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'I'll homeschool': Samantha Mumba in her first TV interview in five years 'I'll homeschool': Samantha Mumba in her first TV interview in five years. The noughties star made a comeback, and we can't get enough! Pop sensation ...
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Dear Fellow Educators,Knowing that you are making plans for the coming school year now, we wanted to tell you about an exciting opportunity that you may want to include—a project that the Library of Congress will officially be announcing in a few weeks.For his second-year project, Juan Felipe Herrera—the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry—wishes to write a story in collaboration with you and your students entitled, “The Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon.”If you are an elementary school librarian and love inspiring your students not only to read but also to write, we hope you—with your second and third graders—will participate in this exciting online project!In September 2016, Herrera and artist Juana Medina will post an illustrated prompt which will introduce the fictitious character, Catalina Neon. The prompt will be posted on the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center’s website. We ask that you and your second or third grade students read the prompt, talk about it, imagine what could happen next, and collaboratively write the next chapter of Catalina’s adventure.You will be able to electronically submit your class’s chapter to the Library of Congress. From the chapters submitted, one will be selected, shared, and illustrated—and you and your class will again be invited to write the next chapter of the adventure. This process will continue five times until June 2017, when Herrera and Medina will post the final chapter.About the project, Juan Felipe Herrera said, “I am so super-thrilled to be working with you in the Neon near future and your amazing Neoni students (yes, that's their new name once they join up with Catalina Neon!).” Herrera went on to say, “Imagine a Neoni-writing nation creating an original children's book, together with Juana Medina's art downloads and you at the center of the Neon table (really!). All this is my dream: to write with the new sparkly word-artists of our time and to have it all online for the whole planet! Become part of the creative heart of our incredible Library of Congress. I just can't wait to Neon with you.”During the course of this adventure, you and your students may get really excited about writing chapters that follow the ones that are selected and posted by the Library—but you may also be inspired to keep writing the story that you begin with your first chapter. That’s okay too! This initiative is intended to inspire writing and collaboration, creativity and sharing.Stay tuned for more details to come and enjoy the rest of your summer!Sincerely,Lee Ann PotterDirector of Educational Outreach
Ladies and Gentlemen,Drop what you're doing. Take 5 minutes to enter this giveaway. You will be THRILLED when you win! The WheelyCow and WheelyBugs are premiering TODAY on Tori and Dean (http://tori-and-dean.oxygen.com/), and this giveaway was scheduled to coincide with the premier! WheelyCows and WheelyBugs retail for $79.99 plus tax on the Prince Lionheart website, but thanks to Prince Lionheart, you can WIN one from the Vaagen Family!Prince Lionheart was so generous to share their WheelyCow with my family! I believe my two year old has been on it ever since it came in the mail 2 months ago! She asks if she can sit on it to eat!This amazing ride-on toy is unlike any other I've seen!! And with 4 kids, I have seen my share of ride-on toys! I'd love to share some of my favorite things about the WheelyCow:1. The wheels GLIDE. They don't leave marks on my hardwood floors! 2. The WheelyCow is QUIET! Even when my little 4 year old rides on it... and that happens very often! No more wondering if it is thundering outside, or if the house is falling down, or if the world is ending when my girls ride through the house!!3. Easy to clean! The WheelyCow is so wonderfully easy to clean- I simply wipe it with a damp towel, and because it has a super-smooth surface, no spilled drinks get stuck in impossible-to-reach cracks... there are none!4. Happiness factor. My girls absolutely LOVE this toy. Of all their toys, this is at the top of the list. I can't help but smile when they keep it by the bottom of the stairs. They wake up in the morning, come downstairs, hop aboard the WheelyCow, and ride it straight to the breakfast table! :)Now you know MY favorite things about the WheelyCow, but let me share my daughters' favorite things about it:1. "The top is made of 'comfy squishy stuff.'" Remember, I'm passing along THEIR words, here! :) (The top is made of leather, with a soft padding underneath! It is VERY comfy!2. "It can go really fast in circles!" This toy allows them to "spin out" in one place! The wheels swivel. allowing for MUCH more fun!3. "The horns." I guess they felt like this part was self-explanatory. The horns on the front of the WheelyCow are on springs, and they wiggle like little bobble-heads! :)4. "The handle is not like normal ones." The handle bar is a semi-circle, which I love for two reasons. First, safety. My girls like to fly around on their riding toys, and they have landed across a square handle bar before, and that hurts! The WheelyCow has a soft, semi-circle handle, which would be much more comfy in that situation!Thank you SO MUCH to Prince Lionheart for allowing me to review this AND the Stroller Accessory package! I truly LOVE your products!Readers, do yourself a favor, and enter this giveaway today!To enter:1. Comment below, with your email address2. Visit the "Prince Lionheart" site by clicking HERE, and leave a comment telling me which WheelyBug or WheelyCow you like the most!3. Subscribe to this blog (enter your email address in upper right corner), and comment that you do. **SUBSCRIBERS may leave 2 comments (2 entries) stating that they subscribe! I love my subscribers! Thank you!!**4. Follow this blog (in right hand column), and comment that you do. **FOLLOWERS may leave 2 comments (2 entries) stating that they subscribe! I love my subscribers! Thank you!!**5. Become a fan of this blog on Facebook by clicking HERE, and comment that you do.6. Email this contest out to your friends, and copy me on it at vaagen@bellsouth.net7. Follow me on Twitter (vaagen) and ReTweet this contest on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vaagen/statuses/3070106224. Comment below that you did. You can do this once per day, and leave a comment each time you tweet the contest for an extra entry!!8. Favorite this blog on Technorati by clicking HERE The winner will be chosen by random drawing on http://www.random.org/integers/ on Saturday, August 15th at 6pm. Good luck!Thank you for coming to Mingle Over Mocha with Anna!
Well, you thought that cell phone would keep your kid safe if there was another school shooting.  Who knew the shots would actually be homemade porn made with that very same cell phone?!? File this under the complete pornification of our society.  What's an awkward teen boy do to get a date now?  He sends a girl a picture of his junk. Parents, can I speak frankly here?  If you are not considering homeschooling, you are completely nuts. From the Cincinnati Enquirer: Teens here are taking nude photos of themselves or others, sending them on their cell phones or posting them online. Some teens do it as a joke. For others, it's the new bold pickup line to get a date. A year ago, a 19-year-old Goshen cheerleading coach was charged and prosecuted for a misdemeanor, contributing to the unruliness of a child, for taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl. A Glen Este Middle School boy was taken to juvenile court during the last school year for taking explicit photos of his girlfriend. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com last month revealed results of a study that showed 20 percent of teens say they have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves. The results don't surprise local teens, school officials, police officers and others. "If I were to go through the cell phones in this building right now of 1,500 students, I would venture to say that half to two-thirds have indecent photos, either of themselves or somebody else in school," said Jim Brown, school resource officer at Glen Este High School. Turpin High School Principal Peggy Johnson thinks that the results would be similar - about 50-50 - in her building. According to the national study, most teens who send sexually suggestive content send to boyfriends or girlfriends, while others say they send such material to those they want to date or hook up with or to someone they only know online. Brown, who also is Glen Este Middle School's resource officer, said of the 14-year-old boy's cell phone photos last year: "They were as graphic as you would see in any Penthouse magazine, I've been told." The study also showed that 44 percent of teens say it's common for sexually explicit images and text messages - sexting - to be shared with people other than the intended recipient. "Guys who get pictures like this from girls, I don't think girls understand that guys gossip way more than girls," said Taylor McCleod, 17, a Withrow University High School senior who is a teen leader for the Postponing Sexual Involvement program. "And when a guy gets a picture like that, he's not just going to keep it between him and the girl. He's going to take that and show every guy that he knows that knows that girl. And every time somebody looks at her, it's going to be a loss of respect for her." The stakes of taking and sending sexually explicit photos can be high, compared to the thrill at the time. The consequences can range from humiliation to losing out on jobs to going to court. When kids are 14 or 15, Brown said, they don't often make the right decisions. "They think, 'I have the right to decide what's best for me.' The next thing you know, it's on YouTube, and you become an international star because you're exposing part of your body. ... Then, they want to retrieve their good reputation, and they can't." Kids have lost scholarships and jobs because of what's posted on Web sites, Brown said. Many kids have "wised up," taking photos of body parts, but not faces, to avoid detection. And while some teens intend for the suggestive photos to be seen by only one person, they might not think those photos will be forwarded or that something posted on the Internet lives on. "I don't think it even crosses their mind," Daniel "Woody" Breyer, chief deputy prosecutor in Clermont County, said. "I think that kids are in the moment. What's going to happen today? What are we doing tonight? What are we doing this weekend?" Going to court might not cross their minds, either. Prosecutors evaluate the intent of the photo when deciding if charges are warranted. "If this is clearly just a joke and everyone involved thinks it's funny, now somebody's mom sees it and gets mad. Technically, a charge could be filed," said Julie Wilson, chief assistant prosecutor and public information officer for the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. "We're asking police to evaluate if it's a criminal charge or a matter that could be handled by the school or parents. For whatever reason, we have not seen a lot of these cases." With so many implications, why do kids do it? Besides peer pressure, the practice is provoked by what's considered acceptable in this culture, Breyer said, citing videos, such as "Girls Gone Wild." "What is acceptable behavior in our country has just gone through the floor," Breyer said. Christopher Kraus, director of the Postponing Sexual Involvement program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said that in his 20 years of working in adolescent medicine at the hospital, he's yet to see a teenage trend that does not mirror a larger adult trend. "Adolescent sexuality is part of normal human development," Kraus said. "Teens are trying to figure out how to express their sexuality appropriately. They are learning, and they are learning from adults." Kraus, who also is project manager for the Ohio Department of Health's new Guidelines for Sexual Health and Adoption Education, Grades 7-12, said teens are learning how to sort out many sexual messages in the media, including text messages. "Some messages are complimentary. Some are offensive. Some are confusing. Each message is different." 'Kids Gone Wild' Another teen Postponing Sexual Involvement leader, Mariah McCollum, who has received unwanted and unsolicited photos from an acquaintance, talked about the trend. "Every day or every other day, I hear about a new video of one of my peers. There's a new video going around involving sexual activities," said Mariah, a 17-year-old senior at Withrow University High School. "I think it's pretty lame for a male to send you pictures without consent. ... Who says I want to see your private areas?" Mariah said, adding that she lost a lot of respect for the boy who sent it. Meanwhile, Brown said parents need to pay attention to their kids' use of technology. Part of the problem is that kids' inhibitions are knocked away by alcohol-fueled parties, where many sexually explicit photo opportunities occur, he said. "It's 'Kids Gone Wild,' with technology being provided by the parents," he said.
Are your kids on MySpace or Facebook?  Then they may be facing the same dangers that they might in public school.   According to the New York Times and Washington Post, MySpace has deleted 29,000 registered sexual predators from its membership and Facebook is not far behind... and those are just the sexual predators that they found out about! The good news is that there is a full featured, parent driven social networking site on the way just for Christian homeschoolers.  I can't divulge too much right now as the project is still in development, but the principals are interested in finding likeminded Christian homeschoolers as investors and ministry partners for this new online community. If you are interested in becoming an investor or ministry partner in this ground floor opportunity, please email homeschoolspace@gmail.com.
Are your kids on MySpace or Facebook?  Then they may be facing the same dangers that they might in public school.   According to the New York Times and Washington Post, MySpace has deleted 29,000 registered sexual predators from its membership and Facebook is not far behind... and those are just the sexual predators that they found out about! The good news is that there is a full featured, parent driven social networking site on the way just for Christian homeschoolers.  I can't divulge too much right now as the project is still in development, but the principals are interested in finding likeminded Christian homeschoolers as investors and ministry partners for this new online community. If you are interested in becoming an investor or ministry partner in this ground floor opportunity, please email homeschoolspace@gmail.com.
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