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!
"California Children Still Considered State Property"
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
When the Los Angelos court reversed its decision and "granted" parents the right to homeschool, the situation went from bleak to still-not-good. While I'm relieved for my California friends, surely, I thought, they must realize that they aren't in the clear.
But where’s the real victory for parents’ rights? Rights identify actions you can take without permission. A true victory would have been a judicial declaration that parents have an absolute right to control their children’s upbringing--and that they therefore don’t need government permission to educate their children as they see fit.
Instead, as this decision makes clear, California’s parents are expected to accept the status of perpetual supplicants, knees bent and backs bowed down to an all-powerful legislature that can decide at any moment to revoke its homeschooling “permission.”
Sadly, homeschooling families in California are left to simply take what they can get and hope the situation doesn't change. But there are no guarantees.
Several months before the Rachel L case, I got in a little trouble on a national homeschool list for insisting that there was no such thing as independent home education in California. This is exactly what I was talking about.
Lydia at Little Blue School is hosting a free unit study on the election process, and it is cool! I mentioned the Vote for Me! e-classes in our Not Back to School edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling, but I will do anything to spin a theme and didn't truly showcase just how nifty Lydia's e-classes are:
The class will take each student through developing their own presidential candidacy, including creating a campaign commercial, developing a platform, and interviewing constituents. By working on our own campaigns, we'll learn social studies, history, math, science, music and art lessons. Here on this site each week, you will find printables to download, songs, lesson plans, project ideas, bias-free encouragement, and a guideline for taking your student through this experience. You'll also find examples of student work, produced by my kids and sent in by my e-students.
This is my first real attempt at writing a BLOG, so bear with me if I don't know what I am doing! ;-)
I recently hired someone to help me get my house cleaned up and organized. I have been living with CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) for quite sometime now! Janice Weaver, owner/operator of "All is Well! Organizing", along with her working partner, is the wonderful lady who is helping to make my house into a home. You can check out her website http://alliswellorganizing.com/ to see some more of her work, and to see her photos and comments on my home.
I have fibromyalgia, and two different types of arthritis which make it very difficult for me to consistently take care of my home the way I would like to. I have good days and bad days. On the good days, I often over do it and then suffer tremendously for a few days recovering from the work I did. I am in constant pain, even while on very strong pain relievers.
Before the fibro and arthritis set in, I lived with a near tolerable level of CHAOS, and I could get my home presentable in a few hours. But since the onset, about 4 years ago, it has steadily gotten worse. It is now to the point that I am totally overwhelmed, and I know that I can no longer climb this mountain alone!
For anyone wondering why I would blog about this on a homeschool website, well, we are a homeschool family! So, in addition to having to deal with set backs in everyday life as I gradually become more disabled, I have also had to deal with them while still trying to provide adequate education for my children!
As I have time, during my busy days, I will post a bit about the progress I am making advancing from CHAOS to organization. I will also be posting some before and after photos, so that all can see I do not exaggerate when I say my house is in total disarray!!
So far, we have finished one room, our computer room/home office. It took 8 hours of nonstop intense labor to get this room into shape. I still have a few boxes of papers and stuff we removed from the room that I need to sort through and decide what to keep, what to toss, and where to put the keepers!
I want to do my bedroom next. Janice says it will probably take about 2 weeks to get that room done!! I guess my home is worse than even I thought!!
I was at first inclined to disparage the decision by his parents to let Peebles drop out of school, but it seems a little less ridiculous when you delve into the facts. Peebles hahdn't (sic) been doing well in school and wasn't liked, and even now he isn't gaming full time. He has a tutor that provides a private education, and his parents say he's doing well with the more focused instruction and that their son now even does his homework without complaint. (Presumably he can hit the axe sooner after he's finished his studies.)
So...he isn't a drop-out, he's homeschooled. And he isn't missing out on the mythically exciting and rewarding "school experience." I doubt he even cares about prom. Here's what his father (presumably) had to say in the comments (#1347):
I'm the dad and Blake is a high achiever. He plays several instruments, mostly self taught. He makes straight A's and plans to go to college. Of course he would love to make a living at gaming, but has a fall back plan. Basically, he a high achiever and pursues excellence in whatever he attempts, for now, that is Guitar Hero and he is having a blast competing on the world stage.
In other words, he's not a slacker who can't play "real" instruments. He's getting one-on-one instruction that also allows him to follow a passion; a passion that will give him a wealth of experiences, allow him to perfect his craft, and could easily lead to a career in technology, graphics, music and who knows what else.
I've always been a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes. Long before I started homeschooling, strips like this made me chuckle out loud (click to enlarge):
Thanks to Bill Waterson, my seven-year-old is finally interested in reading. It's not because we've neglected to emphasize the importance of reading or put off teaching her phonics. She knows all that (she can match sounds to letters and write her name as well as several other family words and names). And it's not because Calvin and Hobbes is so engaging that she wants to read it herself. Fat chance. We read to her, so she doesn't understand why she should have to.
What has prompted this change? Three words: independent artistic control (something Bill Waterson fought for during his career, btw, but Dag doesn't know that). For a long time, Dagny has enjoyed drawing complete stories, one frame per page. Usually, she draws symbolic scribbles in a word balloon and tells me what the character is saying. I write it down, and she recopies it (shhh! Don't tell her that this is "dictation" and "copy work" or you'll blow my cover.). But now she wants to add the dialogue and captions.
More recently, Dagny hasn't wanted our help with the words ("because it's a surprise!"). Instead, she tells us the story and acts it out to avoid spoiling the plot and punchlines beforehand (she also has a repertoire of Calvin and Hobbes that she can recite and perform on the spot. All you have to do is ask.). For effect and comedic surprise, words--actual words, not just scribbles--are starting to appear in her stories. Here is one of her latest creations:
"I am Tarzan Bunny!"
[Phonetically correct Tarzan yodel]
[He just missed his landing.]
....and look! A word! She also uses POP! and ZAP! and other sound and object words that we attribute to Calvin and Hobbes.
Now that she is *finally* interested and sees the value in reading, she's ready. Just like that. Thank you, Mr. Waterson.
PS. It is also important to note that Dagny got glasses about four months ago. THAT has helped tremendously!
Hello home educators! Welcome to the NBTS edition of carnival of homeschooling. Today, we are celebrating our non-adherence to the traditional school year by lightly poking fun at those who do. Right this way to the bus stop...
In The Elephant posted at Stop the Ride!, Stephanie cautions us not to become overwhelmed and reminds us to take one bite at a time when tackling our elephant-sized schedules. Don't be afraid to put on the brakes and reassess your priorities. This vehicle makes frequent stops for a reason!
How is your driving? Jena presents The Bare Minimum posted at Yarns of the Heart, saying, "As a relaxed/unschooler, this is what I consider to be the bare minimum school requirements for my kids. If we can at least do these things, I feel good about our home education."
When moving from traditional schooling to home education, getting from here to there isn't always as simple as looking both ways before crossing the street. Our first stop in these hallowed halls is the Guidance Counselor's Office. Right this way, through the metal detectors...
This may require a bit of research. TO THE LIBRARY! I mean, um,[whispering]to the library. Please walk town the hall in a single file line. No talking. No touching. Ouch, stop shoving!
Elisheva Levin meets us at the door to talk about Thinking About Reading and the Brain at Ragamuffin Studies. She says, "I've been thinking a lot about reading lately, and I just finished Maryanne Wolf's book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. It was a fascinating read about how reading development happens in the brain and how our brains are changed by reading."
Leperdy shares his Recent Book Reviews at Alex and Leperdy. Reviews include Beyond the Lemonade Stand by Bill Rancic, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and The 13th Warning by R.L. Stine.
Goodness, there sure are a lot of homeschoolers in the library! It's easy to get distracted, but we're on a strict schedule, people. Time for class. Hurry up (but don't run)! You don't want to be late...
Now, doesn't this look like fun?? Ahem. Well. Anyway...Hey, look at all this neat stuff!
Just as the confetti cannon booms, the cheerleaders arrive! It's almost as if they knew that we homeschoolers need a little encouragement from time to time. Whoo-hoo! GIMME-A S! GIMME-A P! GIMME-A A! What's that spell?? SPA!!
We'd love to have massages, pedicures, manicures and facials, but some of us would be content just to take a shower in peace. Remember that? Showering? Without toddlers?? Sigh...Here to give us a little encouragement are the NBTScheerleaders:
christinemoers leads off with Prideful Parenting Manifesto posted at welcome to my brain: "Feeling a little worn or burned out?" YES! "Having a hard time getting excited about a new school year?" YES! "Wondering if you really are making a difference?" YA-HES! "This is for you." YAAAAY!!! (I just love crowd participation.)
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