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.