~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.



Saturday, May 08, 2004

Homeschooling in the News

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Sue School Officials
School officials in Pennsylvania's Bristol Township have threatened to charge two homeschooling families with truancy for refusing to comply with the commonwealth's burdensome homeschooling regulations, but the families are fighting back by filing a lawsuit claiming the educrats are in violation of Pennsylvania's new Religious Freedom Protection Act. The current homeschooling law requires school-district-approved evaluators to interview homeschooled children and assess their schoolwork. Parents must submit to the school district a list of goals for their children's education along with a detailed log of their child's progress each year. If the superintendent decides that a homeschooled student isn't learning, he can call a hearing to try to return that child to school. Ironically, the Pennsylvania ACLU is supporting the restrictive law. The lawsuit is likely to fail because if it didn't, "Satanists could justify not teaching their children to read....The school district has a right to expect that something is happening, that their children are not running free all day," said the organization's legislative director in a published interview.
Fortunately for him, illliterate "Satanists" won't be able to read his comments.

Virginia Reconsiders Homeschooling Law
Virginia's General Assembly has passed a bill that would allow parents with just a high school degree to homeschool their children without a state-approved curriculum. Despite an attempt by the governor to require parents to pass a teacher certification exam or a college-entrance exam, the House of Delegates passed a bill to permit parents who don't have a college degree to homeschool their children without a state-approved curriculum. If the governor doesn't veto the bill, it will automatically become state law after July 1.
Imagine! Getting cheered for doing nothing!

Baptists Propose Schools Boycott
Southern Baptists will consider a proposal at their upcoming annual meeting to pull their children out of public schools. Conservative members of the US' largest Protestant denomination, the 17-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, are calling for parents to homeschool their children or enroll them in private Christian schools.
Maybe that will put an end to complaints about overcrowded public-school classrooms.


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Keep the news coming! Recommend our books to other families!

Homeschooling Step-by-Step
Everything you need to know about how to homeschool legally and effectively! How does your state rank? What's your child's learning style? What about college? Find teaching tips, teaching strategies, and more than 100 solutions to homeschooling's toughest problems!

Homeschool Your Child for Free
More than 1200 free resources for teaching your child at home. Includes a complete scope and sequence, and information about teaching every subject from kindergarten to college.

Make a Donation
Your small donation helps keep this page operational. Help us help the homeschooling community document our successes!


This Week in the Public Schools

Jersey Coach Ousted for Mocking Student
A New Jersey middle-school basketball coach who presented a "Crybaby Award" trophy to a 13-year-old player during an awards banquet continues to work as a classroom teacher, though he has lost his coaching job. During the banquet, as the teacher awarded the trophy -- topped with what appears to be a naked infant -- he said of the student "he begged to get in the game, and all he did was whine." To add insult to injury, the boy's name was misspelled on the trophy. The teacher has been asked by the school superintendent to make a public apology, hold a second banquet to give out a proper award, and attend sensitivity training.
He's also been asked to write 100 times "I will nut meck peepl cri."

Illinois Students Sue for Hazing Injuries
Three Illinois teenagers who were injured by classmates during a drunken hazing incident are suing their tormenters and their families for at least half a million dollars each. During the 2003 hazing incident, which was caught on videotape, students smeared their classmates with buckets of hair, animal entrails and other filth. Sixteen students were convicted of battery or alcohol charges. Two mothers were also convicted for supplying beer to minors. The lawsuit names 22 former Glenbrook North High School students and 40 of their parents as defendants.
Moral: Before sending your kids to public school, check your liability coverage.

Mass. Governor Vows Charter School Fight
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says he will veto any attempt by the commonwealth to place a moratorium on charter schools. The House recently passed a bill to place a three-year moratorium on new charter schools, and ban five schools that have already been approved from opening their doors. Those who back public schools complain that charters drain money from their coffers -- an argument that backers call ridiculous because public schools shouldn't need money for students they're not teaching. "I do not understand a single argument" against charter schools, Romney said.
Ah, you understand it. You just want 'em to say it out loud.





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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.


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