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    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    Einstein Never Read this Book...But Maybe He Would Have

    Recently, we picked up a book titled Einstein Never Used Flashcards. It turns out to be a pretty interesting read. The subtitle sort of sums up its central philosophy: How our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less.

    I admit I'm sort of a sucker for learn through play/context ideas in general...it just makes more sense to me, considering that's how I best retain info....and much of the info put forth is review from college coursework I've done. But this book is fairly well-grounded in research and seems to address a number of questionable widely-held assumptions, such as rushing academics in early childhood, "school readiness", and the obsession with "educational toys" ( Baby Einstein, Leap Frog, etc.) .

    I've been refreshed by the author's encouragemet to simplify, relax and not buy into the "accelerated-learning industry" so easily... and that true appreciation of knowledge comes through a "more nurturing home life full of imaginative play and love of learning".

    Of course, there comes a time to incorporate memorization and more academic schooling later on in childhood, but as far as early childhood goes, I have to say I agree with the authors of this here book.

    My humble review ****

    Comprehensive and clearly written compilation of research data and tips for parents and educators of young children. A much needed light in the darkness of our society's tendency to "rush" childhood. I recommend it...food for thought if nothing else.

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    St . Juliana of Lazarevo

    In our research, prayers and thoughts about what to call our new little one, we stumbled upon St. Juliana of Lazarevo. I think I had heard her story briefly a long time ago and something about she being related to the Schememanns somehow. But after reading this captivating account of her life and works, I was moved, humbled, and encouraged and began to seriously consider St. Juliana as our daughter's patron and namesake, although we haven't firmly decided yet.

    She really was an incredible woman...as Aaron put it, she was "hard core". She was mistress of a wealthy Russian household, mother of ten sons and three daughters (six of which died in childhood), and above all a righteous ascetic and lover of God.

    If you are at all interested, I'd encourage you to read her story. It is a little lengthy, but worth it. I really enjoy reading lives of women saints whose lives I can try to relate to...you know, living among the world, caring for children, a household, etc. Although I know I have a long, long way to go, such examples are encouraging nonetheless.

    Holy St. Juliana, pray to God for us!

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    The Countdown is Upon Us

    Someday soon this full-formed, squirmy child will emerge from my body....but for now we wait.

    It's a strange thing to have very little control over the situation...she'll come when she's ready. I just have to keep my oil lamp full, like the virgins waiting for the bridegroom. It's really a good lesson in surrender, you know.

    Want to see a very pregnant me?
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