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!
Hello. My name is Natalie. And I am an office suppliholic.
When Post-it came out with those nifty easel pads, I was giddy. Squeezing an embossing label maker is akin to meditation (laser labels are for wimps). And those mini Sharpies in multiple colors? Divine. But none of those items can compare to the squeal of happiness elicited by...
For 231 years, this nation of freedom, with a government by the people, has remarkably well endured, and that is definitely worth cheering about. But if the culture of freedom of Jefferson and Washington is going to survive even another century, I dare say, it will only be thanks to another revolution--the revolution in education which is homeschooling.
As independent home education becomes more mainstream, our individual successes will be viewed not as a commendable benefit for our children but as a growing collective threat to society. As such, many of us have experienced the efforts of our local, state, and--yes--federal governments to curb our independence as parent teachers in an effort to keep education "standardized" (read "easily controlled" and "mediocre").
Free to fight.
Fortunately, private organizations have been created by Constitutional purists aimed directly at protecting our rights and keeping the "Spirit of '76" alive. Veteran homeschooler and NHELD researcher Judy Aron tells us more about this organization's efforts and its founder, Deborah Stevenson, at Consent of the Governed.
Mama Squirrel laments that she doesn’t feel very free in Free to be at Dewey's Treehouse. Describing new insurance regulations that burden her homeschool group in Ontario as well as conflicts between local and provincial school authorities, Mama asks," Do we mail in our letter of intent and keep on trusting the good, although awkward, intentions of the school board, hoping that things will never end up here as they are in Europe? Should we just exercise our freedom and walk away, never mind the nosy neighbours?"
Elisheva Levin presents Neither Left Nor Right... posted at Ragamuffin Studies, saying, "Homeschoolers tend to be concerned about the political trends in our country and lately, political discourse has become polarized. In this blog article I discuss the importance of discourse free of labels for preserving our freedom and our constitutional system."
Free to understand our rights and responsibilities.
Some parents wish to forgo much of the prep-work and time-constraints of some homeschooling methods for a more efficient form of education. But is it homeschooling? Mary Nix observes, "Home educators have always been a diverse and welcoming bunch, but in recent years new forms of public alternative schools have come into play, leaving some wondering if they are homeschooling or not while enrolled in these new programs." In her post Investigating Educational Options at HEM Support Group News, Mary provides a guide to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities.
American Homeschool Association blogger Annette Jurzack, who wrote An Examination of Autonomy and Public School Programs, states that "Public school partnerships with homeschool families may claim to offer autonomy for homeschooled students. However, public funds require public accountability. Judging by the past and recent history of such partnerships, one should expect that any actual autonomy offered with public funds will be short-lived. The price of independence is worth the reward of homeschool freedom."
But...what about UNschoolers? Do parents have the right to not teach their children? Who are these people and does this unorthodox method actually work? Julee Huy discusses her foray into the "other side" as an Undercover Unschooler. Henry Cate at Why Homeschoolsheds light on how many unschoolers go on to homeschool or unschool their children.
In contrast, Cindy's post at Life Without School reveals her subtle, yet essential, role as her son's guide through the challenges of socializing with Asperger's Syndrome and his remarkable ability to cope with and comprehend the social intricacies around him. At Life on the Road, Tiffany ponders the dumbing down of our society, the age Elmo is supposed to represent, and the freedom for her kids to develop to their fullest potential.
In Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Elizabeth at Hearthside examines the omission of the word "equality" in our Pledge of Allegiance and decries the one-size-fits-all attitude in education. "We don't think that every child should have to sit in one chair at one desk for hours on end to perform the same task as every other child. There is little, if any, equality in this. There certainly is no justice nor is there the opportunity experience liberty." Barbara Frank wonders what our Founding Fathers would think of education today. "Somehow I don't think they'd be very happy," she says, "but I like to believe they'd look at homeschoolers and think, 'I'll bet those are MY descendants.'"
Among the varied entries of this blog carnival, the central message is that knowledge is the key to effectively securing homeschool freedom. Awareness of our rights and responsibilities keeps us informed of beneficial resources, warns us of dangerous trends and empowers us to act appropriately to secure and defend those rights.
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.--Benjamin Franklin.
On the 4th of July Americans will celebrate Independence Day once again. For 231 years, this nation of freedom, with a government by the people, has remarkably well endured, and that is definitely worth cheering about. But if the culture of freedom of Jefferson and Washington is going to survive even another century, I dare say, it will only be thanks to another revolution--the revolution in education which is homeschooling.
Much like in 1776, America is in crisis. Back then, it was the government of our mother country, England, that sought to deny the rights of colonists to direct their own lives, by imposing external taxes to serve its imperial objectives. Today another government--our own!--seeks to deny its own people the right to direct their lives on an even more fundamental level, on the level of ideas, for what are no doubt equally nefarious reasons.
Fortunately, just as there were means available to America's Founders to fight injustice in their world, there are means available to us today to correct the world of education gone wrong.
Unquestionably, private education remains a force for good in America, for those who can afford it. But private schools and the families that support them operate under enormous strain, due to a stifling regulatory and tax regime designed to prevent this parallel system from overthrowing public schools. As a result, private schools are generally out of reach for most Americans, and there is really no hope that a broad revolution in education will come from that arena.
It's really only homeschooling that offers the average American family the chance of breaking free from government schooling and charting an independent course. It's really only the homeschooling movement in America that represents a rebirth of the true "Spirit of '76." Homeschooling is truly education of the people, by the people, for the people. It is average Americans, willing and able to identify the unabating corruption in public education, taking up the reins themselves, and laboring to provide the kind of product their children deserve.
To all you homeschoolers out there, I salute you! When you raise you glasses on the 4th of July, make sure to toast yourselves. America needs your independent now, as much as ever!
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