Today is the beginning of the end of The Homeschooling Revolution blog.
I began blogging five years ago, at THR, and have now posted over 4000 entries even live blogging from Alaska and Hawaii.
It has been a great ride, and I'm grateful to have had the time to share my thoughts and photos - from the silly to the serious - and be a part of the conversation. Truly, it remains a golden age for blogging about and linking to newsworthy stories about homeschooling and other worthy educational alternatives.
A heartfelt "thank you" to those who stopped by and to those who offered information, family news, helpful critiques, and friendship.
I plan to keep writing columns and articles about education and other timely topics, so our paths may cross again somewhere in cyberspace. Till then, "peace, love and hoops."
If you like words and you enjoy contests, consider entering Win with Words which is being sponsored by the Game Show Network and the Princeton Review. The event is open to students in grades 9-12 and scholarship monies will be awarded to the winners. It costs nada to participate, and the finals will occur in Los Angeles next April.
The web site is here. Information about last year's winner.
A registered sex offender may have to consider homeschooling, and he's not happy about it. The offender in question is a 19-year-old high schooler who has been attending a public school in Gallatin County, Montana. However, the newly expelled student is not really considered a student under Montana law, but he has been a model non-student student.
"(Albert) Brown had been attending Belgrade High for three years and was close to graduating. He had been earning good grades and had no disciplinary problems. His goal was to finish high school, rather than earn a GED, and get a mechanics degree," according to one newspaper account.
A homeschooled girl who lives in Wisconsin gets her wish - a doggie. But she had to earn it.
From the Beloit Daily News: "When Emily wanted a border collie, however, her dad, Keven Remillard, told her to get a job. That motivated Emily to start what she called Emily's Kennel Kreations dog treats. The family had already experimented with cooking dog treats for the family's blind and aging beagle. Emily figured she would take it a step further and sell dog treats for $2 a bag at the market."
To date, the 'treats for canines' business is a success. Now Emily wants to sell dogwear.
HT:Homeschoolbuzz (which now has a blog of book reviews).
"Spook~tacular savings 1 day only (October 31, 2007). Write Boo in the Enter Coupon box on the shopping cart page and receive an additional 5% savings on everything on the website. Total savings 15% below retail price."
Reports Jeff Koo: "The Economisthas declared the winner of the first of three debates on education. With 56 percent of total votes, the house rejects the proposition that 'The continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.'
In his closing statement, Dr. Robert Kozma, Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International acknowledges 'that educational systems are notoriously slow to change' but urges readers to vote for him to as he believes that 'technology is making a positive difference in education.' To illustrate his point, Kozma cites numerous anecdotes from teachers he's met in Uganda, Chile, Catalonia, Norway and the Philippines where technology is making an impact in the classroom."
The second debate is scheduled for Dec. 10, and this time the topic is more contentious: "Should governments and universities everywhere be competing to attract and educate all qualified students regardless of nationality and residence?"
Last week, I linked to an Amazon book review by one Kevin Gutzman.
The reviewer, I've come to learn, is also Dr. Gutzman, who teaches history at Western Connecticut State and is the author of the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution.
In this article, the professor/reviewer reflects on the disconnect between the federal constitution and constitutional law. He also isn't shy about airing his disillusionment with the study of the law and the judicial system.
Perhaps Dr. Gutzman's candid comments will be helpful to others:
"Americans should stop deferring to federal judges, because going to law school, which I did myself, is not any kind of instruction in morality, business ethics, the meaning of life, art, or any of these other things that federal judges are constantly undertaking to instruct us about," Gutzman said.
"Legal training should not be confused with an education," he added. "Legal training is not an education, it's trade school. It's like learning to be a carpenter."
Like political junkies obsessing about the presidential race, sports writers are already making their choices known.
For now, Tim Tebow ranks fourth on this ESPN guy's list. (T-Bow had a big game against Kentucky last week.) Now, here's what Sports Illustrated had to say about the home scholar: "Not only is he the nation's top-rated passer (177.5), but he's also on pace to rush for 1,000 yards. Tebow would be the first sophomore to win the 72-year-old award."
Tomorrow: Florida plays Georgia at 3:30 ET. The game will be televised on CBS.
Christianity Today gives a detailed look at the 'agrarian-homeschooling' movement.
It's decidedly a difficult lifestyle but a satisfying one for those Americans who have fled the rat raciness that accompanies suburban or city living and chosen to go organic in a life-changing way. These families are also injecting new blood into languishing rural communities.
Joel Salatin, who operates a farm in Virginia and is a self-described "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist," has a edu-sociological take on the trend:
" 'Once you opt out of the conventional paradigm [of public schooling] and find it satisfying, then you begin searching for other paradigms to opt out of.' Like the Lehrers, families that homeschool often start looking for ways for fathers to leave their office jobs. 'How do I leave my Dilbert cubicle at the end of an expressway,' Salatin says, 'and instead invest in my family, my kids, my community?' "
Ken Robinson reports that his wife - author and illustrator Ruth Sanderson - has her new and improved web site up and running. Set up by daughter Morgan.
Ruth, a homeschool mom emeritus and an accomplished equestrian, is enormously talented and imaginative. She works out of a home studio often using regular folk as models (as opposed to professional art models) for the characters in her books.
And, it looks like Jane Yolen, another beloved kiddie lit author, posed for the cover of the Mother Goose and Friends book.
More of the artist's work (showcased at the Michelson Gallery).
Certain home education veterans will remember Maureen McCaffrey's editorial contributions to the homeschooling revolution. Maureen was the former editor and publisher of Homeschooling Todaymagazine. She was also a Conservative Book Club vice-president.
I wrote for HT when Maureen was the boss, and she was a joy to work with - this was back in the 20th century before e-mail exchanges between editors and writers were the norm, so we conversed on the phone a few times.
During our last chick chat, I learned that Maureen, who is from the East Coast, had married a transplanted Westerner, moved to Wyoming, and enthusiastically embraced the outdoor life. Her husband, in fact, is Chilton Williamson Jr. who is also a well-known name in conservative publishing circles. Chilton has contributed to Chronicles and National Review, authored several books, and was an editor for St. Martin's Press. His forte is penning descriptive essays about life in the rugged Rocky Mountain West.
Here's an advice article, published in 2003, that Maureen wrote about the homeschool market.
Who knows? Maybe one of these days she'll co-author an article with her hubby forThe Sportsman Channel.
Homeschool mom Melanie K., and several of the coeds in her Bible study group, went to hear Attorney Schlafly speak at UMass/Amherst. (The poster advertising the event.)
Various drama queens also attended: "Our field trip was definitely eye-opening! There was much rage and anger in the room. College women wearing aprons and carrying mixing bowls and wearing signs that asked, 'Are you happy now???' Women with duct tape over their mouths."
Oh, brother sister.
Mel, sans duct tape, spoke during the Q&A. Brava.
BTW: Phyllis is now in her eighties and still looks stylishly chipper. The New York Timesprofiled her a few years ago, and the article notes that Mrs. Schlafly's two daughters don't exactly personify the 'stay-at-home and bake cookies' cliche. In fact, Liza (Schlafly) Forshaw, mother of three, made it on a corny-sounding (but, no doubt, prestigious) "super lawyers" list a couple of years ago.
A quote from the NYT piece that is vintage P. Schlafly: "Feminism has changed the way women think, and it has changed the way men think, but the trouble is, it hasn't changed the attitudes of babies at all."
For further reading: The libertarian ifeminist.com position on women's studies programs and affirmative action programs.
The "most prolific rusher in college football history" happens to have a homeschooling background. He's Danny Woodhead from North Platte, Nebraska, and he plays for Chadron State College which is also located in Cornhuskerland. Danny has a 3.72 GPA (math ed. major), but upon graduation he may be headed to the NFL not the classroom.
Sports Illustrated profiled him in the latest issue.
The smile-inducing intro: "When he (Danny) was five, he scrawled numbers on the backs of his cowboys and Indians and then spent hours moving the plastic figures around the floor of his bedroom in make-believe games. Once when his mother suggested that he find a more creative outlet for his energies, he drew a football field on the living-room carpet with a green marker."
The carpet artiste is the first football player at Chadron State to be offered a full-ride scholarship.
Skip Oliva passed along a blog entry he wrote for Mises.org about the Federal Dept. of Justice's Antitrust Divison's latest pursuit: Forcing the Anchorage School District (ASD) to contract with a different school bus service.
His closing exposes the monopoly crusade charade: "And the other obvious absurdity is that ASD is itself a monopolist. Where is the Antitrust Division's commitment to protecting Alaskan taxpayers from the estimated $700 million they're forced to spend annually on ASD? And ASD itself deals with a number of monopoly vendors, including the Teamsters that supply labor to the bus vendor, and of course the Alaska Education Association, which controls the supply of teachers (and which participated in a lawsuit to force Alaska to confiscate even more taxpayer funds to 'invest' in the schools.)"
Aside: I like how Paul Craig Roberts describes this fedgov entity: "Department of Justice (sic)."
I was a 22-year-old Florida State grad., when I met 9-year-old Dina Hobby. I was her rookie English teacher, and she was one of my excellent students. Teaching elementary school, in small town Georgia, was my first "serious" job. I have many sweet memories of that time in my life, including interacting with Dina and her fun-loving parents, Rhonda and Bobby Hobby.
Today, Dina is "Mrs. Branch." Married with three kids. She recently sent me a note to share her thoughts on the "s" word and her homeschooled children.
She writes: "The people who think that home schoolers are not socialized have not peeked in our windows. Ben is 10. He is a black belt in Taekwondo, a sharp-shooter in 4-H BB competition, and a budding artist. Annabelle, 8, is a prima ballerina or, at least, considers herself to be. She takes dancing in town as well as home schooling dance lessons. She is also a budding artist. Celiabeth, 2, is just a rambunctious toddler who likes to show off by reciting the seven continents and her limited Spanish. There is never a dull moment."
A link to Dina's husband's (Bennie) company. Take a peek at the machinery used in row crop farming. 'Tis a work of art.
Photo: Dina has a pet dino. (Branch family on vacay in Kentucky.)
The Economist Debate Series formally begins on Monday.
If you voted, here's the upshot: "The Winning Debate: The community has spoken! The three winning propositions have been determined by popular vote, and our first debate on proposition #1 begins on October 15th. 'This house believes that the continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.'
Expert Debaters: Two global thought leaders in technology and education will square off on either side of the issue.
SIR JOHN DANIELS (AGREE) - President and Chief Executive Officer of The Commonwealth of Learning.
Dr. Robert Kozma (DISAGREE) - Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International (formerly known as Stanford Research Institute)."
The time: Jeff Koo says that the debate site will go live at 9 a.m. Pacific.
I received this announcement from the Florida-based Intel Radio Network (a conservative newcomer to the mass media scene):
"The premise of our programming is simple: 'If you have to yell, cuss, scream or intimidate to make your point, then upon closer and rational review, you probably have no point.' Rick Senninger, IRN founder and Executive Producer states 'We at IRN are not about partisanship, we are about citizenship.'IRN is currently contacting stations nationwide and has already secured 40 stations for their exciting debut this November."
Bob Parks, a guy I've blogged about before, will be hosting a program called "Outside the Wire." Kelly Cox, PR person, says IRN is looking for more talk show ideas. If you're game: "Submit an MP3 along with all pertinent information to the attention of firstname.lastname@example.org."
Allan Wall (photo below of when he was in Iraq) passed along this article by Gary DeMar who notices that Patrick Henry College and New Saint Andrews College have been attracting attention from the highbrowish media.
Writes Mr. DeMar, "Liberals are threatened by 500 students! Liberals control nearly all the major colleges in America, and they're afraid of Patrick Henry College."
An excerpt from the New York Times Magazinearticle that Gary footnotes:
"When you ask teachers and students what sort of school New St. Andrews is, they often cite one school they are not: Patrick Henry College, the evangelical college in Purcellville, Va., with a reputation for training home-schooled Christian students to wrest the reins of power from 'secular humanists' in Washington. 'We believe in a much longer view,' says Joshua Appel, a professor at New St. Andrews.
The curriculum is modeled on the vision of 'New England’s First Fruits,' a 1643 Massachusetts Bay Colony pamphlet describing the college lately founded in Cambridge. Besides required coursework in Latin and Greek, students at N.S.A. study natural philosophy (mostly taxonomy and creationist science), the Western literary canon, Euclidean geometry and theology; they also practice public speaking at a weekly declamation. Students drag themselves out of bed for classes that meet at 7:30 am, only half an hour later than classes once did at Puritan Harvard."
Ya think some of those Puritan-centric students need assistance from a large Costa Rican to make it through the early morn. lectures?
Coffee, that is. Costa Rican coffee. Dark roast. Yum.
My pretties, Jeff Koo, of the Economist, invites me to invite y'all to vote in an education poll that the venerable magazine with the esoteric (translation: can't be solved by mere mortals) crossword puzzle is sponsoring.
Part of the purpose: "The Economist Debate Series is an ongoing community forum where propositions about topical issues will be rigorously debated in the Oxford style by compelling speakers."
FYI: I don't receive even a complimentary issue or an Oxford-style speaking tip for plugging this contest. Jeff is just doing his job in corresponding with various education bloggers to spread the word.
"I have seen a ton of kids being homeschooled, and they are very smart," said 10-year-old Emily Micciantuono. "The best part of homeschooling is many more opportunities." This observant kiddo was quoted in this article about home ed. in Massachusetts.
"The idea that people can be taxed at whatever rate the government wants and continue to stay and pay high taxes is an antiquated one. People are very mobile and capital is even more mobile." Rep. Jason Murphey speaking about Oklahoma, but he could be addressing any greedy tax collector in any tax-crazed state. And lookee, lookee what former HEK turned legislator was present for 99% of his roll call votes.
"There seemed to be very little to write to youngsters from the front; the news was either too horrible or too dull. One thing that kept forcing itself more and more upon my attention was the very considerable part the animals were playing in the war." Author Hugh Lofting's (who served in World War I) explanation for how The Story of Doctor Dolittle came to be. For the first eight years of his life, Mr. Lofting was a homeschooler.
The Pied Pipers of this web site - Chris and Mike - have produced an information-packed resource for those seeking a virtual career or portable jobs. Folks, there's a plethora of possibilities - from translator opportunities to mobile notary work to legal studies tutoring.
Writes Mike, "(We) look forward to the day when homeschooling, neighborhood life, the environment, and families everywhere are strengthened under the wing of this powerful alternative to the Rat Race norm."
This 'rebellion' against the status quo even has its own plucky bill of rights.
They sure can get carried away with their football in Oklahoma.
Mike Gundy, who coaches the Oklahoma State Cowboys, launched the rant heard round the virtual world. What a performance. Give the man an honorary ESPY.
He was (over)reacting to this rather silly column by Jenni Carlson, although she does insinuate that the QB is a mama's boy. When the brouhaha receives closure, Mrs. Reid might be poised to become the next Wilma McNabb.
The coach calms down, and the public learns that he uses his phone as much as he reads the newspaper. (Hardly ever.)
One suggestion: Oklahoma's education resume needs work. Since he's in the teaching-mentoring-bellowing business, Coach Gundy should call a press conference and throw a good ol' boy fit over the Oklahoma Education Association's stranglehold on schools. It costs a ton of taxpayer money to keep students this clueless, and the coach could perform a much-needed public service getting mad about a real injustice.
Update: Pat Fiorde, of ESPN, has an opinion on Gundy's favorite quarterback: "For the record, Reid is 21 years old. He was old enough to vote in the 2004 presidential election or to die in Iraq. But few people are afforded the means to grow up more slowly than major-college athletes."
Exactly. (But it's still a silly column.)
Another update: Whitlock the Great sticks up for Gundy and Reid.
And while we're on a roll examining the sports/school culture, the Great Whitlock on the Jena 6.