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Several Mississippi moms connected online through a statewide homeschool network. Fueled mostly by caffeine, the women of The Homeschool Cafe will regularly top off this virtual bottomless cup with political opinions, educational issues, and general discussion. Pull up a seat and enjoy!

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CoH Week 26: Black coffee and conversation
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Welcome to Week 26 of the Carnival of Homeschooling! Due to the oppressive Mississippi heat, the festivities have been moved inside. From the air-conditioned, family-friendly comfort of The Homeschool Café, we can eavesdrop and people-watch, which just happens to be educational (file that under sociology!).

Group Gossip
In any gathering of home educators, support groups are bound to come up. Nancy observes similarities between advocates of breastfeeding and the homeschooling lifestyle. Alasandra talks about her quest for inclusive support. Natalie links to an article that inspired the creation of a growing inclusive network in an area dominated by groups offering conditional assistance.

Holding Court
Homeschoolers, by their very nature, are opinionated folks. It doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn to politics and social attitudes. Daryl explains why over-compliance, no matter how well-intentioned, presents a danger to homeschool freedom everywhere. Chris extols the virtues of capitalism and homeschooling as Free Agent Education. Spunky takes on a feminist who asserts that stay-at-home mothers live simple, unfulfilling lives. In a well justified I-told-you-so, Rina in Germany cautions against relying on the protection of religious exemption. Similarly, Atypical Ron warns homeschoolers against falling for the tactics and fear inducing messages employed by That Organization and reminds us that our best protection against exploitation—by government agencies and dues-driven legal associations—is to know and safeguard our own rights.

Dispensing Advice
While the pundits preach, others are quietly offering words or advice and encouragement to newly minted homeschoolers and seasoned veterans alike. Elizabeth reminds us that finding our own way in our educational journey is one of the best things about the learning lifestyle. NerdMom answers the oft asked, “How long does it take to homeschool?”. Daniel directs us to which statistics are important while Natalie points out that we can sometimes answer critics without them. Melissa Wiley enthuses that many homeschoolers are discovering their unschooly tendencies through fun and games in the first of a series of posts on methodology (or lack thereof!). Laurie offers advice on raising ‘tweenage girls. Meanwhile, Melissa Markham laments the lack of maturity in recent generations. And The Thinking Mother discusses the benefits of blogging over chat lists.

Taster’s Choice
“You have GOT to try this!” is a common exclamation in homeschool get-togethers. The custom blend of innovative ideas and tried and true reviews is as rich and bold as a cup of dark roast untainted by sugar and cream. And the resulting jolt is enough to carry anyone through the next year of planning!

Henry Cate demonstrates that even young children can learn the basics of economics.

Brandi of Lone Star Academy celebrates her discovery of Artistic Pursuits, an art education curriculum.

Denise demystifies Miquon Math with ten tips at Let’s Play Math.

FarmMom reviews typing programs at Twice-Bloomed Wisteria.

Tricia O. loves Five in a Row.

Maria at Homeschool Math is offering a giveaway along with her review of a graphing website.

Maureen O’Brien discusses rigorous analytical reading and her efforts to understand the message and know how to ask the right questions in order to interact with an author through the book.

Tami gets excited about summer reading with her children using the Little House series.

Karen promotes the benefits of chess and other games to cognitive development.

Allison demonstrates microscope photography using a digital camera (you’ve got to try this!)

Carolyn explains how reading develops writing skills and a better understanding of grammar without a formal program.

Sebastian shares a D-Day unit study used in conjunction with a trip to Normandy, France.

Few people, particularly homeschoolers (and especially bloggers), can resist the opportunity to connect with others through shared anecdotes; touching, humorous, candid, and life affirming.

Atypical Andrea shares her child’s zeal for seeking out opportunities for hands-on exploration.

Deputy Headmistress deduces that syllogisms can be funny when they get personal (therefore all syllogisms are personal…right?).

Elena describes the complexities of moving a piano and why its history is worth all the effort.

Heather seizes on a learning opportunity after chiggers make a meal out of her family ...and end up in her refrigerator.

Patricia plans to launch a lesson with the blast-off of the Discovery space shuttle this weekend using local resources.

Jennie exorcized the Sugar Demon and changed her son’s life by going sugar-free.

Karen continues her series on her path as an unschooled teenager.

Sheri offers a tribute to the memory of a special friend and veteran near the anniversary of his death.

Allison redefines graduation as she celebrates her recent achievement. Her mother responds in a touching letter to her daughter.

We hope you have enjoyed The Homeschool Café. Please come back early and often. And don’t forget to leave a tip!

Posted by Natalie West at 2:16 PM