Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Lottery scholarships in Tennessee

A Tennessee bill equalizing homeschool eligibility for lottery awards recommended for passage by the Senate Education Committee Wednesday. It is now headed for the Finance, Ways and Means Committee and still must be heard by the House committees before it comes to a floor vote. Currently, homeschoolers are required to score a 23 on the ACT, when students attending traditional schools are only required to score a 19 to be eligible for lottery scholarships. You can read more about it and get updates here. Thanks to Kay Brooks and TnHomeEd for the info link!

Not a homeschooling story but too ridiculous to pass up, schools in Merrillville, Indiana ban pink clothes.

"Administrators last week told students at the city's high school and two middle schools to avoid wearing pink clothing or accessories, said Michael Berta, associate superintendent in the Northwestern Indiana district.

"There is no evidence of gang activity. But because of the growing use of the color pink we decided to be proactive. Girls and boys are supposed to avoid wearing pink," Berta said Monday.

"None of the district's 6,500 students have been disciplined for wearing pink, he said.

"Berta said the issue came up at a recent administrator's meeting when a principal remarked that there were more students wearing pink. "Not only were there more kids wearing pink T-shirts and pink hats, but also pink shoelaces, which was unusual," he said."

Monday, March 29, 2004

New Mexico says homeschoolers can't compete

    "High school freshmen Heidi Lewis and Brian Davenport have a winning speech competition routine, but it didn't do them much good at this year's state tournament.
    "The entire Jemez Mountain Homeschool Speech and Debate Team can no longer compete in tournaments because they are not members of the New Mexico Activities Association.
    "And, as home-schoolers, they can't become members under the current regulations."

Disappointment and debate ensued when the homeschool teams were excluded on short notice. Team coach Paul Kressin believes homeschoolers are being discriminated against in violation of state law, which says, "The rules established by the New Mexico Activities Association for the organization, regulation and enforcement of interscholastic activities shall support equal educational opportunities for every student."
Grace comes to Stafford, VA

Homeschooling families in Stafford, VA are in the process of starting Grace Preparatory, a Christian high school hybrid program. It's a university model school where students will attend classes three days a week with homework assigned for the remaining two weekdays. Noted in the article is the controversy over whether such programs should be considered homeschooling.

"Celeste Land, a member of the Virginia Home Education Association's board of directors, said she doesn't consider Grace Preparatory to be home-schooling.

"It's not really home-schooling. I would call it flex-time private-schooling," she said."

About 25 such schools affiliated with the Texas-based National Association of University-Model Schools are already in operation across the country.
At home in shanghai

A fledgling homeschool cooperative in Shanghai is growing enough to consider starting another. Eighteen children ages 8 to 18 are in the current group, and a new "community" is planned for children ages 10 and under.

"Parents design the curriculum according to their personal interest and teach their own child or children from Tuesday to Thursday.

"These kids, regardless of age and nationality, gather every Monday and Friday to have two-day collective lessons such as Chinese literature, maths, arts and sports."

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Homeschoolers for Elvish

News editor Christopher Smith tells a tale about his imaginative young son and why they homeschool. Smith's delight and facination with his son's fanciful ways is sweet, and he seems sharply attuned to the value and fragility of his child's drive to be creative.

When "The Boy," as he calls him, draws pictures for answers to math problems, complete with a key at the bottom of the page to his Elvish numerical system, Smith concludes,

"And I guess when it comes right down to it, that's the main reason we're homeschooling: Silmarieth oloni Quenya alaphereth (None of the local schools offer Elvish)."

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Well, I tried

I spent a lot of time talking to April Austin of the Christian Science Monitor about a story she wanted to do on homeschoolers and political action. Initially, she wanted only to talk to evangelical Christian homeschoolers to ask them if political activism was part of their schooling. She did broaden her story to include some mention that other homeschoolers "are troubled by the idea of taking an organization - the HSLDA - that purports to support all homeschoolers and making it the feeder system for an evangelical Christian political network," but her article Homeschoolers keep the faith ultimately never breaks free of her original intent.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Feeling bloggie?

We had great fun today checking out the best of the blogs, thanks to the reveal of the Fourth Annual Weblog Awards. Definitely worth Blogrolling, Boing Boing took three Bloggies, including the top award. But don't miss some of the also-rans - there's a lot of good free reading out there.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

More of a revolution than you thought

From Amber Pawlik's lengthy rant at on the homeschool revolution we glean these gems:

"There is a home schooling revolution in this country. And the leftists know it. And it drives them nuts."


"Home-schooled children are also grounded in principles and morals, something anathema to the left.

"The success of the home schools drives leftists nuts. First, it proves one does not need to be an “expert” to do something as simple as teaching a child K – 12 course material. Leftists become increasingly unable to make parents feel inferior in parenting and raising their own children. Most of all, though, leftists know one thing: home-schooled children tend to come out Republican."

Pssst... Amber! Wake-up call! Many homeschooling parents are leftists. And their children too. Pretty revolutionary, huh?

Friday, March 12, 2004

Yo! Canada

From the "don't you just love it when they don't quote sources" file we have a homeschooling study in Canada that found - surprise, surprise - Headline: Home-schoolers win the academic battle. "Most home-schooled students outperform their peers in regular schools, but it's the opportunity to teach beliefs and values that is driving parents to educate their children at home," the Calgary Herald says the study finds. So, all you Canadian homeschoolers, is it true that 85% of those who opt for homeschooler are Christian, or was there some of the same old bias problem in this study we've seen in ones done south of the border?

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Slogging Back to the Blog

Slogging Back to the Blog

It's been ages since I've kept up with posting regularly, but I'm intending to revive this blog. Look for controversial issues and news commentary in the near future.