Saturday, December 15, 2012

For the Children & Staff

Graphic by Gracie

Young Life Cut Short

by Unknown Author
Do not judge a song by its duration
Nor by the number of its notes
Judge it by the richness of its contents
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant…
Do not judge a song by its duration
Nor by the number of its notes
Judge it by the way it touches and lifts the soul
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful…
And when something has enriched your life
And when it’s melody lingers on in your heart.
Is it unfinished?
Or is it endless?

My thoughts are with those who lost loved ones during this senseless massacre. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wishing everyone a Blessed Yule!

All blessings be upon you.
And all those you hold dear
As the Yule log burns
And friends gather near

You can read this weeks CoH here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling: No two are alike

This weeks CoH celebrates the diversity found in homeschooling.

O! Mighty goddess, in silvery ice,
watching over us as we sleep,
a layer of shining white,
covering the earth each night,
frost on the world and in the soul,
we thank you for visiting us.
Because of you, we seek warmth
in the comfort of our homes and hearths.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Anti Science Idiots Do Not Speak For All Homeschoolers

I shuddered when I read  On The  Box with Ray Comfort Homeschoolers Miss Out on Sexual Promiscuity and Much More, it is anti science idiots like this that give homeschooling a bad name.

He says
I have met many kids who have been educated by their parents (using what one atheist on my blog called "idiot" home-school textbooks, and I have found that they are consistently respectful, well-adjusted to life, sociable with their peers, and extremely knowledgeable.

Not all us use those dreadful textbooks there are many secular textbooks available to homeschoolers, textbooks that teach REAL SCIENCE not this .....................................garbage. And I don't see how anyone can be considered knowledgeable when their "so called knowledge" is based on fiction not science. But if parents want to teach their children superstitious nonsense that is fine with me just don't pretend to speak for all homeschoolers.

He goes on to paint a totally biased portrait of public schools. While I am not a fan of the public school system and choose to homeschool my own children there are many good public schools out there that in no way resemble the public schools of Ray Comfort's fevered imagination.

He then says
Had home schoolers attended public school they would have also been brainwashed by an unproven theory about human origins,

The THEORY OF EVOLUTION  has been proven countless times, just like the THEORY OF GRAVITY.

No serious biologist today doubts the theory of evolution to explain the marvelous complexity and diversity of life. In fact the relatedness of all species through the mechanism of evolution is such a profound foundation for the understanding of all biology that it is difficult to imagine how one would study life without it. (page 99)
The examples reported here from the study of genomes, plus others that could fill hundreds of books of this length, provide the kind of molecular support for the theory of evolution that has convinced virtually all working biologist that Darwin's framework of variation and natural selection is unquestionably correct..... As Theodosius Dobzhansky a leading biologist of the twentieth century (and a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian), has said, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." (page 141) - The Language of God by Francis S. Collins

Why It's Important to Teach Facts NOT Feelings

More post on Homeschooling and the Theory of Evolution can be found here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

I highly recommend this book for teens (Grades 9-12). In a world where machines have turned on their human masters humanity must put aside their differences and band together in order to survive.

For those of you worried about profanity, it is on ONE page and makes sense in the context used. In a later chapter the term FUBAR is used but again makes sense in the context used and if your kids don't know what it is an acronym for then it's not a problem is it? And in the more genteel WWII era the F stood for Fouled.

Wilson wrote an outstanding book and the plot as well as the broader issues it explores makes it well worth reading.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Theodore Boone : the abduction by John Grisham

Theo's best friend April is missing and the authorities fear she has been abducted by a distant cousin who escaped from prison and is back in town. But Theo knows that April was staying alone because her Mom abandoned her and her Dad was out of town playing with his band and puts the pieces together in order to bring April home.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Book Review ~ Teen

Death Run by Jack Higgins - Twins Rich and Jade Chance become embroiled in their Father's work when their math teacher turns out to be "The Banker" John Chance rescued from "The Tigers" clutches. Fast paced thriller.

Carnival of Homeschooling: Momma's Musing Moments About Homeschool

Homeschool Atheist Momma is hosting this weeks CoH Momma's Musing Moments About Homeschool

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Battle of New Orleans

Andrew Jackson lead to victory one of the most diverse and motley assortments of American troops ever put together.
  • The regular army's 7th and 44th infantry regiments
  • Militia units from Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana 
  • Two Battalions drawn from the free black population of New Orleans
  • Chocotaw Indians
  • Pirates under the command of Jean Lafitte
For further reading:
Spirit of New Orleans 
Road to New Orleans
Afro-Creoles in the Battle of New Orleans

Carnival of Homeschooling

The Flag Day Edition of the CoH is up.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Book Review ~ Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene by Bart D. Ehrman

Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene The Followers of Jesus In History and Legend

Ehrman explains how the stories made up about Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene give us insight into what the people of that period were thinking.

Ehrman explains how anything supposedly written by Peter is highly suspect as Peter was an illiterate fisherman.  Explores the stories concerning Simon Peter's "contest" with Simon Magus. Tells how Peter supposedly refused to heal his own daughter who was paralyzed to keep her a virgin. And explores the myth of Peter's martyrdom, he was supposedly crucified upside down because he preached sexual abstinence even for married people.

Paul was well educated and spoke Greek. Doubtful he spoke Hebrew/Aramaic.  The letters Paul wrote are at odds with what was written about him in Acts. The views in Acts that women were to stay home and have babies are not Paul's. Supposedly beheaded by Nero, and his blood was replaced with "milk". Paul was a figure of controversy even in his own time.

Mary Magdalene the most interesting from my point of view. Little is know about her and she is only mentioned in the four Gospels of the New Testament 13 times, although she is often confused with other Mary's (Mary of Bethany for example) and unnamed women in the Bible. In The Golden Legend she is a reformed sex offender who can work miracles. In The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown she is Jesus' secret wife and the mother of his child. In Jesus Christ Superstar she was sexually attracted to Jesus and possibly intimate with him. The Last Temptation of Christ had Jesus imagining an alternate life with Mary Magdalene as his wife while he was being crucified. While in the Bible she is only on the fringes of the group of Jesus and his disciples along with other women. In fact all we know about her from the Bible is that demons were cast out of her and that she was the first to see the empty tomb, and that she was the one who proclaimed that "Jesus Was Risen", making her the first apostle. More then likely she was illiterate. There are no surviving text written by Mary or claiming to be written by Mary. The Gospel of Mary is a book about her written years after her death.

Ehrman explains things in an easy to understand way and has written an interesting book about Peter, Paul & Mary Magdalene.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dave Out Loud ~CoH

The Carnival of Homeschooling is being hosted at Dave Out Loud this week. Be sure to drop by and check out my submission.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Did you know?

Francis Scott Key author of The Star Spangled Banner owned slaves.


Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Remember the Raisin"

One of the nice things about homeschooling is you can thoroughly cover history, not just those parts of history that are currently in vogue 

Out of the Battle of the River Raisin, came one of the great American rallying cries of the War of 1812, “Remember the Raisin!”


The Informed Parent ~CoH

Check out this weeks Carnival of Homeschooling hosted by The Informed Parent.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot by Bart D. Ehrman

Ehrman sets out to show how stories were changed by the storytellers that told them,  by their own views and that during the oral culture this was a common practice. He illustrates by giving various examples of stories about Judas (some in the Bible some not). One of the most interesting ones was the Golden Legend. Judas is born to a Jewish couple Cyborea and Ruben. Before his birth Cyborea had a bad dream the Judas would "bring ruin on our whole people" so they decided to leave him to die by casting him adrift in a basket at sea. The basket washes up on the island of Scariot and the queen of the land finds the child and raises him as her own. After adopting Judas she becomes pregnant with her own child and the boys grow up together. Jealous of his younger brother Judas eventually kills him and fleas to Jerusalem. There he becomes the head steward of Pontius Pilate. In Pilate's service he kills Ruben and is given all Ruben's possessions including his wife as a reward. Cyborea overcome with guilt about leaving her son to die reveals what she and Ruben did to Judas. Realizing he has killed his father and married his Mother he turns to Christ for forgiveness and becomes one of the disciples. But his "evil" nature leads him to steal from the communal purse and when money is wasted on oil to anoint Jesus out of anger he betrays Jesus for thirty pence. He then feels remorse and goes forth to hang himself and burst forth from the middle.

Ehrman tells how Irenaeus wrote about the Gospel of Judas Iscariot and that the text discovered seems to be the same one Irenaeus wrote about.  Ehrman also theorizes that Gnosticism developed from failed Jewish Apocalypse beliefs. 

Who is Jesus? According to Paul all that matters is that he died for our sins and was resurrected. But to others Judas among them the important thing was what Jesus TAUGHT.  In The Lost Gospel of Judas the author who is telling about Judas maintains that Judas was the only one of the disciples to understand Jesus' teachings.

Who is Judas Iscariot, we know very little about him even his last name Iscariot doesn't provide any clues. All we know for sure was that he was one of Jesus' 12 disciples and he was an Apocalypse Jew who believed the world as he knew it would end shortly. Ehrman surmises that the disciples expected to be in charge after the apocalypse with Jesus as their leader.

Why did Judas betray Jesus? was it to keep him "safe" until after the passover? or was it because he realized that Jesus' Apocalypse teachings were false and he was feed up with waiting for the end to come?  or was it because he understood Jesus' true mission and as the only one who "really understood" was doing Jesus' will when he betrayed him?

In conclusion Ehrman reminds us that the Gospel of Judas was not written by Judas or anyone who knew him, it is merely a gnostic gospel about Judas presenting the authors beliefs.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Readers debate whether Michigan's homeschool law is too lax (with poll)

Click here to participate in the poll.

As of now

No. The few cases where the law is abused don't justify putting restrictions on homeschooling  45.24%  (38 votes)   

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mark Hoofnagle needs to be banned

Mark Hoofnagle may have an MD and PhD in physiology from the University of Virginia, but when it comes to homeschooling he needs to go back to school. His hatchet job  Homeschooling needs either tighter regulation or to be banned  earns him the idiot award for March.

Very few homeschoolers belong to the "Quiverfull" movement. I dare say most of us find the "Quiverfull" philosophy abhorrent, and the laws already on the books concerning educational neglect would already be applicable to these "Quiverfull" families. Unfortunately underfunded Departments of Children and Family Services are not doing their jobs, but that is no reason to ban an educational choice that has benefited many children and their families.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Santorum so wrong.....................

Gosh I didn't think I would find anything to disagree with in this piece, Rick Santorum Calls Bill Maher Illogical Over Attacks on Homeschooling Children, as I too thought Maher was out of line. But Santorum proved once again what an idiot he truly is.

There wasn't an interview that went by the last week where I wasn't asked a question about Rush Limbaugh, and yet repeatedly, these folks on the left – whether it's Maher or Letterman or you name it – they're out there trashing everybody who stands up for Christian conservative values, anybody who dares to actually teach their children faith in their home."

Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time," had levied his attacks on Santorum and his wife Karen for homeschooling their six school-age children.

Santorum, you aren't honestly comparing Maher's diatribe against your homeschooling with Rush's slander of Ms. Fluke! Really............ you are so not ready for prime time if you don't get that calling a woman a slut and a prostitute because she has the guts to go before Congress and ask for Reproductive Justice for Women isn't the same thing as throwing barbs at a Presentational Candidate's educational choice for his family. Especially when the candidate has made the issue part of his platform.

The debate over homeschooling versus public schools often inflames liberals,

Not true Mr. Santorum MANY Liberals are homeschoolers. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bill Maher needs to open his mind

I don't know why the Santorum's homeschool, neither does Maher, but of course that didn't stop him from speculating. The educational choice one makes for ones children should be a personal family matter. Santorum has of course opened the door by discussing the educational choice his family choose but are the Santorum's really homeschoolers? Last I heard they were using a VIRTUAL PRIVATE SCHOOL after getting in trouble for taking advantage of the VIRTUAL  PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM where one of the homes they own is located. They didn't meet the residency requirements to qualify for the "FREE" tuition. The Santorum's hardly qualify as the "face of homeschooling".

Most troubling is that Maher doesn't seem to know the first thing about homeschooling or homeschoolers but that didn't stop him from sharing his uninformed opinion. Maher read some books about homeschooling, visit some homeschool blogs and then get back to us if you want to talk about homeschooling until then ..........................A mind is a terrible thing to waste Mr. Maher, try not to waste yours.

Hat Tip: Bill Maher: Santorum homeschools his kids because he wants them locked up in his “Christian madrassa”

Historical Fiction Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

Alfred the Great is dying (for real this time) and sides are being chosen who supports Alfred's son Edward and who supports his nephew AEthelwold, who is backed by the Danes. Uhtred chooses to serve Edward, but can he steer Edward along the right path and preserve the Saxon Kingdom or will the priest convince Edward that Uhtred the Pagan can not be trusted and doom Edward to defeat. In the end when all seems lost it is the cleverness and bravery of Edward's sister AEthelflaed who saves the day.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fredrik deBoer gets it wrong

deBoer seems to have an overly inflated sense of himself; parents aren't suppose to homeschool because it offends his sensibilities. The first mistake deBoer makes is in assuming that all Public Schools are like the public school he attended.
deBoer says: I grew up in a racially and socioeconomically diverse hometown with a similarly diverse public high school, and I couldn’t be prouder or happier to have gone to school there.
Well good for you deBoer I am really happy that you enjoyed your Public School experience that doesn't make it right for everyone. (Sigh) Just because I know you will ask this is the racially and socioeconomically diverse makeup of the school district I live in.

Female                  307           47% 
Male                     346           53% 
Asian                      63           10%
Black                       94           14% 
Hispanic                  16             2% 
Native American        4             1%  
White                     476           73% 
Multi Racial                0              0%

Poverty Percentage 356             56%  

deBoer also makes the assumption that diversity isn't found inside the homeschooling community. Nothing could be further from the truth there are White, African-American, Hispanic and Native American Homeschoolers (click here to see more info). There are rich, middle-class, poor, single parent and two income households that homeschool. There are straight and gay families that homeschool. Secular, Atheist, Protestant, Catholics and many other religions including Pagans are all represented in the homeschooling community. Pamela J. Stubbart's article The Moral Status of Homeschooling and Public Schooling Motivations was actually reasonable.
why examine the motivations of homeschooling parents any more rigorously than those of parents who choose the prima facie more progressive, egalitarian, and diversity-minded option of public schooling? I grew up attending the public schools in Cobb County, an affluent suburb of Atlanta, Georgia
My parents and those many of my peers chose this district and its schools at least in part to avoid the exposure of their children to socioeconomic diversity, not to pursue it! And due to the religious makeup of the area (i.e., Bible Belt), students attending Cobb County schools were not typically exposed there to any religious diversity, or secular challenge of religion (indeed, this is the district that placed stickers in biology textbooks claiming that "Evolution is a theory, not a fact"). It's easy to assume that those who share our educational philosophies are motivated by sound considerations, and that those who oppose them are motivated by illegitimate ones. But let's not fail to take seriously the multiple motivations upon which parties to all sides of the issue may be acting.

And before we debate the pro's and cons of homeschooling less be clear on what homeschooling is. Homeschooling is;
1. Not a public school choice.
2. Homeschooling is not a government program. It is an education option as separate as non-government funded, private education.
3. Options such as charter schools and public virtual schools are choices which are not independent of public schooling.
4. Homeschooled students are not under federal NCLB requirements, nor are they required to keep state learning standards.

For further reading
 Racism and Homeschooling
 Why Homeschooling Is a Boon to a Liberal Society

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Santorum flap isn't about Homeschooling

Santorum's children were enrolled in a public charter school. They were public school students who received their education at home.
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum should reimburse $100,000 to the Penn Hills School District for taxpayer money used since 2001 to cover online charter school tuition for his children, four school board members said Thursday. The senator will not respond until the board makes a formal request, said Santorum's deputy chief of staff, Robert Traynham
The flap  is because his children were enrolled in a public school program that they didn't qualify for based on their residency.
"He's admitted he's not a resident. I'm going to put up a motion for him to pay back the entire amount," said Penn Hills School Board member Erin Vecchio, chairwoman of the local Democratic Committee. Penn Hills Superintendent Patricia Gennari said she phoned the senator Wednesday afternoon to arrange for the district to query him about his residency. Santorum issued a statement late that night saying he had decided to pull his children from the online school and home-school them instead after being told by district officials that "only children who live in a community on a full-time basis" are eligible for the tuition money.
Homeschoolers are self funded, they do not receive tax/tuition money and the State does not assist them with textbooks, materials or supplies.

The issue here is clear Senator Santorum was doing what many public school parents do, illegally sending his children to a public school in a district they do not reside in. The waters are a little murky here because Santorum actually does own a home in the school district, they just don't live in it most of the year. Santorum could have honestly been unaware of the full time residency requirement for the "free" tuiton to the public charter school.

But it underscores the need to be clear on the educational alternatives available to parents and the regulations regarding each one.

Homeschooling laws vary from state to state. But for the most part Homeschoolers do not receive any tax money or support from the State.

Private Schools - parents pay tuition out of their own pockets for their children to attend.

Charter Schools -
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money (and like other schools, may also receive private donations) but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter.Charter schools are opened and attended by choice. While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition.
Cyber Schools are online schools and can either be public or private.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling: Homeschooling Pensieve

I just love Harry Potter (the books not the movies) so this CoH was right up my alley Carnival of Homeschooling: Homeschooling Pensieve

Knowledge Quest 2012

Is offering a free download

In an effort to rid the world of geographaphobia, we are pleased to offer our very popular ebook titled GLOBALMANIA: Master World Geography in 7 Months or Less - retail value $14.95 - free of charge. We hope that you take us up on our challenge and enjoy your learning moments together.

Book Review

Forged by Bart Ehrman.

I am enjoying the book immensely.  As always Ehrman delivers an easy to understand book that allows laymen to understand the scholarship he puts into studying the Bible and why he has come to the conclusions he has.

The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis has an excellent in depth book review, that you can read here.

Against those who argue that the Bible must be inerrant and truthful since God does not lie, Ehrman approaches the matter more logically: “If God created an error-free book, then the book should be without errors. If what we have is not an error-free book, then it is not a book that God has delivered to us without errors” (p.117).

 I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theology. 

Confused Sara Mead

In her post Why Are We So Fascinated with Homeschooling? Sara Mead seems a tad bit confused. Ms. Mead charter schools and homeschooling are NOT the same thing.

She states

*It's not entirely clear that it's a great idea for Santorum to talk much about home-schooling his kids, given that this story doesn't reflect all that well on the family. 

The flap is over Santorum sending his children to a PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL, it has nothing to do with homeschooling.

It's easy to see from the rest of her post that Mead knows very little about homeschooling, but has decided it must be bad since she doesn't understand it and it's not regulated so she can collect data in order to converse about it with other intellectuals. I wonder if she has the same problem with home-cooked meals?

Homeschool advocacy groups have fought to oppose any regulation or data collection on homeschooling and homeschool families--but the resulting limited data actually makes it impossible to have intelligent conversations that aren't driven too much by anecdote. 

Ms. Mead just because you can't collect data and analyze something doesn't make it bad.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Liberals please homeschool your kids

This utter nonsense Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids makes me want to slap some sense into the author. Kiddos to the author for at least realizing that homeschoolers are a diverse bunch, it really gets annoying when you have to explain over and over again that your NOT a FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN just because you choose to homeschool your kids.

But then ask 
Could such a go-it-alone ideology ever be truly progressive—by which I mean, does homeschooling serve the interests not just of those who are doing it, but of society as a whole?

The answer in my opinion  is a resounding YES!  By giving my children the best education possible I have given them the opportunity to be productive members of society and to make a difference in their world.  But according to Goldstein and her ilk we should leave our children in failing public schools for the sake of society. This attitude of course makes no sense. It would be like saying since everyone can't attend medical school no one should. Never mind that those who do attend medical school and go into the medical profession serve society by using their knowledge to heal the sick.

This overheated hostility toward public schools runs throughout the new literature on liberal homeschooling, and reveals what is so fundamentally illiberal about the trend: It is rooted in distrust of the public sphere, in class privilege, and in the dated presumption that children hail from two-parent families, in which at least one parent can afford (and wants) to take significant time away from paid work in order to manage a process—education—that most parents entrust to the community at-large.

Not all liberal homeschoolers are hostile toward public schools I do think my local public school with it's emphasis on mandatory school uniforms wasn't the best place for MY CHILDREN to receive an education. But numerous other families in my school district are perfectly happy sending their children to this school and I have no problems with my tax money being used to support it as long as I have the RIGHT to educate my children in the way that best suits my family. In our case it was homeschooling. Goldstein also missed that memo that SINGLE PARENTS can and do homeschool. Yes, it is more difficult for them but they can and do do it.

Goldstein states
What makes us so sure? Reality. More than 70 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce. One-third of all children and one-half of low-income children are being raised by a single parent. Fewer than one-half of young children, and only about one-third of low-income kids, are read to daily by an adult. Surely, this isn’t the picture of a nation ready to “self-educate” its kids. 

Apparently she also missed the memo where two income families can and do homeschool. I know one homeschool family where the Mom works during the day and Dad works the night shift, so someone is always home with the kids. The family eats breakfast together Mom heads off to work and Dad teaches 3  subjects , fixes lunch and then heads off to bed while the kids do  their assignments and enjoy some free time. Mom comes home from work prepares supper and while Dad heads off to work Mom teaches her 3 subjects before the family heads to bed.  While this isn't the ideal homeschooling situation it works for them.

According to Goldstein
Low-income kids earn higher test scores when they attend school alongside middle-class kids, while the test scores of privileged children are impervious to the influence of less-privileged peers. So when college-educated parents pull their kids out of public schools, whether for private school or homeschooling, they make it harder for less-advantaged children to thrive.

While the privileged children's test scores may not have been impacted I question if they were being allowed to LEARN all they could are if they were being held back in order to appease Goldstein's and others sense of fairness. I know my children were not being academically challenged in their public school.

Goldstein says
Lefty homeschoolers might be preaching sound social values to their children, but they aren’t practicing them. If progressives want to improve schools, we shouldn’t empty them out. We ought to flood them with our kids, and then debate vociferously what they ought to be doing.

BS, leaving your child in a school that is failing them isn't the answer. Obviously Goldstein has never dealt with school boards by the time you are able to make any meaningful changes your children would have graduated. By all means homeschool your children if that is what is best for them. You can still work to make the public schools better while homeschooling your own children.

Not content to leave it there Golstein later posted Further Thoughts on Homeschooling, Liberalism, and Special-Needs Kids.

To clarify my own position, I do not think homeschooling should be illegal, and I acknowledge it may be the best option for a relatively small population of disabled and special-needs kids. My own belief is that when it comes to the typical child, however, homeschooling does not comport with crucial social justice values related to investing in the common good, and so I’d urge parents concerned with social justice—both broadly and in terms of their own children’s development—to think twice about making this choice.

OK, I thought twice and homschooling was the best choice for my family and at the end of the day doing what is BEST for my children is the most important thing. Apparently Goldstein doesn't even have kids if she does she doesn't mention them in her bio.  Easy for someone who doesn't have kids to spout off about what is best. Kinda like the single guy without kids who always gives parenting advice.

In "Progressive Homeschooling" is an Oxymoron Goldstein states.
Educating children--especially poor children--is ridiculously expensive. We need government involved to help foot the bill, and to bring best practices to scale.

Actually educating children isn't ridiculously expensive.  Public schools spend a ridiculous amount of money and claim it is necessary but homeschoolers have achieved outstanding results at a fraction of the cost.

At the end of the day we owe society the best educated children we can provide. If that means homeschooling so be it.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sheer Ignorance

The sheer ignorance in this post by Dan White at Homeschool News & Views is astounding.

Mr. White LIBERALS do have kids, we even marry and raise families just like conservatives do, and some of us even HOMESCHOOL. 

Alasandra, Liberal Former Homeschooling Mom of 2 kids and happily married for 25 years.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I recently ran into a annoying snot of an anonymous commenter. Their views were sacrosanct and of course CORRECT while my opinion was insulting. The whole purpose of exchanging ideas is that each person gets to express their views and beliefs. You don't have to accept the other persons position BUT they have as much right to express their beliefs as you do. If you want to call evolution SILLY, that is your right. Do I think your position is WRONG, yes I do but I would never insist that you change your views to suit me. On the other hand I have every right to express my view that the Bible is a collection of myths and fairy tales especially on my own blog. If you don't like it the solution is simple, don't visit my blog and kindly refrain from sending me threatening emails insisting that I have to retract my views to please you.


to my reading list For the Cause of Liberty : A Thousand Years of Irelands Heroes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yep, it is just awful that anyone much less the President of the United States would want children to stay in school UNTIL THEY GRADUATE or turn 18. Makes one wonder what some Christians and HSLDA have against education.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Here is a bill in Congress that will affect your rights on the web and will censor all web sites, blogs, etc.  In a nutshell :

SOPA explicitly states that companies will be liable for everything their users post. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia, or any sites that allow user generated content CANNOT exist under these laws. Immediately after this bill is passed, you will see the media mafia (MPIAA, RIAA, etc) replacing websites like Wikipedia with commercialized encyclopedia software. Mainstream media outlets will not cover this bill because they are the ones lobbying for it.

If you want to know more - Google created a doc to read and inform - SOPA for Dummies.

To help you do this stop by Fight the Wall  or American Censorship and find out how to connect with your Representative!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Not all Homeschoolers are like this

Another paranoid homeschooler is blathering about public schools brainwashing kids and how she will protect her kids from stuff like REAL SCIENCE. Why I Homeschool--Part Four: (I can brainwash my own kids, thankyouverymuch!). She of course is partly right by choosing what to teach and how to teach it you do have a tremendous amount of power when it comes to shaping a child's mind.

Apparently Lisa Luper's understanding of SCIENCE is woefully inadequate, but then what can you expect from someone who thinks evolution is silly. Why really learn about it from actual Science Textbooks, when you can dismiss it as silly and turn to an ancient book full of myths and legends (aka The Bible) for your Science instruction.

OK, I don't completely agree with the PC idea that being homosexual is OK I tend to view it as a Gender Identity Disorder. But the author of this nonsense completely ignores the fact that sometimes "a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY" You can read more about Intersex People here. But then this is SCIENCE so possibly Luper isn't ignoring it so much as she is ignorant of the condition. 

Global Warming is a fact not a fantasy someone cooked up to give Luper heartburn, so is the fact the world is becoming overpopulated. How we deal with Global Warming and Overpopulation will determine if our species survives and what kind of standard of living our species will enjoy. So far the deniers seem to be doing a pretty good job of insuring that we will continue on our hedonistic way polluting the earth and spitting out babies until all the fossil fuels are depleted and droughts and food shortages are common. But PLEASE don't try to explain the Science behind Global Warming to them if it doesn't fit into their Biblical World View they don't want to hear it.

Not all homeschoolers are ANTI-SCIENCE and many of us disagree with her viewpoints.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The American Jury

The Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago has lesson plans on the history of juries as well as on JURY NULLIFICATION. 

DEFINITIONS - Jury Nullification
"Jury nullification occurs when guilt is established but the jury decides to acquit on its own sense of fairness, propriety, prejudice, or any other sentiment or concern." Randall Kennedy, Race, Crime, and the Law (1997) 

"Jury nullification… may take on a variety of meanings or shades of meaning." 

"True" or stringent nullification "occurs when the jury recognizes that a defendant's act is proscribed by the law but acquits because it does not believe the act should be proscribed. The behavior, in other words, is not criminal in the eyes of the jury." 

"Intermediate" nullification occurs when "although the act proved is properly classified as criminal, it is within a class of acts that do not deserve the punishment prescribed for them." 

"Weak" or "ad hoc" nullification "reflects the jury's view that although the act proved is criminal and falls in a class of acts that may well deserve the prescribed punishment, such punishment is inappropriate in the case at hand."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling the Gemstone Edition

Welcome to the Gemstone Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  Below you will find not only the wonderful submissions for this carnival but gemstones commonly used for birthstones and the history behind them.

Home Spun Juggling delivers Home Spun comic strip #694

Homeschool Bytes offers Haiku: Poetry my boys loved and my daughter hated.

A rare bright-green garnet.
Garnets are the birthstone for January.

Garnets provide a strong help to balance your energy system, stimulate your desires and uplift your attitude. Draws happiness, power, possessions, and peace to you. Aids in patience, persistence, sexuality, and purification. Sharpens self-perception. Increases creative energy and sexual appetite. Enhances bodily strength, endurance, and vigor. Protection against thieves. Helps to align the emotional body to the spiritual body. Sleeping with it will help you remember your dreams.

Red Garnets Firstly as it is the color of menstrual blood, it is a stone of fertility. As a gift it is a symbol of happiness and loyalty. It is thought to be a antidote to plague and fever. Women were known to wear it around their waist to help with the menstrual cycle. If it is obtained unlawfully it will bear a curse upon its wearer until it is returned to its lawful owner. Persephone is the Goddess associated with Garnets.

Introducing the World gives Ten Reasons We Are Loving Using Ambleside Online.

Aasha @ Homeschool World presents Is Homeschooling Right For you?: 10 Tips before you Start to Homeschool 

Amethyst and magic have been connected for at least 2,000 years. The Greeks believed it to be an amulet against inebriation. It is one of the few stones specifically recommended for men to use for attracting women. Amethyst is the birthstone for February:

"The February-born shall find
Sincerity, and peace of mind, 
Freedom from passion and from care, 
If they the Amethyst will wear." 

 Amethyst can be used to increase psychic awareness, to sharpen the 'sixth sense'. Because of this, many people keep a crystal with their I-Ching, tarot, or Rune tools. It is considered a very spiritual stone.

Sue @ A Life Full of Days gives examples of how she used the community wherever they lived in her post Out and About.

The Birthstone for March is Aquamarine.

Aquamarine is a traditional protective and lucky stone for fishermen. In addition, it has been carved into cups and goblets because of the belief that it aids digestion and reduces body fluids. Aquamarine is associated with Mermaids (Sea Goddesses).

5 Tips to Help Plan Your Homeschool Winter from 7 Sisters

Kelly @ The Homeschool Co-op presents High Needs, Attachment Parenting & Homeschooling: How it Works for One Momma

The Hope Diamond

The legendary curse  of the Hope Diamond is said to begin with a theft. Several centuries ago, a man named Tavernier made a trip to India. While there, he stole a large blue diamond from the forehead (or eye) of a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. For this transgression, according to the legend, Tavernier was torn apart by wild dogs on a trip to Russia (after he had sold the diamond to King Louis XIV). This was the first horrible death attributed to the curse. 

In 1673, King Louis XIV decided to re-cut the diamond to enhance its brilliance (the previous cut had been to enhance size and not brilliance). The newly cut gem was 67 1/8 carats. Louis XIV officially named it the "Blue Diamond of the Crown" and would often wear the diamond on a long ribbon around his neck.  The Hope Diamond was eventually inherited by Louis XVI,  according to the legend, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were beheaded during the French Revolution because of the blue diamond's curse.
During the French Revolution, the crown jewels (including the blue diamond) were taken from the royal couple after they attempted to flee France in 1791. The jewels were placed in the Garde-Meuble but were not well guarded. From September 12 to September 16, 1791, the Garde-Meuble was repeatedly robbed, without notice from officials until September 17. Though most of the crown jewels were soon recovered, the blue diamond was not. 

 There is some evidence that the blue diamond resurfaced in London by 1813 and was owned by a jeweler Daniel Eliason by 1823. No one is sure that the blue diamond in London was the same one stolen from the Garde-Meuble because the one in London was of a different cut. Yet, most people feel the rarity and perfectness of the French blue diamond and the blue diamond that appeared in London makes it likely that someone re-cut the French blue diamond in the hopes of hiding its origin. The blue diamond that surfaced in London was estimated at 44 carats.

There is some evidence that shows King George IV of England bought the blue diamond from Daniel Eliason and upon King George's death, the diamond was sold to pay off debts. By 1939, possibly earlier, the blue diamond was in the possession of Henry Philip Hope, from whom the Hope diamond has taken its name.

The Hope family is said to have been tainted with the diamond's curse. According to the legend, the once-rich Hopes went bankrupt because of the Hope diamond.  

Simon Frankel, an American jeweler, bought the Hope diamond in 1901 and brought the diamond to the United States. The diamond changed hands several times during the next several years, ending with Pierre Cartier. Pierre Cartier believed he had found a buyer in the rich Evalyn Walsh McLean. Evalyn first saw the Hope diamond in 1910 while visiting Paris with her husband. Since Mrs. McLean had previously told Pierre Cartier that objects usually considered bad luck turned into good luck for her, Cartier made sure to emphasize the Hope diamond's negative history. Yet, since Mrs. McLean did not like the diamond in its current mounting, she didn't buy it.
A few months later, Pierre Cartier arrived in the U.S. and asked Mrs. McLean to keep the Hope diamond for the weekend. Having reset the Hope diamond into a new mounting, Carter hoped she would grow attached to it over the weekend. He was right and Evalyn McLean bought the Hope diamond.

Evalyn McLean wore the diamond all the time. According to one story, it took a lot of persuading by Mrs. McLean's doctor to get heto take off the necklace even for a goiter operation. Though Evalyn McLean wore the Hope diamond as a good luck charm, others saw the curse strike her too. McLean's first born son, Vinson, died in a car crash when he was only nine. McLean suffered another major loss when her daughter committed suicide at age 25. In addition to all this, Evalyn McLean's husband was declared insane and confined to a mental institution until his death in 1941. Though Evalyn McLean had wanted her jewelry to go to her grandchildren when they were older, her jewelry was put on sale in 1949, two years after her death, in order to settle debts from her estate.

When the Hope diamond went on sale in 1949, it was bought by Harry Winston, a New York jeweler.  Winston donated the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 to be the focal point of a newly established gem collection.

Diamonds are said to Bring fierceness, strength and fortitude. Strengthens friendships and protects from evil, disease and plagues. If set in gold it drives away night monsters... When stolen attracts negative vibrations. Diamonds require cleaning often.

Six sided luckiest square brings balance and harmony triangular disharmony and friction.

Diamonds are the birthstone for April.

No Fighting No Biting! describes their experience sending Will to Catholic School in the post Will's first week.

Read about Transmogrified Education posted by Learning @ Home

Hooker Emerald Brooch

 Emerald is considered a birthstone for the month of May.

"Who first beholds the light of day,
In spring's sweet flowery month of May,
And wears an Emerald all her life,
Shall be a loved, and happy wife."

 "If you wish to bring a love into your life, buy an emerald and charge it with your magical need through your visualization, perhaps while placing it near a green candle. After this ritual, wear or carry the emerald somewhere near your heart. Do this in such a way that it cannot be seen by others, so when you meet a future love, you'll know it wasn't the visible jewel that attracted him or her." The Greeks associated this stone with the Goddess Venus. It has come to represent, for many people, the security of love. Emerald, like almost all of the green stones, is also advantageous for business/money ventures.

SONset Academy offers a post on motivating your students in the post God Answers Prayer: An Idea for Motivating Your Kids.

Charles Chua C K @ All About Living with Life presents P.L.E.A.S.E. Spend Time with Your Child

June's birthstone is Pearls.

Pearls were once believed to be unlucky; in medieval times they were thought to be 'solidified tears'.

Pamela Jorrick presents Teacher Vs. Facilitator posted at Blah, Blah, Blog

Linda Dobson from PARENT AT THE HELM presents What Do Homeschooled Adults Have to Say? 

The birthstone for July is the Ruby.

Rubies aid regeneration of the physical/spiritual heart. Enhances circulation. Vitalizes blood and entire body/mind system. Strengthens immunity. Activates sluggish or dormant conditions on physical/spiritual levels. Refines lower passions. Courage, integrity, selfless service, joy, spiritual devotion, power, leadership. Helps banish sense of limitation. submitted Mid-Year Refreshing, nice to know that I am not the only homeschool Mom who preferred my own customized sheets to to the slick pre-made planners being marketed to homeschoolers.

Peridot is the birthstone for August.

Completely aligns all the subtle bodies. This helps one receive information from the higher self more easily. Good stone for channeling. Visionary stone - it helps connect us to our destinies and to an understanding of the purpose of existence. Keeps the mind free from envious thoughts and jealousies. A good stone for people who cannot relate to realities beyond the physical world. Aids in manifesting physical work into material abundance. A healing stone working with the heart and solar plexus chakras.

Misty presents Haiku: Poetry my boys loved and my daughter hated posted at Homeschool Bytes, saying, "Learning how to write Haiku is a simple from of poetry even my 5-year-old could figure out. Plus, it's a fun break from our usual writing lessons."
Sapphire has been associated with divine favor. The Buddhists believed that the sapphire favored devotion and spiritual enlightenment. It is the birthstone for the month of September:

"A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze.
A Sapphire on her brow should bind;
'Twill cure diseases of the mind. (5)

The ancient Greeks linked sapphire with Apollo, and wore it as an aid to prophecy when consulting oracles. For this reason, it is considered an aid for developing the "third eye". It was also considered to be able to guard its owner from being captured. It is worn and utilized in rituals to strengthen the ability to tap and send forth power.

Laura Grace Weldon presents School ADD Isn?t Homeschool ADD posted at Laura Grace Weldon, saying, "Our son's ADD seemed to be a side-effect of school. Gradually we learned how to homeschool in a way that worked for him." 

LEGEND and LORE: Opal is a birthstone for October.

"October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know;
But lay an Opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those foes to rest." 

Opals have traditionally been considered "lucky" stones...but only for those born in the month of October. It has been considered bad luck to wear them if you were born in any other month.

 Opals are considered to be able to confer the gift of invisibility on its wearer. To accomplish this, Cunningham says "The gem was wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and carried for this purpose." He also says, "Opals are also worn to bring out inner beauty.

A beauty spell: Place a round mirror on the altar or behind it so that you can see your face within it while kneeling. Place two green candles on either side of the mirror. Light the candles. Empower an opal with your need for beauty -- while holding the stone, gaze into your reflection. With the scalpel of your visualization, mold and form your face (and your body) to the form you desire. Then, carry or wear the opal and dedicate yourself to improving your appearance."

Annette presents Back to Homeschooling posted at A Net in Time, saying, "Being more organized is helpful.

Man made Mystic Fire Topaz
The birthstone for November is Topaz

TOPAZ: If you want to conquer your fears, wear a topaz. A stone of trust, strength, and protection. It relieves depression, anger, fear, tension headaches, and insomnia. Bestows inner vision and helps light up the correct direction to pursue. Increases personal abilities. Stimulates the intellect for writers, scientists, and artists. It aids abstract thinking and creativity. Topaz is also believed to prevent colds and tuberculosis as it strengthens the breath.

Home School V Public School ask What Are the Goals for Your Home School Children ?

Turquoise history dates back over 6000 years. Archeological and literary references to the gemstone predate the Christian era by five millennia. It has been unearthed in tombs from ancient Egypt...specifically the 4 bracelets of Queen Zar, found on her mummified arm. These date back to the second ruler of Egypt's First Dynasty, approximately 5500 BC! 

Aristotle and Pliny both refer to turquoise. Marco Polo even wrote about it. Turquoise has always been considered a stone of life. It also has a long standing history of more than 1000 years with Native Americans who have used it extensively for protection and healing. The stone was also used in religion, art, trade, treaty negotiations and, of course, treasured jewelry. 

LEGEND and LORE: This stone has long been used for protection against traumatic injuries. It was thought that the stone would shatter, thus warning the wearer of imminent physical danger. It was also used to decorate the bridles of horses, to protect them against broken bones from falls. Among the Native Americans of the Southwestern United States, Turquoise is believed to be a connector of Earth and Sky. It is one of the four "elemental" gemstones of the Pueblos; (the others are coral, jet and abalone shell). This is considered to be one of the Birthstones for December:

"If cold December gives you birth,
The month of snow, and ice, and mirth,
Place on your hand a Turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate're you do.

Turquoise is thought to increase Wisdom. "An old ritual utilized Turquoise to gain wealth. Perform this rite a few days after the New Moon when the crescent is first visible in the sky. Avoid looking at the Moon until the proper time. Hold a Turquoise in your hand. Visualize your magical need -- money -- manifesting in your life. Move outside and look at the Moon. Then directly shift your gaze to the Turquoise. The magic has begun. Carry the stone with you until the money arrives."


For at least 2,000 years, the region once known as Persia has remained an important source of turquoise which was named by Iranians initially "pirouzeh" meaning "victory" and later after Arab invasion "firouzeh".In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of the Iranian palaces because its intense blue color was also a symbol of heaven on earth.

Bethany presents Marco Polo Study: Persia-Modern Iran posted at Little Homeschool Blessings.

Danica from  Adventures at the Kitchen Table presents Counting Coins, Lesson 2 - Graphing Coins

I hope you enjoyed the Genstone Edition, the next Carnival will be held at Time 4

Blog Carnvial is partially broken. It is accepting submissions, but not forwarding them. It would be easier if you just submitted your post directly via email. Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

My thanks to all of you who submitted a post and thank you for taking the time to read the Gemstone Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling. ~Alasandra