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AuntieWOW January 13th, 2001 12:16 AM

Private vs. Public. Home schooling. Enrichment. Let's talk about it here.


DrHilieWho April 27th, 2001 01:59 PM

WASL Protest
 
The WASL is a test in Washington state. In the math section there is a question where children are asked to figure the distance between 4 towns. Maryi, Cay, Lee, and Turno. MaryKay Letourneau was the teacher thrown in prison for molesting a 13 year old boy..repeatedly. The education department is calling the question a prank by a test writer but parents are saying the entire test be thrown out. Many are telling their children not to take any part of the test, or to purposefully fail.

I would be very offended if the education department allowed a "joke" revolving around sexual predators to make its way into the classroom. In my opinion, all of the pages containing that question should have been removed from the test booklets. At this time educators are asking the kids to ignore the question. What do you think should be done?


MommaD April 27th, 2001 02:53 PM

I think that, if it is financially not feasible to replace all those tests with a version without the question (which is quite possible), someone should go through every test or test booklet and block out that question in some way to make it illegible. This could be done with a marker or by pasting something over it.

What kind of idiot would have done such a thing? I hope to heaven the person was freed up for his/her next job search. :(

LiamFan! April 27th, 2001 05:06 PM

You can read the article about the WASL here:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsourc...427&query=wasl


DrHilieWho April 28th, 2001 03:56 PM

Oh geez. The state is considering suing the supposed original author? What happened to the effort they make to ensure all of the questions are fair, non-racist, non-sexist, and at the appropriate age levels? Don't they think THEY should be taking the blame for letting this mistake go through? Just another lesson to kids that if something goes wrong there's someone out there you can point the finger at.

Enda June 20th, 2001 11:09 AM

That is outrageous! (This is long)
 
Good morning!

I know this post is 2 months old. Sorry I'm just getting here. This is one of the very reasons that I have chosen to homeschool my daughter. :mad: Who do they have in charge of the education of our children?! When our children are in school everyday and all year long these people are responsible for them. It is disgusting that someone would think that this is an appropriate "joke" for school children. The administrators are supposed to set examples not be pranksters.

My husband asked me how long did I think we should homeschool Maryam and I told him at the rate things are going until she is ready for college. By the way, contrary to what many people think, many colleges and universities accept homeschooled children especially since they are typically more well rounded because they have not been in the confinement of the public institutions.

I didn't mean to rant but as you can see this is a subject that is very important to me. If we cannot properly educate our children in all areas of life the world will swallow them up and the school systems and the government have dropped the ball.

Anyhoo on a better note - I have found that teaching Maryam is a very enriching experience. To see the stages as she develops and progresses to the next level of understanding and growth is nothing short of amazing! I let her set the pace. She is not forced to learn things when she is not ready and I encourage her when there is something she really wants to pursue. Today her mind might not be on learning math but she may be on a roll with her phonics and spelling so that's what we do for the day.

I think that a lot of the frustration that kids have with school and lessons is that they are being forced to study when their minds are not open to it. You can't let them play all day everyday, some days you can, but you have to learn when your child is receptive to certain things and it varies from day to day. With homeschooling you have that freedom to decide if this is a play day or learning day. Of course sometimes you can incorporate the two without them realizing it.

Okay, enough! You're probably tired of reading. Go! Enjoy your day! - Enda :)

LiamFan! June 20th, 2001 12:28 PM

I may have considered homeschooling, but my son is an only child and we don't have a lot of people his age in our extended family.

School for him is mainly for social interaction and the development and refinement of social and pragmatic skills. My husband and I are both avid readers, and our son read before he ever entered junior kindergarten. His reading and language skills continue to develop at a pace far ahead of his age peers, leading sometimes to comments from educators that he needs no academic instruction in school. After being tested recently, the report indicated that his acquired knowledge was far greater than his incidental knowledge "because of exposure to culturally enriching experiences outside of the school environment." I had to chuckle at that...the near-weekly trips to the museum are paying off. ;-)

I think it depends on where you are in the country (or the world!) when you talk about education, and the effect that being in a public institution may have on your child. I don't think defining it as "confinement" is always accurate. Our school system isn't perfect, but it is much better than others I've seen (and taught in). Even within our district, though, elementary schools differ in philosophy and approach. Parental involvement makes a big difference, I think, and the involvement level is high where our son is schooled.

Although I think a child <i>can</i> receive a good education at home, I don't think a blanket statement that a home-schooled child is more well-rounded can be made. It certainly depends on the parents. An example that comes to mind is the family of children who were just holed up in a house in Idaho. My bet is that those children are not very well-rounded, after having been taught that everyone on the outside was a potential threat and danger. Of course, "hard cases make bad law."

Lastly, I don't think the appearance of this ridiculous question on a test is a sign of a bigger problem...I think it was one prankster who thought they were being funny and making some kind of statement...pulling the wool over the eyes of the powers that be. There are always going to be people like that, unfortunately. Good for the kid who figured it out!


Enda June 20th, 2001 01:32 PM

Well said, and I agree!
 
I certainly agree, Homeschooling is not for everyone and not all homeschooled children are well rounded or very well educated for that matter. I also agree that not all school systems are failing our children - that was not my intent in my earlier rant (and I do apologize, it was a rant and as we know rants are not always well thought out - LOL).

I did not mean to say that people should take their kids out of school and teach them at home and to H --- with the public schools, because indeed many children would suffer for the worse and many of our schools have produced adults that have gone far and beyond what many people may have expected. I cannot speak for every school system in every state (I certainly should have clarified)however, I feel that the Cleveland, OH school system has miserably failed our children and I have found a better alternative after much research and investigation, and soul searching.

This was not something that we took lightly, as I said education of our children is very important. I even thought about not doing it because as in your case, she is an only child and there are no other children her age in my extended family but I have found that she can get plenty of socialization from the various classes and group activities that are available in our area at the museums and libraries and such, and also from the Ohio homeschooling support groups that are available.

When we get right down to it, education is largely dependent upon parental input whether in school or out of school and it seems to me that you have done an excellent job of "homeschooling" your son in conjuction with the teachers in a school setting - well done!

As far as the family in Idaho, they were not homeschooling their children, they simply withdrew them from school because of their paranoia of government and authority. People who make this decision must realize that it is not just an excuse not to send your child to school. I have to sometimes remind Maryam of that fact as well (LOL)

On a final note - I think it does say something for the school system in Washington that the students were the ones that picked up on the joke - excellent perception and comprehension skills, and it certainly was not my intent to say that they are all a bunch of incompentents because of one person's idea of being funny when I know nothing of their overall educational system. I will definitely next time specify who my rant is directed at and not leave it for people to assume.

Keep smiling - Enda!

LiamFan! June 20th, 2001 05:25 PM

To the contrary, Enda, I thought your post was very well written and not misleading at all! Your philosophy toward homeschooling is what I think homeschooling is meant to be, and I think you're right that we are basically homeschooling our son, even though he attends public school.

We moved out of the big city and to a smaller nearby one because of our disappointment in the school system. Sadly, one of the problems is lack of money, but I wasn't about to let my child suffer because of society's lack of conscience. The schools there are slowly improving, and I'm sure there are some better than others, just like in our community.

I feel the same way about you when it comes to the students in Washington...someone did teach them something for them to catch that "joke."

This is a good discussion! Hopefully some more people will jump in.

DrHilieWho June 22nd, 2001 08:05 PM

We decided to homeschool mainly because we were both extremely bored in school. We both did very well academically, but ended up causing a lot of trouble otherwise :o You can't believe it right...sweet little me?? LOL

We are starting to build a very open learning environment. When Nate shows interest in something we try to expose him to more of it, and it seems to be working quite well. Despite threats from my sister that he would fall way behind if we didn't put him in Early Headstart, he is doing just as well (if not better :cackle: ) than his cousin who is the same age.

Fortunately Iowa is very supportive of homeschooling. There is a dual enrollment option which allows your child to take two classes a semester at a school, and participate in extracurriculars. There are also several options for evaluating students: portfolio, testing, or workbooks.

Well, I've rambled on long enough lol See you all later

Minty_Femme October 12th, 2001 04:29 PM

I think how we choose to educate our children is a very personal decesion. I have chose so far to have my son in the public school system. I had my son involved in "home based" early head start when he was about 20 months old. We had a preschool teacher come to our home once a week and went to school once a week. I enjoyed the program because not only was I able to gain information from my son's teacher I was also able to talk to other parents who were dealing with some of the issues I was. Sallvie enjoyed the interaction with other children to a certain extent. Sallvie is now in his second year of headstart. He goes 5 days a week for 3 and 1/2 hours. When Sallvie started headstart last year he had a vocabulary of maybe 15 words now he talks in paragraphes :) , though he somtimes says things that are embarrasing :o LOL. This year Sallvie is also learning about loyalty which can be a good thing except when he "shares his fists" :( . I don't know if I will always want Sallvie in the public school system but at this time it works for Sallvie and I. I think I'd consider home schooling if I felt the school system was letting my son down educationaly or if they weren't ensuring his safety. Well now that I put more then my 4 cents worth in I'll be on my merry way :)

Terri October 13th, 2001 12:58 AM

Three cheers for all of you who take a keen interest in the education of your children be it at home, private or public school. I am a firm believer in public school. I pay for it and I expect it to be great just like our country. The teachers that my son have had throughout his eight years in school have all been dedicated, hardworking individuals.

To me education is more than just learning. It is a tool for parents to create an independent, responsible, contributing, solid citizen of this planet. My son is in eighth grade and is in the process of choosing his career path. I am impressed by the counselors at the middle school he attends. They have prepared all the cirriculum choices so that they are very well understood by the parents and students alike. They have had aptitude tests and counseling about each of the four high school cirriculum available to them. They have a host of magnet high schools to choose from such as; Performing and Visual Arts, Technology, Horticulture (big thing here in Fla with all the golf courses), Agriculture, Medical careers, cosmotology, mechanics, electronics, business, there are so many to choose from. He has chosen a College prep/Technology cirriculum which will prepare him to enter college as well as prepare him for immediate employment in the computer field upon graduation from high school.

I always stress to him that school will be whatever he makes of it for himself. He is a very goal oriented individual and has set some high hurdles for himself. I hope to run alongside and encourage him at each hurdle to aim high and jump true.

DrHilieWho January 20th, 2002 03:35 PM

Homeschool Discounts
 
I just found out that the bookstores here will give you a discount if you homeschool. All you need to do is present a copy of your CPI form. Anyone know of other businesses that offer this?

Thought I would add - If you call your local store to see if they offer the discount, make sure you talk to the manager. A sales clerk might not know about it unless there are a lot of homeschoolers that come in. Thanks.

LiamFan! January 20th, 2002 04:29 PM

Discounts for Homeschoolers
 
Here are some links homeschoolers might find helpful regarding discounts, and free materials to homeschoolers. I've only given a cursory glance to most of the links, so please examine them yourselves.

http://www.geocities.com/smallhomeschool/Discounts.html

http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschool...les/021298.htm

http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschool...rials/Free.htm

http://www.home-schooling-online.org...422/index_html

http://www.christianhomeschoolers.com/main/coupon.shtml

http://www.familyeducation.com/artic...53-0-3,00.html

http://www.expage.com/page/folcdisc

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8259/discount.html

For state-specific resources and discounts, just go to http://www.google.com and search on "homeschooler discount (name of state)"

DrHilieWho January 20th, 2002 08:35 PM

Wow! Thank you Liam. As always, you are amazing. :) Here is something interesting I found for everyone with a child in school, either public or private.

http://www.dgncpa.com/PDF%20Files/Ar...20Planning.pdf

Education IRAs Are Now Viable Savings Vehicles

Until now, most commentators were critical of Education IRAs, mainly because of the skimpy $500 annual limit on contributions. Starting next year, you can contribute up to $2,000 annually to an Education IRA. If you have several children (or grandchildren), you can contribute that much to individual accounts set up to benefit each. So, if you have three kids, you can sock away up to $6,000 every year. Account earnings are allowed to build up tax-free and can then be withdrawn tax-free to pay for the account beneficiary's college expenses. Of course, the contributions themselves are nondeductible (just like contributions to Roth IRAs)

Even better, you will be able to take tax-free Education IRA withdrawals to pay for elementary and secondary school (K?12) expenses starting in 2002. Eligible expenses will include tuition and fees to attend private and religious K?12 schools as well as costs to attend public K?12 schools. What kind of expenses can you cover? The rules are pretty liberal. Eligible items include books and supplies; computers, peripheral equipment and software (as long as the program is primarily educational in nature); room and board; school uniforms; transportation; academic tutoring and even Internet access charges. In the case of computers and related equipment, it is okay if other family members use them as long as the Education IRA beneficiary also uses them during any year he or she is in school.

Starting next year, you will also be allowed to take tax-free withdrawals from an Education IRA in the same year the Hope Scholarship or Lifetime Learning tax credit is claimed for the account beneficiary's college expenses. However, the same expenses cannot be used to claim both breaks.

Starting with contributions related to the 2002 tax year, you would have until April 15th of the following year to make your annual Education IRA contributions. This is the same deadline as for traditional and Roth IRA contributions. (Currently, Education IRA contributions must be made by the end of the year to which they relate.)

Finally, the adjusted gross income (AGI) phase-out range that limits Education IRA contributions for high-income taxpayers will be increased to between $190,000 and $220,000 for joint filers for next year. (The current range is between $150,000 and $160,000.) However, the phase-out range for single, head of household and married filing separate status will remain at AGI of $95,000 to $110,000.


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