The term homeschooling – how would you define it? Merriam Webster says it’s “to teach school subjects to one’s children at home.” As someone who homeschooled her own 3 children, I agree with that definition. As least I did – until 3 weeks ago!
I’ve been active in the homeschooling world for over 30 years as a parent, homeschool program administrator, and independent consultant. While I often imagined a world in which many more parents would discover the joy and excitement of teaching their own children, I always assumed that they would be willingly choosing this lifestyle. I never dreamed that the entire state of California would be staying at home while all education moved online.
With my heart and mind still reeling from the abrupt cancellation of everyday life, I encountered the following headline: Continue reading
Sadly, the worst part of this election is not the choice between Trump and Clinton (even though this is the most disagreeable choice in all the years I’ve been voting for president).
Unfortunately, we cannot blame this horrible choice on the Republican and Democrat parties or on the current government. The choice between Trump and Clinton is not a bad decision foisted upon us by someone else.
In America, anyone who meets the constitutional qualifications for president can declare his or her intention to run. In fact, 17 Republicans and 5 Democrats did just that. Through a lengthy process of primary elections and caucuses, the field was narrowed to 1 Republican, Donald Trump, and 1 Democrat, Hillary Clinton. And just who did the winnowing? The voters, that’s who! Yes, it was the majority vote of our peers that has given us this horrible choice. Continue reading
Please note that this article intentionally does not address the pros or cons of vaccinations. My objective, as a homeschool consultant, is to help families prepare for the requirements of the new law; it is not to offer advice regarding medical decisions for their children.
Beginning July 1, 2016, all children attending a campus-based school in California will need to be vaccinated against 10 specific diseases. SB 277, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, eliminates the Personal Belief and Religious Exemptions which had been utilized by parents who selectively vaccinate or who do not vaccinate their children.
Listed below are three common school scenarios with details of how each will be impacted by this new law:
#1 – My Children Attend a Campus-Based School.
These children must be vaccinated by the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year unless granted a medical exemption by their doctor. Their schools will be checking for the mandated shots at time of initial school entry, transfer to a new school, and at 7th grade.
If vaccinations are an issue for your family, then parents can request a Personal Beliefs Exemption (PBE) from their medical professional prior to December 31, 2015. The form, CDPH 8262, should be turned into the school office as soon as possible. Continue reading
Last month, I read this insightful article “I Quit Liking Things on Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity” by Elan Morgan.
I decided to try the same experiment, to see what my news-feed would look like if I stopped using the LIKE button.
I didn’t really see a change in the type of news articles presented. But that’s probably because most of the articles on my news-feed seem to be there because a friend liked them or commented on them.
But what about the personal posts – the Bible verses, inspirational quotes, family photos, recipes, and dinner postings? Liking is the easy way today to let your friends know that you’ve seen their post. In the space of about a second, you can respond without really having to expend any effort at all. Click! That’s all it takes.
And, let’s be honest; don’t we watch the numbers? When we post a family photo, we may be watching to see if specific relatives acknowledge it. But for nearly every other post, we’re usually monitoring the number count. Last week, 34 people liked my post; how many will like today’s? Why does my friend get 100+ likes when I’m lucky to get 30? It’s become the new way to gauge our popularity – and of course, more must mean better, right? Continue reading
I wrote about the Romeike family last year (see https://pennyross.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/german-homeschooling-family-what-difference-does-it-make-to-me/) when HSLDA was trying to get a White House petition signed on their behalf. They’re the German family seeking asylum in the United States to continue homeschooling because private or religiously motivated homeschooling is outlawed in their native country.
As we now await word from the US Supreme Court as to whether they will hear the case, why should we be concerned? What difference does this case make to the average American homeschooler? Continue reading
I hope that many of us would answer a resounding NO to the above question which was developed by Machiavelli into the school of thought known as consequentialism. I think it is fairly easy to answer no when the question is asked absent of any context. But does our answer tend to change when the end is already known – and it is a good one? Or at least one that we agree with?
Witness the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on California’s Proposition 8 regarding same-sex marriage. Regardless of your personal beliefs on the definition of marriage, all California voters should be outraged over this decision! It violates a basic constitutional principle: our right to representative government.
The Court’s decision to void Proposition 8 was not based on anything directly relating to marriage. Continue reading
You may have heard of the Romeike family in the news. They’re the family who had to leave Germany in order to keep homeschooling their children. They are seeking asylum in the United States. To learn more of their situation, see http://www.hslda.org/legal/cases/romeike.asp.
Michael Farris of HSLDA will argue their case before an appellate court on April 23rd. What difference does that case mean to us? Should it matter to us if they are sent back to Germany?
Correct! I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions this year. I think Angus and Phil, the dogs in the comic strip by Annie Taylor Lebel, capture the point of most people’s resolutions perfectly:
Angus asks Phil, “What exactly is a New Year’s Resolution?”
Phil responds, “It’s a to-do list for the first week of January.”
I’m teaching government this year to a group of high school students. Our text is quick to extol the benefits of representative government. In fact, it is one of the most basic principles (if not the basic foundation) upon which our Constitution is based.
Americans may not agree on who should be President, but nearly all of us had a chance last month to have a say in the matter. Continue reading