Utterly Meaningless » 2004 » April

AN UNUSUAL SOURCE

Filed on April 30, 2004 at 8:54 pm under by dcobranchi

This is not where I’d normally expect to find a homeschooling article, let alone a lengthy and (mostly) accurate piece. MetroKids is a freebie newspaper that is distributed in the local grocery stores. I’ll leave it to y’all to read it online but, to let you know the type of information in the piece, the writer refers readers to the following websites for additional info: Home Education Magazine, Practical Homeschooling Magazine, National Home Education Network (NHEN), and Anne Zeiss’s website. Conspicuous in its absence is you-know-who.

ZERO CREDIBILITY

Filed on at 10:18 am under by dcobranchi

One of Chris O’Donnell’s local educrats has been charged with drunk driving after registering 0.12 percent on a Breathalyzer. Surprisingly(?), she will not be fired nor really face any repercussions because of her “indiscretion.”

The board placed several conditions on her continued employment — including shortening her contract by a year, to end in June 2005, and requiring her to enroll in an alcohol counseling program. But her contract, worth $168,000 a year, can be renewed.

I wonder if this had anything to do with the Board’s decision:

At a news conference after the vote, Wilkoff would not answer questions about board member Melissa W. Luby, who was in the car when Perry was arrested and had recused herself from considering Perry’s future.

…Luby characterized Perry as “an excellent superintendent” and “by far, the most progressive.” She appealed to the community to forgive Perry and to look at themselves and their own behavior.

“I think a lot of people drive after having a few drinks,” she said. “With Mrs. Perry, there just happened to be a policeman there.”

So, Board Member Luby- driving drunk is ok as long as you don’t get caught?

Chris thinks that the school district, which has a strong Zero Tolerance policy, is employing a double standard. That may well be true. A bigger problem, though, may be the response the kids have to the next “Don’t Drive Drunk” assembly. Talk about Zero Credibility. The Superintendent should be fired and all the board members (save the lone dissenter) voted out of office.

A PROPER BEATING

Filed on at 6:19 am under by dcobranchi

Texas schools are still allowed to employ corporal punishment. But, this is child abuse.

Justin was paddled after a classmate tattled about him saying a derogatory remark toward an elementary coach. Justin showed how he was made to stand holding a chair. “The coach made me stand like this and then he gave me three swats.”

His mother has pictures of her son’s buttocks with large bruises and redness. “He had these welts on him and these blood spots in his underwear and the big purple size bruise the size of a half a dollar. That’s not a regular spanking.”

A medical doctor documented that Justin’s bruises were consistent with traumatic injury. Causby requested that her son never be hit again, but four days later Justin got into trouble for throwing a pencil. He received another pop on top of his already bruised bottom.

…Groveton Superintendent Jim Wise said that the district supports the use of corporal punishment. Wise contends that proper procedure was followed. He points out that a witness observed the paddling, and that the incident was handled properly.

So, as long as there’s a witness, it’s ok to beat a child? Where’s the CBS expose’ of the “Dark Side of G-schooling”?

MEAN GIRLS

Filed on at 5:57 am under by dcobranchi

File this one under FWIW:

The main character in the teen movie “Mean Girls” is a homeschooler adapting to the “culture” of her local g-school. Here’s a review from the Salt Lake Tribune.

ANOTHER QUICK FIX

Filed on April 29, 2004 at 2:04 pm under by dcobranchi

The latest fad to fix all that ails the g-schools- get rid of middle schools.

READ IT AND WEEP

Filed on at 11:57 am under by dcobranchi

Darby found a discussion of homeschooling in which nearly all of the posters are completely ignorant. I mean, they know absolutely nothing about homeschooling. Unbelievable.

SO SAD

Filed on at 11:34 am under by dcobranchi

An Oklahoma mom believes her elementary age daughter was sexually assaulted at school. The school investigated but couldn’t confirm anything, so they transferred the boy to another class. The mom isn’t satisfied; she wants the boy expelled.

The girl’s mother said she will not be satisfied with having the boy in another classroom, citing other locations on school grounds where he might meet up with her daughter.

“I haven’t changed my mind as far as putting her back in school as long as that child is there. … My next step would either be to homeschool or find another school to put her in,” she said.

The girl hasn’t been back to school since April 9th. I hope the woman finds her a new school or, better yet, homeschools the poor girl. ASAP.

CHANNELING JAMES JOYCE

Filed on at 11:27 am under by dcobranchi

OK- call me, MJ.

A Chicago Tribune sports columnist has the most disjointed column I’ve ever read. After reading it twice, I still can’t figure out the point. The important part (as far as I’m concerned):

My wife Elaine is really creative and she’s reading and she identified home-schooling and it became more because of the benefits for the kids than it was to adjust to my schedule. As it turned out it was really good, because now during the winter I’m home and the kids are home. So we did field trips. We set a record for field trips.

I flinch at the idea that “we” home-schooled, because “she” home-schooled.

OH, GEEZ!

Filed on at 11:13 am under by dcobranchi

I’m the New York Post.

Compare this headline with what I wrote yesterday. That’s it; I’m retired from blogging. Damn! And just when I reached “blogger extraordinaire” status. Goin’ out on top, I guess.

ON FORCE AND THE G-SCHOOLS

Filed on at 6:16 am under by dcobranchi

Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy has a post on the Separation of School and State. [NOTE: Wilde neither mentions nor endorses sepschool.org. That’s my interpretation of his post.]

When money is exchanged by force and not voluntarily, these coordination mechanisms are no longer present. When the local school gets my money without my permission, it rewards the local school, even though I do not approve of that school. At the same time, entrepreneurs who might otherwise be able to profit from my money by making a school that I voluntarily choose to pay for, rather than being rewarded, are punished. They miss out on the profits they could make because those dollars are given automatically without my permission to the school that does not satisfy me. In other words, the particular product that does not satisfy me is rewarded and the particular product that does satisfy me is punished – the exact opposite of the free market. Multiply this by tens (hundreds?) of thousands within a locality, and the result is that poorly functioning schools become successful, and potentially great schools lose out.

A minor quibble- I don’t think Wilde means “successful” as in the schools can actually educate the young, but as in they stay in business (so to speak).

DON’T THEY KNOW…

Filed on April 28, 2004 at 5:14 pm under by dcobranchi

that a “towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”?

CA legislators are debating a bill that would mandate all schools- public and private would have to have paper towels in their restrooms. Cloth towels would not be permitted. As the bill is currently written, homeschoolers would not be exempt. County health officials would have the authority to inspect the bathrooms.

FREE SPEECH UPDATE

Filed on at 6:54 am under by dcobranchi

The educrats who tried to silence a gay kid by ripping down his campaign posters are at it again. They’ve cancelled scheduled campaign speeches because they couldn’t force the candidate not to mention that he’s gay. The answer to speech you don’t like? Ban it!

HOW ROMANTIC!

Filed on at 6:42 am under by dcobranchi

Another day, another perv in the g-schools.

Arroyo Grande High School assistant track coach Robert Budke had sex with a teenage student-athlete at his home, school office, classrooms and a campus tool shed, according to the alleged victim’s statements to detectives.

These crimes started four years ago when the girl was 15, prosecutors said.

You know what comes next- WWHS.

THE ALL PURPOSE EXCUSE

Filed on April 27, 2004 at 8:24 pm under by dcobranchi

It seems that every time an educrat wants to do something they shouldn’t, they trot out this tired excuse.

“The language in the two campaign posters in question was determined to be disruptive to the educational process and to have no relevance to the student’s qualifications for office,” said Robert E. Kendall Jr., school district spokesman in Wilson County, 40 miles east of Raleigh.

It must be printed in some “School Administration for Dummies” book.

A LOCAL STORY

Filed on at 7:24 am under by dcobranchi

I hope they get away with this as I think PA has some of the worst homeschooling laws in the country. But, somehow, I doubt they will.

A Bucks County couple who home school their children object to a law that the local school district approve their teaching plan.

Thomas and Babette Hankin filed suit Monday against the Bristol Township School District, saying its involvement violates their religious and privacy rights.

The couple has seven children, four of them school-age. They belong to the Malvern-based Free Presbyterian Church, which is not part of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

School officials discovered in March that the family was not complying with the district’s home-schooling requirements.

“Reporting to the district makes us part and parcel of them, which we feel we cannot in good conscious do,” said Babette Hankin, citing teaching on evolution as an example of the district’s alleged anti-God stance.

Bristol Township Superintendent Regina Cesario declined comment.

DRANK THE NEA KOOL-AID

Filed on at 7:00 am under by dcobranchi

The CS Monitor has an otherwise decent Op/Ed by a teacher that is spoiled with this one sentence.

We all know that teachers are grossly underpaid and overworked, but if you ask them, many would respond that they wouldn’t want to do anything else.

‘Tain’t so. Teachers freely give up some pay in exchange for some pretty good benefits: more time off, tenure, sabbaticals (in some districts), full retirement after 20 years. That’s not to say that some teachers aren’t underpaid. I’m sure the best ones are. But, that’s a function of the union mentality. Teachers have only themselves to blame for that one. Sorry, teachers, but on average you’re being paid exactly what you’re worth.

OT AND SCARY

Filed on at 6:37 am under by dcobranchi

File this one under the libertarian side of this blog.

A Saudi-born graduate student in the US is being charged with providing support to terrorist groups becasue he served as webmaster to several sites that linked to “terrorist” sites. He is, in effect, being prosecuted for the speech of others.

As a Web master to several Islamic organizations, Mr. Hussayen helped to maintain Internet sites with links to groups that praised suicide bombings in Chechnya and in Israel. But he himself does not hold those views, his lawyers said. His role was like that of a technical editor, they said, arguing that he could not be held criminally liable for what others wrote…”It’s an illustration of how much power the government can bring against somebody,” said John Dickinson, a retired professor of computer sciences who was Mr. Hussayen’s doctoral adviser at the University of Idaho. “It should scare anybody.”

By that standard, if one of you left a comment praising Hamas, I could be prosecuted under the USA PATRIOT Act. And, Bush wants to make permanent this travesty? Please, oh please, let saner heads prevail in the Senate.

UNJUSTIFIABLE

Filed on April 26, 2004 at 5:55 pm under by dcobranchi

Yay! Schools in WA are reaching out to homeschoolers. < / sarcasm >

The reporter doesn’t know a whole lot about homeschooling.

[H]ome-school doubters justifiably argue that most students taught strictly in the home, with no connection to schools, sacrifice opportunities for specialized courses and various activities, such as third- and fourth-year foreign languages, advanced science courses, college placement classes, horticulture classes and culinary arts. It is hard to participate in jazz band or a drama production from home.

No it’s not. You just have to go out and find the opportunities instead of waiting to be spoon fed like in the g-schools. My kids are starting Arabic next year. I fully expect them to become fluent (way beyond what a 4th-year student in school can learn). Advanced science classes are available at community colleges all over the country. And, they’re real college classes as opposed to AP. Horticulture? That’s what backyard gardens are for. Culinary arts? What, we don’t have kitchens? The performing arts? My older daughter has been in two full-length ballets in the last 6 months, dancing with professionals from the Pennsylvania and Boston ballets. Most of the young girls who danced were homeschooled.

We really don’t need the partnerships. We can do everything the g-schools offer, only better. How better? Ours are more real. Real college classes, planning and cooking real meals, tending a real garden (that you’ll need for the meals). Justifiable doubts? Hardly.

NICE SCAM, KID

Filed on at 5:23 pm under by dcobranchi

Muslim students in the UK are demanding a sharia-friendly student loan. Under sharia, no interest can be paid.

DON’T USE THE WORD

Filed on at 7:09 am under by dcobranchi

No- not the “S” word. In this article, it is apparently “unschooling.” Rachel Kielsky does a nice job of describing how her daughter learns and how they “do” homeschool without ever naming it. It’s a short and sweet article. Well worth a read.

SHUDDER!

Filed on at 7:03 am under by dcobranchi

Can’t you just hear the unspoken “God forbid” in this sentence?

[I]n a competitive environment, where a bad experience could drive a parent to a charter or private school, or even to home schooling, the school system needs to adopt the thinking of a business marketing itself to parents with a world of choices.

NOT MY KIDS

Filed on at 6:57 am under by dcobranchi

The Contra Costa Times laments the fall of penmanship. Supposedly, homeschoolers are keeping it alive, but just barely.

[Michael Sull, master penman and former president of the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting] said there’s been a surge of interest in proper handwriting instruction in the home-schooling arena, but he fears it will continue to diminish in the public schools of larger cities.

He obviously hasn’t seen my kids’ work.

WISH ME LUCK (AND A PRAYER WOULDN’T HURT)

Filed on April 25, 2004 at 7:10 pm under by dcobranchi

I’m starting the upgrade to MT 3.0 beta. I am an absolute novice when it comes to this kind of stuff. If the blog disappears into a black hole, you’ll know why.

UPDATE: Never mind. I’m not worthy! (IOW, I couldn’t figure the darn thing out.)

GLAD IT WORKED OUT

Filed on at 5:54 pm under by dcobranchi

From the sponsor of the OH homeschool prom:

Our prom is now over. How did it go? I am still so sad since the time went to quickly. We were blessed to have individuals travel from 2-3 hours away to give their children wholesome memories. One young man personally asked my husband if he could dance with our daughter. If I needed encouragement from the homeschooling community before my prom, I do not need it now. The homeschooling teens said it all. This night “rocked” in our daughter’s words because she was with like minded teenagers. The escorts for some of our young ladies that were either public schooled or private schooled thanked us for giving them a stress free prom. If I had to do this over would I? I would not have hesitated. My only change would not have been to ask for permission to do the right thing for those teenagers that want a prom– A GOOD CHRISTIAN PROM. These words are not opposites and I am honored to be in the company of these WONDERFUL teens. Next Year— April 29, 2005. To Jo and Delaine thanks for the support, you were both great. If you are a homeschooling parent from another state and would like inspiration sent me an e-mail.

UPDATE: Dee Dee via comment pointed out an error in the original post. I dodn’t pay close enough attention and incorrectly attributed the comment above to the sponsor of the CA prom, instead of the OH prom. Glad some folks’ eyes are better than mine. The error has been corrected.

EYE-CARUMBA!

Filed on at 4:44 pm under by dcobranchi

Yeah- some kids need glasses. And, some don’t yet know it. But this graf makes the blood run cold:

All children in the city should undergo thorough vision testing when they’re first enrolled in school – to be enforced as aggressively as the requirement for immunizations – and be subjected to periodic rigorous screening through high school.

Immunizations are enforced becasue the diseases are contagious. I’m pretty sure no one ever passed nearsightedness on to their neighbor.

I’M NOT SURE WHAT THIS MEANS

Filed on at 4:26 pm under by dcobranchi

In an article about charter schools in Humboldt Co. (CA), we have this throwaway:

About 7.5 percent of Humboldt County students are attending charter schools, up from 4 percent in 1998-1999, Eagles said. During the same period, he said, the home-schooling population in the county has been decreasing dramatically. About 3 percent of public school students statewide attend charter schools.

Given CA’s crazy laws in which FTE g-school students are lumped in with homeschooling, this may or may not be significant. Y’all might think this heresy, but I’m not terribly concerned if a parent of her own free will chooses to enroll her kid in a charter school insteead of homeschooling. Homeschooling is not for everyone; if the charter better fits their needs, so be it.

DELAWARE ITEM: MORE ON THE THREE TIERS

Filed on at 9:24 am under by dcobranchi

The News-Journal has a depressing piece on the three-tiered diploma system scheduled to take effect in June. It seems three-fourths of minority students will get the basic diploma, the lowest of the three levels. Some are equating this with segregation.

“Though physically they are integrated, it’s a public policy that’s been put in place to resegregate our schools. That’s the effect of this new policy,” Wilmington City Councilman Theo K. Gregory said.

“It sorts them to the bottom again,” said Melva Ware, a specialist in urban education at the Delaware Center for Teacher Education at the University of Delaware.

…”I just hope that somewhere along the line, parents will stand up and do what’s right for their kids and not let this happen,” said Claibourne D. Smith, one of two black people on the State Board of Education. “It is so bizarre and bad,” he said.

Black people?? Ugh! The stats certainly look bad but it may be entirely “innocent.”

Low-income students are nearly three times as likely to get the basic diploma as the higher ones.

There’s a strong negative correlation between poverty and achievment in school. It’s a complicated situation. What is needed is a look at how well poor and non-poor minority students do at the same school. Unfortunately, the N-J does not provide those numbers.

OT: A USEFUL WEBSITE

Filed on April 24, 2004 at 2:02 pm under by dcobranchi

For anyone on a diet.

I WISH I’D THOUGHT OF THAT

Filed on at 11:17 am under by dcobranchi

Darby’s husband had a great comment about the Canadian educrats.

FEEDBACK NEEDED

Filed on at 8:48 am under by dcobranchi

Let me know what y’all think of the ads. And, if you’re looking to buy some Usborne books, please click on the link (it goes to frequent commenter Andrea Roach’s website).

AMISTAD UPDATE, LAST ONE

Filed on at 8:39 am under by dcobranchi

We hooked up with the Davis and Haas (yes, those Haasi) families yesterday at the Amistad. Tim’s lovely wife sent me this group photo of all the kids.

kids on ship.jpg

BTW, Tim’s older son, Alex, enjoys reading the blog and gave a ringing endorsement. It’s enshrined above.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed the plural of “Haas” is “Haasi.” The original post has been fixed.

DUMB DECISION

Filed on at 7:40 am under by dcobranchi

A Canadian educrat has ordered some (alleged) homeschooling families to stop using religious materials in their education programs, even though the parents pay for the materials themselves. Needless to say, the (alleged) home educators are less than pleased.

Home-schooling parents are fuming after the B.C. Education Ministry ordered thousands of them to stop using faith-based materials — or any other “unofficial” resource — when teaching their children at home.

Many parents, including some who aren’t religious, say they will cut their ties with the school system rather than obey the directive. “They can’t tell me what to do in my own home,” said Pamela Nagle, whose son is home-schooled but attends a Langley school one day a week.

Although the educrat is over-reaching, the article is really a warning to homeschoolers not to take the king’s gold.

Nagle is one of many home-schooling parents lured into the public school system in recent years through an electronic distance-education program. After starting as a pilot project with 2,200 kids, the program ballooned to 6,800.

Although most home-schooling parents are fiercely independent, many enrolled their children in distance education after they were promised they would continue to be their children’s primary teacher, with the public school system playing a supporting role.

The link to the school system gave them teacher expertise that they might not have otherwise, as well as money for resources.

…The Education Ministry said the rules were clear in September 2002 when the cap on enrolment in distance education was lifted. But by January 2004, it realized several were being ignored.

It sent out a “clarification” stating that distance-education programs had to follow the same rules as public schools and notified 10 districts that they would be audited this spring.

“If a district receives full funding for a student, the student is not being home-schooled,” the ministry stated. With regard to faith-based resources, it stated: “Districts must ensure that students are not using religious materials or resources as part of the educational program and that parents are not being reimbursed for using religious materials or resources with students.”

Homeschoolers get involved in these homeschool/g-school “partnerships” at their own peril. (Hat tip to Ben Cunningham)

UPCHUCK-A-RAMA

Filed on at 7:26 am under by dcobranchi

It’s Salt Lake City Restaurant Week here at H&OES. Yesterday, it was the Harmon’s KFC. Today, it’s a not-quite-all-you-can-eat buffet.

A couple on a low-carb diet were kicked out of a buffet restaurant after the manager said they’d eaten too much roast beef.

Sui Amaama, who along with his wife have been on the Atkins Diet for two weeks, was asked to leave after he went up to the buffet at the Chuck-A-Rama in suburban Taylorsville for his 12th slice of roast beef.

And, yes, Lydia and I used to go to the Chuck-A-Rama. You can see our nickname for the place in the title above.

EDITORS FIRST

Filed on at 7:02 am under by dcobranchi

The Wilmington News-Journal has basically endorsed reinstating a draft for all young people (both men and women). Interestingly, while visiting the Amistad yesterday, I was thinking about this very topic. What’s the connection? Well, the purpose of the Amistad display is to highlight slavery. In addition to the ship, there are several tents where artifacts and essays are displayed. I found one by Frederick Douglas appropos.

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively, and positively, negatively, and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and lo offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

18-year-olds own their own bodies, too.

A draft is a lazy leader’s way to wage war. If the cause is just and if the leader is truly leading, there will be more than enough volunteers for the army. Was a draft needed on Dec. 8th, 1941? Would one have been needed on Sept. 12th, 2001? No. Because the nation was ready for war. We had been attacked. Young men and women lined up to fight back. Do we need one in Iraq? Maybe. What does that tell you about the level of support Bush has generated for the war?

Perhaps this talk about the draft is just political posturing. Rangel is, after all, a Democrat. I just find it very interesting that those who would propose slavery for our youth are all beyond the age where they would be subjected to the same.

So, I’ll support a draft the day the News-Journal endorses one that would include the editor. I won’t be holding my breath.

HOMESCHOOLING DOESN’T WORK

Filed on April 23, 2004 at 4:56 pm under by dcobranchi

< sarcasm >I’m throwing in the towel. That teacher in Canada is 100% correct. And, as evidence, I present this disjointed, incoherent essay by a 13-year-old homeschooler. < / sarcasm > Good stuff.

NEWS TO ME

Filed on at 4:32 pm under by dcobranchi

Since when has GoogleNews started scanning blogs? This blog entry just popped up on my standard search.

WAY OT: A TOUCH OF SADNESS

Filed on at 1:10 pm under by dcobranchi

The very first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant has been demolished to make way for a new and improved store/museum. Lydia and I used to eat in that restaurant while we were in grad school.

FORCES OF EVIL VICTORIOUS

Filed on at 12:25 pm under by dcobranchi

Gov. Sanford’s tax credit proposal is DOA.

COLUMBIA – Gov. Mark Sanford’s school choice bill was effectively killed by the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday. The full committee agreed to adjourn debate on the bill, postponing discussion until a later date. That means the bill is unlikely to be passed by the House before the May 1 deadline so the Senate can consider it.The bill would give parents education tax credits on property or income taxes to use toward private education, home schooling or the cost of transferring a child to another school district.
House Minority Leader James Smith applauded the move.

“This bill would have drained money from public schools and lowered educational standards all over South Carolina,” Smith said in a news release.

Supporters said the bill would make it easier for students to leave low-performing schools. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOMESCHOOL IS BORING

Filed on at 12:22 pm under by dcobranchi

Interesting LTTE of the Portland (OR) Tribune:

Home schooling can be too protective

As a former student home-schooled in North Portland, allow me to fill you in on the dirty little secret of home school: It is dreadfully boring (Taking lesson plans to the hearth, March 26). I have no doubt that home-schooling your child protects them from the dangerous influences of social interaction. However, it unfortunately also protects your child from the influence of fun. How exciting can it be to spend the majority of your day at home? Trust me, not much.

When I was home-schooled, my two best friends were a scrawny apple tree in the back yard and the mailman. Oh, how I loved the mailman.

Yes, change is good. I would rather have been subjected to the taunts and jeers of my peers, than be stuck at home for one more day.

Home school is safe and boring.

Justin Morton
Arlington, Va.

O, CANADA!

Filed on at 8:50 am under by dcobranchi

Darby 1, Idiot teacher -1,000,000

NASCAR HOME EDUCATOR

Filed on at 7:53 am under by dcobranchi

I’m not really a Kyle Petty (or NASCAR) fan. I’ve been to one race and was bored to tears. Furthermore, my employer is the main sponsor of Jeff Gordon. All that said, I just might have to root for Petty in the future- his kids were all homeschooled. Probably not surprising given all the travel involved in a racing career.

AMISTAD UPDATE

Filed on at 7:33 am under by dcobranchi

The News-Journal has a nice piece about one of the “re-enactors” who staff the Amistad.

We’re going today (with several other homeschoolers) after the g-school field-trip kids are done. In preparation, we watched the movie the other day. Maybe I’ll see some of y’all there.

OVER (ALLERGIC) REACTION

Filed on at 7:24 am under by dcobranchi

A 12-year-old has been suspended for allegedly threatening his allergic teacher with peanut butter cookies.

The father said Jules was carrying a snack packet of Nutter Butter cookies and did make a comment about having “something dangerous” but never said he had a weapon. “They mishandled this,” Gabriel said.

There are not enough details provided to know for sure, but this doesn’t sound like a threat to me.

FREE BLOG-AD

Filed on April 22, 2004 at 5:27 pm under by dcobranchi

I’m setting up Blog-Ads. Until I get a paying customer or two, I’m willing to host some freebies. Drop me a line if you’re interested.

GEEK ALERT

Filed on at 1:28 pm under by dcobranchi

Chris O’Donnell pointed me to a website that only chem-geeks could love. Warning- some of the names a just a teensy bit risque’. Pretty funny, though.
Read more »

A SHOCKER!!!

Filed on at 12:39 pm under by dcobranchi

This Op/Ed out of Canada is the worst piece of anti-homeschooling trash I think I’ve ever seen. It is also out there in la-la land regarding what the g-schools are like.

No matter how the picture is painted, the simple truth is that kitchen-table education is inferior to the one offered in public schools.

If education were as simple as good grades, perhaps valid arguments could be made of the superiority of home schooling children. All that would have to be done is compare the grades of home-schooled children to the ones educated in the public system. However, any perceptive parent knows that there is more to education than grades. Rather, it is the setting up of conditions where a young person can learn and grow and become the person they choose to be and not simply be a clone of their parents.

Education is like a mother bird teaching its young to fly. It is a gift of freedom that allows children to truly define themselves. It allows children to throw back the protective covers of their parents, and have them see and experience the world with the help and encouragement of minds whose primary purpose is not to protect but to explore. The student-teacher relationship in a public school is as intellectually mighty a Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe in the early 1500’s. Now, students and teachers are the explorers of the new world of science, art, and ideas.

Emphasis mine. That last bit has to win idiotic quote of the millenium. The rest of the article is no better. Read the whole thing, but not on a full stomach.

Oh yeah- the shocker? The author is a g-school teacher.

HOMESCHOOLING REVOLUTION

Filed on at 6:38 am under by dcobranchi

I don’t think this was what Izzy meant when she titled her book.

A COMPANY based in Wheathamstead that is at the forefront of a revolution in home schooling is offering parents the chance to trial its system for free.

Vu2, which operates from offices in Brewhouse Hill, has pioneered a web-based system which allows children who cannot attend school to receive up to 15 hours a week tuition in a range of subjects.

Teachers give lessons via a live web broadcast and children log on at the allotted time to receive the tuition. They can hear the teacher’s voice but can also communicate through a two-way text system.

Local education authorities (LEAs) are obliged by the Government to provide children who are not attending school for whatever reason with 25 hours a week schooling.

Vu2’s technology enables children to receive tuition in mathematicss, English, science and IT and because the lessons are modelled on the National Curriculum pupils can obtain GCSEs after the usual two years.

YeeeHaa! Government schooling at the click of a mouse. Now, that’s a revolution we can do without.

2 + 2 IS…

Filed on at 6:28 am under by dcobranchi

Darn, my batteries are dead. What was the question?

Chet at Reform K12 has an excellent post on why lettings kids use calculators before they’ve mastered the basics is such a bad idea. The closing line is terrific.

In having a child master the calculator, that child just might become its hobbled slave.

Another big plus for homeschooling. We parents (as opposed to some technology committee) get to decide when the kids can use the time savers.

BTW, Chet’s analogy to a kid learning to walk may be more accurate than he realizes. He’s basically describing a baby walker. Those devices have been shown to delay the age when an infant truly learns to walk. Definitely counter-productive.

OT: NO WONDER…

Filed on April 21, 2004 at 5:52 pm under by dcobranchi

so many Americans are overweight. The BMI calculation tends towards the anorexic. I’m 5′ 10″. Based on the BMI, the normal weight for that height is 152 lbs. At that weight, you’d be able to count my vertebrae. From the front.

SURE I’LL EMAIL YOU

Filed on at 3:51 pm under by dcobranchi

Here’s a comment that showed up in an old thread.

What if a home schooled child did not take the tcap test when they were suppose to?
what is the home schooled child is not getting the 4-5 hours a day schooling? the slips that the home school teacher fills out on a daily basis to show the hours that were taught can easily be a lie, and alot of the children are being denied the education they should be getting.
Because of this neglect what happens when a 5th grade home schooled child is on a 3rd grade level; for example; can not divide, dont know all his multiplcation tables, can not even subtract from hundreds or thousands!!!! something needs to be done because in my eyes this is neglect, and this is our future.
please email me back with some answers, so I can either turn in this person, or somebody I can contact about this ongoing problem.

stephanie

She seems genuinely concerned, though obviously a bit misinformed.

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