• geekiness,  homeschooling

    Chess Resources

    We’re into playing strategy games quite a bit right now. Blockus is one of the favorites. It involves placing uniquely shaped tile pieces onto a big grid according to specific rules, particularly that like colored tiles must not share edges but connect at corners. At first my strategy was to try to get rid of all the largest and most awkwardly shaped pieces right at the beginning so that I wouldn’t have the struggle of fitting them in when the board gets more crowded, but I soon began to realize that at times I needed those pieces; they could wind around other player’s pieces and allow me to access other parts…

  • books,  communication,  culture,  God,  meaning of life,  the ethical life

    A book about the Harry Potter books, and the many questions they invoke.

    My current light-reading is the book Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menance behind the Magick by Richard Abanes. In some ways it is a very weird book for me to read because I do not share the author’s conservative Christian religious beliefs. Why then should I concern myself with the criticisms he has of Harry Potter based on those religious beliefs? I am drawn to the book for the chance to see a little window into the ideas of others. How does his understanding of the Bible effect his understanding of Harry Potter? How does his understanding of Harry Potter help me understand my own views of the world? Much of the book ends…

  • A paper dragon made by curving strips of paper and stapling them together.
    books,  homeschooling

    Farmer Giles of Ham and a cardpaper dragon craft

    We’ve been reading fairy tales here the last week or two. First we read a number of Grimm Fairy tales and then some modern rewrites of fairy tales by Gail Carson Levine and we watched the movie Tangled. Then totally by accident I found Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien in the library. It fit beautifully into our fairy-tale theme, holding much in common with the Grimm tale of the Valiant Little Tailor. Both are tales of a not-particularly brave or talented person finding themselves as local heroes who must go on to live up to their reputation. The story is a fun one though the language was a bit…