13 October, 2009

Online Justice Class

Harvard University's Justice with Michael Sandel is an interesting, engaging course that I found last Sunday. The particular course was delving into John Locke's treatises and applying them to specific situations our country has found itself in many times. I am thrilled that it is free and online, and not just available through TV. I stumbled onto the program on our local(ish) TV, non-cable channel thanks to our digital converter box. I was engaged right from the start, so I'm sharing it here in case you can use it in your homeschool high school, as I am going to do, since we are studying American History and some current events this year and next.

If you come up with any ideas of how you are going to use it with your teens, post them back to me, and maybe we can share info or activities.

Ciao for now,


06 October, 2009

Online Civics Web site with Games

I stumbled onto a simple Civics web site yesterday that will be a helpful supplemental resource in teaching and solidifying how our court system works to our last two boys at home. It was created by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. On the site, you will find simple lesson plans for The Constitution, the courts system, how our government works, links to our current Supreme Court Justices, and interactive games.

The two games are called "Do I Have a Right" and "Supreme Decision." I have only previewed Supreme Decision so far.

Did I mention that it is free?


02 October, 2009

National Parks

Some of you are probably getting tired of hearing me plug this program, which has been running all week long on PBS. The series, by Ken Burns, is called "The Naitonal Parks: America's Best Idea."

Some of you know that we are crunchy conservative libertarians (with a couple of Democrats in the immediate family, as well) so it comes as no surprise to you. Personally, I am frustrated by almost all politicians and lobbyists, but that is another post for another time. You know that we love National and State Parks and have extolled their cost-effective and natural, restorative benefits to soul and spirit.
I don't intend to sound mystical. I am a Christ follower, and a preacher's kid. I know the difference between Christianity and Paganism, and a debate on those topics are not my purpose for posting. :-)

I have found in this series an impressive balance between things that are for "the greater good" of society vs. destroying our resources without some responsible efforts and replacing resources that are often and greedily stripped away. This series has presented and showcased both naturalists and rich, capitalist folks and presidents who all worked together to create and protect the wonders in our own nation.

We may not have cathedrals built by human hands, but we have been given some mighty and spectacular sights to oversee and to be good stewards. Some of them look like Cathedrals, some are far larger than European cathedrals, but were created by God himself. I've seen quite a few of those Cathedrals; climbed their narrow, spiraling staircases, being in awe of their beauty. Still, they really cannot compare with naturally carved and created wonders with which we were blessed. A lot of Europeans come to tour our National Parks, and are very impressed by what we have here. Our country may be young as we exist today, but these wonders have been in this land for thousands and thousands of years.

To me, they are but a glimpse of what Heaven may be like; a glimpse of Heaven on Earth while the Lord tarries to take us to His final home for us.

These can be viewed for free online at PBS.com until October 9th, and it is a collection of the best cinematography I have seen in one series. Ken Burns has hit another one out of the ballpark, in my opinion. I also recommend his "Lewis and Clark" series. Extremely beautiful to watch, to listen to (for the music is so well-chosen). His Mark Twain series is also one of my favorites.

I hope you take some time to enjoy the show!

Until later,