Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Plowboy Interview: John Holt

Last year, Mother Earth News republished a July/August 1980 Interview with John Holt, The Plowboy Interview online.   Here are a few thoughts from the article:

More important, though, the one-time schoolteacher has not abandoned his efforts to help children learn and grow. Instead, John has taken a new approach . . . one that he sees as being the only logical response to the appallingly poor quality of public education and its innate resistance to change.

Namely, John Holt now devotes his energies to assisting people who want to help their youngsters learn at home . . . after pulling the children out of school altogether!

Why did a man who was at one time a conservative, traditional schoolteacher come to advocate keeping one’s children out of school? How can parents successfully remove their youngsters from public school in the first place? And why does Mr. Holt think that readers of THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS should be especially interested in his ideas?

You can read the rest of this enlightening article here: The Plowboy Interview: John Holt

Freshwater Fred’s Learning Library

My good friend Ruth at Learning is Fun first told me about Fresh Water Fred’s Learning Library.  It is a  great resource.

Freshwater Fred’s Lending Library includes approximately 1,100 educational videos, software programs and curriculum – and the collection is always growing. Explore topics such as biology, zoology, anatomy, physics, math, history, geography, the arts and environmental science.

There is no charge for Lending Library materials. Freshwater Fred’s Lending Library is brought to you by Hoosier Energy and its Environmental Education Center, located at the Turtle Creek Reservoir in Sullivan County, Ind.

Materials are available to educators in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin for 30-day intervals. Renewals are subject to demand. Educators are limited to 10 items at any one time.

Freshwater Fred’s Lending Library

Lord of the Flies Game

William Golding’s first novel, “Lord of the Flies,” 1954, rapidly became a world success and has remained so. It has reached tens of millions of readers. If you are one of them, you may challenge your memory with this game. If you haven’t read the book, read it and come back! It’s a very entertaining and exciting book about a group of young boys who are isolated on a desert island.

Lord of the Flies Game from

H.R.6737 Update, Tax Credits and Celeste Land on Fox News!

I wrote about H.R. 6737 and that the Push to change IRS code for homeschoolers continues back in August. I checked THOMAS and saw that on September 17th, 2008, another sponsor, Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado has signed on in support of the bill.

Who are these sponsors and what is motivating them to have the IRS code changed?  Are there homeschoolers in their districts requesting these tax creedits? If not, why are they including homeschoolers?   I don’t have those answers yet, but I thought I’d see what I could find out about each of them.  I’ve linked each of their names to their bio’s at  I’m continuing to reseearch them, but  so far all I’ve learned is that they are all republicans, two are from Arizona and two are from Florida.  If you know more about them, please leave a comment.

  • Representative Doug Lamborn
  • Representative Jeff Miller
  • Representative Timothy  Walberg
  • Representative Patrick Tiberi
  • Representative Tom Feeney
  • Representative John Shadegg
  • Representative Trent Franks

Here is the federal language again:

Title: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals with children attending an elementary or secondary school a deduction for each child attending a public school equal to 25 percent of the State’s average per pupil public education spending and, for each child attending a private or home school, a deduction equal to 100 percent of such average.

Sponsor: Rep Hoekstra, Peter [MI-2] (introduced 7/31/2008) Cosponsors (7)
Latest Major Action: 7/31/2008 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Coincidentally, Fox News aired an interview this evening about homeschoolers.   I could have done without their “homeschoolers test better than public schooler’s” stats, but Celeste Land of The Organization of VA Homeschoolers aptly pointed out that we are a diverse bunch.  She also stated that we need to focus on protecting the one thing we have in common…. homeschooling.   Dawn Johnson and her three beautiful daughters were also featured.  I’m hoping that Fox will share the interview on their site, but haven’t found it yet. If they do, I’ll come back and add it here.

Homeschooling Surges in U.S. as Parents Reach for Legal Rights
Monday, September 22, 2008 By Shannon Bream

The reporter ended by looking at tax credits for homeschoolers.  She said  that some folks do want tax credits and some don’t want the risk of more accountability that they might bring.  It almost made me wonder if she hadn’t stopped by Dana’s blog this last week?  Dana had announced at her Principled Discovery blog that she would be  interviewing  Dan Lips of the Heritage Foundation about the economic benefits of homeschooling and tax credits for homeschoolers for Home School Talk.  I haven’t listened to the interview yet, but perhaps Mr. Lips will have some insight into why these legislators continue to attempt to amend the IRS law.