Sunday, October 29, 2006

Homeschool - DST, lobbies, WWI, mnemonics

Today one of the rangers spoke to my husband about how our son has impressed him and he said he wishes now that he had homeschooled his kids. I felt so good when my husband told me about it. I have this constant inner conversation with myself. Am I doing enough? What am I missing? Are we going too slow? What are other fourth graders doing? Then I just have to chill and say, "Lord, infuse me with just a leetle bit of wisdom because I can't mess up on this!" I feel really lucky to be able to do this.

Here are notes I put together that I'm using this week. I'll post them. My kid's an auditory learner. And kinesthetic. I Googled. I Wikipediaed. I thought about where our son's interests lie and collected information. I will share one thing to explain why I do research the way I do. I have a feeling that he may be a person who causes change, who impacts those around him. I don't know how this may be manifested and I don't know why I feel this way, but it's one of those things unexplained. Last month we had a couple two spaces down come over to say good-bye to our nine year old (he assisted the husband who is a Boating Officer with repairs on a small boat) and as they all shook hands, exchanging good-byes, the wife said, "Remember us when you're president!" I did a double take! Not necessarily because I think he's going to be prez, but I know he's going to be something! I don't think much of what follows will be on a fourth grade standardized test though.

So this lesson is primarily about daylight saving time, but we love to go on a tangent too and so I've customized with tidbits I think he will like. Feel free to copy and change as suits you and yours! And away we go! (Much of this only touches on a point as I wish to open discussion and ignite interest, not necessarily delve deeply yet. But with a small foundation set today he will be able to build up on it in the future. We call this having a hook in your mind. It's like a coat hook? You can always hang stuff on it but it has to be there first to hang anything on.)


Who thought of it first? Benjamin Franklin, but he was only kidding about it! It was 1784.

In 1907 a British man named William Willet was serious about it and he really tried to get it changed. He lobbied to get the government to change.
(Use word lobby and explain usage as verb or noun. As with William, a lobbyist can be one person alone, or it can be group of people who try to change things without getting elected.)
(Can you name something in the United States that you think should be changed, that you could lobby for? Seniors citizens are powerful. Farmers have power. Greenpeace protects the Earth and animals and environment. Nowadays people are paid to do this job.)

Enough fodder for the week here: I will be reading a part of this M-F. Only a couple paragraphs will I skip. Great article with humor, names, and truths.

But he could not get the British government to take it seriously and he died in 1915. (Locate Great Britain on map.)

DST is mostly used in temperate zones.

What time of the year are we, in the U.S.A, on DST? Early spring, summer, and early fall.

We just changed to Standard Time.

Daylight saving time (DST), also known as summer time, is a widely used system of adjusting the official local time forward, usually by one hour from its official standard time, for the spring, summer, and early autumn periods. The term daylight savings time, although commonly used, is technically incorrect.

Europeans commonly call it 'summer time' and I think that's a good idea.

What was the first country to use DST? Germany. When? 1916. During WWI. When was WWI? (1914 to 1918. Also called the War to End All Wars. Did it? Can you name another war the happened after 1918? It is naive to think war will stop. We live in a world where Satan reigns.)

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year-old high school student, shot and killed the archduke and heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, (What part of his name tells you he is of noble birth?) and his wife, Sophie, at point-blank range in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. Princip shot Ferdinand at point blank range while he was was traveling in his car from a town hall reception.
We had film, but no television back then. See 8 seconds of Franz Ferdinand at town hall in Sarajevo.

Find Sarajevo on the map.

The United Kingdom was second, the same year. Newfoundland was third, the first place in North America, in 1917. Have him write on board:

1) Germany
2) United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
3) Newfoundland

In 1918 the U.S. Congress established time zones although railroads and most American cities were already using them since 1883, and made DST official for the rest of WWI. But it was unpopular and repealed in 1919.

DST is generally a temperate zone practice; day lengths in the tropics do not vary enough. (Can you name three major climate zones. Polar, temperate, tropical.)

Why should we have DST? Number one reason is energy conservation.
DST in winter would make 7:00am feel like 6:00am, and the sun would not be up yet. It would be DARK outside still! Why would this be bad for kids who have to school? Children walking to school or to their bus stops could be hit by cars. This is one big reason why we don't have DST in winter.

Another argued benefit of DST is increased opportunities for outdoor activities, including shopping in tourist areas. Most people plan outdoor activities during sunlight hours. Other benefits cited include prevention of traffic injuries (by allowing more people to return home from work or school in daylight), and crime reduction (by reducing people's risk of being targets of crimes that are more common in dark areas).


To find fault, or to evaluate. This requires analysis. You can analyze a math problem, a recipe, a sentence, and friendship (as we discussed last week during grammar discussion about sentence structure.) There are two sides to everything; good and bad, proponents and opponents. Looking at two sides of things is a good character trait. It prepares you to speak well and express your thoughts intelligently. Thinkers think about both sides of an issue. Remember, there may be gray areas depending on the subject. In history or in newspaper writing, teachers and editors like to say "There are three sides to everything: one side's story, the other side's story, and what really happened."

Critics of DST say studies show it really doesn't save much in energy costs. They say that it upsets everyone's sleep patterns. They say people miss appointments if they forget to change their clock. What do you think? Well, maybe people do use more fuel in their cars during the extra daylight hours of DST and that's not a savings, is it.

How to remember which way to turn the clock?

Use a mnemonic. (Spell on board. It's a memory aid. Do you use any mnemonics? Yes, you do!) Spring forward (let me see you jump!), fall back (let me see you fall back to Standard Time!). Other some mnemonics we use:

stalagmites - G: grow up from the ground
stalactites - C: ceiling down
Military - righty tighty, lefty loosy
Music - Every Good Boy Does Fine and FACE
Thirty Days Hath September

Name two states that do not observe DST. Arizona, Hawaii. Indiana is fussing over it. Find all on map.


Post–World War I: American farmers fought and defeated urban dwellers and President Woodrow Wilson and got DST repealed, returning the country to "God's Time.” Spotty and inconsistent use of daylight saving time in the United States and around the world caused problems, unusual incidents and, occasionally, tragedies. For example, disregard of a change to DST caused a major train wreck in France, killing two and injuring many.

World War II: All combatants on both sides quickly adopted DST to save vital energy resources for the War. The U.S. enacted FDR's year-round DST law just 40 days after Pearl Harbor.

Fire safety officials in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States encourage citizens to use the two annual time changes as a reminder to check the batteries in home and office fire alarms and smoke detectors.

Computers: Most modern computer operating systems include the capability to automatically change the local time when daylight saving starts and finishes. Did your change automatically?

In Canada, time is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, not federal. The governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Yukon Territory have so far pledged to change their DST rules to match the new U.S. rules. In 2007, their DST will start on the second Sunday in March, and return to standard time on the first Sunday in November. Newfoundland and Nunavut will continue to change time on the first Sunday in April and last Sunday in October unless they change their legislation. As noted below, Saskatchewan does not recognize DST.

In 2006
The schedule for 2006 in the United States is that DST began on the first Sunday in April (April 2, 2006), and changes back to standard time on the last Sunday in October (October 29, 2006). The time is adjusted at 2 AM.

From 2007
Beginning in 2007, DST will start on the second Sunday in March (March 11, 2007), and change back to standard time on the first Sunday in November (November 4, 2007). Under Section 110 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy is required to study the impact of the DST extension no later than nine months after the change takes effect. Congress has retained the right to revert to the DST schedule set in 1986 if it cannot be shown that there are significant energy savings from an extension of DST or if the extension may prove to be unpopular with the American public.


Christina said...

Wow! What a great bit of info. :)

My hubby hates the time of year when he loses an hour of daylight. Now, it's dark when he gets home from work. It's very depressing for him!

I have to admit...I kinda like it! I also like rainy, gloomy days. Go figure. I think I'm living on the wrong continent....

Rita said...

Hi Liliana. I remember you from the Hair Loom. I applaud you for schooling your son. You and your husband are doing a great thing by taking him all over the country to see things. I have a son in 4th grade and I honestly don't think I would have the patience. ( we have four kids, he is the youngest). Anytime you want to know what he is learning in school or things they have to do, feel free to e-mail me at
Our family has been reading your blog and we have enoyed it and the pictures you post.
BTW- your hair looks great. It's so nice to see someone else who is not coloring.
P.S. I hope this doesn't double post. The first time it wouldn't go.

Liliana said...

Christina - I have to say I like it too. I like more time for family reading for one thing because when it's daylight out I can't get the men to stay inside for storytime. I have no audience!

Rita - I now have enough blog experience (two years?) so I know where to find my comments and I know how not to upload double posts. I'm a quick learner? Haha! I did receive both of your posts. Thanks a bunch for the email addy. I will hold on to it! And so you're with the untouched silver too? I know it's not for everyone and some women really do look better with colored hair as they age, but hey it's a state of mind too. Right on! :)