Today is the beginning of the end of The Homeschooling Revolution blog.
I began blogging five years ago, at THR, and have now posted over 4000 entries even live blogging from Alaska and Hawaii.
It has been a great ride, and I'm grateful to have had the time to share my thoughts and photos - from the silly to the serious - and be a part of the conversation. Truly, it remains a golden age for blogging about and linking to newsworthy stories about homeschooling and other worthy educational alternatives.
A heartfelt "thank you" to those who stopped by and to those who offered information, family news, helpful critiques, and friendship.
I plan to keep writing columns and articles about education and other timely topics, so our paths may cross again somewhere in cyberspace. Till then, "peace, love and hoops."
If you like words and you enjoy contests, consider entering Win with Words which is being sponsored by the Game Show Network and the Princeton Review. The event is open to students in grades 9-12 and scholarship monies will be awarded to the winners. It costs nada to participate, and the finals will occur in Los Angeles next April.
The web site is here. Information about last year's winner.
A registered sex offender may have to consider homeschooling, and he's not happy about it. The offender in question is a 19-year-old high schooler who has been attending a public school in Gallatin County, Montana. However, the newly expelled student is not really considered a student under Montana law, but he has been a model non-student student.
"(Albert) Brown had been attending Belgrade High for three years and was close to graduating. He had been earning good grades and had no disciplinary problems. His goal was to finish high school, rather than earn a GED, and get a mechanics degree," according to one newspaper account.
A homeschooled girl who lives in Wisconsin gets her wish - a doggie. But she had to earn it.
From the Beloit Daily News: "When Emily wanted a border collie, however, her dad, Keven Remillard, told her to get a job. That motivated Emily to start what she called Emily's Kennel Kreations dog treats. The family had already experimented with cooking dog treats for the family's blind and aging beagle. Emily figured she would take it a step further and sell dog treats for $2 a bag at the market."
To date, the 'treats for canines' business is a success. Now Emily wants to sell dogwear.
HT:Homeschoolbuzz (which now has a blog of book reviews).
"Spook~tacular savings 1 day only (October 31, 2007). Write Boo in the Enter Coupon box on the shopping cart page and receive an additional 5% savings on everything on the website. Total savings 15% below retail price."
Reports Jeff Koo: "The Economisthas declared the winner of the first of three debates on education. With 56 percent of total votes, the house rejects the proposition that 'The continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.'
In his closing statement, Dr. Robert Kozma, Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International acknowledges 'that educational systems are notoriously slow to change' but urges readers to vote for him to as he believes that 'technology is making a positive difference in education.' To illustrate his point, Kozma cites numerous anecdotes from teachers he's met in Uganda, Chile, Catalonia, Norway and the Philippines where technology is making an impact in the classroom."
The second debate is scheduled for Dec. 10, and this time the topic is more contentious: "Should governments and universities everywhere be competing to attract and educate all qualified students regardless of nationality and residence?"
Last week, I linked to an Amazon book review by one Kevin Gutzman.
The reviewer, I've come to learn, is also Dr. Gutzman, who teaches history at Western Connecticut State and is the author of the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution.
In this article, the professor/reviewer reflects on the disconnect between the federal constitution and constitutional law. He also isn't shy about airing his disillusionment with the study of the law and the judicial system.
Perhaps Dr. Gutzman's candid comments will be helpful to others:
"Americans should stop deferring to federal judges, because going to law school, which I did myself, is not any kind of instruction in morality, business ethics, the meaning of life, art, or any of these other things that federal judges are constantly undertaking to instruct us about," Gutzman said.
"Legal training should not be confused with an education," he added. "Legal training is not an education, it's trade school. It's like learning to be a carpenter."
Like political junkies obsessing about the presidential race, sports writers are already making their choices known.
For now, Tim Tebow ranks fourth on this ESPN guy's list. (T-Bow had a big game against Kentucky last week.) Now, here's what Sports Illustrated had to say about the home scholar: "Not only is he the nation's top-rated passer (177.5), but he's also on pace to rush for 1,000 yards. Tebow would be the first sophomore to win the 72-year-old award."
Tomorrow: Florida plays Georgia at 3:30 ET. The game will be televised on CBS.
Christianity Today gives a detailed look at the 'agrarian-homeschooling' movement.
It's decidedly a difficult lifestyle but a satisfying one for those Americans who have fled the rat raciness that accompanies suburban or city living and chosen to go organic in a life-changing way. These families are also injecting new blood into languishing rural communities.
Joel Salatin, who operates a farm in Virginia and is a self-described "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist," has a edu-sociological take on the trend:
" 'Once you opt out of the conventional paradigm [of public schooling] and find it satisfying, then you begin searching for other paradigms to opt out of.' Like the Lehrers, families that homeschool often start looking for ways for fathers to leave their office jobs. 'How do I leave my Dilbert cubicle at the end of an expressway,' Salatin says, 'and instead invest in my family, my kids, my community?' "
The Invincible Vince Papale. Fall is the ideal season to watch a sis-boom-bah football movie. If you're partial to underdog stories set in South Philly, with actors sporting non-moussed hairdos, accompanied by a 'hit songs from the 70s' soundtrack, this one is for you. Cheesesteak, anyone?
Insta-History. Thomas Woods, a homeschool parent and Templeton Enterprise award winner, has a new book out. It's called 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask.
Amazon.com reviewer Kevin Gutzman briskly sums up the contents: "Woods takes up 33 commonly accepted notions about the American past (and present) and shows that they absolutely 'ain't so.' What FUN it is to read one of his little essays, each of which is about 7 pages long, and leave with a completely new understanding of a really important aspect of the past."
The Achy Breaky Guy's daughter. It's word association time.
I say "Montana," and you say, "Joe?" "Tony?"
The correct answer is "Hannah." The cultural juggernaut has shifted, and the loud noise is all about a 14-year-old with a husky voice named Miley Cyrus. An unschooling mom has even offered tips about how to create a Hannah Montana costume for Halloween.
Ken Robinson reports that his wife - author and illustrator Ruth Sanderson - has her new and improved web site up and running. Set up by daughter Morgan.
Ruth, a homeschool mom emeritus and an accomplished equestrian, is enormously talented and imaginative. She works out of a home studio often using regular folk as models (as opposed to professional art models) for the characters in her books.
And, it looks like Jane Yolen, another beloved kiddie lit author, posed for the cover of the Mother Goose and Friends book.
More of the artist's work (showcased at the Michelson Gallery).
Certain home education veterans will remember Maureen McCaffrey's editorial contributions to the homeschooling revolution. Maureen was the former editor and publisher of Homeschooling Todaymagazine. She was also a Conservative Book Club vice-president.
I wrote for HT when Maureen was the boss, and she was a joy to work with - this was back in the 20th century before e-mail exchanges between editors and writers were the norm, so we conversed on the phone a few times.
During our last chick chat, I learned that Maureen, who is from the East Coast, had married a transplanted Westerner, moved to Wyoming, and enthusiastically embraced the outdoor life. Her husband, in fact, is Chilton Williamson Jr. who is also a well-known name in conservative publishing circles. Chilton has contributed to Chronicles and National Review, authored several books, and was an editor for St. Martin's Press. His forte is penning descriptive essays about life in the rugged Rocky Mountain West.
Here's an advice article, published in 2003, that Maureen wrote about the homeschool market.
Who knows? Maybe one of these days she'll co-author an article with her hubby forThe Sportsman Channel.
Homeschool mom Melanie K., and several of the coeds in her Bible study group, went to hear Attorney Schlafly speak at UMass/Amherst. (The poster advertising the event.)
Various drama queens also attended: "Our field trip was definitely eye-opening! There was much rage and anger in the room. College women wearing aprons and carrying mixing bowls and wearing signs that asked, 'Are you happy now???' Women with duct tape over their mouths."
Oh, brother sister.
Mel, sans duct tape, spoke during the Q&A. Brava.
BTW: Phyllis is now in her eighties and still looks stylishly chipper. The New York Timesprofiled her a few years ago, and the article notes that Mrs. Schlafly's two daughters don't exactly personify the 'stay-at-home and bake cookies' cliche. In fact, Liza (Schlafly) Forshaw, mother of three, made it on a corny-sounding (but, no doubt, prestigious) "super lawyers" list a couple of years ago.
A quote from the NYT piece that is vintage P. Schlafly: "Feminism has changed the way women think, and it has changed the way men think, but the trouble is, it hasn't changed the attitudes of babies at all."
For further reading: The libertarian ifeminist.com position on women's studies programs and affirmative action programs.
The "most prolific rusher in college football history" happens to have a homeschooling background. He's Danny Woodhead from North Platte, Nebraska, and he plays for Chadron State College which is also located in Cornhuskerland. Danny has a 3.72 GPA (math ed. major), but upon graduation he may be headed to the NFL not the classroom.
Sports Illustrated profiled him in the latest issue.
The smile-inducing intro: "When he (Danny) was five, he scrawled numbers on the backs of his cowboys and Indians and then spent hours moving the plastic figures around the floor of his bedroom in make-believe games. Once when his mother suggested that he find a more creative outlet for his energies, he drew a football field on the living-room carpet with a green marker."
The carpet artiste is the first football player at Chadron State to be offered a full-ride scholarship.
Skip Oliva passed along a blog entry he wrote for Mises.org about the Federal Dept. of Justice's Antitrust Divison's latest pursuit: Forcing the Anchorage School District (ASD) to contract with a different school bus service.
His closing exposes the monopoly crusade charade: "And the other obvious absurdity is that ASD is itself a monopolist. Where is the Antitrust Division's commitment to protecting Alaskan taxpayers from the estimated $700 million they're forced to spend annually on ASD? And ASD itself deals with a number of monopoly vendors, including the Teamsters that supply labor to the bus vendor, and of course the Alaska Education Association, which controls the supply of teachers (and which participated in a lawsuit to force Alaska to confiscate even more taxpayer funds to 'invest' in the schools.)"
Aside: I like how Paul Craig Roberts describes this fedgov entity: "Department of Justice (sic)."
I was a 22-year-old Florida State grad., when I met 9-year-old Dina Hobby. I was her rookie English teacher, and she was one of my excellent students. Teaching elementary school, in small town Georgia, was my first "serious" job. I have many sweet memories of that time in my life, including interacting with Dina and her fun-loving parents, Rhonda and Bobby Hobby.
Today, Dina is "Mrs. Branch." Married with three kids. She recently sent me a note to share her thoughts on the "s" word and her homeschooled children.
She writes: "The people who think that home schoolers are not socialized have not peeked in our windows. Ben is 10. He is a black belt in Taekwondo, a sharp-shooter in 4-H BB competition, and a budding artist. Annabelle, 8, is a prima ballerina or, at least, considers herself to be. She takes dancing in town as well as home schooling dance lessons. She is also a budding artist. Celiabeth, 2, is just a rambunctious toddler who likes to show off by reciting the seven continents and her limited Spanish. There is never a dull moment."
A link to Dina's husband's (Bennie) company. Take a peek at the machinery used in row crop farming. 'Tis a work of art.
Photo: Dina has a pet dino. (Branch family on vacay in Kentucky.)
The Economist Debate Series formally begins on Monday.
If you voted, here's the upshot: "The Winning Debate: The community has spoken! The three winning propositions have been determined by popular vote, and our first debate on proposition #1 begins on October 15th. 'This house believes that the continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.'
Expert Debaters: Two global thought leaders in technology and education will square off on either side of the issue.
SIR JOHN DANIELS (AGREE) - President and Chief Executive Officer of The Commonwealth of Learning.
Dr. Robert Kozma (DISAGREE) - Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International (formerly known as Stanford Research Institute)."
The time: Jeff Koo says that the debate site will go live at 9 a.m. Pacific.
I received this announcement from the Florida-based Intel Radio Network (a conservative newcomer to the mass media scene):
"The premise of our programming is simple: 'If you have to yell, cuss, scream or intimidate to make your point, then upon closer and rational review, you probably have no point.' Rick Senninger, IRN founder and Executive Producer states 'We at IRN are not about partisanship, we are about citizenship.'IRN is currently contacting stations nationwide and has already secured 40 stations for their exciting debut this November."
Bob Parks, a guy I've blogged about before, will be hosting a program called "Outside the Wire." Kelly Cox, PR person, says IRN is looking for more talk show ideas. If you're game: "Submit an MP3 along with all pertinent information to the attention of email@example.com."
Mr. Dave Keenan has been fighting the town government of Amherst, Massachusetts, for several years, over the "dirty-dirt" underneath the house he purchased for $2500. He just forked over $63,000 in back taxes (and other expenses) to the town.
To mark the occasion, these cheeky signs were made and hung on his "shack."
Coincidentally, he lives on the street named after Daniel Shays, the rebel farmer.
Blogger Larry Kelley reminds readers of three entities in Amherst who will never get hauled into Housing or Land Court for not paying taxes. Two are educational institutions, and one of those has a multi-million dollar endowment.
Ironic, how the Amherst College trustees are terribly principled about divesting in companies that broker deals with the Sudanese government, but are downright nonchalant about finding solutions to bring relief to the cash-poor homeowners in the community where their precious school is located.
The inequity is enough to make Captain Shays twirl in his Sparta, New York grave.
Update: Larry reports that the Amherst College endowment is actually 1.3 billion. What was it that Ron Paul said last night on that Wall St. Journal debate? Oh, yeah: "That's why you have more billionaires than ever before. Today, this country is in the middle of a recession for a lot of people. Michigan knows about it. Poor people know about it. The middle class knows about it. Wall Street doesn't know about it. Washington, D.C., doesn't know about it."
Neither does A.C.
Another Update: The Harvard endowment is $34.9 billion! Visualize all the tax-free property that chunk of change buys.
Allan Wall (photo below of when he was in Iraq) passed along this article by Gary DeMar who notices that Patrick Henry College and New Saint Andrews College have been attracting attention from the highbrowish media.
Writes Mr. DeMar, "Liberals are threatened by 500 students! Liberals control nearly all the major colleges in America, and they're afraid of Patrick Henry College."
An excerpt from the New York Times Magazinearticle that Gary footnotes:
"When you ask teachers and students what sort of school New St. Andrews is, they often cite one school they are not: Patrick Henry College, the evangelical college in Purcellville, Va., with a reputation for training home-schooled Christian students to wrest the reins of power from 'secular humanists' in Washington. 'We believe in a much longer view,' says Joshua Appel, a professor at New St. Andrews.
The curriculum is modeled on the vision of 'New England’s First Fruits,' a 1643 Massachusetts Bay Colony pamphlet describing the college lately founded in Cambridge. Besides required coursework in Latin and Greek, students at N.S.A. study natural philosophy (mostly taxonomy and creationist science), the Western literary canon, Euclidean geometry and theology; they also practice public speaking at a weekly declamation. Students drag themselves out of bed for classes that meet at 7:30 am, only half an hour later than classes once did at Puritan Harvard."
Ya think some of those Puritan-centric students need assistance from a large Costa Rican to make it through the early morn. lectures?
Coffee, that is. Costa Rican coffee. Dark roast. Yum.
It continues to be a hoot to watch Tim "the walking freight truck" Tebow make college football history.
This past weekend's game - against number one Louisiana State - was terrific. However, it was the second week in a row that the Gators have been chomped in the fourth quarter by Tigers, but QB Tebow and his teammates gave LSU all they could handle. Next Gator game: Oct. 20 at Kentucky.
There's a photo of Timmy on this page working at the orphanage that his family runs in the Philippines. The schedule for the ministry's upcoming short-term mission trips is posted, and new volunteers are welcome.
And the hype machine rolls on: "Tebowmania is easy to understand. The guy doesn't look like a home-schooler. He looks as if he graduated summa cum laude from Central Casting High. He's got the blue eyes, the buzz cut, the rock jaw. His faith is unshakable, but he doesn't flaunt it. He peppers his sentences with the word 'awesome,' he says 'yes sir' and 'no ma'am' and he genuinely doesn't see what all the fuss is about. On the field, he never backs down from a tackler.
Mothers pray their daughters will bring him home for pot roast night. Fathers pray their sons will grow up to be like him. Linebackers pray he won't connect with that stiffarm."
Somewhat amusing, but g-schools have no shortage of geeks.