Thursday, October 12, 2006

At least one public school forces homeschoolers to start in their freshmen year if they wish to return to the public school system, no matter how old they are or what grade level they test at.

“I find this a very user-unfriendly system that we have,” said committee member Mary J. Mullaney, who raised the issue after a home-schooling parent and advocate contacted her. Home-schooled students thinking of going to public high school “get very discouraged at the idea of having to begin again all over as a freshman,” she said during the committee’s Thursday night meeting. In one instance, a home-schooled boy who had tested at the college level in math was interested in coming back to high school, but decided not to after learning he would have to start with freshman algebra. In the other, a home-schooled girl who moved to the area from Virginia was accidentally allowed to enroll at Doherty Memorial High School as a junior. She passed the 10th grade MCAS and qualified for the National Honor Society, but three-quarters of the way through the year, she was told she would have to stay at the school four years, Mrs. Casiello said. Instead, the girl dropped out of school and earned her GED.

It seems it's easier for homeschoolers to enter college then it is for them to reenter the public school system.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hunters of Dune
by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Omnius is back, can human civilization survive?
Some questions are answered, Murbella is able to go back in other memory to discover why the Honored Matre's hate the Tleilaxu. Sheeana, Miles Teg, the Rabbi and Thufir Hawat barely escape from the Futars home world. And Omnius launches a full out evasion, we will have to wait till Sandworms of Dune (August 2007) to see how Omnius' war goes.
Mislabeling of Public School at Home Causes Confusion

Dan at Cerulean Sanctum insist on calling his public school at home, homeschooling. He took offense when "real" homeschoolers pointed out he is not homeschooling according to Dan

People must come before labels. When we love our labels more than people, there’s a big problem. Jesus blew that kind of thinking away.

My response

Labels (or names) help us identify things. It’s not about loving labels more then people or using labels to put people down. It’s about having clearly defined definitions so we can communicate with others without misunderstandings.

Ironically Dan doesn't have a problem using labels. Apparently he has decided to do some reading and he had this to say about one of my favorite authors.

Never having read a Dean Koontz novel in my life, I picked up The Taking. For the purposes of my mission, I'd hoped to avoid any kind of pseudo-Christian themes in any secular authors

Gosh Dan's on a roll he labeled Koontz's work pseudo-Christian and labeled Dean Koontz as a secular author. Maybe he should think twice over admonishing people for using labels, since he obviously uses them himself. But honestly we all do. You couldn't communicate with others without labels (or names) for things.

But back to the subject at hand the mislabeling of public school at home students as homeschoolers. Dan has a big problem with homeschoolers objecting to him misusing the homeschooling label for his public school at home venture. According to him we are bad Christians because we want to keep the homeschool label for ourselves. This kind of rhetoric usually shuts most people up. Dan has said they are "mean", Dan has said they are "bad Christians"; so they better be silent and let Dan call himself a homeschooler even though he isn't and even though he is doing harm to the homeschooling cause. Heaven knows being labeled "mean" in today's politically correct society is enough to get you banished from social events, being labeled a "bad Christian" probably gets you thrown out of church.

Why is Dan so invested in calling himself a homeschooler?
From his previous post I gather it is because his religious leaders have told him that good Christian parents homeschool and bad Christians send their kids to public school. Dan apparently has bought into this belief; but for some reason chooses not to homeschool. He seems to feel doing public school at home is OK as long as he can call it homeschooling. Never mind that by misusing the homeschooling label he is causing confusion and sowing discord (two unchristian activities).

Why is it important to distinguish between families that homeschool and those who do public school at home?

1. Tax Money - Public school at home is paid for with public funds, just like traditional public schools are. The public has the right to expect certain things when their tax money is being used. On the other hand parents are solely responsible for the expense of homeschooling therefore the public (government) has very little excuse for interfering with homeschoolers.

2. Testing - Public school at home students are required to take the same test and meet the same requirements as their traditional public school counterparts. These test and requirements should not be required of homeschoolers, who do not receive public funds.

When public school at home parents insist on mislabeling themselves they cause confusion. J.Q. Public wants to know why they are being forced to pay for homeschooling? J.Q. Public wants to know why homeschool Dan's son has to take certain test while Susie homeschoolers children do not? When you attempt to explain to them that Dan isn't homeschooling, he is doing public school at home, they look at you blankly and state but HE SAYS HE IS HOMESCHOOLING!!!!

So maybe Dan should ask himself these questions.

  1. Would a good Christian intentionally attempt to deceive people about the educational choice he has made for his children by mislabeling public school at home, homeschooling?
  2. Would a good Christian cause confusion?
  3. Would a good Christian sow discord?

When "real" homeschoolers attempt to explain to Dan that he isn't homeschooling, we aren't labeling him a bad parent, we are simply attempting to prevent confusion that could lead to the loss of our homeschooling freedoms.

IF everyone agrees that homeschooling is an educational choice paid for by the parents. That homeschoolers do not receive public funds, and that the testing and requirements required of public school students is not required of homeschoolers, then we can converse with J.Q. Public without confusion. On the other hand if public school at homers insist on muddying the water, then any discussion about homeschooling will be fraught with confusion.

Annette Hall explains how charter schools are hurting independent homeschoolers. I encourage you to read her entire post.

The public schools have done everything they can to neutralize the homeschool movement, right down to absconding with use of the "homeschool" label. We must ask ourselves why? Why wouldn't the public schools simply call their students, charter school students or something properly describing their ownership? With all of the words in the English language they could have selected, homeschooling was chosen to confuse parents and blur the distinction between public and private educational options.

If you haven't signed the We Stand For Homeschooling Resolution, please do so.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Hack from Alasandra @ Home~schoolers Rule

The New York Times on the Web Learning Network offers daily lesson plans. While some of these plans have to be altered for homeschool use, they have provided interesting topics for us to discuss. Some lesson plans I found of interest.

Both Home and School on the Range
It allows students to investigate the notion of homeschooling. Related article On-Line Courses Have Given a New Impetus to the Home-Schooling Movement .
We used this lesson plan to define what we consider homeachooling to be, we talked about the pros and cons of public, private and homeschools, and we talked about how public charter schools are misleading people by calling themselves homeschools.
Student Violence in America's Schools
We used these articles to start a discussion on why we think these students resorted to violence, and we talked about accountability. We also discussed how homeschoolers aren't immune from violence in their lives. Spunky had an interesting post on the Amish School Shooting, and how homeschooling doesn't guard us from all evil.
If you like Crossword puzzles check out the Fifty States.
As a Tolkien fan I loved Old Hobbits Are Hard to Break where we explored how films are marketed on the web.
For those of you trying to increase your students vocabulary's be sure to check out The Word of the Day.If you are up for a challenge try The Test Prep Question of The Day.
Either visit The Learning Network archives for some great lesson plan ideas or sign up for the daily lesson plan emails, either way you will be a winner. Hope you enjoyed the hack.

The 41st COH is up!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Musings From Other Blogs on Homeschooling Issues
Corn and Oil has two terrific post on the problems with public school at home. She points out that "real" homeschoolers do not want to become public school at homers.
Homeschoolers are actually wanting to maintain our family autonomy of privately funded (families) and privately overseen (parents) education for our kids. Homeschoolers can have a loud grassroots voice too; when they want to be heard. We don’t have the same concerns as the CTU, for sure, as this is just ignorant coming from an educator. (That would be teaching the abc’s and 123’s, as I understood the public school mission)
The second post ask Who's Watching Out for Homeschoolers?
Family Education has a post on Social Skills and Homeschooling that homeschooling parents should find very reassuring.
The homeschoolers scored as "well adjusted." In one study, trained counselors viewed videotapes of mixed groups of homeschooled and schooled children at play. The counselors didn't know the school status of each child. The results? The homeschooled kids demonstrated fewer behavioral problems. Dr. Lines' conclusion?
"There is no basis to question the social development of homeschooled children."