Life at Warp Speed

life, faith, food, parenting, homeschooling and just about anything else that is on my mind

La Luna: Disney Story App – free for a limited time! December 31, 2013

Filed under: Apps,Book Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:12 pm
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La Luna: The Story Project on the App Store on iTunes.

La Luna is an Academy Award winning Disney/Pixar short film. The storybook app version was Apple’s Most Innovative App of 2013. It is absolutely free right now! (Normally, $3.99). Hurry and download this lovely story rendered in amazing detail and includes the entire short film. Really, don’t miss out! (if you are missing out of these awesome app deals, sign up for email alerts below by subscribing.)

Highly recommended for ages 2 and up.



$30 for $60 of Little Pim – limited time January 19, 2012

Filed under: Deals,Education,Kid's TV — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:43 am
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The Best Daily Deals in San Francisco – Little Pim – $60 to Spend on Language-Learning Products.

Great deal from Living Social! $30 for $60 worth of products from Little Pim foreign language learning products at their online store. . This deal expires in 6 days.

M still loves watching Little Pim and his antics. We have the six DVD sets in both Chinese and French. This award winning series was created by Julia Pimsleur Levine (daughter of the creator of the very popular Pimsleur method of learning languages). I don’t depend on this series to actually teach M Chinese or French since a live speaker is a far better method, but I do use it to reinforce what I am already teaching him. Many of the foreign language products available right now are frequently made overseas and lack the style, sensibility, and production quality of children’s products developed in the West. (I have several other DVD sets purchased in the US and overseas.) Little Pim is a great choice in the latter group of products.

Highly recommended for children under 5.



Review: Waiting for “Superman” August 25, 2011

Filed under: Education,Homeschooling,Parenting,TV & Movies — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , , Waiting for “Superman”: Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee, Davis Guggenheim: Movies & TV.

I finally had a chance to watch this film yesterday. I highly recommend this film if you haven’t seen it. It will make you think a lot about the state of education in the United States and about your own family if you have children. Even if you don’t have kids, you are a stakeholder in the educational system simply being a citizen since we are all impacted by how well we educate our country’s future.

A lot of thoughts come to mind. My heart simply aches over the painful dilemma of these families who are trapped in an educational system that simply doesn’t work. For the alternative solutions via charter and vouchers, there just simply isn’t enough to go around to fulfill the immense and overwhelming need that is out there.

As a mom, I completely understand the desire to provide the best education and all the opportunities you can for your child. This is why the pretty good, better, and best school districts keep going in that direction since people mortgage themselves in order to buy homes to live in those districts. This is also why people with children are fleeing the school districts in San Francisco and Oakland for alternative schooling options.

If you know me IRL, you know that I read a lot of public policy and education books. I am very interested and passionate about education even though I am not a professional educator. I try to stay current on the state of public education. Quite honestly, it is a pretty depressing scene. I greatly appreciate the efforts of those people like Michelle Rhee who are working their hardest to change what seems to be an impossible situation. I really admire Michelle Rhee and was disappointed to see a lot of her efforts unraveling. I have very little love for teachers’ unions even though I greatly value teachers. I am not a supporter of teacher tenure which will probably make a lot of people mad that I said that. I believe seismic change must happen quickly. All the sacred cows of education need to be on the proverbial sacrificial block.

To be honest, as much as I am passionate about educational reform, I don’t believe that the current system will serve my son well. So, our family is choosing to opt out of the system and go the homeschooling route for our son. Homeschooling is a fast-growing movement with more than 2 million students in the US. It will likely always be a minority in the educational community, but it will exist and is a vibrant and diverse community.

We have been homeschooling in one form or another since my son was a baby. It has become increasingly apparent to us that public school would be a huge step backward, and his needs would be lost in a class of 25 or more K students. My not quite 3 year old son already has a reading vocabulary of over 500 words, mastered phonics over a year ago, counts to 100, understands quantity, taught himself to write his letters and numbers a few weeks ago, and is currently working on single digit addition and subtraction. Where will he be in two years from now? Who knows? I have no idea where this journey is going, but I do know he won’t be a good fit for Kindergarten.

I know now that my current calling is to educate and nurture our son on his educational journey. This is a huge sacrifice for our family since it means giving up any income that I used to generate. It means a lot of work to prepare lessons, modify curriculum for a young learner, and a lot less time for myself. I am passionately committed to continuing to nurture his gifts, his passion and love for learning and to be able to go at his pace even when it is a lot faster than I want to go. Everyday is a new experience for the two of us on this journey. Especially as I continually learn to be flexible and to release my carefully laid out plans.

I imagine people might ask me whether or not I feel guilty about choosing to opt out of the system and not working from within to reform. To be honest, I don’t. I feel that we are making the best and right choice available for our family and our son’s needs which is the only thing that anyone can expect any parent to do.



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