Preview: The Homeschooling Revolution
The Homeschooling Revolution
The Revolution Was Blogged
Ladies and Gents, Adios.
Today is the beginning of the end of The Homeschooling Revolution
I began blogging five years ago, at THR, and have now posted over 4000 entries even live blogging from Alaska and Hawaii.
It has been a great ride, and I'm grateful to have had the time to share my thoughts and photos - from the silly to the serious - and be a part of the conversation. Truly, it remains a golden age for blogging about and linking to newsworthy stories about homeschooling and other worthy educational alternatives.
A heartfelt "thank you" to those who stopped by and to those who offered information, family news, helpful critiques, and friendship.
I plan to keep writing columns
and articles about education and other timely topics, so our paths may cross again somewhere in cyberspace. Till then, "peace, love
National Vocabulary Championship
(image) If you like words and you enjoy contests, consider entering Win with Words
which is being sponsored by the Game Show Network and the Princeton Review. The event is open to students in grades 9-12 and scholarship monies will be awarded to the winners. It costs nada
to participate, and the finals will occur in Los Angeles next April.
The web site is here
. Information about
last year's winner.
And He Can't Be Educated Online? Huh?
A registered sex offender may have to consider homeschooling, and he's not happy
about it. The offender in question is a 19-year-old high schooler who has been attending a public school in Gallatin County, Montana. However, the newly expelled student is not really considered a student under Montana law, but he has been a model non-student student.
"(Albert) Brown had been attending Belgrade High for three years and was close to graduating. He had been earning good grades and had no disciplinary problems. His goal was to finish high school, rather than earn a GED, and get a mechanics degree," according to one newspaper account.
The non-student formerly known as the student is changing his tune about home ed.'Nother Update:
I agree with most of this letter.
Emily and her Buddy
A homeschooled girl who lives in Wisconsin gets her wish - a doggie. But she had to earn it.From
the Beloit Daily News:
"When Emily wanted a border collie, however, her dad, Keven Remillard, told her to get a job. That motivated Emily to start what she called Emily's Kennel Kreations dog treats. The family had already experimented with cooking dog treats for the family's blind and aging beagle. Emily figured she would take it a step further and sell dog treats for $2 a bag at the market."
To date, the 'treats for canines' business is a success. Now Emily wants to sell dogwear.HT: Homeschoolbuzz
(which now has a blog
of book reviews).
Trick 'r Treat
ABC Teacher's Outlet
makes an offer:
"Spook~tacular savings 1 day only (October 31, 2007). Write Boo
in the Enter Coupon
box on the shopping cart page and receive an additional 5% savings on everything on the website. Total savings 15% below retail price."(image) Happy Halloween!
Results of the Economist's 1st Education Debate
Reports Jeff Koo: "The Economist has declared
the winner of the first of three debates on education. With 56 percent of total votes, the house rejects the proposition that 'The continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.'
In his closing statement, Dr. Robert Kozma, Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International acknowledges 'that educational systems are notoriously slow to change' but urges readers to vote for him to as he believes that 'technology is making a positive difference in education.' To illustrate his point, Kozma cites numerous anecdotes from teachers he's met in Uganda, Chile, Catalonia, Norway and the Philippines where technology is making an impact in the classroom."
The second debate is scheduled for Dec. 10, and this time the topic is more contentious
: "Should governments and universities everywhere be competing to attract and educate all qualified students regardless of nationality and residence?"
Prof: Less Lawsuits, More Elections
Last week, I linked to an Amazon book review
by one Kevin Gutzman.
(image) The reviewer, I've come to learn, is also Dr. Gutzman, who teaches history at Western Connecticut State and is the author
of the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution.
In this article,
the professor/reviewer reflects on the disconnect between the federal constitution and constitutional law. He also isn't shy about airing his disillusionment with the study of the law and the judicial system.
Perhaps Dr. Gutzman's candid comments will be helpful to others:
"Americans should stop deferring to federal judges, because going to law school, which I did myself, is not any kind of instruction in morality, business ethics, the meaning of life, art, or any of these other things that federal judges are constantly undertaking to instruct us about," Gutzman said.
"Legal training should not be confused with an education," he added. "Legal training is not an education, it's trade school. It's like learning to be a carpenter."
Who Will Win the 2007 Heisman Trophy?
Like political junkies obsessing about the presidential race, sports writers are already making their choices known.
For now, Tim Tebow ranks
fourth on this ESPN guy's list. (T-Bow had
a big game against Kentucky last week.) Now, here's what Sports Illustrated
had to say about the home scholar: "Not only is he the nation's top-rated passer (177.5), but he's also on pace to rush for 1,000 yards. Tebow would be the first sophomore to win the 72-year-old award."
Tomorrow: Florida plays Georgia at 3:30 ET. The game will be televised on CBS.
Green Acres is the Place for Them
gives a detailed look
at the 'agrarian-homeschooling' movement.
It's decidedly a difficult lifestyle but a satisfying one for those Americans who have fled the rat raciness that accompanies suburban or city living and chosen to go organic in a life-changing way. These families are also injecting new blood into languishing rural communities.
(image) Joel Salatin, who operates a farm in Virginia and is a self-described "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist," has a edu-sociological take on the trend:
" 'Once you opt out of the conventional paradigm [of public schooling] and find it satisfying, then you begin searching for other paradigms to opt out of.' Like the Lehrers, families that homeschool often start looking for ways for fathers to leave their office jobs. 'How do I leave my Dilbert cubicle at the end of an expressway,' Salatin says, 'and instead invest in my family, my kids, my community?' "
at the Salatins and an explanation of their maverick farming methods and the apprenticeship program
at Polyface for young men.
Ruth's Land of Enchantment
Ken Robinson reports that his wife - author and illustrator Ruth Sanderson - has her new and improved web site
up and running. Set up by daughter Morgan.
(image) Ruth, a homeschool mom emeritus
and an accomplished equestrian, is enormously talented and imaginative. She works out of a home studio often using regular folk as models (as opposed to professional art models) for the characters in her books.
And, it looks like
Jane Yolen, another beloved
kiddie lit author, posed for the cover of the Mother Goose and Friends
More of the artist's work
(showcased at the Michelson Gallery).
Maureen Get Your Gun
One for the Where are they now?
Certain (image) home education veterans will remember Maureen McCaffrey's editorial contributions to the homeschooling revolution. Maureen was the former editor and publisher of Homeschooling Today magazine.
She was also a Conservative Book Club vice-president.
I wrote for HT when Maureen was the boss, and she was a joy to work with - this was back in the 20th century before e-mail exchanges between editors and writers were the norm, so we conversed on the phone a few times.
(image) During our last chick chat, I learned that Maureen, who is from the East Coast, had married a transplanted Westerner, moved to Wyoming, and enthusiastically embraced the outdoor life. Her husband, in fact, is Chilton Williamson Jr. who is also a well-known name in conservative publishing circles. Chilton has contributed to Chronicles
and National Review
, authored several books, and was an editor for St. Martin's Press. His forte is penning descriptive essays about life
in the rugged Rocky Mountain West.
Here's an advice
article, published in 2003, that Maureen wrote about the homeschool market.
Who knows? Maybe one of these days she'll co-author an article with her hubby for The Sportsman Channel.
Desperate College Gals Mock Housewives
Homeschool mom Melanie K., and several of the coeds in her Bible study group, went to hear Attorney Schlafly speak at UMass/Amherst. (The poster
advertising the event.)
Various drama queens also attended
: "Our field trip was definitely eye-opening! There was much rage and anger in the room. College women wearing aprons and carrying mixing bowls and wearing signs that asked, 'Are you happy now???' Women with duct tape over their mouths."
Mel, sans duct tape, spoke during the Q&A. Brava.
BTW: Phyllis is now in her eighties and still looks stylishly chipper. The New York Times profiled
her a few years ago, and the article notes that Mrs. Schlafly's two daughters don't exactly personify the 'stay-at-home and bake cookies' cliche. In fact, Liza (Schlafly) Forshaw, mother of three, made it on a corny-sounding (but, no doubt, prestigious) "super lawyers" list
a couple of years ago.
A quote from the NYT piece that is vintage P. Schlafly: "Feminism has changed the way women think, and it has changed the way men think, but the trouble is, it hasn't changed the attitudes of babies at all."
For further reading: The libertarian ifeminist.com
position on women's studies programs
and affirmative action programs.
Former HEK Winner of the 2006 Harlon Hill Trophy*
(image) The "most prolific rusher in college football history" happens to have a homeschooling background. He's Danny Woodhead from North Platte, Nebraska, and he plays for Chadron State College which is also
located in Cornhuskerland. Danny has a 3.72 GPA (math ed. major), but upon graduation he may be headed to the NFL not the classroom.Sports Illustrated
in the latest issue.
The smile-inducing intro: "When he (Danny) was five, he scrawled numbers on the backs of his cowboys and Indians and then spent hours moving the plastic figures around the floor of his bedroom in make-believe games. Once when his mother suggested that he find a more creative outlet for his energies, he drew a football field on the living-room carpet with a green marker."
The carpet artiste is the first football player at Chadron State to be offered a full-ride scholarship.
*Info. about the D-II award
Is it or Isn't it?
Two opinion pieces
(one from Missouri, one from Florida) gave me an idea. Maybe that Economist
Oxford-style education debate series could include this topic in a future debate ...
Proposition: Publicly-funded virtual schooling is a form of homeschooling. Yea? Nay?
Throw in a pair of to-the-point opening statements, recruit a couple of argumentative know-it-alls, and then let the discussion and voting begin.
Like A Telenovela for Policy Wonks
Skip Oliva passed along a blog entry
he wrote for Mises.org
about the Federal Dept. of Justice's Antitrust Divison's latest pursuit: Forcing the Anchorage School District (ASD) to contract with a different school bus service.
His closing exposes the monopoly crusade charade: "And the other obvious absurdity is that ASD is itself a monopolist. Where is the Antitrust Division's commitment to protecting Alaskan taxpayers from the estimated $700 million they're forced to spend annually on ASD? And ASD itself deals with a number of monopoly vendors, including the Teamsters that supply labor to the bus vendor, and of course the Alaska Education Association, which controls the supply of teachers (and which participated in a lawsuit to force Alaska to confiscate even more taxpayer funds to 'invest' in the schools.)" Aside:
I like how Paul Craig Roberts describes this fedgov entity: "Department of Justice (sic)."
Fun at the Lancaster Hockey Rink
I attempted an action shot of Wid III manhandling the puck, but this is the best I could do (more like, no can do).
Jeremiah (Wid III's fab boss) and Nicky (Jer's fab wife) stay warm and focused.
Last week, the Ironman got to talking politics with Fred, the Zamboni driver. This week, he introduced Fred to Mr. Bastiat.
Bite-sized Education News
- Today, the Thinking Mother hosts
the weekly Carnival of Homeschooling.
- The Ventura County Star
(California) whittled down
my Mises.org piece
and published it over the weekend.
- Two UMass/Amherst students (male) were brutally
attacked in their dorm by a former suitemate.
-Pennsylvania g-school teachers would be prohibited from striking, if this
bill becomes law.
- The current issue of Family Times
(for home educators) is up.Update:
October highlights from Home Education Magazine
Mary C. blogs
about binge drinking at ZooMass.(image) Seagull chillin' in Hampton Beach, N.H.
Now, She's the Teacher
I was a 22-year-old Florida State grad., when I met 9-year-old Dina Hobby. I was her rookie English teacher, and she was one of my excellent students. Teaching elementary school, in small town Georgia, was my first "serious" job. I have many sweet memories of that time in my life, including interacting with Dina and her fun-loving parents, Rhonda and Bobby Hobby.
Today, Dina is "Mrs. Branch." Married with three kids. She recently sent me a note to share her thoughts on the "s" word and her homeschooled children.
She writes: "The people who think that home schoolers are not socialized have not peeked in our windows. Ben is 10. He is a black belt in Taekwondo, a sharp-shooter in 4-H BB competition, and a budding artist. Annabelle, 8, is a prima ballerina or, at least, considers herself to be. She takes dancing in town as well as home schooling dance lessons. She is also a budding artist. Celiabeth, 2, is just a rambunctious toddler who likes to show off by reciting the seven continents and her limited Spanish. There is never a dull moment."
to Dina's husband's (Bennie) company. Take a peek at the machinery used in row crop farming. 'Tis a work of art.
Photo: Dina has a pet dino. (Branch family on vacay in Kentucky.)(image)
"May Intelligence Prevail"
The Economist Debate Series
If you voted, here's the upshot: "The Winning Debate: The community has spoken! The three winning propositions have been determined by popular vote, and our first debate on proposition #1 begins on October 15th. 'This house believes that the continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.'
Expert Debaters: Two global thought leaders in technology and education will square off on either side of the issue.
SIR JOHN DANIELS (AGREE) - President and Chief Executive Officer of The Commonwealth of Learning.
Dr. Robert Kozma (DISAGREE) - Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International (formerly known as Stanford Research Institute)."The time:
Jeff Koo says that the debate site will go live at 9 a.m. Pacific.
Extracurriculars 101: Keeping College Enjoyable & Pricey (But Not Rigorous)
Brad DeFlumeri, president of the UMass/Amherst Republican Club, gave me his blessing to post the attention-grabbing ad that was used to advertise a debate featuring a famous granny:
Wonder if students went to hear Phyllis or went across the river to hear Gloria
Sidebar: Brad also has another title: Petty Officer, United States Naval Reserve. He spoke, candidly, of his military experience in this article.
Another sidebar: The Skipster blogs
about the economics of "student life" and George Washington U. That's one ridiculously expensive school.
A 'Mike and Mike' Style Education Show?
I received this announcement from the Florida-based Intel Radio Network (a conservative newcomer
to the mass media scene):
"The premise of our programming is simple: 'If you have to yell, cuss, scream or intimidate to make your point, then upon closer and rational review, you probably have no point.' Rick Senninger, IRN founder and Executive Producer states 'We at IRN are not about partisanship, we are about citizenship.'IRN is currently contacting stations nationwide and has already secured 40 stations for their exciting debut this November."
Bob Parks, a guy I've blogged about before, will be hosting a program called "Outside the Wire." Kelly Cox, PR person, says IRN is looking for more talk show ideas. If you're game: "Submit an MP3 along with all pertinent information to the attention of firstname.lastname@example.org."
Battle of the Harvard Wannabees
Allan Wall (photo below of when he was in Iraq) passed along this article
by Gary DeMar who notices that Patrick Henry College and New Saint Andrews College have been attracting attention from the highbrowish media.
Writes Mr. DeMar, "Liberals are threatened by 500 students! Liberals control nearly all the major colleges in America, and they're afraid of Patrick Henry College."
An excerpt from the New York Times Magazine article
that Gary footnotes:
"When you ask teachers and students what sort of school New St. Andrews is, they often cite one school they are not: Patrick Henry College, the evangelical college in Purcellville, Va., with a reputation for training home-schooled Christian students to wrest the reins of power from 'secular humanists' in Washington. 'We believe in a much longer view,' says Joshua Appel, a professor at New St. Andrews.
The curriculum is modeled on the vision of 'New England’s First Fruits,' a 1643 Massachusetts Bay Colony pamphlet describing the college lately founded in Cambridge. Besides required coursework in Latin and Greek, students at N.S.A. study natural philosophy (mostly taxonomy and creationist science), the Western literary canon, Euclidean geometry and theology; they also practice public speaking at a weekly declamation. Students drag themselves out of bed for classes that meet at 7:30 am, only half an hour later than classes once did at Puritan Harvard."
Ya think some of those Puritan-centric students need assistance from a large Costa Rican to make it through the early morn. lectures?
Coffee, that is. Costa Rican coffee. Dark roast. Yum.
FYI: Allan is on the right.(image)
2 Home Scholars in Sports Illustrated
"Video Faces" features two HEK's in two sports that don't garner as much attention
as activites that draw tens of thousands to stadiums: table tennis and racquetball.
Joey Cochran, the paddle guy, hails
Aubrey O'Brien, the girl with the racquet, resides
These two are already world travelers. Look where Joey has been
, and look where Aubrey is headed