Bike Month
Physical Fitness & Sports Month
National Scrapbooking Month
Digital Evangelism Month
Historic Preservation Month
National Egg Month
National Hamburger Month
National Salad & Salsa Month
Older Americans Month
Mother's Day - 8th
Armed Forces Day - 21st
Memorial Day - 30th
Click here for more May days:
SAT WORD OF THE MONTH
inane (adj.) - silly and meaningless
"Some films are so inane that the psychology of the characters makes absolutely no sense."
E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month
Let's get organized! It is smart to create folders in your e-mail program that are intuitively named to help you organize your e-mail.
You get the idea! By having folders setup in advance, when you go through your e-mail, you can then file them in their appropriate folder. If an e-mail is not worth keeping, delete it immediately.
The longer you do not have a system in place, the more unorganized you will be and the number of e-mails in your inbox will seem to reproduce like rabbits!
This E-mail Etiquette Tip is provided as a courtesy by: www.NetManners.com
Are you a homeschooling teen? Do you have your own blog? You know you excel in your field of thought, right? ;) Would you like to get more visitors to your blog? Let us add your blog to our Homeschooling Teen Blogroll at http://homeschoolingteen.wordpress.com ! You can write about anything you want in your blog, as long as it adheres to the standards set forth in Philippians 4:8. ("Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.") In other words, keep it nice and keep it clean! Take a look at a few of the blogs that are already there, and be sure to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to add yours to the list!
Are you a cartoonist and would you like to see your work published in this magazine? Please write and tell us about the type of cartoon you create, (single pane, strip, etc.) the topics you cover (current events, humor, homeschool life, etc.) and send us a sample along with your name and age. Contact: email@example.com
Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue! firstname.lastname@example.org
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~Albert Einstein
MOVIE QUOTE- Can you guess what movie this quote came from?
Are you sure you're eighteen?
Why? Do I look older?
(Answer: Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
Learn more about famous homeschoolers at www.FamousHomeschoolers.net
We want to hear from you! If you are involved with an amazing project, volunteer in your community, have a special interest that you're passionate about, possess a unique skill, talent or ability, or have accomplished something positive and extraordinary for a person your age or in your situation - be sure to tell us about it and we will feature you in our magazine! Contact: email@example.com
Career-of-the-Month: Race Car Driver
There are over 1,000 motor racing venues throughout the United States, ranging from rural dirt tracks to modern speedways. The three main types are: stock car (NASCAR), open wheel (Indy Racing League), and drag racing (National Hot Rod Association). Part-time drivers may race for prize money, known as a "purse." Professional drivers usually have a contractual agreement with a sponsor or racing team owner, and they receive a percentage of the winnings which is supplemented with income from product endorsements.
Race car drivers must be physically fit and able to skillfully maneuver cars at high speeds. Drivers must remain acutely aware of track conditions and the position of other drivers. They make quick decisions about shifting gears, braking, and accelerating. They must understand the geometry of the racetrack to move efficiently. While successfully maneuvering past a competitor, drivers must also prevent other competitors from passing them. Drivers consider every detail, from the position of their own bodies to weather conditions, and constantly re-evaluate and monitor the performance of their car.
Preparation for a career in auto racing often starts with interest in the sport at an early age. Familiarity with car engines, bodywork, and mechanical technology is common among workers in auto racing. More importantly, they must have highly developed driving skills. Most race car drivers don't begin on big tracks. They might get their start racing go-karts and later work their way up from lower-level auto races. Race car drivers must complete courses to get licensed in operating high-speed vehicles.
There are numerous schools that help drivers improve their skills. For example, the NASCAR Technical Institute specializes in racing technology education. By gaining experience and taking specialized courses, drivers are able to control faster and more powerful cars as they advance in auto racing. Many break into racing through family members or friends who are already in the racing business. In the case of NASCAR, most team shops are located near Charlotte, North Carolina, so drivers who want to rise to NASCAR ranks must live near there.
Pit crew member
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.
Readers Write: A Poem
This is an original poem I wrote. My name is Gilgal Queen and I am 13 years old.
The squirrel takes the acorn,
It takes it far away,
It finds a soft spot in the earth,
And there it places it,
Under the leaves,
Where in the spring there shall be
A new birth.
As the years pass by, no one notices
As the tree grows in every year.
But when fifty years have passed
The tree is great and large,
And a noise makes the silent wood fear.
An axe chopping trees, one tree at a time.
And so after some days,
The woodsmen get to that very tree
And start chopping it, too.
The wood is used for a barn,
But after years and years,
The old barn wood is used for a crib,
A new birth.
And all because of the seed that that
Little squirrel planted there in the earth.
Homeschooling: Lessons I've Learned
By Millie Hawkins, 14
Being homeschooled was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I must admit as a 14 year old I learned many valuable lessons a little bit later than most homeschoolers my age. Due to the veil that blocked my mental eye from seeing the many God-given blessings in my life through this different blessed form of education. A chance in life not offered to many children.
I was blessed (please excuse my over use of this word) with a mother that was able to stay at home all day. It was 100 percent God in my life, though ,for my father less than partly provided for my sister and I. And some how some way we were always blessed with food, clothes and money monthly without my mom ever having to work.
The first lesson I learned was when I came to realize that with the vast majority of children in the school system, there was a reason for God to have told my mother to homeschool my sister and I. And I believe in my life as a Christian there is a reason for everything that happens. Nothing is by chance or coincidence. All of my steps are ordered by the Lord. I learned that God has a reason for my life, a reason why HE choose me to be homeschooled, a reason why HE choose my mother to homeschool me, and a reason why HE choose for me to be not just homeschooled but homeschooled as a Christian.
Another lesson I learned was if it weren't for my Christian homeschool upbringing I would have never been the person I am today. I am Not Perfect but, when I listen to the speech of SOME of the teenagers today it is filled with cursing, talk about sex, partying, the latest fashion, new music, Godless talk and other nonsense. When I hear this type of talk I think to myself that this young person doing this crazy talk, if not for my GOD'S protective hand, could have been me. And it leads me not to criticize but in fact to pray for this teenager.
I am always humbled by the remembrance that there was and is nothing special about me but everything EXTRAORDINARY about the ONE that dwells within me. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be one of those teens. But THANKS be to GOD (and my mother) who lifted the worldly veil from over my eyes and allowed me to learn how to be thankful for the life HE gave me.
Jesus knew the life that would be just right for me and all I had to do was to trust and obey Him. When I finally let go of my own way, said Luke 22:42 and placed my complete trust in the KING I came out a way better person in the process. And thankfully not only did I learn what I could have been, I also learned gratitude to GOD. Because being homeschooled has taught me SO MUCH educationally and personally and most importantly spiritually.
Millie Hawkins, 14, is the youngest of three siblings. A Christian, she has been homeschooled for ten years and her favorite subject is math. Millie also enjoys reading, writing, cooking, studying, movies, comedy, dancing and exercising. Millie's career aspirations include either criminal justice or law school, and she hopes to attend college soon.
By Catherine Amaris Munoz
"Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes...." ~Ecclesiastes 11:9
Hi, fellow home-schooling teens!! My name is Catherine Munoz. I am a homeschooler from Monrovia, California, USA. I am in the 11th grade. This is my second column for the "Homeschooling Teen e-zine", and I am excited to share more columns with you all in the future!
As part of expanding the column, I have decided to devote a portion of it to music: something I believe we all love. So, each month, I will share with you a couple of music artists, which I feel you'll like to take a listen to. Today's "top-rated" songs by artists like Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Paramore, 311, and many others, don't necessarily display topics and/or morals which we can be proud of. Don't get me wrong: I love Paramore, 311, and countless other popular artists/bands. The beats are catchy (who doesn't like an awesome tune). And, if everybody else is singing it, I'd better think it's cool too, right? Well, what if you no longer had to compromise wholesome lyrics for good-sounding music? Would you be interested in discovering new bands, which have impossibly familiar-sounding songs? My sister and I have recently done just that. We realized that the music we decided to listen to, whether positive or negative, affected us just the same. We decided we could mostly do without it. I'm not saying that for every single artist you like listening to, there is a Christian band out there who sounds exactly the same. But, if you are interested in discovering just how many impressive Christian bands there are out there, you can get started today. Are you game?
May's Music Corner
This month's featured Christian music artists are: "Krystal Meyers" & "Decyfer Down"
Krystal Meyers is a female Christian artist. She has been singing since she was age two. Her first self-titled album, "Krystal Meyers" was released in 2005, and its style has been compared to the female punk/rock artist Avril Lavigne. Check out hit songs from the album, like, "The Way To Begin", "Fire", and "Anticonformity". Krystal's newest album which was released in 2008 called, "Make Some Noise", is more along the lines of dance/pop genre, and it's just plain fun. The album's namesake song, "Make Some Noise", reminds me of Katy Perry's music style. Mostly all of Krystal's songs are worth the listening, but you may especially like, "My Freedom", "Feel So Right", "Make Some Noise", "Collide", and "Shine". Her voice is too original to compare, but if you enjoy the new-age pop-dance sound of Katy Perry or Ke$ha, or the punk-rock sound of Avril Lavigne, you should check out Krystal Meyers.
Decyfer Down is an alternative metal/hard-rock band, which also happens to be Christian. Despite the band's apparent grunge-sound, their lyrics are consistently positive, and offer more than what other secular hard-rock bands can. Their first-released album, "End of Grey" (2006), is home to two of some of my favorite songs by them: "Fight Like This", and "No Longer". Other great songs by them are "Fading", and "Crash", which are located on the album, "Crash" (2009). If you are sometimes (or perhaps always) in the mood to listen to some good rock that has the ability to get your head banging, you should check out Decyfer Down.
May's Movie Review: "Temple Grandin" (2010)
Among my all-time favorite movies, Temple Grandin is a must-see, for everyone who is interested in growing through understanding, knowledge, and compassion towards those who are sidelined and marginalized within our own communities, especially those living with Autism, and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders (also known as ASD). By taking the viewer through an up-close and personal perspective, the movie will show you the daily life and struggles of a real woman who dealt with Autism: Temple Grandin. Based on her true story, this movie takes place during the 1950's: a time when Autism was uncommonly accepted in society, and little was known about it. In fact, it was believed that Autistic children were the result of non-loving and cold "refrigerator" mothers.
Temple was diagnosed with Autism at the sprite age of 3. Her mother was told that Temple should be placed in captivity, within the walls of a mental institution. Of course her mother declined the suggestion, and did everything within her power to teach her little Temple how to do what came naturally to most other children her age: how to speak, how to engage in eye contact, and other motor capabilities. Throughout this heartwarming movie, Temple, and those who believe in her, continually fight for justice and equality, which she so deserves. Temple Grandin may make you cry, as it made me. You see, my nephew, Isaah (age 6), was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at the age of 3. His I.Q. is "like that of an average 9-year-old", as his physician told us last year. Just like Temple Grandin, Isaah is sensitive, helpful, and teaches so much to those around him. Best of all: he possesses a heart of pure gold. I enjoyed watching Temple Grandin so immensely. Hopefully you will too.
Not one of us has reached perfection: we all must learn this through realizing our own mistakes and errors. But, in God's eyes, we are nothing less than perfect, because He created us in His image. Although, we might not all have Autism, or a life-threatening disease, we all have our own personal obstacles and challenges, struggles and battles. Let us, for this moment, remember the prayer that Saint Francis said:
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born into eternal life."
This prayer is made relevant, every time we are faced with the hardship of dealing with others who are afflicted in ways that we find hard to relate to. May we start, on this day, to understand more, to be more patient, more loving, and more compassionate to our neighbor, who is everyone around us. Jesus outstretches his hand to those who are afflicted: let us, too, walk in His footsteps. For more information about Autism and ASD, follow this link to www.AutismSpeaks.org.
May's Recipe: "Heavenly Angel-Food Cake"
"I love baking this recipe for my friends and family. If you enjoy the store-bought Angel Food Cake, you may find after baking it yourself that there is just no comparison!"
Makes one Angel Food Cake ring.
Estimated total time required:
Preparation- 20 minutes; Baking time- 35 minutes.
What you'll need:
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 large egg whites (1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups), at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*Tip before baking*: "If you do not own an Angel Food Cake pan, do not fret. You may also use a plain 'ol 9x5-inch loaf pan used for baking bread. I have done this many times in the past, before I acquired an Angel Food Cake pan. (Just make sure you watch the baking time, as it will be different, depending on your oven.) If all of the batter does not fit in the pan without overflowing, just bake it in a small separate cake pan." =oD
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 350°F. You'll need a 10-in. tube pan with removable bottom. Line bottom with nonstick foil, cutting to fit around the tube; place back into pan. You may also use baking spray, instead of the foil.
2. Whisk together cake flour, one-fourth cup sugar and the salt; transfer mixture to a sieve set over a small bowl.
3. In large bowl, beat the egg whites with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes until frothy and well blended. Add the cream of tartar; increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks start to form, about 3 minutes. While still beating, add the remaining 1 cup sugar in a slow stream; continue to beat until whites are very thick and hold firm peaks when beaters are lifted, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
4. Transfer mixture to a large, wide bowl. Sift one - third of the flour mixture over whites; fold in with a rubber spatula. Repeat twice with the remaining flour, folding in until incorporated. Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Run a knife through the batter to remove any air pockets.
5. Bake 35 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when pressed with fingertip or a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely, upside down.
6. To loosen cake, run a knife around all sides of pan. Lift cake out of pan by tube. Loosen cake from bottom; invert to un-mold. To serve, garnish with fresh seasonal berries and/or whipped cream. Enjoy!
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May is Internet Evangelism Month
The Web became a mainstream medium around 1996. Those of us aged under about 25, who grew up with computers and mobile phones, were born into this digital world. Those in older age groups are "immigrants" to this new world, perhaps even confused "tourists"!
"The last 15 years have changed our world for ever," claims Tony Whittaker, coordinator of Internet Evangelism Day. "Digital media are transforming the way we communicate, behave and even think. If Facebook was a country, it would have the third largest population in the world."
Internet Evangelism Day is a strategic resource to help Christians understand this digital potential and how to use the Web to share the good news of the Gospel. It is both a year-round online guide and an annual focus day - this year it will be held on Sunday, May 15 - and the entire month of May has been designated Digital Outreach Month.
Internet Evangelism Day is an initiative of the Internet Evangelism Coalition, based at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, IL. It is supported by a wide range of leaders and groups. Since the initiative's launch in 2005, digital media have developed dramatically with the advent of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and the growing use of mobile phones to access online services.
The outreach opportunities have vastly multiplied, too, whether one is a church or an individual. "Digital media are transforming evangelism and ministry," says the team at Internet Evangelism Day. The IE Day website is a strategic resource covering many subjects, including how to build a church website that is "outsider friendly," using Twitter in evangelism, and blogging. You do not even need to be a technical person to share your faith online.
The IE Day site offers free downloads: PowerPoint, video clips, handouts, drama scripts, music, and posters. A variety of evangelism-related books and other resources (normally on sale) will be offered as special free downloads during the month. Visit www.InternetEvangelismDay.com
for more information.
Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips
A Call for Class
"Together WE can make the world a more polite place, one courteous interaction at a time." ~ PJ McGuire, President of Modet Inc.
The second week in May is National Etiquette Week, the national recognition of etiquette and protocol in all areas of American life - business, social, dining, travel, technology, wedding, and international. While "Talk Like a Pirate Week" might be a lot more fun, National Etiquette Week is a time to raise people's awareness of civility and good manners. There's definitely not enough civil behavior in our world, but hopefully National Etiquette Week will rally people to act with courtesy, kindness, and respect in their everyday lives. Being classy doesn't just mean exhibiting good taste and elegance in dress; it means conducting oneself in a proper manner.
Though some people may think the concept of etiquette is old-fashioned or outdated, etiquette and civility are still important in the modern age. According to the legendary Emily Post, etiquette is today what it has always been: a code of behavior based on kindness, consideration and unselfishness. This is something that must never change. Manners, which are derived from etiquette, should be maintained even in an ever-changing world. Etiquette is for persons at every stage of life regardless of age, income, or position in society or business. Good manners are a key to success!
Unfortunately, many modern teens scoff at such rules, as shown in these remarks made by public high school students: "Reliance on, like, a strict set of rules is, kind of, a sign of immaturity, in the sense that you need someone to tell you how to act, that you can't think of your own ways to respect people." "It's just your personality, and what you want to do, and the way that you want to do it." "You should be yourself regardless, there should not be a reason for you to act like somebody else wants you to act." Sadly, this type of thinking results in the appearance of being selfish and lazy with no concern for others.
In past generations, as demonstrated by George Washington and his contemporaries, character was important - and it did not mean self-expression. In those days, young people were not only expected to behave properly, but they understood the value of demonstrating general courtesies, manners and morals. Washington's first lessons in good breeding came from a book of precepts entitled Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which listed 110 rules of etiquette for young men. The Rules of Civility were originally compiled and published in 1595 by French Jesuits. In 1645, this code of conduct was translated into an English version called Francis Hawkins' Youths Behavior, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men, and was reprinted at least eleven times until 1672.
One copy of this English translation came into Washington's possession in 1744, when he was 12 years old. Sometime before he turned 16, Washington carefully hand-copied the rules into a notebook as an exercise in penmanship. At the same time, these rules taught him the proper behavior that we call etiquette including how to dress, walk, talk, and eat. They also conveyed a moral message of humility and paying attention to others. The teenage Washington took these rules to heart and they profoundly influenced the development of his character. Although some of the rules may seem a little silly and outdated now in the way they are phrased, most are valuable and timeless lessons for us all.
Download the complete text of George Washington's 110 Rules of Civility: http://www.knowledgehouse.info/GeorgeWashingtonRulesofCivility.pdf
(This FREE 17-page e-book includes Washington's original rules as well as selected examples for copywork and memorization, plus a writing activity.) I hope that you will take some time this week to examine and improve your own etiquette skills. Let's all make an effort to be courteous and polite to each and every person with whom we come in contact. :)
The Bookshelf, by Rebekah Hall
Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society Trilogy
Whenever a story starts employing very obvious stereotypes or clichés, it's usually not good news. It's the first symptom of an author lacking in creativity, and for readers paying attention, it typically means that the creativity shortage is about to get a lot worse as the story progresses.
Some might argue that using a critiquing method where you stand on guard for any clichés and stereotypes is rather harsh, but, unfortunately, more often than not it turns to be accurate. This is particularly true for the more conspicuous ones, such as the (blonde) feminist heroine, or the villain who details his entire plan of world domination to the hero, or better still, innocuous story messages like "Teamwork".
Then there are the clichés that you find in Trenton Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy. They are numerous, and are pretty entrenched in the story as well; the main characters having very compartmentalized roles would be a good example. If you are using the critiquing method above, though, you'll see fairly quickly that the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy is an exception to the rule, because if you are going to take the stereotypes and clichés that seriously, you are going to have to take the rest of the story dead seriously as well, and to do that would be a big mistake.
Where the origin of most clichés is laziness, the ones in Mysterious Benedict Society serve a point, which is utter and complete simplicity. Why would you want a book to be simple? Basically, it is because the best way to highlight a theme is to simplify the elements. In other words, if the characters of Mysterious Benedict Society are a bit compartmentalized, it is not because Stewart didn't know what to do with them, but because he had made them into chess pieces.
The first book of the trilogy opens with Reynie Muldoon taking a particularly unique exam. Reynie is a sheltered, but clever eleven year-old orphan, and the exam he is taking promises "special opportunities" for the talented children who pass. It is an exam that tests not so much knowledge as it does ingenuity and moral character, and in the end only four children pass: Reynie himself, a boy nicknamed "Sticky" for his photographic memory, an energetic girl named Kate, and a much more sullen girl named Constance.
Even from the start, the children's individual talents are obvious. Reynie is a born puzzle-solver and potential leader; Sticky is, of course, the bright and knowledgeable companion who has entire libraries memorized (he even has glasses to complete the stereotype); and Kate is the physically-able engineer. Unfortunately, this review cannot talk about Constance, since much of her character can be classified as spoiler, but what can be said is that she is very amusingly well done.
The creator of the exam is a benign genius by the name of Mr. Benedict. Several years before, his research led him to discover secret messages that are brainwashing the world by piggybacking on media, such as radio or TV waves. The secret message broadcasts were coming from a prestigious private school known as the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (LIVE), and because the authorities have refused to believe him, Mr. Benedict is reduced to the desperate act of asking the four children to enroll in the Institute as spies.
All four of the children come from parentless situations, but Stewart tries to level the playing-field by providing four highly-capable adults to match each child. Mr. Benedict is naturally the head of them, and serves a role almost like that of Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. From book one onwards, there's very few instances of the "idiot parent syndrome"; whenever the children outwit the adults, the adults are pretty quick to catch up.
While there are a few parts that seem a bit sluggish (particularly in the second book, The Perilous Journey), the trilogy on a whole moves very smoothly and the action is well paced. During their stay at the Institute in the first book, Mr. Benedict's secret method of communicating with the children is through riddles, and throughout the rest of the trilogy it becomes his favorite way to tell them things; the riddles, of course, are also aimed at the reader, and it turns into a game on the side simply figuring out the riddles before the children do.
The trilogy's one shining glory that has to be mentioned, though, is its morality. It's very uncommon to see the idea of the ends justifying the means so thoroughly condemned as it is in this series. The morality of four the children is certainly not perfect, and that's the point as they strive to morally perfect their actions; and while religion is never mentioned in the series, what moral code they happen to be following is very obvious when it goes to the extent of completely loving one's enemy.
Aside from learning a few high vocabulary words, The Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy will probably not be some of the deepest books you read; but as light reading fare goes, this is very likely one of the best offerings out there.
Rebekah is a senior in high school who loves reading, writing, or anything that contains a story and a puzzle. She runs the review blog "And a Sweet Sound it Made" - http://www.andasweetsound.blogspot.com
|Anime Reviews by Xbolt
Rozen Maiden. A show that came highly recommended from the venerable Loremaster of the Chex Quest Fan Forums. He talked about Rozen Maiden even before I watched Sugar, but I never got around to watching it - until now.
The Rozen Maidens are a collection of dolls created by the great dollmaker Rozen. And each one is actually alive. They were created for the purpose of realizing "Alice," Rozen's idea of infinite beauty. But each of them fell short of that goal in some way. So, they compete in the "Alice Game," where they fight each other, to the death, in order to take all the Rosa Mystica, the things that give the dolls their life.
Jun Sakurada is a reclusive boy who spends the whole day locked in his room. He passes the time by ordering things that strike his fancy over the internet, only to return them just before payment is due. One day, he receives a letter saying he won something. It says to pick yes or no, and then place the letter in his desk drawer. He does so, and an ornate wooden box materializes in his room. Inside, are a doll and a small key. He takes the key and winds up the doll, which then comes to life - and then it slaps him for handling her so crudely.
Shinku is the fifth Rozen Maiden. She always orders Jun around, much to his annoyance, but she does care for him, as well as the other dolls, very much. She has a particular admiration for Detective Kun-Kun, a puppet on a TV show. And she loves to drink tea.
Hinaichigo is the sixth Rozen Maiden. She is very childish, and loves drawing. She is the first doll to lose the Alice Game, to Skinku. But Shinku does not want to kill her, and instead takes her on as a servant. Her favorite food is strawberry daifuku, which is a rice cake with strawberry filling. (Ichigo means strawberry in Japanese. So of course she'll love strawberry foods!)
Suiseiseki is the third Rozen Maiden ~desu. She is the great Mother Desu ~desu. She always ends every sentence with "~desu" ~desu. This erroneous grammar makes her more cute ~desu. And it is extremely infectious ~desu. You'd better be glad I didn't decide to go "~desu" all the way through this review ~desu.
Souseiseki is the fourth Rozen Maiden. She is the twin sister of Suiseiseki, but is much less boisterous and noisy than her sister. She is very stubborn, and deeply devotes herself to her masters, especially Rozen.
Suigintou is the first Rozen Maiden. She is the arch-nemesis of Shinku, and has no qualms about resorting to underhanded tactics to win the Alice Game. Out of all the dolls, she is actually the one who loves "Father" (Rozen) the most, and it is her desire to see him that drives her to fight in the Alice Game.
Kanaria is the second Rozen Maiden. She is always talking to herself about how she will take the others' Rosa Mysticae, coming up with many "brilliant plans" to accomplish that. But, she always fails, and no one else takes her seriously.
Barasuishou is the seventh, and final, doll. She is even more evil than Suigintou, and I was hoping for her to die a horrible death ever since we first met her. She wears an eyepatch.
Throughout the series, the boy Jun has his own personal troubles and heartbreaks, but he overcomes those situations with the help of his doll and later on the other dolls as well.
Welcome... Homeschooling Teen is a free e-zine for homeschooled high schoolers and young adult alumni. Published once a month, much of the content is written by our subscribers, and there are many opportunities for readers to participate - whether it's writing book or movie reviews, sending in original short stories and poems, or submitting other articles of interest. Additionally, in each issue we feature a profile of a Homeschooling Teen and a Homeschool Friendly College. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information
Now is the time for high school juniors - especially if they dream of attending a highly selective college - to start thinking about taking the SAT and/or ACT. Besides good transcripts and letters of recommendation, entrance exams are an important part of the admission process. While some colleges have waived these tests as a requirement, many colleges and universities still rely heavily on SAT and ACT scores to help in admissions decisions. A typical applicant to a competitive college might boast section scores in the upper 20s for the ACT and above 600 for the SAT.
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Homeschooling Teen Profile
Homeschooling Teen magazine was invited by the Homeschoolers of Wyoming to send them some bag inserts for the HOW convention on May 13th and 14th, 2011. We were happy to oblige and compiled a special handout featuring the best of our Homeschooling Teen profiles from over the years. This month we will also share those profiles with you!
Homeschoolers are an extremely diverse group of individuals. They grow up to be artists, athletes, musicians, scientists, professors, writers, politicians... whatever their dream or passion. Given the freedom to fully develop their skills and talents, homeschooled teens and young adults can really make a difference!
Tim Tebow, former All-American and Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, led the Gators to national championships in 2007 and 2009. Tim was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010. Tim was born in the Philippines where his parents were Christian missionaries, but he spent most of his childhood in Florida where he was homeschooled along with his siblings. A Florida law allowing homeschoolers to play on public school sports teams enabled Tebow to play football in high school. He led his team to the state championship and was twice named Player of the Year. Asked how he felt about being the first homeschooler to win the Heisman Trophy, Tim replied, "That's really cool. A lot of times people have this stereotype of homeschoolers as not very athletic - it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that - it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that."
Christopher Paolini of Paradise Valley, Montana, was 15 years old when he began writing Eragon. The book became a best-seller and was even made into a movie. "Everything I did was only possible because my parents were dedicated and loving enough to homeschool my sister and me," Paolini said. "My mother took the time to instruct us every day. Aside from textbook lessons, she had us perform many exercises designed to stimulate our creativity." Paolini was able to pursue his passions and develop his talents to a higher level than is possible in an ordinary school setting, and he wasn't afraid to tackle projects by educating himself. He also learned that a little hard work and persistence pays off.
Alex and Brett Harris
are home-schooled twin brothers who co-authored a book, gained widespread media attention, and inspired young people across the country to "Do Hard Things" while still in their teens. Alex and Brett began a blog in August 2005 as "a teenage rebellion against low expectations." By the following year it had expanded to become a website, TheRebelution.com
. Besides serving as the main speakers for The Rebelution Tour conferences, Alex and Brett are frequent contributors to Focus on the Family's Boundless
webzine as well as in publications like WORLD magazine, Breakaway
, and Ignite Your Faith
Akiane Kramarik has seen her artwork exhibited in museums around the world since she was ten. The homeschooler taught herself to draw at age four, began painting at age six, and started writing poetry when she was seven. She also speaks four languages: Lithuanian, Russian, English, and sign language. From an early age, Akiane showed a high degree of technical skill in making strikingly realistic paintings. They appear to have been made by the steady hand and experienced eye of a much older, professional artist. It was this fine quality of her art that led her to be labeled as a child prodigy. According to Kramerik, God taught her how to paint and write, and has been appearing and speaking to her in dreams and visions since she was three. Akiane's mom, a Lithuanian immigrant, was an atheist and her American father was a non-practicing Catholic. They, along with Akiane's four brothers, are now devout Christians as a result of her influence. Kramarik's paintings have sold for as much as $1,000,000, making her one of the world's wealthiest teens. Akiane gives a substantial portion of her sales to charity.
BarlowGirl is a popular contemporary Christian group made up of three talented sisters - Alyssa, Rebecca, and Lauren. The girls were raised in a highly musical environment since their dad was a worship music leader at Willow Creek, an Evangelical Christian megachurch. Their own music is a refreshing blend of melodic voices and positive messages. The sisters pattern their lifestyle around Romans 12:2. Parents Vince and MaryAnn Barlow stated, "We decided early on when we homeschooled the children that it's about character, not knowledge, and so that's what we tried to instill in them."
The Jonas Brothers - Kevin, Joe and Nick - are a rock 'n' roll band known for their wholesome image. The homeschooled brothers are committed Evangelical Christians who wear purity rings and abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Their father is an ordained minister and co-founder of Christ for the Nations Music ministry. Despite their background, the Jonas Brothers decided not to play Contemporary Christian music so they could reach a wider audience. The Jonas Brothers are aware of the positive influence they can have on millions of kids, and it's a responsibility they take seriously. "We want to be a Christian influence in the pop music world," said Nick. "It's definitely a mission field." The Jonas Brothers donate 10% of earnings to their non-profit Change for the Children Foundation. After Nick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13, he teamed up with Bayer Diabetes Care as a diabetes ambassador for young people.
The 5 Browns - Ryan, Melody, Greg, Deondra and Desirae - are breathing new life into the classical music genre with their youthful exuberance and dynamic stage presence, awakening the joy of classical music among audiences of all ages. While many teens think classical music is "old and boring," The 5 Browns consider it to be current and relevant. These piano virtuosos are adept at performing individually or together in various combinations from duets to complex five-piano arrangements. The homeschooled siblings became the first family of five ever accepted simultaneously to the Juilliard School of Music.
Erik Demaine joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he was only 20 years old, becoming the youngest professor ever at MIT. Erik had an unconventional educational back-ground of homeschooling on the road followed by entering college at an early age. Demaine was raised by his father, a goldsmith and glassblower whose only degree was from high school. Together, father and son traveled to art shows in the U.S. and Canada where they sold crafts to support their journey. Erik's father instructed him for as little as an hour each day from a homeschool manual, leaving Erik free to pursue his own interests and spend time reading in local libraries. Erik started college at 12 years of age and finished his bachelor's degree two years later at age 14. A mathematical and computational genius, Demaine was named "one of the most brilliant scientists in America" by Popular Science. Demaine is the leading theoretician of "origami mathematics," which uses paper origami models to demonstrate mathematical concepts and apply them to disciplines like architecture, robotics, and molecular biology. In 2008, Erik collaborated with his father on an artistic collection of mathematical origami displayed at the Museum of Modern Art.
Zac Sunderland set off on a quest at age 16, not only to see the world and to have the adventure of a lifetime, but also to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. A homeschooled straight-A student, Zac brought his books to study on board so he could finish his high school education during the 40,000-mile journey. Thirteen months later he returned, the first person under 18 to sail all the way around the globe. Soon after, his 16-year-old sister Abby attempted to be the youngest female circumnavigator. She took her books along, too. Although Abby's trip ended abruptly when her boat was dismasted in a storm, she became the youngest person to sail around Cape Horn. Zac and Abby grew up in a sea-faring family and spent their whole lives around boats. A 56-ft. sailboat was their first home, and they also lived aboard a sailboat during a three-year family cruise.
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) is a young Latina Congresswoman listed by TIME Magazine as one of 40 "rising stars of American politics" under age 40. Jaime was homeschooled through ninth grade. "My parents taught me God first, family second, and service to community a close third," Jaime said. In 2001, she performed 2000 hours of community service at Ground Zero in New York. As a college student, Jaime had the opportunity to intern in the Washington State Senate as well as in D.C. After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in political science and communications, Jaime was hired as Senior Legislative Aide for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. By age 29, Jaime was serving in the Washington State Legislature. Elected to the 112th Congress, Jaime is the first homeschooled member of US Congress in recent history.
Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, is a mostly homeschooled Christian who lifted her eyes and hands heavenward when she was announced the winner. The pageant judges were awed by Teresa's confidence, saying she was quite poised for a 17-year-old. Homeschooled until her junior year in high school, she then graduated early by taking a double load of classes. Teresa plans to attend Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. Although she has to defer enrollment until after her reign is over, Teresa will be able to utilize the $50,000 Miss America scholarship to pay for her college education. Scanlan wants to study American government and eventually pursue a career in law and politics. Her platform as Miss America is "Eating Disorders: a Generation at Risk."
Lila Rose, President of Live Action, has been rallying pro-life activists and rattling abortion industry advocates since 2004. Homeschooled through the end of high school while attending a Christian school and a junior college part-time, Rose was just 15 years old when she started Live Action. After enrolling in UCLA, she founded a pro-life student magazine, The Advocate, now distributed nationwide. Rose's undercover campaigns at Planned Parenthood centers across the country have exposed staff members repeatedly breaking laws, covering up abuse, and giving inaccurate medical information.
Bethany Hamilton, an avid surfer since age 8, started homeschooling after sixth grade so she could devote more time to the sport. One day she was attacked by a tiger shark off the North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii, which resulted in the loss of her left arm. Less than a month later, the 13-year-old returned to surfing with an unbelievably positive attitude. Overcoming all odds, Bethany went on to win several professional championships. The story of her tragedy and determination to rise above adversity has inspired millions worldwide. Hamilton launched her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, to support shark attack survivors and traumatic amputees. She is also involved in other charities as well as Christian organizations committed to sharing the gospel with the surfing community. Her autobiography, Soul Surfer, is now a major motion picture.
The World Around Us, by Evangeline
I changed my opinions about the Royal Wedding after watching it. I am not a person who changes opinions easily as I can be pretty stubborn about what I think. Before watching the Royal Wedding, I thought that it was overrated. Now I think that it was overrated, but worthwhile watching.
The run-up fuss over the Royal Wedding was a royal nightmare for many newsreaders. There were articles after articles about the Royal Wedding. Writers speculated about the wedding dress, the wedding guest list, and many other details about the wedding. On the day of the wedding, it dominated front-page news headlines.
As an avid online newsreader, it gave me a headache to have to scroll past articles about the Royal Wedding. Okay, that was an exaggeration but I found it annoying at the amount of attention focused on the Royal Wedding when there were many other urgent matters that could be reported on like for example, the conflict in the Middle East. If the Royal Wedding's purpose was to divert attention away from the gloom of bad economy and political situations, it certainly worked.
I had to find out why the press was so obsessed over the Royal Wedding. I watched it.
After spending five hours watching the live coverage of the event, I finally began to understand why fanatics of the wedding couldn't stop talking about it. It was a fairytale wedding. The wedding was traditional, the music was fantastic, the bride was beautiful, the wedding dress was gorgeous, carriages were used as a mode of transportation, and finally, royalty not only from England but from many Commonwealth nations were present as well. Of course, weird looking hats worn by the ladies doesn't count!
If there were a vote for the Wedding of the Year, no doubt the Royal Wedding would have won. It was, in every sense, perfect right from the start. I tweeted approximately over a 100 tweets while watching the Royal Wedding and I don't have any regrets watching it because it is a once in a lifetime experience. When His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge becomes king and queen one day and my grandchildren asks me if I had watched their wedding, I would proud to tell them "yes".
However, now that the Royal Wedding is over, the voracious British press is fascinated with the married life of the newlyweds. Even though I enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding, reading articles about the married life of Prince William and Princess Catherine is not something I would do. There needs to be a boundary between being interested in royal affairs and being a busybody. I have never Google-d to read more about the couple for leisure purposes and don't plan to have that changed anytime soon.
My conclusion about the Royal Wedding is that it was an interesting and captivating event, I'm glad I watched it, but life goes on as usual.
Evangeline is a 16-year old homeschooler from Malaysia. She likes reading, writing, editing Wikipedia, listening to music and surfing the net. She is always on the lookout for new posts for her blog: http://sugarpeach.wordpress.com
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Homeschool Friendly Colleges
Bucknell University is a private liberal arts university located alongside the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the rolling countryside of Central Pennsylvania in the town of Lewisburg, 60 miles north of Harrisburg. The campus is bordered by the river on one side and the Victorian-era neighborhoods of downtown Lewisburg on the other.
Because of its rural location and lack of nearby large cities, Bucknell may seem fairly isolated. However, downtown Lewisburg is within a short walking distance of the campus and features a variety of shops, museums, galleries, restaurants, and historic downtown movie theater in addition to old-fashioned Victorian "gingerbread houses."
Bucknell University seeks to educate students to serve the common good and promote justice in ways sensitive to the moral and ethical dimensions of life. Founded in 1846 as the University at Lewisburg, Bucknell traces its origin to a group of Baptists who deemed it "desirable that a Literary Institution should be established in Central Pennsylvania, embracing a High School for male pupils, another for females, a College and also a Theological Institution."
Bucknell was always committed to equal educational opportunities for women. This commitment was reflected in the words of David Jayne Hill of the Class of 1874, who also served as president of the university from 1879 to 1888: "We need in Pennsylvania, in the geographical centre of the state, a University, not in the German but in the American sense, where every branch of non-professional knowledge can be pursued, regardless of distinction of sex."
The university was struggling financially in 1881, but was saved from ruin after being given a substantial donation by William Bucknell, a charter member of the board of trustees. In recognition of Bucknell's generous support of the school, in 1886 the trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the University at Lewisburg to Bucknell University. Today, more than 100 buildings dot the 450-acre campus.
Bucknell features programs in engineering, management, education, and music, as well as nationally ranked and pre-professional programs that prepare students for law and medicine. Bucknell offers 47 majors and 65 minors. Majors include history, mathematics, environmental studies, geology, East Asian studies, management, accounting, biology, chemistry, education, music, art history, English, animal behavior, neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, theatre, and various foreign languages. Students can also design their own majors.
The school's College of Engineering (with majors in electrical, chemical, computer science, mechanical, civil, biomedical and computer engineering) is particularly strong. Among American schools that do not offer a Ph.D. in engineering, Bucknell ranks No. 8. The Chemical Engineering Department ranks No. 4, the Civil Engineering Program No. 5, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Departments No. 6, and the Mechanical Engineering Department No. 7 under the same criteria.
Bucknell is also strong in animal behavior, neuroscience, environmental studies, and ecology. Because Bucknell is larger than many other liberal arts colleges (in fact, it's the nation's largest private liberal arts university), a wide diversity of courses can be offered in these fields; for example: entomology, limnology, mammalogy, invertebrate zoology, ornithology, tropical ecology, ecosystem and community ecology, conservation biology, and social insect courses. Faculty research is active in these areas with many opportunities for student participation, field work, and travel. Bucknell recently received a Solar Scholars grant, and the Bucknell Environmental Center has major initiatives focused on the art, culture, and ecology of the Susquehanna River basin.
Bucknell University is home to an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. ROTC or Military Science education is a four-year program designed to prepare college students for Army service as commissioned officers in the active Army, or part-time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard. First and second year students may also enroll with no commitment to the military. Program requirements include weekly classes, physical training, monthly leadership labs, a semester field training exercise, and a 33-day summer training course between the junior and senior years. Specialized training opportunities include Airborne School, Air Assault School, internships with active duty Army units, or internships with federal government agencies.
Bucknell also has strong programs in Theatre, Dance, Music, and Film, where students work closely with experienced professionals. State-of-the-art performance and practice facilities enhance the undergraduate performing arts experience. In the area of creative writing, the Stadler Center for Poetry has achieved national renown for its commitment to the art of poetry. Bucknell Hall, the first of several buildings given to the university by William Bucknell, now houses The Stadler Center, a literary center offering a wide range of programs and residencies for emerging and established poets and writers.
Primarily an undergraduate institution with 3,400 students, there are also 150 graduate students on the Bucknell campus. Students come from all fifty states and from more than fifty countries. First-year undergraduates are required to live on campus. Some students choose to live off campus after their first year, but the school guarantees on-campus housing for all four years. All on-campus students must purchase a campus meal plan. There are several dining options on campus.
Forty-five percent of Bucknell students study abroad. The University sponsors semester-long programs in four locations: London; Barbados; Tours, France; and Granada, Spain, and several short-term summer programs in locations such as Nicaragua, all of which are staffed by Bucknell professors. Students can also choose to study in a variety of other countries through alternative providers.
Bucknell has nearly 200 student organizations including several different religious groups. The university has a lively Greek community in which approximately 50 percent of eligible students join the school's 13 fraternities and 8 sororities. Bucknell's weekly student newspaper is The Bucknellian and its radio station is WVBU 90.5 FM. Bucknell is part of the Patriot League in Division I athletics. In addition, many student performances and a year-end formal ball provide students with a wide array of activities.
Bucknell is a highly competitive liberal arts university, with a Class of 2015 undergraduate acceptance rate of 27.3%. U.S. News & World Report classifies it as "most selective." Bucknell ranks among the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the number of students that go on to gain their Ph.D's, and is No. 3 on the All-Time List (CoSida) for Producing Academic All Americans. It also ranks in the Top 100 for schools that produce America's top business leaders. It was ranked 30th for liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes rated it 46th in America's Best Colleges.
The 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores for the Class of 2011 that matriculated were 600 and 690 respectively in Critical Reading, and in Math the 25th/75th percentiles were 630 and 710. 81% of students accepted into Bucknell were in the top 10% of their class, and 94% of accepted students were in the top 20% of their class. The student-faculty ratio is 10:1.
The qualities that are considered when Bucknell admissions officers evaluate applications include: academic achievement, talent, good character, leadership skills, and high quality writing. While grades, test scores and recommendations are extremely important, they also want students who show they want to cultivate passions outside of the classroom and contribute to their communities in bold and compassionate ways.
At Bucknell, students are free to take creative and thoughtful risks. "As students realize their own potential through risk, so, too, do they better understand how valuable risk can be in understanding - and making a difference - in the world. We're interested in the kind of positive risk-taking energy you would bring to our University."
Bucknell University welcomes homeschooled students. In particular, they encourage homeschooled students to enroll in a college summer program during the summer before their senior year, or enroll in a college course during their junior or first semester senior year. Application requirements for homeschooled students include: The Bucknell Application with the Home School Supplement, SAT I or ACT test scores, one graded English paper, one writing sample from another subject, and the $60 application fee.
Bucknell's supplemental essays offer an opportunity to demonstrate what makes you uncommon and uniquely you. They enable you to have some fun telling about your talents and interests so the admissions officials can learn about the real person behind the transcripts. Essay questions include: "What are the three most important things Bucknell's faculty and students should know about you?" (up to 200 words each) and "Please describe a time when you found the courage to step outside of your comfort zone to do something unexpected and completely unlike you. Why did you take this risk? What have you learned from the experience?" (up to 500 words)
Bucknell University won an award for best college website with its interactive virtual tour. Visitors to the site can click buttons to complete sentences that describe their interests and characteristics. The site then shows visitors a campus map, with arrows pointing to programs and areas at the university in which those interests might be developed. Visitors can also read related blurbs about Bucknell and click on multimedia describing the Bucknell experience.
For more information, visit http://www.bucknell.edu
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Calvin's Political Column
The Five Pillars of American Restoration Part 4: Education
Education is, in my opinion, and area in public policy where we cannot afford to go wrong. The America of tomorrow will be determined by how we educate our youth today. Tomorrow's policy makers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and the like will all be raised from the students who are currently being trained in our Country's education system.
Thus, I believe that it is highly important that we ensure that our youth are getting an education that will raise them to become responsible citizens that will pass the torch in respect to work ethic and freedoms that today's citizens have.
In the United States, the primary means of education for most students are public schools which are funded by the Federal Government. This morning, I want to express my concern for the Public School System, giving four reasons why I feel that it would be in the best interest of our students, as well as our Country, to abolish this system and to stimulate instead the growth of private schools and home-schooling, as well as various advanced distance learning programs.
The first reason why I believe that it would be in our best interest to abolish the Public School System is it's unconstitutionality.
The Tenth Amendment states that "Any powers not delegated to the United States (Meaning the Federal Government) by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Nowhere in the Federal Constitution is it stated that the Federal Government should run public education, thus the Public School system is in violation of the Tenth Amendment. Since the Constitution is the highest legal document in the United States legal system, this means that any other law sanctioning the Federal Government's role in education is technically negated by the Constitution. For this reason, it becomes necessary to abolish the public school system in order to retain respect the United States' legal system.
My second argument for abolishing public schools and increasing focus on private schooling, home schooling, and other advanced distance learning programs is the fact that economically, public schools are incredibly inefficient.
Many would suggest that abolishing public schools would not be practical because many families cannot afford private schools. However, in reality, public schooling is much more expensive than the average private school.
In fact, Education Department figures show that the average private elementary school tuition in America is less than $2,500. The average tuition for all private schools, elementary and secondary, is $3,116, or less than half of the cost per pupil in the average public school, $6,857.
Furthermore, whereas private school tuitions are paid exclusively by the guardians of the children benefiting from the system, public schools are mostly paid for through property taxes, which means that every American citizen who owns property must pay for public education, regardless of whether or not they have children who are in the system.
In spite of this massive amount of spending, alongside its unconstitutionality and economic inefficiency, the public school system has failed to provide students with the tools necessary to function properly in higher education as well as in the workplace:
The following is an excerpt from a publication by the Cato Institute focused on the cost of private schools:
"Another indicator of the government schools' failure is the number of colleges and businesses doing the work of the high schools: by the late 1980s, 25 percent of U.S. college freshmen were taking remedial math courses, 21 percent were taking remedial writing courses, and 16 percent were taking remedial reading courses. A recent survey of 200 major corporations found that 22 per- cent of them teach employees reading, 41 percent teach writing, and 31 percent teach mathematical skills. The American Society for Training and Development projected in 1990 that 93 percent of the nation's biggest companies would be teaching their workers basic skills within the next three years."
Those numbers are simply unacceptable. We cannot allow this status quo of poor education standards for our students to continue if our nation is to remain the entrepreneurial powerhouse that has been accredited as being throughout it's history thus far.
While our current education system is undoubtedly a failure, I will not leave without providing you with what I believe is a viable solution to the problems presented. What follows is my step by step plan for saving American education.
As is the case in any task as daunting as the one that we face, it is appropriate that those who would be influential in this transformation of American education get together and outline certain attainable goals for this transformation.
I believe that a significant amount of planning by these leaders in education would be necessary in order to make certain that future generations are equipped with an understanding of the American principles of self-government, thrift, and reliance on Divine Providence.
This planning would make certain that the transformation fulfills it's goal of providing each of our students with an excellent education.
The second step in this plan is the abolishing of the department of Education, as well as any governmental involvement in youth education. An emphasis on the development of private schools, home-schooling, and advanced distance learning programs would take the place of public schools in educating American students. Rather than doing so in one fell-swoop, I believe that some kind of transitional process towards this goal of privatized education would be called for.
After both of these steps have been implemented, it is my belief that education will not only be held to a higher standard, but will also be cheaper than current methods.
Calvin is fourteen years old, and lives in Granbury, Texas. He is a devoted Christian, and regularly attends church worship services. Some of his activities include following political stories, reading, playing air soft and video games with friends, and doing school work. Calvin owns http://teensforliberty.com, a political site for American teens and young adults interested in politics.
Petra: The Red City
By Micha Banschick
I was walking in a narrow canyon that became darker and darker until it was almost pitch black. I started hearing people exclaiming in excitement. Then, all of a sudden, I was shading my eyes. I came out from the gloomy canyon into the open sky with sun in my eyes. What I saw standing before me was an amazing temple carved in red rock - the Treasury.
The treasury is a front of a temple carved in stone and is the most impressive part of Petra. It rises to two levels with classical columns and sculptures. Our guide said that the architecture is of a mixture of styles, including Greek and Egyptian. It is called Treasury because the Bedouins (Nomadic Arabs) in the area believed that there were treasures hidden inside.
The Siq (looking up)
The astonishing city of Petra is located in southern Jordan, in the Arabah valley. Petra looks like a sun dried sandy stone with a cluster of air pockets. The sun blazes the eyes with burning heat as you try to snatch a look at the city. Details are scratched out by the sun and everywhere you look, you see the color of sandstone. The ground is soaking wet and slippery. This is often the case because there is constant flooding in there in the winter. There is only one way in and out of the city. This pathway is a canyon, called the Siq (which means shaft). The Siq is an amazing thing on its own. The tall walls of sandstone are carved by water and wind into all kinds of beautiful shapes.
The Siq (showing the path)
Petra was founded by a group of people known as the Nabataeans (pronounced Na-ba-te-yans) around 6th century BC. The Nabataeans used to be a people who traded in the desert. They bartered spices and incenses to people from distant lands. Slowly they decided that a nomadic way of life wasn't fit for them anymore. They established a few cities on the trading route. The greatest accomplishment of this change from a nomadic life to an urban life was Petra. It became the capital of Nabataea. Soon, the city flowed with wealth.
Elephant head carved in sandstone by
water and wind
The city is practically a city of caves, having so many of them. The great Nabataeans, who populated the city fancied the art of burial. In fact, the Nabataeans carved tombs out of the rocks. Petra is mostly sandstone so it was easy to carve into the rocks. The Nabataeans also carved small water channels in the walls of the Siq to carry drinking water down into the city.
The Nabataeans' religion was mostly a mixture of other surrounding religions. I saw many little niches which were carved for idol worship. They worshiped Arab gods, mainly Dushara and his female cohorts. Also, in Nabataean religion, the worship of the sun, moon, planets, and stars, particularly the zodiac signs such as Ares and Capricorn, were very important.
Another impressive part of Petra is the Amphitheater. It is carved entirely in stone and it was probably able to sit a few thousand people. A little further from the Amphitheater, you can see amazing tombs carved in the side of the mountain.
When Petra was at its prime glory, it declined and her people left her. We don't know the exact reason but historians think that it was because there was a big earthquake around 363 AD which destroyed much of Petra. In addition, the trading routes changed by then so Petra's importance subsided. Luckily for us, some of the beauty of Petra survived so we can enjoy seeing it today.
Micah Banschick is a 7th grader currently living in Jerusalem, where he is homeschooled by his mother and Dr. Bob Gallagher, an online tutor. To enrich his education, he writes essays about his experiences in Israel. When in the USA, Micah attends the Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, Connecticut.
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King James Bible 400th Anniversary
The King James Bible was introduced by the Church of England on May 2nd, 1611. At the beginning of King James I's reign in 1603 A.D., he commissioned an English translation of the Bible from a committee of fifty-four translators. This significant undertaking was called the "Authorized Version," later known as the "King James Bible." King James intended for his Authorized Version to replace the Geneva Bible, the popular Protestant translation at that time.
This "translation to end all translations" (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They took into consideration: The Tyndale New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even the Rheims New Testament. However, examination of the 1611King James Bible shows that its translators were influenced much more by the Geneva Bible than by any other source. Nevertheless, the King James version is regarded as a masterpiece of English literature due to its flowing language and rhythmic prose.
The King James Bible took seven years to complete and was the third official English version of the sacred text; the first having been the "Great Bible" commissioned by the Church of England during the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second having been the Bishop's Bible of 1568. Now the most popular Bible translation, the King James Version was not an overnight success. (In fact, the Geneva Bible remained more popular for decades after the KJV's original release! The Geneva also holds the honor of being the first Bible taken to America, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims.)
First printed by the King's Printer, Robert Barker, the original folio book of the King James Bible was very large: approximately 17" tall, 30" wide when opened, and it weighed nearly 30 pounds. The large folio also contained a variety of informational materials including a note on the translation, a map of the Holy Land, a full calendar of the church year, and an extensive genealogical chart from Adam and Eve to Christ. These original 1611 Bibles were expensive and were chained to the front pulpit of churches, to prevent them from being stolen.
Today, the King James Bible is described as the most important and influential printed book in the English language, reigning supreme over other translations. The Internet age has greatly expanded its reach. Tracking down a biblical reference is now just a matter of typing key words or phrases into an internet search engine. You can read the entire King James Bible from the convenience of your computer. Mobile applications for iPhones and iPads are available for Bible lovers on the go. A "Twitter Bible" summarizes over 31,000 Bible verses into nearly 4000 short-form tweets. The YouTube Bible is the King James Bible Trust's ambitious project to create a complete reading of the King James Bible on YouTube.
HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton opted for a traditional-language marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey. It is believed that their decision was made indirectly to honor this year's 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, as HRH The Prince of Wales is patron of the King James Bible Trust, which was established to celebrate the Authorized Version's 400th year.
The King James Bible Trust's main aims are: to reflect the global importance of the King James Bible and the role it has played in spreading the English language around the world; promote events and celebrations throughout 2011 to ensure that as many people as possible can encounter the King James Bible by the year's end; and highlight the significant contribution that the King James Bible continues to make. Fundamentally the trust wants to leave a lasting legacy for future generations, by ensuring that this great work of literature and learning is still read and taught in years to come.
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