What I’m Reading, Thinking, Doing – 8/14/15

What I'm Reading, Thinking, Doing 7/25/15 -- jessconnell.com


  • The disappearance of childhood and what we can do to get it back ~ by Jamie @ Simple Homeschool
  • I appreciate this article: Is Self-Promotion Sinful?—  it hits at a lot of questions that have nagged at my brain. Authors are in a different place now than in the last hundred years because publishers have all but stopped publishing unknowns, and so in order to have a book published at all, one has to be self-promoting or find others who will do so for you (which is still self-promoting, in a less direct way), and it makes for a conundrum for the Christian writer who wants to promote Christ and yet also explore the options that exist for him/her to eke out a living in print media.
  • levisonA Charlotte Mason Education: A Homeschooling How-To Manual— I’ve recently picked up this book again, by Catherine Levison, as a gentle nudge toward this whole book philosophy I’m moving back toward this year. I try to self-motivate and invigorate our homeschool through reading/re-reading a book or two every year about home education.


  • How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life — (warning: language) 14 minutes of insightful, thought-provoking TED commentary about social media, bullying, humiliation, public shame, followed by a short Q&A. What is the outcome of public jump-on-the-bandwagon shaming of private individuals? Have we created a market for constant, artificial, high-dramas where everybody’s always a magnificent hero or a sickening villain, even though we know that’s not true? 
  • About the relationship between education and discipline — because the lyrics to an old song came to mind: “School Days” (written in 1907) “reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of the hickory stick.” I looked it up because I couldn’t remember all the lyrics, and this article with alternative lyrics for different generations came up.

The real 1907 lyrics: (about education in the first half of 20th century)

School Days, School Days
Dear old golden rule days
Reading, and writing and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of a hickory stick
You were my queen in Calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
You wrote on my slate I love you so
When we were a couple of kids

This guy’s proposed lyrics for education in the 2nd half of the 20th century:

School Days, Schools Days
Let’s go challenge the rules days
Lectures and filmstrips in monotone
Taught with the threat of a note sent home
You were the girl in a mini skirt
I wore bells with a bright red shirt
I sent you a note and tried to flirt
When we were a couple of kids

And his proposed lyrics about education in the 21st century:

School Days, School days
Oh, what are the rules these days
Powerpoints and Smartboards and Ebook Time
Daily updates of grades on line
You were the girl whose jeans would drag
I was the boy whose trousers sagged
I’d text on my cell, replies would lag
When we were a couple of kids

His renderings ade me laugh, but also made me think.

Discipline is out. The Golden Rule isn’t common practice, much less common knowledge. Educational standards are down.  But, now, instead of innocent, heartfelt “I love yous” written on a slate, there’s sexting and social media bullying and anonymous hook-ups, arranged by smartphone apps. So many things in that first verse have been systematically wiped out: discipline in the process of education, bashfulness as a suitor, affection and joy in relationship, relationships without sexual intimacy, and more.

But hey, at least people now are advocating for your rights as a student, so that as a minor you can get an abortion and get a sex change without your parents’ knowledge. Priorities, people! It’s sad, what we’ve traded in for “feminism” and “choice,” and how very little we’ve gained as compared to all we’ve lost.


  • My husband has– since before we met– been stellar at regular, lengthy Bible memorization. He’s really great about leading me and our children to memorize passages together. That said, I still fall down on the job unless he’s prodding me along. To redeem some of my smartphone time (while nursing– when I’ve otherwise been browsing Facebook or playing a ridiculous number of SpadesPlus games) I recently downloaded this app: Verse Rain. And it’s helped me to “set my mind on things above” while nursing multiple times a day. Hoping to diminish my Spades addiction, which I can boast I’ve had since learning to play in 7th grade pre-algebra, I’ve been doing a series of verses before I let myself play Spades. The words rain down in a semi-random order, and you have to put them in the right order before the time is up. It’s simple, quick, and a great way to refocus your mind. Great for kids too!
  • I went camping last week, and it was wonderful. I may write a post about some things I learned, but it really was an enjoyable time with our church family, and I’m so grateful for the gentle introduction to something I was extremely intimidated about. God, and our church family, were very gracious to us.

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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1 Response

  1. Kondwani says:

    I knew you’d love the camping! I look forward to hearing more about it

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