Meaning and Purpose Discovered, Not Taught and Learned

12 06 2007

From our blogrolled “Parenting Beyond Belief” :

. . .“Meaning and purpose” is not an all-or-nothing commodity. It goes up, it falls down. It swings around wildly, trying to find its bearings. I don’t believe there is, or should be, one universal “meaning of life,” god-based or otherwise, no one thing that keeps all of our needles pinned. Neither do I believe we make our own meaning from pure random scratch. I think we discover what is fulfilling for us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Forcing Your Choice on All Women With the Bloody Flag

12 06 2007

Provocative high-traffic comments today, about defining values and controlling women





Homeschooling Is “Sustainable Education Alternative”

12 06 2007

(crossposted at Culture Kitchen as “The Public’s Interest in Education Might Be Better Served By a Lot Less Public Interest”)

From Richard Sousa on SFgate.com yesterday:

The families of homeschooled children are clearly different from those of traditional schoolchildren.Some 97 percent of homeschooled children live in married couple households; the comparable number for public school students is 72 percent. Nearly 88 percent of homeschooled parents continued their own education beyond high school; less than 50 percent of the general population has attended college. The home environment of these students is supportive, nurturing and encourages diligence. . .

Yes, good! Let’s actually focus on the kids and their learning, not just exploit them in the name of helping their exploited moms or any other political agenda. Let’s leave prayer and religion out of it, too, since most folks in schools and government (and politics) also self-identify as god-fearing believers; religion is a confounding variable in education analysis that may quack like a duck, but really is more of a duck-billed platypus.
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In other words, religion is not education and religious freedom is not academic freedom, wherever it happens. So let’s stick to the constitutionally sound raison d’être of Compulsory School — secular academics and independence sufficient to preserve and protect our liberties and provide for the common good — for at least this one conversation.

Are homeschooled and unschooled kids in objective reality, without anybody’s platitudes or grudge or hidden agenda tainting our observations, learning and progressing in the academic skills and abilities prized by government in the public interest, without government or the public interest?

. . .Keep in mind that the performance of these children is generally accomplished without certified teachers, without standardized curricula, without approved and mandated text books and teaching materials, and — possibly most important — without the often intrusive rules and regulations imposed by school boards and administrators.

Despite the unparalleled record of academic success of homeschooling, last year the California Department of Education posed questions about the basic legality of homeschooling, focusing on truancy, teacher certification and reporting authority. . .why should the department interfere with parents who are succeeding at a difficult task? Why try to fix something that isn’t broken?

Because:
— it works so well at doing School’s job with no rules or money that it’s embarrassing?
— school systems work on the Peter Principle where folks rise to their level of incompetence, thus state ed department folks are the least able to appreciate and contribute to real education? Read the rest of this entry »