Friday, June 20, 2008

Is this what they mean by socialization?

A pact made by a group of teens to get pregnant and raise their babies together is at least partly behind a sudden spike in pregnancies at Gloucester High School, school officials said.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Father of Homeschooling

Although this system (public schools) always had its detractors, school reformers became more vocal in the mid-1960s, criticizing what they considered an overly restrictive, lock-step method of teaching.

John Holt emerged as the father of the modern home-school movement.
Holt, a former teacher, began by urging more freedom within the classroom and ended up promoting home schooling. He believed schools were too large, inflexible and bureaucratic to be sensitive to individual children’s needs and interests, and that this led many children to struggle needlessly. Just as disturbing, he said, children often lost their zest for learning when forced to fit into the narrow confines of the conventional classroom.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You are invited to a homeschool mixer

Cherish at Faraday's Cage is where you put Schroedinger's Cat has a cool idea.

Homeschool stereotypes and how we don't fit into them...
Jun. 12th, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Now prepare yourselves for the insanity, but I think it would be cool to start a "homeschool mixer" of sorts (online, of course). I know a couple people who read this blog perhaps you can tell me if this is crazy or not. I just had the notion that if people could learn more about the complexities of homeschooling (rather than some of the stereotypes), it might help people realize that maybe homeschoolers can't always be pigeon-holed so easily. It also may help people to see that there are some people who don't fit into their preconceived notions. And yeah, I know this entirely unscientific...and simply won't work for some people. If you feel interested in being involved (as a homeschooler), all you need to do is answer some questions by responding to this post with a comment (with as much or little detail as possible). If you are interested in finding out about (other) homeschoolers, you can ask questions (politely, of course).So, some questions I think are relevant:

So, some questions I think are relevant:

  • Why do you homeschool? We started off homeschooling because of the mandatory public school uniform policy with no opt out the Jackson County School Board implemented over the objections of many parents. There was even a law suit. My eldest son's 4th grade teacher had also stated that I should consider homeschooling him because he already knew all the material being covered by his class and the school board would not allow her to promote him to the next grade, because they didn't want to lose state funding for him any sooner then they had to. Then there was his 5th grade teacher, second semester, a total screw up. He had a wonderful teacher 1st semester. Unfortunately teachers in public schools are on the bottom of the pay rung, the best and brightest teachers leave to become guidance counselors and principals. He left to become a guidance counselor at the same school, because he needed the higher pay, and they hired Ms. Winn fresh out of college and with a brand spanking new teaching certificate. She couldn't do algebra (she wanted to teach kindergarten you see, and you don't need algebra for that), she couldn't maintain discipline in the classroom, she couldn't spell or string together grammatically correct sentences, as a 5th grade teacher she was a total loser. So between being upset about the mandatory school uniforms and Ms. Winn the decision to homeschool was an easy one for us.

  • What technique or curriculum do you use? I use different things. This is what we did Fall 2007 - Spring 2008.

  • Do your kids work above or below grade level (or both!)? Above. But when we started it was some of both, as my eldest son was a semester behind in Math thanks to his 5th grade public school teacher, Ms. Winn. We were able to catch up to his correct grade level and then get ahead. By the way my eldest son started college at 16, he is in his third year of a Computer Science Degree.

  • What is your educational level? Both my husband and myself are college graduates.

  • Do you feel this has an effect on your teaching (both limits and abilities)? Since my husband has a college degree he has a well paying job which has allowed me to homeschool full time. Being a full time stay at home Mom and able to devote myself full time to homeschooling is certainly a big plus. I also think my having a college degree helped me prepare my boys for college.

  • What does your daily schedule look like? Our schedule varies day to day. That is one of the things I love about homeschooling the ability to be flexible and take advantage of field trips, community events ect. as they are available to us.
  • Are your kids always polite and ready to learn? (*snicker*) I wish, but with teenagers I have discovered giving them choices makes a huge difference in their willingness to cooperate.

  • Do the kids (or you!) get frustrated? Sometimes, we are human. Everyone gets frustrated sometimes. But being able to take a break when we need it helps keep the frustration levels low.

  • How has this affected your parenting? It hasn't really.

  • How much free time do they have? That varies too, both have jobs and are involved in different organizations and activities.

  • What do they do during their free time? Read, play video games, visit the beach.

  • What hobbies do they have? My youngest son is involved in Team Fusion 364, both boys were involved in soccer. My eldest son maintains a Digimon Website.

  • What difficulties and challenges do you have with homeschooling? The attitude of the anti homeschoolers

  • What makes homeschooling enjoyable? Having the chance to learn new things and see my children's enthusiasm for learning.

  • How do you get involved in the community? We belong to the Civic Association in our community. Our kids played on recreational soccer teams and were involved in scouts, my husband and myself were involved in leadership positions with both groups.

  • When do you have opportunities to interact with public or privately schooled children? All the time. One of the things I love about Team Fusion is that it is composed of public, private and homeshooled kids and they all get along great. But we are very active in our community so we interact with people from different backgrounds all the time.

  • Would you like more of these opportunities? Yes.

  • How can they be created? By public schools being more willing to include homeschoolers in their after school activities.

  • What is your least favorite homeschool stereotype? :-) That we are with our kids 24/7.

Drooling Home-Schooling Ruling

This is so funny, Drooling Home-Schooling Ruling.

Let's go to the movies

This weeks Carnival of Homeschooling has a movie theme.