Saturday, July 26, 2008



They would not have seen these things, if I home schooled them, because they would only be seeing people just like them. They would only be exposed to people with the same family life, the same values, the same religious beliefs.

Nothing of course is further from the truth. Homeschoolers are a diverse bunch. Family Life - There are single parents, homosexuals, and traditional families in the homeschooling community and believe me we do not all share the same values. Religious Beliefs -There are Pagans, Wiccans, Atheist, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and many, many others of different religious backgrounds who homeschool. By belonging to an Inclusive Homeschool Group we are able to interact with people from many different backgrounds and beliefs.

Since she asked nicely and she isn't attacking homeschoolers at all, I thought I would answer her questions.

1. What was your motivation for homeschooling? Was it based on religious reasons? Was is it based on curriculum - did you want more freedom in choosing what your children were being taught? Was it based on socializing - wanting to have more control in the people with whom your children came into contact with? Was it based on logistics - the nearest school being 20 miles away? What made you finally decide to go this route?

Mandatory Public School Uniforms with no opt out for parents that were opposed to them. I also realized I could give my children a far better education then my eldest son was getting from his 5th grade, second semester teacher who couldn't control her class, didn't know how to do Algebra and wanted to teach kindergarten but got stuck with a 5th grade class because there were no spots in kindergarten open. While the majority of my children's public school teachers were excellent or at least satisfactory, I didn't want to waste anymore of my children's time with unsatisfactory teachers.

2. Don't hate me for asking this. How to you handle socialization? What steps do you take to make sure your children are around other children and adults? Are you active in a home school group? Do you spend a lot of time at church activities? Maybe you utilize the local Y for activities and they meet friends there?

At various times we have done various things, Cub & Boy Scouts, Recreational Soccer, field trips with our homeschool group, and of course there is always the Internet and phone to help them keep in touch. Now that they are older both my boys work and often get together with their co-workers after work to socialize.

3. Do you use the public school system for any part of your child's routine? Some children here come to the school for band or chorus, or maybe for science class. Do you send your child to the public school to take advantage of any of their programs?

Not really, my youngest son does belong to a robotics team that is located at a public school but the school isn't even in the same county we live in much less the school district and the robotics team is open to all public school, private school and homeschooled students.

4. Do your children begin and end school at the same time each day? Do they have a strict schedule, at least as far as waking up and reporting to the school area of your home? If not, when/how will you transition your children into following a more rigid schedule - awaking at the same time each day so that they can follow a routine outside of the home like for college and work?

Well my eldest son does since he is in college now, but NO one of the things I LOVE about homeschooling is it's flexibility. They always knew that there were certain times that we had to be somewhere at a certain time, thus they didn't have any problems when they started working or college. I think that's one of the big myths that anti-homeschoolers use, that our kids will not be able to function in a work/ college environment and that's so not true.

I am skipping 5, so moving on to ...........

6. Do you have a sense of humor? It's probably a little late for me to ask that but...


7. Where do you find your curriculum? Do you shop for it and order it? Do you create your own?

I use the Internet to find and order curriculum. If I can't find something I think is challenging enough I create my own. I created my own American Literature program for my youngest son to use in 11th grade. My eldest son started college at 16 so we skipped American Literature.

8. Do you have any worries at all about teaching your teenagers the higher level math and sciences? I, for one, could not teach chemistry to my children but I could probably teach them calculus. Is this a concern for you?

No, if there is a subject I can't handle like higher Math, Dad teaches it. We kinda divided the subjects between us. Other families use co-ops and tutors.

9. What bothers you the most about the reputation homeschoolers have? What things do you hate to hear people say about you for your choice? I really hope you don't say that it's my previous post.

Your previous post was OK, I felt you were very respectful of a parents right to make the best educational choice for their child. Some of these past post here and on my main blog will shed light on the things homeschool critics say that really irritate me.

10. Be honest, do you, at least in your mind sometimes, judge those of us who choose public school? Do you ever think we are making a bad choice for our children? Are you vocal about that disapproval?

I think each individual child's educational needs are different. Homeschooling happened to work for both my children. I know some homeschool families that have one or more children in public school while they homeschool the others.

11. Is "home school" one word or two?

Beats me. I think it's a personal preference.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wouldn’t this be a better world if you and people like you could stop being so bigoted and open your hearts to those that are different than you

This Pagan seems to be on the right track
"Wouldn’t this be a better world if you and people like you could stop being so bigoted and open your hearts to those that are different than you. I am a pagan I don’t believe in heaven or hell, god or the devil."

Honestly why do Christians have to try to ram their beliefs down others throats?

Linda P. Harvey in Heresy in the Hood II: Witchcraft among Children and Teens in America is back to Bashing Harry Potter and other popular, books, movies and TV Shows.

Ironically, God is in charge even if the fictional Harry Potter or his friend Hermoine cast "spells." Yet Potter fans will never hear about God’s real, omnipotent power by reading the Christ–less Rowling books or seeing the Potter movies. One of the biggest and most artificial aspects of these stories is this pretense. In this sense, they truly are fantasies.

I wonder if she has even bothered to read the Potter books, especially the last one.

Is Harry Potter Real Literature?
and other related post at Alasandra & The Cats.

Great column about homeschooling in California

Why Homeschool: Great column about homeschooling in California

Public School Administrator request newspapers do an exposé on home schooling

In defense of home schooling
Publisher and Editor

A request was made by a local public school administrator at a recent board of education meeting that the newspaper "do" an exposé on home schooling.

Such a request, and one made in a public forum by a school board president, at the very least implies some knowledge of something amiss.

If this administrator is aware of anything which ought to be "exposed," maybe he should simply contact the proper authorities. If he suspects cases of abuse, there's Children Services, the police, the Highland County Sheriff's Office, the Juvenile Court judge, all of whom would, no doubt, respond to the legitimate complaints of a school administrator.

Why challenge the newspaper? We are not the home school police. Frankly, we have enough to do to keep up with those public bodies that spend more and more of taxpayers' money each year. But I digress.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

CA & Homeschooling

(Greenhut, Steven) columns argued that parents had much to fear from the ruling, which could give local school districts the rationale to declare homeschooled kids truants. The case needs to be overturned, but two significant things happened in the ensuing weeks.

First, although the California Teachers Association celebrated the ruling, prominent Republican and Democratic politicians rebuked it. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to push for a legislative fix, but he seems unclear on what course his administration is going to take. More important, the superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, declared that homeschooling is legal and that his department would respect the choices made by homeschooling parents.

Second, in the wake of such political and public outrage, the court of appeal vacated the ruling and said it would rehear the case. It will take months to get a new ruling, but homeschool families are safe for now, and it's likely that any new ruling will be tailored in a narrower manner. Homeschoolers still have reason for worry, though, so it's worth looking closely at how such a basic freedom could come under a sustained government assault.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Homeschool Survey

Learning is for Everyone, Inc. is hosting the Tapestry of Homeschool survey in an effort to counteract modern day mythologies about homeschooling that range from misperceptions about socialization to assumptions about religious beliefs.

There are a lot of opinions about what homeschoolers want, who homeschoolers are, and how homeschoolers teach and learn. Unfortunately, many of those opinions come from people who don't homeschool, or who may have a particular interest in portraying homeschoolers a certain way.

Learning is for Everyone encourages homeschoolers to speak for themselves, instead of for government statistical surveys, or for the private agendas of special interest groups.

Homeschoolers comprise a diverse and multifaceted community. Getting a better picture of homeschooling can help homeschoolers improve support within their communities, and better protect their collective right to direct their children's educations.

Read more and take the survey here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Embracing the Joys of Summer, with Kids

It sounds as if Jennifer Graham got the kids she deserved; Summer of Our Discontent Embrace the vacation horror. By Jennifer Graham. One day we will probably read a piece by one of her kids extolling the horror of having to put up with aging Mom Jennifer Graham or maybe they'll just throw her in an old folks home.

If it’s that of the children — newly released from the rigors of the public-school system, where, this past year, one of mine watched A Bug’s Life in eighth-grade English class — I’ll pass. I’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese and surveyed the population; we can afford to lose a few thousand of ‘em without jeopardizing the replacement rate.

I can't believe someone could be so glib about the loss of a child. I treasure my children and can't imagine my life without them.

The alarming outbreak of children affects us all. It’s us against them, and many of them are on skateboards, headed straight for our BMWs.

What a sad mentality Ms. Graham has. My children and I are on the same team.

The dirty little secret of parenting is that there’s so little actual parenting involved. Mostly, “parenting” is a euphemism for “housework in the presence of children,” which quadruples when the temperature hits 90. The businesswoman daydreaming of her fireflies and lemonade stand edits out the image of her own disheveled mother beginning her sixth load of laundry (do wild blackberry stains ever really come out?), applying Band-Aids and zinc oxide, breaking up fights, mopping up spills, and perpetually sweeping, like a crazed Lady Macbeth: “yet here’s a spot … what, will these floors ne’er be clean?”

Maybe that's Ms. Graham's problem, instead of actually parenting her children she abrogated her parental responsibilities in favor of housework. The housework will always be there your children won't. I am so glad that I took the time to spend time with my children when they were small instead of leaving them to fend for themselves while I maintained the perfect house. And remember that "team" I mentioned, well me and the kids tackled the housework together so we could play. Even when they were small there were simple task they could help with.

Some families actually do enjoy family vacations, my family certainly does and I don't touch a shred of laundry the whole time we are gone.

When it spills a pitcher of homemade lemonade all over the newly mopped floor, I let it.

There is something inherently wrong in referring to your child as 'it'. Accidents happen but even the littlest child can help clean up the spilt lemonade.

When it knocks the $200-and-near-impossible-to-replace Wii off the shelf, I let it.

I choose to teach my children to respect the property of others and how to behave inside.

When it picks all the annuals in my flower garden, I let it.

I taught my children how to help care for the plants in my flower garden and not to pick the flowers without my permission.

When it hits its brother on the head, I let it.

I choose to teach my children that violence isn't the answer and how to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner.

Like Steve Buscemi’s character accepting the imminent destruction of Earth in the movie Armageddon, we must learn to embrace the horror. Without summer vacation, there would be no school teachers, and we’d have to hang out with our kids all year.

Maybe the parenting choices I made is why I actually enjoy being with my kids all year.

Homeschooled twins: Carnival of Cool Homeschoolers #5

Visit Homeschooled twins to enjoy the Carnival of Cool Homeschoolers #5

Nationalized Education

Spunky on Federalizing Education

He (Lee Carey) believes that the response from most involved with education will be positive, except that of the homechooler,
"Home Schoolers: They'll see nationalization as a threat to their independence, because it is. But they're dedicated and resourceful people. They'll survive, and perhaps even flourish after a favorable court decision. (Maybe) "

The Herculean CoH

Monday, July 21, 2008

What's in a name?

From Beverly's Homeschooling Blog
CHEA, CHN, HSC, HSLDA and Private and Home Educators of California are recommending that California private school programs, also known as Independent Study Programs (ISPs), stop using the term "Independent Study Program" and begin using the term "Private School Satellite Program" (PSP).

Mississippi school board prohibits teachers from texting students

A new school district policy in southern Mississippi prohibits teachers from texting or communicating with students through Internet social network sites such as MySpace.

The Lamar County school board approved the policy earlier this month after becoming concerned that casual contact between teachers and students would be unprofessional.

The Graduate's not-so-happy sequel, Home School

The Times had this to say about Home School.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Both parents' and childrens' educational rights need to be protected in homeschooling

Excerpt from Both parents' and childrens' educational rights need to be protected in homeschooling by Kelly Flynn.

Most parents have their children's best interests at heart. We trust parents to make appropriate choices about their children's health, safety, diet, and discipline. Why wouldn't we trust them to make appropriate educational choices, too?

In this case, my belief in the rights of parents is stronger than my belief in the beauty of the public school system. And I have never believed that there is only one way to do anything.

While she may not understand and see the beauty of homeschooling she at least respects our right to homeschool our children. I do wish she and others didn't see it as an odd educational choice though.

homeschooling is, to me, an odd educational choice. I don't understand why a parent would choose to separate a child from the rich and varied world that a public school offers, or shelter them from the very society that they will ultimately have to live and work in.

But even though homeschooling would not be my first choice, I do believe, emphatically, that parents should have that choice.

Ironically I believe that homeschooling provides a richer and more varied world then public schools offer, and most homeschoolers are out in the society that they will ultimately have to live and work in, while public school students are enslaved in a artificial environment where people are separated by their age. Thankfully my choice to homeschool is respected by most, even if it is considered an odd educational choice by some.