“I Could Never Homeschool.”

17 06 2007


“I could never homeschool.”

“My son doesn’t learn that way — he needs structure.”

“My daughter is not motivated.”

“How do you do it? We never could.”

These are not comments from uninvolved or uncaring or unthinking parents. These are comments I hear all the time from wonderful parents who are absolutely right.


Absolutely right.

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So We Were Saying Censorship Is a Bad Thing. . .

17 06 2007

as champion of public education Greg Laden and his anonymous, pissy blog-puppets continue grumbling that homeschoolers generally — JJ especially — are censor-happy control freaks, you know, that old Reichian argument abut how we shut out the real world and make zombie slaves of young minds? Even as they claim WE are bashing THEM. . . 😀

I fetched this from the NHEN “In the Public” legislative forums, to remind us and them that public schooling is in fact the Big Red Pen of Censorship and indoctrination posing as education — not happy, free, progressive family-based learning from real books and real life in all its messy complexity and diversity.

Bowdlerized school texts and canned corporate curriculum honor neither reason nor faith, diversity nor standards, neither liberal nor conservative education and human values — indeed no coherent value at all.

Why are we championing this clumsy indoctrination as education, again? Anybody? Bueller?

LANGUAGE POLICE: Cut on the Bias
BY Diane Ravitch
Ms. Ravitch is author of “The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn” (Knopf, 2003).

. . .I compiled a list of over 500 words that are banned by one or more publishers. Some are relatively obsolete, like “authoress” or “geezer,” but others are everyday words that one is likely to encounter in the newspaper, like “landlord,” “senior citizen,” “dogma,” “yacht” or “actress” (what would the late Katherine Hepburn have made of that?).

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Blurring Family Value Lines Would Benefit Us All

17 06 2007

From James Traub in the NYT Magazine today [the sound you hear is JJ cheering and high-fiving] :

. . .I don’t think it’s too much to hope that a different kind of first family could also blur the sharp line of red-blue antagonism.

The endless fight over “values” always seems to pit two idealized states against each other — the prelapsarian world of “the intact family” against the liberatory culture of “the ’60s.” Who actually lives in one of these worlds — besides the current tenants of the White House? Wouldn’t it be to our benefit to scramble those boundaries?

If someone’s going to argue for prayer in the schools, let it be a twice-divorced Catholic president — or, for that matter, an urbane and worldly black first couple.

Favorite Daughter Makes All-American High School History

15 06 2007

And it’s not what you might think.

As Young Son might sing, “Savor the sting as she severs you.”

The high school had a number of huge issues facing it: a disproportionate number of Mexicans were wandering the halls, sneaking in from across town, not even zoned for the high school. The level of care received in the school nurse’s office was being called into question. The Cowboy was still searching lockers. More and more students were becoming annoyed by rallies and proclamations in the cafeteria – but how to respect everyone’s beliefs without ending free speech?

And the students are still at odds:
What will be this story’s happy ending?

Got Viable Alternatives to “Government of the Gaps?”

15 06 2007

(Read recent blogposts here and follow some links, if you’re coming late to the debate.)

Reasons to regulate home education include:

1) some people (homeschooling or not) are religious wackos and messing up science education; or

2) all moms (homeschooling or not) are unpaid domestic labor impeding gender equity progress for society and themselves; or

3) children might not learn to believe the right things if their parents (homeschooling or not) are wrong, and it takes a village to raise a child right, er, left– rightly left?; or

4) individual diversity (homeschooling or not) is so important in education and society that it should be standardized by bureaucracy (??)

Clearly these aren’t home education problems, not a one. Is it likely then, that home education answers will solve them? Wipe out homeschooling entirely, and the problems remain.

Another logical problem is that because most home-educating parents were themselves schooled according to government regulation but now don’t, or won’t, or can’t, educate their own children within that same prescribed framework in turn, regulated and standardized schooling probably isn’t transmitting what we think it does. (See John Taylor Gatto.)

But bottom line, here we are logical or not, unfairly targeted or not. What now? If we do see problems but we don’t see regulating home education as the solution, then can we work out some viable alternatives? And is it possible that the real solution for homeschooling at least, lies in demonstrating that we CAN reason through this?

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Rob Reich Leads Liberal Thought in Chains That Set Us Free

15 06 2007

Calling Rob Reich, calling Rob Reich . . .
Self-driving cars?? Right there at Stanford University, whence emanate your advanced theories of controlling kids to set them free?

Homeschooling should not be banned, but regulated much more vigilantly.

Not to mention the intellectual cradle of your Stanford-educated colleague Kimberly Yuracko, who quotes your theories so um, liberally — or illiberally, both, neither? — as spitshine for her own Stanford-servile theory that home education is a public function from which government is required to protect all children. (Did you two go pub-crawling while she was a student, to swap collegial notes on these elaborate fantasy worlds you both had under construction, like CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien?)

It says right there in the news, “The idea of a self-driving car is a really big idea that will have a big impact on society.”

Only if society is asleep at the switch, and that’s where you come in, quick! There’s still time to cook up some kind of ethical servility theory to stop it. Maybe use your homeschool regulation screed as a template, here, we’ll help — Read the rest of this entry »

“Dance in America” on PBS Next Week

14 06 2007

Dance in America — Dancing in the Light
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 9 – 10:00 pm
Experience these historic pieces — airing together for the
first time in extended form — spotlighting the pioneering work
of Asadata Dafora, Katherine Dunham, Talley Beatty, Donald
McKayle, Pearl Primus and Bill T. Jones. Actor Taye Diggs
hosts. (CC, Stereo)

Learn more about this performance at the companion Web site.
(Available June 13, 2007)