Friday, June 04, 2010

Public Schools Offer - Death By Bullying: Another Teenage Suicide

According to Judy Molland

As someone who has been teaching teenagers for over twenty years, I know that someone, if not several people, at that high school had to know what was going on, but chose not to see. It's easy to do, since teachers are all so overworked and pressured these days. But that's no excuse. Teenagers can be a tough bunch, but it's also pretty easy to read them.

Bullying is a serious social problem. According to the National School Safety Center, one in seven children becomes a victim of bullying at school. Wake up, schools! Getting good test scores is nice; saving lives is crucial.

And they wonder why so many parents choose not to entrust their children to these uncaring public schools.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

No Fighting, No Biting!: The 331st edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling

What better way to spend a rainy afternoon then reading the No Fighting, No Biting!: The 331st edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Alasandra's Place: Alasandra's Reading list ~ May

Alasandra's Place: Alasandra's Reading list ~ May

Book Review ~ Love in a Time of Homeschooling ~ The rest of the book

Her experience with homeschooling seems very different then mine. Maybe it was because they knew it was only for one year. Also because she still had two children in public school her family didn't enjoy the same amount of flexibility that most homeschool families enjoy. At first it seemed as if what they were really doing was "school at home" although toward the end they did seem to grasp the freedom homeschooling allows and the creativity that can spring from it. I actually found the rest of the book slow going and didn't enjoy it as much as the first few chapters.

One of her comments that did resonant with me.
Parenthood always involves an awareness of judgment; when children misbehave or don't do their schoolwork, all eyes fall upon the parents especially the mother. And if that mother is a homeschooler, she is doubly accountable for her children's success or failure.

One of the hardest things about homeschooling is the constant criticism from non-homeschoolers who know nothing about homeschooling, your family or what is involved in homeschooling but take great delight in telling you, you are destroying your child. Then get all "put upon" if you dare to mention some of the problems in the public schools their children attend, assuming they even have kids.

I also agree that children need to spend more times outdoors and that nature is calming. I tried to incorporate as much outside time as possible into our homeschooling. For further reading on this subject Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. She also brings up how public schools have lowered their standards to allow more time for test preparation.

She acknowledges the diversity of homeschool families, and admits that some children even ASK to be homeschooled. One of the things she seems to have enjoyed the most was how homeschooling allowed her to fill in the gaps of her own education. A shortcoming she found with short term homeschooling was that it didn't give them enough time to decide what they truly valued in education.

A comment by Julia that hit home
"Homeschooling is better, because you get to feel that you are remotely in control of your own education. And the the scenery changes: in school, I'm stuck in the same building for seven hours every day."

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Letter to the Editor Defending Homeschooling

Way to go Missy.

Your editorial on “unschooling” was unfairly critical of homeschooling. You helped propagate a negative stereotype of homeschooling that should have died years ago. Let the facts speak for themselves: homeschooled students routinely score higher on standardized tests than public-schooled students. A higher percentage also go on to college.

My first child, who was homeschooled, attends the University of Southern Mississippi. He scored 26 on the ACT, received the Luckyday Scholarship, and was accepted into Honors College. He has a GPA of 3.95.

We tried “unschooling” one year when we were experiencing some burnout from traditional curriculum. We returned to the traditional curriculum from 8th through 12th grade.

The failures of the public school systems have more to do with a lack of family involvement in children’s education and the inability of teachers to give individual help to those who fall through the cracks than anything else. This cannot be solved by throwing money at the problem.

Homeschoolers, by nature, solve those problems by taking complete responsibility for their children’s education. They do this at a great sacrifice most of the time, giving up additional income and taking on greater expense. They should be encouraged, not criticized.


Monday, May 31, 2010

The Sun Herald is a very slow learner


Where’s the Evidence Concerning Unschooling?

May 27, 2010
Note: The following letter was sent in response to the Biloxi, Miss., Sun-Herald’s editorial of May 21, “We Support Homeschooling but not Unschooling.” HSLDA had replied to an earlier editorial on the same issue with the letter, “Critique of Unschooling Misses Point.”

Dear Editor:

Over the past weekend the Sun-Herald published a follow-up editorial which voiced support for homeschoolers but continued to express disdain for unschoolers.

Our question is: What evidence does the Sun-Herald provide to back up its claims? The answer is none. Instead—the editorial board simply offered an assertion about unschooling. 

At HSLDA, in our response to the first Sun-Herald editorial, we did provide evidence that both unschoolers and homeschoolers are succeeding.

Over and over again, the facts show the success of parent-directed education. Parents, who spend time tutoring their children one-on-one do have an advantage over an institutional school. Children can proceed at their own pace and do not have to worry about the distractions and time wasted in a traditional school environment, whether the source is classroom discipline problems, travel to and from school, or changing classrooms. Consequently, the majority of home educators find that their instructional time with their children is relatively short because so much can be accomplished in a short span of time.

While unschooling parents do not work from a pre-packaged curriculum, they are deeply involved in guiding their children in the areas where they show interest. 

Again, before the Sun-Herald decides to shoot from the hip, they should have some facts before they condemn a style of education that has been very successful despite being unconventional.