Are You Doing a Good Job Homeschooling?

30 06 2007

Tammy blogged this here the other day:

. . . And the number one sign that you’re doing a good job homeschooling — You feel like you belong in the world, and there’s no end in sight to all the amazing things there are to discover out there.

All her signs are good but I zoomed in on this. I’m thinking it makes a better distinction between types of homeschooling than the various religious or political classifications we’ve used.

All the progressive, secular unschoolers I know fit this standard, AND so do a few conservative Christian school-at-homers I know. Its correlation with certain other variables is incidental if you can see and understand that THIS is what matters no matter where you find it.

In other words, anyone home-educating or not who fears the world and is closed to discovery is a person unlike me, and in an activist group they are someones I need to worry about, no matter what attributes I otherwise share with them — feminists, progressives, stay-at-home-moms, educators or middle-class neighbors, for example. My own family members too.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Worthwhile Read

26 06 2007

Science Times: Evolution

One of several fascinating articles.

From a Few Genes, Life’s Myriad Shapes

Evo-devo researchers are finding that development appears to have been one of the major forces shaping the history of life on earth.

. . .

By way of Pharyngula, of course.


Sock Puppetry at Home for Fun and Profit!

23 06 2007

New cultural concept applied by top anthropology blog to home education criticism!

Read the notable examples and see for yourself, folks, this is well-documented fact, very scientific! (If you weren’t lost in Africa during the last decade, you would know this stuff already . . .)

Really? Is this who we are?

23 06 2007

I just saw this headline —

Elizabeth Edwards scheduled to speak at Gay Pride event

Presidential race hopeful’s wife seen as breaking barrier

Elizabeth Edwards’ scheduled appearance Sunday at a major San Francisco Gay Pride event represents a first for a major presidential candidate or spouse — one that activists said reflects the growing clout of gay and lesbians as voters and their continued move into the political mainstream.

. . .


Having just responded to a poster on Sam’s list about the, to me, astounding assertion that she expects kids to make fun of homosexuals and homeschoolers, among others, I was set back on my heels. Maybe we are not as evolved as I had imagined. Maybe we are not ready for the 21st century. What the heck is wrong with us?

I was also asked recently by a dear friend who I might be voting for and who I found inspiring and why I seemed to be souring on Edwards. I told her it was just a general disgust with Congress at this point.

But now I am impressed with the Edwards campaign once again. I just don’t know about the rest of us. 😦


Creationism (of Sock Puppets and Young Disciples)

22 06 2007

Here’s a beauty — no really! — posting as janicetwin over at sam’s, who seems to have gotten voice to go with the rest of her GL-awakened online self just yesterday.

One of janicetwin’s first fave posts ever is the ironically headed, GL-authored,“Choose Wisely: the Internet is a Dangerous Place.”


Her new “acquaintance” who she never met hanging around GL’s place, or so the story we’re being offered goes, is Penelope T Rax, poor woman, still has no online identity, never said one word anywhere according to Google, until s/he miraculously and immaculately popped up to chat with sam and the hot young blonde, about rogue women like Bonnie Parker, homeschooling and American public education, oh — and as always, the deep and often misunderstood ways and wisdom of GL.

Student Thanks Rob Reich for Uniting, Not Dividing

22 06 2007

Here’s the travel blog of a Sikh-American Stanford student who made a film to end fighting and belief tribalism, called “Divided We Fall”


“In a world divided into “us” and “them” who counts as one of “US?”

— and here thanks homeschool critic political theorist Rob Reich as one of her mentors, the one who made her “believe my scholarship could affect the public good.”

A noble goal!

Has anybody seen or heard of this film?

Rolfe’s Homeschooling as Radical Act: More Words and Meaning

22 06 2007

Power of story that connects to “Keep Your Radicals Free”

“Are You a Rebel?”
. . .When I heard God’s call to leave my career and stay home to home school my children, I was a rebel. Everyone thought I was crazy to leave a promising position heading straight for tenure. But I was listening to the voice of my Father and the yearning He placed in my heart for my family and home.

I wasn’t a rebel when I chased after material wealth, the world’s accolades, and my five minutes of fame. Then I was just running with the pack. . .

Can a radical NOT take roots to the outward edge of circumscribed reality? Can it ever be “progressive” to further entrench that against which the rebel rebels, or is defending any status quo regressive by definition — maybe there’s some conceptual tipping point where a radical course (as search for goodness, truth, beauty) shifts based on distribution and becomes not radical, or are roots and radicals absolute, regardless of other folks’ movement in and out of the garden?

Does it matter what you intend and call yourself in its name, if it turns out your actions advance the opposite cause?
CS Lewis wrote about this for kids in the Narnia Chronicles:

. . .Calormenes who have done good in the name of Tash are rewarded after their death for having really honoured Aslan; likewise those Narnians who do evil in Aslan’s name are counted as having done that evil in the name of Tash.
This illustrates Lewis’s inclusivist belief that the idea being worshipped, and the honesty with which it is worshipped, is more important than the name by which it is referred to.

Tennis Prodigy and Hope of American Men Homeschooled by His Mom

20 06 2007

Coming Sunday in the NYT:

Prodigy’s End: Donald Young”

” . . .When their only child showed an early gift for the sport, the
Youngs were well aware of the sacrifices, financial and otherwise, that
they would have to make to see him reach his potential. Beginning in
seventh grade, Young was home-schooled by Illona — she is also a
certified teacher — to accommodate a heavy traveling schedule that you
don’t see as often in more school-oriented and seasonal sports like
football and baseball. The United States Tennis Association contributed
yearly grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, but they weren’t enough.
“You take a kid like Donald, who had a hefty travel schedule, and you’re
looking at $30,000 to $40,000 in expenses,” Rodney Harmon, director of
the U.S.T.A.’s men’s-tennis program, says. “Plus, you have to double
that, since he’s too young to travel on his own.” . . .

Greg Laden Supports Evolved Home Education With Slash and Burn From His Bunker

20 06 2007

Here’s the latest from the glass-jawed, self-proclaimed savior of science education who now seems to have declared war on Christian fundamentalism in America, by instead attacking thinking parents who happen to homeschool their own kids in evolution and celebrate the scientific method.

And he’s awfully late to the “define homeschooling” petulance LOL. Hard to improve on this, wish more of us still believed in this combination of unity and diversity in mutual trust, sigh . . .

Despite all that, he announces today that he’s been studying us all along, to ready his mortar fire. He must REALLY think if you’re not schooling then you’re dumber than dirt, because he invites you to come help him put the finishing touches on his weaponry and ammunition before he turns it on you (he already unleashed his dogs of war on Nance and me, and they’ve slobbered all over us. Gross!) 😉

Political Poets Say Abstain From Abstinence Education

20 06 2007

“Unabridged” is a new collection of poetry written and performed especially for the ACLU, celebrating the power of words (in our Constitution and our schools, among other public places) and captures the passion behind
several current battles in the courtrooms and in Congress: abstinence-only programs,
habeas corpus, surveillance, free speech, and racial profiling.

“The Fallacy of Unicorns” is their first piece, on abstinence-only
programs. For more information and to hear all the pieces as they go up, visit here.


Parents Snubbed by School Authorities Resist Dominant Culture In Return

20 06 2007


The Power of Parents: A Critical Perspective of Bicultural Parent Involvement in Public Schools by Edward M. Olivos, reviewed at Columbia Teachers College Record — how parents from cultural backgrounds different than the dominant culture come to be excluded from the public school system

The word “authoritarian” is laid here at the feet of SchoolThink, of direct interest to Liza et al at Culture Kitchen and contradicting comments at Rolfe’s blaming parent involvement from cultural Christians (homeschooling or not) as a threat to school curriculum and credentials, all science education and ultimately the future of civilization itself. The reviewer suggests this book can “bring to light some of the exclusionary practices that educators employ, of which they may not always be aware.” (Really, you don’t say??)

The reviewer btw, is Francisco X. Gaytán, advanced doctoral student in applied psychology at New York University. His research focuses on Latinos and education and the academic and cultural adaptation of immigrant youth. His dissertation research focuses on the educational outcomes of the growing Mexican immigrant student population in New York City. He is co-author, with Carola Suárez-Orozco, of the forthcoming chapter “The Academic Trajectories of Newcomer Immigrant Youth” to be published in How to Help Young Immigrant Youth Succeed by G. Sonnert and G. Holton (Eds.).

A major claim in the book is that the lack of parental involvement is *not* due to the conservative view that they lack interest or motivation, (n)or the liberal view that parents lack the cultural skills to be involved in school. . . [but] the result of subordination and exclusion by those in power (i.e. teachers, school administrators, and those representing the dominant culture), which mirrors their subordinated status in the larger society. . . the paradox of being expected to participate in school on the one hand, and on the other hand not being too involved such that they change the system, or become part of the power structure.

Parents who realize that there are limits to their power disengage. . . by resisting the policies that are imposed upon them by the dominant culture. This creates a vicious cycle because the dominant culture can point to their disengagement as representative of their lack of involvement.

. . .The contradiction of expecting parental involvement and then placing barriers to that involvement is . . a springboard for Olivos’s model of transformative parental involvement.

He outlines different views of parental involvement ranging from an authoritarian perspective, where the administrators and school system dictate the nature and extent of involvement, to a fully democratic model, where parents are equals in the school system with a voice for their views and a role in making decisions. In giving this nuanced model Olivos reveals that all forms of parental involvement are not equal. . .

Stick to Your Beliefs Dammit!

19 06 2007

Thinking fun find of my day comes from the hot wordpress blog, “Gospel of Reason”:
“God Said Pi=3”

There are hundreds of comments and then a short follow-up post here.


Speaking of pi, my “charter’s” recipe for Bible Pie (get it, get it?) shows Christians are a minority, yet a heck of a lot more mainstream than homeschoolers! Maybe that explains why the identity they embrace and project at park day picnics and pie-eating contests, tends to be mainline-ly the former rather than the latter? Safety in numbers and conformity to the whole enchilada, er, pastry?