I don’t recall Dobson being quite this enthusiastic before.
Many of our friends have begun to home-school their children with seemingly positive results. My wife and I are considering this possibility as well, but aren’t quite sure. What are your views on this educational option? What would you do in my shoes?
This is a subject on which my mind has changed dramatically over the years.
There was a time when I subscribed wholeheartedly to the notion that early formal childhood education was vital to the child’s intellectual well-being.
That was widely believed in the ’60s and ’70s. I no longer accept that idea and favor keeping kids with their parents for a longer time.
Dr. Raymond Moore, author of School Can Wait and an early leader of the home-schooling movement, had a great influence on me in this regard.
The research now validates the wisdom of keeping boys and girls in a protected environment until they have achieved a greater degree of maturity.
Not only do they benefit emotionally from that delay, but they typically make better progress academically.
That’s why home-schooled individuals often gain entrance to the most prestigious universities and colleges in the country.
What their parents can teach young children in informal one-on-one interactions surpasses what their little minds can absorb sitting among 25 age mates in a classroom.
You asked what I would do in your shoes?
If Shirley and I were raising our children again, we would home-school them at least for the first few years.
Hollins University associate professor of political science Ed Lynch thinks he’s defined what it means to be a liberal. Among his choices:
You uphold a woman’s right to choose, unless a woman chooses adoption, chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, chooses to homeschool, or chooses to start a business.
I don’t know of a single liberal who does any of those things. In fact, I know quite a few liberal home educators. What would Assoc. Prof. Lynch say about that? Then there’s also this gem:
You think that raising taxes will reduce the budget deficit.
OK, then. I’d add another one. You might be a liberal if you think Ed Lynch is an idiot.
So call me a liberal.
BTW- why do non-thinking conservatives (such as the idiot quoted above) put so much faith in the Laffer curve? And even assuming that Laffer was correct, why are they 100 percent convinced that we’re on the high side of said curve? Do you want to drive one of these guys crazy? Ask them what happens to the deficit if we cut taxes to zero. They’re like the robot Norman in the original Star Trek episode “I, Mudd.”
Here’s a write up of an “ordinary, average stoner pothead” homeschool grad who ” digs putting on performance art extravaganzas.”
In case you haven’t seen this— another neglect/starvation case in your neck of the woods. It’s not clear if the family is still homeschooling. They were as of January ’03.
The rule-making part of the recently renewed IDEA is now starting. If homeschoolers are to be eligible, now is the time to speak up.
Prof. Mike Adams wants to give credit for significant life events.
As controversial as it may seem, my new life difficulty grading scale will help us to achieve a goal that should make all of us feel comfortable. That goal is nothing less than the destruction of the antiquated notion that people should work to overcome life’s difficulties with no advanced guarantee of the outcome they desire.
Some will call my new system revolutionary. Others will call it an extension of affirmative action.
The Greenville (SC) News yesterday had a huge spread (6 pages) on how SC students can boost their SAT scores by taking test-prep courses. The paper endorsed school districts subsidizing these courses and suggested it should be a state-wide program. Why? Because SC scores trail the nation and kids with higher scores can get college scholarships.
While well-meaning, I think the paper misses the point. Scores in SC are low because the education is poor. If test-prep courses can magically boost kids’ scores by 100 points, are they suddenly well-educated? Why not just lobby for affirmative action for SC students? Every South Carolinian would automatically get a 100 point bonus for past educational neglect. And, let’s get rid of that 1100 requirement in order to qualify for a state scholarship. If everyone gets the scholarship, then a SC g-school diploma will be truly first-rate.
Test-prep is useful, no question. But it’s not a panacea. It will not cure SC’s g-school ills. SC should concentrate on really fixing the schools instead of looking for a magic wand from Kaplan.
Fun with math.
Ghost Stories With Hidden Agendas.
BY KAREN SNEIDER
– – – –
Ghost Stories With Hidden Agendas.
– – – –
WHERE IS MY GOLDEN ARM?
Once, a woman was struck by a car while she was crossing the street. She was severely injured and lost her left arm as a result. The car was driven by a rich man who felt so guilty he bought the woman an artificial arm made of solid gold.
The woman’s husband was a greedy man who saw his wife’s gleaming golden limb and thought only of all the things he could buy with it. He tried to persuade her to part with the arm but she wouldn’t hear of it. In a fit of rage, the man killed his wife. He took her golden arm and buried her body in the woods behind his house.
Late that evening, at around midnight, the man lay in bed stroking the golden arm and envisioning his coming riches. Outside, the wind blew briskly at a high, shrill pitch, at times rattling the shutters of the ramshackle house. It was an unsettling noise, almost like a woman’s voice moaning in pain. As the man listened more intently, the wailing began to sound like words:
“Golllllden arrrrrrm! Golllllllden arrrrrrm!”
The man shuddered. It sounded like the voice was somewhere out in the woods near where he buried his wife, 640 feet away from where he lay in bed. As the man listened for the next 100 minutes, the voice began to travel, nearer and nearer, until it sounded as though it were 160 feet away! Abruptly, the wind died down. He strained to hear the voice again but all was still. The man told himself he must be hearing things. He tucked the golden arm safely under his own and soon fell asleep.
But the next night, at midnight, he heard the voice again! Cold nodules of fear blossomed up and down his spine like arctic flowers. This time when the voice spoke, every word was articulated and distinct:
“Where is my gollllden arrrrrrrrm?” it wept. “Where is my golllllden arrrrrrrm?”
It was his dead wife. As he listened, it was clear that her voice was drawing closer!
However, the strain of materializing again so soon had weakened the ghost and she was not as powerful as she was the previous night. As a result, she was only able to manifest for 50 minutes. She groaned and cried, moving closer and closer. Finally, her voice fell silent 40 feet away from where he lay in bed, just outside the front door to his house! The man was eventually able to fall into a troubled sleep at dawn.
The following evening, the man made sure to lock the front door with its heaviest bolt. He shuttered all the windows and sealed the chimney flue. Content that nothing could penetrate his defenses, he fell asleep cradling the golden arm. At midnight however, he woke with a start. The ghost had begun her hideous moaning once again. A great shattering of glass was heard. She was inside the house! Slowly, the phantom drifted down the front hall, toward the man’s bedroom.
“Where is my gollllden arrrrrm? Where is my gollllden arrrrrrrrrrm?” his dead wife wailed.
That night, the ghost appeared for even less time than before, her energy much depleted from the previous night’s efforts. After 25 minutes of caterwauling, the apparition gave a last choking gasp only 10 feet from where he lay trembling in fear.
The terrified man didn’t sleep at all that night. The next morning, he locked the bedroom door and pushed the couch in front of it, then stacked his dresser on top for good measure. Soon the door was all but buried under a mountain of possessions. He boarded up the windows and dragged over a heavy desk to block the fireplace. He moved his bed five feet to the center of the room so he could survey it from all angles, inadvertently moving himself five feet closer to the path of the ghost. All day he huddled there, wide-eyed, cowering under the sheets. Then, sure enough, as the clock chimed midnight, there was a resounding thud as the desk blocking the fireplace fell over. The spirit struck up her unearthly keening as she glided through his bedroom. The ghost was even further exhausted by the rigors of manifesting in the fleshly plane and
appeared for a shorter amount of time than the night before.
“Where is my golllllden arrrrrmmm? Where is my gollllden arrrrrrrrrrrm?” howled the specter.
The man lay frozen, clutching the golden arm, too afraid to stir. How much of this did he have to stand? At this rate, how long would it take for the ghost to be upon him?!
“I’VE GOT IT!!!” yelled the man. “You will press your moldering body against mine, place your decaying, necrotic mouth over my mouth, and begin sucking out my soul in precisely 8 minutes and 33 seconds!” And with that, he flung the golden arm at the ghost!
There was a long pause of complete silence. Minutes passed. Then, chillingly, the man felt the bedclothes being drawn from his body. A piece of scrap paper and a pencil were roughly shoved in his hand by a clammy, fumbling claw.
“Show your work!” moaned his dead wife. “Showwww your workkkkkkk!”
Via Jason Wright
Every time I cross paths with PAhomeschoolers’ Howard Richman, I come away convinced that he must really be an NEA plant. How else to explain his anti-freedom positions? Here are his responses to the Akron series from last month. A couple of choice quotes should suffice:
However, the Akron Beacon Journal case that homeschooling relatives are murdering homeschooled children at a greater rate than would be expected is actually quite strong.
Here Smith ignored the preponderant evidence collected by the Beacon Journal that child abuse was actually higher amoung homeschoolers… The problem is that Smith´s group, HSLDA, has tried to take out all child protection from homeschool laws, as when they supported House Bill 2560 of 2002 in Pennsylvania. Judging from HSLDA’s ranking of homeschooling laws across the country, their ideal law is one that gives parents the right not to educate their children. Such laws provide convenient shelter to parents who decide to “homeschool” in order to hide child abuse.
Actually, there is one other explanation. It’s called a conflict of interest. From what I remember from the debate on 2560, Richman makes money from the continuation of PA’s terrible homeschooling laws. More freedom means less money for him. Making money off of homeschooling is good old-fashioned capitalism. Doing it at the expense of homeschooling freedoms makes you an enemy of homeschoolers everywhere. (Hat tip: Dave)
This article attempts to explain the difference between unschooling and homeschooling…
“Is your mom your teacher?” they ask my daughter when she says she is homeschooled. “No, I teach myself,” she says. It is a comment that confuses most people.
All Sammies, all the time.
A couple of South Dakota legislators (one from each of the big parties) want to force homeschoolers to take the same tests under the same conditions as
inmates in the state prison system students in the g-schools.
Sen. Clarence Kooistra, R-Garretson, and co-sponsor Rep.-elect Elaine Roberts, D-Sioux Falls, say it’s an issue of quality control.
Under their proposed law, the state would furnish tests for home-school students, and local districts would monitor the tests and communicate with parents about the results.
“I don’t think you can consider valid the scores reported by home school people, since there’s no state monitoring,” Kooistra said. “There’s no accountability.”
Well, since home educators aren’t taking tax dollars, there really shouldn’t need to be any, should there?
Linda Schrock Taylor has some words of wisdom for buying and using the old hardback Saxon books. With all the interest in these books, you’d think the publisher would take the hint and make them available again to homeschoolers.
Sorry for the silence. We switched houses, and I forgot to print out the login script for MT. Blogging will resume shortly.
*Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance
Alice in Texas is becoming more American every day. She has just posted her top 10 reasons to homeschool. She hasn’t quite caught the idom, though, as she lists them 1 to 10 instead of the correct 10 to 1. I especially liked her example of the neo-Mozart. It reminded me of the real-life Peter Williams. Peter’s tale, by-the-way, has been picked up at the UK-based Samizdata, for whom Alice writes. Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance.
A Fayetteville, NC homeschooling family has just adopted five siblings on top of the five they already had. They sound like nice folks. If we end up there, I might have to look them up.
Here’s a neat piece on a couple that bought an abandoned school on eBay. I’ve thought of this for years, ever since a friend moved her business into a renovated elementary school. Just think of the great spaces for plays and puppet shows. Never mind having a big gym to run around in. And when the kids misbehave, we really could send them to the “principal’s” office.
inmates students are getting restless.
Melissa Scott said she can’t go to the bathroom at school without teachers or administrators asking to see her hall pass.
So the Glasgow High School junior isn’t too happy about a new Christina School District security plan she thinks will lead to more requests to see her hall pass from even more people.
“It’s already like we’re under constant surveillance,” said Scott, who understands school officials are concerned about student safety but thinks this solution is at the expense of her freedom. “If the teacher doesn’t give you a pass, you can’t get anywhere. It’s difficult to get around the building.”
…”If students know that we are watching, they are going to be less apt to act out,” said Rich Strickland, director of the district’s new Office of Safety and Security. “We are taking control and being proactive. You can’t have a student population of 1,500 and expect everybody to get along. It’s not reasonable.”
Sounds eminently sensible to me. In fact, I think we’ll institute a “hall pass” program at our home. Bathroom breaks will be strictly monitored. After all, we can’t have kids wandering around the house unsupervised.
Homeschooling is illegal in Germany. Here’s a sympathetic article profiling one homeschooling family. There’s even a mom-and-kids-at-the-table picture. 😉
A truancy officer notified the Beckers that he would have the children picked up and escorted to school if needed. “But my husband said, ‘There are four children, so you need four policemen who will stay outside the four classroom doors’,” Becker explained.
The obligatory “dissenting opinion” is pretty funny (and quickly disposed of), too:
Experts say that kids who don’t go to school aren’t socially-adjusted and lack assertiveness and the ability to deal with conflicts. But, Becker sees the positive aspects.
“They have the freedom to learn,” she said. “They don’t experience learning as something restrictive, as a constraint that you want to escape from as quickly as possible.”
A seventh grader was turned away from a school dance because he came dressed up as Santa Claus. Unfortunately, the adults don’t seem to be able to keep their stories straight…
…school Superintendent James Gaylord said the boy was banned because he violated the dress code for last Friday’s event, which was supposed to be a “dress-up dance.”
Gaylord also said the beard covered the student’s face, so it was difficult to tell who it was.
But Principal Fred Muscara is quoted in a local newspaper as saying, “It was a holiday party. It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that.”
I’ll betcha Gaylord’s not real happy with Muscara right now. 😉
So it’s not the best photo I’ve ever taken, but I couldn’t resist “puppy blogging” today. (Even if it’s been a very long time since that dog was a puppy!)
and we’re off to see the girls in The Nutcracker. Then it’s off to the races (literally) as we make a beeline for SC. Hence, posting will be light to non-existent until Christmas evening at the earliest.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
I couldn’t decide between cute …
and cuter …
How do they sleep like this?
UPDATE: I fixed the white balance.
Just what the hell were they thinking when they decided that we couldn’t force g-school kids to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance?! These kids should just be marched to the courtyard and shot, I tell you. And their parents, too. Yeah. Let’s round ’em all up. !@$%^# unpatriotic SOBs. Don’t they know this country’s freedom is founded on beating the hell out of kids?!
(Chris, nice neighbors you have. Montana’s looking better every day, I bet.)
The TSA is once again revising how they’re going to screen passengers at airports. Many females had complained that the pat downs were a bit intrusive. A bit as in under any other circumstances the TSA agent could be arrested for offensive touching.
I received an email from the mother of this chess prodigy asking for a little publicity regarding her fight with her LEA. It seems that being the best under-7 chess player in the country doesn’t count as receiving an education. The LEA is threatening to arrest the parents and to force the kid into a g-school.
I hope that Education Otherwise will set the edu-crats straight.
UPDATE: If you’re particularly inspired to contact the case officer directly, he can be reached at
Mr. Jim McGilvery
Ass. Principal Education Welfare Officer
New Forest Local Education Office
Winsor Road Bartley
Phone number is 023 80881 2113
I especially like that “Ass.” part. The other potential contact person is
Mr. Jack Cawthra
Hampshire County Council
Phone number 01962 846537
Every other year we do the “Twelves Days of Christmas,” whereby the kids get a single present a day. We do this for completely practical reasons; we go down to SC every other year, and it seemed awfully silly to haul their presents down there and then haul them back again. A side benefit is that the kids don’t get overwhelmed with stuff and actually play with the “toys.” (Me too.)
This has been a “violent” gift-giving season. So much so, that I’ve changed the words to the song.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Three paintball guns, Two Softair guns, And a 4-foot blowgun for my son.
The picture above is our shed after my 5-year-old had at it for a bit. His paintball gun is way cool– only
8 15 dollars at Dick’s Cabela’s and it doesn’t require CO2. Of course, it’s like an inkjet printer; they’ll get me on the supplies.
UPDATE: I’ve fixed the errors above.
Wonderful example that HSLDA has set:
[Texas Gov.] Perry’s early endorsers are a formidable list. They include the heads of the Free Market Foundation, Texas Home School Coalition, the Texas Eagle Forum, the Texas Christian Coalition and several anti-abortion groups.
I hope there’s a statewide inclusive in Texas to disavow this.
I didn’t realize that Christians, in particular evangelicals, were so discriminated against. Maybe we need affirmative action?
The next Harry Potter book was just announced with a July publishing date. BN.com is already taking pre-orders.
There’s a fine line between exercising one’s parental perogatives when one’s child is in a state school and making oneself look like an authoritarian prig. These folks crossed the line, but have just been firmly rebuffed:
The committee was formed to explore whether J.D. Salinger’s 1951 coming-of-age tale is appropriate for freshmen after two Lebanon parents, Andrea and Mike Minnon, objected to its use based on the language and actions of the main character, 16-year-old Holden Caulfield.
The Minnons, whose 14-year-old son, Spencer, is a freshman at Noble, have described the controversial book as trash and Caulfield as a degenerate prep school drop-out who treats women as objects and finds no solutions to the depressive state he finds himself in. The Minnons said part of their effort to pull the book from the curriculum was to have teachers hold students to higher standards.
Reached at home after the opinion was released, Andrea Minnon said she was not surprised by the committee’s decision. “I didn’t feel like they were going to go with my decisions,” said Minnon, who previously home-schooled Spencer and his younger brother. “They’re comfortable with their standards. I’m not comfortable with their standards.”
Ma’am, it would be far too obvious for me to say you made your choice when you sent him back into a system designed to subvert your worldview, so …
You made your choice when you sent him back into a system designed to subvert your worldview.
How did we get dragged into this?
Editorial too strong on books
Editor, The Citizen:
I usually read your editorials with interest but I read the one on banning books with disgust.
Do you know that you made a sweeping statement that “no books should be banned from schools”? You must know that books on Jesus or the Ten Commandants are banned. And don’t give me that separation of church and state because God and the Ten Commandants are not a religion.
Many books are banned for good or bad reasons and any on dirty sex and four letter words should be banned.
“When books are banned they will soon be burned”. My God what a statement!!! Have you heard of the burning of any books banned by American schools? If so, I hope they were the vulgar ones.
“Do not ban an idea.”
Great, let’s have freedom to express our sexual fantasies in public, freedom to home school our kids, freedom to use government funds for private schools, freedom to do what we want without regard for others. To some people those are good ideas.
I think you know that we should guide our children into the right paths as they grow in this mixed-up world we live in. You just got carried away with freedom of the press.
So, somehow vouchers and homeschooling are akin to exhibitionism? Hmmm. Maybe Tim really was onto something.
The Jackson (TN) Sun is calling for increased regulation of homeschooling in that state. The whole thing is pretty ugly, but these may be the worst parts:
Finally, the law should be rewritten to require that every home schooler take the same state-mandated achievement tests as everyone else.
Those opposed to reform and in favor of maintaining the status quo are missing the point. Home-schooling was intended to give parents flexibility in teaching their children. It never was intended as a substitute for traditional education, and it shouldn’t become one.
Homeschoolers in Tennessee are blessed with a strong statewide group. I imagine the LttE are being composed even as y’all sleep.
I’m a card-carrying member of the ACLU. Never have I more wanted them to be wrong than in this.
but I’m seriously thinking of hiding my family in a cave.
Erin O’Connor blogs about really young kids simulating (and worse) sex acts at school. I’m pretty sure even my 13-year-old wouldn’t know about any of this. G-school socialization is not all it’s cracked up to be.
The lede in this LttE struck me as funny.
Several years ago we, along with many of our friends, decided to send our annual school tax donation to Isaac Independent School District.
Here’s a post from the woman accused of kidnapping and murder. I’m intentionally not naming her because I don’t want her name linked with what we normally discuss here. The media are not playing this angle up. Let’s hope it stays that way.
A couple of teenage cheerleaders went a bit nutso and made a soft core video. Very, very dumb. But the school has banned them from cheering for ” their own safety, and if the allegations prove true, because they broke school conduct codes. ” I’m really curious how this is covered in the conduct codes.
Should the girls be punished? Maybe even kicked off the cheerleading squad? Sure. But by their parents.
Until Time Magazine named them as such, I’d never heard of Power Line. A quick scan through December’s posts didn’t knock me out of my seat.
Fallout from the case last month of the homeschooler who was years behind her g-school peers. Legislators and edu-crats are calling for increased regulation.
State education officials say they plan to explore whether they need to take a more active role with home-schooled students. Currently, they maintain the same hands-off approach with those students as they do with those attending private schools.
…”This state has an obligation to make sure its citizens are educated,” said state Rep. Mark Maddox, a Democrat from Dresden, adding that it might be time to tighten up the state’s home-school law. ”It would give home-school parents an extra assurance that their children are not behind their peers. I’d want to know my children are on an equal footing.”
The paper does a pretty good job of presenting both sides. A home educating state legislator is also quoted as opposing increased regulation. The reporter also quotes Laura Derrick, head of NHEN (yes, there really is another national homeschooling group other than HSLDA).
One minor quibble- I don’t think TN homeschooling laws are particularly friendly. Mandatory testing, required subjects, etc. Thank God I’m not there; I’d be one of the malcontents.
Internext Explorer is old, old, old, and Firefox is the new hot thing, according to the NYT in the snarkiest piece I’ve ever read in that paper. Firefox is better although some pages don’t render properly. That will change over time as Firefox builds market share.
BTW- tabbed browsing is a godsend for blogging. And you can download Firefox 1.0 here.
The NYT has a very inspirational piece about a young family whose infant daughter is fighting a previously untreatable disease. Like Tay-Sachs, Niemann-Pick disease is a storage disease that has been inevitably fatal. I’d never heard of Niemann-Pick before. The article indicates that it, like Tay-Sachs, is more prevalent in Ashkenazim families.
The parents and doctors are cautiously optimistic that the experimental treatment will work.
By popular request
Please answer in the comments below whether you are currently a home educator or not. Also, how many kids you are home educating.
For the sake of clarity, let’s not include kids enrolled in public cyber schools (including charters) as homeschoolers.