216th Carnival of Homeschooling – Spring fest

The 216th carnival of homeschooling is hosted this week by Smallworld at home. They are using a spring theme. Nice. I wish spring would come early up here in the Western New York. As always we have more than a month of winter left here before spring blooms.

Welcome to the Carnival of Homeschooling! I particularly like that this carnival falls on the Queen of all Carnival days: Fat Tuesday. While we won’t be doing any Mardi Gras parading or masquerading around our house today, I just might be brave and tackle making a King Cake this year.

But I think what is on everyone’s minds more than Mardi Gras, the Olympics, and possibly even more than my birthday (tomorrow) is, well, Winter. Seems to me that here in the States, at least, we are all marveling at the record frigid temperatures and outrageous amounts of snow. Or even that some states have snow. I’ve seen more gray skies in the past month than I hope to see ever again. And so instead of festive beads or figure skating or birthday cake, I’m giving this carnival a touch of spring. It really is coming. Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling: Things Homeschoolers Love.

Hosted this week at the Raising Real Men blog. The theme is Things Homeschoolers Love.

We’ve been thinking a lot about what we love lately: A year ago our precious Katie was born the day before Valentine’s Day. How appropriate since we’d spend the next year thinking about her heart. At two weeks, we discovered she was in SVT (dangerously fast heart rhythm) at 278 beats per minute. They had to stop her heart six times that night. We were hoping she’d be one of the 25% who grow out of the condition by a year old, but we just found out her heart is still in danger. Not only that, but my best friend, husband and co-author, Hal has stage four Hodgkins lymphoma. We are thinking a lot about what we love – Christ, our family, and so much more!

So, we dedicate this Carnival, in the week before Valentine’s Day to Things Homeschoolers Love. Homeschoolers are an incredibly diverse bunch, but it is safe to say that homeschoolers: Read more…

A New Basis for U.S. Asylum Claims: Homeschooling

From Time.com… I think it’s safe to say the media is beginning to take note.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are not like other asylum seekers, people fleeing war or torture in places like Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia. They’re music teachers from a village in southern Germany. And yet, in what appears to be the first case of its kind, the couple and their five children were granted asylum in the U.S. last week by an immigration judge who ruled that they had a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home country for engaging in what has become a popular albeit somewhat controversial American practice — homeschooling their children. Read more…

German homeschoolers’ political asylum exposes the EU Gulag

From the Telegraph Blogs (UK).

The case of the homeschooling couple from Germany who were granted political asylum in the United States, about which Ed West blogged recently, becomes even more interesting if one reads the remarks of the man who granted the Romeikes asylum, Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman, of Memphis, Tennessee.

Burman said: “We can’t expect every country to follow our constitution. The world might be a better place if it did. However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate.” He observed: “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution… therefore, they are eligible for asylum…”

Those last remarks might have been uttered in 1933. Do we truly realise the significance of what has happened? Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling – What Matters Most

The Carnival is hosted this week by “As for My House” blog, reminding us what matters most.

It’s been a rough time for us lately… Unemployment… New job, but underemployed, and having to move out of our house… Living in the RV with three kids and four cats…

And we just learned that my Father-in-Law has been diagnosed with lung cancer (He’s going through a troubled recovery from throat cancer, beginning two years ago, and his wife has just been through a bout with cancer as well). We’ll be heading for Mississippi tomorrow to spend a week with the family there.

Nothing like struggles to make you re-evaluate your priorities!

With that in mind, I present this, the

Carnival of Homeschooling – “What Matters Most” Edition Read more…

Homeschool Writer of the Year Competition 2010

Okay, this took me a while to understand. it’s not a writing contest in the usual sense but Homeschool Writers site lists a bunch of other contests and they want to encourage homeschoolers to enter by offering prizes for entering the most.

It’s a great idea and I encourage your K-12 homeschoolers to check out the list of writing contests waiting for their entry. They also offer deadline reminders for you.

Who can enter the most writing contests this year? This competition encourages homeschoolers of every age to get out their pens and join in the race!

Our Goal
The goal is to help students see that winning a contest is not the important part– it’s entering the contest itself. That’s where this competition comes in; we try to encourage the student to enter writing contests without getting discouraged that they didn’t win each contest. We award recognition not for who won the most but for who entered the most. Our hope is that students will find entering contests fun, even if they don’t win. Read more…

Homeschooling breeds new culture of learning

Via accessAtlanta

It’s part of a trend of home schoolers becoming involved in activities that would have once seemed the antithesis of learning in a private, family-based environment. What began with home educated students making their presence felt in scholastic sports leagues and youth orchestras has spread to cultural institutions.

“Part of what’s happening is that home schooling now is, or is really close to being, mainstream,” said Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute. “If you’re a museum, a theater, a library, a team or a community chorus, you’re going to hear, ‘We’re here. Is there some way we can be part of what you do?’ ” Read more…

I thought people like me were nuts

Via the Austin Daily Herald | Home schooling provides an alternative

Cindy Stevens, mother of 3, and Lisa Jewett, mother of 5, have taught their children all that they know — well, not exactly everything. But, the two women aren’t just mothers. They are teachers. Stevens and Jewett teach their kids at home, taking on everything from choosing the curriculum, writing lesson plans and grading exams.

“It’s funny because I used to be anti-homeschool,” Jewett said. “I thought people like me were nuts.” Read more…

Homeschoolers at the Kitchen table again

All these slice of life homeschool stories mention the kitchen table. Via Postbulletin.com: Rochester, MN.

Cindy Stevens’ three children study at the kitchen table, but it’s also where they get their daily lessons about math, science, history — you name it — from their mother.

Their day starts at 7:30 a.m. and is usually done by 2 p.m. The family does this five days a week.

The Stevens family is one of a few families in the Austin area that homeschool their children. Stevens said she became concerned about her children’s behavior while her two oldest children, Olivia, 12, and Nathan, 11, were in preschool. A conversation with an elderly woman who homeschooled her grandchild offered Stevens a view that led her to homeschool her children. Read more…

German perspective on Homeschool Asylum in the U.S.

The German Spiegel Online (English Edition) has a piece on the case of the German homeschool family granted asylum in the U.S.. There is not much by way of German reaction but some interesting background on the case.

The decision on the family’s political asylum could still be overturned if the US government appeals the ruling. But Mike Donnelly, the attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association, said he hopes Tuesday’s ruling will influence public opinion in Germany — which is part of the reason his group offered to represent the Romeikes, he said. Read more…

German Homeschool Asylum, Where is U.S. Media?

The Reality Check Blog asks the question why this isn’t being covered in the media. I have seen the AP wire story published in the Washington Post. The Conservative Washington Times has their own report. Beyond this, there’s not much real independent coverage of this in the U.S.

Sadly, about the only people reporting on these incidents seem to be Christian groups and homeschooling networks on the Internet. Groups like the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). As mentioned above, the AP has a story that has made its way around the wires, too, but there doesn’t seem to be much independent coverage of this by the Old Media.

This seems odd since it is quite an interesting story where it concerns international relations. The HSLDA says that this ruling is “embarrassing for Germany.” That may be but the rest of the media is silent. Read more…

U.S. Grants Political Asylum for German Homeschoolers

Via OneNewsNow.com. It’s actually a judge in Tennessee, so it technically is not the “U.S.” granting asylum. Let’s hope the Federal Government doesn’t step in worried about creating an international incident. (HT Stacy on Facebook)

PURCELLVILLE, VA- A German couple who fled to Tennessee so they could home school their children has been granted political asylum by an immigration judge in Memphis. (See earlier story)

The decision clears the way for Uwe Romeike his wife and five children to stay in Morristown, Tennessee, where they have been living since 2008.

German law requires children to attend public or private schools, and parents can face fines or prison time if they don’t comply. Romeike, an evangelical Christian, said he believes Germany’s curriculum is “against Christian values.” Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling: for Those Considering Homeschooling

The carnival is hosted this week at Corn and Oil.

It’s the middle of the school year. Unfortunately, there’s been one more bullying incident on the bus. The principal says his hands are tied, and maybe you’d consider driving your child to school (10 miles away). During those desperate times, you’ve considered homeschooling. Double DeckerAfter all, this double decker looks more appealing than that yellow one. Read more…

An Idiot’s Guide to Homeschooling

Via The Enterprise Blog. I mentioned a similar attack on religion under the guise of homeschooling a few weeks ago with a similar (but less eloquent) criticism. Maybe attacking religion directly is too obvious. So attack a perceived fringe element like homeschoolers.

I continue to be amazed at the public displays of rank anti-religious ignorance by members of the “educated class.” This time it’s in an article entitled “The Harms of Homeschooling” by one Robin L. West (h/t to Izzy Lyman), from a recent issue of Philosophy & Public Policy, published by the University of Maryland. The name of the publication led me to expect something academic, but the article is basically a bigoted screed against the supposed religious extremism of the “hard core” of the homeschooling community. It’s chock-full of dispassionate academic prose like this (describing homeschoolers): Read more…

Homeschool players fighting for access to public school teams

Via SI.com (the online version of Sports Illustrated)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — On a rainy Friday afternoon in October, junior quarterback Stevie Douglas emerged from a well-traveled minivan that had begun its journey in Clinton, La. Teammates Ronald Brown, Rennel Hammond, Mike-el Arvie and Jeremy Arvie emerged from a white van bearing the logo of the New Life Tabernacle Church in Opelousas, La. From other vehicles came more players — 21 in all — and they toted their duffel bags into one of the leftover FEMA trailers that served as locker rooms for a tiny football stadium in the shadow of a graveyard.

Once inside, several players dipped into their bags and pulled out their helmets. Then they dipped back into their bags and pulled out screwdrivers to repair their helmets. The team doesn’t have an equipment manager for the same reason they didn’t come to Hattiesburg in a school bus. To use a school bus, the Patriots would have to play for a brick-and-mortar school.

The vast majority of the players are on this team homeschooled. Read more…

Bad economy may be fueling homeschooling trend

Via the OrlandoSentinel.com. Add homeschooling as another effect of the bad economy. This may or may not be true but I hope these parents reap the joy of teaching their own.

When 7-year-old Annabelle Kirkpatrick studies fractions and converting pints to quarts, she and her mom go into their kitchen and start cooking.

For a lesson on caterpillars, they browse around their backyard flower garden for a look at the little critters firsthand. After all, Annabelle is homeschooled, which means her parents’ two-story house in Eustis is her classroom.

Angela Kirkpatrick decided last school year to homeschool her daughter, who became one of a flood of Florida children who suddenly left private and public schools to learn at home. Read more…

Standards of public schools / homeschools differ

From The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Many public-schooled students certainly wouldn’t pass my standards, and my children shouldn’t have to pass the state’s standards. I don’t have anything to hide; however, the question isn’t whether I and other home-school parents have something to hide or not, but whether we should have to prove something or not. Parents shouldn’t be held accountable to the state. The state – and its educators and educational system – should be held accountable to parents and taxpayers. Read more…

German Homeschoolers May be Granted Political Asylum

Via Christian Newswire

PURCELLVILLE, VA, Jan. 19 /Christian Newswire/ — In what could be a major international embarrassment for Germany a federal immigration judge in Memphis Tennessee is expected to rule this Wednesday on the political asylum case of the Romeike family who fled persecution by German authorities over homeschooling in August 2008.

“The persecution of homeschoolers in Germany has dramatically intensified,” said HSLDA staff attorney Michael P. Donnelly. “They are regularly fined thousands of dollars, threatened with imprisonment, or have the custody of their children taken away simply because they choose to home educate.” Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling: Library Week Edition

Home School Dad is hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling: Library Week Edition.

This is week 212 in the carnival of home schooling. If this was the carnival of home schooling for dogs it would be week 1,484.

Before I get started with the theme of this week, I thought this would be the best time to talk about the big news story going on right now. I certainly don’t mean Leno vs. Conan. Laura presents 21 Ways For Your Children To Help Haitian Earthquake Victims posted at Practical Homeschooling. Read more…

How Conservatives Can Use “Education Reform” as a Campaign Issue

Sam BlumenfeldAll candidates for office promise to “improve education,” but when they are elected, they haven’t the faintest idea of how to proceed from there. That’s because the whole idea of education reform is based more on the deliberate falsehoods produced by the educators than on the reality of why our schools are the way they are.

I have been writing critically about education for the last forty years, and the one thing that has become quite obvious to me is that all of the serious problems we have in public education today have been deliberately caused by the educators themselves, and that no true education reform is possible so long as we rely on the educators to create and implement these reforms. Read more…