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Other homeschooling magazines

     While I think that The Old Schoolhouse is the BEST homeschooling magazine available, there are several others and I have subscribed to them all at one time or another.   I like Home Education Magazine (P. O. Box 1083, Tonaskjet, WA 98855; http://www.homeedmag.com). Even thought I do not always agree with everything that I read in it, I can usually find something worthwhile in every issue. For instance, the Sept./Oct., 2006, issue has very interesting columns and articles by Carol Narigon on putting on a homeschool informational night, Larry and Susan Kaseman on how to be an active part of the homeschooling movement, Wendy Roberts on how to organize a successful homeschool co-op, Kathleen McCurcy on “The Neurons that School Forgot,” Mary Nix's interview with Dr. Pat Montgomery of Clonlara School, Helen Hegner's interview with homeschooling author Linda Dobson, and Linda Dobson's own “Count Your Blessings.” My current need to make a decision whether to renew my subscription for next year or not really has nothing to do with the magazine itself or being mad at something in it. Rather, it is simply a matter of finances and time. To cut back, I have dropped subscriptions to some of the religious magazines that I have taken through the years, and I feel that I should also cut back on some of the homeschooling magazines as well. However, as indicated earlier, there are some things about Home Education Magazine with which I do not always agree. Publisher Helen Hegner wrote, “The philosophy which Mark and I brought to Home Education Magazine was one of simply trusting children to learn.” While not exclusively so, HEM does tend toward unschooling, and occasionally I have seen articles which seemed to mock and ridicule those homeschoolers who “do school at home” and use “canned curricula.” But that would not be a major problem. While I do not subscribe to all the theories of John Holt, who is acknowledged as the founder of “unschooling,” I do not reject the idea of unschooling altogether. However, I also see what I think is a little bias against those who homeschool because of strongly-held, sincere religious beliefs. Carol Narigon wrote about finding a place for a homeschool information night, “Some churches will donate space for free or for the cost of a collection basket. (Unless your group is affiliated with the church,, you'll want to clearly state that your workshop is strictly for homeschooling. Some people who don't want to join a religiously affiliated group might be put off or form the wrong impression by meeting in a church.)” I think I understand what Carol is saying, and basically I agree with her, but sometimes the writers in the magazine seem to fall all over themselves to point out that not all homeschoolers are religious, with the possible implication that some who are “religious homeschoolers” are not really to be trusted. I would not say that the magazine is “anti religious homeschoolers,” but those of us who are committed Bible believers would not find as much in it to encourage us. Another example is News and Commentary editor Valerie Bonham Moon's reference to the suit by Calvary Chapel Christian School against the University of California for disallowing high school credit for science courses using Bob Jones and A Beka curricula, often used by homeschoolers as well. She noted the judge's observation that no Catholic, Islamic, or Jewish schools had problems in moving students through the UC system. With all due respect to sincere Catholics and Jews (and even Muslims), the fact is that most of their schools have compromised with Darwinian evolution in their science courses. But the whole note seems to imply that somehow people who oppose Darwinian evolution are just a bunch of spoil sports. And worst of all, perhaps related to the discussion of religious homeschoolers, there is a definite bias against Home School Legal Defense Association. In fact, out of six items in Valerie Bonham Moon's News and Commentary column, four of them make some kind of snide remark about HSLDA or its adjunct Patrick Henry College.

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