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For the record, there is a spectrum of courtship practices in the homeschooling community. The Duggars are close to the extreme end. Don't assume everyone who courts does it the way they do. My girls aren't courting so I don't have a dog in that fight but I point it out because it's such a foreign concept to most Americans that I cringe thinking most people will assume the Duggar version is representative of all courtship. There are articles coming out online about the serious downsides to the more extreme versions of courtship by those who lived it. Understand that there are milder and much milder versions to choose from. As far as I know the Duggars are using Switched on School House which is private school online at home. This is legally homeschooling but most homeschoolers do the actual teaching themselves. Private school online at home is a wonderful option and so is public school online at home and charter school online at home, but we have too many new homeschoolers coming in thinking that this is the norm for homeschooling. It's not. If you plan to homeschool you need to be open the option of doing the teaching yourself because you have more flexibility and choices that way. Packaged schooling in whatever form-complete curriculum in a box or complete curriculum online works for few people. Most find they have to make adjustments over time in multiple subjects to meet the needs of each individual child.
No, they'll pay attention to whatever government agency distributes the vouchers and regulates what criteria the private schools and homeschools must meet to get them. The government has failed when it comes to public schools. You don't put failures in control of access to a successful entities like private schools and homeschools and get good results. You're just inviting trouble.
No, in my state public school online at home and public charter school online at home are legally public school. You cannot legally be considered both a homeschooler while doing government school online in your home. It's a great public school option that every parent in America should have access to, but it's still public school. Homeschooling isn't about location, it's about parents teaching their children themselves with materials the parents have selected. Co-ops are a term commonly misused in the homeschooling community. In a real co-op parents divide the teaching between them. Every parent contributes teaching time. That's different than a class. Classes are where one or two parents do the teaching of their and other people's children. Sometimes it's a volunteer situation and sometimes there are fees. If you're a parent who chooses this type of education for all of your child's education, you may be legally allowed to use the term homeschooler, but few homeschoolers who do most the teaching of the their children themselves, particularly in core subjects, will consider you as such. There's all the difference in the world between dropping your kid off at someone else's house for someone else to teach them and teaching a child yourself. I think this option needs it's own legally recognized and legally protected term. It could be another great option for parents all over America. Let's be clear, this option is tutorial education that some homeschoolers use, but certainly not the majority of homeschoolers. Most only use it for higher level classes or enrichment classes. As much as the author doesn't want to say so, homeschooling really is mom (sometimes dad and sometimes both) doing the actual curriculum selection and the actual teaching. That's the norm. Don't go into homeschooling thinking otherwise.
In response to:

The Dead-End Road Called Pre-K

Homeschool Mom3 Wrote: Aug 26, 2014 2:01 PM
Children don't need pre-K, preschool or kindergarten. They need mothers who read quality picture books to them, teach them to behave, encourage outdoor and creative play and love them.
That's why a Classical Trivium, Liberal Arts Education, in the original sense of the terms with the original rigorous academic demands, should be had in grades K-12. Then kids should get career training either through a useful degree or specific skilled labor after high school. It's not either or, it's when and how. To see what a great education used to be and can be again, read The Lost Tools of Learning by Sayers and The Well Trained Mind by Bauer. I warn you, if you do, you'll be outraged at the mediocre education you got and the one your kids are getting in PS and possibly at the local private schools...maybe even your homeschool. American education has been aggressively dumbed down for the last 100+ years. So much so that most people have no idea what is possible anymore because the government school monopoly has made them completely unaware of other options. Most people just don't know that they don't know.
When REPs run against this kind of thing, they need to do it in an intelligent way. If REPs continue to be the party of "Nuh uh" rather than the party of practical solutions, they'll fail yet again. If you insist on a public school system for people who are not poor or wards of the state, then I suggest proposing national, objective, measurable, essential academic skills in reading, writing and math and then allowing each state, district and school the freedom to meet those goals with whatever curriculum and pedagogy they choose. That way schools that have students in demographics least likely to value education at home can focus on just the basics for longer periods of time and schools that have students in demographics more likely to value education can add in other subjects. It allows teachers and schools the flexibility and decision making that has been wrongfully stolen from them while at the same time making teachers and schools accountable to the taxpayers for the shocking amounts of their money dumped into the system. Also, annual academic tracking of each student, classroom, school, district and state should be done to evaluate children at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year. We have the technology. That way you can compare students from the same demographic in the same school and the same grade. Is one teacher getting significantly better results than others? Is one school in the same area with the same demographics getting significantly better results than others? Is one district with the same demographics getting significantly better results than others? Those outperforming others should get into the teacher/administration training business. Those doing significantly worse should be shown the door.
Fosteradoption is almost completely taxpayer funded. The fosterparents are being given funds to raise the child while fostering and to cover the child's medical care even after adoptions are finalized. The fostercare system in AZ is seeing a 40% increase per year in foster children. Private adoption of infants in the US can include all the birth mother's living expenses during and just after the pregnancy, all the medical costs (assuming she has no medical insurance) and all the legal costs. It can add up to tens of thousands of dollars and the mother can legally change her mind after the baby is born and there's no way to recoup the funds spent up to delivery. Only 1% of unplanned pregnancies results in a child being placed for adoption in the US. The rest are aborted or born to single mothers. International adoptions run several tens of thousands depending on the country. Those fees pay the salaries of social workers and government workers involved, orphanage staff or foster mothers, (depending on the country) delivery fees, medical care in countries where it's available and travel costs (usually two international trips depending on the country) and the rest goes to care for the children that won't end up being adopted but will live as wards of the state until they're thrown out on the streets. In Russia that's 16. Russia's shut down now to Americans.
Fosteradoption is almost completely taxpayer funded. The fosterparents are being given funds to raise the child while fostering and to cover the child's medical care even after adoptions are finalized. The fostercare system in AZ is seeing a 40% increase per year in foster children. Private adoption of infants in the US can include all the birth mother's living expenses during and just after the pregnancy, all the medical costs (assuming she has no medical insurance) and all the legal costs. It can add up to tens of thousands of dollars and the mother can legally change her mind after the baby is born and there's no way to recoup the funds spent up to delivery. Only 1% of unplanned pregnancies results in a child being placed for adoption in the US. The rest are aborted or born to single mothers. International adoptions run several tens of thousands depending on the country. Those fees pay the salaries of social workers and government workers involved, orphanage staff or foster mothers, (depending on the country) delivery fees, medical care in countries where it's available and travel costs (usually two international trips depending on the country) and the rest goes to care for the child that won't end up being adopted but will live as wards of the state.
In response to:

Solutions to Black Education

Homeschool Mom3 Wrote: Feb 27, 2014 12:04 PM
The problem with public education is the same regardless of race-it's parent dependent and too many parents can't be depended on to raise their children in a an education friendly culture. Schools have to stop whining about this reality and transform themselves to provide a quality education in the time the students are present without any parental help.That means: 1) Increasing funding (by using education funds if necessary) to increase law enforcement around and in the schools so children have safe passage getting there, being there and getting home. 2) Preschool and kindergarten should focus on a language rich environment, physical exercise, increasing attention spans and behavioral coaching. Reading aloud excellent children's literature many times a day in slowly increasing sittings, lots of very hands on physical play that encourages cooperation and rule following, and behavioral coaches she be in each classroom paired with the teacher. Classes should be small. 3) Early elementary 1st-3rd grades should have small class sizes and be staffed with reading experts, there should be a focus on applies math with concrete teaching techniques and again, behavioral coaches in each room. Reading, writing, math and PE should be the only topics covered. Part of reading includes being read loud to from great children's literature. Children should be grouped by ability. No homework should be given. 4) Late elementary 4th-6th can be normal sized classes for students who aren't struggling. The regular range of subjects can be introduced because students at this point would have a solid foundation in reading, writing, math and the ability to behave in a classroom setting. Children should be grouped by ability. Struggling students should still focus on reading, writing and math. No homework given to any students. 5) Disruptive students should be sent to a school or a part of the school away from cooperative students. 6) Jr. High and High School would have to be no homework too-that's just he reality of the situation. Class time should be spent on instruction and fewer but still very high quality assignments.
Why Some Conservatives Oppose Vouchers http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-some-conservatives-oppose-vouchers
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