Granny Says: Best Private Education Is. . . Road Trip with Granny!

26 09 2006

I was the oldest grandchild on both sides of our family. When I was 12 or 13, I was whisked off on a Caribbean cruise with my mother’s mother, just the two of us, for four days and three nights of unsurpassed adventure.

It was a VERY big deal, and I was the only kid that lucky I knew then, back in the 60s — now it’s an established trend, with specific age guidelines and institutional providers, and everything? 🙂

It occurs to me that this is a marvelous frame for connecting to something that most ordinary people understand for themselves, how natural and timeless this kind of learning through life experience with family (aka home education) really is, and that we’re ALL FOR it! JJ

September 10, 2006
Bonding on Family Trips (Without the Parents)

“This is the best private education out there,” said Helena Koenig, who started Washington-based Grandtravel; 20 years ago after becoming a grandmother herself. . .

Poison Ivy – new book review

26 09 2006

Poison Ivy
Sep 21st 2006
From The Economist print edition

“Not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege’ and hypocrisy — Over the past few years Daniel Golden has written a series of coruscating stories in the Wall Street Journal about the admissions practices of America’s elite universities, suggesting that they are not so much engines of social justice as bastions of privilege.

Now he has produced a book—“The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates”—that deserves to become a classic.

Mr Golden shows that elite universities do everything in their power to admit the children of privilege. If they cannot get them in through the front door by relaxing their standards, then they smuggle them in through the back. No less than 60% of the places in elite universities are given to candidates who have some sort of extra “hook”. . .

Why do Mr Golden’s findings matter so much?

The most important reason is that America is witnessing a potentially explosive combination of trends.

Econominist art for admissions expose book review

Social inequality is rising at a time when the escalators of social mobility are slowing (America has lower levels of social mobility than most European countries). The returns on higher education are rising: the median earnings in 2000 of Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher were about double those of high-school leavers. But elite universities are becoming more socially exclusive. Between 1980 and 1992, for example, the proportion of disadvantaged children in four-year colleges fell slightly (from 29% to 28%) while the proportion of well-to-do children rose substantially (from 55% to 66%).

Mr Golden’s findings do not account for all of this. Get rid of affirmative action for the rich, and rich children . . .

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Letting Go and Letting Good

26 09 2006

Control can be used in education to control oneself rather than the learners.  A fellow mom (can’t English offer us better, than to call moms fellows?) whose provocative posts I once saw often in NHEN’s forum discussions, now sends her practical, plainspeak unschooling ideas untethered into the blogosphere.

SHAY SEABORNE Sept 21 in “House of Tomorrow”

” . . .When writing about my children’s education, I search for that anecdotal evidence that learning happens—a task that is frustrated by my daughters’ need for privacy, for their need of identities separate from my own.

Therefore, I am making the conscious choice to back off, to allow them to just be who they are. After learning from them for sixteen years, I have finally dropped the idea that I need to examine and explain these girls, and let go of the idea that I must hold them up as proof that I made the right educational choices for them.

At last, I can allow each of them complete freedom in building her own ‘house of tomorrow.’

NCLB-Inspired Protest Songs

26 09 2006