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!
Customer: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. Its vacuous, that's what's wrong with it!
Salesman: No, no, uh... what we need now is to 'teach the controversy'...
Customer: Look matey, I know an empty 'argument from incredulity' when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
Salesman: No, no, it's not empty: it's just being elaborated. Remarkable theory, 'Intelligent Design', innit, eh? I mean, just look at all these books and articles: millions and millions of words...!
Customer: The verbiage don't enter into it, my lad. It's stone dead. It's a non-starter. Empirically untestable, it belongs in metaphysics. This 'theory' makes no predictions; has no contribution to make beyond extended polemics; and can't even be honest about who it thinks the 'Designer' was. Bereft of all logical and epistemological credibility, it has no scientific status! If certain right-wing and fundamentalist pressure-groups hadn't hit upon it as a way of opposing decades of uncomfortable scientific and social progress, it'd be pushing up daisies! It's off the table. It's kicked the waste-paper bucket. THIS IS A NON-THEORY!
Salesman: Well, I'd better replace it then. [takes a quick peek around] Sorry, squire: looks like that's all we've got...
Customer: I see, I see. I get the picture.
Salesman: I've got a piece of coal that looks quite a bit like a human tibia, if you squint at it...
Customer: Pray, is it part of a theory that unifies the paleontological and biological sciences and leads to a powerful understanding of observed homologies and the nested hierarchy of life?
Salesman: Not really.
Customer: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT FOR DARWINISM THEN, IS IT?
At Tuesday's hearing, Mallory argued in part that witchcraft is a religion practiced by some people and, therefore, the books should be banned because reading them in school violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
"I have a dream that God will be welcomed back in our schools again," Mallory said. "I think we need him."
Beverly shares her trip to Alaska with us in her CoH.
Of particular interest Kidz Today: School's Out which is a nice column about homeschooling written by a non-homeschooler. How nice that someone actually took the time to research the subject they were writing about.
Melissa Wiley at the Lilting house has a post ~Can We Really Educate Every American Child? about Jon Stewart's interview with Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on The Daily Show. She includes the clip so drop by for an interesting read, and if you have the time watch the clip.
There are many more interesting post in the CoH, and some lovely pictures of Alaska, so grab a cup of coffee and drop by for a visit.
Finally, the CL contributes a positive article on home education in the Jackson Metro area (in the Sunday paper, no less!):
[Felicia] Bell said she is tailoring her son's high school education to meet the requirements for his career goal. She said R'Daniel wants to pursue a career in the transportation field, dealing with trains.
She said she contacted Union Pacific Corp. and obtained a list of classes R'Daniel would need to complete to be eligible for an apprenticeship with the company.
Next year, he will begin taking classes to learn about small engine repair and likely will take vocational courses at Hinds Community College or at the Career Development Center.
R'Daniel also is completing a portfolio and transcript to use if he chooses to attend college. Bell said he has to keep the portfolio to prove that he's fulfilled the requirements and would still have to take the ACT or SAT to get into college.
R'Daniel is on my daughter's FIRST Lego League Robotics team. He's a great kid, and I think the world of his mother, whom I don't get to visit with nearly enough.
I'm pleased with the way homeschooling, especially their home school, was portrayed in this article. Even the obligatory legal statement wasn't so bad:
State law requires parents to submit a certificate of enrollment documenting that their children will be home-schooled, but they are required to do nothing further.
No commentary or "balancing" quote from opposition; just a nice little piece on the second page of the Metro/State section. Thanks, CL, for finally getting it right.
John Stossel points out that monopolies are bad, and that government monopolies with their teacher unions are worse. He ask would you go to a restaurant that served bad food? would you patronize a barber that gave bad hair cuts? then why send your child to a bad public school??? Public School jingoist immediately say their schools are wonderful, their teachers are wonderful, parents should NOT be able to choose which school to send their children to (vouchers) and that anyone who suggest otherwise is ANTI-children.
The Lilting House is the host of this weeks Carnival of Homeschooling ~ Enthusiasm Abounds edition. The post from School of Thought that was deleted by a past host was included, and you will find butterflies scattered throughout. So grab a cup of coffee and join me in reading (with enthusiasm) the latest CoH.
Here's to changing the world. And chocolate. and. shoes. (and homeschooling without stupid restrictions or ill-fitting standards imposed by an agency that can't manage to graduate more than two-thirds of its students...but I digress.)
Letter from Scott Powell ~Regarding the Remote History Program
Friday, May 18, 2007
The Remote History Program for Children is now offering prospective students a unique opportunity. If you're considering participating in the Remote History Program, but you'd like to try it out first, here's your chance! Register for either the Lower Elementary or Upper Elementary yahoogroups today, and enjoy full access to all the class materials for the last month of classes ABSOLUTELY FREE!
You can even have your child join the live sessions, if they fit your schedule!If your child is already enrolled in the program and you would like to spread the word, here is a perfect chance to let people see just what the Remote History approach has to offer. Please pass this message on to anyone you think would be interested. Joining the program for the final month is as simple as going to the class webpage, and clicking the "Join This Group" button. For the Lower Elementary Class (ages 6-9): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RemoteHistory_LowerEl/ For the Upper Elementary Class (ages 9-12): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RemoteHistory_UpperEl/
Here's to a great finale to this year of European History and a great year of American History to come!
Oy vay. Recall the plight of the Tireless Home Educating Martyr. She works so very hard. She makes her children work so very hard. Why, she laments, isn't everyone working as hard as we are?There oughta be a law!
Bless 'er heart, this one has a doctorate in education:
“It takes a lot of organization, and I’m not nearly as organized as I need to be,” Stephanie said. “But, I’m a stickler as far as schoolwork goes. I believe that, if your child is going to get an education, he is going to have to do the work.”
What bothers her is the lax interest the state takes in the jobs home educators are doing. Stephanie is fairly outspoken on the topic of state requirements, and how they aren’t up to par.
“I don’t have to turn in anything to the state that shows what I’m teaching my son,” Stephanie explained dishearteningly. “With the governor promoting this as Home Education Week, it really is a shame that there are no rules or guidelines, [dictating that] you go in … and they test to see if your child is learning what he/she should be learning.”
These people are going to be the death of independent home education in Mississippi. It isn't enough that grassroots advocates (like myself and others here) have to fight creeping legislation, track the actions of national homeschool "defense" organizations, and attempt to change misguided public opinion; We have to deal with those among us who are purposefully working against homeschool autonomy in an effort to bring us all up to their unquestionably superior standards.
Mississippi Home Education Week, my eye. This is equivalent to a practical joke on homeschoolers...and so few of us "get it". Thanks, MHEA.
How do Mississippi public school superintendents feel about homeschooling?
The official answer has been published in the National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision's 2007 Journal in a study, "Home Education in Mississippi as Perceived by District Superintendents." :
"...with no further requirements for children being home schooled, superintendents’ satisfaction level with the quality of education was low. Three-fourths (76.6%) of the superintendents indicated that they do not have any confidence that these children are receiving an education equivalent to that provided by the public schools. Approximately 58.5% of the superintendents stated that they were notified when a child withdraws from the system; 39.4% were not notified. Of those who were notified, 58.2% initiated contact with the family while the remaining 41.8% did not. Hence, these numbers do not support consistent interaction and follow up with these families to determine their reasons for withdrawing by the school districts statewide."
How do you think this information will be used? What do you think it says about the intentions of State Superintendent Hank Bounds and other anti-homeschool officials?
It is only seven pages long. Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: A friend of mine pointed out an outrageous claim on Page 6:
In a study conducted in 1999, the National Center for Education Statistics concurred with Ray’s (1999) research identifying “the parents’ belief that they could provide a better education at home” as the leading reason for home school education nationwide. Further, the National Center for Education Statistics also revealed in their study that the second leading reason was related to religion. In addition to these two reasons, Ray identified school safety and violence as also being prompting factors in parents’ decision to home school.
In examining perceived reasons within the state of Mississippi, superintendents’ perceptions as to why parents choose to home school differed with respect to their individual districts and statewide. Superintendents did not identify any of the listed reasons as playing a major factor in parents choosing to home school within their individual districts. However, superintendents perceived integration/segregation/racial discrimination as a major factor in parents’ decision to home school statewide.
Emphasis mine. In other words, superintendents did not identify with the reasons listed in the previously cited study. Instead, they think homeschoolers, as a whole, are racists.
No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. I have just been really busy filling out forms for financial aid and researching scholarships for Shining Celebi.
If you have a student planning on college, visit the Federal Student Aid FAFSA site. It's free, and the people that answer the phone at the 1-800 # are very nice. My only gripe with it is IF you make a mistake you have to wait until you get your pin number and they finish processing your form before you can correct it. I was pleased with the speed that they sent the pin number and processed the form on the other hand. USA's priority deadline was May 1st. Shining Celebi didn't bother to start working on it until April 29th (In a way I can't blame him as he has been very busy with exams and work). After he got the student portion filled out I had to rush to fill out the parents portion. Thankfully it is now done and corrected.
Scholarships are disheartening. It's not that there aren't any scholarships for Computer Science Majors, there are tons. BUT they require you to either be female, African-American or Asian; there is NOTHING for white males. One would think scholarships would be awarded to the best and brightest students regardless of their gender or race.
Another area of discrimination against males is the selective service deal. One can only wonder why women who seek to end discrimination haven't made a fuss that females aren't required to sign up with selective service in order to receive financial aid or scholarships. For the sake of equality selective service needs to be ended once and for all, since we have an all volunteer army, or females need to be required to sign up.
I have to admit I am looking forward to Shining Celebi's graduation from the Community College Thursday. He'll be picking up his cap and gown tomorrow, I can't wait to see him in it. He'll get to wear the Phi Theta Kappa stole (like his Mom & Dad before him, seems to be a family tradition), and thankfully they will have a professional photographer to take pictures as my camera died. I know all parents are proud of their children's success, but as a homeschool mom I take great pleasure in knowing that my homeschooling helped him on his journey.
After an hour of work, I just finished a lengthy post on another blog containing several links and special formatting. When I hit "publish", it was gone. Poof. A nifty Blogger error message appeared with a special code and instructions. Of course, I clicked "back"--knowing I would see a blank compose screen--and I was right. When I hit "forward" to go back to the error message, it was gone, too.
That's it. I'm going shopping. While I am out, I will have a grande caramel machi with whipped cream. And a cookie.
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