Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Education Collection

This past month, upon reaching the 400th post milestone, I did a collection of “best of” posts (part I, part II, part III), mainly related to the three overlying spheres of the Spherical Model. That left out some specific topics. So I followed up with the Defending Marriage collection. Today I'd like to add the Education collection.
If you know me, you know I spent ten years homeschooling my children. When I first started homeschooling, I felt so strongly about the decision that I thought it would probably be right for everyone who could possibly do it. I’ve modified somewhat over the years. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice, and it takes energy and organization. Mostly, though, it requires a personality that gets excited about learning and helping others learn. That was natural for me, which made homeschooling amazingly fulfilling to my life—while it was also exhausting. I’m so glad we did it. But if someone knows about themselves that they don’t have the personality for it, what they really need to do is recognize their responsibility to see to the upbringing and education of their own children and see to it they provide the best opportunities they can manage. So I don’t as a rule proselytize toward homeschooling, although I’m often a resource for people thinking about trying it.
My friend Paige shared this homeschool field trip photo from 2008
However, after the election last fall, I came to recognize a greater urgency about parents seeing to their children’s education. Some of that comes from the intrusion of the federal government into every aspect of our lives, and the needed resistance to Common Core or any other centrally planned curriculum. Some of the change comes from the real frustration we face locally. Here in one of the most conservative states, in a part of town where conservatives dominate, where schools are considered (by someone else’s standards, not mine) to be high performing—here, of all places, you would expect the school board to reflect the parents and their values. But this election completed the turnover so that seven out of seven board members are moderate to liberal. They consider their constituencies to be the teacher organizations and the businesses that benefit from school spending (builders, curriculum providers, for example).
If in such a place we cannot guarantee that parents are the ones to respond to, then I have no hope for the efficacy of the public school system. Alternatives must take a greater role: private schools, charter schools, homeschools, online schools. Maybe there are alternatives we haven’t even discovered yet. But I do say, louder than I used to, that the federal government has absolutely no business sticking its nose into the education of my children and grandchildren. And state and local public schools have failed to prove that public school has a better purpose or outcome than providing the minimum skills for those whose parents can’t or won’t provide basics necessary for functioning in society.
So, I’m collecting the posts I’ve written related mainly to education. This includes a series of related posts this past March:
3-28-2011 What Works for Schools 
4-7-2011 Commencement  
5-7-2011 Public School Economics Lesson    
5-10-2011 New Paradigm for Education    
7-20-2011 What Make IQ So Racist?  
10-26-2011  Parental Rights   
10-2-2012 Local, Local, Local  
10-3-2012 The Priorities Question, School Board Part II   
11-12-2012 Paradigm Shift Underway  
3-15-2013 Natural Feeding and Teaching   
3-18-2013 Education vs. Indoctrination   
3-20-2013 Skeptical of Accreditation  
3-22-2013 Parental Right to Educate  
3-25-2013 Oppression through Education  
4-5-2013 More on CSCOPE  
4-15-2013 Homestyle Education, Part I  
4-17-2013 Homestyle Education, Part II  
4-20-2013 Homestyle Education, Part III  
4-22-2013 Homestyle Education, Part IV  
5-17-2013 You Might Be Living Under Tyranny If…, Part II (Romeike update)    

If you’re Texas local, and you’re even considering the possibility of homeschooling, Texas Home School Coalition is holding its annual convention next week, August 1-3. Full info here:   The theme this year is Standing Firm. It will be, as usual, at the Waterway Marriott in The Woodlands, about an hour north of Houston, just off I-45. The most it will cost is $35 per adult for non-THSC-members at the door. A good deal. I feel nostalgic thinking about the good things I’ve learned at past conventions, and some of my favorite book and materials shopping as well.

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