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Old February 11th, 2005 #1
Alex Linder
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http://columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=11845

Faith sparks home-schooling for some

By DAVID SERBER

February 2, 2005

To the left, a large shelf spans the entire wall filled with education curriculum, history and literature books and rocks labeled with their scientific names.

In the corner of the room sits a student’s desk, there is a globe on another desk, and hanging on the wall is a chart listing all the U.S presidents.

To many, it would appear to be a classroom in a public school until one reads the sign posted on the cabinet:

“We obey the Lord Jesus Christ,” it reads.

This is not a public school classroom. It is the basement of Randall and Jami Prather’s house, and the classroom for their children.

It was here on a Saturday afternoon, where they oversaw the dissection of an owl pellet and a sheep eyeball, and a dead crayfish, frog, fetal pig, starfish and grasshopper — a lesson as part of the family’s home-school curriculum for their daughter.

“It’s a mutilation marathon,” Randall Prather joked.

Randall Prather is a distinguished professor of reproductive biotechnology at MU and Jami Prather holds a master’s in nutrition.

They are but one of an estimated 400 families in Boone County, according to Brad Russell, who choose to home-school their children. Russell and his wife, Ann, are another.

According to a study by the National Household Education Surveys Program, in 2003, there were more than 1 million home school students ages 5 to 17 in the United States.

In the report, 30 percent of parents who home-school said they do so for religious reasons.

Faith is the number one reason for both the Prathers, who have seven children, and the Russells, who have five children.

“We wanted to explain our faith and encourage the children to adopt it in everything that they do,” Jami Prather said. “They are getting an academic lesson and being grounded in Christianity.”

About 15 years ago, the Russells and Prathers were part of a small group of newly married couples who met in the Russells’ two-bedroom apartment for Bible study.

The group, all Christians, eventually became interested in exploring what home-schooling had to offer them.

“There came a point where we just said, ‘Hey let’s look into this,’” Brad Russell said.

After studying the benefits, the Russells and Prathers, as well as many of the other Bible-study members, elected to do it, citing their faith as the top priority.

“We knew that you don’t get reinforcement in the public schools for your faith,” Jami Prather said. “It’s just so important to shape children and lead them toward the Lord.”

A strong bond has grown among many of the home-schooling families.

Jami Prather said, “We just kind of encourage each other.”

Ann Russell said, “In the early years, a lot of us would get together comparing curriculums. There was a lot of interchange.”

She said that even now they exchange curriculum and books.

Kathy Noble also has experience with home-schooling her four children

“If you are doing it well, it really is taking up your life,” she said.

Jami Prather can attest to that. She has home-schooled all seven of her children for the past 13 years.

She makes sure the kids start school at 7:30 a.m. The three older children study upstairs independently, and the four younger children study in the basement.

Jami Prather’s responsibilities include grading, giving assignments, teaching, reading out loud, giving counsel and leading discussions about the big questions in life such as faith and marriage.

“It’s pretty labor intense,” she said.

The children study until 11:30 a.m., when they break for lunch. Then they resume their studies, the younger children for about an hour and a half, and the older children for at least two and a half.

By the end of the day, Jami Prather says she is tired and won’t talk about anything related to school.

Laura Prather, the oldest child at age 17, said she is thankful for her home-schooling education.

For the past three or four years, she has read about a hundred books each year. Literature is her favorite subject.

“Home-schooling teaches you to teach yourself because that’s what you have to do your entire life,” she said. Laura, a National Merit semifinalist, plans to attend MU next year.

Although all three families decided to home-school their children, they were all careful to say home-schooling was not the only way.

“For our family, and I can only speak for our family, home-schooling was the thing to do,” Noble said.

Likewise, Jami Prather said, “If people want to home school, we will be there to encourage them. If they say there’s no way, we make sure that they understand that we do not look down on them or think they are doing anything wrong.”

Last edited by Alex Linder; February 25th, 2008 at 11:13 AM.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #2
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http://www.michnews.com/artman/publi...cle_6672.shtml

Home Schooling & The Future of Higher Education
By Nancy Levant
MichNews.com
Jan 31, 2005



People once thought that home schooling was a result of extremist-religious groups and isolationism. Today, home schooling enrollments double each and every year in the United States and internationally. The reasons why are that the quality and variety of curriculums and programs are truly remarkable, and because virtual classrooms are the future of public and university education.



You can continue, year after year, to deny that children are stressed by dull 10-hour days, curriculum work loads, homework over-loads, harried teachers, and proficiency tests, or you can educate your child without stress, with literally a world of curricula, including a host of proficiency test aids, very superior programs in art, music, foreign languages, and physical education, and completely flexible school hours and styles.



Parents must investigate today's home schooling opportunities. They employ the latest technologies, award-winning on-line curriculums and educational models, and they are being accessed by the brightest and most gifted children in the nation because they are superior programs. There's a whole world of educational opportunity for children. There are many options to over-crowded and noisy classrooms and parents forced to sign documents swearing their children have mastered weekly or monthly subject matter.



Parents, however, must be responsible for the quality education. Always remember that public schools are, first and foremost, government institutions. This means agenda, agenda, agenda. This year, two agenda items were clearly global warming and controlled burning of forests. These two topics were squeezed into every subject, including math, and in every grade level. Obviously, the concepts of global warming and controlled burning of forests are to be forced into the consciousness of the upcoming generation, and all but guaranteed we will see these topics over and over again in public school curriculum as sustainable development takes root in the United States.



If you want superior education for your children, and you want them to compete in tomorrow's universities, you are going to have to educate your children with efforts that far surpass the passing of proficiency tests alone. Proficiency tests will soon be used to label and certify your children in particular subject areas. These certifications will determine the higher education tracks, college loans and grants, and career potential for your kids. Don’t think that mandated proficiency tests were created to annoy us. They have governmental purpose, and the tests are used to serve big business.



Public education serves big political agendas, and times are changing. If you have hopes for your children to be other than employees for big business and living in human settlements governed by NGO’s, than you are going to have to participate in your children’s educations. You are going to have to advance grade levels at a quicker pace and supplement government curriculum with advanced subjects and hands-on interest/career opportunities for your children prior to college. It is all but guaranteed that your children’s choice in higher education is going to be turned over to big business who, by the way, is now sponsoring public schools and entire school districts in every state in the land.



It is a sad day when one realizes that being an ordinary American citizen now mandates being a government watchdog, but, in fact, it does. Be very careful with your children who are going to inherit a very new world. Keep your eyes and ears open, talk openly, and take issues to church and civic organizations. Form information-spreading groups, and educate your children far beyond what government curriculum is offering to them. It is imperative that you do if you have hopes for their attendance in fine universities or for them earning masters and doctoral degrees. Most children who now attend public schools will never have these degrees because their proficiency ratings will disqualify them from “the top.” Sad, but true.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #3
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http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16300

Home Schooling Benefits Are Real, Widespread

Written By: David W. Kirkpatrick
Published In: School Reform News
Publication Date: February 1, 2005
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

The evidence that home schooled students do well is more than special-interest pleading. Departments of education in such states as Alaska, Tennessee, and Washington have conducted studies that found the typical home schooled student comes out ahead on virtually every significant measurement.

Specific instances abound. One family sent three home schooled youngsters to Harvard; a home schooler wrote a bestseller at age 15; home schoolers placed first, second, and third in the 2000 National Spelling Bee; Patrick Henry College in Virginia was founded for such students. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett has suggested, probably only partly tongue-in-cheek, that “Maybe we should subcontract all of public education to home schoolers.”

Self-esteem is a goal for students much-proclaimed by many public educators, a goal that, whatever its merits as a theory, has created much controversy. John Wesley Taylor found in research published in 1986 that home schooled children did far better when measured for this attribute as well. Only 10 percent were below the national average. By definition, among the general student body, 50 percent score below average.

Studies by Cornell University Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner suggest that, at least until age 10 or 12, students who spend more time with other children their age than with their parents tend to rely on other children for their values. The result? They tend to have a lower sense of self-worth, of optimism, of respect for their parents, and, ironically, even of trust in their peers. If Bronfenbrenner is correct, this is one of the major, and unrecognized, reasons for the growing dysfunction of much adolescent behavior.

More than 200 colleges, including such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, actively seek to attract home schooled students not only because of their high SAT scores, but for their advanced social skills as well. So much for the rhetorical concern about socialization.

<b>A 1960 study for the Smithsonian Institution by Harold McCurdy concluded that genius is more likely to develop among children who spend more time with their parents and other adults, spend less time with their peers, and have freedom to work out their fantasies. McCurdy also suggested the public school system tends to do the reverse and restrict the development of geniuses.

PUBLIC SCHOOL = CHILD ABUSE
PUBLIC SCHOOL = SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE FORM OF MENTICIDE

Martin Engle, head of the National Demonstration Center for Early Childhood Education in Washington, DC, some years ago said children sense rejection if they are schooled too early. Raymond S. Moore, citing Engle in a September 1985 Phi Delta Kappan article, suggested “early schooling may be the most pervasive form of child abuse in the Eighties.”

That may be carrying things a bit too far. But in the face of the evidence, there is no justification for the hostility so many public school supporters seem to feel toward home schoolers. In district after district they are rejected when they try to participate in a limited number of school activities, academic or extracurricular, although a number of states now require public schools to allow such participation. In Pennsylvania, which lacks such a law, hundreds of school districts do this voluntarily.

As Stephen Arons wondered in his 1983 book Compelling Belief, “Why is it that millions of children who are pushouts or dropouts amount to business as usual in the public schools, while one family educating a child at home becomes a major threat to universal public education and the survival of democracy?”

BECAUSE THE HOMESCHOOLERS ARE MAKING A DIRECT FUCK-YOU STATEMENT TO A SYSTEM THEY REJECT, NO MATTER HOW POLITELY THEY DESCRIBE THEIR MOTIVE.

Home schooled students, whether there are 850,000 or 2,000,000 of them, save the taxpaying public billions of dollars a year by withdrawing from the public schools. Using $9,000 per pupil as a rough approximation of current annual spending on public schools, home schooled students save the taxpaying public between $7.65 and $18 billion a year. It has been estimated that home schooling parents spend about $800 of their own money annually to educate each child.

THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS 12X AS MUCH, AND PRODUCES WORSE RESULTS. ARE YOU SURPRISED?

In brief, although no one should be compelled to undertake the unusual dedication required to home school their children, those who wish do to so should not have government place bureaucratic roadblocks in their way. The evidence to date makes it clear the success rate is much higher for home schoolers while the actual cost is lower--as little as zero for taxpayers. The results benefit students, parents, family, and society.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

David W. Kirkpatrick ([email protected]) is a senior education fellow with the U.S. Freedom Foundation and also with the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio. This article was released to the public by the author on December 23, 2004.

Last edited by Alex Linder; February 25th, 2008 at 11:18 AM.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #4
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http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2...es/02local.htm

Homeschooling was in children’s interest

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a statement from Phil Long, candidate for Medford school superintendent, on the issue of his decision to homeschool his children. After the statement is the complete text of the essay he submitted to the School Board about the issue.

By PHIL LONG
Part of the application process established by the School Board required the applicants to describe, in writing, a challenge we have faced. I thought quite a while about the topic before writing and submitting this essay.

The School Board and the community certainly need to be confident that the next superintendent of Medford schools is supportive of the work our district is doing for students and their families. I am.

As a product of Portland public schools and Oregon’s public university system, as a former custodian at a public elementary school, a former warehouseman at the Multnomah ESD, a former middle school and high school teacher of English, reading and German, a former high school administrator, and even now as a district office administrator, I have had ongoing dialogue with parents and school district employees about what is working and what isn’t for their children and students. And as a homeschooling dad, I have had access to the stories of families who have chosen private schooling or homeschooling.

I hope by submitting this essay for inclusion in the Mail Tribune, more people in the community will see that I, like many other public servants, am more than a district office administrator. I am a concerned parent, a faithful husband, a committed father, a hard-working advocate for children and families and a thoughtfully prepared leader who wants the community I live in to thrive because we listen to each other and look out for our children — all of our children — whether public, private, or homeschooled. For how we treat the least among us reflects the intentions of our hearts.

Here is the essay:

Advertisement
How Healthy is the Air in Your Home?
"This above all — to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man."

That advice from Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been with me since I was a young boy. My mother would often quote it in conversation as we discussed the many seemingly minor personal decisions that eventually add up to define one’s character. When I moved from the classroom to an administrative role, my wife presented me with a framed version to display in my office. It has followed me in every subsequent move and currently resides above my desk. It is such a simple, straightforward life principle. But adherence to it has been at times most challenging.

"How is it that you are the curriculum director for the Medford School District and you homeschool your children?"

That question has certainly perplexed some people I have encountered in recent years. On several occasions, well-intentioned colleagues have commented that to not have my children attending a Medford elementary school would prove challenging to my effectiveness and career options in this community.

Three years ago, the question was tossed out in a challenging tone during an intense meeting between the Medford School Board and a small watchdog group of patrons who had organized themselves as the Medford School Watch. While that was, to say the least, an uncomfortable situation in which to be asked such a question, the decision by my wife and me to teach our two children at home has been the litmus test of how my philosophy of education aligns with my actions.

Someone once said that "the decision to have children is the decision to have your heart walking around outside your body." I agree with that wholeheartedly.

When I set out to be a teacher I was young, single, and idealistic. I believed that my experiences growing up in a large family with five siblings had given me some valuable insights into what my students would need.

My father supported this large family on his wages as a county employee working at the Multnomah Juvenile Detention Home in Portland. Our family life revolved around our active involvement in church. Both of my parents taught Sunday school classes and most of my siblings gravitated toward teaching and leadership work.

Teaching became my calling and in August 1984 I landed my first full-time teaching position in Medford. Seven years into my teaching career, my wife and I were blessed to have a baby daughter, Abigail. It was at that point I began to realize that my education was really just beginning.

Becoming a parent caused me to look at what I do as a teacher through the eyes of a parent. I realized that as a teacher I made some assumptions about my role in teaching children that conflicted with my expectations as a parent.

When my wife and I were both teachers at South Medford High School, a large portion of our waking hours had been spent thinking about our students. Our vacations always included time looking for things that would help our classes become even more interesting to our students. We spent a good part of our weekends grading papers and planning the lessons and preparing materials for the next week of classes. We volunteered as club advisors so we could know our students better. We chaperoned student activities. We looked for ways that our students could gain special recognition for their successes. And then Abigail landed in our laps and our world changed.

When it was just the two of us, we could choose when to open our hearts to others and when to protect our hearts. But now, with Abigail, our hearts were exposed at all times.

We began to develop a family life distinct from our South High Panther experiences. And we were forced to acknowledge our heartfelt desires for our children.

Soon Abigail was reading and writing, and then her brother, Aiden, arrived on the scene. Because of our personal religious beliefs, we enrolled Abigail in a preschool program at a private Christian school. The following year it seemed a natural fit for her to continue in kindergarten, and then first and second grades.

During this time I completed my doctoral program at the University of Oregon while working as a very busy assistant principal at South High. In spring of 1998 I completed my dissertation, "Home Schooling in Jackson County, Oregon: Implications for Public School Policy," and took a new position in the district office working with Kathy McCollum as the secondary curriculum supervisor.

In late-September of Abigail’s second-grade year, we became concerned that she seemed to be losing interest in school. An older friend of ours who was giving Abigail German lessons told us concernedly that she had asked Abigail what she was learning at school. Abigail began to weep and responded, "I haven’t learned anything new in two weeks."

When we investigated we found that her teacher was choosing to have the students do packets of worksheets. When the students were finished, they were to put their heads down and wait for the others to finish. The problem was that Abigail was finishing her weeks’ worth of work in one or two days and spending the rest of the week waiting. I offered to purchase supplementary curriculum but was rebuffed. The teacher felt it would be too distracting to the other students.

At that point we decided to school her at home rather than move her to another school. Aiden continued that year as a pre-schooler, but it was becoming clear that our family lifestyle would be changing even more. One morning as Aiden and I went out to the car so I could drop him at pre-school, he shouted back through the door, "Don’t do history until I get home." We began homeschooling him the following fall. That was six years ago.

Despite the challenging and sometimes awkward position this decision has placed me in, we have been richly blessed through our decision to homeschool our children. It has allowed me to participate in my children’s education by reading literature to them at night that coordinates with the day’s lessons. And in the craziness of my work schedule, my family has been able to adjust its schooling schedule to spend time with me when I have it. It has given me a broader perspective on what it means to be a parent responsible for the education of my children.

I firmly believe that parents are ultimately responsible for raising their children to adulthood. This includes responsibility for the training and preparation of their children for adult responsibilities.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #5
Alex Linder
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How fortunate Lori and I have been to be educators by training and nature. Many parents do not innately have that expertise. During the past six years, I have had countless opportunities to talk with fellow educators about our role in reinforcing the active involvement of parents in their children’s learning. And I have found that our choice to educate our children at home has challenged others to reflect on what their role as public educators should be.

We revisit the decision to homeschool our children each year, discussing this with our children and looking at the various options that are available to us. Abigail will be a ninth-grader this next year. At this point in her education it makes the best sense to us and to her for her to attend South Medford High School. Aiden will enter the sixth grade and will likely continue to be homeschooled for a while longer.

I feel blessed that our decision to school our children at home has been a good thing for our family. And it has been a healthy experience for me to have my beliefs challenged by colleagues and patrons alike. I have had to choose between what is perceived as being "politically correct" and what, in my heart, is best for my family. To be true to myself has in the end meant that I have not been false to others.

As a parent and a public educator, I believe we must seek a better way to align our skills and resources with the important work of helping parents educate and raise their children to adulthood. It is a daunting task for them, as it is for me.

They have hopes and fears for their children’s futures as do I. And when they entrust us with their children — their hearts walking around outside of their bodies — we must cherish and value that trust. And we must encourage each other to be true to ourselves, for "it must follow as the night the day," we will "not then be false to any man." This principle will help prepare us to successfully respond to the personal and professional challenges that await us and our students.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #6
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I continue to be surprised at how prevalent the German names are in this home-schooling field. Until i started searching the news and reviewing what I found, I didn't realize that. German-descended Christians seem to be the main folks home-schooling, or the main ones reporters talk to.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #7
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http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/2/22005c.asp

Humble Home-Schooling Mom Honored for Her Advocacy

By Jim Brown
February 2, 2005

(AgapePress) - A prestigious Maryland school has announced its "Homeschooling's Best Awards" for lifetime achievement, advocacy, and heroism.

Calvert School in Baltimore reviewed the accomplishments of more than 60 people before selecting the top three contributors to home schooling in 2004. Kay Brooks of Tennessee was named home schooling's "Best Advocate." She mobilized 50,000 home schoolers who convinced the Tennessee State Legislature to modify its Hope Scholarship requirements to ensure that home-schooled students compete on equal footing with their public school peers.

While admitting she feels honored by the recognition, the mother of four humbly says all she did was "tell people this is what's going on and here's how you can impact the system." The credit, she says, should go to the home schoolers themselves.

"I really feel like they deserve the accolades for stepping up to the plate and asserting their rights as citizens in this state," says Brooks, founder of the website TnHomeEd.com. And as for the award she received? "I'm a little surprised -- it's about the only payment I get [for being a home schooler], so I was kidding with them [that] I'll enjoy moving this little paperweight around my desk because it will encourage me in my efforts in the future -- and that encouragement is really nice."

Jean Halle, the president of Calvert School Educational Services, says the contributions of Brooks and the other award recipients set a new standard. "In all three cases they just made a real contribution to their communities," she says. "That's very exciting for us." (See website announcement of awards)

Calvert's "Lifetime Achievement Award" went to attorney Chris Klicka with the Home School Legal Defense Association; and 12-year-old Jessica Sara Halpern of Sherman Oaks, California, was named home schooling's "Best Hero" for heading up a campaign that collected more than 500 blankets for the homeless in the Los Angeles area.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #8
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http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/wdh...59288561.shtml

Home schooling parents are ultimate guardians

By Keith Uhlig
Wausau Daily Herald
[email protected]

Even though this is the era of No Child Left Behind and increased educational accountability, parents who teach their own children at home receive very little government scrutiny.

In Wisconsin, home-schooled children don't have to meet state standards and benchmarks and don't have to take standardized tests, and it goes without saying that they are not required to be taught by qualified teachers the way their public school peers are.

"We're accountable to ourselves and our kids," said Sharon Flannery, 44, of Wausau, who teaches five children at home. "I don't think there are children left behind because of home schooling."

That's not to say that home schooling is completely unregulated. For example, the state requires parents to teach their children for 875 hours per school year, and they must provide a sequential curriculum in reading, math, language arts, social studies, science and health. However, no agency or school district monitors them to ensure they fulfill those requirements.

Home school numbers

According to the most recent figures from the state Department of Public Instruction, the number of home-schooled students has steadied after almost 20 years of growth.

Home-schooled students were first counted in the 1984-1985 school year, when 966 Wisconsin students, or about 0.1 percent of the total student population, were taught at home. The number grew steadily through the 2002-2003 school year, when there were 21,288 home-schooled students, or 2.04 percent of the total.

The number declined slightly in 2003-2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, to 21,034 students.

During the 2003-2004 school year, 212 students in the Wausau School District, or 2.42 percent of the total number of students in the district, were taught at home. That was a marked increase from the 1999-2000 school year, in which 167 students were taught at home.


Results of national studies show that home-schooled children do as well as or better than their publicly educated peers on college entrance exams, but even home-school advocates say those studies are flawed. The most important measure of home schooling, they say, is the success of the children themselves.

"We have the kind of measurements that are much better than standardized testing," said Larry Kaseman, executive director of the Wisconsin Parents Association, a home-schooling advocacy group. "We've had a 21-year track record of home-schooled students successfully entering public schools, of going to college. There haven't been problems."

Kaseman says home schoolers have the same level of accountability that private schools have. That's not to say home schooling is immune to problems, he said, but they are few.

"In any society, you basically have to trust that parents want the best for their children," Kaseman said.

YES, AND THAT IS WHAT ZOG DOES NOT DO: TRUST THE PARENTS. LEFTISTS ALWAYS SEE PARENTS AS REPOSITORIES OF REACTIONARY VALUES - OBSTACLES TO THE FORMATION OF THE COMING ZOG-PRODUCED UTOPIA. THUS, HOME-SCHOOLING IS INHERENTLY DANGEROUS IN THE EYES OF THE CONTROLLERS.

Cynthia Abrego of Rib Mountain teaches her two daughters at home, and she thought long and hard before taking on the endeavor three years ago. She decided to try it because she worried about large classes in public schools and she wanted to pass along her values to her children.

"The first year was kind of a trial," she said. "But I liked the unity. I felt we were very close."

Abrego buys lessons designed for home schoolers to ensure her daughters are receiving a proper education. She also refers to resource books that outline what students need to know and when.

"I wanted to find out, are they getting all the things they need?" she said.
With those kinds of resources, Abrego is confident her daughters are receiving the best education possible.

"That's one of the benefits of home schooling. You can identify weaknesses and strengths," Abrego said. "I can focus on my two children in my classroom."

ONE COMMON COMPLAINT OF THOSE EDUCATION MAJORS THE DOLT REPORTER WORSHIPS AS "QUALIFIED" IS THAT PARENTS DONT CONCERN THEMSELVES ENOUGH WTIH THEIR KID'S EDUCATION. THIS CONCERN DISAPPEARS WHEN PARENTS UNDERTAKE THE KID'S INSTRUCTION THEMSELVES. IT IS REPLACED BY "FEAR" THAT KIDS WILL BE TAUGHT BY "UNQUALIFIED" INSTRUCTORS. IT'S JUST A BIG GAME ON GOVERNMENT'S PART. THEY GET ALL THE MONEY -- YOU HAVE TO PAY TWICE TO HOME-SCHOOL, NO TAX REFUNDS -- AND THEY STILL ACT LIKE YOU'RE THE BAD GUY.

SAY, IF THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T A TYRANNY, HOW WOULD A TYRANNY ACT ANY DIFFERENTLY?
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #9
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http://www.magicvalley.com/news/loca...?StoryID=13798

Bucking the stereotype ... One family utilizes home schooling to keep children bilingual

Originally published Sunday, January 23, 2005

By Karin Kowalski
Times-News writer

TWIN FALLS -- <B>The average home-schooling family is white and evangelical Christian with a large number of children and a single income</B>, according to a 1997 study by the National Home Education Research Institute.

EVERYTHING ZOG WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE CAN'T BE DONE... BUT IT CAN BE...IT'S A MATTER OF THE PARENTS' PRIORITIES.

In the Magic Valley, that image dominates, but the movement is growing more diverse, including single-parent families, families that travel a lot and gay couples.

Today, as many as 15 percent of home schoolers are minorities, according to Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute.

Nancy Contreras of Twin Falls home schools her three children to help them be bilingual.

She only spoke Spanish to them when they were little, then sent them to school where they were the only Spanish-speakers.

"I knew that English was going to come anyway," Contreras said. The first year was tough, but her children soaked up English like a sponge and started speaking it among themselves.

This year she's trying home schooling using the Idaho Virtual Academy's K-12 computer program. The program outlines lessons, which are all in English, but she is able to explain things in Spanish when her kindergartner, first-grader and second-grader don't understand.

Debbie Hegman home schools her daughters Jessa, 12, and Danielle, 10, in math during a recent school day at their home in Twin Falls. Hegman has been teaching her children at home for the past 12 years.

Contreras' husband, Pedro, is pastor at the Center of Prayer and Worship. They've worked with the church for the past five years. Nancy Contreras says home schooling is convenient when they need to travel for ministry purposes and take their children along.

Home schooling does present challenges, though.

She spent the first part of the year figuring out a schedule that worked and learning the computer system. She said that put the children a little behind, but she's adding extra days to get them caught up. She spends about nine hours a day giving the three children individual attention.

When they were in public school, she would ask them what they learned and could never get much detail out of them. Contreras said she likes knowing exactly what her children are learning and she'll stick with home schooling for that reason.

Times-News writer Karin Kowalski can be reached at 735-3231, or by e-mail at [email protected].
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #10
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http://www.fremontneb.com/articles/2...news/news8.txt

Stories of parents who feel blessed with their decision

Richard Eng, 13, sits near his mother, Cindy, who is holding Kai Rose and Reggie Eng, 10, during their daily story time. Cindy Eng of Fremont has been homeschooling her children for nine years. - Carolyn Gibbs/Fremont Tribune

AGAIN, THE GERMAN NAME...

By Carolyn Gibbs/Tribune Correspondent

For some children, their dining room table doubles as a desk.

Their home is also their school. And one of their parents is their teacher.

Homeschooling has become more prevalent in the last two decades. Parents opt for this alternative for many reasons, but all agree they basically have taken control of their children's education.

Cindy Eng of Fremont began teaching her children nine years ago. She and her husband, the Rev. Roger Eng, were living in Pennsylvania when they became disenchanted with what they saw happening in the schools.

Eng is a teacher and said, "If I can teach other people's children, why not my own? We wanted to give them a grounding in the Bible and love for the Lord, and we could do that best at home."

They also believe homeschooling helps keep the family together.

"We enjoy being together and although it's not perfect all the time, the siblings are closer, too," Eng said.

The Engs believe homeschooling goes beyond academics.

Eng said her boys, Richard, 13, and Reggie, 10, are learning everyday things, too. They've helped their father shingle the roof, they have learned to do laundry, and since the family adopted Kai Rose from China, they are learning about being a parent.

"If they were in public school, they would have missed all that," Eng said.

Eight years ago, Carey Hughes and her husband, John, of Morse Bluff became interested in homeschooling from statistics they read.

Different stories piqued their interest.

"We prayed about it and said let's give this a try for a year and see how it goes. It turned out to be a good fit for us," Hughes said.

They saw a chance to be the major influence in their children's lives and an opportunity to build character.

She teaches Monica, 13, David, 11, Amanda, 9, and Samantha, 7, not only character but a one-on-one individualized curriculum.

"I'd say church played a part as well," she said.

Homeschooling has worked well for Colleen Halverson, also of Fremont.

"It fit how our daughter Haley, now 11, learned in preschool. We never saw ourselves as home schooling, but it fit Haley's personality.

"She questioned why she couldn't just learn at home," Halverson said.

Halverson said she is blessed to know there are good schools in Fremont — if and when home schooling is no longer part of their lives. She would have no problem sending Haley or Jonas, 7, to public school.

Halverson looked into home schooling and decided to give kindergarten a try.

"We love what it has done for our family and what it has done for our children's education," she said.

Halverson said she likes the fact they can work ahead in subjects that interest them, but if they struggle with some, they can take as much time as they need before moving on.

"My husband also has a busy work schedule and home schooling has been easier to arrange our family life around. It gives us the quality and quantity of family life we wanted," Halverson said.

Home schooling curriculum is in abundance for these teachers. Eng bought some structured curriculum for math especially, and some she has put together herself. Hughes said she uses a mix of materials. Catalogs and Web sites can provide information.

"There is so much material available, it's overwhelming," Hughes said.

Halverson uses a variety of existing curriculum, but also said if her children have a special interest in one area, they pull resources together to make sure they have enough information.

"There is a state convention in April sponsored by Nebraska Home Educators Association," Halverson said. "The entire industry of vendors has all their curriculum set up so we can assess what might be good."

She also said they have curriculum geared to the type learner, whether visual or audio.

"There is so much information, and the state has educational guidelines on the Web, so we can see what they should be doing in each grade, and a lot of it is what is being used in the private schools in our area," she said.

Besides these resources, these homeschool teachers are part of a co-op that meets once a week at Fremont Alliance Church. They do some formal teaching where they assign one of the mothers to teach a particular subject. Moms can pick what they want. The group includes music class, Spanish, physical education and sessions for preschool children. The group not only adds to the academic side of education, but satisfies the socialization children need, according to Hughes.

Socialization is a big issue for home-schooled children, but Halverson said her children also are involved in many other activities.

"Fremont is a great community because we have the YMCA and the Parks and Recreation (programs) they can participate in," she said.

Eng said most of the kids are also involved in their churches.

"It's only the bad socialization they are missing out on," Eng said.

Families have a set schedule to their school day, but all said they basically work one on one. Eng teaches her children history and science together and does the rest individually. Hughes teaches her children separately except for music and physical education.

"We'll also be doing some drama together," she said. "While I work with one, the others are working on assignments."

Halverson said sometimes her children will listen in on each other's lessons, and they also listen to each others stories and poetry they have written.

Hughes and Eng have teaching certificates, but said the State of Nebraska doesn't require that. There are no testing requirements, but a form listing teaching experience, ages of children and the proposed curriculum is required at the start of each school year. Halverson said testing can be done at home, but basically she knows how they are doing because she sees their work on a daily basis.

"If they struggle with a problem, like math, they work on it until they get it right. Also, there are tests with the curriculum you can use, because taking a test is a skill they need to learn."

These families said they see some disadvantages, but not many.

Halverson said her children may not know as many people in YMCA or parks and recreation department programs.

"It's also a big commitment on the part of the whole family," she said. "It becomes your life style."

"It's hard to have deadlines," Eng said. "It's very easy if an assignment doesn't get done to postpone it into next week."

Parents who homeschool their children have the "one year at a time" philosophy when it comes to deciding whether or not to continue.

"We evaluate every year and talk to each child, and we pray," Hughes said. "So far, this seems to be the direction we feel comfortable with."

As far as the children are concerned, Richard and Reggie like home schooling, and Hughes said she hasn't heard any negatives from her children.

Every family is different, but Halverson, Hughes and Eng said their families are closer and enjoy being together.

"I absolutely think it's worth it," Halverson said. "I think every family has to find the right educational fit for them and their children, and I feel blessed we found ours."
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #11
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kindergarten?

why does your child need to be gardened?

is he a vegetable?

is it the goal of k-garten to turn him into one?
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #12
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What is home-schooling?

It's rejecting the system that rejects you.

Rejecting a system that sees your children as nothing but cannon and commercial fodder, and you as nothing but a tax slave.

Last edited by Alex Linder; February 25th, 2008 at 11:20 AM.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #13
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Why shouldn't home-schooling parents get back the money they're saving the "public school" system? Why, if feminists could complain about women doing unpaid work in the home and get coverage, couldn't HSers raise a fuss about paying into a system they receive no benefits and many hassles from?
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #14
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Is it a conincidence the most intelligent generation of Americans was immigrant-free and un-public-schooled?
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #15
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http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/1/282005e.asp

German Home Educators Face Persecution for Rejecting State Schools
-- HSLDA Urging Action on Behalf of Christian Parents in Germany

By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
January 28, 2005

(AgapePress) - Several home schooling families in Germany are being ordered to return their children to public school. Ten families in that country are currently fighting in court for the right to keep their children out of government schools; and seven families in the German county of Paderborn are actually facing criminal prosecution for home schooling and could potentially lose custody of their children.

Despite the fact that the German government does not recognize home education, the Paderborn families recently pulled their children out of public school to begin teaching them at home. As Christians, the parents' primary reason for doing this was to protect their children from the humanistic and atheistic values they were being taught in public school.

The families obtained excellent curriculum materials from German correspondence schools and demonstrated to school officials that their children were receiving a more than adequate education. However, the school districts maintained that home schooling children is against the law, and demanded the children be enrolled in government schools. The parents argued that forcing them to do this would violate their rights, but County Education Director Heinz Kohler dismissed their religious convictions, telling the parents home schooling would "prevent the children from growing up to be responsible individuals within society."

The Paderborn County school board has levied fines against the home schooling families and ordered the parents to return their children back in the public school system or have them taken to school by force. The families were also warned that any resistance on the parents' part could result in the children being taken from their homes and put into state custody.

Chris Klicka is Senior Counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which has started a legal organization for home schoolers in Germany called Schulunterricht zu Hause, or "School Instruction at Home." He is urging U.S. home schoolers to contact the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., to speak up on behalf of their embattled fellow home educators.

"The families in Germany don't have much," Klicka says. "They don't have the freedom, certainly, that we enjoy in America. They don't have the finances, the organization. They need help, and without someone coming from the outside -- like the United States, which is a light to the world in the area of home school freedoms -- I don't think they can make it."

HSLDA is attempting to work out a compromise with local authorities that will allow the seven families in Paderborn to continue home schooling. However, Klicka points out that Germany's compulsory attendance system requires all students to be in public schools. He believes most people in the U.S. would be averse to this patently unfair system.

"I think any American, whether you support home schooling or not, would be offended by the German position," the HSLDA spokesman says, "because there's no choice that's involved. There's no opportunity for any parent to make a decision based on the best interests of their child. It's just 'What does the State want us to learn? We've got to do what the State says.'"

Klicka says the German government does allow for some Christian schools, but those institutions are so heavily regulated that they can hardly be recognized as Christian schools. And since Germany does not recognize the right of Christian parents to choose home education, those families that choose to defy the State rather than defy their own consciences often become the victims of government persecution.

HSLDA is encouraging individuals and even whole families in the U.S. to get involved in advocating for these persecuted German home schoolers. To do so, they can write to Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador; German Embassy, 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007-1998 or call (202) 298-4000. The ambassador can also be e-mailed at the German Embassy website (http://www.globescope.biz/germany/reg/index.cfm).

Klicka says those who write or call on behalf of the German home schoolers should tell the embassy, in their own words, that the families should not be fined or forced to return their children to public school and that the parents' rights to direct their children's education should be protected. Also, the HSLDA spokesman says, supporters should pray for endurance and protection for these courageous families.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #16
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http://www.dailypress.com/news/local...ws-local-final

More parents teach their kids

Educating kids at home is gaining in popularity, as more parents give up careers for teaching their own children.

BY MATHEW PAUST
(804) 642-1738

Published January 31, 2005

Renee Jones gave up a promising career as a Navy officer to teach her children.

Attempting to persuade her to stay in the Navy, her boss had asked her, "Won't you miss the chance of someday being Captain Jones or Admiral Jones?"

"I told him I wouldn't want to miss spending as much time as I can with my kids," the Newport News woman said. "The Navy was getting the best out of me. Home was getting the leftovers."

Kit Finn of Williamsburg home schooled four of her five children so they wouldn't come to hate school. One of her daughters is now pursuing a doctorate in molecular biology at Duke University.

Finn herself is seeking a master's degree in gifted education and hopes to build a career consulting home-schooling families.

"Not only my knowledge and technique evolved, but each child is different," Finn said. "I found the advantage in not having to compare children with each other. Each one learns in a different way, at a different speed. You can pick a curriculum aimed at each child."

Jones and Finn are part of a sweeping movement of parents opting to teach their own children rather than bus them off to be taught by others.

Nationally, the number of children being home-schooled has grown from 850,000 in 1999 to about 1.1 million in 2003, according to estimates by the National Center for Educational Statistics. The 2003 number represents about 2.2 percent of the nation's school-age children.

In Virginia the 1993-94 school year saw a statewide total of 8,454 children exempted from public school for home-school or religious reasons. That number grew to 10,862, or 1 percent, of the state's school-age children by the 1995-96 school year. It's now at about 2 percent: 23,252 of the state's more than 1.2 million school-age children.

NOTE THAT ZOG AND HS ASSOCIATION DISAGREE ON NUMBER OF HOMESCHOOLERS: ZOG SAYS 1M, HSERS SAY 2M. BOTH AGREE THAT THE NUMBER IS GROWING RAPIDLY, AND THAT IS THE MAIN THING.

FUNNY IS THE POLITICAL MINUET. THE HSERS PRETEND THEY'RE NOT REJECTING THE SYSTEM, AND ZOG PRETENDS IT CARES ABOUT KIDS' EDUCATION.


Virginia's home-school numbers include those students with an exemption that requires a certain accountability to meet educational standards and those with religious exemptions that no longer are tracked by a school division.

Several area communities are home schooling hot spots. In Surry, 77, or 6.9 percent, of the county's school-age children are exempted from public classes. Isle of Wight County has 5.4 percent, and Gloucester County has 4.9 percent. Mathews County, Williamsburg-James City County and Suffolk also come in above the 2 percent state average.

Beyond the numbers, the Internet has plenty of signs that home schooling is a growth industry. Web sites abound, offering information, teaching materials, links to local and state home-schooling organizations and state-by-state explanations of laws on compulsory attendance.

A Web site operated by the Home School Legal Defense Association tracks adversarial proceedings between parents and school authorities. The association provides parents with lawyers in some of these cases.

Last year the General Assembly passed an effort to relax one requirement in Virginia - that at least one parent must have a college degree to obtain a home-school exemption. Gov. Mark Warner vetoed the bill, claiming it would lower standards at the same time they were being raised for public school teachers.

Poppycock, says Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, the bill's chief patron. He intends to try again next year, with another governor.

"Every study shows that the additional attention children receive from their parents offsets the formal training teachers have," Bell said. "The kids are doing fine."

A study done for the U.S. Department of Education in 2001 showed that the average home-schooled youngster scored in the 80th percentile or better on standardized tests.

Schooling at home, for both the Finns and the Joneses, takes only several hours a day, freeing up more time for more worldly experiences - trips to the zoo and museums, music lessons, dance, sports and Scouting.

"I've never known a home schooler who spent more than four hours a day on class work," said Finn.

Bell noted that while Virginia initially had one of the more progressive home-schooling laws in the nation, "the other states have caught up and passed us by." Bell said most other states have dropped the college degree requirement for parents and bans on children who are not enrolled in a public school from participating in that school's sports programs.

Some school divisions allow home-schooled children to take career/technical courses on campus. Isle of Wight does so on a space-available basis, said School Board Chairwoman Barbara Olin.

The burgeoning home-school numbers can mean planning problems and money trouble for the public school systems. The home-school numbers can skew enrollment projections - the basis for the amount of state dollars sent to each school division.

Gloucester Schools Superintendent Ben Kiser emphasized this problem recently in discussing the 317 school-age children in Gloucester currently exempt from attending, under either the home-school or religious provisions.

"Theoretically they could all change their minds and show up at our door tomorrow, and we'd have to take them," Kiser said.

The exemption numbers are affecting Gloucester's decision whether to build a second high school. Enrollment has dropped over recent years and is projected to continue decreasing over the next half dozen. The School Board, once agreed on spending some $42 million for a new school, is having second thoughts.

The board blames the decreasing enrollment in part on the rising number of exempted students, plus another 200 school-age children that are not enrolled for various reasons, including private schooling and expulsions.

A study released by the U.S. Department of Education in 2003 found that home-schooling parents gave these as the three top reasons for opting their children out of school: a concern about the social environment of schools, a wish to provide religious or moral instruction and a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at schools.

Both the Jones and Finn families had a problem with the school environment. Jones said her and her husband's decision to home-school their children "didn't really come from dissatisfaction with the schools. They were pretty good with the academics."

But Jones said her oldest son picked up inappropriate values in his first-grade class in the Newport News school system. Garrick Jones said his son, Garrick II, had attended kindergarten at Denbigh Christian Academy.

"Then in public school he'd tell people he loved them, and they acted like they thought something was wrong with him," Garrick Jones said.

The Finns' oldest daughter developed an allergy from the air in a preschool classroom. Also, her teacher seemed irritated by the child's constant flow of questions, Kit Finn said. Then she bumped into education innovator John Holt, author of the book "Teach Your Own."

Finn found herself sitting next to Holt on a bench in the Boston Children's Museum. He commented on how well-behaved her children were, and she started telling him about her oldest daughter's misery in the preschool class.

"I ended up crying on his shoulder. He said it sounded like the teacher was the problem, and he told me children don't have to go to school, that they should be happy. The last thing we wanted was for her to hate school right off the bat," Finn said.

Finn taught by focusing on two basic goals - learn something new every day and learn self-discipline. Eventually each daughter began taking more of a role in her own learning experience, asking questions about how to find things out, she said.

When she was 14 the oldest Finn daughter, who had entered a public school in the seventh grade, started taking classes at the College of William and Mary.

Said Kit Finn, "She didn't start taking college classes at my request. She came to us. She wanted to take a course that wasn't offered in high school."

Last edited by Alex Linder; February 11th, 2005 at 07:59 PM.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #17
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PUBLIC SCHOOL IS CHILD ABUSE
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT IS ADULT ABUSE.

If home chools are the solution for children, then home government is the solution for adult. Decentralized, private, local control for Aryans by Aryans.

Do jews in Washington have the right to make the deepest decisions concerning your life?

The answer is that rights talk is for fools; they have the POWER and they EXERCISE it.

DEATH TO THE JEWS.
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #18
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http://www.coshoctontribune.com/news...s/1967143.html

No place like home
Parents, children find joy in home schooling; potlight

By KATHIE DICKERSON
Staff Writer

# At a glance

For information about joining Cornerstone Home Instructors, contact Becky Armstrong at 545-0957 or attend a meeting at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month from September to May at Calvary Baptist Church, 46621 U.S. 36.

COSHOCTON -- Learning together is a great opportunity.

That's what Staci Hengst said about teaching her three children, Jethro, 13; Abigail, 12; and Lydia, 9.

again, a German name. this is more than coincidence, this has meaning. the meaning is that germans, by contrast to jews and other ethnic groups, instinctively withdraw from things they dislike, rather than fighting to change them. this makes them desirable as neighbors but ineffectual as politicians. but when they are organized and brought together, they will fight more effectively than any other race on earth.

"It's a privilege to be able to teach them at home," she said.

The Hengsts belong to Cornerstone Home Instructors, a group of families with 27 young people who are schooled at home.

When Jethro was kindergarten age, Hengst and her husband, Ian, decided to try teaching at home, and it's continued on a year-to-year basis.

"We like having the ability to mold our children with God's values," she said.

Parents who decide to teach their children at home do so for a variety of reasons.

Chris and Dana Abernethy enrolled their children in school, but because they are in missionary work, they were anxious about relocating and taking the children out of one school and enrolling them in another, possibly more than one time.

Chris suggested teaching at home.

"We're enjoying it very much," Dana said. "We like what we see in our kids and we like the one-on-one interaction."

Caleb Abernethy, 10, recently shared some of his experiences in Mongolia at the Cornerstone International Fair.

Caleb's family went with a Christian group to host a camp experience for children with disabilities. In Mongolia, those children are set aside, Dana said.

He presented a photo slide show of camp activities. They shared cooking over a camp fire experiences, and the Mongolians were pretty amazed that Americans cook hot dogs over an open fire, he said.

"They thought that was pretty funny," he said.

Despite the fact that Mongolians are known as horsemen, many of the children experienced their first horseback ride at the camp, he said.

While traveling, the Abernethys stopped in South Korea, and Caleb was amazed that due to the time zone difference on the return trip, they arrived in California before they left South Korea.

Another home schooled student who's had the opportunity to travel abroad is Kyle Sianjina, 8.

In November 2003, he visited Zambia with his father, Bornwell. He spent three weeks visiting uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.

"Life is different. They have small towns, stores and gas stations," Kyle said.

Pop is served in glass bottles and you have to drink it where you buy it, he said.

"We spent most of the time on the farm where my daddy grew up," he said. "They have goats. They don't have tractors, they use oxen in the fields."

He remembers people singing without instrumental accompaniment, only voices.

"It was beautiful, but hard to understand," he said.

He saw lots of different animals, and his favorite was the water buffalo.

Bornwell said Zambia is his favorite place to vacation and not just because he gets to visit family.

"It's probably the most peaceful country in Africa," he said. "I can proudly say that. I encourage others to go. They have the most beautiful waterfall in the world."

People are friendly and never in a hurry. He recommends leaving wrist watches at home.

"It's very laid back. Take your time and enjoy yourself," he said.

At a recent meeting families of Cornerstone were making plans for some recreation closer to home.

Information on an upcoming Canton Symphony Kinder Concert and Canton Ballet Swings was presented by Becky Armstrong, president.

One of the advantages of belonging to a group of home school instructors is obtaining group admission to museums, she said. Usually it's better pricing, and many organizations schedule daytime performances for schools.

In addition to a monthly meeting the group gets together for field trips several times during the year. They've visited the post office and fire station and had historical character presentations by Alice Hoover. They also have a track and field day.

Though attending school at home, Kelly Armstrong, 16, finds plenty of extra-curricular pursuits to keep busy.

On a typical day she wakes up and starts morning assignments with her mother, she said. After lunch it's time to do homework, then she's usually off to an activity.

She belongs to the Coshocton Youth Chorale, plays piano, teaches a first-grade class at her church and plays volleyball on a team with other home schoolers.

A high school junior, Kelly has been accepted by several post-secondary institutions, including Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Malone College.

For graduation, home schoolers have several options. They can take the General Education Development test, but it isn't required. For college purposes, a home schooler sends ACT and/or SAT scores. These test scores carry a lot of weight when it comes to admittance and scholarships, Becky Armstrong said. Some colleges offer a scholarship specifically for home schoolers.

Home schoolers who participate in computer curriculum may receive a diploma from the curriculum company. Members of Christian Home Educators of Ohio can participate in a graduation ceremony at the annual convention and receive their diploma.

There are a couple of different ways to monitor a home schooler's yearly progress. A portfolio assessment can be turned in to the state, or students can take an achievement test, such as the Iowa or Stanford tests.

A portfolio contains proof of subject areas covered for the year, Armstrong said. This may include homework, tests, special projects, and anything else that will help a certified teacher assess that the student has performed according to their ability the previous year.

There are differences and similarities between home schooling and public school, but one thing seems to be a constant.

Lydia Abernethy, 7, likes spelling tests, she said. But sometimes she's not sure she likes school.

"She doesn't let us talk while we're doing our work," she said.

[email protected]

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Old February 11th, 2005 #19
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http://washingtontimes.com/metro/200...4950-2597r.htm

A decade of overcoming obstacles

By Michael Smith

Home-schooling today

Each new year brings many opportunities and challenges, a fair characterization of what the home-school movement has faced over the past 10 years.
We are midway through the first decade of the 21st century, and home-schoolers have come a long way since the mid-'90s.
Then, people questioned the socialization of home-schoolers. The myth of non-socialization is being put to rest. A new study from the National Home Education Research Institute shows that home-schoolers are growing up to be mature, productive citizens.

Home-schooling has grown from about 1.2 million children 10 years ago to just more than 2 million today.

Home-schoolers regularly score higher than their public school counterparts on standardized tests and compete successfully with the best students in the world. Home-schoolers continue to gain entry to college and succeed in the workplace.

Home-school families save taxpayers an average of more than $7,000 per child per year because they are not using public education services.
In the mid-'90s, it was difficult to find a full range of curriculum providers. In 2005, thousands of providers vie for a piece of the $750 million market. If the growth in home-schooling continues at its recent yearly rate of 7 percent to 15 percent, the home-school market will break the $1 billion barrier in a few years.

Opportunities are opening on every front. In the mid-'90s, there were only a few fledgling sports teams for home-schooled students and hardly any organized leagues. Ten years later, home-schoolers have two national basketball tournaments, a small football league and a softball league. Several home-school athletes are competing for positions in college leagues.

Ten years have made a tremendous difference. An objective observer would conclude that private one-on-one tutoring is one of the best educational options available.

More parents are considering home-schooling and are seeing the results of a home education. In the mid-'90s, the number of home-school graduates was small, as many children were still in schooling. Now, more than 50,000 home-school graduates are working in a wide range of jobs or continuing their educations in college. These graduates are succeeding and are the final proof that a home education works.

Despite this incredible progress, challenges remain for home-schoolers. Education authorities continue to harass home-school families.

School districts lose an average of $7,000 per child per year once a child is removed from public school. Regrettably, some school administrators are threatened by the loss of revenue. Others are still reluctant to accept the idea that noncertified teachers can be effective.

Consequently, many families who choose home-schooling continue to be challenged and turn to the Home School Legal Defense Association to smooth their transition from public school.

Some social workers are predisposed against home-schoolers and attempt to make unconstitutional intrusions into the family home. HSLDA fields hundreds of calls per month from member families who have had negative contacts with state authorities as a result of home-schooling.

The past 10 years have seen many changes. Home-schooling is coming of age. It seems, however, that it will take much longer for entrenched opponents to realize their error.

When state agencies uniformly recognize the success of the home-school movement, America's parents will have increased confidence in this method of education and America's children will be educated in a way that will prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at 540/338-5600; or send e-mail to [email protected].
 
Old February 11th, 2005 #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder
(AgapePress) - Several home schooling families in Germany are being ordered to return their children to public school. Ten families in that country are currently fighting in court for the right to keep their children out of government schools; and seven families in the German county of Paderborn are actually facing criminal prosecution for home schooling and could potentially lose custody of their children.

Despite the fact that the German government does not recognize home education, the Paderborn families recently pulled their children out of public school to begin teaching them at home. As Christians, the parents' primary reason for doing this was to protect their children from the humanistic and atheistic values they were being taught in public school.
Free country my ass....

The phrase is overused, but how Orwellian is it when government agents take your kids away from you because you're teaching them? Fuckin ridiculous.
 
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