Popular Posts

Follow by Email

Showing posts with label OPINION. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OPINION. Show all posts

Friday, May 30, 2014

Don't let them steal your heroes

I am still very raw from the news of the death of Maya Angelou. I feel and deep and profound loss because for me, she was the one, the elder, at shows feet I proverbially sat. I never got to meet her, but once, many years ago, my husband bumped into her in an airport. I was home, pregnant with our first child. He saw her and he knew about my deep love her for and he stopped, gathered his courage and approached her. She was so regal, stood so tall, as he told it, and was very glamorous in her fur coat. He said, "excuse me, I just have to tell you that my wife loves you". She replied, "I love her too". Oh my word! These are the things heroes are made of. He brought her love home to me.

 In processing my sadness for the loss of a woman I find to be so iconic, I began to read her work, her quotes, and wanted to see her image. Hello... Facebook, twitter, and youtube. But youtube can be a nasty place, can't it. I stumbled across a video called The truth about Maya Angelou. In this video, a man, Stefan Molyneux, reported very many truths about Maya Angelou. And they weren't all good. In fact, many were bad. I watched the near 35 minute video with the thought in my mind, "and your point is?" In the end, his point was "don't listen to anything she said... she only preached forgiveness, to get forgiveness for herself, to unburden herself". Don't listen to her because after all her mother didn't do for her, she still loved her mother, so she must have been crazy. All of the talk of overcoming adversity is crap because her life was flawed. She said she did not break the cycle of abuse, because she did not solely raise her own child. He found her immoral, and so therefore useless as a hero. Here is the link to his video.

Mr. Molynuex has created quite a collection of "The Truth" videos.  Right before Maya's video, he

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Homeschoolers on public school teams?

COFFEEI am absolutely bonkers about the Atlantic Station  neighborhood in downtown Atlanta. I actually have real plans to move there when my nest officially becomes empty.  I will live in a high rise apartment and have access to live shows, stores within walking distance, and restaurants on every corner.

There is a square Atlantic Station which is a very nice green space where lots of activities take place. There are a handful of tables and chairs around this green space where patrons of the restaurants can sit and enjoy the free internet provided in the area while sipping their coffee or eating the lunch they have purchased in the area.  Technically, anyone can sit at these tables and use the internet for as many hours as they please, but this leaves the people who are actual patrons in the area to perch uncomfortable on a stone ledge, or give up altogether, possibly even causing the stores to lose revenue as the patrons don't purchase a second cup of coffee or linger pick up a mid afternoon snack.

While the internet service is paid for by the city or community, one could argue that tax payments cover the use, so they can take up the tables with no regard to those who don't beat them to it, but it disturbs me a little bit that people could hog up all of the services without participating in what is the proper thing to do... patronize the businesses near the tables you are taking up.

It also disturbs me a little that as homeschoolers many of us don't want to patronize the schools, but still take up space on the football team that a child who does go to the school has earned. 

Besides that, it is not that difficult to find a travel league or alternative for homeschoolers to participate in.  Furthermore, I feel like it is a little hypocritical of us to complain about public schools and then still use the portion that will make our lives easier.


What are your daughters wearing to prom?

There is a big to-do about prom dresses in the news.  Apparently, high schools want it to be clear that girls should wear prom dresses that make them look like young ladies... not hookers.  Yes, I said that.  It completely floors me that parents are paying hundreds of dollars for dresses for their daughters that have so little fabric.  Have they forgotten their veto power?  Are they afraid to say no?  ... And will they really be surprised when their little girl comes home knocked up?  Yes, I said that too.

I'm sorry, but whether I buy my daughter a prom dress or not (yes, homeschoolers really do have proms), there will be quite a bit of body coverage. My rules are:

NO STRAPLESS without a cover up

 Are my versions of a decent prom dress really so unbearable that girls can't look good and ladylike and still have a memorable night?
Erin in 2 Prom Dresses


I especially like the idea of a vintage or period dress for prom. I'd be willing to pay a small fortune for that. My kid is really quirky and would wear something like this.
steampunk dress progress

(all images from creative commons)


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Homeschoolers and the GED

Transcript (summarized)

I just want to do a quick video about homeschoolers and the GED.

I hear a lot of people ask me how I prove that homeschooling is complete, that it is done, that the child has learned enough.  And when I answer that we look at what others are doing and what the colleges have done

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

HOPE Scholarhip, Budget Cuts, and Homeschoolers

With serious budget cuts on the horizon, there are a lot of grumblings about how the HOPE Scholarship should be cut.

It seems that most Georgians want to return the scholarship to it's original intent and draw a top income line cutting off upper income families... (they seem to forget there was also a lower income cut off too as you could not get PELL and HOPE at one time.)  As a homeschooler,  whose children have different and more stringent set of rules of earning the HOPE scholarship, my family would just miss that upper cut off amount and my kids would not get the scholarship if this happens.  But I am not fretting over it because I am not counting on it anyway, because homeschoolers have to be beyond exceptional to get the scholarship first year anyway.  Beyond that first year, my kids could get HOPE if they don't place the income restrictions, unless they use the sliding scale (also suggested), in which case my kids would probably get 80%.  But regardless, come hell or high water, as my mother used to say, if my kids want to stay in college, they will figure it out... I did. ... Although I might help them more than my parents helped me.

Anywhooo...  my point is this.  If homeschoolers need to score in the 85th percentile (SAT approx 1800, ACT 26)  to qualify for the HOPE scholarship first year, why are public school kids getting the scholarships with "B" averages only? And then, if they get the "B" average, why do they need remedial math and writing classes.  HMMMM...  Homeschoolers have to jump through these extra hoops because there is a fear that homeschooling moms will inflate grades.  Meanwhile there is no doubt that schools are inflating grades.

Fair is Fair.

In all fairness, I propose that anyone who can get into the 75th percentile on the ACT or SAT (SAT approx 1680,  ACT 24)  should be eligible for the HOPE scholarship.  Period. This is less than what is expected of homeschoolers... it is what should be expected of ALL students including homeschoolers.

Ok, but there are arguments that the SAT and maybe even the ACT is culturally biased.  So let's make an exception.  If the student does not fall into the 75th percentile on the ACT or SAT, but is in the top 25 percentile in his class based on GPA then he should also be eligible for the HOPE scholarship.  This exemption would leave homeschoolers out, but we are already used to waiting a year to qualify for the HOPE scholarship, and our kids still seem to manage to pay for that first year of college.

So either 75% or higher on the SAT or ACT OR top 25% in class rank and a student could get the HOPE scholarship.  These simple guidelines would eliminate any extra administration on figuring out who gets the Scholarship, and would still cut out the possibility of student who are not ready for college getting the scholarship based on inflated grades.  But to be fair to those students, if they can get a 3.0 average in their Freshman year, they should also be eligible for the grant.

Just saying...

WalletPop Contributor
Brighthub Contributor

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An answer to Greg Landry's critiques of homeschoolers

The following article had been passed around homeschool blogs and email groups since August:

(reprint is allowed as long as article if copied in entirety)

College Professor Critiques Homeschoolers
copyright 2009 by Greg Landry, M.S.

I teach sophomore through senior level college
students - most of them are "pre-professional"
students. They are preparing to go to medical
school, dental school, physical therapy school,

As a generalization, I've noticed certain
characteristics common in my students who were
homeschooled. Some of these are desirable,
some not.

Desirable characteristics:

1. They are independent learners and do a great
job of taking initiative and being responsible
for learning. They don't have to be "spoon fed"
as many students do. This gives them an advantage
at two specific points in their education;
early in college and in graduate education.

2. They handle classroom social situations
(interactions with their peers and professors)
very well. In general, my homeschooled students
are a pleasure to have in class. They greet me
when the enter the class, initiate conversations
when appropriate, and they don't hesitate to
ask good questions. Most of my students do
none of these.

3. They are serious about their education and
that's very obvious in their attitude, preparedness,
and grades.

Areas where homeschooled students can improve:

1. They come to college less prepared in the
sciences than their schooled counterparts -
sometimes far less prepared. This can be
especially troublesome for pre-professional
students who need to maintain a high grade
point average from the very beginning.

2. They come to college without sufficient
test-taking experience, particularly with
timed tests. Many homeschooled students have a
high level of anxiety when it comes to taking
timed tests.

3. Many homeschooled students have problems
meeting deadlines and have to adjust to that in
college. That adjustment time in their freshman
year can be costly in terms of the way it affects
their grades.

My advice to homeschooling parents:

1. If your child is even possibly college
bound and interested in the sciences, make
sure that they have a solid foundation of
science in the high school years.

2. Begin giving timed tests by 7th or 8th grade.
I'm referring to all tests that students take, not
just national, standardized tests.

I think it is a disservice to not give students
timed tests. They tend to focus better and score
higher on timed tests, and, they are far better
prepared for college and graduate education if
they've taken timed tests throughout the high
school years.

In the earlier years the timed tests should allow
ample time to complete the test as long as the
student is working steadily. The objective is for
them to know it's timed yet not to feel a time
pressure. This helps students to be comfortable
taking timed tests and develops confidence in
their test-taking abilities.

3. Give your students real deadlines to meet in
the high school years. If it's difficult for students
to meet these deadlines because they're
coming from mom or dad, have them take
"outside" classes; online, co-op, or community

Greg Landry is a 14 year veteran homeschool dad
and college professor. He also teaches one and
two semester online science classes, and offers
free 45 minute online seminars..
© 2009 Greg Landry, M.S.

While I  do agree somewhat with the pros AND cons of the article, I am troubled by anyone who creates a sense of security only to offer that solution.  The fact that Mr. Landry is offering online science classes while warning us that homeschoolers are ill-equipped is a bit of a conflict of interest.  For this reason I tend to take the whole article with a grain of salt.

That said, let's explore the issues a little closer: 

"They come to college less prepared in the sciences than their schooled counterparts - sometimes far less prepared. This can be especially troublesome for pre-professional students who need to maintain a high grade
point average from the very beginning."

This is not true across the board.  However, for those of use who only teach  creation science, there can be a bit of a handicap.  It might be better to teach that "while we believe in creation science, this is what the scientific world believes..."  This way students can better understand science they are expected to know for college.

"They come to college without sufficient test-taking experience, particularly with timed tests. Many homeschooled students have a high level of anxiety when it comes to taking timed tests."
This is also not true across the board.  I, myself have a great test taker, and a poor test taker.  The poor test taker is probably a more gifted learner, but testing causes anxiety.  He had the same issue in public school.  I wonder if children who are poor test takers end up homeschooling more often because the school model does not work for them?  Meanwhile, the occasional timed test won't hurt in eliminating anxiety later in life.

"Many homeschooled students have problems meeting deadlines and have to adjust to that in college. That adjustment time in their freshman year can be costly in terms of the way it affects their grades."

Ok... so he hit this one on the nose! Whenever I assign a project to my kids, they take it less seriously than when a "teacher" assigns it.  To eliminate this issue later on, I have them take some classes outside of home so they will learn to deal with the expectations and deadlines of various instructors.

Visit My Education Column at Examiner.com

Check out FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE for free homeschool links and resources

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pants on the Ground and All That Jazz

Mrs. C got me started. She wrote a post about saggy pants which don't bother her much, and that's great.  But they irk the heck out of me.

I had to weigh in on the matter.  Here is what I wrote on her blog:
I can't handle seeing saggy pants. They were in "style" when I was in college... two decades ago. I didn't find them sexy then, and they are certainly not cute now.

My biggest problem is that the trend started in prisons because prisoners could not have belts should they decide to off themselves or someone else. So these fools (sorry, don't have a better word for it) get out of prison and keep wearing their pants beltless, and their shoes without strings... and even stupider kids say "hey" I'm gonna dress like that too.

Now the whole country is walking around with their pants down. 

But I was only getting started.

Black, white, or indifferent... I find saggy pants to be disrespectful. (There are some styles that sag in the butt but still come up to the waist, and that is OK with me)  Guys showing their underwear disrespect themselves, their parents, and women.  Maybe I am being harsh, but follow me here.

First let's take the fact that saggy pants originated in prison.  Even for ex-cons.... I must ask, at which point do you remove yourself from the prisoner.  If you have served your time, why wear your clothes as if you are still there?  And if you are still there on the outside, aren't you still there mentally?  It's no wonder so many people end up back in prison.

Now let's look at the physical aspect of wearing your pants beneath your butt.  If your pants are beneath your butt in the back... where are they in the front.  Visual picture anyone?  If your butt is exposed so is your frontal region.

My kids and I saw a young man in front of Target a few years ago.  A typical guy with saggy pants realized his shirt was inside out and backwards and took it off in front of the store to correct the mistake.  When he took off his shirt, it was clear that his pants were belted on his upper thighs.  Beneath that was a thin pair of boxer shorts.  There was absolutely no mystery.  I was feeling mischievous and said to him, "hey, your pants are down", as if he didn't know.  He was not amused... and neither was I.

I have to add that as a black mother with black children, I don't believe that saggy pants is a black thing... it is a class thing.  Not socioeconomic class, but rather a lack of style and etiquette.  However, many people look at young black men who it is assumed started the fad and think, "typical".  I don't ever want anyone to decide my son is typical with one glance.

Furthermore as a mother of a black daughter... I defy anyone to come to my door and try to date her with his pants belted below his butt and nether regions... it shows a lack of respect for himself, and the girl he is with, if  he can't tuck his package away in public.

But then that's just me... maybe I'm crazy.

Ps... here's a video for you to enjoy.


Visit My Education Column at Examiner.com

Check out FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE for free homeschool links and resources