Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling the Gemstone Edition

Welcome to the Gemstone Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  Below you will find not only the wonderful submissions for this carnival but gemstones commonly used for birthstones and the history behind them.

Home Spun Juggling delivers Home Spun comic strip #694

Homeschool Bytes offers Haiku: Poetry my boys loved and my daughter hated.

A rare bright-green garnet.
Garnets are the birthstone for January.

Garnets provide a strong help to balance your energy system, stimulate your desires and uplift your attitude. Draws happiness, power, possessions, and peace to you. Aids in patience, persistence, sexuality, and purification. Sharpens self-perception. Increases creative energy and sexual appetite. Enhances bodily strength, endurance, and vigor. Protection against thieves. Helps to align the emotional body to the spiritual body. Sleeping with it will help you remember your dreams.

Red Garnets Firstly as it is the color of menstrual blood, it is a stone of fertility. As a gift it is a symbol of happiness and loyalty. It is thought to be a antidote to plague and fever. Women were known to wear it around their waist to help with the menstrual cycle. If it is obtained unlawfully it will bear a curse upon its wearer until it is returned to its lawful owner. Persephone is the Goddess associated with Garnets.

Introducing the World gives Ten Reasons We Are Loving Using Ambleside Online.

Aasha @ Homeschool World presents Is Homeschooling Right For you?: 10 Tips before you Start to Homeschool 

Amethyst and magic have been connected for at least 2,000 years. The Greeks believed it to be an amulet against inebriation. It is one of the few stones specifically recommended for men to use for attracting women. Amethyst is the birthstone for February:

"The February-born shall find
Sincerity, and peace of mind, 
Freedom from passion and from care, 
If they the Amethyst will wear." 

 Amethyst can be used to increase psychic awareness, to sharpen the 'sixth sense'. Because of this, many people keep a crystal with their I-Ching, tarot, or Rune tools. It is considered a very spiritual stone.

Sue @ A Life Full of Days gives examples of how she used the community wherever they lived in her post Out and About.

The Birthstone for March is Aquamarine.

Aquamarine is a traditional protective and lucky stone for fishermen. In addition, it has been carved into cups and goblets because of the belief that it aids digestion and reduces body fluids. Aquamarine is associated with Mermaids (Sea Goddesses).

5 Tips to Help Plan Your Homeschool Winter from 7 Sisters

Kelly @ The Homeschool Co-op presents High Needs, Attachment Parenting & Homeschooling: How it Works for One Momma

The Hope Diamond

The legendary curse  of the Hope Diamond is said to begin with a theft. Several centuries ago, a man named Tavernier made a trip to India. While there, he stole a large blue diamond from the forehead (or eye) of a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. For this transgression, according to the legend, Tavernier was torn apart by wild dogs on a trip to Russia (after he had sold the diamond to King Louis XIV). This was the first horrible death attributed to the curse. 

In 1673, King Louis XIV decided to re-cut the diamond to enhance its brilliance (the previous cut had been to enhance size and not brilliance). The newly cut gem was 67 1/8 carats. Louis XIV officially named it the "Blue Diamond of the Crown" and would often wear the diamond on a long ribbon around his neck.  The Hope Diamond was eventually inherited by Louis XVI,  according to the legend, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were beheaded during the French Revolution because of the blue diamond's curse.
During the French Revolution, the crown jewels (including the blue diamond) were taken from the royal couple after they attempted to flee France in 1791. The jewels were placed in the Garde-Meuble but were not well guarded. From September 12 to September 16, 1791, the Garde-Meuble was repeatedly robbed, without notice from officials until September 17. Though most of the crown jewels were soon recovered, the blue diamond was not. 

 There is some evidence that the blue diamond resurfaced in London by 1813 and was owned by a jeweler Daniel Eliason by 1823. No one is sure that the blue diamond in London was the same one stolen from the Garde-Meuble because the one in London was of a different cut. Yet, most people feel the rarity and perfectness of the French blue diamond and the blue diamond that appeared in London makes it likely that someone re-cut the French blue diamond in the hopes of hiding its origin. The blue diamond that surfaced in London was estimated at 44 carats.

There is some evidence that shows King George IV of England bought the blue diamond from Daniel Eliason and upon King George's death, the diamond was sold to pay off debts. By 1939, possibly earlier, the blue diamond was in the possession of Henry Philip Hope, from whom the Hope diamond has taken its name.

The Hope family is said to have been tainted with the diamond's curse. According to the legend, the once-rich Hopes went bankrupt because of the Hope diamond.  

Simon Frankel, an American jeweler, bought the Hope diamond in 1901 and brought the diamond to the United States. The diamond changed hands several times during the next several years, ending with Pierre Cartier. Pierre Cartier believed he had found a buyer in the rich Evalyn Walsh McLean. Evalyn first saw the Hope diamond in 1910 while visiting Paris with her husband. Since Mrs. McLean had previously told Pierre Cartier that objects usually considered bad luck turned into good luck for her, Cartier made sure to emphasize the Hope diamond's negative history. Yet, since Mrs. McLean did not like the diamond in its current mounting, she didn't buy it.
A few months later, Pierre Cartier arrived in the U.S. and asked Mrs. McLean to keep the Hope diamond for the weekend. Having reset the Hope diamond into a new mounting, Carter hoped she would grow attached to it over the weekend. He was right and Evalyn McLean bought the Hope diamond.

Evalyn McLean wore the diamond all the time. According to one story, it took a lot of persuading by Mrs. McLean's doctor to get heto take off the necklace even for a goiter operation. Though Evalyn McLean wore the Hope diamond as a good luck charm, others saw the curse strike her too. McLean's first born son, Vinson, died in a car crash when he was only nine. McLean suffered another major loss when her daughter committed suicide at age 25. In addition to all this, Evalyn McLean's husband was declared insane and confined to a mental institution until his death in 1941. Though Evalyn McLean had wanted her jewelry to go to her grandchildren when they were older, her jewelry was put on sale in 1949, two years after her death, in order to settle debts from her estate.

When the Hope diamond went on sale in 1949, it was bought by Harry Winston, a New York jeweler.  Winston donated the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 to be the focal point of a newly established gem collection.

Diamonds are said to Bring fierceness, strength and fortitude. Strengthens friendships and protects from evil, disease and plagues. If set in gold it drives away night monsters... When stolen attracts negative vibrations. Diamonds require cleaning often.

Six sided luckiest square brings balance and harmony triangular disharmony and friction.

Diamonds are the birthstone for April.

No Fighting No Biting! describes their experience sending Will to Catholic School in the post Will's first week.

Read about Transmogrified Education posted by Learning @ Home

Hooker Emerald Brooch

 Emerald is considered a birthstone for the month of May.

"Who first beholds the light of day,
In spring's sweet flowery month of May,
And wears an Emerald all her life,
Shall be a loved, and happy wife."

 "If you wish to bring a love into your life, buy an emerald and charge it with your magical need through your visualization, perhaps while placing it near a green candle. After this ritual, wear or carry the emerald somewhere near your heart. Do this in such a way that it cannot be seen by others, so when you meet a future love, you'll know it wasn't the visible jewel that attracted him or her." The Greeks associated this stone with the Goddess Venus. It has come to represent, for many people, the security of love. Emerald, like almost all of the green stones, is also advantageous for business/money ventures.

SONset Academy offers a post on motivating your students in the post God Answers Prayer: An Idea for Motivating Your Kids.

Charles Chua C K @ All About Living with Life presents P.L.E.A.S.E. Spend Time with Your Child

June's birthstone is Pearls.

Pearls were once believed to be unlucky; in medieval times they were thought to be 'solidified tears'.

Pamela Jorrick presents Teacher Vs. Facilitator posted at Blah, Blah, Blog

Linda Dobson from PARENT AT THE HELM presents What Do Homeschooled Adults Have to Say? 

The birthstone for July is the Ruby.

Rubies aid regeneration of the physical/spiritual heart. Enhances circulation. Vitalizes blood and entire body/mind system. Strengthens immunity. Activates sluggish or dormant conditions on physical/spiritual levels. Refines lower passions. Courage, integrity, selfless service, joy, spiritual devotion, power, leadership. Helps banish sense of limitation.

MrsMamaHen.com submitted Mid-Year Refreshing, nice to know that I am not the only homeschool Mom who preferred my own customized sheets to to the slick pre-made planners being marketed to homeschoolers.

Peridot is the birthstone for August.

Completely aligns all the subtle bodies. This helps one receive information from the higher self more easily. Good stone for channeling. Visionary stone - it helps connect us to our destinies and to an understanding of the purpose of existence. Keeps the mind free from envious thoughts and jealousies. A good stone for people who cannot relate to realities beyond the physical world. Aids in manifesting physical work into material abundance. A healing stone working with the heart and solar plexus chakras.

Misty presents Haiku: Poetry my boys loved and my daughter hated posted at Homeschool Bytes, saying, "Learning how to write Haiku is a simple from of poetry even my 5-year-old could figure out. Plus, it's a fun break from our usual writing lessons."
Sapphire has been associated with divine favor. The Buddhists believed that the sapphire favored devotion and spiritual enlightenment. It is the birthstone for the month of September:

"A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze.
A Sapphire on her brow should bind;
'Twill cure diseases of the mind. (5)

The ancient Greeks linked sapphire with Apollo, and wore it as an aid to prophecy when consulting oracles. For this reason, it is considered an aid for developing the "third eye". It was also considered to be able to guard its owner from being captured. It is worn and utilized in rituals to strengthen the ability to tap and send forth power.

Laura Grace Weldon presents School ADD Isn?t Homeschool ADD posted at Laura Grace Weldon, saying, "Our son's ADD seemed to be a side-effect of school. Gradually we learned how to homeschool in a way that worked for him." 

LEGEND and LORE: Opal is a birthstone for October.

"October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know;
But lay an Opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those foes to rest." 

Opals have traditionally been considered "lucky" stones...but only for those born in the month of October. It has been considered bad luck to wear them if you were born in any other month.

 Opals are considered to be able to confer the gift of invisibility on its wearer. To accomplish this, Cunningham says "The gem was wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and carried for this purpose." He also says, "Opals are also worn to bring out inner beauty.

A beauty spell: Place a round mirror on the altar or behind it so that you can see your face within it while kneeling. Place two green candles on either side of the mirror. Light the candles. Empower an opal with your need for beauty -- while holding the stone, gaze into your reflection. With the scalpel of your visualization, mold and form your face (and your body) to the form you desire. Then, carry or wear the opal and dedicate yourself to improving your appearance."

Annette presents Back to Homeschooling posted at A Net in Time, saying, "Being more organized is helpful.

Man made Mystic Fire Topaz
The birthstone for November is Topaz

TOPAZ: If you want to conquer your fears, wear a topaz. A stone of trust, strength, and protection. It relieves depression, anger, fear, tension headaches, and insomnia. Bestows inner vision and helps light up the correct direction to pursue. Increases personal abilities. Stimulates the intellect for writers, scientists, and artists. It aids abstract thinking and creativity. Topaz is also believed to prevent colds and tuberculosis as it strengthens the breath.

Home School V Public School ask What Are the Goals for Your Home School Children ?

Turquoise history dates back over 6000 years. Archeological and literary references to the gemstone predate the Christian era by five millennia. It has been unearthed in tombs from ancient Egypt...specifically the 4 bracelets of Queen Zar, found on her mummified arm. These date back to the second ruler of Egypt's First Dynasty, approximately 5500 BC! 

Aristotle and Pliny both refer to turquoise. Marco Polo even wrote about it. Turquoise has always been considered a stone of life. It also has a long standing history of more than 1000 years with Native Americans who have used it extensively for protection and healing. The stone was also used in religion, art, trade, treaty negotiations and, of course, treasured jewelry. 

LEGEND and LORE: This stone has long been used for protection against traumatic injuries. It was thought that the stone would shatter, thus warning the wearer of imminent physical danger. It was also used to decorate the bridles of horses, to protect them against broken bones from falls. Among the Native Americans of the Southwestern United States, Turquoise is believed to be a connector of Earth and Sky. It is one of the four "elemental" gemstones of the Pueblos; (the others are coral, jet and abalone shell). This is considered to be one of the Birthstones for December:

"If cold December gives you birth,
The month of snow, and ice, and mirth,
Place on your hand a Turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate're you do.

Turquoise is thought to increase Wisdom. "An old ritual utilized Turquoise to gain wealth. Perform this rite a few days after the New Moon when the crescent is first visible in the sky. Avoid looking at the Moon until the proper time. Hold a Turquoise in your hand. Visualize your magical need -- money -- manifesting in your life. Move outside and look at the Moon. Then directly shift your gaze to the Turquoise. The magic has begun. Carry the stone with you until the money arrives."


For at least 2,000 years, the region once known as Persia has remained an important source of turquoise which was named by Iranians initially "pirouzeh" meaning "victory" and later after Arab invasion "firouzeh".In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of the Iranian palaces because its intense blue color was also a symbol of heaven on earth.

Bethany presents Marco Polo Study: Persia-Modern Iran posted at Little Homeschool Blessings.

Danica from  Adventures at the Kitchen Table presents Counting Coins, Lesson 2 - Graphing Coins

I hope you enjoyed the Genstone Edition, the next Carnival will be held at Time 4 Learning.net.

Blog Carnvial is partially broken. It is accepting submissions, but not forwarding them. It would be easier if you just submitted your post directly via email. Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

My thanks to all of you who submitted a post and thank you for taking the time to read the Gemstone Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling. ~Alasandra