Why We Home-School, Lesson #49
Posted on 04.15.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:09 pm

We want a better return on our investment in terms of educational quality than today’s public schools can even hope to offer.

Public education is so bad these days that no matter how much money the government throws at the problem, nothing changes for the better and it often gets worse.

The bonus ROI for homeschoolers: hours of extra quality time with our children because of how much less time it takes to educate them and when we choose to do it.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Government and Home Schooling and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #48
Posted on 11.19.13 by Danny Glover @ 9:15 pm

We don’t want to be arrested by an overzealous policeman on a power trip supported by school officials. That’s what happened to parent Jiim Howe when he arrived to pick up his two children after school.

Howe says because of a new policy that started last week, the only way parents can get their children after 2 p.m. is to wait in a line of cars until everyone is released at 2:35. He says not only is this time consuming, it’s illegal.

“You don’t need a reason as a parent to go get your children. They are our children,” Howe said.

… The sheriff says he agrees with Howe on principle. Both men say the new policy is creating safety concerns, mainly because there is line of cars that along the highway outside of the school. [Cumberland County Sheriff Butch] Burgess says parents should take any policy concerns to those in charge of the policy, not the school resource officer.

Sorry, but in this case, both the sheriff’s deputy and the school policy were wrong. The deputy had the discretion not to arrest the man, and he chose to use a heavy hand. Homeschoolers don’t have fetch their children from a prison-like “holding area” or fear arrest if they challenge a nonsensical policy.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Government and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #47
Posted on 05.12.13 by Danny Glover @ 12:22 am

We don’t want our children educated in an environment where a teacher lets an unruly student bully her (and other students film the episode), where the disruptive student wins praise for ranting at the teacher, and where neither the mother (a teacher herself) nor school administrators punish the student for being inexcusably disrespectful.

There are no winners in this episode at Duncanville High School in Texas, which sadly earned 18-year-old sophomore Jeff Bliss 86 seconds of YouTube fame:

The message to teachers is that students can shout you down without consequence, and the message to students is that they are in control of the classroom. That’s an unhealthy atmosphere for teaching children who actually want to learn — even if, as Dallas Morning News columnist Tod Robberson argues, Bliss had a valid point about his teacher’s instructional methods.

“Teaching by ‘packet’ is no way to get through to young minds,” Robberson wrote in a column decrying Bliss’ behavior and the reaction to it. “… But his choice of protest venues and methods is one I will never celebrate. He owes everyone involved an apology.”

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: 1980s and Business and Culture and Education and Government and Human Interest and Media and News & Politics and Parenting and People and Rednecks and Video and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #46
Posted on 04.20.13 by Danny Glover @ 12:28 am

We don’t want our children subjected to the disciplinary whims of school officials who lack common sense and ignore their own policies about what qualifies as acceptable behavior, speech or dress.

The latest case of bureaucratic overreach occurred at Logan Middle School in my home state of West Virginia, where an anti-gun zealot who also happens to be a teacher picked a fight with a student over his pro-Second Amendment t-shirt. This particular student, eighth-grader Jared Marcum, was old enough to protest — and did.

Marcum should have respected authority enough to change shirts and let his father argue the point, but he’s just a kid. When that didn’t happen, the adults in the room should have acted like it. Instead, the school not only suspended Marcum but also had him arrested, a decision that forced Marcum’s father to leave work and just inflamed the situation further.

Unfortunately, Marcum’s case is not unique, and the other students punished by public schools for simulating guns or carrying toy guns have been far younger. Here’s a list of the incidents, which likely will continue to grow as the hysteria over guns does:

  • The most egregious case occurred in Nebraska. Grand Island Public Schools insisted that 3-year-old deaf student Hunter Spanjer not use Signing Exact English to say his name because “Hunter” in sign language is the hand in the shape of a gun. The school system backed down when it appeared the American Civil Liberties Union and National Association of the Deaf could get involved in the dispute.
  • Mount Carmel Area Elementary School in Pennsylvania suspended a 5-year-old because she invited her peers to make a game of shooting each other with a Hello Kitty bubble gun. The charge from Principal Susan Nestico: The girl made a “terroristic threat.”
  • Center School in Hopkinton, Mass., suspended 5-year-old Jonah Stone for taking a toy gun to school. School policy did not prohibit such replicas, so the school superintendent overturned the suspension.
  • Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Montgomery County, Md., suspended 6-year-old Rodney Logan for holding his fingers in the shape of a gun. The school lifted the suspension and removed it from Lynch’s record after the decision became public. Talbot County Elementary School suspended two other 6-year-olds for similar behavior while playing cops and robbers during recess.
  • UPDATE, May 11: Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Va., suspended two 7-year-olds, including Christopher Marshall, for pointing pencils at each other and making “machine-gun noises.” Outcry over the incident prompted the school district to revisit its policy on “look-alike” guns.
  • Park Elementary School in Baltimore suspended 7-year-old Joshua Welch for eating his pastry into a shape that his teacher thought looked like a gun.
  • Mary Blair Elementary School in Loveland, Colo., suspended 7-year-old Alex Evans for tossing an imaginary hand grenade and making the sound to go with it. Evans was acting in a game he called “rescue the world.” The school has an “absolute” rule against weapons both real and imaginary.
  • The Suffolk County, N.Y., Pistol License Bureau suspended the pistol license of John Mayer because Mayer’s 10-year-od son by the same name threatened to use a water gun, paint gun or BB gun on two classmates. The son didn’t actually commit a crime or even posses a weapon.

These anti-gun witch hunts of children (and their parents) have become so ridiculous since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting last December that one Maryland lawmaker has proposed legislation to crack down on the schools, not the students.

By teaching our children at home, we don’t subject them or ourselves to such nonsense.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Business and Education and Government and Human Interest and Hunting & Guns and People and Rednecks and West Virginia and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #45
Posted on 02.23.13 by Danny Glover @ 9:32 pm

We don’t want our children to have to wonder whether they’re sharing bathrooms with boys who think they’re girls or girls who think they’re boys.

That’s precisely the scenario students in Massachusetts (and their disapproving parents) now face thanks to rules that refuse to acknowledge gender realities:

Public school officials said on Saturday that they are ready to implement new state guidelines that allow transgender students to use bathrooms and play on sports teams designated for their preferred genders, among other provisions. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the guidelines on Friday, following passage of a Massachusetts law that took effect in July barring discrimination of transgender students in public schools.

“[We're] going to have to go to individual rooms to keep things from getting out of hand or uncomfortable for someone any way you look at it,” a Facebook friend of mine noted. All the more reason to home-school, where individual bathrooms are the norm.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Culture and Education and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #44
Posted on 06.12.12 by Danny Glover @ 1:41 pm

We don’t want to ruin our children’s lives — and that’s exactly what one college professor in Florida predicts will happen to U.S. students whose parents entrust them to public schools rather than making the noble sacrifice of educating their children at home.

His arguments against public schools:

  • The educational bureaucracy has stripped teachers of the ability to effectively teach anything other than standardized tests.
  • Today’s public schools are a hostile learning environment that includes everything from extreme bullying to teacher-student sexual misconduct.
  • Teachers’ unions that protect bad teachers are a roadblock to education reform.
  • The public education system “is one of the worst forms of monopoly power” because it denies poor parents the option of getting their children into better schools.

That’s four lessons on why we home-school rolled into one from an educator whose own two children learn at home. And here’s a bonus: “The home-education movement has unleashed the forces of capitalism in such a way that anyone can find dozens of types of curricula for any grade level to help educate their kids in areas where one might not be an expert.”

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Education and Government and Home Schooling and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #43
Posted on 05.29.12 by Danny Glover @ 8:23 pm

We have seen the value of homeschooling in the successes of parents and children from our own community, including 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison, who this week will become the youngest person ever to compete in the National Spelling Bee:

Sorina Vlaicu Madison, Lori Anne’s mother and primary teacher, said she and her daughter have no problem eschewing books and academic pursuits if the outside world is more inviting or their minds are tired. That means swim lessons, play dates, time for games like Angry Birds on the Kindle, and visits to an indoor play center called Kids ‘N Motion.

Madison, who teaches health policy at a local university, laughs at the assumption that she has driven her daughter to spelling heights, perhaps by sheer will or intolerance for failure. “You can’t drill a 6-year-old,” Madison said. “You can’t really force them to do anything.”

Lori Anne earned her spot in the national competition by winning the Prince William County, Va., spelling bee. Most of her rivals this week will be at least twice her age.

Lori Anne’s educational success is not unusual in the homeschooling world. Her peer group regularly excels in competition. Here’s just a short list:

  • Evan O’Dorney, who earned $100,000 by winning the Intel Science Talent Search at age 17 — this after winning the National Spelling Bee at age 14.
  • A team of seven students who won the world championship of robotics, a field where homeschoolers often excel.
  • Calvin McCarter, who won the National Geographic Bee at age 10. A few years later, homeschooler Nathan Cornelius won the bee at age 13.
  • Emily Vanasdale, a winner of the National Center for Women and Information Technology Award.
  • Amy Anderson, who won the U.S. Girls’ Junior Golf Championship and who surprised the professional golf world by finishing with the lowest score in the first round of the 2011 U.S. Open.
  • NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, the first home-schooled student to win the coveted Heisman Trophy while at the University of Florida

You can read plenty of other success stories at the website of the Home School Legal Defense Association, or just Google the phrase “homeschooler wins” and watch them fill your screen. Students who get their education at home are especially good at winning spelling bees.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Grammar and Home Schooling and Human Interest and News & Politics and Sports and Technology and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #42
Posted on 05.19.12 by Danny Glover @ 3:47 pm

We don’t want our children’s education impacted by meddling bureaucrats who waste our taxpayer dollars twice over on nanny-state dietary rules — once to fund “food police” who patrol school cafeterias and the second time to pay the fines for breaking the rules:

Davis High School has been fined $15,000 after they were caught selling soda pop during lunch hour, which is a violation of federal law.

The federally mandated law prohibits the sale of carbonated beverages after lunch is served. The program is an effort to help fight childhood obesity and to have young students make better food choices.

The principal of the school that now must pay the fine at the expense of music and arts education exposed the nonsensical rules. “We can sell a Snickers bar, but can’t sell licorice,” he said. “We can’t sell Swedish Fish, we can’t sell Starburst, we can’t sell Skittles, but we can sell ice cream, we can sell the Snickers bar, Milky Ways, all that stuff.”

This is the second time in three months that school food police have made news. The first time they were caught confiscating a child’s lunch from home.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Food and Government and News & Politics and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #41
Posted on 05.01.12 by Danny Glover @ 10:54 am

We want to give our children the flexibility they need to be able to recognize their dreams, like 17-year-old Emily Vanasdale of Zanesville, Ohio. She is an Ohio winner of the National Center for Women and Information Technology Award:

Vanasdale has successfully created games and applications that earned rave reviews. Her most recent project was an Android app for the Restoration that featured information about the event and links to bands’ and speakers’ pages.

She also produced winning games for Muskingum University’s Games By Teens Contest. The contest began in 2009. Vanasdale took top-three spots each consecutive year — second place in 2009 with “Running to Freedom,” second place in 2010 with “Running to Freedom 2,” and first place in 2011 with “Skylar Keyes and the Nazi Loot.” They can be downloaded at gamesbyteens.org.

Vanasdale was home-schooled. As the Home School Legal Defense Association noted on its Facebook page, “Imagine how limited Emily’s world would have been if she was in public school.”

Today’s lesson comes with bonus instruction from close to home, courtesy of the Richmond Times Dispatch. The paper published a detailed feature about homeschooling in Virginia on Sunday.

The positive lessons about homeschooling in that lesson included this insight from a parent: “You can go as deeply into what your kids are interested in as you want to, and you’re not held back by a curriculum or timetable.” That’s undoubtedly one reason that Vanasdale excelled in Ohio.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Home Schooling and News & Politics and People and Why We Home-School
Comments: 1 Comment

Why We Home-School, Lesson #40
Posted on 04.06.12 by Danny Glover @ 10:00 am

We don’t want to expose our children to the political lies of liberal teachers like Kristin Martin in Fairfax County, Va.:

A Virginia elementary school teacher told her students that “Republicans are stupid” and “they don’t care about anyone but wealthy people and businesses.” …

“It all started when this disabled kid came in and named all the Republicans candidates for Super Tuesday,” one student told The Daily Caller. “She [Martin] said to him, ‘I don’t like them, I think that they are stupid.’”

Martin teaches sixth-graders in the county right next to ours, so this story hits close to home. She did apologize later, no doubt because school administrators demanded it, but by then the damage had been done. Those children now have that quick and stereotypical lesson about Republicans etched into their impressionable brains, and it may help shape their political views for a lifetime.

Martin’s apology also followed the disingenuous “I am deeply sorry if I offended you” pattern of people who say what they believe in their hearts but then get in trouble for it. She should be suspended, but the school board, a bastion of liberals, has decided not to act.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: News & Politics and People and Why We Home-School
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Stuff People Say To (And About) Homeschoolers
Posted on 03.28.12 by Danny Glover @ 2:30 pm

I wonder if our kids ever hear any of these comments or questions:

This girl’s video reminds me of the music video comedian Tim Hawkins created several years ago — “A Homeschool Family,” set to the tune of “The Addams Family.”

Sadly, the misinformed opinions about homeschooling that inspire parodies like those also can have serious repercussions. A recent article in Ohio that subtly pushes the idea of restricting the rights of homeschoolers illustrates that point:

To many, homeschooling is an effective way for families to educate their children, to others it is a loosely regulated world of education. …

Charles Russo, an education professor at the University of Dayton, called Ohio’s system “loosey-goosey” and said it is a potential end run around compulsory education for some families.

With no federal regulation of home schools, it’s left to the states to decide how much regulation is needed. Stanford University political science and education professor Rob Reich likened it to “the Wild West,” with nearly half the states having either no regulations or low regulations.

As homeschooling increases in popularity and education bureaucrats fear for their jobs, expect more stories like this about liberal do-gooders trying to force their idea of what’s best for America’s children onto concerned parents. It’s already ugly out there for some homeschoolers (more stories here) and is likely to get worse.

If you home-school your children, do enjoy videos like the ones mentioned above. But don’t become complacent about your rights to oversee your children’s education or you may lose them.


Filed under: Family and Government and Home Schooling and Just For Laughs and News & Politics and Video
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #39
Posted on 02.28.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:23 pm

There are many lessons in these words of homeschooling wisdom from Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, from his 2005 book “It Takes A Family”:

Never before and never again after their years of mass education will any person live and work in such a radically narrow, age-segregated environment. It’s amazing that so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools. …

In a home school, by contrast, children interact in a rich and complex way with adults and children of other ages all the time. In general, they are better-adjusted, more at ease with adults, more capable of conversation, more able to notice when a younger child needs help or comfort, and in general a lot better socialized than their mass-schooled peers.

Thankfully, many American parents can choose to teach their children at home rather than sending them children to government-run education factories. More should give it a whirl.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Family and Government and Home Schooling and News & Politics and Parenting and People and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #38
Posted on 02.20.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:05 am

The customized education our children get at home will prepare them much better for life than the cookie-cutter training they get in public school “factories.” Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is absolutely right:

Santorum told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer that the federal and state government should not be involved in educating children, but rather parents should take on that role.

Santorum was repeating statements he made in Ohio Saturday where he told a conservative audience that public schools are “anachronistic.” He said public schools go “back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home-school or have the little neighborhood school, and into these big factories, so we built equal factories called public schools.

“The federal government should not be running schools, frankly, much less that the state government should be running schools,” he said Saturday.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Government and News & Politics and People and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #37
Posted on 02.15.12 by Danny Glover @ 11:25 am

We don’t want the government food police inspecting our children’s lunches and demanding that they eat something we didn’t give them. The story:

A North Carolina elementary school forced a preschool student to eat cafeteria chicken nuggets for lunch on Jan. 30 after officials reportedly determined that her homemade meal wasn’t up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for healthfulness. … The four-year-old girl brought a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice in her packed lunch from home.

So according to government standards, a turkey and cheese sandwich is healthier than this?

               

That alone is ridiculous. It’s even more outrageous that bureaucrats think they have the right to micromanage the diets of individual schoolchildren.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)


Filed under: Food and Government and Health and News & Politics and Parenting and Why We Home-School
Comments: 1 Comment

Pizza Is A Vegetable
Posted on 11.18.11 by Danny Glover @ 10:55 am

And french fries are good for your health. These ideas, put forth by a Congress caving to the pressures applied by food companies, potato growers and the salt industry, are not likely to engender any protests from rednecks, enlightened or otherwise.

Sure, we’ll mock the government for accepting such ridiculous health conclusions because it’s such an easy target. But we all remember pizza Fridays and tolerably tasty fries in the school lunches of our youth, and we think all children should experience those simple pleasures of life.

Rest assured that we serve pizza, french fries and all manner of other unhealthy but convenient meals in the Glover Home School — and no bureaucrats can tell us to stop, even if they are so inclined.


Filed under: Food and Government and Home Schooling and Human Interest and News & Politics
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