Saturday, June 20, 2009

Homeschooling in Real Life

Thanks to the internet we don't need a major network to show the realities of homeschooling we're doing it every day one blog at a time. Every entertaining and informative post sends a ripple of hope to others that homeschooling can become a reality for them too.

Here's a few homeschool families sharing their lives for all the world to see:

Kimberly at RaisingOlives adds a little homeschool reality to her walls by turning them into a chalkboard. Very cool.

Smockity Frocks shares the hilarious reality of being a homeschool mom trying to look nice for a wedding just three weeks after giving birth to here seventh child. "Word to the wise: Never wait until the day of to try on an outfit! " (Take a look at her aprons while you're there, I sooo want one!)

Laurie Bluedorn joyfully announces the reality that after over two decades there really is life after homeschooling and he's absolutely beautiful. Congratulations Grandma!

Finally, homeschool dad Todd Wilson has declared the first day of summer to be Kids Day. He sets the standard high by starting it off with breakfast in bed...

My son captured the essence of the homeschooling in real life years ago when as a young boy he said, "School is life and life is school, you never stop learning."

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(Special thanks to my daughter Kristin for the photo she snapped yesterday of Elaina playing in the puddles after a rain storm.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Homeschool Reality Show

I found the following request in my inbox today, slightly editted to remove the network and series name (sorry no free PR for this one).

Are you a home learner? Then (network name) would like to hear from you.

(Network name's) award-winning documentary series, (“name of series" ) is producing a new episode about young people who are homeschooled. We’re looking for people who want to tell their stories, share their opinions, and possibly dispel some misconceptions about what it really means to learn at home.

Our goal -- as with all episodes of ("name of series") is to help (network name's) audience understand why many young people, and their parents, choose to home-school. We also want to show the benefits and challenges that home-schooled kids experience on a daily basis.

We will treat the people who participate in this documentary -- and whatever educational, philosophical or religious beliefs they possess -- with respect.

If someone has to tell you they'll treat you with respect it is because they know you probably don't trust them or their editor. And for good reason. The network will likely treat a conservative Christian homeschool family about as well as the media treats Sarah Palin.

This network is not known for scholarly documentaries but shock entertainment. I've done a bit of TV and radio; an editor with an agenda can make you look anyway he wants. I'm not interested in providing fodder for their foolishness.

Steve and Spunky plus six say no thanks!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The New Homeschool Profile

In support of a new proposal tightening regulations of British homeschoolers, the Daily Mail suggests they are necessary to protect children from abuse that would likely be detected if they were not schooled at home. The article begins with a very tragic story of abuse by a homeschool family and then states,
"My point, of course, is not to suggest that all home-schoolers are abusers. But it is to say that they could be and, if they are, they stand a better chance than most of getting away with it.
This article and others like it attempt to create a new profile of parents who choose to home educate as potential abusers. Government officials use these stories for poltical purposes and bolster their desire to increase regulation upon all homeschoolers.

But as Judy Aron rightly pointed out over a year ago,
Sadly child abuse and neglect is a problem which occurs in all segments of society. It is not a homeschool issue; it is a societal issue. There are mechanisms already in place in most state statutes to deal with parents that do not take care of their children, no matter how those children are educated.
A subtle presumption of guilt based on an educational choice is used to demand proof of innocence. This is backwards. In a free society we are innocent until proven guilty. The state must first allege that a crime was committed based on some amount of evidence. A parent should not be required to prove their innocence simply because they chose to home educate. Unless homeschoolers - here and abroad - fight the profile as potential abusers we will find ourselves at a strategic disadvantage in defeating increased regulation.
A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is putting on its shoes. Mark Twain
UPDATE: In the comments under another thread John Green doesn't believe a parent should object to the change of policy and added that we can all relax and celebrate now because "The statement below was posted on the DirectGov website last Friday about the proposed legislation. If the Obama Government wish to adopt a similar system for the USA you should all celebrate." Here's an excerpt from the statement he referenced,

"We have to balance the rights of parents with the pre-eminent rights of children to a decent education in a safe environment.

"These recommendations are proportionate and reasonable. The fact is most developed countries require registration to home educate, with the majority also having a process of systematic monitoring. It’s only right we afford our own children and young people the same checks and balances."
For some reason, I just don't feel like relaxing and I certainly don't feel like celebrating.

Dana at Principled Discovery is also discussing homeschooling regulations aborad and looks at the possibility that it may become illegal in Sweden based on the UN Rights of the Child.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A "Common Standard" for Homeschoolers?

President Obama is justifying the violation of the Constitution and the take over of education by declaring that it is "inexcusable" for the United States to have 50 standards for education.
Today's system of 50 different sets of benchmarks for academic success means 4th grade readers in Mississippi are scoring nearly 70 points lower than students in Wyoming -- and they're getting the same grade. Eight of our states are setting their standards so low that their students may end up on par with roughly the bottom 40 percent of the world.

That's inexcusable.
Hmmm. Currently, homeschooling laws also vary in all 50 states. Illinois is light on regulation while Pennsylvania is much more stringent. So it is hardly a stretch of the imagination to think that Obama could declare that 50 standards of homeschooling is "inexcusable" and demand a "common standard" for home educators?

Not saying it is going to happen, but with Obama anything is possible.

And if you're a long time reader you may recall former HSDLA attorney, Scott Somerville, once thought me a bit of a "sucker" when I predicted national standards in 2006 and later said "she's right."

Forewarned is forearmed.

BTW, Scott Somerville is a great guy and someone I am privileged to call a friend. He's also pretty awesome on Twitter and definitely worth a follow. You can find me on Twitter too, but I'm just getting the hang of it.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shameful, Absolutely Shameful

For taking a bow and blowing a kiss to his mother, Justin Denny, a high school graduate is denied his diploma, and his parents and grandparents are denied the the joy of seeing to him graduate from high school.

Video of Justin telling his story here. And another video here. Both video clips show no misconduct just a little sentimental emotion. But apparently, that was too much for the superintendent. She told Denny to go sit down without his diploma.

Thanks for the memories. When will parents reach the tipping point and say, "Enough!?!"

Our son will be having his graduation party soon, and at his celebration we'll let him take all the bows and blow all the kisses he wants. He can even throw a few beach balls! He's earned it and so have we.

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What Can We Do?

Now that awareness has been raised about the fundamental overhaul taking place in education, Terry and many others have asked, "What do we DO to protect our rights?"

That's the dilemma when those assigned the task of upholding and defending the Constitution and protecting our rights are the very ones trampling upon them for their own gain.

Complicating things even more, there is no collective voice speaking for ALL parents on education at the national level. There isn't supposed to be. America was designed with 50 states for a reason and education was intended to be a local issue. However, it has become a federal issue. At that level, public school parents are viewed generically as parents and homeschoolers are viewed as a special interest because we are more vocal in protecting our right to homeschool. However, directing a child's education is a natural right given to all parents that must be defended. Unfortunately, parents are left without a megaphone big enough to speak for all of us.

But all is not lost. There are some homeschoolers promoting a parents rights amemdment as a solution. However, that is a very time consuming effort with an unpredictable outcome and ironically, it also feeds the perception of homeschoolers as a special interest.

There may be a simpler more efficient means to ending the erosion of our rights and affirm our authority. If a convincing argument is made to demonstrate that the rights of ALL parents not just homeschoolers are being trampled upon, we can defeat this as parents no matter where the chldren are educated. I may be naive, but I actually believe that there is a large number of public school parents who are also frustrated with their increasing lack of control in education and even more hate all the tests their kids take each year.

We just have to reach the tipping point where the majority of parents are willing to act upon their frustrations because not acting would cost them more. The temptation might be to think that public school parents would have to pull their child out of school completely. That would be nice but it is not realistic. But parents must do something that will get the states attention and says, "enough is enough!" The question is what is the something?

Control at the federal level requires compliance at the local level. So the question becomes what must happen at the local level in order for federal control to operate efficiently? The obvious answer is testing. Children must take the tests to prove that they are learning, so the states will get their funding and the feds will get their control. An effective campaign protesting the tests could in John Taylor Gatto's words, "Grind these engines to a halt" very quickly.
Think only of the multi-billion dollar standardized testing aspect of the thing; with relatively little investment of time or money a well-orchestrated campaign to sabotage these instruments could be launched and prosecuted over the Internet. You need only think back to the mass of teenagers who brought the war in Vietnam to a premature conclusion, to see that an essential lynchpin of the fourth purpose system—testing—could quickly be destroyed. The fallout from such a termination would rock systematic schooling with unpredictable results for the stability of the institution.
I have visions of millions of school children skipping school on testing day walking around town t-shirts that plastered with ovals and a slogan in red that reads, "I'm not protesting, I just want to learn." Or if they do go to school, filling in all the ovals for every question. Could it happen? Sure. Will it happen? That depends on how badly parents want to show the state who is really in charge. There are even homeschoolers in many states that are required to take the state exam, if the exam becomes a national exam, are you ready to refuse?

(Note: This is only one possible solution, I'd love to hear other ideas.)

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Let the Takeover Begin

Today, Arne Duncan began the PR campaign for the federal take over of education. The sales pitch began in a speech to the nation's governors where Duncan first praised the American way and then affirmed their authority.
The genius of our system is that much of the power to shape our future has wisely been distributed to the states instead of being confined to Washington.

Our best ideas have always come from state and local governments – which are the real hothouses of innovation in America....
But despite what I just said about how innovative you are, the real genius is in DC and he's already got it figured out and you will do it his way.
We think that every state should set internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in the workforce and college.

World-class standards are the foundation on which you will build your reforms.

Now for some subtle manipulation using the bandwagon effect,

Creating common standards hasn’t always been popular. Right now, though, there’s a growing consensus that this is the right thing to do.
After all 46 states have already signed up so we're almost there, it's time for the final four to get with the program. (Palin that means you too!) As any good salesman does, Duncan now anticipates the objections, critical to making the sale.
It is especially important that this has started at the state level because some people will raise concerns that common standards across states will lead to federal over-reaching...

Federal law does not mandate national standards. It empowers states to decide what kids need to learn and how to measure it....So – while this effort is being led at the state level – as it should be -- it is absolutely a national challenge – that we must meet together or we will compromise our future.
In other words, we know we're usurping your authority and shredding the Constitution but most people don't know or don't care, so we'll get away with it. Now it's time for the closing argument where a little bribery works wonders.
Once new standards are set and adopted you need to create new tests that measure whether students are meeting those standards. Tonight -- I am announcing that the Obama administration will help pay for the costs of developing those tests.
Without reading the fine print, the Governors sign on the dotted line and rise up in praise of the most benevolent one, "Hail Obama! We are forever in your debt." The sale is now complete. The federal government is forever in control and there is no return policy.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

First they came for the auto dealers

Fighting back tears, GM and Chrysler dealership owner, Frank Blankenbeckler told members of Congress "
In 24 hours I was told that everything my family had worked for for 84 years would be taken away without compensation.... This is senseless...My business was essentially taken away from me with no real explanation other than these are difficult economic times.”

If a successful business that took 84 years to build can be destroyed in 24 hours, how long do you think it will take for Obama to take away our right to homeschool because of an "education crisis"?

Rahm Emmanuel, Chief of Staff for President Obama, said,
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before...and in the area of education we have to make sure there are fundamental reforms as it relates to making sure that we are effectively training the workforce....a fundamental overhaul.”
For more on what that fundamental overhaul might look like see the post, Obama's Education Overhaul

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HT: Common Room

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Disadvantages of Homeschooling

I'm continually amazed at what some nay-sayers perceive as a "disadvantage" of homeschooling, I think of as a benefit. In the article, Parents must consider disadvantages when homeschooling this was the first among many disadvantages listed.
One disadvantage is the financial burden or hardship it can impose upon a family. It is the responsibility of the parents to purchase the curriculum needed for home schooling where the public school provides it at no charge.

This means parents must purchase books, materials, computer software and other resources in order to teach the lessons. Parents must fund all field trips, outings or special activities. Often, one of the parents must give up his or her job to home school. The loss of a second income in a two-income household can be detrimental. This can be a significant disadvantage and it can disrupt the harmony of the home.

The fact that I, not the state, take full responsibility for the purchase of materials is a clearly a benefit of homeschooling. Paying for them myself means I get to pick them out and get exactly what I think the children need, not some educrat who sits in committee meetings all day who has never met my children. What is taught, is what is thought. I have no interest in the state dictating what my children think in order to save money on books and supplies.

And yes, we do give up a second-income but the the harmony of the home is disrupted when mothers are gone from their offspring - especially their young children - all day long. There's more to life than money and the loss of income is more than made up by the memories of our time learning together. It is the loss of time as a family, not a second-income, that can be detrimental.

The article then goes

"Another disadvantage to home schooling is the amount of time it drains from parents who perform the task. Many parents don’t realize the time constraints involved with teaching. Teaching can be emotionally and physically draining.

Just like teachers, parents need time to prepare lessons, plan activities, organize and keep the children on task. They must also learn how to balance their time while still being able to maintain the home. It’s not easy."
If we're honest, parenting is emotionally and physically draining. It is a 24/7 job. But homeschooling gives me all 24 hours to commit to the task , not just the after-school hours, when they're tired and so am I. It is the public schools that inflict unnatural time constraints on parents (and children) not homeschooling and public school teachers who are parents have it the hardest of all. They devote the best hours of the day to other people's children then come home and deal with their own. Now that would tire me out real quick.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Homeschooling in the UK and its effect on the US

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan recently said
A nation that does not benchmark its standards against the highest international standards is crippling our children in the competition for jobs.
Given that Team Obama wants international standards, it's become increasingly necessary to keep up with what's happening to homeschoolers around the globe. Today, the news coming out of Great Britain was not good for homeschoolers,
Under newly announced Labour government rules, local council authorities are authorized to enter private homes to interview children, without parents present, on their safety and “quality of education.” The new regulations have raised fears among Britain’s homeschooling community of a government attack on the rights of parents to educate their children at home.

Families will be forced to register with authorities and could face criminal penalties if they are deemed to be inadequately educating their children.
This development stunned British homeschoolers who worry that they are now heading down the path toward Germany's policy where homeschooling is outlawed. Let's hope they're able to somehow defeat this --not just for their sake but perhaps ours as well.

Update: Here's The Review of Home Education in England by Graham Badman which the changes are based upon. The UK Telegraph confirms that the review was accepted by the government but legislation will still need to be crafted. And Dana adds that the UN Rights of the Child (UNRC) may be the real culprit for the suggested changes in the laws. She also reminded us that President Obama thinks our lack of support for the UNRC is "embarrassing."

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Obama's Education Overhaul

Not content to overhaul the auto industry, the banking industry, and health care, Obama's poised and ready to overhaul education.. Secretary of Education Duncan told reporters that a fundamental change for the nation's education system is on the way.
I want to be able to track every child throughout their educational trajectory, so we know what they are doing. Secondly, I want to track children back to teachers, so we know the impact the teachers are having on those children. And third, I want to be able to track those students back to teacher, and teachers back to the schools of education, so we can understand which schools of education and which feeder programs are producing the teachers that are producing the students that had the most gain.”
Since when is it the federal government's business to know "what they are doing" at any stage of their young lives?

Duncan's traveling around the country touting "common" educational standards for all 50 states. That's the same as national standards which probably polled badly so Team Obama found a nicer way of saying he's taking over education and tracking your child from cradle to career.

Of course, there will be the usual blather about local control and parental involvement, but that's like saying the Board of Directors is in charge of General Motors and Obama will only be involved in the most fundamental decisions. I don't know anyone who believes that lie.

Education is a key component in Obama's plan to remake Amerca in his socialist image. To some he's not only President, but the nation's teacher with the moral authority to tell us not to disagree or quarrel with whatever he wants to do. Besides student tracking and national standards, Obama wants national teacher certification. The mantra will quickly become "A great teacher is a nationally certified teacher." Schools will be forced to hire board certified teachers until national certification reaches "critical mass" and becomes the standard for judging all teachers - public, private, or homeschooled.

Most homeschoolers will obviously oppose this, but because we're perceived as elite, white, and wealthy (studies show it you know!) our voice will not be heard. Obama will sell nationalizing education as the most efficient means to help the working middle class struggling to make ends meet.

And why not, when you're perceived as sorta God you can overhaul anything you want.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

That's my geek

That's, Josh, one of my six so-called geeky homeschooled children ready for his final concert of the season. Next year, his senior year, he will be playing with the University of Michigan Youth Orchestra.

And just so my boys don't accuse me of playing favorites, that's my other son, Jason, practicing with his band. They're getting ready for their debut concert next week at our town's annual summer festival. He plays keyboard and guitar.

And for those that may be wondering, no I'm not musical. itunes on my ipod is about as close as I'll ever get to carrying a tune. They have talent on loan from God; they certainly didn't inherit it from their parents. (Photos courtesy of my daughter, Kristin. I'll have to do a "geeky" girl post next.)

To meet more homeschoolers and learn about what they do with their geeks, check out this week's carnival of homeschooling. Dana's hosting.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Harvard, Hillsdale, and Homeschoolers

In the comments, COD took issue with my hypothetical in the post Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction.
"Name one instance of a college or university in the US being somehow penalized by the Federal Govt for admitting a homeschooled student."
Federal funding is a powerul tool used to manipulate both state government and unsiversities. National standards are still being implemented; so, obviously there wouldn't be a federal instance government sanctions for admitting a student without a "respectable" diploma. But it is instructive to look at two respected universities, Harvard and Hillsdale, and see how federal money compromised Harvard's principles but not Hillsdale's.
The operative principle defining Harvard's relationship to the military is the university's non-discrimination policy. Specifically, Harvard's prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation conflicts with the military's prohibition on gays serving openly. So the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) remains banned from Harvard's campus. Military recruiters are grudgingly permitted only because the Solomon Amendment requires the university either to grant them access or to give up its government funding -- about 15% of its operating budget, according to the latest annual financial report.

Harvard, of course, is not the only campus that has faced such a conflict. Like Harvard, Hillsdale College does not like the strings attached to federal dollars. Like Harvard, Hillsdale does not permit ROTC on campus. Unlike Harvard, however, when it came to choosing between money and principle, Hillsdale chose principle.
So if Harvard is willing to compromise its princples on the military for the federal money, do you honestly think they'll stand on principle when it comes to refusing those without a credentialled diploma like homeschoolers? I have my doubts and perhaps that's one of the reasons why Hillsdale is increasingly becoming a very attractive option for many homeschoolers.

And if you need more proof of how Obama plans on using the treasury, he's set to appoint a "pay czar."
a "Special Master for Compensation" to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines,"
And if companies taking funds have to abide by pay guidelines, hiring practices are even easier to manipulate and control. My scenario doesn't sound so hypothetical anymore.

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Dear Spunky

A few questions from readers in my inbox:
Hello! I am 22 years old and getting married this July! We have been dating since we were 16, so I have gotten very close to his family as well. They are a homeschooled family and there is still a 13 year old in school. Her mother (my future mother-in-law) wants to get a job and pay me to teach the 13 year old, and I think that would be great! But now I'm kind of nervous, I realize her education is in my hands! She is ahead in reading comprehension and history, but far behind in English, math, and science. I was wondering if there are any tips you could give me. I really enjoy your site, so I thought you may have some ideas. I wasn't homeschooled, but I've been doing some research. I'm currently in college, so we will only be able to meet 2 or 3 times a week.
A homeschool mom writes,
Dear Spunky: After 5 years of homeschooling and for a variety of reasons, we have decided to put our two daughters into public school next fall. I always thought we'd homeschool through high school but here we are. The oldest will be entering high school and the other seventh grade. The girls seem to be doing well with the decision, even somewhat excited, a promise of some new clothes does wonders! But I'm a little nervous about the transition and surprised by the different emotions since we made this decision, most notably the feelings of failure and disappointment. If you have any thoughts on making the transition easier for them (or me) please let me know. Thanks Kim.
I'm on my way to sell some materials at a used book sale but if anyone has any advice for these readers, chime in. I'll try and add some thoughts later, but first it's to celebrate National Donut Day.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction?

In early 2005, I did a blog series asking readers whether homeschooling was a preference or a conviction based on my own changing thoughts on education and homeschooling.

One of questions I asked was
If your child or children were prevented from getting into college because they didn't have the right credentials (Certificate of Initial Mastery, CIM) due to the fact that they were homeschooled would you still homeschool them through high school or would you change what you are doing to meet those new requirements.
That question was based on the quote then available on the Oregon Department of Ed website .
When you apply to attend a college or university, to get a job, to join the military, or to do volunteer work, the CIM can help you prove why you should be admitted, hired, or allowed to join. It shows you did more than just attend school, take classes, and graduate with a GPA. It shows you worked hard to achieve high standards - standards that people respect in the world beyond high school.
Given Obama is now the President and the likelihood of internationally benchmarked national standards and testing are more likely than when I originally posted, I'd like to ask again:

Is homeschooling a preference or a conviction for your family?

And if it's a conviction, do your convictions about extend to the point where you would still homeschool through high school and NOT submit to certain federal testing requirements even if that meant that your child could not obtain a "respectable" diploma and advance in their college or career?

By the way, I asked the same question on my Facebook, a friend wrote, "In the fall homeschooling is a conviction, in the spring it's a preference." Agreed.

(You can read the original post, Part One, Part Two, and Part Three here)

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Henry and Janine Cate are the proud parents of a new son. The adoption was finalized on Monday. The Cates are also hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling and to celebrate their new arrival they've chosen a "Baby Bop" theme. Click on over and congratulate them and then check out some other homeschool blogs too.

And for Michigan teachers and homeschoolers, Applebee's wants to us congratulate us all for a job well done and reward us with a 99 cent meal (three meal choices available) all day today ( June 3). I'll be heading over to the Canton location for lunch; if anyone wants to join me, let me know.

Finally, a humble thanks to all those who have written and linked to my post, The Case Against Homeschooling, the original post and my rebuttal seems to have ignited a fire under a lot and inspired a lot of homeschoolers and given me quite a few new friends on Facebook!

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

So Much For Making Disciples

One of the reasons Christians cite for enrolling their children in the public schools is so they can go out into all the world and be "salt and light." Well, that argument just took a giant step backward thanks to a recent court ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals. In a 2-1 ruling they rejected
"the claims of the mother of a kindergarten student who said public school officials violated her First Amendment rights when they prohibited her from reading verses from the Bible -- which she said was her son Wesley's favorite book -- during a program called "All About Me" week....

Educators must be free to involve parents in the educational process, Scirica said, but "these efforts could be jeopardized if parents -- once invited into the classroom to share details about their family experience as part of 'show and tell' activities -- could express any message of their choosing."
While Christians can be salt and light, there is a greater potential for harm to the heart of the child as they grow up in a system where experts or court decisions determine what is best for the child not the parents governed by the Truth of God's Word.

Scripture does tell us to go out into all the world but it also tells us that, "He who walks with the wise becomes wiser still but the companion of fools suffers harm." These harms are much more subtle but no less damaging to the child and their relationships within the family. If I were this mother, I'd pull my child out of this school immediately. Her authority and more importantly the authority if Scripture has been undermined by the school.

Fisher Aimes wrote,
We have trouble in the classrooms, we are putting in new text books. Nothing wrong with new books but we are spending more time on them than the Bible; it is drifting to the back of the classroom. We cannot tolerate this in American education. The Bible's morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble.
In case you are not familiar with Fisher Aimes, he was the author of the First Ammendment to the Constitution.

Parents, go forth into all the world and preach the Gospel, but educate your kids at home.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

National Standards are on the way

I wish all my posts were as fun to write as the Case Against Homeschooling, but today, 46 states and the District of Columbia will announce a plan to create a common education standard for the nation. And the ramifications for homeschoolers (or any free-thinking, freedom loving American) are anything but funny.
The push for common reading and math standards marks a turning point in a movement to judge U.S. children using one yardstick that reflects expectations set for students in countries around the world at a time of global competition...."This is the beginning of a new day for education in our country," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "A lot of hard work is ahead of us. But this is a huge step in a direction that would have been unimaginable just a year or two ago."
The direction is SOCIALISM (some think Marxism) and thanks to Obama it isn't hard to imagine anymore. I hope all of my Obama supporting homeschooling friends are calling the White House and their Congressman and opposing this. Not that it will make much difference.

First comes the standard, then the test, then the requirement that ALL children are tested to ensure that no child is left "crippled" in the competition for jobs. And just where do you think that leaves homeschoolers? A diploma coming from any school (including a homeschool) that refuses to conform to the national standard and the requisite testing credential is useless.

I'll never understand the outrage at Obama for taking over car companies and banks (all deserved), but nary a peep when he demands national education standards. Are our children's minds less important than our money and the car we drive?

For a more humorous way of looking at the same question, read my post Choice, It's a Beautiful Thing.

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Need a Job?

A charter school in California is hiring,
"We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism. . . . Multicultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply."
I wonder if my friend Jesse would get hired or will this article become the subject of his next blog post? Maybe I'll apply when I retire in 13 years. But then again, this is in California; the liberals in the state will almost assuredly find a way to shut it down long before I have a chance to apply.

By the way, have you heard about the Bible study that was shut down in San Diego because officials alleged they were a church and operating without a permit? Amid a flurry of public pressure, the city has backed down.

Control never comes in through the obvious means does it? Zoning laws are one of several mechanism power hungry officials use to stop certain "undesirable" but not necessarily illegal behavior. If they can shutter a home bible study, why not a home school? After all, some homeschool families have more children than attended this bible study. But national standards and testing will be the more likely avenue for controlling freedom-loving homeschoolers.

If you think that's too far fetched, just talk to the owners of the Chrysler dealerships that were closed for having the audacity to be Republicans and not Obamacons! And did anyone ever think that General Motors would become Government Motors? As someone who grew up in the shadow of the GM Technical Center, this week's news is simply unbelievable. Just what does Obama know about running a company, he can't even get his staff to operate a teleprompter correctly. Even Joe Biden knows it's true.

I'm glad my husband left GM eight years ago. Working for Obama would have been too much for him. At the time, I thought he was a little nuts for leaving, but looking at the situation today, he was prophetically brilliant. (The finance guys are the first to know.) And thankfully, he isn't one of the thousands of unemployed Michigan workers in need of a job today.

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