I'm cleaning out old computer files, and came upon this article by Paula Rothermal of the University of Durham. Unfortunately, I no longer have any idea where I acquired this comparison of home- and school-educated children in the UK.For reasons of copyright, the above link goes only to an abstract of the paper, but I'm posting a few interesting quotes that I believe fall into the "fair use" category. (More)
I should be happy that the New York Times is highlighting the importance of breastfeeding. But this article on the difficulties faced by nursing mothers in lower-income jobs is disturbing in ways the author did not intend.Poor women, and their children, suffer because their employers are not as sympathetic to their need to pump milk for their babies as are the employers of professional women. Thus they are less likely to breastfeed their children, and when they do it is not for as long a time, in yet another case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. (More)
Okay, the latest airport security problem is not in the least bit funny. But sometimes you have to see the humorous side to stay sane, especially when you have loved ones planning to fly in the next few days.
All liquids and gels are presently banned from carry-on luggage at U. S. Airports. Exceptions are being made for certain medications and for pre-mixed baby formula, which will be allowed after inspection. After getting the word, parents at the Orlando International Airport (and no doubt elsewere) were frantically preparing bottles of formula and hoping they wouldn't spoil on the trip, since they couldn't bring bottled water on board.
How nice to have your baby's food with you at all times, handy, pre-mixed, with no fear of spoilage, and in a form that can't be consigned to checked baggage.
It was nice of the Transportation Security Administration to reassure us on that last point, however (emphasis mine).
Exception: Baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines
I'm guessing they're referring to expressed breast milk in a bottle...but still...it makes one think....
Serendipity. Searching for one thing and finding another. And another. The Internet is a beachcomber's delight. While researching my Johari Window post, I found information on Duen Hsi Yen's commentary, which led me to his article on education, which in turn took me to another of his sites, which was chosen in May of 1999 as the Natural Child Project's Parenting Site of the Month. Investigating the Natural Child Project site led in turn to this month's honored parenting resource, Parents for Barefoot Children.
(This is beginning to sound like something from A Fly Went By: "The fly ran away in fear of the frog, who ran from the cat, who ran from the dog. The dog ran away in fear of the pig, who ran from the cow, she was so big!") (More)
Let me make clear up front that I'm glad our grandchildren are on schedule for most of the currently-recommended childhood vaccinations. I can be pleased with that because their parents have taken the time to research the issues, and decide which vaccines they think are worth the risk, and which are not, and are willing to pay the extra costs—in money and time—to spread the vaccinations out rather than subject their children to the assault on the immune system caused by receiving many vaccines on the same day. Moreover, the children are breastfed, which helps their immune systems deal with the vaccines.
Vaccines have prevented much suffering and death, and they do work; witness the frightening polio outbreaks in Africa when immunication efforts were hindered by Muslim clerics skeptical of both the vaccines and the good will of the vaccinators. But they are far from risk-free, and the government and the medical community are doing parents a disservice by pushing vaccinations as if they were entirely safe and absolutely essential for their children's health. (More)
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I mentioned in the last post that I am cleaning the kitchen. (You can tell how easy this project is by how many blog posts I've written today. Writing is my favorite form of break.) So...I just threw out some spices with expiration dates in the early 1980's. Yes, I tasted them, and no, they weren't worth keeping. We hauled those spice jars from New York to Florida, from Florida to Massachusetts, from Massachusetts back to Florida again...but enough is enough!
I hear it's officially TV-Turnoff Week. Those who know me know I'm more likely to respond negatively to social pressure like that. Still, I'm not about to turn on the television just to be different.
But if TV is a regular part of your life, do yourself a huge favor and turn it off. Start with a week, but don't stop there. What would you give for an extra four hours in your day? More than 20 more hours in your week? Even if you are one of the very rare folks who watches only half an hour a day, think about what you could do in that time. With just half an hour each day you could learn to play a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, read many books, keep in touch with far away friends and family, create your own weblog, spend time in serious, concentrated prayer, get some much-needed sleep, learn to juggle, create a garden, get in shape...and accomplish at least one if not many of those things you say you'd love to do, "but I don't have time." Go for it! You have nothing to lose but your chains.
Here are some more interesting links:
Excerpts from Marie Winn's The Plug-In DrugRuben Bolling's fabulous comic, Flowers for Trinitron.
I once read that a child should learn "at the rate determined by her own happy hunger." (I believe the quotation is from John Ciardi, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.) It is delightful to observe Jonathan’s voracious appetite. (More)
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These findings are consistent with previous research which demonstrated the importance of intestinal bacteria in the development of a healthy immune system. Babies who experience a normal delivery pick up vaginal, intestinal, and perianal microbes from their mothers. The risk to babies born by C-section includes not only deprivation of normal microbes, but also exposure to the unnatural microbial ecosystem peculiar to a hospital environment.
...to make a man. Or at least it improves the odds significantly, according to a study by Dr. Karen Norberg, a clinical associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "When parents were living together before the birth of one child, that child was 14% more likely to be male than when the parents were not living together before the birth," she reported, according to an article in today's Guardian.
Charles Darwin noted similar findings in 1874, giving some credence to the article's statement that this "is certainly not an effect of any bias from parents against daughters." Otherwise one could easily imagine single mothers preferring to raise daughters; not everyone, but enough to skew the statistics. Sex-selective abortion is frowned upon, but that doesn't prevent it. And it can have a huge impact.Just ask the Chinese.
A study of premature infants suggests that delaying the clamping of the umbilical cord can reduce the need for blood transfusion in babies who are born too soon. A delay of only 30 seconds to two minutes was sufficient to provide significant benefit.This news led me to search out a much more exhaustive discussion of umbilical cord issues, covering everything from conditions where immediate separation is necessary, to cord blood collection, to the "lotus birth," in which the placenta stays attached until the cord falls off the baby. Parents, midwives, and a few doctors speak out on issues that I had no idea were issues when I gave birth a quarter of a century ago. The concensus of this group is that delayed cord cutting is beneficial for full term babies (and their mothers) as well. Most of the debate seems to be between cutting the cord after the placenta stops pulsating, and waiting until the placenta is delivered.