~Why We Homeschool

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Oregon May Drop Homeschool Testing Requirement
Homeschooling families in Oregon are celebrating a partial victory against burdensome regulations. The state senate approved a bill that would drop the parent-paid standardized testing requirement, putting homeschoolers in the same league with other privately educated students. If the bill passes, homeschoolers would also be freed from the burden of notifying local school districts of their intent to homeschool. Homeschoolers expect the bill to pass in a house vote, but the governor has not yet indicated whether or not he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
Perhaps if the governor had to pay 50 bucks per test per child, he'd have an easier time figuring out the correct response.

Seattle 11-Year-Old Wows State Science Fair
Andrew Hsu, a homeschooled eleven-year-old from the Seattle area, has won the silver medal at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair. Andrew's science project examined the genetic makeup of humans and mice, and isolated a building-block protein found in both. He is the youngest participant to win a grand prize in the fair's 46-year history. Andrew and an Eastern-Washington high-school senior will represent the state at the May 11 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland. The boy hopes to attend Harvard University next year.
But only, says his father, if he gets his room clean.

Monday, April 28, 2003
Another Crackdown on Homeschoolers?
Legislation that could have removed homeschooled California children without due process has been killed, but homeschooling supporters worry that the legislation may be re-introduced in future legislative sessions, as the state struggles with defining whether or not homeschooling is legal. Calling homeschooling a "loophole" for child abusers, the Los Angeles city attorney's office authored the proposed legislation that would have called for children who have up to five unexcused absences from public school to be immediately taken from their family and put into the juvenile court system. Under the terms of the legislation, parents would no longer have been given the opportunity to make their case to school district officials.
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. -- Thomas Jefferson, and others

Breast-feeding Pix Kiddie Porn?
A Texas child-protective services agency has removed two children from their home because the mother was photographed nursing her one-year-old in front of her four-year-old. The children's father took photos of Jacqueline Mercado nursing her infant while their four-year-old was preparing for his bath. The father took the pictures to be developed at a local Eckerd drug store, but a photo lab technician saw the pictures and contacted the authorities -- who decided the pictures depicted kiddie porn. The parents were arrested on charges of "child sexual performance" (a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison) and the children were made wards of the state.
And you wondered why film sales were falling.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Homeschooling in the News

Number of Homeschooled Kids Rises as School Shootings Climb
A FreeRepublic report suggests that violence in the public schools, including an ongoing concern over school shootings, has contributed to an increase in the number of children being homeschooled. As of the 2001, about one in fifty American children were being schooled at home.
It's sad, isn't it, when kids who can't even spell "violence" commit it.

Research Worth Reading

Older Children Remember Longer
A new study says children don't start remembering things for the long term until after their first birthday. The study found that the two areas of the brain involved in long-term memory -- the hippocampus and the frontal cortex -- aren't fully mature before the second birthday. A two-year-old can remember and repeat an action seen months earlier, says the research, but a one-year-old cannot. And a six-month-old can't remember more than a day. Parents can help young children learn with patience and a lot of repetition, the researchers say.
The problem, of course, is that parents don't have the same gift of forgetting.

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This Week in the Public Schools

Teenagers to give sex education lessons
High school students in the Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora are being asked to teach their classmates about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and the structure of the male and female reproduction system. A Bulgarian family planning association supports the plan, saying teenagers prefer to learn about sex "when the barriers of age and teacher authority are removed."
No kidding?

Florida Teacher in Trouble over Condom on Banana
A Naples, Florida, health teacher brought a male and female student to the front of his classroom, and, while Christmas carols played in the background, dimmed the lights and asked the girl to place a condom on a banana while the boy held it. After a student complained, he defended his actions by saying he was "simulating a situation students could find themselves in."
Um, would that situation involved getting arrested for public lewdness in the produce department?

Pennsylvania: Another School Shooting
A 14-year-old boy entered a crowded junior-high-school cafeteria Thursday morning and killed his principal before turning the gun on himself. The shooting occurred in the same school district where two years ago a former schoolteacher entered a kindergarten classroom and attacked several children and teachers with a machete.
Welcome to Pennsylvania, where the homeschooling laws are nearly the harshest in the nation.

Teacher Sues Student over Hall Collision
Click here for more information
A New Jersey school teacher is suing an 11-year-old boy who accidentally collided in the hallway with her two years ago while he was running to catch his school bus. The boy was called into the principal's office the day after the incident, where he apologized to the teacher and cried when he learned she had been hurt. The boy was unaware that his family was being sued until a sheriff's deputy showed up at his door with a summons.
Thereby guaranteeing that the child will grow up with a healthy respect for authority.

Teacher Suspended for Cross Necklace
A Pennsylvania school has suspended a teacher's aide because she refused to remove or hide a necklace that has a cross on it. Her employer said the policy against wearing "such things" is designed to protect people of all faiths from being offended.
And it's easy to protect everyone from offense. Just outlaw all five senses.

Non-cheerleaders Sue for Non-pick
An increasing number of students are suing their schools when they fail to get chosen as cheerleaders. While parents threaten to sue schools "every day," says an attorney for the National School Boards Association, there's been a recent increase in what she calls "hurt feelings" law suits.
Now where do you suppose those kids get the idea they shouldn't ever get hurt feelings?

Student Finds Teachers Having Sex in Classroom
A Connecticut student who looked into a classroom window to locate a teacher found something he didn't expect: Two teachers engaging in sex in the classroom. One of the two teachers has since resigned. No word on the other.
All in a day's work.

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Copyright LauraMaery Gold, 2002, 2003, 2004
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