The camping trip was to the NC state Envirothon. Our middle school team came in 13th place out of 54 teams. This was a helluva accomplishment, as every one of the team members was in their first year. Overall, the homeschoolers really cruised– 5 of the top 10 including 1st, 2nd, and 4th.
The event was just terrific, and the kids have learned a ton. It is well worth the investment in time and effort.
State senatorial candidate Jim Bob Duggar (yeah, that Duggar) wants a property tax break for homeschooling. While I like paying taxes as much as the next guy, I’m opposed to special breaks for us. We’re a tiny minority and need all the public goodwill we can get. Antagonizing folks with tax credits for homeschooling is just plain bad politics.
Duggar’s on the wrong track here.
We’re going offline (camping) for a couple of days. I’ve taken the comments off moderated status, so if Rev. Jim drops by he’ll be able to state his piece. Yeah, right.
UPDATE: I should explain the “moderated status” comment in light of the earlier post. Normally, comments are wide open. Two days ago I put new posters on moderated status to fight a comment spam attack. We’re now back to operating as we always have.
Spunky ruminates on the separation of HSLDA and HSLDA. It’s pretty good.
Rev. Jim thought this gratuitous dig at homeschooling was funny. Appended to a completely unrelated post:
P.S.- “homeschooling”. [I have discovered that if you mention that phenomenon site hits come out of the woodwork! Oppose homeschooling- and you can expect not only more hits- but an avalanche of hate mail. So- just as a gratutitous attempt to up my site notches- here it is again- ‘homeschooling is improper Christian policy].
Can you tell that I really don’t like this guy?
I’ve never been in a situation quite like this. The front has stalled and the low is sitting right on top of us. Our house is due South of Fayetteville, where the three counties (Cumberland, Bladen, and Robeson) meet. It’s funny watching the rotation.
BTW, this rain was supposed to have cleared the area around 8 a.m.
Rev. Jim has declared victory over the vile homeschoolers. He says we called him names and couldn’t engage in civilized debate. I’ve called him on it, since he started with the name-calling and has refused to allow comments to show up on his blog. I’ve challenged him to be a man and show his face here. Fat chance.
UPDATE: Chris got a comment through, but Rev. Jim is every bit as slow as his Taxi namesake. He thinks we’ve been having a conversation. Here was my response:
Then why bother to have a comments section? Without Trackbacks, it’s difficult to impossible to have a discussion on two different blogs. Blogs work best when there is “free speech” out in the open where everyone can see it. You moderated (and deleted) nearly all of the comments we tried to make. I didn’t get nasty until you ignored the comments and called us “silly dillettantes.” Are you really so afraid of a bunch of know-nothing home educators? Oh, BTW, I have initials behind my name, too: Ph.D. And I’ve been an adjunct faculty member (Adjunct professor? Don’t flatter yourself.) I’m not impressed with the initials or the title. Now, if you really want to have a discussion, open up the comments. Or, if you’re too scared to do that, feel free to come by my blog. My comments are completely unmoderated. You see, I have the courage of my convictions.
November can’t get here soon enough:
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.
However, the GOP energy package may face tough sledding because it also includes a controversial proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, which most Democrats and some moderate Republicans oppose.
Democrats are also expected to offer their own competing proposal, as members of both parties jockey for political position on the gas price issue.
…Under Senate rules, either the GOP amendment or the Democratic alternative would probably need 60 votes to pass, which is considered unlikely. However, the amendments would give senators a chance to cast votes on measures designed to help constituents being hit by high gas prices.
You have to really admire the chutzpah displayed here. A couple months ago, the school district lost a vote for a huge tax increase.
So, the inventive educrats have now overspent their budgets by some $13 million and are contemplating going back to the well to beg the voters to save them.
The Christina School District must close a roughly $13 million budget gap — either through cuts or a bailout — between now and June 30. And district leaders are going to have to answer charges by the state auditor that some bookkeeping amounted to “a shell game.”
…When Christina officials asked taxpayers for $22 million for a new middle school in 2002, they advertised to voters that they would use $1.3 million to buy land and the rest to build the school, Wagner said.
But that’s not what Christina did with the money. The district instead spent $12.8 million on a property at U.S. 40 and Del. 896 with the intention of renovating the former AstroPower building on the property for use as a school.
“Either they don’t have a clue what they’re doing, or they misled taxpayers at referendum,” Wagner said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that to convert an office building into a middle school costs more than $10 million.”
If I were living in the district, I’d consider voting for the increase on the condition that every educrat all the way down to elementary school vice principal was canned.
Photos of black holes 150,000,000 light years away. Truly fascinating.
Yes, I used the “F” word. Rev. Jim deserves no better. The title to his latest:
Racism: The Root of the Homeschooling Movement?!
The post is basically an extended quote from Ethics Daily. Nowhere in the quote is the word “homeschool” used. It appears twice in the original piece, which Rev. Jim probably expects you not to click over to:
Some parents who send their children to Christian academies or homeschool them admit the entrenched reality of racism and seek ways to reform culture. They make their decisions for a variety of reasons other than race. Not all Christian school parents and homeschoolers are racists (and not all public school parents are free from racism).
For the record (not that Rev. Jim will ever dare show his face around here), the modern homeschooling movement took off in the ’80s as a response to the “secularization” of the public schools. Race had little or nothing to do with it, as those battles were largely fought in the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s. But, Rev. Jim is an expert, so facts don’t matter. (Tip credit (and thanks for spoiling my appetite): Damaged Justice)
UPDATE: He’s intentionally trolling us. I attempted to post the following in his comments. Of course, it won’t see the light of day.
Funny. And oh so Christian. You really are a dick, aren’t you. I feel sorry for your congregation.
For the record, I’m with Chris. NO CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT!
Henry Cate has a nice interview up with Judy Aron.
The nativists are getting restless:
English only speakers want national anthem in English only
For years it has been a thorn in my side: When using a telephone, cash machine and other services, I am asked if I want Spanish or English.
Now our U.S. anthem will be sung in Spanish. I am beginning to feel like a stranger in my own country. Isn’t English our national language?
Why don’t those who come to this country learn our ways? Why do we English-only-speaking citizens have to even chose the language we want to transact our business in?
Next time I am at an event where our national anthem is sung I would find it hard to tolerate the person next to me singing in another language.
Jack Rine, Ocean View
Yeah, the government is borrowing hundreds of billions to fight an unnecessary war, climate change is real and getting worse, hurricane season is almost upon us, and Jack Rine’s priority is someone singing the national anthem in Spanish.
God help us!
Katie Newmark, guesting at Edspresso, takes a look at the problems of teacher merit pay programs. She doesn’t really get into the biggest problem of all- union mentality. Way too many teachers think it’s not fair to pay one person more than another. And their complaint that the principals will manipulate the results to pick their favorites is, I believe, a red herring at best. Deep down, the folks who like the status quo are afraid they couldn’t compete.
I’m going to quote this piece in its entirety:
A home schooler is being banned from attending a Kentucky high school prom.
Leila Stout says her boyfriend of two years was going to drive up from Georgia to take her to his senior prom at Reidland High School. But the handbook says dates who don’t attend the school have to be screened and home schoolers are not allowed to go to prom.
Leila says, “According to Kentucky law actually, home schooling and private schooling is considered the same thing. So if someone from a private school is allowed to go to our prom, someone from a home school should be able to go as well.”
School officials are in the process of reviewing the policy and making a final decision, but Stout says she’s still going to the prom in her dream dress no matter what!
What a dumb policy.
Proof positive that the scientists (as usual) are wrong:
Living proof of answered prayers
The March 31 article, â€œStudy: Prayer fails the sick,â€ said that in the largest scientific test of its kind, heart surgery patients showed no benefit when strangers prayed for their recovery. The researchers who tested the power of prayer emphasized that their $2.4 million study could not address whether God exists or answers prayers made on anotherâ€™s behalf.
Well, I am a living example and living proof that God does exist and does answer prayer. Three and a half years ago, I had emergency heart surgery. Two doctors told my family they did not expect me to live. That is when my family, my church Christian friends and strangers were praying for me and God heard their prayers.
I thank God daily for answered prayer and those who cared. I have not had any complications.
Anecdotes trump data every time.
for the CoH up at the Common Room.
Mike Smith, writing in the Moonie Times, extols the virtues of conferences.
There is a vital reason veteran home-school families should continue to attend their state conferences. The state organizations and local support groups that host these conferences depend upon the revenue raised to be able to provide resources throughout the year to those interested in home-schooling. The growth of home education and the freedom to do so is dependent upon strong, vibrant, healthy state and local home-school organizations. Their existence is dependent upon the support of home-schoolers.
If you are interested in finding out about home-schooling, or are a veteran home-schooler, go to a home-school conference and curriculum fair. They are still one of the best resources available.
Maybe some year I’ll go to one.
Lioness has a good post up on how there’s no shame in leaving a really bad school system.
No, it’s not the Pearls (non-profit) or TOS. But it sure sounds familiar:
You wouldnâ€™t believe the terrible things that were done to me,â€ says Alexia Parksâ€™ niece in An American Gulag.  But she continues: â€œI know now it was for my own good.â€ Thus ends Parksâ€™ account of her struggle to help her niece after she was enrolled in several behavior modification schools. The similarity to the end of 1984 is striking: a previously headstrong individual returns from months of torture as merely a shell of their former self, having learned to love their tormentors. The difference is that Parksâ€™ story is true.
Usual definitions of torture include the use of practices such as solitary confinement, non-medical application of psychiatric drugs, unprovoked beatings, starvation, and verbal abuse as means to change a personâ€™s behavior. Many Americans are reluctant to support the use of these techniques even on criminals, much less teenagers with behavioral problems. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is being done on a large-scale basis as â€œtough-loveâ€ programs have become a booming industry. These programs come in several varieties, including boot camps, â€œtherapeuticâ€ boarding schools or academies, and wilderness programs. At the cost of several thousand dollars per month (up to $40,000/year), these schools supposedly provide a climate where troubled teens can continue their regular education while receiving treatments designed to improve their behavior.
Via Jesus’ General.
It took me almost 200 frames (at one per second) to snag two good shots.
Here’s your next project– encourage folks still left on Terra to breastfeed. Carlotta‘s got the scoop:
BREAST-FEEDING mothers have been given potentially harmful advice on infant nutrition for the past 40 years, the World Health organization (WHO) has admitted. Charts used in Britain for decades to advise mothers on a baby’s optimum size have been based on the growth rates of infants fed on formula milk. The organization now says the advice given to millions of breast-feeding mothers was distorted because babies fed on formula milk put on weight far faster.
These breast-feeding mothers were wrongly told that their babies were underweight and were advised, or felt pressured, to fatten them up by giving them formula milk or extra solids. Health experts believe the growth charts may have contributed to childhood obesity and associated problems such as diabetes and heart disease in later life. A government study has found that more than a quarter of children in English secondary schools are clinically obese, almost double the proportion a decade ago.
This is likely old news to most of the folks around here, who are much more likely than the average person to be up on the latest info on breastfeeding. I remember hearing about this from Lydia (who was doing counseling for Nursing Mothers) at least a decade ago. Good to see the medical establishment finally waking up.
And folks wonder why we homeschool:
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Police said a group of seventh-graders hatched an elaborate plan to cut off power and telephone service to their middle school, slay classmates and faculty with guns and knives, then escape from their small Alaska town.
The arrest Saturday of six students in North Pole, a town of 1,600 people about 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks, marks the nation’s second breakup of an alleged Columbine-style school attack this week. Five Kansas teenagers suspected of planning a shooting rampage at their high school were arrested Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the massacre in suburban Colorado.
Sure, the odds of your kids being in a school under attack are low. But why would you want to play the odds when you don’t have to?
Cavalor at Hell’s leading daily defends the honor of one of his reporters and homeschooling in general. We’ve made a convert:
My greatest duty is to come to the aid of my reporters, researchers and editors when I am certain they are right. Let me make myself clear that I was dumb, bloody well ignorant of homeschooling save for the few negative reports that one would get in the MSM between the marriages and pregnancies and/ or divorces of Hollywood stars. If these be stars then charcoal is like diamond here in Hell. Suffice the matter said that I stand behind the words of Diane Tomlinson and her ad hominem, but spot on commentary on The Hoe thus demanding that I would have to take this time to clarify with an opining of my own.
…And for the record here in Hell I was just a political writer who lucked into the best newspaper job in the afterlife. I agree with the homeschooling movement by people who don’t want to raise their children to be doped up, bullied, disassociated automatons by the public school failed system which has been hijacked by pedophiles and fundies, or harm them by painting the world as something it is not (i.e. the property and sovereign homeland to be lorded over by a superior race to which they belong see Lamb and Lynx the Himmler twins). I merely think that it is a better way after doing the research I was converted from being a naysayer to a hopeful believer.
Now that made my day.
It works if you pronounce it “crick.”
Entertainment down on the farm.
The Disgruntled Chemist has been convinced that the IDCists have been right all along. I have to admit, the video is persuasive.
UPDATE: Also, via the DC, this video on fun with the “irreversible thermite reaction” is pretty entertaining. Mythbusters geeks will especially enjoy it.
Dumb quote of the day:
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan â€” Jordan Huffman may be home-schooled but heâ€™s no hermit.
It’s really too bad the reporter chose that particular lede; the rest of the piece is quite good.
This one, though, is pro-home education. I’m not sure I buy his reasoning, though:
April 20th was the anniversary of the Columbine School shootings. In Willerton, Kansas, a number of teenagers have been arrested for allegedly planning a shooting spree at their high school on the anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Why is this sort of thing happening? I think the answer is simple. The post-modern relativism that was the attitude of philosophers 150 years ago has finally worked its way into the fabric of everyday life so that our schools no longer teach or acknowledge the existence of objective moral principles. Parents are afraid to teach their children objective moral principles and are unable to argue with their children as to why the principles are genuinely objective as opposed to mere biases or authoritarian claims.
…Post-modern education teaches that there is no objective right or wrong, but merely an unending set of communities.
…Good education should help students to become Christians. It should help them to find their inclusiveness and membership in the kingdom of God. In this way they can feel secure and have a sense of belonging that does not require anti-social or violent acts against other groups. Naturally, such an education is incompatible with our current system of state-run schools that must remain utterly neutral as to matters of religion. It is for this reason that home schooling, private schooling and a public voucher system would have superior results to the current system in which public education cannot address the moral and religious needs of students. Nor can parents hope to compete with the combined time and force of both schools and media that are constantly giving students the relativistic message.
I don’t believe it is the g-schools’ job to teach “moral principles.” That’s what parents are for. The schools should teach the basics– the 3Rs and civics. The fact that they’re not doing that job well (if at all) has led many of us to follow the home education route.
Yeah, I’m sure homeschooling enables one to pass along a religious world-view to one’s kids more easily than if they’re sent to the local
prison school. But, sometimes, homeschooling enables the exact opposite. The public schools and community activities around here are blatantly Christian. If you’re of a minority religion, or no religion at all, homeschooling might be the only way to pass along your values, objective morality or not.
Hell’s leading daily has another pro-homeschooling piece. The minions WAY down under didn’t like the Hoe, either.
Our oldest is getting ready to attend the Eastern NC Secular Homeschool Spring Formal (I have no idea if that’s the real name) this evening. The Christian groups had their dance last week. It’s too bad the two groups can’t get along well enough to organize a single dance, but I’m happy that Anthony gets to participate with the kids in the co-op we hang with.
Jonathan is playing t-ball this year. We have the Opening Day Ceremonies and our Home Opener this a.m. (assuming we don’t get rained out).
UPDATE: The rain held off just long enough to get the game in. The score ended up a tie, 0-0. (We don’t keep score or outs in t-ball.)
A regular reader (who shall remain anonymous for the time being) asked a provocative question: If you got a million dollar grant to advance home education, what would you do with it? She/He asked specifically for feedback from HE&OS readers.
It’s an interesting question. But I think we might be putting the cart before the horse. A more fundamental question should be asked first: What does it mean to advance home education?
Steven Barnes (aka YouthAgainstBush) requested a shout out for his new blog, Empires Fall. From the title you can probably guess where on the political spectrum it falls. Worth a read if you’re not among the 33 percent who are still drinking the Bush Kool-Ade. If you are among that select few, what are you thinking?
eBay has instituted a new policy whereby teacher’s manuals are verboten. School-at-homers are rightly upset. (HT: Tami)
Even if they’re impossible to read:
I’m going to make a bold prediction here. I see many parallels between the ‘no immunizations’ camp and the ‘homeschooling’ camp. Again, sorry for any toes I might be smushing here, but this is how it looks to this mediocre visionary. This home-schooling movement that has been going on for about a decade is going to prove to be another failed social experiment. I foresee that we’ll have problems arise from it that most of us haven’t even considered possible. What exactly those problems are I can’t really say yet because my mediocre crystal ball is just that, mediocre. But I am sure that we will see problems directly related to it. Mark my words.
What is it with all of the anti-homeschooling rants lately? Jealousy?
As a bonus, The Hoe wins the award for having the absolute worst blog design in the brief history of the internet.
Rev. Jim thinks we’re “silly, self taught dilettantes.” And I think the good Reverend Adjunct-Professor of Biblical Studies is a self-important moron who is obviously suffering from oxygen deprivation due to having his head firmly planted up his ass.
But Rev. Jim’s latest is total idiocy.
First, homeschooled kids tend to be socially inept. In my experience they tend to be loners. When interacting with others (outside their comfort zone of like minded souls) they have a tremendously difficult time relating. This may be well and good so long as they are at home, at Church, or at an activity for the local homeschooling association- but that won’t be the case should they attend college or join the workforce. The homeschooled children I have known who have gone to college have, to a person, “gone wild” as soon as outside their parents control. Because while growing up they never learned how to interact with different viewpoints and consequently had never had to learn how to say “no!”
Believe it or not, it goes downhill from there. Is he auditioning to play The Buss in the sequel?
UPDATE: He has a few more anti-homeschooling posts up. Was that Th.D. earned? Adjunct professor?! What a joke!
Edspresso.com promises to be ” Your daily addiction for breaking news, commentary and debate on education reform.” Full disclosure: I’ll be guest blogging there on occasion.
I just noticed the blogroll over at Hell’s Leading Daily. Take that, Abdullah!
Liz Gross has a nice article in Public Library of Science on scientific illiteracy and partisan politics. The money ‘graf:
It’s not that Americans are rejecting science per se, Miller maintains, but longstanding conflicts between personal religious beliefs and selected life-science issues has been exploited to an unprecedented degree by the right-wing fundamentalist faction of the Republican Party. In the 1990s, the state Republican platforms in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Missouri, and Texas all included demands for teaching creation science. Such platforms wouldn’t pass muster in the election, Miller says, but in the activist-dominated primaries, they drive out moderate Republicans, making evolution a political litmus test. Come November, the Republican candidate represents a fundamentalist agenda without making it an explicit part of the campaign. Last year, Miller points out, former Senator John Danforth, a moderate Missouri Republican, wrote in a New York Times opinion piece that for the first time in American history a political party has become an arm of a religious organization. The United States is the only country in the world where a political party has taken a position on evolution.
There’s lots more.
Well, it’s probably been that way for a good long time now, but I think this is the first “official” endorsement of home education from the Editor-in-Chief of Hell’s leading daily.
WHERE THE REAL AMERICANS ARE
Not often enough I am able to laud individuals who are so different from my demonic self. The Homeschool Cafe is a terribly well written, informative blog about the proper way to “train” a child for life on terra in the 21st Century. Bravo Zulu to these fine women of merit talent and grace. The rest of you bums, you knwo who you are the ones allowing your children to become drones in public schools, could learn from these fine lasses.
Cav’s (Can I call you “Cav”?) come a long way from the days when the paper assumed we were all fundie/wingnut wackos.
He hates everything.
Karen in Fort Worth does an excellent job taking down a supposedly neutral piece on homeschooling in Australia and NZ. The first comment is a gem, too.
This is mildly interesting– The author of The Graduate is attempting to sell the sequel. The title? Home School.
But the opinion is just as lame. I guess no g-schooler was ever taken advantage of by a teacher.
Natalie, Nancy, Alasandra, and Lioness have started The Homeschool Cafe, a group blog. Coffee and home education seem to be a match made in heaven. My favorite coffee mug is imprinted “The Well-caffeinated Mind.”
Beverly Hernandez is hosting this week’s Carnival.
This piece out of Utah combines too completely unrelated school-y topics: educating homeless children and homeschooling. Bizarre. And as a bonus, we learn that we “cost” the school district $170,000. Why do private schoolers never have to put up with that canard?
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