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 been 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.
My very good friend Michelle came by to get crafty with me again this week. This time, in addition to enjoying each others company and working with our hands, we also had a mission. I was invited to participate in an upcoming fundraiser for the Akron and Cleveland Food Bank. Here is part of the press release with all the details:
Cups of Kindness
Opening Dec 6 & 7, 2008 – show runs thru Jan 10, 2009
A collaborative with Peninsula Art Academy and Elements Gallery to benefit Akron/Cleveland Food-bank.
A show and sale of original hand-made “cups”, functional or decorative, 2 and 3-D, to be sold to benefit the Food-bank.
A preview party will be held on Dec 6, 10am -2 pm, at a cost of $10 per person.
The cups will be sold at Elements and PAA on Dec 6 and 7, and the entire remaining cups will be for sale at PAA in our exhibit hall thru Jan 10, 2009.
Makes a great gift – for you to give and gives to the Foodbank.
http://cupsofkindness.net (under construction) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional details, please visit http://cupsofkindness.net (under construction) or e-mail email@example.com
I had decided I would make some note-cards for Cups of Kindness and Michelle wanted to as well. Here is a sneak preview of our donations.
First, here are Michelle’s lovely cards. She used stencils, card stock and embossing powder.
And here are mine. The first is a set of 12 whimsical cards that I made using graphics from my computer, card stock and cellophane.
The other is a set of 10 cards, made using my own cup stencils, card stock, embossing powder and watercolors. Each cup is also embossed with the Chinese symbol for kindness.
Several homeschoolers attended the Ohio State Board of Education Meeting yesterday (Sept. 8th, 2008) to hear what the Ohio Department of Education was going to suggest concerning the regularly scheduled five year review of Ohio Home Education Rules.
Kim Murnieks spoke briefly about the Ohio Department of Education’s intent concerning our regulations. Here is a brief summary of what she had to say:
Ms. Murnieks said there were two suggested amendments to the regulations and that these changes will bring Chapter 3301-34 Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education 3301-34- 01Definitions and 3301-34-04 Acadmic Assessment up to date.
Pertaining to both rules, Ms. Murnieks stated that they want to update certified teacher to include licensed teacher to reflect changes in the code that involves teachers. Teachers are licensed these days and they want the language to reflect that.
3301-04-04 must be updated due to the reference to nationally normed tests because this citation – 3301-12-02 that is included in that section was rescinded in 1996.
Chapter 3301-34 Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education. 3301-34-02, 3301-34-03, 3301-34-05,3301-34-06 will be filed with JCARR for no changes.
The updated text will be compiled for 3301-34-01 and 3301-34-04 and submitted at the October Ohio State Board of Education Meeting. Those rules will be filed in November and there will be a public hearing on these in December. Final rules will be adopted in January 2009.
Co-Chairman Ann Womer Benjamin asked about the public comments that had been gathered. Ms. Murnieks responded that they received over 8,000 comments, mostly from parents expressing satisfaction with the rules. At this point, I believe that she reiterated that the plan is to correct the 2 technical rules and bring them up to date. There is a transcript of the meeting here.
Yesterday was step one of the process, so Ohio homeschoolers may want to continue to follow and make sure that they are comfortable with the language that will be used to update Chapter 3301-34 Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education 3301-34- 01Definitions and 3301-34-04 Acadmic Assessment that will be presented to the Ohio State School Board in October and sent to JCARR in November. Before the language is finalized, homeschoolers willhave the opportunity to attend the public meeting in December to provide our input, if necessary.
The Ohio State Board of Education has their agenda listed at the OSBE website and it states that they will be discussing Rules 3301-34-01 and -04. It has been explained that they are looking to address two particular sections because there are citations within those that are outdated that need updating.
These would be:
From section 3301-34-01:
(A) “Certified teacher” means a person who holds a valid Ohio teaching certificate, excluding the certificate issued under section 3301.071 of the Revised Code.
As I understand it, the law regarding certified teachers has been changed, so they must update this to match the change.
From section 3301-34-04
(1) Results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement test which meets the requirements set forth in rule 3301-12-02 of the Administrative Code.
3301-12-02 of the O.A.C. was eliminated when public school testing rules changed. If you visit the O.A.C and read the present section 3301-12-02 of the O.A.C., you will see that it refers to superintendent issues and no longer has anything to do with testing.
If you click on this link, you will be taken to the Ohio SBE website. Once you are there, you can find the agenda within their Sept. 8th date, by clicking on Time Schedule. This will open up as a PDF. If you don’t have the free Adobe Software to open PDFs, you can download the free Adobe Reader here.
Here is the section of the meeting that pertains to us:
Achievement Committee Meeting – Delaware Room
• To discuss Rules 3301-34-01 and -04, Home Education Rules
• To hear an update from the International Education Advisory Committee
Mike Cochran and Ann Womer Benjamin
Virgil Brown, Jr., Colleen Grady, Heather Heslop Licata, Eric Okerson, Steve Millett and Emerson Ross
Curriculum and Assessment
Stan Heffner, Associate Superintendent, Center for Curriculum and Assessment
Diana Branham, Kim Murnieks and Donna Nesbitt
I also learned that my public records request is on its way. There were 8,000+ comments, some of them from homeschoolers and some from districts.
I will offer a report here after I receive my public records request and after attending the meeting.
As I have mentioned before, some of us have been reading and discussing the book, “Taking Charge Through Homeschooling, Political and Personal Empowerment” by D. Larry and Susan M. Kaseman. For those of us who thought that politics was beyond our understanding, this is a book filled with practical information that helps us to understand how simple our participation can be in the political process. Many libraries carry the book, or you can purchase it used or at HEM.
If you do want to follow federal legislation that pertain to homeschooling, a helpful resource is the THOMAS Web Site. The THOMAS site is a service of the Library of Congress. At this site you can look up the U.S. Code, proposed legislation, Historical Documents, Congressional Records, Committee information and much more.
Thomas also has a link for state resources, other jurisdictions and other resources. Under “Other Resources” you will find almost everything you wanted to know about your state and how it is governed.