Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Student privacy at risk from feds—Emmett McGroarty & Jane Robbins -

Student privacy at risk from feds—Emmett McGroarty & Jane Robbins -

No surprise here. This has been going on for years. My advice to parents over the years when seeking their child's school records was to ask for the electronic records too, not just the paper file on their child. They're stunned to find out this data base exists and has existed for quite some time. Our state was doing this well before Obama, Bush or Clinton!

"How did it happen? Buried within the enormous 2009 stimulus bill were provisions encouraging states to develop data systems for collecting copious information on public-school kids. To qualify for stimulus money, states had to agree to build such systems according to federally dictated standards. So all 50 states either now maintain or are capable of maintaining extensive databases on public-school students."

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dos and Don'ts for a successful homeschool experience #12

The following DOs and DON'Ts for a successful homeschool experience are being presented in a series to allow for digestion and discussion. After homeschooling/unschooling my own children for over 22 years I've discovered what worked and what didn't work for us was universal. Feel free to add your comments and concerns or ask questions.

#12 DO have fun, be silly and encourage each other in your family and your homeschooling community to lighten up. Laughter IS the best medicine. Throw off the shackles that prevent you and your children from enjoying the simple and silly things in life. Homeschooling shouldn't bring you to tears over unfinished lesson plans or workbooks. If your homeschool feels like you're living and learning in a pressure cooker then it's time to unwind, relax and unschool. Parents need to de-stress before they can create a happier learning environment for their children. Learn to eat healthier to regulate your body's physical and emotional state. Learn better personal financial habits so you're not so stressed over money. Finally, enjoy some adult humor (not raunchy) and fun so you'll be more relaxed around your children. The sky won't fall in on you if you have a glass of wine during some down time, a date night with your spouse, or even if you watch some adult humor on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson or Little Britain  

#12 DON'T get bogged down with record keeping, grading, and other things that public schools do. If you're doing these things, no matter what your state regulations are, then you're schooling at home NOT homeschooling. This is where the term homeschooling rears its ugly head. For lack of a better word we sometimes use the word homeschooling interchangeably so the novice homeschooler or parent will know what we're referring to. Many of us purposely didn't do school things with our children and we spent much of our learning years out and about in the world. When we use the familiar word homeschooling we're also referring to unschoooling, deschooling, home-based education, free range learning, open source learning and a myriad of other ways of educating.

We veteran homeschooling parents may have begun our journey for academic or religious reasons but when we crossed the finish line and look back we can see what homeschooling is truly about. It's all about freedom and liberty. We homeschoolers are fulfilling the dreams of America's founding fathers. We are pursuing our God-given and unalienable rights. Sure, we kept the drawings, writings and creations our children produced over the years but we didn't consider it record keeping and it certainly wasn't offered up to officials for scrutiny. How would you like someone to grade your housekeeping? The few times we graded our children's work we did so to show them how and why it's done in public school. In your homeschool every child is a Valedictorian!  Don't bury your homeschool in unnecessary paperwork just to satisfy the authorities. Chances are it isn't required and you certainly don't want to offer up information about your children that is, quite frankly, none of the state's business.

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Dos and Don'ts for a successful homeschool experience #11

The following DOs and DON'Ts for a successful homeschool experience are being presented in a series to allow for digestion and discussion. After homeschooling/unschooling my own children for over 22 years I've discovered what worked and what didn't work for us was universal. Feel free to add your comments and concerns or ask questions.

#11 DO become an advocate for homeschooling and unschooling. There is no better way to fully commit to the home education movement than by being an advocate for it. When others see that you are a home education advocate you strengthen their resolve to pursue, persevere and promote the benefits of homeschooling as well. Learn all there is to homeschooling including its history, methods others employ and the benefits. Commit homeschooling statistics to memory so you can answer questions or defend the movement at any given opportunity. Create a homeschooling blog or write books on the subject to share your knowledge and experience. You may even be able to turn your expertise into a full time occupation that could generate an income for you.   

#11 DON'T take advice about homeschooling from novice homeschoolers. First, if you want to learn what homeschooling is really all about, find out what the elders of the homeschooling movement have to say about it in their books, videos, forums and blogs. Then make sure the homeschooling parent you're getting advice from has at least 5 years of experience under their belt. Even then that person may still be finding their way and may not quite have this home education thing figured out yet. This may sound harsh but many novice homeschoolers tend to jump through too many unnecessary state and local hoops. They think they're doing the right thing by abiding by the school's or state's every whim when they are actually causing more harm than good to their liberty and freedom. Whatever you do don't listen to the naysayers including journalists, public school personnel or even those who gave homeschooling a try but failed miserably at it.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Guerrilla homeschooling was born of my military service

Well, here they are folks. Official photos of my military training for all you doubters out there. Yes, I really was in the United States Army and that old uniform is still kicking around the house here somewhere. Must be a collectors item by now. Even have the black leather purse and shoes to go with it.

Outstanding trainee for Charlie Company at Ft. McClellan, Alabama

Taking the military oath in Albany, New York

I designed and hand stitched our guidon

Yep, that's me with the flag...outstanding trainee

These signs were everywhere on post and they meant business too!
A shout out to all my brothers and sisters in arms on this Veterans Day 11/11/11. Thank you for your service and dedication.

Now you can guess why I'm such a hard ass about things like freedom and liberty and why I think our present day public school system is hell bent on destroying those freedoms and liberties. We ALL must remain vigilant and support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic as the military oath states. Funny thing about that oath...I've never been released from it nor do I ever want to be.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unschooling: Legitimate pedagogy or foolish fad?

Unschooling: Legitimate pedagogy or foolish fad?

Would you rather lead a school centered life or a family centered life? So, what is so bad about letting children learn in freedom? Our unschooling years were relaxed, spontaneous and creative but the best part was the freedom we experienced to choose our own course and interests. The pay off is two adult children who can stand on their own two feet and are still a treat to be with.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Parents in action: More parents homeschooling their children

Parents in action: More parents homeschooling their children

Sorry, but I found myself straining through Ardolino's interview. Some of this info is good but she harps on that socialization question like so many others. If we did all the 'scheduling' she thinks is necessary there wouldn't be any time left over to enjoy life and just hanging with our children. Relax everybody and let learning happen.

The only drawback to homeschooling is getting the state off your case so you can live and learn in freedom. After you get the busy-bodies out of your life then the world will open up to you and you're free to explore the wonders of it.

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Happy homeschoolers exploring their world...that's my boy!

Cooling off on a hot summer day
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Potatoes & Peppers: Hurricane Irene taught us a lesson

On Sunday, August 28, 2011 Hurricane Irene swept through our little state of Vermont. In its path was my livelihood and home, along with countless others here in this mountainous terrain. But, we are Vermonters who are known for our Yankee ingenuity and rugged individualism so we will persevere. Sometimes though mother nature can be just a little overwhelming as she was last week.

Hurricane Irene left her calling card at the back door of my business in Cuttingsville. Before that I didn't even have a back door. I have a small thrift shop, Anna Q's Attic, that housed lots of books, clothing, household items, tools, furniture, collectibles and homeschooling materials. It was a hub for the community and a great place for local families and out-of-state visitors to pick up inexpensive items. Everything is now gone except for the building itself. In a matter of hours my sweet little shop went from this...

To this...

From the front everything looks just dandy although somewhat muddy

I now own sandy beach front property

Hurricane Irene made her own entry at the back of my shop

We spent the week salvaging and cleaning but there wasn't much to save on the inside. We now need to clean out the debris and mud then tear out the sheetrock, insulation and ceiling tiles. That's next on the agenda. I'll basically be left with a shell of a structure. I can only describe the magnitude of this flood as biblical! Some old timers tell me there hadn't been one like it since the flood of 1927.

Because I was working in another town conducting an estate sale the day of the storm,  I was unable to get to my shop to save anything. Even if I was able to get there I'm told the water rose so fast that in a matter of minutes it was 4 feet high around the shop. One of my sisters was attempting to pass by the shop in order to get to a town where another sister lives but she had to turn around just before my shop. She saw for herself the flood waters swallowing up my little building.

It isn't the thought that I've lost so many material items that saddens me the most. It's the idea that now I can't provide the homeschooling and surrounding community a place where they can find inexpensive items for their homeschool and for themselves. I can always rebuild and probably will, but meanwhile our economy has shifted so badly in the wrong direction it may take some time before I can get back on my feet. My own home had 4 inches of water in the basement the day of the hurricane and I lost a fair amount of inventory destined for my little shop. I was fortunate my sweet hubby, son and niece were home that day to discover the breech and save much of what was stored there. Apparently, either the water table rose extremely fast or the basement wall developed a crack that allowed the water to flow in. We don't live near any brook or water source, only mountain springs. I have nothing to complain about though because my mom's home was under 4 FEET of water!

My mom was evacuated from her home and brought to the shelter I was running
The day of the hurricane itself was quite an adventure. We bugged out of the estate sale at around 1:00 pm as flood waters began to swallow up bridges and roads leading to the house where we were. I haven't done such a fast bug-out since I was in the Army. We needed to turn around 4 different times just to find a way into Rutland City. Once there we gassed up the van, grabbed some grub and headed for safer ground. I dropped off my crew consisting of my nephew, his homeschooling daughter and our homeschooled friend, Victoria, at a sister's house. From there I headed to our local volunteer fire department where I am an auxiliary member. The remainder of my day was spent setting up and running an evacuee shelter in our town of Wallingford.

Things seem to be getting back to normal, whatever normal is. There is lots of work ahead of us and winter will arrive eventually. It gets cold here in September and October and the leaves are already beginning to turn. That's always a sure sign winter won't be far behind. You can see more photos of the flooding on my road and the clean up of the shop here. Our homeschooled son Zeb loves photography and took these photos.

My little shop will probably remain just a shell of its former self until spring and I can decide what to do from there. Heck, even my full propane tank for the shop heater floated away and hasn't been seen since. If Mother Nature wants something moved nothing will stand in her way. Look what happened to Evening Song Farm, the organic growers just up the road from my shop! Their entire crop field washed downstream and a river replaced their livelihood. That would explain the potatoes we found in the front yard at my shop and the perfectly formed green bell pepper sitting atop the debris dam at the bridge nearby.

The view from Anna Q's Attic and the debris dam at the bridge

A homeschooling family of 7 lived in that Victorian house yonder when I bought my shop

What nature giveth, nature taketh away

These are all just little reminders that Mother Nature is in control no matter what we do, or say, or think. She took away my material things but left me a beach in my back yard with 10 inches of some of the most gorgeous sand I've ever seen. She spared our lives but left us with much to ponder. What we choose to do with those lives now is up to us.

Persevere and do good!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Life lessons in homeschooling — The Straits Times Blogs

Life lessons in homeschooling — The Straits Times Blogs

"Through my homeschooling stint, I found that literature helped me to examine moral lessons as well as open my mind up to new ideas. Science and maths trained me to be logical and analytical."

A homeschooler grows up and shares her experience.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Glenn Beck hammers his point home in final episode

Beck says we all need to learn our history. He's right. It is extremely important we as homeschoolers give our children every opportunity for learning, not only about freedom but IN freedom. He highlights a message from Robert Kiyosaki about the future of America. Below is an extended version of what Kiyosaki had to say about the coming depression and hyperinflation.

Some of us are just learning about this. Some have known longer and have had more time to prepare. Both Beck and Kiyosaki share information that you will NEVER learn in public school. Watch, listen and learn!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

The Most Taxed States in the U.S. | Taxes | Money/Investing | Mainstreet

The Most Taxed States in the U.S. | Taxes | Money/Investing | Mainstreet

Guess which state is #1. Yup! Vermont!

"There is both a school property tax and a municipal property tax for personal property and a statewide education tax imposed on all nonresidential property at a rate of $1.35 for every $100 of the assessed value."

Meanwhile, 72% of our public schools are failing.

Time for all those in this state collecting welfare and food stamps to thank a working Vermonter for their handouts. I'll be checking my mail for those thank you cards beginning tomorrow morning.

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NEA to UN: “Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education” - Atlas Shrugs

NEA to UN: “Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education” - Atlas Shrugs

Just thought you'd like to know what the teacher's union is up to these always. No surprise here because the schools have already been teaching this crap for years unbeknownst to parents. Actually, many parents do know this and don't really care. Other parents are happy their elementary school age children are being taught how to have 'protected' sex. Then they wonder why their daughter gets pregnant or starts cutting in their early teen years. On top of this you have perverts running our country who are sexting their body parts or having oral sex in the Oval Office of the White House. Geeeeeeeeeesh!

Wow! Americans really have been dumbed down in the public school system haven't they!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why 50% of Americans are considered illiterate and why public schooling is destroying this once great nation

"Nelson, wake up! That is what we want...a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!"

According to this short video 20% of Americans are unable to find the United States on a map and 50% of them cannot read beyond an 8th grade level. Parents need to start getting their children out of public schooling as quickly as they can if they want to save the life of their child and truly educate them.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Homeschool family lives in 320 sq. ft. home

 This is amazing. Makes me want to downsize in a hurry.

Wow, frugal living at its best. There's even room for the pet cat! I know what Debra means by having a large home and filling it up to the point where you don't know what you have in it anymore. Yeah, it's definitely time to downsize here at my house.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Honor their sacrifice by memorizing the U.S. Constitution

These men and women gave everything they had. On this Memorial Day 2011 remember their sacrifice. Honor that sacrifice by memorizing our United States Constitution. Swear to uphold and defend it as these fallen soldiers did. If it is the only thing you do for the rest of your life to honor their memory then their sacrifice will not have been in vain.

In their memory with utmost gratitude

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quote: Henry David Thoreau

"With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole."
Henry David Thoreau

Sort of says it all as far as I'm concerned.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Schools can crack down on cyberbullying in Vt bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Schools can crack down on cyberbullying in Vt bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

"It also allows school administrators to suspend or expel a student for an action that does not occur during the school day or on school property."

"Does NOT occur during the school day or ON school property!" Yes, you read correctly. So ANYTHING your child does or says in the privacy of your home can now be construed as bullying by a school administrator. I wonder how many Vermont children and their parents will get caught in this twisted web? No need to discipline your child anymore because the schools plan to do it for you 24/7.

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More clueless college students

How do these students function in the real world outside their dorms and classrooms? It really makes me wonder. I guess when you've been conditioned most of your life in public school to think this way it's bound to carry over into your college years. Not sure if the older people were students or professors though which is even scarier. Let's hope most get a real dose of reality once they leave that environment and come to their senses after they buy their worthless college degrees.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is college putting you and your child in the poor house?

Gerald Celente is great (as always) in this documentary. Kudos to National Inflation Association for a job well done!

It's amazing to think I lived the college experience but fortunately for me I didn't go into debt nor did my parents for doing it. Granted I managed to go to college on the GI Bill but millions of young people go into hock these days to buy a college degree. A degree that doesn't guarantee employment or even an education of any value. Out of the five official years I spent on campus purchasing a degree my best college lessons were from only two professors. Of those two professors one was a commercial artist and the other was a theater director. Both pushed me to excel in whatever I chose to pursue simply because they saw I had the self-discipline, initiative and maturity to do so.

By the time I landed on campus I had already been in the US Army, traveled the country, had worked full time for several years and was much older than my classmates who were fresh out of high school. My upbringing may have played a role too since I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's with 10 siblings on a farm where we needed to be self-sufficient and industrious in order to survive.  Our grade school consisted of two rooms with grades 1-6, about 50 students total. Back then the only two teachers in that school made sure we learned reading, writing and arithmetic. We learned to socialize with other children on the 2 mile walk to and from school and on the playground during recess. When I got to high school much of what was 'taught' didn't make sense in the real world and seemed like useless information even back then.

When we decided to homeschool we made the conscious decision to pick and choose any formal courses our children might attend. ANY public school attendance was completely taken out of the equation. We were not about to give the public school system the slightest opportunity to take credit for even a fraction of our child's education. We proved public school was unnecessary and a waste of tax payer money. Community college was used but only as an alternative to high school and we paid out of pocket per class. College courses were highly focused and our children are not indebted to any bank, loan company or the taxpayers.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

How to dupe the parents and brainwash the 'resisters'

Academics is no longer reading, writing and arithmetic. Academics today is bringing about change through emotions...behavior modification, attitudinal adjustment and political correctness. Are parents paying attention? I knew this years ago and it's a major factor in our decision to homeschool. It just took some time to put my finger on it and learn it had a name...Outcome Based Education.

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Charlotte Iserbyt exposes the Department of Education

The good news is they know what works?

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - The New Trend in Homeschooling: Un-Schooling. - The New Trend in Homeschooling: Un-Schooling.

The Unschool Bus makes headlines again but in New Hampshire this time where the legislature is in much need of an education themselves. It's time to bring attention to the plight of parents in that state who want to homeschool their children in peace without needless harassment from public school bureaucrats and politicians.

"Unschoolers say that traditional classrooms waste too much time and sometimes disrupt the learning process."

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Home Schooling Trend Rising In El Paso - News Story - KFOX El Paso

Home Schooling Trend Rising In El Paso - News Story - KFOX El Paso

"According to Roennebeck and Rachel Lozano, head of Southwest Home-School Network, the number home-schooled kids is 3,000 - to 6,000. The gap in numbers is due to the fact that home-schoolers in Texas are treated like private school students and are not required to register with the state, or anyone for that matter."

"Not required to register with the state..." As it should be in EVERY state!

View a map provided by Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) that shows which states have the most lenient homeschool regulations and which have the most difficult. Remember, if you seriously want to homeschool and your state is not supportive you can always vote with your feet. Move to a better state until your children are grown.

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Over 400 secular and inclusive support groups Now Listing Over 400 Secular and Inclusive Support Groups

", a social networking community and resource site dedicated to secular homeschoolers, now lists over 400 secular and inclusive support groups in the United States and Canada alone."

My how times have changed since we first started homeschooling over 24 years ago.

"A decade ago, homeschoolers were on the outskirts of the educational mainstream. That is no longer the case. As budget cuts, classroom overcrowding, standardized testing and many other variables motivate parents to take their children’s education into their own hands, the number of secular homeschoolers is expected to continue to grow for many years to come."

Wouldn't surprise me to see an even bigger boom in homeschooling in the next decade!

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At home and getting schooled - USU Statesman

At home and getting schooled - USU Statesman

Another view of homeschooling and shared experience.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Michael Ruppert's vision for the future of America and the world

Z-DAY L.A., 2011 from on Vimeo.

Is this news to you? If Michael is wrong we have little to worry about. If he's right you'd better buckle up because we're in for a bumpy ride. If what Michael says is true chances are homeschoolers won't miss much of a beat because we're already learning in freedom and can research what he's telling us. We don't need to wait for the mainstream media to spoon feed us information and we can prepare our families for what could possibly be a turbulent future. We can teach our children skills they will need without interference from the state run schools. Our families are better bonded because we don't spend our days running off in separate contrived directions controlled by the state.

Want more information on this subject? I've been adding links to my S.H.I.T. You Need To Know Facebook page where you can view more videos that will help you prepare for the possible coming chaos.  Feel free to join me and let your thoughts on this be known.

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Shocker! On his own, judge demands homeschool student IDs

Shocker! On his own, judge demands homeschool student IDs

"The letters cited the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and asked the families to notify the attendance officer by April 8, 2011, if they intended to initiate legal action to prevent release of the protected information sought by Judge Walker," HSLDA said.

The notice from the HSLDA to its members said the judge also wanted the addresses of all homeschoolers in Smith, Lawrence, Covington, Simpson and Jefferson Davis counties."

The controlling elite are just itchin' to round up all you homeschoolers. This is just the beginning. They're testing the waters to see how much they can get away with and to see if parents are paying attention. We need to stop electing Democrat and Republican party members to office in this country if we want to maintain our freedoms. Both parties are so corrupt and twisted that you wouldn't need to bury them when they die. You could just SCREW them into the ground.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

How Can I Do Unschooling? |

How Can I Do Unschooling? |

Great article with some wonderful instructions/suggestions. I especially like #2.

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New Hampshire homeschooling workshop April 9, 2011 - Dover NH, Rochester NH, Portsmouth NH, Laconia NH, Sanford ME

Sponsored by the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition and held on Saturday, April 9, at the Nackey Loeb School of Communications in Manchester.

If you pre-register the admission is $15 or $20 at the door. Contact Jane Grady at 437-3547 or go to the website

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Local News : Homeschool program expands to accommodate growing demand - Frontiersman

Local News : Homeschool program expands to accommodate growing demand - Frontiersman

"Those shipping containers currently contain curriculum materials that the school is planning to put into a library parents can check them out of. Mat-Su Central School is a unique operation among borough schools in that it is, at heart, a collection of homeschool students rather than a traditional school. Brown would say that the school is also unique among homeschool operations as well because the operation is completely parent-driven."

Parent-driven! Now that's a great idea!

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Friday, April 1, 2011

72% of Vermont schools are flunkies

According to this article in the Burlington Free Press 72% of Vermont school are flunking. Yeah, but meanwhile everyone sure is having a good time at the ball games, prom and at the free lunch table! Who cares if the graduates can't read, write, spell or calculate. They know how to put condoms on cucumbers and fund raise for charities! The saddest part is the children have no idea they are being denied a real education.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The sweet smell of spring and Vermont's 5th season

Aaaahhhh, spring. Pussy willows, maple syrup and MUD! Here in Vermont mud season is known as our 5th season. It's the price we pay to live in the boondocks.

A messy spot just above the old farm near the night pasture gate

A closer look at the ruts that can swallow a small car
However, mud season means the sweet smell of maple syrup is not far behind. On this particular day a 1 mile trip on bike to my brother's sugar house was well worth the effort.

A springtime bike ride to the sugar house but first a stop to see the pussy willows
Hello old friends...springtime pussy willows just beginning to bud
These trees have been producing pussy willows on this same spot since we were children. We walked the 2 miles to our town's elementary school in the 1960's and would stop to pick pussy willows on the way to school and back home again in the afternoon. After a pause to take some photos it's on to the sugar house.

Sap buckets hang from the maple trees
Inside the sugar house

Entry point of the sap where it first begins to boil

The sap boils up where it enters the tank

The sugar man stays busy while the sap boils

At times you can barely see through the room

It's a full time job to maintain the fire that boils the sap
A vintage Vermont maple syrup tin can sits on a window sill

The dipper lets you know when it's just about ready

The draw off lets you know when it has turned to syrup

The finished product...sweet liquid gold
If ever you have the opportunity to visit a sugar house in season it's quite an experience and very educational for your homeschooler. There is nothing like watching this sweet product being made and seeing where it originates from. To learn more about Vermont maple syrup visit this website.

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