homeschooling encouragement

     Why are we homeschoolers? (The Lewis Family [Frank, Kari, Matthew, and Jonathan] of Home School Enrichment Magazine share the following.) As homeschool support groups across the country are ramping up for their kickoff meetings, it’s pretty clear that the traditional start of another new school year is just around the corner. As such, there are all the usual feelings of excitement, apprehension, anticipation, and all the other thoughts and emotions that go along with this time of year. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of final planning, last-minute purchases, and maybe the odd checklist or two. But in the midst of all this, let’s not forget the main reason we, as Christian homeschoolers, have chosen the homeschooling lifestyle. For many of us, the framework behind our decision to homeschool is the desire to serve and please God by giving our children a Christ-honoring education. After all, without that, none of the other things really matter much. So, what better way to start the new school year than by consciously and deliberately dedicating it to God? That is, most of us claim to be homeschooling for His honor and glory, but at the same time, it’s all too easy to get too focused on ourselves. If you haven’t done it already, why not pray right now that God would make His presence felt in your home and your homeschool throughout the upcoming year, dedicate the year to Him, and commit to following His purposes for your family? That’s the best way we know to get the new school year started off with the right foot forward!

     Homeschoolers – The Cultural Threat: (Judy at Consent of the Governed made the following observation.) As for savings to the taxpayers… the public school people ought to be ever so thankful that we continue to pay for education resources, in our respective towns, that we do not use, in the same way as our private school counterparts. One would think that public school administrators would be more than happy to push kids out of their school door to be homeschooled, so they could have less kids to worry about, and a bigger pie of funding to distribute to educate less kids. Instead they tend to fight the homeschool model and block kids from leaving. I think it’s mainly a "control thing". Heaven forbid parents teach something at home that other people cannot "content control".

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The two major candidates’ positions on homeschooling

     Well, after a month’s hiatus, during which time we moved from Affton, MO, to Salem, IL, and my office computer was offline, I’m back!  With the Democrat Party national convention ending last night, I thought that it would be interesting to compare the two major candidates’ positions on homeschooling, insofar as they can be determined by what they have said and done.

      Obama’s position on homeschooling: (On Thu., July 31, 2008, the Spunkyhomeschool blog reported this.) NPR did a side-by-side comparison of McCain and Obama on education. One section was titled, School Choice: Vouchers, Charters and Home Schooling. McCain’s paragraph affirms his support of homeschooling. McCain supports vouchers, home schooling, charter schools and generally any policy that helps parents choose the private or public school that they want their children to attend. School choice, McCain argues, will create market forces that will spur competition among schools, not just for students but for the best teachers. He has also said that he would expand federally funded vouchers called Opportunity Scholarships that would let more parents pick the school of their choice. Obama’s section does not mention homeschooling at all. Obama also wants to give parents more options when they pick a school for their children, but he would limit those choices to public charter schools. He does not support vouchers for children to attend private and parochial schools. What are Obama’s thoughts on homeschooling? The only evidence that Obama supports homeschooling comes from a quote in his book, The Audacity of Hope on page 344. "None of these policies need discourage families from deciding to keep a parent at home…For some families, that may mean doing without certain material comforts. For others it may mean home schooling….Whatever the case may be, such decisions should be honored." I’m humbled that Obama wants to "honor" the decision, but does that mean he won’t seek to increase oversight of those who homeschool.  According to NPR, Obama’s education proposal "borrows many ideas from several commissions that promote the national certification of teachers." Further, Linda Darling Hammond, is key Obama advisor on education and a strong proponent of teacher certification. "If we are serious about leaving no child behind, we need to go beyond mandates to ensure that all students have well-qualified teachers" (Emphasis in original). Does Hammond’s "all" include parents who homeschool?

     McCain’s position on homeschooling: (On Aug. 18th, 2008, in an Analysis of the Rick Warren Presidential Forum: Passion and Conviction Versus Monotone Smooth-talker, Rachel Alexander made the following comment.) The candidates were asked about paying schoolteachers based on merit. Obama had some wishy-washy answer. McCain’s response? "Find bad teachers another line of work." [Rick] Warren interjected and accused McCain of replying too quickly. McCain shot right back, "Can I just say choice and competition, home schooling, charter school vouchers, all the choice competition I want….home schooling works, vouchers in our nation’s capitol works….New York City is reforming….New Orleans now has over 30 charter schools in the city and guess what? It’s all coming up…what kind of opportunity is it if you send them to a failing school?"

new kind of “back to school planning”

     Barb Frank of The Imperfect Homeschooler (Cardamom Publishing) recently pointed out this rather bizarre example of "back to school planning."

Police say Ardmore student planned attack on opening day

Posted by Lee Roop

     ARDMORE – Police here believe they stopped a "serious" threat to attack teachers and students on the opening day of high school Wednesday.

     A 16-year-old boy is in juvenile custody today after his home here was raided by Ardmore police Friday night.

     Among the items confiscated were swords, knives, razors and a journal, and a hand-written "book of hate."

     Ardmore police chief W.M. "Doc" Oliver said police believe the boy was trying to recruit other students in a plot to attack teachers and students as well as the crossing guard and the school resource officer at the high school. One of the students he contacted told his parents, who called police, Oliver said.

     "It was serious," the chief said. "He was a loner. He would answer our questions directly. He had no remorse."

     Police also seized a computer on which Oliver said pornographic pictures of underage girls were found. Charges of child pornography were to be added against the boy today, the chief said.

     The boy was held over the weekend in juvenile facilities in Tuscumbia, the chief said, and will be tried in juvenile court in Athens.

     —from The Huntsville Times

McDonald’s Does It Again

     NOTE:  We just recently moved from St. Louis, MO, to Salem, IL.  My office computer has been off line since July 31 and is still waiting for a phone line to be put in.  I have been checking e-mails and doing a few things on my wife’s computer at home, but there is no easy way to get things from my computer to hers so I have not been posting any blogs recently; I hope to be back on line soon.  However, I just ran across a couple of items that I wanted to share with you.  Previous blogs have reported on how the supposedly family-friendly McDonald’s restaurant firm has joined the radical pro-homosexual rights crowd.  Here’s more.

     On August 13, 2008, the American Family Association reported:

 

     Now we learn that McDonald’s sponsors training for homosexuals on how to promote their agenda among corporations from the inside.

     At the bottom of McDonald’s half-page ad in the Out & Equal Summit booklet is this statement: "From neighborhood to neighborhood, coast to coast and around the world, McDonald’s is proud to celebrate diversity" (homosexuality).

     McDonald’s has done it again. First, the company paid $20,000 to become a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and to have a seat on the board of directors. Next, McDonald’s refused a request to remain neutral in the culture war by choosing to promote the gay agenda. Then McDonald’s accused those opposing the gay agenda, including same-sex marriage, of being motivated by hate. Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is a national organization devoted to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the workplace. One of its primary purposes is to train employees how to aggressively promote homosexuality within the company they work for, all the way to the corporate boardroom. Part of last year’s Out & Equal Summit in Washington, DC, (sponsored by McDonald’s) was an organized march into congressional offices demanding same-sex marriage laws be passed.