Friday, February 26, 2010

'Matchmaking' in Middle School Angers Parents - Children's Health -

'Matchmaking' in Middle School Angers Parents - Children's Health -
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This is absolutely mind boggling. Some of these students are only 11 years old!

"The Elwood Community School drama club in Elwood, Ind., is using their own matchmaking Web site for fundraising. The Web site was created by the school, and students in grades six through 10 can pay to find a compatible boyfriend or girlfriend, WISH-TV reported."

The website was actually created by the school? Geeeeeeeeeeeeesh! 

"Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and Fox News contributor, agreed the fundraiser could have some negative consequences.

“It encourages adolescents to consider their relationships just as ‘adult’ as any other relationships typically kindled by ‘matchmaking,’” Ablow said. “This could certainly lead them to believe they are ready to engage in adult encounters.”

What ever happened to bake sales???

When kids and nature's a beautiful moment

Grandparents make some of the best teachers

In this case a great-grandparent!

Totalitarian propagandists exploit Khyra Ishaq case to discredit homeschooling

Totalitarian propagandists exploit Khyra Ishaq case to discredit homeschooling

Not surprising propagandists would jump on a story like this to make homeschoolers look bad but the truth is this case is not about homeschooling. It's about child abuse, which is a whole other can of crap, and a failed government program that allowed these children to wallow in a putrid home environment. Public officials need to step up and take responsibility here.

"She initially went to school, with a 100 per cent attendance record. There her condition aroused suspicion, so that the school contacted the authorities. Nothing was done. Social workers subsequently visited her home, so it cannot be claimed they did not know where she was – one of the reasons now being advanced for registration of children. This whole tragic, abusive situation had nothing whatever to do with homeschooling."

I don't get my panties in a twist over stories like this because it just shows how desperate these 'totalitarians' are to discredit a movement that has proved time and again to be the best solution to failed public schools and relief from the tyrants who run them. Parents who don't abuse their children and educate them in a loving, nurturing home don't need to hide behind the veil of homeschooling. I know of abusive homes that hide behind the veils of law enforcement, medicine, government (including school officials), and others. That is no reason to label them all maniacs that need regulating.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy homeschoolers exploring their the farm

Happy homeschoolers exploring their the beach

Homeschoolers are now an army of Zombie Zealots?

If this article by Wayne Besen wasn't so hysterically funny on so many levels I'd be inclined to think the author had some sort of ax to grind...oh, wait...he does.

Wayne Besen writes, "It is generally understood that today's youth are more supportive of equality for gay and lesbian people. Faced with losing the next generation, fundamentalists are ferociously scrambling to capture the minds of youth through homeschooling and the subversion of public education."

Immediately, it's obvious Besen feels threatened by those unscrupulous mommies who have chosen this alternative to public schooling for their toddlers and preschoolers. Has it ever occurred to Mr. Besen homeschoolers are more inclined to choose this path because they want their children to learn reading, writing and arithmetic as opposed to being indoctrinated into the sort of thinking he is espousing?

Besen also writes, "It is important to realize that the goal of many in the homeschooling movement is to create an army of zealot zombies who are committed to transforming America into a fundamentalist "Christian Nation." What planet does this guy live on? Even if they were creating homeschooled 'Zombie Zealots' what business is it of his? Hey, Wayne, this is America and last time I checked we still have constitutional, parental and God-given rights. Deal with it!

Besen complains, "While many of these students are educated in terms of test scores, they may lack critical thinking skills. In a sense, they are like computers with large hard drives that have been programmed with faulty software. No matter how fast they compute they always arrive at same flawed conclusions based on the Biblical bugs planted early in their memory chips." I guess this is what some might term a moral compass. If there is any 'bug' it's in the chip on Besen's shoulder.

Sounds as though Mr. Besen isn't quite as tolerant as he expects the rest of the world to be. He goes on to whine, "When it comes to support, the next generation was supposed to be a wash. However, this successful trajectory is threatened if we allow today's youth to be brainwashed. While paying attention to school boards is boring, it must become a priority for all Americans who want schools to be about education instead of indoctrination."  Brainwashed? Who's been indoctrinating whom all these years?

Mr. Besen's credentials may better explain the reasons for his crybaby tirade against homeschoolers and homeschooling. At the end of the article this dude is described, "Wayne Besen is a columnist and author of the book "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth."

Homeschool Activities Bill Clears Senate Ed. Committee

Homeschool Activities Bill Clears Senate Ed. Committee

Kudos to Republican Senator Mark Madsen. Maybe if homeschoolers keep whittling away at getting the public schools to cough up open participation we can eventually take over the schools and make them all free and independent learning centers. Now, how to we get rid of the union stronghold?

Every teacher at school fired... What will happen next

Every teacher at school fired... What will happen next

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Let's hope parents realize they can do as good a job, if not better, of teaching their children at home. The beauty of homeschooling is that learning is a natural process. Once some of these families discover homeschooling they may never go back to the rigors of trudging off to a failing public school every day. Kudos to the courageous folks who did the firing!

Here is another good link to read more about the firing.

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds | Video on

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds | Video on

"Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids."

This is an amazing video of Temple Grandin speaking about autism. Very encouraging for parents with children diagnosed as autistic. People have different learning styles. The public schools cater to only a few, if that many.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creative Homeschooling for the Autistic Child | autisable

Creative Homeschooling for the Autistic Child | autisable

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"Home schooling an autistic child can be challenging. You need to be parent, teacher, therapist and psychologist. You need to understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses. You need to be able to engage your child in the learning process, every day."

So glad to see more and more parents taking on these challenges. I've always believed that public schools are no place for any child, especially those with special needs.

"Many homeschooling families throughout our state educate their children independently at home, at their own personal expense, using no taxpayer dollars whatsoever. The savings for taxpayers is enormous. At the current state funding level of $5,768 per enrolled public school student, taxpayers save $1 million for every 174 independently homeschooled students."

Only $5,768.00? As of 2007 the figure here in Vermont was $11,835.00! At that time New York was the most costly with $14,119 per student. New Jersey was second on the list with $13,800. District of Columbia was $12,979. Vermont even topped Connecticut which was shelling out $11,572 per student. Who knows what the true figure is today!

We homeschoolers have known for a long time that we save the taxpayers a pile of money but, until now, no one really seemed to care. I guess with the present economy we've finally got their attention. Had enough of being squeezed by school budgets yet?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Guest Post : My Case For Radical Unschooling

Guest Post : My Case For Radical Unschooling

This is a wonderfully forthright commentary on radical unschooling by Heather Burdett, a homeschooling mother of three free range boys. Heather also writes for her own blog Swiss Army Wife. Kudos to Heather!

Indian State Confiscates Textbooks With Picture of Jesus Holding Beer, Cigarette - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News -

Indian State Confiscates Textbooks With Picture of Jesus Holding Beer, Cigarette - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News -

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"The primary school textbook, which teaches cursive handwriting, used the picture of Jesus on the page for the letter 'I' — to represent Idol."


Deserted and discarded

This is The Little Red Schoolhouse in our town. Years ago it was a full fledged schoolhouse. In the 1960's it became a community center. When our daughter was 4 years old she attended a free preschool here for 4 days. These days we affectionately refer to her as our preschool dropout. I also spent six years directing a children's theater troupe here on its tiny stage.

Recently, the community center was deserted and discarded when a state sponsored, taxpayer supported preschool program opened in the town's public school system. The public school didn't have room for the paying preschoolers so they placed the program in the local daycare center. Former board members of The Little Red Schoolhouse were great supporters of this new taxpayer preschool program so they deliberately let the corporation status for the community center lapse for 3 years. This dissolved the community center and its programs. A Dork Award is in order here for those former LRSH board members.

Low and behold, the daycare center recently found themselves in an alleged nefarious situation unbecoming to a preschool program. Now a group of parents, led by a homeschooling mom, are reviving the Little Red Schoolhouse and some of its programs, including a playgroup for preschool aged children (they've been told they cannot call it a preschool).

Why is it when the government and public school officials get involved in the learning process they tend to botch everything? Guerrilla Homeschooling wishes this new group of board members all the best and kudos for reviving The Little Red Schoolhouse, especially the homeschooling mom who is working to reinstate this little treasure.

New York State Home Schooling Laws |

New York State Home Schooling Laws |

This article contains some good info on homeschooling in the state of New York. Homeschooling requirements in individual states vary from not having to do anything to being a certified teacher. There seems to be no consistency in regulations across this country. The bottom line is if you truly want to homeschool your child you'll find a way to do it, with or without state interference.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What did you do on YOUR summer vacation?

Not Homeschooling…Unschooling:

Not Homeschooling…Unschooling:

"In the Ellis County Judge race, it’s interesting to note that Republican Tea Party-backed candidate Kelly Kovar and Libertarian nominee Brandy Owen each homeschool their children. Carol Bush publicly broke truancy laws (I don’t agree with truancy laws) to take hers to what was it, get a new Harry Potter book or something silly like that?"

My homeschooled children had perfect attendance all their lives. They were never truant from their homeschool. Four years apart they were also Valedictorian of their graduating class...a class of ONE! Truancy laws are bogus. These laws are only meant to keep control over the parents. Without coercing parents into sending their children to school how else can the teacher's union maintain their monopoly.

Question of the week

Should homeschooling be regulated? - China Schools Deny Role in Hacking - China Schools Deny Role in Hacking

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"Google revealed Jan. 12 that digital thieves had stolen some of its computer code and tried to break into the accounts of human rights activists opposed to China's policies. The sophisticated theft also targeted the computers of more than 30 other companies, according to security experts."

Government run schools?

Pennsylvania School Denies Officials Spied on Students With Webcams - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

Pennsylvania School Denies Officials Spied on Students With Webcams - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

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"Harriton High School student Blake Robbins and his parents, Michael and Holly Robbins, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against the district, its board of directors and McGinley. They accused the school of turning on the webcam in his computer while it was inside their Penn Valley home, which they allege violated wiretap laws and his right to privacy."

Why am I not surprised?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Home Team Advantage | Information on Attention Deficit Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Parenting and More

Home Team Advantage | Information on Attention Deficit Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Parenting and More

This article appears on the ADDitude website and is a great read for those who've been told their child has ADD:

If your ADHD child struggles in school--and dreads going every day--help him shine by teaching him at Lynne Ticknor.

"The traditional approach to learning—a teacher standing in front of children sitting behind desks—is not the most productive for hyperactive children who get bored easily. If your child is demoralized by his poor grades, receives detention for forgetting books, is looked down upon by teachers, or is bullied by classmates, he may be a candidate for home schooling."

The Conservative Litmus Test | Flathead Beacon

The Conservative Litmus Test | Flathead Beacon

"Moving along, No. 8 says: “Parents are not always responsible, which is why some regulations of home schooling is necessary, and child health programs like CHIP [the Children Health Insurance Program] are a good idea.”

I will have to sharpen my pencil for this “belief statement” because I have no idea how homeschooling and CHIP are related under the umbrella of responsible parenting. Surely, a parent who opts for homeschooling still may need help if their child breaks a fibula. Luckily, I can mark down a 3, or “neutral/undecided,” and I do."

Many parents ARE not always responsible. Countless generations have been institutionalized in public schooling and have been deliberately made irresponsible.

School days. Is it me or do these graduates all look burned out?

John Taylor Gatto: The Mystery of American Forced Schooling

This is a wonderful audio of John Taylor Gatto speaking about his book The Mystery of American Forced Schooling. This free audio can be listened to at The Link. I have always enjoyed The Link and I consider it one of the top homeschooling magazines in the country. I never get tired of listening to John Taylor Gatto.

Whatever happened to Diantha Harris?

Just sitting here wondering whatever happened to Diantha Harris? How's that hope and change working out for her? If ever there was a good reason to homeschool a child here it is. This is still unbelievable. Wait a minute, no it's not. It's typical for public school teachers, especially those who can hide behind union contracts and tenure. What Harris did was wrong on so many levels. Is she still out there berating small children and military dependents? Harris is the all time top vote getter for our Dork Award!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A must see video for beginning homeschoolers


If you are simply thinking about homeschooling your child or are a beginner homeschooling parent you may want to consider watching the following 3 part video titled You Can Homeschool, Part 1; You Can Homeschool, Part 2; and You Can Homeschool, Part 3, produced by HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association). This video is informative and encouraging. The parents and home environments appear to be a little over polished but the gist is don't be afraid to follow your instincts. Only you know what is best for your own child so don't let the so-called public school experts tell you otherwise.

Parents interviewed for this video give some rather compelling reasons to homeschool and some have good insight into parenting in general. Part 3 heavily promotes the HSLDA but, afterall, it is their video. Over the years HSLDA has brought attention to the fragility of our rights as parents and, by its sheer presence, has emboldened many families to choose homeschooling. Try to overlook the school rooms that have been recreated in the homes in this video, since many of us threw off those institutionalized trappings long ago and 'unschooled' our children.

Homeschooling has changed much in the last 20+ years. I know, I was one of the front runners who helped pave the way for other families. We fought many battles and enlightened many skeptics but the journey was well worth it. Tough lessons were learned by both child and parent but parental and constitutional rights were restored or maintained. Even though our children are now grown many of us are still out there on the front line making sure a whole new generation experiences the ultimate homeschool benefit...FREEDOM!

The bitter homeschooler's wish list

Digging into the archives I found this wonderful yet funny tidbit called The bitter homeschooler's wish list by Deborah Markus. It first appeared in Secular Homeschooling in 2007. I can't pick a favorite out of the list of 25 but this one I can relate to:

"11. Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school."

Daddy's special Valentine pancakes

Eighteen years ago these happy little homeschoolers celebrated Valentine's Day with daddy's special pink heart-shaped pancakes. This year we celebrated Valentine's Day with a Sunday brunch and both our grown children were home for the special occasion along with their sweethearts. I miss our little ones running around the house in their footy-jammies giving hugs and kisses as they climbed into bed with us on those cold Vermont winter mornings. Those were wonderful days, but so are these seeing them grown and happy still!

MADtv's Dot and Homeschooling

This video is hysterically funny on so many levels. MADtv is a hoot sometimes and this is a comical gem depicting homeschooling.

Why some countries welcome children being taught...

This story about the Romeike family from Germany is an eye opener. Many of us take for granted that homeschooling is welcome everywhere in this world. Not so!

"Under Germany’s stringent rules, home schooling is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. Before emigrating, Mr and Mrs Romeike had been fined some €12,000 ($17,000); policemen had arrived at their house and forcibly taken their children to school. The Romeikes feared that the youngsters might soon be removed by the state."

Kudos and the best of luck to the Romeikes!

John Stossel : Education: Too Important for a Government Monopoly -

John Stossel : Education: Too Important for a Government Monopoly -

I love it when elected officials, members of the teacher's union, and public school administrators promote forced public schooling. It makes my job as a home education advocate so much easier. Thanks to them it takes less effort on my part to convince parents that taking their children out of public school is the best decision they'll ever make. Homeschooling is the easy part. The toughest part is taking that first giant leap toward freedom and a true education!

Unionized Rhode Island Teachers Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them

Unionized Rhode Island Teachers Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them

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School superintendent Frances Gallo deserves kudos for calling the union's bluff. Wouldn't want to play poker with this lady. Heaven forbid these 'teachers' should have to work for their pay!

"The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000. This exemplifies a nationwide trend in which public sector workers make far more than their private-sector counterparts (with better benefits)."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Young Atlantan relishes first feature film role  |

Young Atlantan relishes first feature film role |

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"In between acting gigs, Tendal is part of a local "unschooling" movement, a slightly different take on traditional home schooling. He takes a variety of classes at the fifth- and sixth-grade levels that are taught by experts. This year, he's taking Mandarin Chinese, but his favorite topics are history and science."

Tendal's education is what John Taylor Gatto would call open source learning.

Ten Things to Take From The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands - Books - Blogcritics

Ten Things to Take From The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands - Books - Blogcritics

This is a great review for a book that I highly recommend to wives everywhere. A strong marriage is essential to a harmonious home (providing you are a two parent home). If you're a single parent home that's okay too, but be the best parent you can be. Homeschooling happens best in a home that is stable, loving and with parent(s) working in harmony. That's just my opinion.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Disruptive 6 year old handcuffed at school

Disruptive 6 year old handcuffed at school

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What is it with Florida schools? Not sure who deserves the Dork Award more...the school or the parents! Either way, this is wrong on so many levels. This child must feel as though she fell down the rabbit hole!

Outrage Over Fake Pills at School

Outrage Over Fake Pills at School

Look at the size of this pill bottle. What was that teacher thinking?! Oh, right, she WASN'T thinking.

Whoever came up with this idea of a 'test taking anxiety pill' (candy) is a jerk and needs to be kept far away from children. Our Dork Award goes to this whole Florida school's staff in this case!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Homeschooling Missouri mom receives custody

This homeschooling Missouri mom deserves kudos. Why? Throughout divorce proceedings she fought a long and difficult battle to keep her constitutional, parental and God-given right to homeschool her children. She eventually WON!

"A St. Charles County mother now has the final say in whether she continues to home-school her children, but a judge's ruling in a divorce case also suggests she find work to support herself."

Finding 'work to support herself' is the least of her worries. Lisa Payne-Naeger and her former husband were awarded joint legal custody but Lisa was granted the right to make the final decision if she and her ex-hubby cannot agree on educational issues. This is a BIG deal because most cases don't end this way.

Kudos to Circuit Judge Rick Zerr too! Hopefully, this will set a precedence for future cases. Zerr wrote in his brave and wise ruling: "For a case that was said at the start to 'not be about home schooling,' a substantial portion of the trial time, by both parties, centered on the concept and practice of home schooling."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homeschoolers visit PA firehouse

This is from the archives (11/14/08) but is relevant to today because you can never learn enough about fire safety and prevention. More homeschool groups need to schedule a tour such as this. The Shoemakersville Fire Company #1 Station 40 in Pennsylvania did a wonderful job teaching a local homeschool group about fire safety and prevention. Kudos to all who were involved, especially firefighters Dave Rubright, Tim Seyfert and Tim Bower!

Our daughter took a field trip to the local firehouse when she was 4 years old. Today she's a volunteer firefighter! Evidently that experience left a lasting impression.

Homeschooling firefighter and his wife make extra cash selling online

Richard Davis is a firefighter in Texas who wrote this informative article for Ezine. Davis and his wife of over 20 years homeschool their three children. When his wife gave up her $10,000.00 a year job to become a stay-at-home mom they learned how to earn extra cash for their family by buying and selling online at eBay. They have turned to the internet for other sources of income as well. Kudos to the Davis family!

Fire prevention printables

In celebration of my firefighter daughter being promoted to Lieutenant and her husband promoted to 2nd Assistant Fire Chief recently, I thought it would be fun to focus on firefighters and fire prevention this month. Here is a fun website with fire prevention printables. Have fun, stay safe and be sure to visit your local firehouse to learn more about fire safety and fire prevention!

Homeschool graduate fights to become firefighter

Way to go Derek! This homeschool graduate had to fight to become a firefighter even though he was doing well in his training and ranked at the top of his class. Another homeschooler paves the way for others. Thank you Derek for your efforts and we wish you much success!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My 18 Year Prison Term By John Danz, Jr.

My 18 Year Prison Term By John Danz, Jr.

John writes: "I witnessed firsthand the dictatorship and suppression of freedom of thought. Teachers who pass off their personal opinion as fact, and fill in the void that a busy or careless parent leaves. A void filled with self-righteous lectures on abstaining from drugs, alcohol, profanity, and sex. A void that the typical parent refuses to fill, or the void that the typical parent expects the society they shelter their child from will somehow fill."

"I witnessed firsthand the pressures of peers. The superficiality which leads to a child completely revamping his or her self-image to satisfy the eyes of the shallow and superficial, the same ones who debase them based on their hair, skin, attire, or overall appearance."

But most telling: "I overheard the debasement of students and the cries of “I hate this job” from teachers who spent four years in college to end up in the situation that has them on their knees."

This article is at Parent at the Helm website. PATH is the brain child of homeschool mom and author Linda Dobson. You'll find lots of truly great information and reading on her new website.

Top 12 reasons to homeschool

Top 12 reasons to homeschool

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NYC Student, 12, Arrested for Doodling on Desk - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

NYC Student, 12, Arrested for Doodling on Desk - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Free Online Constitution Town Hall Meeting

Hillsdale College is offering a FREE Online Constitution Town Hall Meeting at their website. This is a wonderful opportunity for your homeschooler to learn about the U.S. Constitution. Parents, too, can learn from this free online experience. The online seminar is titled: "Reviving the Constitution" from the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.

The art of outdoor play

This article 'Ancient Skills Inspire Kids To Get Outdoors' is an interesting look at the vanishing art of outdoor play. The Children of the Earth Foundation sponsors programs for homeschoolers and other groups to teach children outdoor survival skills.

"Decreasing natural areas and increasing dangers encouraged indoor play and the eruption of electronic entertainment has left children without the sense of freedom and creativity that play in nature brings."

As a child my siblings and I roamed the mountain top where we lived and it was nothing for us to hike, fish and build forts all day long. Mom would send us out the door in the morning and tell us not to come back until supper time. She told us, "if you get hungry, go to the garden. If you get dirty, go to the brook to wash." If we got tired we took a nap in the haystack. The older children watched over the younger children (although we were close in ages). I can remember hardly ever wearing shoes for an entire summer. I made sure my two homeschooled children had many of the same experiences I had by moving to the country and allowing them to learn from nature.

Another homeschool family that thinks outside the box

This is a wonderful story about a homeschooling family that used imagination and creativity to design and build their dream house. Conventional contractors, ones used to cookie cutter projects, said it couldn't be done but the Suttons proved them wrong.

Homeschooling just keeps getting easier and easier

What can the newfangled iPad do for homeschoolers? Read this article to learn how yet another technological advance benefits homeschoolers and learning on the go.