Secular Homeschool Blogging at “Parenting Beyond Belief”

21 11 2008

Here it is, cool! Today evolved and thinking homeschool parents get our own 15 minutes of blogos-phame. Who do you know already in this guest column, who will you find tomorrow, how will you use this to show that homeschooling adds up to much more than the sum of its hardworking helpmeets?

Go see. Link. Evangelize! 😉

We’re just starting to find ourselves and each other in the blogosphere, a search made more challenging by the fact we don’t know what to call ourselves. (Homeschoolers Beyond Belief?) Secular, inclusive, rational, atheist, freethinking? The online homeschooling community fights over the word “homeschool” itself, never mind the weight of all those adjectives hung around it like baggage on a skycap’s cart.

Some of us are trying Thinking Homeschoolers and Evolved Homeschoolers on for size. The main lesson I’ve taught myself so far is that it takes real thinking — knowledge work if you will — with plenty of detours through link farms and those insipid generic “about homeschooling” blurbs, to discover solid secular homeschooling resources that endure.

Dale McGowan’s Guide to Thinking Parent Blogs

12 11 2008

This week’s honor roll of secular parenting blogs at Meming of Life is great. You’ll want to visit them all, so clear some online time to explore and enjoy. And coming next week, secular HOMESCHOOLING parent blogs, hurray! (Should we lobby him to include Snook?)

Here are a few posts to that end. 🙂

Mind Your Head About Home Education and Religion

What Are They THINKING?? Dr. Phil’s New “Christian” Homeschoolers

An ordinary sad case like this isn’t about homeschooling OR Christianity, just an inability to reason for whatever reason — much less provide for or parent these trapped kids (who anyone would feel sorry for and want to help, never mind homeschooling or religion.) To his credit, Dr. Phil refuses to be drawn into elevating it to being about either one. It is about this one wacko dad and how he’s using God and homeschooling to inflict himself on other people and hurt them. . .

Homeschoolers Praying to Guns, God, Government as Trinity

Never mind school reform and the protection from school conquest we homeschoolers thought we were fighting for; these lessons have nothing to do with “school and state.” What will this teach kids about CHURCH and state, prayer and government?
And what will this teach lawmakers about homeschooling?

Is there really nothing wrong with this, not even a little off-sounding, to these conservative Christian homeschool parents? If it’s really a prayer day then it doesn’t belong in the middle of the secular government identified with legal “home education” and conversely if it’s a home education lobby, for the legislative presence and show of strength and solidarity, then it isn’t about prayer and religion; those are constitutionally separated for good reason.

More Than Self-Governing, Social Networks Are Self-Creating

Homeschooling No Perfect Protection for Our Kids But Better Thinking Would Help

Respect the Jeez-its Is Sorry Sign of Our Educational Times

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

We Thinking Homeschoolers need well-written Reason Lifelines most of all imo . . .and the public needs to know “homeschooling family” doesn’t equal reason-stunted religious fringe. So, especially now as those dispiritingly closed-minded “Homeschool Blog Awards” swing into online dominance again, do yourself a favor and read something worthy of real thinking and education, instead. Parenting Beyond Belief.

Thanks, Dale!

Understanding Dads To Help Them Understand “Unschooling”

26 11 2007

Scott Somerville asked me last year to help him help Christian homeschooling dads begin to understand and appreciate (if not necessarily embrace) unschooling as an alternative to the traditional schoolish rules and structure with which dads so often seem more naturally comfortable.

Thanks to Colleen and her family’s quest to unschool, I just found this terrific essay for Snook’s blogroll, “An Unauthorised Guide for Unschooling Mums dealing with (still developing) Unschooling Dads”:

. . . you want to understand that guy that has become the father to your children? Here are some pointers, dare I say, “A Beginners Guide to Understanding the Average Dad”… believe me I know… I am often extraordinarily average.


. . .We Dads love focus. . .most Dads are already focused on their jobs, their career and bringing in the cash. . .why would a Dad want to suddenly break rank, flip around and swim against the current? All that effort and for what?
Yes you have all the supposed benefits but we can just see the potential pit falls. Meanwhile its drawing our focus from what is important.
. . .Yes kids are important too… but bringing them up should just be as simple as possible.

That’s why your work is cut out for you. . .

Also study popular sports, from baseball and football to NASCAR, for help understanding dad-think about education.

Anybody Know What’s Up With Eireann and School of Thought?

4 06 2007

Suddenly the whole blog is gone? Ack!

Greg, Tammy, the Cates and the Carnival of Education

4 04 2007

Ryan Boots and Joanne Jacobs too, wow, this new “Easter Break” edition of the Carnival of Education could keep Thinking Parents busy reading no matter which education options they might personally favor or fear most! 🙂

I happened to warm up fast to this one myself, so far “outdoors” from the laws and rules and politics of schooling that although we’re not really outdoorsy types (and I *hate* snakes loose in the wild where they could give me a heart attack by suddenly appearing) it speaks to our natural learning story just the same, being of absorbent minds and all: Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks Ample Sanity!

31 03 2007

A very third-millennium blog find for Snookering —


WordArt. Scarabokkio Freebies. Cocking A Snook. Stripe Generator.
. . . Way harsh, dude!

For a s-ample of the in-s-anity, check out this calendar of events.  
(Today is National Clams of the Halfshell Day. )


Eireann’s School of Thought

16 03 2007

natural-shamrock.jpg. .thinks Snook is doing good work, and we appreciate it!

Good blog I’ve been reading
So much for being politically correct…Cocking a Snook serves up homeschool related chatter that never disappoints me. Unschooling, politics and a whole lotta “to make long bacon.”

Labels: education, homeschool blogs, political

Thinking Parents will want to visit her School of Thought. I’ve been reading there, and it gives me hope (plus I HOPE she won’t mind being added to our blogroll?) . . .

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” – Albert Einstein


Reading the Political Pictures

6 03 2007

Okay this is just cool! I found BAGNewsNotes through Culture Kitchen and added to the Snook blogroll yesterday. It’s expert “photo-psychology” for want of a better descriptor.

The visual interpretation of political images.

You need to see it to believe it of course, so here’s one example of Nancy Pelosi being interviewed — read all the way down for the play-by-play blackboard diagrams and analysis.

My own public communication experience and training is language-based. This is like the same ideas but hung on a whole different scaffolding for social and political thought, one that Thinking Parents may want to explore with their kids schooled or not, considering how graphically advanced (beyond the written, spoken or sung word) their cognition and symbology are, these days.

Here’s who the expert is:

Dr. Michael Shaw is a Clinical Psychologist, a writer, and publisher of the popular weblog, BAGnewsNotes.

“The BAG” offers a daily semiotic analysis of news and political images from a political, cultural or psychological point of view, and is also a platform for original social photography and photojournalism.

Dr. Shaw’s training — which is woven into his commentary — involves the psychology of character and the everyday presentation of self.  His research has dealt primarily with symbolic expression, the process of visual narrative, and the psychological function of metaphor.

Besides his private practice, Dr. Shaw . . . has spent thousands of hours collaborating with students and design professionals in their creative process, as well as participating in the analysis and critique of visual images. Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons in Ungodly Rivalry

16 12 2006

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power,

the world will know peace.” — Jimi Hendrix

What if Americans were so polarized that some of us became downright warlike to elect individual darlings from our own tribe, cabal or congregation, the better to claim election results are the will of all the people (or of God) and as such, show something true and powerful for everyone?

You’d get standardized test score rankings, student government and teacher union elections, primary beauty pageants, religious wars and the BCS polls —

And you might get the Wizbang Blog Award race for Best Education Blog of 2006, which ended at midnight as a tight race between a conservative Christian homeschooling mom of six, and two irreverent liberal university blogs.

So what was this blog-election really about?

Was it right versus left wing, or everyday folk versus elitist intellectuals, or homeschoolers versus other education advocates, sacred versus secular, faith versus reason, irony versus piety?

I said I wasn’t going to pander for votes, but we’ve gotten the top two contenders attention. The Professor wants to “crush the homeschoolers” and it is clear from other comments that the educational “elites” don’t like “every day” folks invading their terrain. I guess what’s true in education, is also true in the blogosphere. This isn’t a win for me, but all homeschooling.

Just “rabid acolytes adept at getting out the vote” versus “alums of the same hockey team” (but we’re not bitter, no not us!?)


But is that take on the competition understandable, facing this?

Read the rest of this entry »