Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year....and a Good Read!

The holidays have preempted our regularly scheduled blogging activity here at The Homeschool Apologist, but we definitely don't want you to go away!! 

This article, Troubled Teens Born in the Classroom, crossed my Twitter feed this morning. And it's good.  Really good.  I would expound on it with a well-written, brilliant response, but:
  1. We're still partying here, and I really don't have time.
  2. The article says it all.
Suffice it to say that here in America, our schools are stealing our children away from us.  When the solution is as simple as not handing your child over to the system to begin with, the most surprising thing is that so many families stand for it.

I haven't read her other articles yet, but actress turned homeschool advocate Sam Sorbo, has a couple other posts here and here that look very interesting as well.  

Arby and I will return to regular blogging one of these days....hopefully when we do, you'll still be here!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas 

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

Thanks for joining us here on The Homeschool Apologist over the last several months!  We're thankful for each and every person who has stopped by and taken the time to read what we have to say!  We hope you'll continue to stop by from time to time in 2011!!

Christmas Blessings to you and yours,

May the grace, peace and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ fill your hearts today and every day.  Have a blessed Christmas and a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

(There’s No Place Like) Camping in the Winter Time

Sung to the tune of
(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays 

Oh, there’s no place like camping on this weekend,
For no matter how low the merc’ry drops-
If you’re a member of Boy Scout Troop one-six-seven,
In the winter time you earn your camping chops!
Oh, the boys they start complaining when the forecast’s nice and dry.
They like to camp in ten feet of ice and snow.
If they don’t sleep in a blizzard then it isn’t worth the trip.
You can’t learn to treat your frostbite,
If it isn’t frigid at night!

Oh, there’s no place like camping on this weekend,
For no matter how low the merc’ry drops-
If you’re a member of Boy Scout Troop one-six-seven,
In the winter time you earn your camping chops!

The Scoutmaster builds a camp fire that’s seen from outer space,
It will melt a ring of snow a mile wide.
We’ll be sliding through a mud pit as we cook our dinner fare.
But, the food it is terrific,
Just don’t watch what they put in it!

Oh, there’s no place like camping on this weekend,
When we long for the comforts of a home,
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
Next time winter camp inside a Holidome!
Next time winter camp inside a Holidome!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"The Government-Education Complex": Another Reason to Homeschool

Bruno Behrend, of Extreme Wisdom, recently wrote an article for Somewhat Reasonable, the blog of The Heartland Institute, which has provided me with an incredibly well-written explanation of yet another reason why I continue to make the choice to homeschool my children. 

In this fantastic article, Bruno Behrend calls our national education system "The Government-Education Complex", and his description of the structural make-up, agenda, and outcome of this taxpayer-funded monstrosity is spot-on.
"The 'Government Education Complex' is the interlocking set of interests that control the vast majority of American education dollars, education policy, and the steady increase in unnecessary education job creation. The explosion of spending, debt, and taxation we’ve witnessed in the last 25 years was used to fund the growth of this Complex."
"The Government Education Complex is designed to grow itself, while spending money by the billions. It is operating exactly as intended. The actual education of America’s children is not its agenda. Spending money is its agenda."
The parents of America's children should be asking themselves these question.

Why would I entrust my child's entire future to a system which
"...merely uses our children as a stick to beat more money out of us while providing, at best, a mediocre education for the lucky few?" 
Why would I entrust my child to a system that is not interested in reforming itself, despite well-documented evidence of pervasive failure to produce positive results?

Mr. Behrend is not a fan of reform.  Instead he argues for a more far-reaching solution.  He believesand I concurthat the only solution is the complete dismantling of a system that is far more successful at lining the pockets of unions, administrators, politicians, and special interests than it is in providing America's children with a quality education.

And until the system is dismantled, it may have control of my tax dollars, but it will NEVER have control of my children.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Words are not Sufficient...

Yesterday, Dana Hanley, of Roscommon Acres (formerly Principled Discovery) posted a heartbreaking post concerning the sudden passing of their sweet 22-month old son, Mattias Ryker Hanley. Please pray for Dana, her husband, and their five other children as they pass through these deep waters. 

"God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling." (Psalms 46:1-3 NKJV)
"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Psalms 18:2 NKJV)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"New Direction for Education Policy in the House"

One can hope that this will begin the process of bringing about a reversal of current trends.

Here are a few excerpts from statements made by Minnesota Representative, John Kline, the new chairman of the House Labor and Education Committee. 

In a press release statement earlier today, Kline stated:
My goal for the federal programs and agencies that oversee our schools and workplaces is to provide certainty and simplicity. We must ensure federal red tape does not become the enemy of innovation, and that federal mandates do not become roadblocks on the path to reform.
Earlier this year, Kline pushed against national education standards and assessments, which would encroach upon state and local authority to determine what children are taught in the classroom. He stated:
This is the U.S. Department of Education, putting [out its] view of what needs to be done. … It’s not the states deciding. It’s not local control.
Furthermore, he noted:
That’s not our [the federal government’s] job. … If you’re starting to put the federal government in charge of assessments, standards, you’re moving in a way that I don’t think Americans want.
Read the entire article HERE.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

$350,000.00 - Not a Bad Paycheck for a Third Grader

I am not a big fan of the litigious society that we have become.  More often than not, when I hear of a court-awarded financial windfall for someone I mentally thank Stella Liebeck for opening the litigation floodgates.  Having written that, I must admit that I was quite pleased to read of the $350,000 settlement for Alex Barton.  I almost wrote about Alex when I first read his story.  In May of 2008, his kindergarten teacher allowed her students to vote on whether or not the young man would remain a member of the class.  Apparently, young Alex had been a bit of a disruption.  The teacher decided to hold a reality-show style vote with the rest of the kindergarteners determining Alex’s fate.  Alex lost.  This must be an example of the socialization that homeschooling critics argue for when they state that students will never learn how to interact with society if they do not sit with their peers for six hours each day in a public school classroom.
Well, it turns out that young Alex had a very good reason for his inability to control his behavior in the classroom.   Alex Barton is autistic.  Specifically, he has Asperger's syndrome.   Young master Barton completed his kindergarten year in a homeschool.     And what happened to kindergarten teacher Wendy Portillo, one of those college educated, licensed, professionals whose credentials are so critical to educational success that they are held up as an example to homeschooling parents as reasons why we shouldn’t attempt to teach at home?   She was suspended for a year, but has since returned to the classroom with her tenure reinstated. 
You can read Brian Hamacher’s complete report here. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Major Havoc, What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Major Havoc sighed in frustration, dropping his head into his hands.  My initial thought was that he would launch into all the reasons his 8-year-old mind could create for not completing his A beka Language 2 writing assignment.  I checked my own impatience.  He has been stalling on completing his work during the last two weeks.  He will finish second grade before Christmas, and I think we are both looking forward to the break before he begins third grade after the first of the year.
 “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Dad, I have to write one sentence telling what I would like to be when I grow up.”
“So?”  I replied.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Nothing!  I am going to ask my wife to get a job.”
“Good luck with that,” I thought to myself.  This stay-at-home dad thing is a great gig if you can find someone to finance it, but it isn’t the most attractive calling card on the dating market.  It certainly wasn’t in the plans when my wife and I married.
I smiled at the Major.  “Write what you just told me.”
His face positively beamed when he heard my reply.  It never occurred to him that his idea was an acceptable answer.  “Really?”
“Sure.  Write what you just told me.  If that is the truth, then write it.”  
The Major had no difficulties completing the rest of his assignment. 
Write three reasons why you want to be that.
I want to take care of my children.
My wife can get the money.
I can start cooking dinner.
I love his first reason.  I want to take care of my children. No matter what eventually decides to do in life, I hope he never loses that desire.  I wish more men shared in that dream.  I will have to teach him that ketchup is not a food group, and that man cannot live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches alone (although he is trying to prove me wrong on that).
Write two ways you can prepare for that job.
Marrying my wife.
Having a baby.
At least he has those two items in their proper order.