why should you buy this, do that, believe this-and-such?
Seriously, I'm not that vain. But I have come to a life conclusion. Because I have reached a certain age and experienced things (like farming) that I never in my wildest, most foolish childhood proclamations did I ever imagine experiencing... I have come to this conclusion: It's quite possible that I might know more than you.
I also know what I like, what I believe works and what I believe is a good value. I will only recommend something if I believe in it and have used it.
For example: If you are in the market for a new family van, get a Honda Odyssey Should I tell you why you should buy it? Write some fancy review and come up with a hokey star or thumbs-up system? No and Heck No. Just get one. End of story. Besides, you will undoubtedly hate one little thing or another no matter what you get. Then you'll hate me because I didn't mention that the volume button didn't have click-stops, thus not allowing for precise and accurate volume control to the nearest tenth of a decibel. Am I right? You bet. But in in spite of your anal retentiveness about volume control, I believe no one will ever be let down in a major way, when they buy this vehicle. Done! [Caption: 2000 Honda Odyssey cup holder accessorized with the popular homeschooler/carschooler modification.]
So please enjoy my thoughts on various products, methods and ideas. And remember:
- Your mileage may vary - Objects may appear closer than they really are - Check your mirrors, buckle-up.
books i would recommend if you could only buy one
movies we've watched and liked and don't mind recommending to you
Why are we putting movie reviews on our farm site? Good question. Ever since we moved to our Promised Farm in October of 2006, we have (conveniently, some would whisper) forgotten to hook up our TV to an antenna, satellite dish or cable. (We'll leave out the fact that we seem to be so far off the road, that the cable guys can't imagine walking that far to hook things up, so they don't.)
Anyway... we just keep forgetting to hook up the tube. And the kids don't seem to be any worse for the wear or in any way psychologically damaged. We don't deprive our kids of TV because we're psycho Right Wing Conservative Ultra Religious Crunchy Homeschoolers. Oh no! We're just parents exercising our prerogative to act like parents.
So we mostly just watch videos. We get a lot from the library, rent rarely, and on certain worthwhile occasions, we buy a video for our collection. It's from this worthy collection that we don't mind giving brief reviews so that other parents can enjoy these films with us.
I've included a link to a movie reviewing site I've been using for years: ScreenIt.com. They are the most consistent family friendly and unbiased reviewing service I've found. They don't shy away from bad or downright evil movies, but they lay it all out there so that the parents can make the decisions about watching. You know... parents acting like parents?
If you have a response (good or bad) to any of our reviews, don't be shy and e-mail me at DitsyChixfirstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to include any comments or even video reviews from your family.
Evan Almighty We liked this film so much, we bought it. (And we don't buy a lot of movies especially sequels.) It's rare to find a film with "God" in the cast, that doesn't end up poking snarky fun at the people who believe in Him. And while the film portrays people doing that very thing, one can't imagine the real Noah, not going through the same experience. (Remember the Bill Cosby bit on Noah? "Vooopah, vooopah, vooopah ... "NOAH!" "WHAT?") And just like in the story of Noah in the Bible, everything comes out the way God wanted it in the end. In spite of what everyone involved (including the Noah character) thought about it. We like watching this film when we need a reminder of what's important and what isn't important. This family lost everything, including their new house and fancy toys and cars. And not once did anyone complain about it. They had each other, and they had a new, stronger faith, because they saw that God keeps His promises, even if you don't have a clue what that promise is about. Be faithful.
Finding Nemo This is one of those films where you just have to trust me on this. Just get it. Why waste a lot of time telling you of all the great family/life lessons that come packed in this beautifully crafted film? Why tell the dirty little secret that I tear up several times (Being a Full-Time Dad and all, I think I relate to the Clown Fish more than I do, say, Dori but the kids say I do a great impersonation of Crush, the surfer turtle.) during the film, even at the parts that aren't sad. It's just one of those films that should be in every video library. Period. End of story.
Horton Hears a Who We watched this film (The new Jim Carrey version) while waiting for the New Year to ring in. The kids liked it well enough, and there truly were some funny bits. I was particularly tickled by the Kangaroo character (Carol Burnett) getting all bent and worried that her child might be adversely affected by Horton's imaginativeness. "That's why my child is Pouch Schooled!" LOL! Some homeschoolers might take offense, but my philosophy is, if you can't laugh at yourself when people make bad jokes at your expense, then you lose the game. The jokes are going to be made anyway. Might as well show a little spine. Sticks and Stones and all that....
I have been leery of Jim Carrey films for kids since the live version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the equally not really made for children version of The Cat In The Hat, with Mike Myers. Maybe it's because this is an animated film (CGI - and impressive in that respect) rather than live people in makeup. Carrey's thing is mostly visual. He had to rely solely on his voice talents to carry the character. And for the most part it works well. All in all, it's not a bad film to watch from time to time. Certainly worthy of collecting if you can find it at a discount.
Homeschooling is not a
pedagogy, it's a lifestyle.
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