Friday, June 19, 2009

Those Who Control the Schools, Control the Future

This is an interesting video pointing out the danger of the indoctrination that occurs in ALL public schools. Look into who controls the teacher unions, examine their hidden agendas, and you might be surprised at who is leading our children.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Kids Love Most!

This letter is written to parents everywhere on behalf of their children. It is really just a simple thing but would you please read them more bedtime stories? While on vacation, as I read the local paper, I saw a recent study showing that children want more bedtime stories, with more than three quarters of those children saying that they wished that their parents read to them more often. What, kids want to hear us read to them?

On behalf of all children, I would encourage parents to consider reading more bedtime stories. In a recent study researchers found that storytelling ranked higher than TV or video games among pastimes for kids and that "more than half of all children aged 3 to 8 said story-time was their favorite pastime with their parents. 

As a parent I can recall evenings when my children begged for a story and being too tired, either didn't read one or I would speed through a familiar book only to be caught skipping pages, heaven forbid! But I can also recall some of the best times reading great children's literature with my kids as we laughed together at David running down the street bare-bottomed, cheering together for Desperaux as he fought the rat, Chiaroscuro, crying with Fern when Charolette died, or giggling as we read of Othello's romantic longings for Desdemona. 

Storytelling is such a natural thing for people to do and we all love a good story. I am constantly reminded of how important it is to do this as a family. Turning off the TV, computer, or video games and just curling up with your child and a good book can create some of the best and least expensive memories that I am aware of.

Even if your child is over the age of ten, even if it is a book that you're reading for the twenty-third time, or it's a book that, gasp... you did not select. Kids want to hear it and more importantly they want to hear it from you. 

Visit your local libraries together, don't stress on your child's choice of literature, be involved in the process, and don't forget to pick-up an audio book or two for those evenings when you just want to sit back and listen to a good book too!

If you're interested, here's the Reader's Bill of Rights. Think about how adults assert these rights everyday in their own reading, kids should be able to as well:

1. The Right to Not Read
2. The Right to Skip Pages
3. The Right to Not Finish
4. The Right to Reread
5. The Right To Read Anything
6. The Right to Escapism
7. The Right to Read Anywhere
8. The Right to Browse
9. The Right to Read Out Loud
10. The Right to Not Defend Your Tastes

For a fun movie that is kid friendly that deals with bedtime stories, check out Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories.

20 Great Reasons to Homeschool!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Case for Homeschooling

I came across a blog posting today titled, "The Case Against Homeschooling" on a blog called, Teacher, Revised. I could not believe the junk they were spewing. I've attached the link above so you can read what they wrote. Below is my response to it. Yikes, I think this is indicative of what some public/private school teacher's feel about homeschooling in general and that's kind of scary.

Wow!! I think every rebuttal above speaks to the frustration I experienced as I read your asinine blog post! I am a FORMER teacher who quit my job in order to homeschool my children after recognizing the shortcomings of public/private education.

I was amazed at your contradictory list of reasons against homeschooling. Especially when considering your list of “credentials” that you provide; “My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles.” I think this provides further proof that you can not train any one person to be a good teacher, it is rather a calling and something that is ingrained in that person that makes someone a good teacher. I would like to point out that this is often what makes a caring parent the perfect person to teach their child – they care. Also, the way you write is inflammatory, derogatory, and hypocritical. You end up making the case FOR HOMESCHOOLING! Honestly, you are one of the reasons why I chose to take my children out of the public/private school setting and homeschool them. To provide a supportive, open, and encouraging learning environment.

Hmmm…let’s take a look at your top 10.

10. Geeky – this is just name calling. Yes, I do believe they teach this one on the playground.

9. Sarcasm and generalizations – not a very effective way of making a point but again, an often used tool in the public/private classroom.

8. Selfish Parents – Selfish because this article refers to “white”, “upper-income”, and “well-educated”. You assume that it automatically excludes people of color, lower-income, and poorly educated from homeschooling? That is called an ASSUMPTION and you can not base an entire point on one newspaper article, as it leads to generalizations. My take on this article is that there are many UNSELFISH families. Families who are willing to cut corners in order to allow themselves the privilege of homeschooling because they care about their child/children.

7. Hateful God – By the way, as an agnostic, I think you are the last person to speak to what God hates.

6. Arrogant lunatics – You refer to your list of credentials to teach English but based on your post, I would rate you poorly on use of evidence, inflammatory tone, and overuse of slang words, which I believe to often be used due to lack of ability to express oneself otherwise.

5. Pisses you off – The fact that what others do the does not impact you directly seems strange that it can “piss you off”. This implies an emotional response. Are you bitter about being homeschooled? I think there are bigger and more personal issues here for you. Also, see response to #6 in regards to the use of words, such as ‘piss’.

4. *Intolerance and racist – Well, if you’re referring to yourself, I believe your post provides ample evidence of such, but your asterisk implies that intolerance and racism of others is a potential side-effect of homeschooling. Homeschoolers everywhere counter this with activities called reading, outreach, and open-minded and tolerant discussions.

3. Socially unprepared – My question is, socially unprepared to what, roll a joint, succumb to peer pressure, get pregnant, belittle others, waste class time because they wish they were anywhere else, talk back to adults, drink alcohol, hope for a fire alarm or a bomb threat so the day will go more quickly, become suicidal, get in fights, or drop out of school?

2. Arrogant gamblers – The only arrogant gamblers are the parents who send their child to school thinking that all of those child’s problems at home and at school should be solved by the teacher(s) hoping that their child will return home “fixed”.

1. Geeky*** – You conclude by referring back to your #10 reason. Your comments on geeky mean squat. I thought we’d include the definition from Wikipedia; The word geek is a slang term, noting individuals as “a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.”[1] Formerly, the term referred to a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs. The 1976 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary included only the definition regarding geek shows. This word comes from English dialect geek, geck: fool, freak; from Low German geck, from Middle Low German. The root geck still survives in Dutch gek: crazy, and in the Alsatian word Gickeleshut: geek’s hat, used in carnivals[2]. Unfortunately, “geeky” kids everywhere are ridiculed and tormented. You provide evidence, once again, of that very cruelty.

I would suggest renaming your blog post, The Case for Homeschooling with Evidence Provided by a Public School Teacher.

Nathan's Native American Button Blanket

Nathan's Native American Button Blanket
Eagle patterned button blanket designed for beauty and warmth. To see more pictures of how he made this click on the picture above.

Rick Miller - Bohemian Rhapsody