Trusting Children

TrustingChildren

There is no ONE home educating expert, but  each family and child are their own best expert as to what works best for them each day while living and learning.

That said,there is a lot of great information that will inspire you to learn to trust yourself as being your own best expert if you choose the path of educating at home.

This time of year, I often get emails or phone calls from families wanting to know more about homeschooling.  Some want to know about public e-schools, some want to explore part-time enrollment, and others are ready to start the journey of home education.
Like any life choice, you gather what you can from others, from books, the Internet and then you choose what method(s) will be best for you.  No matter what you choose, no one will ever walk in your shoes, nor follow the same path you or your children will, so enjoy the journey. It is as unique as you and your family.  There are no RIGHT ways just the way that best serves you, your child and your family.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite quotes that have inspired me over the years, and have helped me to enjoy my journey in the diverse community of home educators.

Come to the Carnival!

I will be hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling next week on May 29th and I’m grateful to the Cate’s for their continued invitations to host the carnival here.

I’m particularly appreciative since  I’ve been woefully neglectful of this blog as of late, but the main reason I originally created it was not for my posts,  but to share information  such as  Sue Duncan’s  OH-Alerts.   The opportunity of hosting the carnival a couple of times of year is another reason I happily keep it online.

Hosting the carnival always leads me back to the wonderful path home education led our family down over the years.  This quote by John Taylor Gatto  says it all:

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”– John Taylor Gatto

I hope you will stop by next week to visit or submit a post!

 

 

Granny D speaks out on Supreme Court Decision to kill finance reform

Reprinted with permission:

January 21, 2010 statement from Doris “Granny D” Haddock in response to the Supreme Court’s decision today to kill campaign finance reform.

Ten years ago, I walked from California to Washington, D.C. to help gather support for campaign finance reform. I used the novelty of my age (I was 90), to garner attention to the fact that our democracy, for which so many people have given their lives, is being subverted to the needs of wealthy interests, and that we must do something about it. I talked to thousands of people and gave hundreds of speeches and interviews, and, in every section of the nation, I was deeply moved by how heartsick Americans are by the current state of our politics.

Well, we got some reform bills passed, but things seem worse now than ever. Our good government reform groups are trying to staunch the flow of special-interest money into our political campaigns, but they are mostly whistling in a wind that has become a gale force of corrupting cash. Conditions are so bad that people now assume that nothing useful can pass Congress due to the vote-buying power of powerful financial interests. The health care reform debacle is but the most recent example.

The Supreme Court, representing a radical fringe that does not share the despair of the grand majority of Americans, has today made things considerably worse by undoing the modest reforms I walked for and went to jail for, and that tens of thousands of other Americans fought very hard to see enacted. So now, thanks to this Court, corporations can fund their candidates without limits and they can run mudslinging campaigns against everyone else, right up to and including election day.

The Supreme Court now opens the floodgates to usher in a new tsunami of corporate money into politics. If we are to retain our democracy, we must go a new direction until a more reasonable Supreme Court is in place. I would propose a one-two punch of the following nature:

A few states have adopted programs where candidates who agree to not accept special-interest donations receive, instead, advertising funds from their state. The programs work, and I would guess that they save their states more money than they cost by reducing corruption. Moving these reforms in the states has been very slow and difficult, but we must keep at it.

But we also need a new approach––something of a roundhouse punch. I would like to propose a flanking move that will help such reforms move faster: We need to dramatically expand the definition of what constitutes an illegal conflict of interest in politics.

If your brother-in-law has a road paving company, it is clear that you, as an elected official, must not vote to give him a contract, as you have a conflict of interest. Do you have any less of an ethical conflict if you are voting for that contract not because he is a brother-in-law, but because he is a major donor to your campaign? Should you ethically vote on health issues if health companies fund a large chunk of your campaign? The success of your campaign, after all, determines your future career and financial condition. You have a conflict.

Let us say, through the enactment of new laws, that a politician can no longer take any action, or arrange any action by another official, if the action, in the opinion of that legislative body’s civil service ethics officer, would cause special gain to a major donor of that official’s campaign. The details of such a program will be daunting, but we need to figure them out and get them into law.

Remarkably, many better corporations have an ethical review process to prevent their executives from making political contributions to officials who decide issues critical to that corporation. Should corporations have a higher standard than the United States Congress? And many state governments have tighter standards, too. Should not Congress be the flagship of our ethical standards? Where is the leadership to make this happen this year?

This kind of reform should also be pushed in the 14 states where citizens have full power to place proposed statutes on the ballot and enact them into law. About 70% of voters would go for a ballot measure to “toughen our conflict of interest law,” I estimate. In the scramble that would follow, either free campaign advertising would be required as a condition of every community’s contract with cable providers (long overdue), or else there would be a mad dash for public campaign financing programs on the model of Maine, Arizona, and Connecticut. Maybe both things would happen, which would be good.

I urge the large reform organizations to consider this strategy. They have never listened to me in the past, but they also have not gotten the job done and need to come alive or now get out of the way.

And to the Supreme Court, you force us to defend our democracy––a democracy of people and not corporations––by going in breathtaking new directions. And so we shall.

Doris “Granny D” Haddock

Dublin, New Hampshire

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GrannyD.com

http://grannyd.com

From NHELD on N.H.

01/14/2010

Did you know that New Hampshire Parents Defeated Another Attempt to Curtail Their Freedom Yesterday?

New Hampshire homeschoolers won a major victory, defeating a legislative attempt to impose onerous regulations on them.  The vote was 324-34 on the bill, HB368. (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB0368.html)

The parents in New Hampshire worked long and hard calling and writing their legislators, informing them of the value of homeschooling, and of the value of preserving and protecting the rights of parents.  Many came out to protest this piece of legislation ( see http://www.youtube.com/v/ad5IuC7yDHA&amp ). It proves, once again, the power of “we the people” joining forces in defense of liberty.  A major battle was won, but they have one more battle ahead of them.  The other bill, HB1580, is currently in committee. The text is here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB1580.html

A public hearing on that bill will be held next week, Thursday, January 21.

The parents have gained the support of some legislators to propose a new bill, one that is patterned after Connecticut’s law on the Duty of Parents, which will re-establish the rights of parents to remain free to instruct their own children.  Please lend your support to these parents in whatever way you can.

For more information, you can go to: http://nhhomeschooling.org/legal-news

www.nheld.com

Attorney Deborah Stevenson – Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense – email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron – Director of Research, NHELD – imjfaron@sbcglobal.net

Wooing homeschoolers back into school

Westcoaster.ca reported  that a BC superintendent stated that wooing homeschoolers back into their system  could be a wooing and luring homeschoolerssolution to their financial woes.

I’ve always supported the right for a family to choose the educational option that is best for their child, whether it be homeschooling, unschooling, private or public school.  What I’m never in favor of is children being seen as dollar signs, but unfortunately as  education has grown into a business, private or public, children become viewed  as numbers.  When added up those numbers  equal dollar signs. I never saw this so clearly as when I did research on school funding and realized that children weren’t just listed as whole numbers, but due to accountability, were listed as decimals.  You know, 2.5 children attended such and such class. I recall a school treasurer explaining it to me, and I suppose from a business standpoint it must be done that way to match up the funding with various programs and needs. However,  those children equaling 299.5 instead of the whole 300 is  what comes to mind when I read articles where superintendents or school boards see wooing back homeschoolers is the answer to their woes.    It happens here in the states as well.

It seems the golden rule should be applied here.  Each child is unique and deserves the best education their family chooses and can provide. If folks treat each other as they’d like to be treated, then those homeschoolers wanting to return would feel welcome no matter what and not feel their beeing wooed, but welcomed.

The American Homeschool Association Citizen’s Journal

Thanks to Susan Ryan for permission to reprint the following announcement:

The American Homeschool Association Citizen’s Journal is a new American Homeschool Association project we’ve developed to give more people an advocacy voice.  We’re hoping to build a grassroots effort enabling folks who don’t have blogs, or time to do much more than throw an article link or a piece of information out there to share with homeschoolers. Start there, and maybe your interest will perk up enough that you are writing letters to the editor or starting your own blog.  Of course, the invitation also extends to bloggers and other writers to contribute past, present and future articles.  Meanwhile, we all gain from more networked information regarding homeschooling.  This is a public option on a national homeschool advocacy online journal.

More information is below.  Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.  Spread the word!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

We’re looking for articles, essays, interviews, reviews, etc., previously published or not…

Write for the American Homeschool Association!

Are you always finding interesting stories, news items, websites and resources that you think other homeschoolers would enjoy?

We’re looking for people to write for the American Homeschool Association’s Open Online Journalism project. Your contribution can be a sentence or a paragraph, a single link or an entire page, a commentary or whatever you’d like to contribute. It will be posted on the American Homeschool Association Citizen’s Journal.

The AHA’s Open Online Journalism project will provide a voice and broad exposure for any current work you may be involved in, and it offers homeschoolers a place to share, learn and help others become empowered.

The Guidelines are simple:

* The articles listed here express the views of the author, not necessarily the views of the AHA or any entity associated with this medium. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any article, and are not responsible for the contents.

* You agree, through participation, that you will not submit any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, or otherwise in violation of any law. All views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this site. “As needed, please respect others’ privacy in your submissions.”

* Please do not submit any sales oriented links or articles.

* The editors reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity, style, and will share them according to space limitations.

American Homeschool Association Citizen’s Journal

Best Homeschool Resources

The best homeschool resources I have found can’t be purchased, but are knowing your rights and the responsibilities foundation, best homeschool resources, rights and responsibilitiesthat accompany them. This way, you are fully aware of what options you can choose and if someone asks you to do more or less than that option,  you are fully informed and can protect your choice.

This has come to mind today as I watched a report that Susan Ryan shared at her Corn and Oil blog from Fox News about Virtual Schooling. The show started with the reporters stating how homeschooling is growing like wildfire as an intro to an interview with  Elizabeth Kanna, author of Virtual Schooling, A Guide to Optimizing Your Child’s Education.

Kudos  to miss Ms. Kanna for getting it right when she explained that the virtual schools she writes about are actually public virtual schools and that they are not the same as homeschooling.    Certainly there are many similarities, but it is important to remember when exploring various education  options that we  must investigate each choice and look at the fine print attached to determine the best option for our family.    That is why I’m in favor of rights and responsibilities being the foundation and key to finding the best homeschool resources available.   As we investigate any choice or opportunity, it is our responsibility to ask the hard questions and to learn all we can before choosing.  Clarity of language similar to Ms. Kanna’s helps to find  the rights to this option all the easier.

Each state is different, but I’m familiar with the laws in my state concerning home education. In Ohio- home education laws and rules can be found within a few short chapters of the  Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3301-34 Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education.   Virtual Public School Laws can be found in the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3314 and include  many more laws since they are public schools.

Knowing the rights and responsibilities  involved with each choice, whether  they are labeled public virtual school, public brick and mortar school, private school or home education,  provides an excellent foundation for parents to be able to  find the best resources for their child(ren).

Still here…

I apologize for dropping off the face of the blogosphere for the last few weeks.  I’ve been busy with other projects, but most of all, I have rights and responsibilities, Corn and Oilbeen preoccupied  helping my youngest get ready to move away to college and away from home for the first time.   My last post before my brief respite, was “Let Them Be Little” and I posted it in honor of the gift of time that homeschooling gave us.  We have enjoyed  countless moments,  hours and years that have blessed our lives.

I’m reformatting things a bit, and won’t always be posting daily, but I still look forward to exploring  and sharing great resources here with you.

One great resource is Susan Ryan’s Corn and Oil Blog.  Susan remains a tireless advocate and really understands the importance of knowing your rights and that responsibly protecting them gives each family the freedom to live and learn in a way that best meets their needs.  She has an important post up this week, Don’t Write These Laws on Our Children that you won’t want to miss.

– Mary

Duty

We need to restore the full meaning of that old word, duty.  It is the other side of rights.  ~Pearl Buck

Our family started home educating over twenty years ago. Many things have  certainly changed since then, but it is still  important  to help  parental duty, rights, responsibility, homeschool resourcesnew folks know the importance of understanding their responsibilities so they can then claim their rights. As Miss Buck points out, the two are firmly connected.  It is also important to take the time to encourage new parents, help them find groups such as La Leche League and others that will encourage their natural instincts.  Taking the time to share a kind word or lend an understanding ear may be the difference between success and failure. I still recall and appreciate those who took time out of their already busy lives to help me.

Parents today need to know that they are their own best experts when it comes to their family, the education of their children and the protection of their child’s educational rights.  A great resource for any new parent is Larry and Susan Kaseman’s book, Taking Charge Through Homeschooling; Personal and Political Empowerment.  Don’t let the Politics in the title scare you.  Politics and knowing your rights are really intertwined with every day life.  The Kasemans present these principles in an easy to understand format  in the book.   After reading it you will not only be empowered politically, but personally as well.

Better Late Than Early

Better Late Than Early; A New Approach to Your Child’s Education by Raymond S. Moor and Dorothy N. Moore was one of the first books I ever read about homeschooling.    I purchased and read it over twenty years ago,  and I still have the tattered  book with many of my favorite passages highlighted.

Books such as Better Late Than Early encouraged me when many of my friend’s children were  beginning school early and following a very different path than we had chosen.    As I’m thumbing through it again, I realize that the information remains relevant today and I wanted to share some snippets as encouragement.

During the first crucial eight years, home should be the child’s only nest and parents the teachers for their children.  These are the years when the child requires affection and emotional security more than learning skills, when he should be able to get ready for life unfettered by school rules. - page 3

This statement was particularly helpful to me when friends were critical of our choice to educate at home:

It is time to look at the facts instead of at the neighbors.  Just because “everyone is doing ” it,” does not mean that “it” is safe or good or secure for children. - page 7

I also recall reading ,  Without professional training, simply by being herself, a concerned, loving mother usually can do more for her normal child than a teach can.  Parents should, of course, be willing to learn news ideas.  But a mother need not be a trained teacher, nor does she need to teach in any formal way.  By using the framework of every day home activities in a practical way, she can help her children learn as much as possible about the things around him.

If you are just starting out, or maybe in the midst of a challenge, trust your heart, your instincts and most importantly, trust your children. My boys are both in college now and I wouldn’t trade a minute of memories we shared while  homeschooling.  Those precious first eight years the Moore’s wrote about  nesting are irreplaceable, and for us,  late really was better than early.

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