Tag Archives: Homeschool
There is an underground society in today’s America. These invisible people pay taxes just like the rest of us, but are ostracized because of their background. The promise of America is denied them. Instead they lead a clannish, insular existance, suspicious of the authorities and on the fringes of mainstream life.
Often driving by some remote area, you may catch a glimpse of them playing soccer on dusty, over–used public fields, far away from well–groomed high school athletic facilities.
But in spite of being marginalized by a judgmental, intolerant society, they never lost hope. They believed in working through the system for justice. And finally, there came a chance to emerge from the shadows — a golden opportunity to finally join the rest of America and enjoy the rights of a full–fledged citizen.
But an 8–7 block vote by Democrats in a Virginia Senate committee defeated the “Tebow” bill and again denied homeschooled children the chance to try out for high school football and other athletic teams.
Sen. Harry B. Blevins (R–Virginia Education Association), a former cog in the education–industrial complex, was personally responsible for the tie–breaking vote that meant homeschooled children would be forced to play ballerina ball for yet another season.
Teacher’s association and Virginia sports league officials voiced two primary reasons for opposing the bill and, in keeping with typical Democrat discourse, both reasons were false. But these people will do or say anything to retain the government monopoly on indoctrinating children.
The first was public school students are subject to more stringent academic requirements than the homeschoolers. I know “football,” “stringent” and “academic” are not three words you normally encounter in the same sentence, but be that as it may, the facts are otherwise.
Homeschooled children are tested by the state every year and must meet set achievement levels. In fact, Progress Report 2009 — a study that surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students tested by 15 independent testing services — found that homeschooled students on the average scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.
Once they get to college homeschooled students have a better freshman GPA (3.41) than other freshmen (3.12) and graduate at higher rates.
The second objection was homeschooled students might represent potential discipline problems. This, too, is rich. Granted it was a long time ago, but every team I ever played on had a coach and if the coach didn’t like your attitude you were not a member of the team for long.
Democrats who voted against the bill no doubt wondered why Virginia homeschooled children can’t act like those quaint Amish folks: stay out of the limelight, avoid fossil fuels and make sustainable furniture.
The only bright spot in the entire debate was, for possibly the first time in history, a leader of the Democrat party went on record stating the choices people make have consequences with which they must be prepared to live. Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw declared, “Every single parent who chooses to home-school their kid knows what the ground rules are. Parents know that choice, and they know what the ramifications are.”
This will be a real news bulletin to liberal protected groups like Occupy, unwed mothers, illegal aliens, foreclosed homeowners, drug addicts and the homeless.
But Saslaw has not entirely joined the Personal Responsibility Caucus. He also said if the bill passed it would not be the end of demands. “It’s the camel’s nose under the tent,” he claimed. This indicates confusion on Saslaw’s part. Homeschooling advocates weren’t asking for player quotas to be established — the standard liberal Democrat remedy — they only wanted the opportunity to compete.
If the youngster isn’t good enough, he doesn’t make the team. Unless, of course, the coach wants to stash a couple of homeschoolers on the bench to raise the team’s overall GPA.
The education establishment views the homeschooling movement as a mortal threat. If Ma and Pa Kettle spend only $500 per year and produce students who, on the average, outscore public school students supported by nearly $10,000 each year — including money from homeschooling parents — sooner or later taxpayers may start asking pointed questions.
Besides, just because a family buys a few books for their own home the authorities can’t ban them from public libraries. The same principle should apply to high school athletics.
In the last week we’ve seen Democrats all over the country support Sandra Fluke — Queen of the Prophylactic — and her desire to play footsie on the taxpayer dime. It seems only fair that homeschooled children be allowed to play football on the taxpayer’s teams.
PURCELLVILLE, Va., Oct. 12, 2011 — Swedish officials on the Island of Gotland are seeking to terminate the parental rights of homeschool parents Christer and Annie Johansson. The latest development in this monumental homeschool rights case started when the state seized the parents seven year old son in June 2009. Domenic, now 9 years old, has been held in state foster care for more than 24 months.
News of these developments does not sit well in the homeschool community. “The United States Supreme Court has called the termination of parental rights the family court equivalent of the death penalty,” notes Michael Donnelly, Director of International Relations at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Seven-year old Domenic Johansson was snatched by Swedish police in June 2009 from an airplane bound for India, his Mother’s homeland. Among the reasons given for the seizure was that Domenic was homeschooled. Since then his entire family has been denied virtually any contact with their son. HSLDA and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a joint application on behalf of the Johansson family at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in June 2010 and have been working to support the family since shortly after Domenic’s seizure.
Both ADF and HSLDA are currently asking for letters to be written in an attempt to renew attention to the family’s case and to encourage Swedish officials to release Domenic back to his family.
“The government shouldn’t abduct and imprison children simply because it doesn’t like homeschooling. That’s bad enough. But now the state is going even further by attempting to get the parents out of the way altogether,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “This simply cannot stand. We will do everything in our power to help reunite this family.”
Thousands of Homeschooling Families Expected to Attend Southeast Homeschool Convention in South Carolina, March 2012
CINCINNATI, Sept. 8, 2011 – Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc. (GHC) is gearing up for a series of five regional homeschool conventions across the U.S. in 2012. First up: the Southeast Homeschool Convention, March 22-24, 2012, at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina — and with a homeschool curriculum exhibit hall, hundreds of homeschooling workshops, dozens of key speakers, and tracks just for teens, parenting and creation apologetics, GHC is expecting the convention to attract thousands of homeschoolers from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.
“More and more families are choosing to homeschool for a variety of reasons,” stated Mary Jo Dean, a homeschool parent who co-founded Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc., in 2006 with her husband Brennan. “The Southeast Homeschool Convention was created to help encourage and equip those families and help them to create positive homeschool experiences. We anticipate a packed convention center.”
The Southeast Homeschool Convention will kick off Thursday, March 22, 2012, with the first of what will literally be hundreds of information-packed homeschooling workshops. The homeschool curriculum exhibit hall will be open all weekend and already has over 100 confirmed exhibitors, including My Father’s World, the Institute for Excellence in Writing, Math-U-See, Creation Ministries International and Homeschool Legal Advantage.
Speakers slated to participate in the Southeast Homeschool Convention include author and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder Chuck Colson; Andrew Pudewa; Diana Waring; Dr. Jay Wile; Sonya Shafer; David Hazel; Amanda Bennett; Dr. Jonathan Sarfati; “Homeschool Your Struggling Learner” author Kathy Kuhl; and nearly three dozen other noted homeschool speakers, authors and advocates.
Throughout the Southeast Homeschool Convention, parents can attend over 100 workshops covering all academic subjects and spanning all educational levels. Special workshop topics will also be offered, including gifted children, learning styles, unit studies and special needs. Those who want more in-depth instruction on faith-based homeschooling can also participate in specific workshop tracks dedicated to Parenting, Creation Apologetics or the Worldview Teen Track. For families with younger children, the Southeast Homeschool Convention also offers an exciting children’s program throughout the weekend.
“Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc. is excited to start the 2012 homeschool convention season in the Southeast,” Dean said. “Last year’s Southeast convention drew thousands of homeschooling families from South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. We know there are many families in that region who are looking forward to the chance to connect with other homeschoolers and get the information and resources they need to thrive at homeschooling.”
Early-bird discounts are available to GHC newsletter subscribers. Learn more and register for the Southeast Homeschool Convention at http://www.southeasthomeschoolconvention.com/.
CINCINNATI, Sept. 6, 2011 — In the face of widespread budget cuts and one-size-fits-all teaching in public schools, families from all walks of life are turning to homeschooling in record numbers. In recognition of that growth, Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc. has planned five regional homeschool conventions for 2012 — and with dozens of renowned speakers, hundreds of homeschooling workshops and over 200 curriculum exhibitors at each convention, Great Homeschool Conventions aims to put homeschool resources within reach of every homeschooling family.
“The five regional convention sites allow GHC to provide home education information and resources to homeschool parents nationwide,” stated Mary Jo Dean, a homeschool parent who, with her husband, Brennan, founded Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc. in 2006. “We are excited to see homeschooling growing so dramatically, and we look forward to providing parents with the information and encouragement they need to have successful homeschooling experiences.”
To that end, GHC’s regional homeschool conventions will be held throughout the country to make them accessible to as many homeschooling families as possible. The conventions kick off in the spring at theSoutheast Homeschool Convention in Greenville, S.C., March 22-24, 2012, followed by the Mid South Homeschool Convention in Memphis, Tenn., April 12-14, 2012, and the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 19-21, 2012. For homeschool families in the West, GHC has scheduled the California Homeschool Convention May 24-26, 2012, in Long Beach, Calif. The season wraps up with the Northeast Homeschool Convention in Hartford, Conn., June 14-16, 2012.
Those attending the GHC regional homeschool conferences will find camaraderie, support, entertainment, and a wealth of practical information. The conferences’ featured speakers include Chuck Colson, Andrew Pudewa, Diana Waring, Dr. Jay Wile, Amanda Bennett, David Hazel, Dr. Carol Reynolds, Todd Wilson, Sonya Shafer, John Stonestreet, Dr. Susan Wise Bauer, Pastor Tedd Tripp, John Rosemond, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Carl Kerby, Dr. Jobe Martin, and over 20 other homeschool experts. Musicians and comedians will be on hand at each convention to provide family-friendly evening entertainment.
But the meat of the conferences is in the workshops. Parent-teachers can choose the workshops that are most appropriate for their families in subjects like math, science, language arts and music at all educational levels, along with workshops in special topics, including learning styles, gifted children, special needs and unit studies. Parents can also participate in workshop tracks covering creation apologetics and parenting, while teens and parents alike can attend the Teen Worldview Track, led by Summit Ministries of Colorado staff and speakers.
“All homeschool and unschool families are welcome at the GHC regional homeschool conventions,” said Dean. “We look forward to meeting more homeschoolers and hearing about their struggles and successes in home education.”
Register for any of the GHC regional homeschool conventions and learn more at http://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com.
FoxNews.com published an article titled “America is Losing Science Brainpower Advantage”. Where the author, Devin Powell, discussed a report that outlined the condition of our children’s ability to compete in the global markerplace.
The United States’ ability to compete globally in science and technology is on a “perilous path,” said a new report delivered Sept. 23 on Capitol Hill to a bipartisan group of policymakers, industry leaders, and academics.
American students continue to perform poorly in math and science compared to their counterparts abroad, the report claims. Though the United States is still a leader in innovation and produces a disproportionate share of the world’s wealth, other countries such as China are investing heavily in research and education and, according to the new report, threatening America’s competitiveness.
While many say that more government spending is needed to help our students become competitive, nothing could be further from the truth. Government spending on education has outpaced the growth of the country, but the quality of education that the government is providing is slipping.
- In 1980, federal, state and local government spent $152 Billion dollars on education which was about 5.5% of GDP
- In 2010 usgovernmentspending.com is estimating that the government will spend $1.03 Trillion federal dollars on education or about 7.2% of GDP
- Current projections have 2015 spending at $1.4 Trillion
Spending has been rising since there has been spending on education. Has education improved? No. Why would we continue to spend more? Because we have been given no choice.
In a striking example of why government-paid employees should not be allowed to collectively bargain, teacher’s unions are bilking tax payers for money that should be going to actual education. Most union labor agreements require that teachers get annual raises regardless of their performance – so-called “step raises”. Did you get a raise this year simply because no one fired you? Where is the incentive for teachers to become better teachers? Other than the ludicrous step raises, a teacher’s best way to improve their salary is to become an administrator. Wonderful, our kids will certainly become much better scientists and engineers as the education bureaucracy gets more top-heavy.
Teacher’s unions are negotiating with elected officials who will need the teacher’s unions to support them in the next election. The elected officials will either give the unions what they want or face losing their positions to a new candidate that the union now sees as friendly. It’s a scam and it’s your money. Unionization of public employees is a conflict-of-interest. Union support of elected officials is a conflict-of-interest. Both practices must be abolished immediately.
Enter the “Disclose Act”, because it makes clear who is supporting whom, correct? Not if the gigantic, tyrannical collection of supporters are .. you guessed it – Unions. Unions are specifically given a pass in the disclose act. They can continue strong-arming our elected officials into gifting them ridiculous salaries and benefits at our cost and a cost to our children’s education without any disclosure.
Homeschooling has grown 36% between 2003 and 2007, according to this article on Right Truth. Parents have figured out the sham. Americans are increasingly finding public education an oxymoron and are taking the matter into their own hands. Private or Independent schools are certainly an attractive option, but considering the recession and Obama’s failure to support a voucher program, they can be a very expensive one. Instead, parents are forced to pay the school taxes AND pay tuition at an independent institution – as if that weren’t the Department of Education’s plan all along.
So public education costs too much, the teacher’s unions have too much power, and our kids are now getting the worst education ever. What is the department of education focused on? Private education. Arne Duncan’s troop of misfits is trying to shut down private education while the public sector is failing to perform its task. Of course, we have to “follow the money”. Private teachers are typically .. non-union. Private education is not regulated in the same manner as public. How long until they make private education unaffordable through over-regulation or make homeschooling illegal?
Even Obama admits that public schools are failing to properly educate our children.
In an appearance Monday morning on NBC’s “Today” show, Obama was asked by a woman in a television audience whether a public school in his home city could measure up to the standards of his children’s private school.
“I’ll be blunt with you: The answer is no right now,” the president replied. The D.C. public schools, he said “are struggling.”
At some point, someone has to be willing to re-do the public education system from the ground-up. Unions need to be taken out of our kids’ classrooms. Just like the economy, things in education are not getting better. Obama has been summarily dismissing his economic and political staff. Now, since Arne Duncan is pushing the status quo, President Obama, it’s time for him to go too.