Why We Home-School: Lesson #52
Posted on 01.11.18 by Danny Glover @ 7:50 pm

We live in the information age, not the industrial age, and we educate accordingly — just like the parents of “Young Einstein” Romanieo Golphin Jr.

He was featured on “The Today Show” this morning, and the reference to him being homeschooled sent me to Google for more information. Here’s what The Washington Post said about a year ago:

Romanieo has never been enrolled in a public or private school. … Dissatisfied with the outcomes in traditional education, both parents have committed themselves to homeschooling Romanieo and preparing him for the future their way. “Enough with the Industrial Age approach to education in the 21st century,” Golphin said.

Education isn’t a static process, and neither should the systems that foster it be.

Filed under: Education and Home Schooling and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #51
Posted on 03.02.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:45 pm

We believe the most important lessons in life are moral. Government-run schools long ago stopped feigning even the slightest interest in acknowledging God, let alone teaching biblically based values, and now most of them are even worse. They actively promote competing worldviews like moral relativism:

Our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: There are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths. …

Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not. Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not. The hard work lies not in recognizing that at least some moral claims are true but in carefully thinking through our evidence for which of the many competing moral claims is correct.

Justin McBrayer, the college professor who penned those words in The New York Times, isn’t down on public schools. He simply encourages educators to be morally responsible in the way they teach impressionable students. But no such sea change is likely to occur in U.S. public schools anytime soon, so homeschooling often is the wiser option.

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

Filed under: Government and Religion and Why We Home-School
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #50
Posted on 02.02.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:48 pm

We believe imagination is a part of education and don’t like to see it quashed like this:

Tolkien’s one ring won’t be used to rule the playground anytime soon. A 9-year-old in Texas was suspended after Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the boy, Aiden Steward, told a classmate he could make him “disappear” with a ring forged in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom, the Odessa American reported.

The Stewards had just watched “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” days earlier and Aiden was just using his imagination to reenact some of his favorite scenes on the playground.

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

Filed under: Books and Movies and Why We Home-School
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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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