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Showing posts with label commentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label commentary. Show all posts

Thursday, February 12, 2015

a poem. No child left behind.

Not why most people homeschool, but this rings true to me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Homeschool flip-flopping

True Story:

Friend decides to try homeschooling and puts very desperate sounding messages on FaceBook, so I contact them.  They are at their wits end.  They need help.  They've been homeschooling for just a few months and they are struggling.

I set a lunch date and spend hours upon hours putting together information that I think will be useful to them, and show up at the designated time and place.  We sit down and have the niceties and person informs me that kids are back in school. She gave up.  I'm fine with that, but I am not fine that she wasted my time.  I would have gladly still kept the lunch date, but I wouldn't have spent time preparing

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Don't be stupid

 There is a local YouTube sensation named Megan McGlover.  She starts out reporting (ranting) about the weather, then she goes off on tangents about other things in the news.  She usually ends her report with "don't be stupid".  She's got a point.

Fifty years ago, Mr. Richard Eggers was stupid.  He was about 18 years old and he made a cardboard dime and used it to operate a washing machine. His "stunt" as he describes it landed him in jail for two days.  As far as anyone knows he has been a law abiding citizen ever since.  However, Wells Fargo, the bank Mr. Eggers worked for fired him for the 50 year old stunt. There's a whole bru-ha-ha about new FDIC laws about having people with criminal activity working at banks and banks being overzealous in weeding out

Monday, February 13, 2012

On homeschooling and parenting

The shot heard round the world this weekend was that of a father who got fed up with his daughter complaining and lying about him on Facebook.  He made a response video in which he shot her laptop entitled Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen. It went super-mega-extravaganza-like-viral. 6 days, over 21 million hits and remember ya'll 1 million hits makes a video viral.

I am not going to judge him about his parenting skills because depending on the moment, I am either for or against him.... usually based on what my kids are doing or saying at the time.  I can say that I don't find his reaction that unusual.  I found another other parent electronic breaking video on Facebook, with the main difference being between a gun and a bat.  Beat a cell phone with a bat, get 6 thousand views.  Shoot a laptop with a gun... that's money baby!

Anyway, it all just gets me thinking about parenting in the homeschooling community.  As I watched the

Monday, February 06, 2012

I don't need no public school programs

I just read a column in the Washington Post where the writer, John Kelly, makes an argument for keeping homeschoolers out of public schools.

I agree, but for different reasons.

In his case, he has a distaste for homeschoolers taking spots from kids who go to the school, either in theater or sports, or whatever.

In my case, I have a distaste for how we sometimes take the easy way out and try to get into public programs instead of pitching in and creating a homeschool alternative.

Sure, homeschool clubs can cost more in time, money, and effort, but isn't homeschooling supposed to be parents giving of themselves to provide their children with a superior education?  If so, then why are so many homeschoolers trying to get back in public schools so they can pick and choose the ideal activities for their kids.  Not only does this put your child back in the situation you did not like in the first place, but it weakens strength of programs that we as homeschoolers can create.

Somewhere along the way, during the duration of my homeschooling tenure, I feel that we have lost sight of the "homeschooling community" and what we can accomplish when we band together.  Maybe it was that the internet made it easy for us to communicate without actually meeting.  Maybe it was because those who have been doing it all along got tired, and those coming behind were looking for something that wasn't truly homeschooling, but instead the best of both worlds.

Yeah, that's probably it.  But that's not homeschooling, and neither is going to joining public school clubs and teams.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When homeschooled kids hate homeschooling

Transcript (summarized in parts)

Hi this is Ahermitt.  This is the first video I am making on my iPad and there are some things I am going to have to get used to like the weird placement of the camera.

(yada-yada- new ipad, blah, blah, blah)

What I want to address, is comments from people who have homeschooled unsuccessfully. For example, I just watched a video called "Homeschooling is a MISTAKE".  He really should have entitled it

Saturday, October 23, 2010

If you think the way they dress doesn't matter...

I read a very good article that speaks of how young black men feel pushed out of Tampa Bay schools.  No one is interested in their success.  They are being pushed through and pushed aside.  They are not treated as individuals they complain.  ... And their complaints are very true. 

One statement bugged me though.

Bernard Scott is the only person in his family who graduated and pursued

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homeschooling Should Be Banned, Part 2

So I took another look at the debate and  as Mrs. C said in the comments it appears to be a high school debate website.  Another thing I noticed is that the side AGAINST homeschooling in European, most specifically from the Czech Republic.  That explains most of the positions for the ban as a whole.  With points such as "homeschooling harms society" and "breeds separatism", it is clear that the arguments against homeschooling are not in line with any American Values.... and thank goodness.  I would hate to see American students coming up with such brain-washed responses.

On the side FOR homeschooling, American students have weighed in.  While they don't have the typical responses that a homeschooler gives, probably because they haven't homeschooled, they do give intelligent points that address the feasibility of such a ban altogether.

  WalletPop Contributor

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I don't need a study to tell me that 1 million children are misdiagnosed with ADHD

I don't need a study to tell me that 1 million children are misdiagnosed with ADHD.  My daughter could have easily been one of those children.  This post written a year after we started homeschooling tells what she was like at the time. If the Kindergarten and first grade teacher got their way, she would have been put on Ritalin to make their lives easier.

Sure, she was a handful.  She was certainly the youngest in her class, which the study pointed out was the main reason for misdiagnosis.  A child who is a full 11 months younger than the oldest child is going to act a year younger.  They are going to be baby-like in comparison and more physically active.  As we had moved from NY to Atlanta, she had started school at a younger age than most children and her summer birthday allowed her to squeak into a Kindergarten class younger than most kids.

Her immaturity read as hyperactivity and inattention.  But I knew better.  Even if I was wrong, I knew I could handle the issues one-on-one that a teacher could not handle in a full classroom.  By working with her one-on-one, I also learned that  she didn't learn like most kids.  She was truly a Right-Brained Child in a Left-Brained World. Giving her ritalin would have never "corrected" this.  It wasn't meant to be corrected, it is meant to be worked with. 

I am so glad I never accepted the diagnosis and that my beautiful teenage daughter was allowed to mature on her own, without medication.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scary Homeschool Stats

Some time ago, Crimson Wife over at Bending the Twigs wrote a post entitled

Are the Doubters Right about Homeschooling for High School? 

In this post, she revealed some test scores showing that homeschoolers in charter schools fared worse academically each year they homeschooled.  In the end, she works it, out pointing out that many homeschoolers move on to community college and higher education options, so these scores showed the lowest of the barrel.  

I noticed another disturbing factor... something veteran homeschoolers have been warning us about for years.  These test scores were from charter schools.  Charter schools that have been used for years to lure insecure homeschools back under the umbrella of the public education system.  That means these kids also among those whose parents are  not actively involved in homeschooling their kids but simply have them at home doing public school work.  

 Do you know what these stats really tell me?... THAT PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM DOES NOT WORK in and of itself. 

 Now I am not going to tell homeschoolers to not use public school at home resources.  I have met some "homeschoolers" who would not be able to function about it. But all homeschooling families must understand that true homeschooling where the parent gets down and dirty into the nitty-gritty of the curriculum and actively helps, assists, and researches is the only kind of homeschooling that will be ultimately successful in the end.  

 Ask any parent of a highly successful public school student how involved they were... you better believe that their journey would mirror that of a homeschooler, even with their kids in school... Why would any homeschooling parent expect to do less?

 Curriculum is meant to be used as a tool... not a substitution for one-on-one tutoring.  No one who understands this fact will have a child whose stats are as low as the ones in Crimson Wife's post:

Are the Doubters Right about Homeschooling for High School?

 Trust me... the doubters are wrong.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Classes for homeschooling parents?

I noticed an ad in the margin of facebook today.  It said  something to the effect of, "Homeschooling your children? Take online classes to improve your effectiveness".

It kind of made me mad.  This $99 course entitled homeschool with success, struck me as something to take advantage of parents who might be insecure about homeschooling.  I doubt that it teaches any more than can be read in a free book found at the library.

~Do you think this could be a helpful course for homeschoolers?


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Truth be told, I envy unschoolers. But...

If you don't know what unschooling is, check out this Good Morning America story from this morning. 

 Imagine... no expensive textbooks, no prodding and pleading to get chores done, no constant harassing for that essay you asked them to write over a week ago.  Oh, the dreams of a homeschooling mother.  But at what cost?

The Biegler children have the freedom of unschooling, and allow their children to do as they please without putting rules on restrictions on their lives... this includes not learning if they don't wish to learn.  Believe it or not, I do see some value in it.

For example, my son is quite knowledgeable about internet design.  My husband is an IT exec, and so this may have spurred his interest in computers in general.  I have had to write in CSS Style pages and HTML for a few writing assignments, and he asked me to teach it to him.  That is the only formal instruction he has had in web design. He learned Javascript and the other things that I can't even begin to understand on his own, by surfing the internet and reading web design manuals.  He did this in his spare time and on his own, and he is quite good at it.

My son also has a friend who didn't like writing or grammar until he started blogging.  I look over his blogs from time to time to give him grammar tips, and look for errors.  For the last month or so, I have found no problems at all with his blog.  How did he get so good at writing?  Probably because he did it because he wanted to and no one made him.

Truth be told, if I had to do it over again, I probably would have unschooled largely through the 4th grade or so. 

So I get and truly support this type of homeschooling in many ways.  There is so much value to seeing a kid learn and produce on his own.  But..... BBUUTTTTTT......

I fear for the extra work that  long term unschooling places on the parents.  I have teens.  I know what they do.  They will let dirty laundry and funky smells fester until you have to call the Calvary.  They will eat everything in the house, and leave the evidence piled on the table... and the floor... and the ceiling.  They will call a filthy room clean, just because there are no clothes on the floor.  They don't see dirt... and they don't like responsiblity.  OH, and they can sleep for days on end if you don't drag them out of their beds. 

So my fear is that in such an unschooling situation, the kids to what they please, and mom get the word MAID stamped on her forehead.  Because with no chores, then who's going to cook... every meal?  Whose going to set the table?  Who's going to wash the dishes?  Who's going to clean the kitchen? Who's going to take out the garbage?  Who's going to walk the dogs that they begged for?  Who's going to clean the cat litter?  Who's going to vacuum.  Who's going to ash and fold the laundry?  MOM... that's who.  Oh, and DAD.... you're going to have to cut the grass.  I am not saying that this is what kids are for... to do the household chores... but if they are eating the food, and messing the kitchen, and missing the toilet... well, then, they need to help clean it up.

I can guarantee that if there are two people in the home doing as they please and not cleaning up behind themselves, and one person out working, then there is another person at home feeling abused and disrespected.

So as much as I love the idea of unschooling, I am going to have to relegate that type of parenting to only a few hours a day when the children can be creative, without interruption.  I am very respectful of my kids free time, and they really do make the most of it... but at the same time, I demand they be respectful of our home, which means participating in doing the work it takes to keep the home up, and also being respectful of the people who brought them into this world, by doing chores and following household rules.

And then there's the rest of the academics.  I have no comment on how unschoolers educate... I have seen it work for many children... but I don't feel comfortable leaving college entry to chance.  In my home it is a standard that must be met.  They are going for at least 1 year and if at that point they don't want to continue.. fine, but don't expect to come back to my house and keep living like a teenager.  When you are an adult... you are on your own.

I don't believe in unschooler bashing, so I don't hope to open up my comments section for an unschooling bash... so be nice.  But for my house, we will continue to be eclectic homeschooling, which means a little classical, a bit of arts, and some time to grow on their own.


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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.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

An answer to the case against homeschooling

I was over at Henry Cate's blog and came across a comment that lead to a blog with a catchy title... ""The case against homeschooling". The funny thing was the comment used the word 'respectfully' when introducing the link. However, this rant was anything but respectful.

Still, I thought I'd join the fun and chime in and present my answer to 'The case against homeschooling'. I encourage you to do the same. To save time, I will paraphrase the writers "points".

Here goes:

10. College students think homeschooled peers are geeks?
(Who cares what college students think... aren't the geeks the ones that end up rich and the ones that called names... aren't they trained to be employees?)

9. Students shouldn't learn at the same table where they eat?
(Huh? It there a study that has proved this is detrimental? Besides my daughter does her work under the table on a blanket.)

8. Homeschooling is selfish as homeschooled kids are increasingly rich and (gasp) well educated, which takes away from public schools.
(Jealous much?)

7. God hates homeschooling... he said to go forth and be a witness.
(Even Jesus stayed home until he was 30, most homeschoolers go forth in their early 20's.)

6. Homeschool parent/teaches are arrogant and crazy. We can't teach all subjects to the level that a group of teachers can.
(Have you ever heard of tutors and interactive online curriculum?)

5. Homeschooling (peaves) this teacher off?
(Insecure, uninformed teachers tick me off too)

4. Homeschooling can breed intolerance and racism due to race separation.
(When was the last time you were in a high school or college cafeteria? Most kids tend to choose seating according to race.

3. 1 hour of socialization a week is not enough.
(I guess it's good thing that my kids spend about 12-20 hours a week with other kids, as do most other homeschoolers.)

2. Arrogant again? We are gambling with our kids education.
(Look at the bright side, for once we can't blame their failures on teachers.)

1. Geeky part 2.
(refer to answer #10, besides I know you are, but what am I?)

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

If you don't homeschool, you're a heathen?

I just read a blog from a Christian homeschooler who stated Real Christians Homeschool and anyone who send their child to school, Christian or otherwise is a heathen.

I kept searching for the punchline because I thought "surely this must be a joke", but I could not.

I think this is a dangerous statement to make for several reasons.

1. This is the biggest reason homeschoolers are vilified as it attempts to demean those who do not homeschool.
2. There are many good god-fearing Christians who do not homeschool, and God may actually have a plan for their family within the Christian or public school setting.
3. This is just bad behavior that I can't see God honoring.... "let the one without sit cast the first stone....".

I am a Christian Homeschooler, and don't don't approve THAT message!

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Defending Homeschooling

I spent a bit of time defending homeschooling on my blog. Another blogger on the site decided to spend time giving a teachers opinion, which of course was off the mark as far as a homeschooler like myself is concerned.

Some of the articles I wrote are

Dealing With Homeschool Inconsistencies
by Andrea Hermitt

In a past article on the Cons of Homeschooling, I responded to stereotypes that people see as cons of homeschooling and also mentioned some of my own ideas about possible cons of homeschooling.

Perceptions of Homeschooling: When others think you are doing a bad job
by Andrea Hermitt

One of the hardest parts of being a homeschooler is dealing with the criticism that goes along with it. Just reading the occasional article or blog makes it clear that by homeschooling people have the perception that we are doing a bad job with my kids.

Perceptions of Homeschooling: The Weird Issue
by Andrea Hermitt

When I was a teenager, my family (including parents and siblings) used to tease me about being weird and perhaps a bit crazy. The reason was that I was always doing something unexpected, and a bit off color. I said things they did not expect. I had ideas that were a bit unusual.

Perceptions of Homeschooling from the Media

by Andrea Hermitt

I just read a 10 page article on homeschooling that showed up in my Google Alerts today. It actually turned out to be dated Oct 5, 1998, but it came to my email box as new news. Still, there were several statements in this article about homeschooling that caught my eye.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Nothing to do with homeschooling

I got some video requests from my youtube viewers that have nothing to do with homeschooling but everything to do with values and my view on the world. Watch the first video and then the second...

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Monday, March 03, 2008

HSLDA mum on California Ruling Against Homeschoolers?

I get emails every single day from or through HSLDA talking about how they SAVED one homeschooling family or other from the evil government.

Meanwhile, for the past few days I have been hearing about how a Judge has ordered homeschoolers into government education.

Now, while this above link will bring you to an HSLDA web page, it is just a newsfeed page. Meanwhile, they have had nothing to say regarding this particular case.

My guess is this family does not meet the stringent guidelines HSLDA has set for who they will and will not support. However, if one judge can get away with this, won't others follow.

If they are going to ordain themselves the great leaders and protectors of the homeschoolers, shouldn't they be leading or protecting?

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