Ok, I've got an iPhone!! Feeling so happy in my geekdom.
I'm loading up and auditioning apps. So far, I love the games Gaia Lite and TapOut. For Twitter, the current top contenders are Tweetdeck (which I use on my MacBook) and twitterific. I love the look of twitbird and that it automatically threads conversations but then there is a lot more clutter on screen--- and thus more scrolling. I hear greT things abt tweetie but i want to put off paying fir apps as long as possible.
I spent some time following various Christian paths when I was a kid. My favorite for ritual and imagery was always Catholicism. And my favorite religious season was Lent. I loved Ash Wednesday mass---from the readings to the imposition of ashes on forehead. And I always felt renewed by the act of forgoing a pleasure or habit during Lent---for a lack of something in my day that would remind me of and keep me connected to the divinity and the upcoming Holy Days of Palm Sunday through Easter Monday.
I am no longer Christian---truthfully I never was. I never felt any connection to Jesus Christ at all. And I was always more interested in Mary's story than that of God or Christ. While the feminine imagery of Catholicism is much of what drew me in, it was ultimately the Church's dismissal of feminism that really turned me off (and pushed me into the arms of the Methodist Church for a while. lol).
As a pagan, I find following the Wheel of the Year very intuitive. Paganism is a user-friendly path. And it reminds me that nearly all culture and religions have similar annual paths. Christians are not the only ones who spend the time between mid-winter and Spring in reflection and denial. Traditionally, we are using up the last of winter stores of food. So many of us are feeling done with winter weather, although we know we have plenty more to get through. This is a time of planning, of change, of meditation and quiet. The reminder on Ash Wednesday is that we have things we may wish to repent for and we have habits we may wish to change. I can get in line with that. Lent is a lesson in atonement and connecting to your spirituality on a very tangible basis. I can totally dig on that.
So I read some stuff on Pagan Lent. Lent, like many other Christian religious observances, has a lot of ties to ancient pagan religions. Urban dictionary actually defines it as a time of abstaining from alcohol between Mardi Gras and St Patrick's Day. I'd never heard that slang usage but I kind of like it. School of the Seasons has a great entry on a pagan approach to the Lenten season. I'm thinking of it more as a spiritual practice. And I want to give up something that feeds my soul. My spirituality is less about deprivation and more about honoring the divine in myself. To that end, I am going to work on scheduling some unplugged time---every day. And not to spend that time cleaning or teaching the children or reading or sleeping. But to sit in contemplation or knit (without the tv on) or play cards or meditate.
I maintain that it is the turning of seasons---the need we have to know that spring and rebirth are coming, the desire to cleanse ourselves to be ready to plant new things----that fuels this pull for Lent, for turning inward and connecting with our own spirits so we are regenerated and fresh when it is time to head back outdoors and into society and nature. I can't wait.
Ok, I have the basic workbook pages planned out. On to the videos!
Unit 4's Reading and Language Arts and Writing focus on poetry, comparative writing and vocabulary expansion. No real videos for that. ;)
This unit of math is all about fractions and decimals.
Here's a cheesy but solid introduction to fractions:
The video goes into his lesson plan, which I just downloaded from Video Math Tutor and looks pretty good. We'll give it a whirl alongside the workbook unit we have and I'll let you all know if it's any good. It's free, so there's that! lol It'll most likely depend on how much the girls like the video approach.
We'll be studying US Geography for a bit. Regions, states & capitols, major bodies of water and mountain ranges. We do this unit pretty much every year. lol I think geography is just the kind of thing that builds up over time. Here's Wakko from Animaniacs going through the capitols:
The song that taught me the 50 states in alphabetical order "Fifty Nifty United States!"
Unit 4 Science is all about Electricity and Magnetism. We've got some cool books and experiments. Here's a catchy cheesy Bill Nye tune to set the mood: