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By & About Students



by Jose Ruvalcaba
Parents, if you don’t know what gaming console to get your kids, then you will want to read this. The big gaming consoles this year are the PlayStation 4 (PS4),  X Box One, and the Wii U.   I personally like the PS4, but I will be covering all consoles in this review.
If you have kids under the age of eleven, then you will want the Nintendo Wii U. Most of the games are rated E for Everyone, so you will not have to worry about blood or any of that bad stuff. If can also be good for family time if you are into that. You can play games on your TV or on the Wii U with its 6.2 inch touch screen. It’s like a big controller with a screen on it. You can also watch movies and TV shows with the Wii U through Netflix, if you are a member.  Or, you can surf the net if you have an Internet connection. For fun with friends, you can plan online with them for free. The price is $300.
The XBox One is more expensive, $499, but has features the Wii U does not have. With a HTML plug-in, you are able to watch TV from your cable box, using your X Box. You can also watch movies and TV from both Netflix and Hulu, with a membership. The X Box One has a motion camera (Kinect 20) which allows you to play games and give commands to your X Box.  Both X Box and PS4 are going to have exclusives, but the edge is going towards X Box because the exclusives are with big gaming companies such as the creators of Dead Rising and the game on everyone’s mind, Titanfall. 
The X Box is more into entertainment, but in my mind, the  PS4 still shines. It’s price is $399, which includes Netflix and Hulu plus, but you don’t have to be a PlayStation Plus member to use these features.  A PlayStation Eye (camera) can be added for $59. It has the same features as X Box One, but not as many voice commands. PS4 also has exclusives, such as Infamous and Kill Zone. Just like the X Box One, you will have to be a subscriber to PlayStation Plus to access online features. The PS4 has a new controller that is better than the PS3. With the PS4 it is focusing more on gaming and not on entertainment.
For your consideration, if you like family time and have young children, get the Wii U.  If you like entertainment and gaming, go for the X Box One. PS4, with its comfortable controller and thrilling exclusives, is for gamers.  
I hope this helps you pick the right console for you. Have a nice day.


by Christian Mendoza
Most kids plug into the world of television before they enter school.  I think television is good for children at the beginning of age two.
I feel that television does not demolish the interest in reading for the following reasons:  It helps the child become more aware of the world sooner by explaining and showing them things; and it helps to teach them the meaning and correct pronunciation of words, numbers and colors.
Television helps keep children motivated to learn. Parents should sit with their children for about one to two hours, watching shows on the television that are educational, getting them ready for preschool.  Parents who want their children to be successful in life should sit and talk to them, and explain what is going on with the show as they watch it. This will help the child follow any good examples they see on television.
Yet, there are disadvantages of television.  It can cause a lack of communication between parents and children. Too many hours watching television can cause children to become overweight. Television interferes with having enough time for homework and reading. It can also affect the child’s behavior towards others. For example, young children pay attention to what a character is doing instead of what the movie is about, and are likely to start acting like the character. That is where watching shows with parents can be helpful.
Television can be an excellent educator and entertainer. Once children get attached to a favorite educational cartoon show, they often want related toys, accessories, and books! That is why I feel that television could be good for children. Just be sure to pay attention to the content and to how much time is spent watching television.
by Jose Ruvalcaba
Most people I know like watching television over reading. Those people don't like to read because of television. Yes, I do think television does destroy the interest in reading. I say that because it destroys it for me.
There are many kids that would watch television instead of reading. I think they are too lazy to read. Also, when they need to read for homework and their favorite T.V. show is on, they would most likely watch the show than read.
Another reason I think they don't read is that maybe they can't picture what they are reading in their head. I sometimes have trouble with that. Maybe they can't picture what they read because it is not interesting to them they way television is. Or, it is just too hard to picture what is on a page compared to seeing  a screen. Their brain doesn't have to work as hard.
So, yes, television does destroy reading in my opinion.  T.V. destroys interest in mostly everything. It is better to not watch a lot of television. Instead, pick up a book and read it.


a character sketch by Will Kalisuch
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” If you have ever heard that term, thank Ben Franklin. Ben Franklin was a man of deep character, political influence, intelligence, inventions and great writings.
Ben Franklin showed deep character.  He valued thriftiness, hard work and duty. He began work at a young age as a printer and worked hard (and smart) his whole life. He valued duty to his family and country more than his wealth.
"A firm loyalty to the crown will always be the wisest course to take.” For most of Franklin’s life he wanted to keep peace between England and the American colonies. Franklin went to England and represented the American colonies to stop the stamp act. He had the English Parliament ask him questions about the Stamp Act and why he and the colonists did not like it. They asked him questions for four hours.  Overall, they asked him 174 questions.  He was so influential that the English Parliament stopped the Stamp Act.  Unfortunately, this did not solve the problems between England and the American colonies.
Franklin was one of the smartest men in America. He was the one that figured out that lightning is electricity in an experiment with a kite and a key. He also figured out positive and negative charges and named them.  He concluded that only positive and negative charges go together.
Ben Franklin invented a lot of things.  He invented the apple corer for his wife who loved to eat apples. He invented the Pennsylvania Fireplace which was a fireplace that allowed more heat to enter the room while no smoke or wind entered the house. This was a big improvement on a brick fireplace.  Another invention was the bifocal glasses. The bifocals were a pair of glasses that allowed one to see far and close.
Franklin wrote an almanac called “Poor Richards Almanac” from 1733-1758. His almanac consisted of poems, jokes, riddles and verses. At that time everybody owned at least two books, an almanac (most of them were “Poor Richard’s”) and a Bible. I would say that is pretty influential.
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” We might assume that Franklin took his own advice because of his accomplishments.
    Students: Showcase Your Work!
    Students who would like to showcase their essays, news articles, short stories or poems are encouraged to submit their work. This page on our web site is going to be reserved for contributions from K-12 students in our program. See your home school teacher for more information.
    Check back soon to read more work from our student contributors!


    Several of our high school literature courses have poetry lessons and writing exercises. Students are encouraged to submit their poetry and short stories for publication. Below are a few submissions from our students.
    Haiku   by Brandon Biggs
    With snow still present
    Spring begins to slowly show
    Giving home to some
    Cicadas crying
    Bring an elegant end to
    Days of warm summer.
    The Lesson of the Cheerleader
    I was talking to a cheerleader
    The other evening
    And she was trying
    To convince me that cheerleading
    Is a sport.
    How is cheerleading a sport
    I asked
    All you do is wave your arms and
    If that is considered a sport then
    My grandma should be captain
    Of the cheerleading team.
    But then, she did a backflip
    And a cartwheel that looked
    Like a ninja star, and I knew grandma can't
    Do this.
    And with a smirk, she tumbled away.
    by Taylor Guzman
    Basic Drawing & Beginning Painting

    Basic Drawing & Beginning Painting

    Basic Drawing and Beginning Painting are two of our many electives at Colusa Alternative Home School. Check back for a few samples of student work from these courses.