~Why We Homeschool

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Homeschooling in the News

Cancer Can't Stop this Homeschooling Mom
Battling a life-threatening illness doesn't slow down Joan Blinn, a Texas homeschooling mother of thirteen who undergoes chemotherapy while teaching her family at home. The family's days are structured around group activities and one-on-one study time with Mom. The children learn science through nature hikes; and history lessons from historical novels. When they turn 13, the children get a hands-on history lesson by spending a week in Washington, D.C., with their grandparents, U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, and his wife, Mary. Several of the older children are now in college, while the "MSCs" -- Many Small Children, as the older siblings call them -- continue to learn at home.
Hey you -- mom with the three kids -- are you grateful now for your life?

S.D. Homeschoolers Could Face Exit Exams
South Dakota homeschoolers do not qualify for $5,000 taxpayer-funded "Opportunity" scholarships, the State Education Secretary has determined. "In the future there would have to be discussions about establishing end-of-course exams at the state level that would satisfy the course requirements. That is certainly not in place at this time," he said. State laws establishing the scholarship program refer specifically to high school requirements, including high levels of math and science as well as laboratory work.
No problem. Just give homeschooling families a tax credit for their portion of the scholarship funding. Fair's fair.

In Defense of Homeschooling
Insight magazine has published an entirely favorable report on homeschooling in the United States. The report even takes to task journalists and others who criticize the homeschooling movement. It also describes in glowing terms the college-admissions prospects for homeschoolers: "University of Arizona President Peter Likins is impressed by the homeschooled students at his school, but he does not want the regents to set minimum criteria. He said universities should decide based on their own criteria. 'Send them our way. We love our homeschoolers.'"
Yeah, we parents feel kind of the same way.

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This Week in the Public Schools

Texas Student Hospitalized After Drinking Lab Chemical
An Odessa, Texas, high school student took up his classmates on a two-dollar bet, and drank toxic chemical from his school's chemistry lab. The student was found last Wednesday in a school hallway, bleeding from the nose and mouth. On Monday, his medical condition was upgraded from critical to satisfactory.
In other news, the boy's parents were told to expect a legal settlement of -- well, two dollars, actually.

82 Percent of Teachers: Blame the Parents for Discipline Problems
A new study says discipline problems in public-school classrooms mean teachers are losing up to half of each class period tending to problems instead of teaching. According to the study, a vast majority of teachers - 82 percent - blame parents' failure "to teach their kids discipline."
The report is silent on the question of how parents can teach kids who spend all their waking hours in the arms of the public school.
More on this story

Saturday, May 15, 2004

News for Homeschoolers

Kansas School District to Offer Free Online Courses
The Kansas Department of Education has approved a virtual charter school for the city of Lawrence. The school would offer free online classes in core curriculum areas for third through sixth grade. A news report says the school will target students who are homeschooled or attend private schools. Classes also will be available for students needing to retake courses or who need other remedial help. The school's newly appointed principal said he also hopes to offer "professional development information" for homeschooling parents.
And we predict this is one of the last times you'll find the words "professional" and "homeschooling" in the same sentence.

This Week in the Public Schools

Brit Schools Teach Oral Sex to Slow Teen Pregnancy
In an unusual approach to preventing teen pregnancy, British educators are teaching young teens to engage in oral sex. The sex lessons are unlikely to end anytime soon: A government study says pupils under 16 who were taught to consider other forms of "intimacy" such as oral sex were significantly less likely to engage in full intercourse.
See what happens when you hire graduates of the Monty Python College of Education?

California Teachers on Paid Leave for Showing Execution Video
Three Southern California teachers have been placed on paid leave for allowing high-school students to view the videotaped beheading of American Nicholas Berg in Iraq. According to students, one of the three teachers gave out a web address and allowed students to use his computer to view the video.
So there actually is a line you're not supposed to cross. Who knew?

Pennsylvania Teacher Caught Drinking in Classroom
An Allentown, Penn. math teacher has quit her job after students -- who had seen her pouring a liquid from a can in her desk into a cup -- found a can of beer in her desk. The teacher was initially suspended, but parents agitated to have her fired, in the belief that she was a danger to students.
Friends don't let friends teach drunk.

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HAVE HOMESCHOOLING STORIES? We'd like to share them with the world. We invite anecdotes about cute homeschooling moments, and brief explanations of why your family homeschools. Your stories may be published in this column, or included in one of the author's books. Please limit your submissions to about 50 words, and include your geographic location. Please send your stories to mykids@whywehomeschool.com

NEWS NOTE: We need your watchful eyes! Read a homeschooling news story on line? Let us know! We spend a lot of time searching, but we don't catch everything! You're invited to e-mail us about HS'ing news at editor@whywehomeschool.com.

Copyright LauraMaery Gold, 2002, 2003, 2004
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