Monday, October 12, 2015

Teaching Our Kids to Read, Taking More Than What's Offered, Rich and Powerful People, and Demanding Narcissists

1. Read an article about how homeschooling is becoming more common in Victoria.

The article says that there are 4,136 kids registered; though there might be more homeschoolers whose parents didn't want to register them.

At the end of the article, there are quotes from an anti-homeschooling person,—David Zyngier. At first he doesn't seem anti-homeschooling, because he says that homeschooling could be a success.  But then the article goes on to paraphrase him, saying,  But most parents did not have the qualifications or necessary experience to make home-schooling a success.

Really? These parents don't know how to read? Write? Talk to their kids? Listen to their kids? Understand their kids?

I imagine there are a small number of uneducated and unintelligent people trying to homeschool their kids. But I would think most parents would be smart enough to help their kids learn.

David Zyngier also says,  Teaching a child to read is one of the most complex and difficult things that a child will ever undertake. Some children will require intervention by experts and we call them teachers. 

I'm guessing he meant to say Learning to read rather than teaching a child to read. Or he meant to say parents will ever undertake rather than a child will ever undertake. 

I wonder if Zyngier made the mistake; or was it the person writing the article?

Anyway, it doesn't matter. But I disagree with it. I don't think teaching a child to read is rocket science.  Are there some children who will have a lot of trouble with it?  Yes. If the parents can't handle the situation on their own; then the parent can get them a special tutor. The same child would likely need a tutor if they were in private or public school.

2. Felt that teaching a child to read is one of those things that parents can learn by checking out a book at the library and/or visiting a website.

I think, though, that university professors in the education department don't want to admit to this. They want to believe that professional teachers, who have obtained special teaching degrees, are absolutely essential to society.

3. Saw many websites via Google that teach parents how to teach their kids to read.

This one looked especially good to me.

4. Thought that it's better for parents to help their kids learn to read rather than teachers, because they can spend more one on one time with the child. Even if parents send their child to school, I think it's best that they help with the reading-education.  I think it's sad and unfortunate when parents take on the attitude that this is something that needs to be left to the professionals.

5. Thought about how some children will learn to read on their own without any adult help. Some children will learn with help from their parents. Some will learn from a teacher. Some will need parents,  plus a teacher and/or a tutor.

6. Thought that we should see education as the same way we see cooking.

There are special cooking schools that turn people into professional chefs. Those of us who aren't chefs can still learn to cook by watching cooking shows, reading recipes, and practicing in our own kitchens.  If and when we feel like it, we can utilize the professionals by eating at restaurants or attending catered events. But most of us don't fully rely on professional chefs to feed us and our families. We have faith that we can cook despite not having a fancy degree.

7.  Thought about how it's not really enlightened-homeschooling-parents that are replacing the need for professional teachers. It's the Internet.

I helped Jack to read...a little bit. But I think a large amount of his learning came from a phonics website.

Now for high school, I'm not teaching Jack history and science. We're both being taught by John and Hank Green via YouTube videos.  I'm definitely more of an educational coordinator than a teacher....or a fellow student, really.

8. Started watching an episode of Underbelly: Razor.

9. Responded to a QuizUp Challenge, and played a game of Tasmania QuizUp. I lost, but did fairly well.

See? I've learned a lot about Australia in the last few years, and I didn't have a professional teacher to teach me. I learned with the help of the Internet, books, and Australians eager to share their knowledge with me.

10. Decided that Saskia Burmeister in Underbelly reminds me of Sally Field.

11. Thought that this episode of Underbelly has an important message. Rape is rape, even if you are a prostitute who said yes to some earlier sex acts.

Saskia Burmeister plays Ida Maddocks, a mother of two. Her family is struggling, because her husband is having trouble making enough money.  In order to get food for her children, she offers her body and services to some men.  All is well. The men get their sex. Maddocks gets her money. But then the men decide they want more. They force her into having anal sex.

It's like going to a garage sale. You buy an old clock. You're happy. The seller is happy. But then you decide you want their car that's not for sale. If you take the car, that's theft.

12. Started watching the second part of Howzat: Kerry Packer's War

13. Got idea from the show that Kerry Packer fits the stereotype of a rich and powerful man being demanding and narcissistic.

14. Wondered if it's possible for a wealthy and powerful person to NOT be demanding and narcissistic.

I kind of doubt it. I bet, though, that some are better than others at being decent, fair, and understanding.

Some rich and powerful people might only go into asshole mode when they themselves have been treated unfairly. There might be an attitude of, how dare you treat someone like ME that way? Don't you know who I am?  In this case, though, I'm talking about circumstances that would make most anyone angry or frustrated. It's just the rich and powerful person feels they are even more injured, because they have a sense of entitlement.  An example might be being ignored at a restaurant while people who came after you are served first.

I think some rich and powerful people have a very high degree of awfulness. They are extremely demanding and have very unfair and unrealistic expectations.  They treat their employees horribly, and also their family and friends. They don't try to hide their awfulness which is pretty much in action all the time.

Then I think maybe there are wealthy and powerful people who often remain decent, but sometimes go off the deep end. Maybe they're having a bad day. Maybe they suffered a loss. Maybe they have indigestion.  When things are not going right for them, they go a bit nuts and become scary.

I think maybe Kerry Packer was in the latter category.  I just watched a scene where things were going bad for him, and he lashed out on his assistant and other people. He was unfair and awful, but I'm guessing he wasn't like that all the time.

15. Felt bad for Gavin Warner (Craig Hall). Kerry Packer is always picking on him. On top of that, the poor guy has an ulcer and family problems.

I decided to try and find out if Gavin Warner is still alive, and what he's up to. I guess I wanted reassurance that he's okay now.

It turns out he doesn't exist. He's a fictionalized character.

16. Saw woman thanking Kerry Packer for opening some type of room/place to women. I guess before there was some sexism.

Anyway, I got the idea that the actress portrayed the murdered drug-fighter's widow in Underbelly; and I was right. IMDb says the actress is Diane Craig.

17. Decided that I like the musical score of Howzat.

18. Learned that one of the characters of Howzat—John Cornell—cowrote and produced Crocodile Dundee.

19. Learned that the composer for Howzat was a guy named Stephen Rae.

Rae also composed the music for Love My Way, Paper Giants, Rush, and several other things.

20. Went to to pick my next TV show.

It's season two of Rake, which I'll watch on Netflix.

I loved season one of Rake. I hope I love the second season as well.

21. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 97th song which is Japanese Wallpaper's "Between Friends"; featuring Jesse Davidson.

22. Saw that there's a video claiming to be the official video of "Between Friends". I'm skeptical, though, because it has less views than another "Between Friends" video. Usually, the official video has the most views.

23. Saw that the video with more views is just the song, really. It's not a music video.

24. Decided to watch the maybe-official video of "Between Friends". I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

25. Liked the imagery in the video.

There are some beautiful shots.

Here's an example.

26. Thought about how I really need to go through and organize/clean up all the screenshots I have saved on my desktop. A lot of them need to be trashed.