OK, this is not the NEA, but what’s the diff?
Johannesburg – A rowdy delegation of teachers paraded drunk and semi-naked through the corridors of a hotel, singing loudly and disturbing guests, while others defecated on bed linen and left used condoms lying on dressing tables, pedestals and carpets.
These allegations are contained in a strongly worded letter written by the management of City Lodge Hotels in Rustenburg to South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) general-secretary Thulas Nxesi and copied to Education Minister Naledi Pandor.
This is after a delegation of 125 Sadtu members who stayed at the hotel in Rustenburg on the weekend of August 19-20 for the annual conference of the teacher union’s North West region, left guests and staff of the hotel fuming at their rowdy behaviour.
Guess what the primary concern of this school district is. Hint: 3 vowels and 2 consonants
My two favorite blogging topics collide in this Inky piece. I’ve got no problem with home educators teaching creationism. It’s not science, but c’est la vie. It doesn’t belong in the g-schools, though. Not unless the people pushing for it would be comfortable with schools pushing Islam, Buddhism, or FSMism.
When done with certifications like 70-536 or even the advanced 9A0-045, one can deem himself adequate to learn 1Y0-614.
One more reason to homeschool:
Remove the stresses from reading
My response to the Oct. 22 article, “Children can love reading ‘AR’ books”: Not in my house.
The author suggested readers need to slow down and be directed back to the content of the story instead of the Accelerated Reader points. This would be nice, but unrealistic.
As part of his grade, a third-grader is required to get 20 points each marking period. That means the student needs to read 40 books with 100 percent accuracy. For those who reach their AR goals, a party is given and a field trip at the end of the year. Don’t forget the T-shirt for those lucky enough to reach 100 points. What about those who are unable to reach these goals? Are they being punished instead of rewarded for trying their best?
My son has a speech-delayed learning disability that hinders his schoolwork. Granted, he can read on his level for AR books, but he struggles with his grade-level homework each night. Hours are dedicated to helping him and then AR is on top of that. He has no time for relaxation, play or enjoyment.
My daughter started high school this year. Her celebration was not in going to a new school. Her celebration was no AR! Let’s remove the stress of Accelerated Reader points and allow our children to enjoy reading.
Lucille Kelly, Fayetteville
Supposedly there are something like 6.5 million blogs. Finding anything useful and/or interesting among them is literally a needle in a haystack endeavor. Check out the latest GoogleBlogSearch.
Where else can you purchase a 20,000 sq. ft. school building/home(school) for $1,500?
Yes, home education is not restricted to conservative Christians. And, yes, the media and HSLDA seem to make that error quite often. That being said, in attempting to point that out, there is no reason to resort to ad hominem attacks:
Progressives Home School Too!
So too, do independents, atheists, Rationalist Christians (not conservatives), agnostics, pagans, democrats, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Republicans, wiccans, pagans, libertarians, African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, the list can go on and on. Home-Schooling is no longer the Provence of the lunatic fringe extreme conservative “Christian” camp.
…* [Myth:] Only Right Wing Christians Home School. Well,. they would certainly like you to believe that, but that is categorically untrue. WNLA fights that agenda all the time. There are home schoolers who happen to be Christian, but that may not be their sole reason for home schooling. The lunatic fringe exists, we know that, we fight them, but we understand their right to home school for what ever reasons they choose. We find they are in general less tolerant of other more diverse views. We owe them for getting the ball rolling, but our homage stops there. (You have more prevalence of right wingers on your local school board than you do in independent home schooling circles.)
I know nothing about the National Independent Home Education Network, but if it’s to have any kind of credibility, it’ll have to grow up a bit and leave the bomb throwing and the name calling to the bloggers. (via the HA-NC blog)
OK, now that I’ve finally (mentally) put Ron and Andrea together, Ron pointed me to their “pre-history.” It’s a good read.
Here’s a nice tale of a NC HEK dancing professionally.
*Katelyn, our elder daughter, is following a very similar trajectory. She’s also not quite 12.
The Nazi twins are not HEKs. Never were. Lynda on the AHA-Political Action listserv found an April ’05 interview with the mom:
KAS: Now you home schooled Lynx and Lamb for a good part of their education so far, haven’t you?
AG: Yes, I have. And I’ve done it without an “approved” curriculum. I made up my own curriculum. I refused to use the state curriculum that was authorized by the charter school. And I was able to get away with that for all those years — I guess I was just too staunch and argumentative about it for them to argue with me too much. And what I’ve done is use a lot of books from the 1950s — from the years before “civil rights” and feminism became so evident in a lot of the books.
…Lamb and Lynx have now started going to school, after these seven years. And I’m very pleased to announce that they’re doing very well. They know enough about what I’ve taught them and our beliefs so that they are able to stand up for themselves – and for our people — in school, even in a multicultural situation.
From a home educating dad on the beauty of being a nerd:
How often do you get to learn stuff and explode stuff all at the same time?
As often as possible.
Due process? What due process? We’re talking about the g-school monopoly after all:
A teenage girl has filed a lawsuit claiming the Fort Bend Independent School District violated her civil rights by punishing her after she received a citation for underage possession of alcohol at a private party.
The charges against Merrilee Littlewood, 19, of Missouri City, and 18 other teen defendants were dismissed for lack of evidence this month.
“They (the school district) did not give her due process. They punished her and made her take alcohol abuse classes without any hearing or even listening to her side of the story,” Littlewood’s attorney, Michael J. Stanley said this week.
…A key element of the lawsuit, filed Monday in Houston federal court, was that the school district punished the students without giving due process because the disciplinary actions were taken in April before the cases went to court in October.
…Simpson said the district denies all the allegations of the suit, saying no disciplinary action was taken, merely the denial of a privilege to participate in an extracurricular activity.
I love the 1984-version of g-school reality. They didn’t punish her her. They merely forced her to take extra classes and took away a privilege. The district would have been far better off with a spokesperson who knows better than to comment on pending lawsuits.
Your tax dollars at work, folks.
Thanks but no thanks. An interesting LttE:
The following letter-to-the-editor was submitted today to the Nevada Appeal in Caron City:
A front-page story in the Ocober 26 edition of the Nevada Appeal noted that “$78 million in state money will go to Nevada schools that propose innovative approaches to improving student performance.” Another story on Page 5 reported on complaints about the size of kindergarten classes at Seeliger Elementary. Allow me to suggest how to kill both birds with one stone.
Take a portion of that $78 million dedicated to finding an innovative way to improve student performance and, instead of merely “tolerating” home schooling, use that money to ENCOURAGE more parents to choose that alternative. Indeed, the state should PAY home-school parents an amount similar to what it’s now paying to outsource education to poorly-performing government schools.
Study after study, test after test – not mention spelling bee after spelling bee – shows that home-schooled children, on average, perform considerably better academically than their government schooled brethren. And the home school option also addresses complaints from teachers about the lack of parental involvement in their kids’ education. How much more involved can you be than by doing it yourself?
Now here’s the second benefit. Let’s say 10 parents from that class of 27 Seeliger kindergartners took advantage of the home-school option. Bingo! Automatic class-size reduction. And it won’t cost the state one dime more.
Of course, educrats will object, saying that if you remove those 10 “cream-of-the-crop” students, all you’ll have left in the public schools will be the average and mediocre students. Hello? Those students were ALREADY in the classroom. Now, with 10 fewer students, teachers can give those 17 the additional time, help and attention they deserve. And maybe, just maybe, fewer of those 17 will fall through the educational cracks and will actually be able to read their diplomas when they graduate.
The public schools aren’t broke. They’re broken. It’s time for some serious “out-of-the-box” thinking. Promoting, expanding and funding, rather than discouraging, home-schooling is just the ticket. Public EDUCATION does not and should not necessarily mean public SCHOOLS. It doesn’t take a PhD to see the abundant benefits to ALL of our kids by giving choice a chance. So let it be written; so let it be done.
The schools may indeed be broken, but paying folks to home educate would only manage to break us, too. Keep your tax dollars and leave us alone.
The paper from UNC- Chapel Hill has a nice piece on home education. It breaks no new ground but also doesn’t include the seemingly obligatory quotes from home education “experts.” A couple of snippets–
Statistics from the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education estimate that in the 2004-05 school year, 58,780 students were home-schooled.
Not counting my four.
Even ordinary household chores, such as cleaning out the refrigerator, can become learning opportunities. This week, one day’s lesson plan included “refrigerator science,” where the twins examined food items underneath a microscope.
We run that one on a regular basis. Right now there’s a very interesting collection of moldy bread. And, yes, the mold was intentionally grown to examine under the microscope. Quit laughing!
Andrea at atypicalife has an article in the latest HEM. Which opens the door for me to ask a question that has nagged at me for a while– Is Andrea living “A typical life” or “An atypical life”?
PA home educators may benefit from a pending tax bill.
An otherwise decent piece from Penn State ends with this bit of tripe:
While the once-illegal homeschooling trend is indisputably on the rise, Marshall — while applauding those families who teach their children well — remains concerned that there may be a societal price paid for this movement. “For these families to dismiss opportunities which can perhaps best be provided through the educational agency of school is a tragic loss which affects everyone who cares about civic America.”
J. Daniel Marshall is professor of education in the College of Education, and can be reached at email@example.com.
What a coward! He’s so unsure of his position that he has to hedge with “perhaps,” yet it’s still a “tragic loss” for the country.
From a Q&A with an educrat:
If a family moves into the area, and is debating whether to send their children to District 17-C schools or to homeschool them, what would you say to the parents?
First of all, that’s a real personal decision and there’s a lot of reason why parents homeschool. But I believe that our schools are safe. I believe we have educators that care and want to provide educational opportunities. … There’s something to be gained by being in our schools.
Is there a good answer to how a small business can respond to its customers? A telephone answering service is available around the clock and creates a feeling of trust in your company.
The Dallas Observer has a simply superb piece on unschooling. 6,000 words with quotes from Emerson and Holt and Einstein. A must read!
UPDATE: Ms. Whitley has a familial connection to unschooling.
Your email reference the goarmy on-line home school advertisement was forwarded to me for response.
Regarding the goarmy on-line home school advertisement, it was never the Army’s intent to endorse any particular home school association over another but rather the intent was to inform all home school graduates that the Army now offers them the same education incentives as traditional high school graduates. Also, I would like to make it clear that all home school seniors and graduates regardless of their home school affiliation or not who meet the current Department of Defense home school definition are eligible to enlist in the Army. This is the message we tried to emphasize and promote in our on-line advertisement. However from the issues you addressed in your email it appears that in our haste to get this message out as quickly as possible to as many home school students/graduates as possible we made an error in judgment. To address your concern we have already started to take corrective action. I can assure you that by the end of the day the link to hslda will be removed from the goarmy website to eliminate any perception that the Army is endorsing a particular vendor/association. Also, I have discussed further action with our Outreach Directorate and they plan to change the URL once we have collected/exhausted our print materials.
Thank you for making us aware of the problem/concern. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.
Chief, Education Division
United States Army Recruiting Command
Evidently there is no BestofBlogs contest this year. Unless someone wants to pony up $900 for the domain name, that is.
I’m not sure what to make of Liz Sabater’s anti-HSLDA rant. The analysis that religion equals violent death seems a bit post hoc ergo propter hoc. So how ’bout it, Scott? What rank do you hold in Farris’ army?
I’ve been experimenting with Google Blog Search. It’s a fun tool, and I just discovered a way to make it even more useful. GoogleNews doesn’t provide a direct link to their RSS or Atom feeds on the page (unlike on their regular Google News page). There is a feed, though. If you’re using Firefox, it finds it automatically. Alternatively, just insert “_feeds” (without the quotes) into the URL immediately before the first question mark. Plug the hacked URL into your reader and you’re done.
Yes. (for Helen)
What is your answer to how to improve customer communications? When used correctly, a phone answering service can improve customer communications and have a positive impact on customer service.
Skip Oliva is blogging again. All the anti-trust news that’s fit to blog.
You won’t believe who needs it.
Because the scientific community is a monolith, impenetrable and often hostile to new theories, intelligent design proponents have to turn to the public schools to recruit support, a witness said Monday.
…[D]uring cross-examination, [Fuller] said intelligent design — the idea that the complexity of life requires a designer — is “too young” to have developed rigorous testable formulas and sits on the fringe of science.
He suggested that perhaps scientists should have an “affirmative action” plan to help emerging ideas compete against the “dominant paradigms” of mainstream science.
Fuller is a defense expert witness. The other two defense witnesses were equally inept. ID is going down, big time.
I don’t know who or where this moron is, but I’m sincerely glad she won’t ever consider home education:
1. If you can’t spell simples words like “dying”, “caffeine” or “scary”.
2. You don’t know the difference of your/you’re or there/they’re/their and can’t CORRECTLY use them in a sentence.
Those are quite simple. If you can’t do either of them, you should NOT be home schooling your children. Save it for those who are actually educated. Don’t raise another illiterate dink that we’ll have to support later in life.
I never claimed to be the smartest person on earth. I’m not. In fact, if you read my blog, you’ll probably find bad grammar, typos/bad spelling, and even incorrect use of punctuation. But, I’m also not going to home school my child. I have enough common sense to know better.
I think people should be forced to go through a series of tests to get a license to home school. That also applies to having children. If you fail, they yank out your uterus to prevent you from ever breeding.
Perhaps she should step up for that surgery right away.
*The spelling error is intentional. When Google Blog Search found this piece of crap, the title was “homeschooling for dumbies” [sic]
A couple of silly-season quotes:
“We all know that the earlier you get a child into a classroom the better his chances of becoming all he can be,” she said.
“Unlike my opponent, I oppose taxpayer-funded vouchers for parents to use to send their kids to private schools or home schooling,” said Barg, a lifelong resident of Prince William County.
One guess as to which party Ms. Barg belongs.
The Morning Call (Somewhere, PA) has an editorial opposing the PA legislature mandating that HEKs be allowed to play.
[F]ortunately, Kate Philips, the governor’s spokeswoman, wasn’t as upbeat about whether Gov. Rendell would sign the bill. ”He is supportive of students’ rights … but it really is a local issue because the burden will be on local districts,” Philips said. She’s right on target, and we hope the governor will hold his ground and let districts continue to make local decisions.
I’m not sure that Rendell’s statement is a veto threat; the bill passed the Senate 33-17, so it enjoys pretty broad support.
I’m still agnostic on this issue. But having different rules across the state seems a little screwy.
This bio-blurb caught my eye, as I grew up Catholic in Greenville, SC.
Brian Mershon is a commentator on cultural issues from a classical Catholic perspective. His trade is in media relations trade, and his vocation is as a husband to his beloved wife Tracey and father to his six living children. He attempts to assist his family and himself in attaining eternal salvation through frequent attendance at the Traditional Latin rite of Mass, homeschooling, and building Catholic culture in the buckle of the Bible Belt of Greenville, South Carolina.
Valerie Moon has a terrific, well-argued post about why Section 10 of the HONDA bill is particularly noxious. It’s one of those “must read” pieces.
After reading through this rant on why home education is evil, I just knew this idiot was a teacher. He is, at SUNY- Stony Brook. One ‘graf ought to be enough:
Let’s start with the common criticism of public schools. I have a very good friend who sent his kids to private school on the ground that the public ones where he lives are not good enough (which is actually debatable, since he lives in an area where public schools have a good reputation). As much as my friend is a kind person, smart, and generally speaking liberal, I still haven’t been able to making him understand why public schools perform, on average, less well than private institutions. The answer is two-pronged, and rather simple: good private schools have more money (which implies a variety of things, but chiefly a better teacher/student ratio, the single best predictor of a quality educational experience), and of course private schools can select the best candidates and discard the rest. But neither less money nor the inability to fail students are ingrained into the definition of a public school, they can both be changed, if the public so wishes.
I think if I were a professional educator (as opposed to an amateur just faking it) bent on proving the superiority of a g-school education, I’d make sure that I could at least string a paragraph together without multiple errors in both logic and grammar. Private schools, of course, function on significantly less money than the g-schools; homeschoolers, infinitely less. And then there’s that last sentence. It’s just a blog, and he’s just a college prof at a two-bit school, so perhaps I should cut him some slack. Naaaaaah!
UPDATE: He doesn’t have TrackBack turned on. Anyone want to set him straight?
Why do we buy into the educrats’ BS?
The Richardson clan also participates in other sports. “The older kids were involved in swimming. One of my older daughters helped get the Marian swimming program back on its feet a few years ago and we have swum with several of the local swim clubs. Now, we take our kids to Tae-Kwan-Do just before they come here. Since our kids are home-schooled, we view the gymnastics as not only an opportunity for physical and mental growth, but also as an opportunity to be social with other kids.”
I love this quote from a home educating mom about her mushroom-crazy son:
He found it easy to remember the names and traits of mushrooms. His mother, Tambra Birkebak, said that although her son spends some of his money on CDs and typical teenage expenses, he also buys a lot of mushroom books online.
“How he spends his money — if we saw it in a pie chart — would be really hilarious,” she said.
Everything’s an educational moment when you home educate. And, BTW, Joshua is welcome to come visit our home for some more mushroom IDing; I must have several thousand species in the front yard alone.
The Columbia Missourian has several good pieces on home education. The main one covers most of the major reasons that people cite when asked why the chose home education: gifted kids, religion, wanting to be able to spend more time with them., etc. None is given particular prominence. And there’s no educrat quoted to provide “balance.” Very nice work.
The second one is also nice– first person reporting by several HEKs.
The last article is a sidebar on the legal aspects of home education in Missouri. This is the only one that takes a bit of a negative slant:
Missouri law allows any parent to home-school, said Jim Morris, spokesman for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“They are supposed to keep a log or a diary that provides some basic information about what subject they teach and how much time they spend at it.”
Parents are expected to teach their children for a minimum of 1,000 hours per year, Morris said. “We do not supervise, accredit or monitor home schooling in any way,” he said.
However, families can be reported to the state’s Division of Children’s Services, part of the Department of Social Services, if others, such as neighbors and school officials, suspect they are not fulfilling these requirements. If there is clear evidence of neglect, the family may be investigated, Morris said.
All in all, a fine series.
Of all the reasons folks cite to oppose Halloween (and I don’t oppose it for a minute), this one is the lamest:
While today’s Star Wars and Oompa Loompa costumes may not directly reflect ancient Celtic lore, for Jason Eric, a Harpursville father of five, it is still a negative holiday his family chooses to pass up.
His reasons extend beyond his Christian beliefs. “In the post 9/11 world, and with more and more stories of children being abducted, do you think it is all worth it? One night of fun to risk your child’s well-being … it seems mischievousness tends to occur more on this particular night,” he said. “I know I would not be able to live with myself if something happened to my child because I was not able to say no.”
I guess 9/11 really did change everything.
I’m late to the party. What the heck is up with the Army and HSLDA? Mary McCarthy has a good post up with lots of background links. The worst bit– the ad for HSLDA on the goarmy website takes the cake. Hey, Scott, did HSLDA pay for that ad? If not, that’s your tax dollars at work, folks.
UPDATE: According to a letter I received from Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC), HR 3753 is before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. Also, per the same letter, McIntyre is a former home educator. I knew I liked him.
UPDATE II: Here’s some further info:
Responsible for military personnel policy, reserve component integration and employment issues, military health care, military education and POW/MIA issues. In addition, the subcommittee will be responsible for Morale, Welfare and Recreation issues and programs.
Mr. McHugh, Chairman
Mr. Snyder, Ranking
Mrs. Davis of VA
Ms. S. Davis (CA)
I need to hook a PS/2 to a network connection. Our home network comes in through a cable modem and then is WiFi’d to the rest of the house. The PS/2 network adapter has a 10/100 connector for input. There is a normal cable (television) connection on the TV that has the PS/2. Does anyone have any suggestions how I might be able to use the WiFi network to hook it up?
Where all the politicians are above average.
Check out the mini-headlines in today’s Fayetteville Observer‘s LttE section.
Kirby has the integrity and experience needed
Crawley is kind, extremely intelligent
Chavonne is dedicated and loves this city
Pitts is truthful and respectful
Yes, it’s silly season here.
Is the Guardian maybe not so “left” after all?
One of the longest and most detailed studies of UK childcare has concluded that young children who are looked after by their mothers do significantly better in developmental tests than those cared for in nurseries, by childminders or relatives.
The study on children from birth to three will reignite the controversy over the best way to bring up young children. It found babies and toddlers fared worst when they were given group nursery care. Those cared for by friends or grandparents or other relatives did a little better while those looked after by nannies or childminders were rated second only to those cared for by mothers.
I expect to see Mike Peach’s LttE soon.
I hope and pray that when the time comes, we’ll be able to let go. This mom surely isn’t. In this instance, I think homeschooling was likely a symptom, not a cause.
Home educator and perpetual presidential candidate “Average Joe” Schriner has some good ideas– reduce the debt, reduce pollution, find a way to reduce violence in the streets. This one, though, is too out there for me:
“We think education could be more creative and a lot more effective. We would like to see one-third of the curriculum be volunteer work out in the community. The rationale is that I want our children to learn as much about helping others as they do about math, science and English,” he said.
I can’t vote for anyone calling for compelled volunteerism. Sorry, Joe. Get back to me in 2012.
Seen in the St. Pete Times-Floridian:
Anyone who has had a bright child who is bored in school will empathize with the family of New Port Richey’s Sharon Jacobs. Sharon’s daughter-in-law, a single mother of two children who has very limited financial resources, has decided to homeschool her first- and fourth-grade students. Because he is bored, the younger child is becoming uncooperative in class, and it is hoped that homeschooling will permit him to progress at his own pace.
Because money is tight, Sharon is looking for homeschooling books for the first and fourth grades. Please call her at (727) 236-5334 if you have books these children may use.
… they could wipe out half the HE&OS braintrust with one well-aimed RPG. I’m here in Daryl’s charming diner-themed kitchen, shaming his puny Dell laptop with my sleek iBook. (Now that I’ve insulted his hardware, let’s see if his network actually lets this post through.)
Just posted at HEM:
The two-blog experiment is coming to an end as of tonight. I’m shutting down the HEM version, but will continue to blog at HE&OS. Thanks to Helen and Mark for the opportunity to play up here in the Show. But it’s autumn and time for me to head on back home.
Here’s an online calculator that alleges to predict children’s adult heights. Accuracy of ~2 inches (at the 95% confidence limits) is claimed.
(Homeschoolers for OpenOffice)
OO v 2.0 has been released in a stable version.
Home education is briefly mentioned in this piece, but I want to highlight an unrelated sentence:
With the addition of all-day Kindergarten, and a major “roundup” event to bring Kindergarten numbers up as much as possible, Larson said there is one conclusion to draw: there are simply less young children growing up in Harbor Springs.
I know there are some professional writers who occasionally drop by. Stylistically, shouldn’t it have been “fewer”? I seem to recall that fewer is for count, and less is for non-count. But I also have been long out-of-school. Right now, I barely count myself as literate.