A (homeschool) family of writers

The Bluedorn’s have contributed greatly to homeschooling.

NEW BOSTON, Ill. n It’s been more than 20 years since Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn left Iowa so they could homeschool their children without being considered criminals.

Today, their five children n Nathaniel, 29, Johannah, 27, Hans, 25, Ava, 23, and Helena, 21 n are grown and single. The family lives on a small farm near New Boston, Ill., where they raise Jersey cows and operate a publishing company called Trivium Pursuit. The word Trivium refers to the first three formal subjects of the seven liberal arts: grammar, logic and rhetoric. Read more…

Will North Carolina Government School Authorities Regulate Homeschoolers?

Another example of government trying to fix a non-existent problem.

A North Carolina General Assembly joint appropriations committee is attempting to place homeschoolers and Christian schools under the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI). This would result in government school authorities having increased regulatory power over homeschoolers and Christian schools. Read more…

Teaching Kids The Rules Of The Road

Educators always claim parents aren’t qualified to teach their own children. This is no different and they are no less wrong.

Should you be the one teaching your children to drive? The risks and benefits of a push to let some Iowa parents take over for professionals causes controversy.

Lawmakers for the bill say if parents are good enough to teach their kids algebra, they should be good enough to teach them how to drive. Opponents say, the bill discriminates against the thousands of Iowa families who pay almost $300 a child for Drivers Ed.

They call it the panic brake for a reason. Driver’s Education cars have them, but your vehicle doesn’t. It’s just one of the many reasons driving instructor Dan Hennager doesn’t like the new bill. He says, ‘It’s definitely a bad idea.’ Read more…

Scottish Parents still badly informed about home education

It sounds like this may be an intentional effort to discourage homeschooling.

Parents who want to educate their children at home are still routinely being misinformed about their rights, it was claimed yesterday.

Many local authorities have failed to improve their guidance to parents on home schooling � a year after the Scottish Executive ordered them to do so, national support charity Schoolhouse said. Read more…

Homeschool driver�s ed bill passes Iowa House

There are actually some people against this?

DES MOINES � Home-schooled students could take drivers� education from a parent or guardian under a bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa House.

The bill is identical to one passed this year by a Senate committee and nearly identical to one that was vetoed last year by Gov. Tom Vilsack.

�I think this will improve the safety of our roads; I think this is the right decision,� said the bill�s sponsor, Rep. Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha.

He estimates that only about 300 students would seek their licenses this way if the bill becomes law. Read more…

WV Homeschooled Students Face Tests

What problem is this solving? Parents are the best monitor of a child’s progress, not the state.

A new proposal in Randolph County would require home school students to take a test to move up to the next grade level. The Randolph County Board of Education says the test would make it easier to track their progress.

For the last ten years the way the school system has checked on the progress of the home-schooled students is through a simple pass-fail system. School officials say that system did not accurately track the students progress. The new testing proposal would require a student to take a test to go back into the public school system. Read more…

Bee coordinator admits role in disqualification of homeschooler

More details emerge about the rule changes that lead to the disqualification of Matt Savage.

I HAVE BEEN coordinating the geography bee for many years at Great Brook School, and it has been a wonderful opportunity to encourage children to explore the world in which they live…

…When I was approached by Matt Savage�s parents to see if he could participate in our school�s geography bee, my reply was one of invitation and encouragement. In doing so, I neglected to note a new rule for this year�s bee. My unfortunate oversight has now resulted in Matt�s disqualification from this year�s bee because he is home-schooled and wasn�t enrolled in Great Brook School. I feel horrible about this oversight and the impact that it is having on Matt and his family. Read more…

Thailand Families frustrated by delays

These families are learning the folly of allowing the government any say in the parents right to the education of children. IN thailand, homeschoolers need approval and officials are dragging their feet.

About half of the officials responsible for education zones lack an understanding of homeschool education and as a result only two out of 110 families who applied for registration have been given recognition.

Six months after an Education Ministry regulation recognising homeschooling took effect, the Education Council has discovered only one family in Loei and another in Nakhon Pathom have been registered by their education zones. Read more…

Home schooling raises socialization question

Why is this always the big question?

Joe Phillips has a lot of friends.

On sunny days, the 15-year-old’s Ocean City home becomes a magnet for activity, with children from all over the neighborhood descending on the teen’s newly built skateboard ramp.

‘There are kids of all ages out there,’ said Janet Phillips, his mother, as Joe does some tricks on the ramp. ‘When they go into groups, they’re always playing games anyone could play.’

Home-school opponents may be surprised that Joe Phillips’ fluid interaction with all kinds of people should come so easy. After all, he’s been taught at home for the last few years. Read more…

A band like no other

Not too many years ago, it would have been hard to find fifty homeschooled students in the same town. Now we can form orchestras.

The trombonists tap their feet and inflate their cheeks. The drummer stares intently at the conductor. And the rest of the band grooves along to the Pirates of the Caribbean sheet music in front of them.

‘We have to make sure we are right on the beat and it’s solid!’ says an inspired Kathleen Kennan, the conductor and band director. ‘None of us can go to sleep!’

This snapshot of a scholastic band could be taken anywhere in America on any given Monday afternoon. The musicians are a group of boys and girls, ranging in age and size and background and talent, playing in front of a passionate conductor and a few proud parents. Read more…

Schooling exceeds core subjects

One of a series of homeschooling stories on delmarvanow.com.

At first, all Michelle Nelson was doing was researching some concerns she had about public education before her daughter, Katie, started kindergarten.

But as the western New York native went deeper into the subject, the idea of home schooling began to creep up on her.

‘I began researching reading programs and talked to home-schooling families for advice,’ said Nelson, who moved to Salisbury in 1994. ‘I have a journalism degree and I figured the least I could do was to teach my daughter how to read — things have taken off from there.’

Today, the Nelson home continues to be the central learning place for Katie — now 15 — and her three sisters. Read more…

Parents bring faith to teachings

One of a series of homeschooling stories on delmarvanow.com.

Many families turn to home schooling for different reasons — the opportunity to stay close to their children, dictate what they learn or to avoid possible negative influences.

As Amy Jenkins and her husband, the Rev. Chad Jenkins, considered home schooling while living in New Orleans, their faith was a catalyst in the decision.

‘I had been attending college to become an educator myself and the Lord really made it clear that I should use the talent which he had gave me to encourage the growth of knowledge in my own children,’ said Amy Jenkins, who now lives with her family in the Accomack County town of New Church.

So in 2003, Amy Jenkins became a teacher — for her family. Read more…

Subtle ways to slip in education

One of a series of homeschooling stories on delmarvanow.com.

For Jennifer Howell, the idea of home schooling her children began many years ago.

While teaching outdoor education classes on the West Coast, Howell noticed the difference in behavior of some of her home school students compared to their traditional counterparts.

‘I was so impressed by the ability of those children to relate to all ages, from infant to adult, compared with the other groups who were so peer group socialized that they seemed socially handicapped,’ she said.

So after a move east, Howell decided to home school her children. Read more…

Do your home school homework

One of a series of homeschooling stories on delmarvanow.com.

Parents learn to tailor curriculum, balance activities

With more than a decade of home schooling her four children in Wicomico County, it is easy to classify Suzanne Taylor as a successful veteran of the practice.

But like all home-schooling parents, the Taylors were once rookies who faced their first dilemma.

‘When we started in 1990, there were not many places to purchase curriculum,’ Taylor said.

However, the Taylors made the best of it.

‘We picked up a little of everything from different resources according to our children’s abilities and interests,’ she said. Read more…

Live and let learn

Is the parent or the state in a better position to judge the quality of a child’s education?

On Feb. 14, parents and children outnumbered legislators in the state Capitol building in Helena. That�s the day more than 1,000 homeschoolers from across Montana showed up to rally against Senate Bill 291, the Quality Home School and Child Protection Act. According to Andy Boehm, research specialist in the state Office of Public Instruction, 3,971 students are homeschooled in Montana, up from 2,910 in 1995. Had SB 291 passed, these students would have been required to take standardized tests in fourth, eighth and 11th grades. Additionally, in homeschools where no parent has either a Montana teaching license or a college degree, the state would have required oversight of the first two years of homeschooling by a qualified monitor chosen by the parent or the school district. Read more…

Home schooling soars in popularity on Maryland Shore

This also contains a good run-down on the history and future of the homeschooling movement.

BERLIN — When Denise Valle gave birth to her daughter, Hannah, more than a decade ago, she wanted a way to keep her two children close to her.

‘I considered the home-schooling system and thought, ‘What better reason to keep the children together?’ ‘ said the Berlin resident.

Now a home-schooling veteran, Valle said she rarely gives her choice to bypass traditional schools a second thought.

‘Right now, this is the best situation for us,’ she said.

And Valle is not alone.

The number of home-schooled students on the Lower Shore has continued to grow over the years, from 68 in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties in 1991, to 483 in 2003, according to the Maryland State Department of Education. Read more…

Home-schooled spelling champion

I think there is an endless supply of “homeschooler wins spelling bee” stories. Let’s hope the last one is national.

Society may have to lighten up on the educational value of science fiction and video games: They were the secret weapons of the top finishers at Friday’s Missoula County Spelling Bee.

Home-school eighth-grader Kyle Doyle took top honors in near record time with the correct spelling of ‘jurisprudence.’ He outlasted 56 other competitors from grades five through eight. Read more…

Rules change eliminates Geographic Bee champion

This is an unfortunate but pointless rule change.

Last year’s state champ in the National Geographic Bee won’t be able to compete in this year’s contest due to a little-publicized rules change, his parents said.

Matt Savage, a home-schooled seventh-grader from Francestown, had already won a school-level Bee at Great Brook School in Antrim. But after his win, officials with the Bee called and told parents Larry and Diane Savage that he couldn’t go on to the state contest because of rules governing how home-schoolers can enter the event. Read more…

Debates – homestyle

Here’s a fun idea for a co-op.
Homeschool students are sharpening their public speaking and research skills by participating on a debate team designed for homeschool students.
The nine-member debate team, compromised of local homeschool students ranging in age from 12-18, scheduled debates for the first time this year with other homeschool teams from Peoria and St. Louis. The teams are part of the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association which facilitates the tournaments. Read more…

Home-schoolers get their sea legs

Hands on learning is on thing that makes homeschooling great.

Facility welcomes children for hands-on exhibits and the dissection of a shark

NEWPORT — There’s a lot to learn from the outside of a shark.

You can count five gill slits on each side of the head, as opposed to the one found on other fish. And there are the tiny teeth that cover the entire shark’s skin, making it feel like sandpaper when you rub it the right way.

These are among the facts that a group of home-schooled teens learned Thursday at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Even though those facts were interesting, there were more-pressing things to see.

The students were there for a dissection, after all. Read more…