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!
A mother who has recently pulled her child out of public education has discovered the ills of NCLB (HT: Rational Jenn). Regarding her family's decision to enroll the child in an expensive private school, she says (angrily and with frequent R-rated language):
But since this was a big decision requiring my family eat beans out of a can for the next 10 years, I did some research into things like No Child Left Behind - a law that requires all students to reach some uniform level of achievement by 2014 which is measured by annual tests that begin in third grade. What happens if the kids fail the test or the schools score poorly as a whole, you ask? They lose funding and are labeled as “bad” schools or whatnot.
Oh I get it! I can see now why it’s so important for my 5 year old to learn how to read in kindergarten, and only get 30 minutes per WEEK of free time in first grade. That’s a completely realistic expectation for a 6-year-old, right? RIGHT???
Speaking of which, Hilary Clinton says she will put an end to NCLB. I, of course, believe her ...because she cried again this weekend. Maybe it's PMS (Politically Motivated Sobbing.).
Secular Homeschool Magazine owner/publisher Deborah Markus sent long-travelling ripples through the online homeschool community with The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List. Have you seen it? Here is a small sample:
1. Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
12. If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
20. Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
Laurel Springs Home School (a distance learning charter in CA) asked this question as a part of a YouTube contest. Children age 5 to 18 submitted videos demonstrating their answers. Below is the $1000 winner's entry. See more video submissions here.
This video is great, but the "Egyptian" dancers in the next video really crack me up (especially the low key kid in the back doing the finger-dance).
The Mississippi Department of Education recently unveiled its newly developed dropout prevention program, On the Bus. According to the website, it's goals are:
1) to increase the graduation rate to 85% by 2018-2019; 2) to reduce the state dropout rate by 50% by 2012-2013; and, 3) to reduce the statewide truancy rate by 50% by 2012-2013. The current dropout rate is 26.6% or 11,169 students.
These are lofty goals. Homeschooling students would be an easy target for truancy laws in Mississippi. This is not to suggest that there is some grand conspiracy against home educators. However, "undocumented" homeschoolers could get caught in the truancy enforcement dragnet.
For registered home educators, the solution is simple: make sure you have a signed copy of your registration card in your records. For home educators who have opted not to register unless asked...if you get asked, register.
Don't get thrown "under the bus." Know your rights.
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