Mail Call Exhibit Opens

Posted by Annie on Nov 10, 2011 in Education

I think most of us have had a stamp collection at one time or another in our lives. I can recall as a girl, dreaming up ways to get mail from anyone overseas. I was thrilled to receive a letter all the way from Australia, until I discovered just how expensive it was to send a letter from that distance, because I had to send a return letter.

I’ve had penpals several times over the years. It can be fun to communicate with people whose lives are very different from our own.

Today, I try to be a good grandmother and send my grandchildren gifts, cards and letters through the mail. Recently, it has come to my attention that the English language is suffering through the digital age. I think the Post Office runs on spam, because aside from bills, the only mail we receive on a normal day are sales fliers, catalogs and the political spewings from people I’d never dream of voting for.

National Postal Museum

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Is it any wonder our children can’t compose a simple coherent sentence on paper? When did “what” become “wat” and “why” became “y”. The age of texting hasn’t helped the literary expansion of the nation. I shudder to think what our descendents will think when they unearth say, Sacramento 2,000 years from now. E-gads!

The mail is a terrific way to expose children to geography. When the grandparents decided to travel Europe, the entire family was excited to receive postcards and emails with tales of exploration from another continent.

History is another subject that goes hand in hand with stamp collecting. Stamps have been used in this country since the Pony Express and certainly before then. The mail played an important role in history — especially to our military men and women stationed overseas.

I am so excited about the exhibit at The Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Announced just today…

National Postal Museum Opens “Mail Call” Exhibit

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum today opened “Mail Call,” its new permanent exhibit, exploring the history of America’s military postal system. Visitors can discover how military mail communication has changed throughout history, learn about the armed forces postal system from the American Revolution to the present day and experience military mail through exciting artifacts and letters. The exhibit offers an appreciation of the importance of military mail and the hard work that has gone into connecting service men and women to their government, community and loved ones at home.

The exhibit features a number of interesting artifacts that bring to life the story of military mail. Highlights include a camouflaged bag used to drop letters from helicopters during the Vietnam War and a postal handstamp recovered from the USS Oklahoma, which was sunk in the bombings at Pearl Harbor in 1941. In addition to letters and official correspondence on display, the accompanying film Missing You: Letters from Wartime, provides visitors access to the dramatic firsthand records and heartfelt sentiments exchanged between writers on the frontline and the home front. The exhibit also explores how the military postal system works today and describes the new ways the men and women of the armed forces are communicating with home.

“Mail has always played a very important role in the lives of our brave troops and their families at home,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “This exhibit shows how mail delivery to troops was not easily accomplished during times of adversity, as significant obstacles had to be overcome along the way in many cases.”

“Writing and receiving correspondence has a significant power to shape morale,” said exhibit curator Lynn Heidelbaugh. “The relationship between mail and morale is expressed time and again in messages from deployed military personnel, and it is a compelling reason behind the extraordinary efforts to maintain timely mail service.”

The exhibit is made possible by Lockheed Martin.

A curator-led tour of the new “Mail Call” exhibit will be part of the museum’s Civil War public program, Saturday, Nov. 19. As part of the Smithsonian’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, this program will also include an author talk and family activities. It will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visit the museum’s website for more information.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at www.postalmuseum.si.edu.

So, if you get the opportunity to get to Washington D.C., be sure to visit the exhibit.  The rest of us can explore “Mail Call” online. They have done a terrific job of putting the site together.

What will I find at the National Postal Museum website?

  • Mail Call exhibit
  • Student tours
  • Curriculum
  • Classroom Resources
  • Videos
  • The Art of Cards and Letters
  • Stamp Collecting
  • Games
  • Collections
  • Lending Library
  • Much more…

I hope you enjoy this site. I can’t wait to find out more.


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Hultgren Introduces Homeschool Bill

Posted by Annie on Sep 16, 2011 in Conference, Education, Legal

Working in conjunction with HSLDA, U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) introduced new federal legislation (H.R. 2910) intended to protect homeschooling students school records.

ChristianNewsWire reports:
Hultgren Introduces Homeschool Bill

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2011 — U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) will be holding a press conference call on Tuesday, September 20 at 10:30 am ET to discuss H.R. 2910, the Family Educational Records Privacy Extension Act to restore fairness and equality to homeschoolers nationwide. Hultgren introduced H.R. 2910 last week. [Click for Conference Call Details.]

Will Estrada from HSLDA, was kind enough to return my phone call today, fitting me in during his travels. We discussed concerns that I have regarding:

Folding the U.S. flag

Folding Flag

  • the introduction of any legislation (especially federal)
  • how this bill might affect states, like California, who homeschool under private school laws, and have no homeschool language in legislation.

According to Mr. Estrada this is the first of several pieces of legislation that may be introduced this year concerning privacy issues. He also adds that this bill will in all likelihood be rolled into another piece of legislation later this term.

As justification for the introduction of H.R. 2910, Jermemiah Lorrig cited Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) concerns and public data collection concerning minors. Mr. Lorrig stated that criminals have used such information to target children in Great Britain and in other countries.

In a nutshell, this bill makes a couple of small changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The changes are:


      Subsection (a) of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) is amended–
        (1) in paragraph (5)(B), by striking `attending the institution or agency’ and inserting `for whom the agency or institution maintains education records, including home-schooled students,’; and

(2) in paragraph (6), by striking `but does not include a person who has not been in attendance at such agency or institution’ and inserting `including home-schooled students’.

[Read the bill (pdf format)]

Privacy is an issue that more and more people are concerned about and if you aren’t concerned about it, you should be.

In my opinion, this legislation isn’t really necessary but homeschoolers should keep an eye on this bill because it’s only the beginning, homeschoolers can expect to see more legislation introduced during this term. I’m taking a watch and see stance at this time and I plan to listen in on the teleconference call to learn more.

Learn more about Identity Theft, Privacy and Kids…

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Helen Hegener…Is She Ruining Homeschooling?

Posted by Annie on Sep 2, 2011 in Education

Just exactly what does Mimi know about homeschooling?

Absolutely nothing! She operates an online school and gets paid from public education dollars.

Mimi writes…

Is Unschooling as Described by Helen Hegener Child Neglect?

Many people have wondered if unschooling is a form of parental abdication of responsibilities. Could it even be child neglect? Many unschoolers believe their children will learn “everything they need to know” from real life, without curriculum, textbooks, guidance and rules. This is a recipe for disaster in many Christian homeschoolers minds because they know that their children inherited a sinful nature and therefore need training and instruction and discipline in order to grow.

She likes to bash Unschoolers but Mimi hasn’t even bothered to check out the facts on the topic. So, why would she bash Helen for writing material, she claims hasn’t been researched — then she turns around and does the same thing.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Maybe Mimi is trying to ruin homeschooling by suing Helen, so that she can put more of our tax dollars in her own bank account.

IF Mimi is a Christian — I’m certain God isn’t finished with her yet.

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