Sells a complete curriculum in six core subjects (language arts, math, history, science, art, and music) for kindergarten through ninth grade.
Provides various products and programs for grades K-12.
Monthly print publication that details educational strategies, curricula, research, resources, and events.
Quarterly magazine for homeschooling Christian parents. Offers a homeschooling focus without a focus on curricula.
Amusing homeschool news and opinions in an ezine format, last update: May 2004.
I have never really identified much with my ancestry -- race and nationality are not things that matter much to me. I am proud of America, or more so its foundation of faith and history of sacrifice for liberty. (That's different than being proud to be an American, something which I did not choose, but nevertheless choose to remain.) However, these Ukrainian history markers catch my attention, perhaps because of my Ukrainian ancestry, but more likely because they are fascinating history. It is a region rich with history, but largely unknown in the west. Posted by Skanderbeg over on RedState: Today In History – 6 December 1240 With all my travel to and around Ukraine, I have indeed made it to Kyiv (that’s the Ukrainian version of “Kiev”). Kyiv is beyond beautiful. Kyiv is majestic. Kyiv began as a Norse outpost. As Viking traders began to make use of a fairly easy route to Constantinople (up the Narva River, a fairly easy portage across modest terrain, and then an easy journey down the Dniepro River to the Black Sea), around 800 they established a fortified post at about the only terrain feature along the Dniepro – some high bluffs along the western bank. Thus was born the city of Kyiv. The local Slavs realized quickly that these Viking traders, whom they called Varangians or Rus, knew what they were doing. Lacking leadership themselves, they came to the traders and made an offer. They offered the lead guy kingship, and the choice of any one of their many excellent-looking princesses to be his queen. With good leadership and a good position along a major trade route, Kyiv grew rapidly in strength, wealth, and importance. In 988, the Kyivan leader Prince Vladimir accepted Christianity from Byzantine missionaries – while one of those missionaries, Cyril, gave the Slavs a written alphabet for their language. Vladimir ordered all his subjects to convert with him; they were all herded along the main boulevard of Kyiv – called to this day “Christening Boulevard” – and into the shallows of the Dniepro for a mass baptism. Kyiv continued to grow and prosper as an eastern outpost of civilization. By the early 13th century, it was the second largest city in Europe – second only to Paris – with a population of 50,000. But all that came to an abrupt end on 6 December 1240. When dawn broke over Kyiv on 6 December 1240, the population was 50,000. By nightfall, the population had been effectively reduced to zero. After a brief siege, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan’s grandson Batu, broke into the city. The city was quickly pillaged, burned, and demolished. Gone were the 400 churches. Gone were the monasteries. Gone was the legendary “Zoloti Varota,” the famous “Golden Gate” – known musically as “The Great Gate of Kiev.” And gone, mostly, were the 50,000 inhabitants – slaughtered or, for the few survivors, dragged off into slavery. Think you’re having a bad day? Methinks that 6 December 1240 qualifies as the ultimate “bad day.” "OK, I am considering homeschooling... what does this have to do with homeschooling?" you ask. Well nothing, except... tell me if you learned any of this in public school?!? Oh, the history of the Mongols and Vikings goes much deeper and has far more impact upon what you might consider "relevant" history. The shape of Christian Europe, your church, and religious practices might be significantly different without these two powerful forces in history. It's not just Ukraine; try England, France, Germany, and Italy... getting more "relevant"? Dig a little deeper... no dumbed down, politically correct, and State approved textbook is needed. That's the power of homeschooling.
Each week Considering Homeschooling recognizes the faithful service of someone getting the message out about private, biblical homeschooling. This week we recognize "ladyofvirtue" for her blog "Virtual Schooling". Visit the original on the Large Family Mothering blog. Virtual Schooling December 2, 2008 by ladyofvirtue I live in a largely blue-collar town. There are no mansions or super affluent people that make up our community. The families that choose to be "traditional", with the daddy as the breadwinner, struggle. Lots of homeschooling families that I know here have had trouble even affording a computer. In a community like ours, virtual schooling where the government sends a family a computer, pays for internet use, and supplies all sorts of glossy, colorful curricula and even science and craft supplies, is just too much of a temptation. When our state first began to offer such programs, I can remember the glowing reports of all of the "goodies" that were sent--it was like Christmas! Everything needed was provided, including scissors and craft paper, and seeds for growing things. Mothers who before had been wringing their hands wondering how they were going to afford the Saxon Math series were now almost care-free. But there was a catch. Someone has said that nothing in life is truly "free". With all of the goodies and the ease of knowing someone else was in charge came a large price. Instead of worries over buying supplies and curricula, now the mothers had a heavy burden placed on them every day. They had to coerce and nag and bite their fingernails over getting the work done that was required--a whole boat-load of extra fact-cramming and busy-work that made it almost impossible for anyone to have a good life, especially for the mother who had even 3-4 children on different levels. Instead of having their lives simplified, they were complicated beyond comprehension, and their children were being harmed in the process and turned into drones who hated anything to do with "learning". The most unfortunate thing of all was that most mothers were convinced that this sort of government-sponsored slavery was what homeschooling was all about! Many who were already feeling overwhelmed about teaching their own children became convinced, after allowing the state to muck with things, that homeschooling was impossible and horrid. So, they gave up. But learning is not a super-complicated thing that only professionals know how to do! Our children were born to us completely helpless--they could not even hold their own heads up! Somehow, with our encouragement, they learned to walk and talk and feed themselves. Children, even in some of the most impoverished conditions, learn to do these things, unless they are ill or haven't any food to eat. Why do children learn these things? Is it because they are constantly nagged, or they have been through the right "programs"? No. Children learn these things because they want to and they need to. The parents are there to facilitate and encourage. Now here is the secret that those who run teaching colleges and publish curricula and make their living on the supposition of universal idiocy do not want you to know: TEACHING CHILDREN IS NOT DFFICULT--THEY ALREADY WANT TO LEARN! I once checked out a magazine published for teachers from the library, thinking I could glean something of value for my own family. An article was written therein about teaching composition to middle-school students. I could not believe the amount of verbage it took--paragraph upon paragraph of evidence and studies and then the methodology that took pages to explain. What a waste! Writing is just an extension of language, another form of communication. When it is taught in this context, it no longer seems mystical or complex. Good writing is learned by reading the good writing of others--with reading aloud, discussion, and application. The same goes for the other subjects. Math is a sort of communication, it is the communication of the Creator to His creation--that there is order and care. Science is best described as the "thinking of God's thoughts after Him". The wonder of this planet and the universe is the only catalyst needed. Once the appetite has been whetted, a parent need only to watch a child take off like a rocket-ship (and be willing to enjoy the adventure). Of course, you can't enjoy the wonderful adventure of discovery with your child if every day is prescribed and written down. The time and energy you would normally have to explore and discover is all taken up by the reading of droll, dumbed-down texts, numerous questions to be answered by rote understanding, canned experiments and the like. Yes, there are times when a little rote learning can be valuable, but not as an all-encompassing program. The teaching of facts should be likened to handing out tools that a skilled craftsman, the child, can use to create and discover further. Rote learning should never become the end, but the means. We should not be so much concerned with turning out children who can win at Trivial Pursuit as much as we should be concerned with raising children who can take the information in any situation, analyze it, and come up with wise conclusions and solutions. I do not write theory here; I myself have seen the proven examples, and not just among my own children. But the public schooling industry, and it is a great part of our economy, does not want you and I to know just how simple teaching and learning really is. Just think of how many meetings and conferences would have to be canceled. Whole political commmitees would have to be disbanded. We would see a lot of educational phd's flipping burgers, and whole educational supply industries woud go belly-up. Besides all of this, those who desire power over our population would be the saddest of all, because people of America would once again, as in the crazy times of our inception, realize just how many choices they have, and would develop the intestinal fortitude to pursue those choices. I personally believe that it would allow Chrisitanity to return once again as the underlying foundation of our Republic, as parents would be allowed to pass on their Judeo-Christain values in a personal way to the next generation. But you won't read this in the leaflets sent out to entice you. They will act as your friend, and say how they understand that you feel unsure and intimidated. But they are not friendly. They only wish to use your own fears to convince you that you can not do it on your own. But, with God's grace and help, YOU CAN!!!!!!
I'm really not making this stuff up, read the report about the PTA vice-president and mom seducing the teenage boy here. Your children are NOT safe in public school. It used to be that you only had to worry about the male teachers, coaches, and volunteers around children. Blame feminism, blame pornography, blame abortion... it doesn't matter. All that matters is that your children are not safe in public school. Even if you have only been considering homeschooling... start your home school now. The educational establishment in America really has pulled the wool over most parents' eyes. Almost every parent teaches their child to speak English or whatever is their primary language. They've done the bulk of the teaching of the basics. But the establishment has put this aura around education and (says) only certified teachers should be teaching. Those teachers are less qualified than you to teach your children. You know them... they don't. "What about socialization?" goes the establishment programmed response. "Do you think Americans are well socialized?" I always ask people who ask me the socialization question. They usually falter, especially after I remind them about the astronomical rate of family breakups, that workplace and school violence is escalating, that one in five high school students graduates with a sexually transmitted disease, etc. Then I ask the inquirer what social skills he or she considers vital. They usually cite the ability to get along with others or to communicate well with others. I ask them, "Do you think the typical public school teen can naturally have a meaningful conversation with a senior citizen – or with you? And why not? Could it be that being forced with people the exact same age as you all day, most days of the year does not mirror the real world -- where you need to adjust your social graces to all ages -- and actually produces a dysfunctional form of socialization?" As a Christian homeschooler, I tell them, I can give my children consistent instruction on how to get along with others, and from the ultimate best source – the words of Christ such as "Do unto others..." By the end of the conversation, the inquirer is often convinced that homeschooling can in fact be a great way to socialize children -- the right way. It's inevitable that you will receive criticism for considering homeschooling. It's a spiritual battle, and the media has been used to turn hearts against the most Biblical form of education. People are quick to tell you the negatives of homeschooling they have heard (and most of them are myths) but they don't know about the joys and good fruit. By coming to our meetings, you can learn about the many blessings of homeschooling, as well as the actual challenges. Every meeting makes you more knowledgeable and confident.
[Editor: Considering Homeschooling is proud to present this special guest column by Michedolene Hogan of Unique Parenting.] By: Michedolene Hogan When parents send their children to school, they expect for their children to be taught the necessary academic skills appropriate for their age. Yet, there scope of education is growing at an alarming rate. Schools have begun to overstep their boundaries and assume the role of the home in many aspects such as the socialization of our children. According to the 2003 Webster's New World dictionary, to socialize means to make fit for living in a group. This definition is similar to that found in the 1810 Merriam-Webster which states: To make social: especially to fit or train for a social environment. In order to be properly socialized, children must be able to be sociable, having a disposition to associate and converse with others. Children must have the ability to join in company or society and to unite in a general interest. Children must also have the ability to work in conjunction with others in the community and conform to laws. Children must exhibit respect for authority and an understanding of how the world works. Observation and practice are the main tools that children employ in order to learn these social skills. Based on the aforementioned necessary skills one would assume that the best place to learn such skills is in a classroom surrounded with peers and authority figures, right? Wrong. What kids really learn in traditional public education settings Traditional public schools settings are not as idealistic. Children may be surrounded by their peers but, these are not the best role models for social behavior. In schools, children often meet peers who are involved in delinquency, low academic achievement and exhibiting behavior problems. These are the children who get the most attention from their teachers and as a result, stand out to their peers. In the end, our children learn an unacceptable concept of social behavior by practicing what they observe. Despite this reality, the school continues to take the lead in training children for social situations. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, in their research on the validity of Early Childhood Education, determined that enrollment in formal schooling before ages 8-12 was not as effective as projected, but put children’s development at risk. They presented evidence of a correlation between the following childhood problems and the increasingly earlier enrollment of students: Juvenile delinquency Nearsightedness Increased enrollment of students in special education classes Behavioral problems Early enrollment in schools interrupts bonds and emotional development that children form in the home with parents. This damage, as found by the Raymond and Dorothy Moore, is not repaired in an institutional setting. Over 8,000 studies were conducted in the 1970’s by the Moores. In the end, they concluded that, “Where possible, children should be withheld from formal schooling until at least ages 8-10” because, “children are not mature enough for formal school programs until their senses, coordination, neurological development and cognition are ready.” Another theory, developed by teacher John Caldwell Holt, stated that “academic failure of school children was caused by pressure placed on children in schools.” He declared in 1980, “I want to make it clear that I don't see home schooling as some kind of answer to badness of schools. I think that the home is the proper base for the exploration of the world which we call learning or education. Home would be the best base no matter how good the schools were.” The school setting expects children to handle a whole new set of emotions as early as 3 years of age. At this tender age, children do not even understand their emotions, much less know how to appropriately deal with them. Children end up imitating their peers, whom as stated earlier may be involved in a number of behavior issues. The impact of a child’s sociability is an absolutely harmful progression away from positive sociability and self-concept. This progression is best explained in When Education Becomes Abuse: A Different Look at the Mental Health of Children. Here is their explanation of the sequence of emotions experienced by young children in early childhood settings: Uncertainty as the child leaves the family for a less secure environment Puzzlement at the new pressures and restrictions of the classroom Frustration because they are not ready to handle the regimentation of formal lessons (unready learning tools – senses, cognition, brain hemispheres, coordination) Hyperactivity growing out of nerves and jitters from frustration Failure which quite naturally flows from the four experiences above Delinquency which is failure's twin Benefits of Home Schooling Learning in the home is the best option. Home is the where true learning, exploring the world, takes place. ‘Learning’ in this case includes not only academic education but also an understanding of the social environment of the world. Teaching children in the home has countless benefits including: Home provides the proper atmosphere and value system to build upon. Home sets the example of honoring and respecting authority. Home teaches children how to be part of their community both physically and spiritually. Children with home as their base of exploration benefit from more time spent with warm, responsive parents, limited time with peers and free exploration under parental guidance. The parents are in control of the social influences and the child isn't exposed to the whirlwind of emotions that come with early childhood education. Children build a strong bond with the parents as the center example for proper social behavior and are given more opportunities to be among their community in a guided manner. The National Home Education Research Institute conducted a survey in 2003 of 7,300 adults who had been home schooled. Their astounding results once again make a case for the home; 71% home schooled adults are active and involved in their community compared to 37% of U.S. Adults from a traditional education background. 76% of home schooled adults between 18-24 voted within the last five years compared to 29%. The numbers are even greater in larger groups at 95% compared with 53% of traditional schooled adults. The survey also reported that 58.9% of home schooled adults reported that they are “very happy” with life compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. Population. 73.2% find life “exciting,” compared with 47.3%. Socialization is to make social: especially to fit or train for a social environment. Children best acquire this skill through the practice and observation in the home, not in the schools. Raymond and Dorothy Moore recognized this need in their first publication in 1975. That was just the tip of the iceberg in the research of socialization and teaching children. Evidence abounds and grows continually to support the home as the best place to socialize our children. Most recently, the NHERI statistics drive home the essential call to all parents to model their successful and productive adult lives with their children as the best social example to follow. About the Author: Michedolene Hogan lives in a quiet neighborhood of Yucaipa CA with her husband of 15yrs. Her favorite activities include spending time with her family and crafting fun family activities. She finds her greatest satisfaction in being a stay at home mom raising healthy children and publishes a bi-weekly newsletter offering advice for building strong families.
I spent some time in special education classes as a child for a physical handicap -- a bone disease that, thankfully, that did not progress far enough to cause permanent damage. Of course, my participation in these classes was more about the additional revenue the school would receive from the state than any benefit I received concerning my handicap. Now, I will qualify this with the acknowledgment that there are likely many good people caring for these children in most schools. However, like any public school teacher, these special needs teachers are strangers caring for children that especially need the loving kindness of mom. A hat tip to Fearfully and Wonderfully Made for this article from CNN about children forced into cell-like school seclusion rooms. (UPDATE: Just an update to note that I never saw anything like this article describes. I didn't really spend much time there. But, I do remember one incident of a teacher berating and humiliating a quadriplegic student for soiling himself.) "Seclusion rooms, sometimes called time-out rooms, are used across the nation, generally for special needs children." "A few weeks before 13-year-old Jonathan King killed himself, he told his parents that his teachers had put him in 'time-out.'" "The room where Jonathan King hanged himself is shown after his death. It is no longer used, a school official said." "'We thought that meant go sit in the corner and be quiet for a few minutes,' Tina King said, tears washing her face as she remembered the child she called 'our baby ... a good kid.'" "But time-out in the boy's north Georgia special education school was spent in something akin to a prison cell -- a concrete room latched from the outside, its tiny window obscured by a piece of paper." "Called a seclusion room, it's where in November 2004, Jonathan hanged himself with a cord a teacher gave him to hold up his pants." Now, your state may offer you all kinds of "help" for your special needs children, even if you home school. But, is that something you really want? In other instances of alleged abuse, from the article: A Tennessee mother alleged in a federal suit against the Learn Center in Clinton that her 51-pound 9-year-old autistic son was bruised when school instructors used their body weight on his legs and torso to hold him down before putting him in a "quiet room" for four hours. Principal Gary Houck of the Learn Center, which serves disabled children, said lawyers have advised him not to discuss the case. Eight-year-old Isabel Loeffler, who has autism, was held down by her teachers and confined in a storage closet where she pulled out her hair and wet her pants at her Dallas County, Iowa, elementary school. Last year, a judge found that the school had violated the girl's rights. "What we're talking about is trauma," said her father, Doug Loeffler. "She spent hours in wet clothes, crying to be let out." Waukee school district attorney Matt Novak told CNN that the school has denied any wrongdoing. A mentally retarded 14-year-old in Killeen, Texas, died from his teachers pressing on his chest in an effort to restrain him in 2001. Texas passed a law to limit both restraint and seclusion in schools because the two methods are often used together.