More Kid Stuff: “Homeschool of Rock” or Video Gaming for Real

19 08 2008

See Homeschool of Rock and if you have a teenager in the house, see also Bad Dad? Parents Let Son Drop Out to Pursue Gaming Career:

Blake seems like a bright kid, and his parents didn’t just let him drop out. He’s being tutored at home, gets high marks and has acquired, according to his parents, a remarkably improved disposition since the change.

Gee, no kidding!

[So] Blake seems happy with his home school arrangement, as you would expect from a teenager who is allowed to stay up into the wee hours to play video games. Sometimes, when Mike heads to the gym before 5 a.m., his son is still playing video games.
. . .when Blake’s older brother wanted to focus on football, they got him a trainer and the help he needed along that path, so why not give Blake the same chance? Their decision seems like a considered one, and both point out that even if Blake fails in this attempt, he’ll take valuable lessons away from the experience.

Yep. Like his life belongs to him and he can do ANYTHING with it. 🙂

Yo-Yo’s “Brainy Counterculture Vibe” Good for Homeschooling and America

19 08 2008

Have you got this vibe going in your family? We do!

Evolved home education and most all forms of “alternative education” just go hand-in-hand with this vibe.  (Anti-intellectual church-driven school-at-home excepted, of course.)

I’ll bet your kids exude it too — Colleen’s long-haired Jerry, Not June Cleaver’s skateboarders, Nance’s two quintessential unschoolers, Doc’s quirky country fair quartet, Daryl’s dancers, COD’s fencer and equestrian. Heck, I was a brainy counterculture fencer myself, once upon a time. (The True Vibe can’t be contained, even in regular public school!)

Always unschooled Favorite Daughter and her mostly-schooled boyfriend were part of The World Yo-Yo Contest in Orlando. For five thrilling days, they were organizer Greg Cohen’s trusted roadies and grips and security behind the scenes, technical crew supporting and marveling at these brainy counterculture young boys and what they could do.

The contest from July 31 to Aug. 2 drew 196 competitors from 20 countries, mostly teenage boys, who exuded an unthreatening and brainy counterculture vibe. They looked like skateboarders stuck inside on a rainy day.

Many admitted to not quite fitting in back home, where no one seems to take the yo-yo as seriously as they do. Most dressed in black T-shirts and wore their hair long. They had callused middle fingers and forearms scarred by string marks, and often carried backpacks or hard cases filled with yo-yos, some costing hundreds of dollars.

The younger competitors were chaperoned by proud parents or grandparents, willing to keep their distance . . .

Passing guests invariably watched in wonder.

When she got home that Sunday night, FavD didn’t stop talking for hours. She planned to blog it all, when she could process it into power of story she could corral and tame.   So far that hasn’t happened, but maybe it will. If it doesn’t, that won’t mean it’s any less real. Maybe it means it’s MORE real than the same old standard stories.  🙂

Today Barack Obama is in Orlando (although not literally with yo-yos, AFAIK.) Right now he is saying to the veterans’ group that “I believe the American people are better than that”, that our performance now must include “acting tough AND smart” to clean up the “calamity left behind” from the past eight years of George Bush and John McCain.

What I love about Obama is that he has the brainy counterculture yo-yo vibe going on. It’s like he’s speaking a whole new language as he explains the great new moves he’s working up to show us.  We’re all invited to join in and be part of something magical.

But just copying old tricks like churches and schools do, is not merely inadequate. It’s a loser move and everybody knows it, which means it’s downright embarrassing! Makes the audience uncomfortable even as they try to be polite and respectful.  Yes, John McCain, I’m talking to YOU. Read the rest of this entry »

Abortion Politics: Do You Really Want Kids To Think, or Just Believe?

19 08 2008

“Why Should You Discuss Abortion?” was the topic at conservative evangelical dad Scott Somerville’s old blog. Here are some of my comments in that discussion:

I understand Scott to be saying this discussion is about how we can better educate homeschooled kids on the issues, not for arguing the issues ourselves.  Better! 🙂

So, holding tight to my “belief” that Scott does really “think” about tough issues, and means to encourage all homeschooled kids to do the same — I accept that he’s brought this up hoping to deepen their reasoning and understanding of how sex, religion and politics intersect and affect real lives.

In that positive and collegial spirit, and with great respect for every family’s right to accept or reject the input as they see fit, let me offer a couple of education resources that might be hard to come by otherwise, for conservative Christian homeschool kids. First, my own willingness to answer their questions and describe my own current perspective as a stay-at-home mom and unschooling non-partisan who believes that without respecting free will, nothing can be moral, that coercion and power imbalance can poison even the most moral human ideals.

And that choosing love in your own life can redeem even the most immoral. That applies to friendship, education, marriage, motherhood, public service, work, war and peace, and I think I’m prepared to argue, to salvation itself. 
Isn’t free will a basic tenet of Christianity?

So secondly, here are the two nonfiction books I recommend most highly for broadening homeschoolers’ education on this issue and starting to “reconcile” our polarized politics in favor of greater humanity and compassion for all life. Read the rest of this entry »