Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ABC Covers Homeschooling

With a big, meaty piece covering several different profiles of homeschoolers.

What Does 'Back to School' Mean for Home-Schoolers?
Many Who Teach Their Kids at Home Say They Aren't Missing Out

Complete story at ABC News

Here's a quote from the self described 'homeschooling expert'. (He studies us.)

Dr. Michael Apple, a professor of educational policy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has studied home schooling extensively, says that secular home-schoolers like Knowles and her kids are a growing population, but still a tiny group.

But whether home-schoolers are evangelical Christian conservatives or secular and liberal, Apple believes home-schoolers are cutting themselves off from people with different beliefs and backgrounds.

Home-schooled kids, he says, are missing out on the more subtle lessons that public schools teach students about being American citizens and interacting in a diverse society.

"Public schools are important to democracy," Apple said. "They teach people how to work with others across political, religious, class and racial lines. It would be a disaster to give up on that."
Subtle lessons, my eye! He's not talking about learning the Constitution or the history of our country or anyone else's country let alone the abc's and one, two, threes. He's talking about being his kind of American citizen. Citizen Dubbio Thinck, I think. His agenda is what he was talking about. Either way his argument and studies are silly. Our school district is very caucasian. We'd not be hitting much diversity in the classroom there.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Molecules Anyone?

 Posted by Picasa


The kids are enjoying the Real Science 4 Kids. This was our second experiment/project - building molecules. The experiments for the pre-level and the level one pretty much line up so you don't have to get out stuff for two totally different science labs and the labs are close. This really helps when your kids are far apart in age. Posted by Picasa


Clickschooling on Hurricanes

Diane Flynn Keith's Clickschooling,includes the FEMA site for kids with many activities in learning about hurricanes.

Thoughts and many prayers for folks dealing with this monster of a hurricane.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Google Earth

We use Google all of the time. All of the time. We google berry cobbler with cake mix. (Lazy that day.) And we've googled Cyber Hunt and deja vu (check out the how stuff works link)

But our family is now transfixed with Google Earth. We've zoomed in on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor and then flown over to the Pyramids in Egypt and the Forbidden City in Beijing. Then we popped over to the Chicago area to see our oldest's backyard and her sister's dorm room on the other end of the state. It's very addictive and a wonderful geography lesson. You can make some serious inroads in looking at the historical aspects of the terrain.
Check it out! It's in Beta version but you can download it for free.

Photo taken by GOES-8 (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) on 2 September 1994


What kind of family makes this choice?

When School is at Home

Densely filled with information. Interesting article.

Helen Hegener says the article is historically accurate, and I'll take her word for it, as she would know. She's been posting the History of a Homeschooling Mag (Home Education Magazine) on her editorial blog and I've enjoyed reading it. Along with some other homeschooling histories that she's noted on her blog.

From our Iowa neighbors, "Homeschooling Under Fire: The Iowa Homeschooling Crisis of 1989-90 A history of the plot to depict homeschoolers as truants and child abusers" by Lynn and Sarah Leslie was released last year. It is an amazing historical document; informative and thoughtful reading for any homeschooler. Sarah Leslie was interviewed on HEM Support Group News last October.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Journey South

Photo Credit
Jim Gilbert/Journey North

This is an awesome program of tracking Monarchs and other traveling critters on their journey south. We've been doing this for several years.

In just tracking the monarch butterfly migration, we've posted sightings from our central IL location and from Grandma's big pasture in Kansas. It's a good lesson in longitude and latitude.

We've also sent butterfly letters to our Mexican neighbors where the Monarchs migrate in the winter. In the spring, we've received letters back. All in espanol.

A few weeks ago, we had dozens and dozens of butterflies (including Monarchs) in our alfalfa pasture. I was so sad to see the cutter go through for hay. But they're popping back up again.

Love this program. Check it out!


Friday, August 26, 2005

What do you do while homeschooling the kids?

I do this... Posted by Picasa


and some of this. I find I have to sit right next to the younger ones to keep them from wandering away and to offer encouragement. I can't sit still and knitting helps me to stay calm and enjoy sitting with the kids while they work. I have a blog for my knitting called Garden of Color. Posted by Picasa


Linda Dobson Online

This is cool and different! Linda Dobson is teaching a free course through the Barnes and Noble University. Never heard of this but if Linda Dobson's doing it, it'll be a good one. If you're new to homeschooling or even if you're not; check it out.

Starts September 6th.


Uh oh..

According to the Capitol Fax Blog, Sen. Rick Winkel has announced that he is leaving the Senate for personal reasons. As far as I know Senator Winkel has had a good relationship with homeschoolers. The Capitol Fax writes that Rep. Bill Black is interested in the position. The big question, who is Rep. Bill Black and how does he feel about private schools and homeschools? I guess we'd better start trying to find out.


A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling

Over the years I have used this resource a lot. Any time I have a question I pop over to this site. Yesterday Agent Tim sent me off to get my own web counter. After I installed that puppy and figured out how to use it, I found out that we're getting referrals from one of my favorite sites. How cool is that! Then I realized that I've never linked to that site from the blog. It's one of those sites that I use all the time and the thought never occurred to me to link to it. It's like water, we take it for granted. It's always there and it never lets us down. So, I've fixed that in the link section. If you are a new homeschooler, just head to A to Z's and hang out for a week. You won't even scratch the surface of what is offered there.


I just conducted an experiment

I often wonder if my children are hyper and can't concentrate. My oldest son has been having real problems getting anything completed. I discussed it with my husband and I still really felt it was a behavior problem. So, this morning I told him if he could sit still and do his work for 5 minutes I would give him a Pokemon card. He did it, no problem. I keep increasing the time for the next card by five minutes and he's cranking out the work. We've finished more than we did all day yesterday. It looks like I need to set up a behavioral modification program. I'm so pleased, there has been no yelling this morning.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Students Not Ready For College

So let's put them in school a little earlier because ....WHY???

Edweek had an article about the majority of U.S. high school graduates taking the ACT being poorly prepared to tackle key subjects such as math and science. In Illinois, public school kids all take the ACT now per the Illinois standardized 'prairie whatever they call it' now.

But let's assume in most other states only college prep. kids are taking the ACT. Kids who are taking the more 'advanced' courses in high school. And they are "poorly prepared" for college?!?

My same ole argument is why is the world would we want to further the apparent failure of public schools in educating our kids with more invasive measures to family life; like time away from the family? How 'bout figuring out what'll work with the kids that public schools already have their grip on between age 7 (in reality 5 with kindergarten for most) and 17? How 'bout it?
From an Arizona article that set me off about this again, regarding a task force's rather invasive recommendations:
Napolitano is co-chairwoman of a task force with ties to the Democratic Party that researched new approaches for education in the 21st century. The group concluded that American students need substantially more time in the classroom to compete with children in other countries.
Great, let's assume the teachers' unions had a hand in this. That's certainly been productive for education. (Not the industry, but education.)[sarcastic mode turned on]

The proposal calls for the money to come from the federal government but does not specify a source.
However, the task force suggested that money for the programs could be generated
by avoiding tax cuts proposed by Republican leaders,such as the elimination of
the nation's estate tax.Some of the recommendations:

• Extend the school year in low-performing schools, expand after-school programs, pay for universal preschool and full-day kindergarten and increase federal college grants.

• Develop a uniform, but voluntary, set of nationwide student learning goals, or curriculum, for core courses.

• Improve teacher training and offer financial incentives to entice teachers to work
in high-poverty schools.

•Link neighborhood schools with their communities and families by providing such things as social services, English classes, parenting skills classes and home visits.

There's those home visits again. Creepy.

The ACT organization also listed homeschoolers. Homeschoolers were 1% of the ACT taking population with 22.5 being the average ACT composite.


Parents Locked Out of Health Records after Age 13

From the Wall Street Journal, an interesting article about the deep dark hole for families created by our federal and state legislators.

A growing number of health plans, hospitals and doctor's offices are making the switch to electronic medical-record systems, in response to the Bush administration's push to make online records available to all Americans within the next decade. Such systems, like the one run by Group Health Cooperative of Seattle, which covers the Scott family, offer more than just convenience. They hold the promise of faster sharing of vital medical information, reduction of medical errors and more control for consumers over their care.

But with teens, these efforts risk running afoul of a complex patchwork of federal and state laws that allow adolescents to seek confidential family-planning and mental-health services without their parents' consent.
Such laws make certain aspects of teens' health records off-limits to parents. However, electronic medical-records systems don't yet have a foolproof way to flag confidential material and hide it from parents -- something that can more easily be done with paper records. And as minors, teens can't on their own enter into the security agreements required to grant access to their online records.

• Send e-mail to Informedpatient@wsj.com1.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My daughter is not blessed with the gift of spelling. It's been a struggle for many years. This year I went to our homeschool group's used curriculum sale. Pretty much no one showed up. I think there were five of us. One woman, I think her name was Michelle, had a suggestion. She told me about AVKO's spelling called Sequential Spelling. I hesitated to post about it until we were further into it. We've been using it since mid-June. We started at the beginning (my daughter is 12) and we do about 2 lessons a day. We are on lesson 61-62 today. The improvement on her spelling tests has been dramatic. I've also noticed a huge improvement in her English homework. I think the spelling was so difficult that she wasn't noticing the punctuation. All in all, this program is working well for us. In the past we've tried many things. We used Spelling Power for the longest. There are some free beginning samples on the AVKO website. If spelling is a difficult spot in your homeschool day, you might want to give it a try. I still notice really poor spelling in her notes to herself, but I'm seeing major improvements in her schoolwork.


Borders Bookstore Coupons

Do you receive Borders emails? If not, you might want to sign up. They have been sending coupons out fairly regularly. Some have been up to 30% off. That's 10% more than their regular educator discount. If you can't find a book for homeschooling, you can always get something just for you. Sign up here.


24 Hour Britannica Sale

Check it out!

24 Hour Sale. Prices valid until August 24, midnight Pacific Time. Order Online or call 800-323-1229 until 6 pm Illinois (central) time.


New Article from the New York Times

It's the season where the traditional schools start back to the classroom and that brings new articles on homeschooling. Today, I found this: "More School Bells Ring at Home."

This is a quote from the article:
But some professional educators have major reservations about putting that degree of control in parents' hands. Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers union, said in home schooling he sees "a lot of well-intentioned but misguided parents who think this is a better way to educate their children."
"If they were presenting something that met the needs of students both socially and academically, it would be worth looking at, but that's not the case," Mr. Iannuzzi said.

Hmm... So Mr Iannuzzi really believes that the New York public schools are meeting the needs of their student both socially and academically and homeschoolers are not. If I had more time, I could look up the New York State schools academic report cards. I bet that would be enlightening. I wonder where he found the research that pointed out that homeschoolers aren't cutting it or, could it be anecdotal?

The article goes on to give homeschool parents a chance to rebut. It's a nice article, worth taking time out to read.


More Online Shopping-Resources has 2 lovely selling points that I like.
One is that they have $1 shipping costs.
Two is that they charge no state sales tax.

Prices are great and there's some good stuff available. Examples are Joy Hakim's US and science history books and D'Aulaires' mythology books. Harry Potter books/cds are also available. Love that site!


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

OnLine Science for Older Kids

As Kara noted, homeschoolers need to be frugal with their money. Quality counts. This site was pointed out as a great biology/chemistry resource and yes, it is FREE to homeschoolers. Very appealing and a nice place to head for more advanced sciences.

Our family has used this Journey North/now South site over the years and it seems to fit into many educational disciplines; science, reading, writing, geography..... It follows the migration of various critters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Lots of fun to check out your little place on the map.

We've never used a science curriculum in our family. I've not been able to wrap my brain around one. But we have experimented and investigated and poked and observed all the sightings and sounds and smells (in the case of the dead deer and skunk) and done ok in the traditional sense of science 'schooling' and testing when it was needed. It worked for us anyway, and that's the whole idea about home education.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Discounts for Homeschoolers/Educators

This is a list of businesses that give discounts to homeschoolers in our area that are national chains. As we compile our list of businesses, we find that bookstores really like homeschoolers. That could be because we buy so many books. Even local bookstores offer discounts and are willing to set up space for us for meetings and classes. Our local Hobby Lobby has offerred space for classes and Michael's held very reasonably priced classes for us that were taught by a retired school teacher. As we look toward planning the year, it's nice to avail ourselves of the local resources. If you know of any businesses that we haven't found that offer discounts or services to homeschoolers, please drop us an email or a comment.
Barnes and Nobles
· 20% off purchases for classroom use with valid id (membership letter or card)
· 25% off almost the whole store at semi annual teacher’s appreciation day
Book Warehouse
· 15% off outlet book store prices
· no id required, just tell them you’re home school at checkout
Borders Books & Music
· 20% off purchases for classroom use with valid id (membership letter or card)
· 25% off almost the whole store at semi annual teacher’s appreciation day
Dairy Queen
Food coupons available as student incentives. Contact the Dairy Queen manager closest to you and state specifically what the incentive is for, ie. number of books read.

JoAnn’s Fabrics
· 10% educator discount, ask for the form in the store
· 15% educator discount, request a form to fill out


At the risk of offending some readers...

I like to participate over at Spunky's. There is usually an interesting discussion going on and she has a lot of information. This caught my eye and I made a comment. I followed the links and read about the NEA's campaign against Wal-Mart. Although I like Wal-Mart, for me this all about the NEA. When the NEA becomes involved in where people shop, I have to wonder about their agenda. I read this article, Why Target Wal-Mart? and have looked at some other things. I looked at the NEA website, and understand that the NEA really doesn't want vouchers and educational choice. Anyone who has power and doesn't appreciate educational choice concerns me. I feel like the NEA needs a little balance, okay, a lot of balance. I've read The Worm in the Apple by Peter Brimelow and highly recommend the book to help the regular person understand the workings of the NEA and how they have impacted public education. So, I was pleased to see Agent Tim develop the Wake up the NEA blog. I think it brings about some blogging balance. Let me repeat for the anti-Wal-Mart crowd, for me this isn't so much about Wal-Mart, it's about the NEA spending time on politics and power and appealing to a certain political idealogy when their concern should be about helping their members to educate our children. We want a country of literate citizens. Should the NEA completely fix the education system in the U.S. and every child is able to read at grade level and know everything they should know then, maybe they could branch out. I would still question the ethics of it, but hey, if they meet all their goals, why not? As Bill O'Reilly would ask, "Are they (NEA looking out for the folks?" No, I don't think they're looking out for the children either.

Note: I think the NEA should help fix the schools because I think they have a choke hold on the problem and are not allowing good work to be done. Once again, I highly recommend the book the Worm in the Apple.


It's that time of year again...

One of our goals for this blog was to have features on politicians to help us in the voting process. As we near the next legislative session, it's time to get started. So, if you know of a politician we should feature or you are a politician and would like to be featured please send us an email or drop us a comment in the comment box. We're interested in both sides. The only way we can be informed come election time is to do our homework. I hope to start sending out letters to politicians next week. I'm thinking about starting with the state level and working from there. I also need to come up with a format. Here are my thoughts and if you have any ideas, just send them to us.
First of all, I think it would be more informative if I was to present questions to be answered. Otherwise, I could end up posting campaign literature on our blog. I think we want something aimed specifically at our concerns. Of course, this is a lot more work for the bloggers. That means that I have to come up with intelligent questions. Then there's the issue of research. It's one thing to ask someone questions and get answers, it's another thing to post the voting record next to the office holder's answers. I'm starting to form some questions and I'll post them to see what people think.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Ohio Mental Health Homeschooling Survey

Mary Nix has put out another great Support Group Newsletter for August.

Homeschoolers should note the Issues to Watch about a mental health survey suggested by an Ohio psychiatrist for homeschoolers. This mental health issue is pervasive. Mary made some excellent points about what folks should consider before participating in surveys of any type, let alone a mental health survey.

I can't imagine why parents would want to disclose information such as that about their children, but for this exception. And that is if parents independently see a problem and seek help for their child. Of course, there would be a need to provide background information to get that help. Finding 'problems' via 'expert' opinion goes against my homeschooling frame of mind.

But if a psychiatrist (or other interests) seeks the information about your child, there should be a big red flag.


IL Education Reform "Gift"

Peoria Journal Star had an interesting recap of the Director of Education Reform speech to Macomb teachers.
"The governor's "central initiative," Regenstein said, is to increase funding for preschool programming, a proposal that has received little or no resistance.

We think preschool is the gift we give to the future of Illinois," Regenstein said.
Guess it's time they found some resistance. There's been some significant ($90 million, if I remember correctly in the last 3 years) creeping in, despite our ugly budget woes.

Remember Kwame Raoul's quote from this spring regarding the lowering of compulsory attendance age here?
Earlier this month, Senate sponsor Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) told the Senate Education Committee that he had been inundated with calls opposing his legislation, but said the bill wasn’t exactly what he preferred.

“I wish this bill lowered the compulsory attendance age down to 3,” the freshman senator who replaced newly elected U.S. Senator Barack Obama said.
He'll (lowering compulsory attendance age) be back.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

DeVry University Home School Tech Days

DeVry University Home School Tech Days

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

DeVry University - DuPage Campus (Addison, IL) 8:00am - 12:45pm Friday, September 30, 2005

DeVry University - Tinley Park Campus (Tinely Park, IL) 8:00am - 12:45pm

DeVry University cordially invites high school, homeschool students and their teacher / parent to a day of technical learning and exploration at DeVry University!


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Superintendent is Helpless

In the Rockford Register Star, poor superintendent Thompson said that this new reg. on kids will "reduce truancy significantly by getting a lot of the casual truants off the streets."
"The most common reason students skip school, he said, is because no one has the authority to make them attend."

And a side note in this article for homeschoolers in Rockford. Below is what they call protection for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers are no longer free to mingle and mix in Rockford. They have to prove that they are homeschoolers.

Home-schooled students. Police can call parents to check whether a child should
be at home or has permission to be out. If a parent or guardian can't be
reached, the officer can instruct the child to return home and follow up with
the parent the next day.

Interesting logic. No accountability. And kids lose.

Stay Out of Rockford, Homeschoolers!


No one's Watching??

Parents are and that really does account for something despite the constant harangue for state oversight of everything and everyone.

Kids learn at home, but no one's watching
With homeschooling on the rise in Michigan, critics want tougher laws and more monitoring

Kara posted a Sunday MI article about homeschooling. I thought the headline above was interesting. Especially because the Detroit News had published their recent Parenting 101 Annoying article.
I'd say the Detroit News has some issues with homeschoolers. So does Mr. Plank.

"I believe that 95 percent of homeschoolers are probably better off at home than in a school," said David Plank, co-director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University. "But the state's concern should be about the
other 5 percent. We have no information about what kind of education they are receiving from their parents. Not finding out is a failing on the part of the state of Michigan."

Now this Senator quoted below makes sense and it's a good thing for Michigan homeschoolers that he's in the position that he is in. Wish Illinois had such good fortune now:
State Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, chair of the Senate Education Committee, said he is a supporter of homeschool education and opposes legislation that would require mandatory registration. He said he is satisfied that homeschooling is producing good results, although he conceded there is no way of knowing what percentage of homeschooled students participated in the tests that have produced favorable scores.

"There are a lot of kids in schools right now who are falling through the cracks. You are going to have that," Kuipers said. "If a problem exists with a homeschool situation, there are rules in place that allow a school district and prosecutor, acting on information from, say, a family member or neighbor, to go after a violation."


Monday, August 15, 2005

Follow Up on IN article

Our neighbors to the east had a couple of interesting follow up letters to the August 9 article regarding homeschoolers. Mr. Kuntzman clarified with his reasonable comments to the Ft. Wayne editorial:

Just because public schools have been inundated with so many content standards that depth gets sacrificed for breadth doesn't mean that home-schooled students should be obliged to follow suit.I suggest that we keep in mind that being serious about education, as the editorial urges, may take different forms in different educational settings.

I like it when professional educators look outside the box.

There is another letter above it that discussed the financial aspects of some superintendents' frame of mind. Both were good letters.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Some "Give and Take" in WS

From our neighbors to the north in Baraboo, Wisconsin;
I found this comment interesting
The proposal will benefit all Baraboo children and families by raising student enrollment and state aid, he said.
Benefit all Baraboo children=raising student enrollment and state aid. You never know. Sometimes they do put some of that money into educating the kids rather than hiring more administration to 'develop programs' and oversee all the new kids. But at least he stated the goal clearly; raise enrollment and state aid.

Working with the district, parents and students could attend specific classes on a space-available basis, he said.
"We have a history of 30 years in this state of telling home schooling families, 'take what we got or lump it,'" Alwin said. "I don't think that's morally right."

The IL set up is similiar to what he described above:

(105 ILCS 5/10‑20.24) (from Ch. 122, par. 10‑20.24)
Sec. 10‑20.24. Part‑time Attendance. To accept in part‑time attendance in the regular education program of the district pupils enrolled in nonpublic schools if there is sufficient space in the public school desired to be attended. Request for attendance in
the following school year must be submitted by the nonpublic school principal to the public school before May 1.

Some public school administrators tell the homeschoolers to "lump it". OR they tell families that they have to be in the school long enough for the district to collect from the state for clock hours attended by the student. Not so. Reading further along in this Wisconsin article, I see the real catch:

The effort will require some give and take, said Alwin. Home schooling parents would have to work with a district coordinator to determine which educational resources they would use and when space is available.
Also, students would have to be evaluated to ensure they have the background that will allow them to be successful in a class they want to take, he said.
Too bad they couldn't trust the parent's savvy about their kids to know whether they should be in the class or not. The ole non-certified spin off.

"It's a positive step," said Bill Froelich, a teacher and president of the Baraboo Education Association teachers union. "I think the schools' responsibility is to educate all the children in Baraboo."
No secret message there. The NEA of Baraboo believes all children should be in public school no matter what.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Government should be All in the Family

Says Rob Reiner, another CA show biz guy turned political animal.

Posted below is a very creative open letter from Diane Flynn Keith to Rob Reiner regarding universal preschool in CA. Great points for all to consider. IL has the workings in place with their change of phrase called Early Learning. Note that part of the Illinois social/emotional early 'learning standards' calls for birth to 8 year olds to "Use the classroom environment purposefully and respectfully." Or not is a choice they don't want to acknowledge:

An Open Letter To Rob Reiner
Preschool-For-All Initiative

Dear Mr. Reiner,
I am a fan of your films including
When Harry Met Sally, Ghosts of Mississippi, and This Is Spinal Tap. I am not a fan of your politics.Rumor Has It that you have introduced a Preschool-For-All initiative that will be on the California ballot in 2006. While I realize that you have great concern for every little Alex & Emma whose parents cannot properly care for them (as demonstrated in your movie North, about a boy who divorces negligent and self-absorbed parents who are always too busy with their careers to give him the attention he needs), I fail to see the logic in your push to provide taxpayer funded preschools for every child regardless of want or need.

The latest scientific research by A Few Good Men and women such as brain specialists and child psychologists shows that little children learn best through imaginative play and exploration in the safe and secure environment of their own homes, under the watchful guidance of loving parents who have their children's best interests at heart. Parents who read wonderful stories like the "The Princess Bride" to their children, and who engage in discussions with their kids, and show them how to do things, and introduce them to the bounty of life, fully prepare them for school and life success. The ideal is to keep early learning All In The Family.

Yet, "The Sure Thing" you propose in your bill would separate little kids too early in life from their parents, and force them to be indoctrinated with standardized curriculum in the artificial environment of a school institution under the supervision of tenured teachers who deliver the curriculum because they get paid to do it. That sounds like Misery to me.

The American President, George W. Bush, is moving the Head Start program for at-risk children ages 2-5 to the Department of Education to make sure that it is an early learning and education program that prepares poor young children to succeed academically. As you can see, there are government programs already in place to help the underprivileged and poverty-stricken (about 20% of the population).

Speaking as one of the other 80% of the population, The Story of Us is that we don't need government preschools with standardized curriculum that researchers say can harm our kids. We want what's best for our children. We hear them when they say; "I Am Your Child," and we accept full responsibility for their care and education.

I respectfully ask you to reconsider your position and
Stand By Me and thousands of preschool children and their parents in opposing government Preschool-For-All.
Diane Flynn Keith,


Author of Carschooling,

posted: August 5, 2005


Almost Entirely Guesswork in Indiana

And That's Not a Bad Thing

Looks like this was a report about education writers attending an Indy seminar. Guess they felt the need to talk about homeschoolers. Wish for the old days sometimes when reporters didn't find homeschoolers so 'interesting'. From the article:

If the state doesn’t know how many home-schooled students there are, how does it know how they are doing?
It's ok. The parents know.
If they aren’t giving their children a sound education, the state will eventually be saddled with a student incapable of functioning as a responsible citizen.
How many ex public school students is the "state saddled with" compared to homeschoolers percentage wise, I wonder? Some who the public school system failed to educate who became dropouts?
As the number of home-schoolers continues to increase, the demand for accountability grows. Indiana should look to states with stricter regulations for models. New York and Pennsylvania, for example, require annual notice to local superintendents. They specify subject areas for instruction and require annual assessments.
Nah, doesn't have a great success rate in the public schools. I don't think NY or PA homeschoolers would wish that on IN homeschoolers, that's for sure.
Greater accountability would allow the state to separate parents who are serious about education from those who are looking for a loophole.
Wheat from the chaff and all that? I wouldn't want to be their considered 'chaff' returned to the public school. A nightmare!


Needs and Wants and Musts

Words That Enslave

This Finance Professor,Michael S. Rozeff, clearly states a lot of my thoughts as a homeschooler, taxpayer and citizen.

Couple of excerpts:

How do we meet demands? In the ordinary, old-fashioned ways. Work, planning,saving, help, aid, cooperation, churches, religious organizations, charities,inheritance, gifts, family, insurance, neighborliness, etc. But not by the misapplied force of the State.
What is right and works for you and me as individuals is not the same thing as when rulers speak for us. We as individuals freely decide on principles and actions. They as rulers choose the principles and then make us do things we do not want to do. However, they make it sound as if we, not they, have made the decision and acted upon it.

In my little town, we try to practice what we preach. Clothing supplied for free by generous and willing donations of the community. If there is a need stated, then the need is fulfilled by neighbors. That's it. Clothes rarely come in that should have hit the garbage can because then your neighbors who sort it would know. Unlike the notorious good will dumpsters, there is a small waste can that is used for throw aways. There is an amazing abundance of gently used children's and adult clothes for folks. A couple of families might take advantage, but they see their neighbors every time they come in.

We are used to hearing these many promises. They no longer shock and dismay.Many of us ignore them. Their meaning is lost to us after awhile. Yet we are living through an era of incredible disruption and twisting of normal patterns of life that date back thousands of years. In a number of years from 1934 onwards my mother chose her hospital, booked her own time and date of treatment and didn’t have to wait 18 months, 18 weeks or even 18 days. Doctors came to our living place in the 1940's to treat us. Hospital bills were moderate. Mary bore Jesus without Medicare and cared for Him herself. If today’s parents cannot take care of a child or find a babysitter, traditional activities of the human race, then the once-commonplace has become the exception. The causes of this turmoil in everyday life trace back to the State’s multiple interferences.

I was listening to Paul Harvey on one of our car trips who spoke of the 5th Amendment abuse via a Supreme Court decision a couple of months ago. He said the same about the meaning and the outrage being lost after awhile because there's always another abuse or outrage coming right behind.
Anyways, that's one reason why we homeschool is to get out of the noose as much as possible.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

People vs Levisen

I was looking up the information for the NHEN site and ran into this to pass along there. Thought it would be an educational experience for you all to see the actual documentation of the opinions. Wording in italics is my emphasis. Never felt like sticking one of my kids' pictures in the middle of legal language, but seemed appropriate.

The People of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Marjorie Levisen
et al., Appellants Supreme Court of Illinois
404 Ill 574404 Ill. 574; 90 NE2d 21390 N.E.2d 213; 1950
January 18, 1950

Mr. Justice Crampton delivered the opinion of the court. Mr. Justice
Simpson, dissenting. Opinion: CRAMPTON404 Ill. 575} {90 N.E.2d 214}
Mr. Justice Crampton delivered the opinion of the court:Defendants, the parents of a girl seven years of age, were convicted by the county court of Greene County for violating the compulsory school attendance law. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1947, chap, 122, par. 26-1.) They appeal directly to this court, contending (1) that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction and (2) that the statute is unconstitutional.Appellants are Seventh Day Adventists in religion, believing that the child should not be educated in competition with other children because it produces a pugnacious character, that the necessary atmosphere of faith in the Bible cannot be obtained in the public school, and that for the first eight or ten years of a child's life the field or garden {404 Ill. 576} is the best schoolroom, the mother the best teacher, and nature the best lesson book. The father is a college graduate and a minister in his religion. The mother has had two years of college and some training in pedagogy and educational psychology. The evidence consists solely of a stipulation providing, inter alia, that the child would be in the third grade if she went to the public school; that under the direction of a Seventh Day Adventist institution the mother has been teaching her third-grade work at home for five hours per day and in addition teaches her vocal music; that the child has regular hours for study and recitation; and that she shows proficiency comparable with average third-grade students. The subjects thus being taught and the textbooks from which the instruction is given are set forth in detail. Further provisions recite that appellants refuse to send their child to the public school, and that "she does not attend and has not attended a parochial or private school."
The statute in question requires that"Whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of seven and sixteen years shall cause such child to attend some public school in the district wherein the child resides." Provisions are then added exempting "Any child attending {90 N.E.2d 215} a private or parochial school where children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools." Other provisions, not material here, make exceptions in cases of physical or mental disability, temporary absences for cause, and children over fourteen years of age who are necessarily employed.Appellants contend the State has failed to prove the child was not attending a "private school" within the intention of the legislature. They argue that a school, in the ordinary meaning of the word, is a place where instruction is imparted to the young, that the number of persons being taught does not determine whether the place is a school, {404 Ill. 577} and that by receiving instruction in her home in the manner shown by the evidence the child was attending a private school. We agree with this construction of the statute. Compulsory education laws are enacted to enforce the natural obligation of parents to provide an education for their young, an obligation which corresponds to the parents' right of control over the child. ( Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 400.) The object is that all children shall be educated, not that they shall be educated in any particular manner or place. (See Commonwealth v. Roberts, 159 Mass. 372, 34 N.E. 402.) Here, the child is being taught third-grade subjects, has regular hours for study and recitation, and shows a proficiency comparable with average third-grade students. There is nothing in the record to indicate her education is in any way being neglected. We think the term "private school," when read in the light of the manifest object to be attained, includes the place and nature of the instruction given to this child. The law is not made to punish those who provide their children with instruction equal or superior to that obtainable in the public schools. It is made for the parent who fails or refuses to properly educate his child.Although the language of the present act has not previously been construed by this court, the scope of similar statutes has been considered by courts of other jurisdictions. In State v. Peterman, 32 Ind. App. 665, 70 N.E. 550, the father of a child being taught in the private home of the teacher was prosecuted for violation of a law requiring children to be sent "to a public, private or parochial school." The child attended the teacher's home regularly and was taught all the branches taught in the public schools. The teacher did not advertise herself as keeping a private school, had no regular tuition fixed, and did not have, or desire to have, any pupils other than the defendant's child.
The sole question was whether the child was being sent to a private school, within the meaning of the statute. {404 Ill. 578} In holding that the parent had complied with the law the court observed: "If a parent employs and brings into his residence a teacher for the purpose of instructing his child or children, and such instruction is given as the law contemplates, the meaning and spirit of the law have been fully complied with. This would be the school of the child or children so educated, and would be as much a private school as if advertised and
conducted as such. We do not think that the number of persons,whether one or many, make a place where instruction is imparted any less or more a school." (See, also, Wright v. State, 21 Okla. Cr. 430, 209 Pac. 179.) Such construction of the words "private school" is in accord with the policy of the Illinois statute.In concluding that appellants have not been proved guilty of violating the statute we do not imply that parents may, under a pretext of instruction by a private tutor or by the parents themselves, evade their responsibility to educate their children. Those who prefer this method as a substitute for attendance at the public school have the burden of showing that they have in good faith provided an adequate course of instruction in the prescribed branches of learning. This burden is not satisfied if the evidence fails to show a type of instruction and discipline having the required quality and character. No parent can be said to have a right to deprive his child of educational advantages at least commensurate with the standards prescribed for the public schools, and any failure to provide {90 N.E.2d 216} such benefits is a matter of great concern to the courts.The People maintain that under the stipulation appellants admitted their child "does not attend and has not attended a parochial or private school," and are therefore precluded from arguing that she attended a private school by receiving instruction in the home. This contention cannot be sustained. While stipulations of fact are always proper and binding upon the parties, a stipulation as to {404 Ill. 579} the legal conclusions arising from facts is inoperative. The court cannot be controlled by agreement of counsel on a related question of law. It is the province of the court to determine what the legislature meant by the term "private school." Indeed, the question whether the child attends such a school within the meaning of the statute is the very issue in the case. If we accept the conclusions contained in the stipulation then there is no question at all in the case as to whether appellants violated the statute. The parties themselves would have already determined that issue. In so far as the stipulation set forth facts as to the place and source of instruction and its nature and extent, it is, of course, binding upon the parties. But the legal effect of those facts in showing attendance at a private school within the contemplation of the legislature is a question of law for the decision of courts. Such matters cannot be affected by stipulation of the parties. National Bank of Colchester v. Murphy, 384 Ill. 61.As we have concluded that appellants' conviction cannot be sustained upon the evidence, it becomes unnecessary to consider the further contention that the statute violates the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their child.Judgment reversed.

Dissent by: Mr. Justice Simpson, dissenting:I cannot agree with the majority opinion. To hold that the appellants were conducting a private school for the instruction of their daughter in a manner which does not violate the applicable statute, may be construed by many parents as a license to keep their children at home instead of sending them to school. This will do violence to the letter and spirit of the law. True, the opinion says in substance that parents may not, under a pretext of instruction by a private tutor or by themselves, evade their responsibility to educate their children. But each case will necessarily depend upon its own peculiar facts. The school law{404 Ill. 580} will be no guide or rule to be followed. Who will be the judge of the facts? What will be the position of the truant officer when he is told by parents that their child is receiving proper instruction at home?If the compulsory attendance school law is not enforced, may not parents withdraw their children from school at any time desired, even in the middle of a term or semester so as to teach them at home? Thereafter, should they change their minds, could they not again, under the law, return their children to the same school? Schools may thereby be disrupted and certainly will lose the power, prestige and jurisdiction which is now theirs. In my opinion the appellants were properly found guilty, even though it be conceded that they are qualified instructors. We should not permit so salutory a statute to be thwarted by the whim and caprice of the many who, I fear, will take advantage of the situation under authority of this case.Under a statute similar to the one under consideration and under like facts, parents were convicted in the State of Washington for failure to comply with the statute. In an opinion upholding the conviction the court said in part: "We have no doubt many parents are capable of instructing their own children, but to permit such parents to withdraw their children from the public schools, without permission from the superintendent of schools, and to instruct them at home, would be to disrupt our common school system, and destroy its value to the state. We do not think that the giving of instruction by a parent to a child, conceding the competency of the parent to fully instruct the child in all that is taught in the public schools, is within the meaning of the law 'to attend a private school.' Such a requirement means more than home instruction." ( State of Washington {90 N.E.2d 217} v. F. B. Connort, 69 Wash. 361, 124, p. 910.) This case seems to me to be more in point and to be sounder and better law than the authority cited in the main opinion.


Open NHEN Forum at Natalie's

And her Cross-pollination or cross-pollution? post made for an ever-expanding discussion about the concerns regarding NHEN and their public school issues as I referenced here . A couple of NHEN board members and one ex board member? I think? (According to one Board member, Nance Confer served as the secretary, now is the bookkeeper and so she was on the Board?)

I guess I could keep putting question marks everywhere but I'll keep reading at Natalie's blog and see what comes out of the comments. This blog thing is fascinating. A blog's comments section is the place to go to find answers about a nat'l group's structure. Works for me.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

National Home Education Network

Changing the Way the World Sees Homeschooling

So True. Along with many other private and public entities and interests.

I'd not written anything about this here because....I guess because I hadn't been able to coherently pull together all my thoughts about NHEN. I still haven't, and these are only some of my thoughts and recollections.

About 3 years ago, Bully Boy Regional Supt Dennison went at homeschoolers in his 3 counties with police and truancy officers. It was an ugly situation. As I read about it in the
Illinois Leader and elsewhere, I became outraged. Outraged enough that I had something to say on the NHEN forums about it along with many questions. Two different threads about the situation in Illinois with Dennison and the ensuing legislative mess that came out of it from other organizations. HSLDA's representative who monitors and responds on the NHEN forum was Scott Somerville and since HSLDA was involved with this issue; it seemed to be an appropriate forum to ask my questions. It was and as I have stated publicly and privately; it was a real eye opener and I was very grateful for the forum provided at NHEN. Illinois homeschoolers used NHEN's forums, among others, to see what was what. I directed folks there.

Now my name or responses to my original questions or statements are only quoted as I removed all of my posts from the forum. (Also note that both threads were (Moved by Moderator) with no option to edit or get access to individual posts.)

I thought long and hard about removing my information from there. Bottom line for me was that NHEN no longer represented advocating for homeschooling freedoms but rather advocating for all educational options. Who's opposed to that? I'm not as long as my tax money is being spent wisely. But public education being promoted consistently on the National Homeschool Education Network as homeschooling advocates are shouted out of a thread called Protecting Homeschool Freedoms & Clarity, of all things, along with their posts deleted doesn't work for me. I didn't want to be associated with it.

I was just learning about homeschool advocacy when NHEN was in its beginning stages. I watched as the group grew from the concern of many homeschoolers being represented in government and the public eyes by a legalistic entity that had other axes to grind besides homeschooling freedoms. There was much hope and much thought put into these efforts. And as the local homeschooling advocacy scene was a top down sort of scenario, the nat'l organizations appealed to me. And NHEN's gift to homeschoolers in Illinois with the information provided in 2002/2003 is recognized. So I can be mad and have been and I can be sad and am; that links aren't updated and correct information is given from the hope of that NHEN dream over a decade ago. And I'll send some current information to the Powers that Be at NHEN regarding Illinois as I know people (new homeschoolers, et al) do look there.

And I'll still be hopeful, I guess; from a distance.


Gabfest-Storytelling Festival

One more day to go. From the Illinois Times:
Everyone likes a good story — but what about an entire day of good stories?
That’s precisely what you’ll get this weekend if you venture to Lincoln’s New
Salem for the 20th annual Prairie Tales Storytelling Festival. The festival
features two stages of talent from across the country, making for a literary
hoedown of sorts, complete with hay-bale seating. That talent includes Urbana’s
own Dan Keding, who has seven Storytelling World Awards under his belt, and
Kevin Strauss of Minnesota, known for his captivating stories involving nature
and animals. Sandi Sylver of North Aurora integrates storytelling,
ventriloquism, and music in her performances. Elizabeth Ellis of Texas tells
regional tales of strong heroic women, was awarded the Circle of Excellence
Award by the National Storytelling Association. Two Jacksonville natives,
Heather Harlan Bacus and Mike Anderson, round out the lineup.
Sat & Sun
Aug. 6 & 7Prairie Tales Storytelling Festival Lincoln’s New Salem Historic
Site 217-245-2207 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free


Saturday, August 06, 2005

What a Silly

and Odd Commentary regarding how
Educators must know who is to be educated

You'd hardly want to give this space, but then again, the Pahrump Valley Times did and what's wrong with them? [Far be it from me to comment on an area's name considering my home town, but Pahrump makes me think of something from Frank Baum's books. That's a compliment actually, but this editorial doesn't deserve it.]
A couple of comments of Mr. Anzalone:
Not everyone is an educator. But, there are some parents who could benefit from
a few courses in some kind of institution of higher learning. Even better, take
some course work in conjunction with what their children are learning, thereby
being of some assistance to their family. But, I do take issues with home
schooling. Unless the parents are very well educated, the children have fools
for teachers. Also, parents tend to be less tolerant than teachers.
and below is his opinion of the non-Marion the Librarian types:
Today, our esteemed President really believes that he knows all about education,maybe because his wife is/ was a librarian. To try to clear up some misconceptions, librarians make some of the worst teachers I've ever known. The classroom is not their environment. Marion the librarian they aren't. They are basically disciplinarians and book lovers. And good ones are so much in need.But educators they are not. Like eye doctors, who have no relationship to reading, it's the specialists who are concerned with how a child deciphers the scratch marks called letters and the groups of letters called words and the groups of words called phrases and sentences, etc.I don't mean to denigrate any special professions like the eye doctors or librarians. Probably the biggest problem today is that teachers are victims of their own makings.
The head librarian of our favorite library is an author and a book lover and a storyteller and a wonderful teacher. Too bad he's had such bad experiences with librarians somewhere, somehow. I think he's dead serious. How Odd.


Homemade Polyhedra

We've made boxes from old calendars and such for presents. I ran into these 2 sites recommended on a list that would fit into any geometry interest.

Free for the downloading and information:

Paper Models of Polyhedra


Solid Shapes and their Nets


Friday, August 05, 2005


From Detroit:

Parenting 101

My interpretation: Not a course, but a family. Everything (especially families and children) do not have to turn into Education Speak.

Do some homework if you're considering home schooling
I wish they had.

Detroit News staff and wire reports -->Thinking about home schooling your children? Begin by finding out your state's home-schooling laws (
I wish they'd done their homework and then they'd know that HSLDA sometimes doesn't get the statutes quite right. We don't have "home-school"ing laws in Illinois, despite HSLDA's attempts to do the same. And HSLDA's information on their site for Illinois is a head scratcher. They state 176 days for required days of instruction in the same sentence as it's not mandatory. If it's NOT mandatory, then don't stick 176 days in there. Then in their legal analyis, they quote the administrative code in Illinois. Sorry, I don't want to go there and feel no legal need to. The public school has their job and I have mine. And following the public school administration code is not my job.
Administrative Code example:
§ 226.100. Child Find Responsibility.
23 Ill. Adm. Code 226.100
a) Each school district shall be responsible for actively seeking out and identifying all children from birth through age 21 within the district, including children not enrolled in the public schools, who may be eligible for special education and related services. Procedures developed to fulfill this responsibility shall include:
1) An annual screening of children under the age of five for the purpose of identifying those who may need early intervention or special education and related services.
IF homeschoolers go there, then they're digging a big hole. I'd rather not refer to the administrative code.
Back to the little Detroit blurb

Be innovative to find help and support. Tap into family and friends. Maybe a relative is a retired certified teacher and would enjoy teaching French
That song from Pink Floyd is running through my head: "We don't need no....." Retired Certified Teacher....

Join a home-schooling group in your area. Some groups are so large they have orchestras and offer courses for the more difficult high school classes
You can join a group or not. I didn't join one for a while because a support group didn't make sense when you're hauling around 2 babies at the time. (I know others have the same issues right now. Do you have one of these pictures with your lil darlin's, Kara?)
And there are lots of cool things out there to do when you look that aren't just about a homeschooling group. Museums, community orchestras and sports, theater groups, community college courses and of course, homeschool group activities.

The most important thing to do for new homeschoolers in my opinion is to inform yourself about homeschooling legally in your state. If you check out homeschooling groups and organizations in your locality (check with the library), then you will get a great start and much confidence in beginning your homeschooling lifestyle.

In Illinois, here's the pertinent statute:
§ 105 ILCS 5/26-1. Compulsory school age - Exemptions
Sec. 26-1. Compulsory school age - Exemptions. Whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 16 years shall cause such child to attend some public school in the district wherein the child resides the entire time it is in session during the regular school term, except as provided in Section 10-19.1 [105 ILCS 5/10-19.1], and during a required summer school program established under Section 10-22.33B [105 ILCS 5/10-22.33B]; provided, that the following children shall not be required to attend the public schools:
1.Any child attending a private or a parochial school where children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools, and where the instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English language;


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Rockford can't run from truancy and Supt can't hide

The more I see of Rockford's truancy/school problem, the more it looks like a runaway train over the kids' backs. This Editorial from the Rockford paper states:
Rockford can't run from truancy

But I say that neither can the Rockford school district and Supt. Thompson
There are reasons in Rockford's past and realities in its present that account for our truancy rate being the second worst in the state and nearly four times the state average.
No Kidding! I vaguely remembered something about Rockford and a Reading issue. I looked a bit and ran into this. It's a ditty about Thompson firing a principal. Actually, correction, they don't fire people in the public school system. They moved her.

Attorneys for Tiffany Parker filed eight counts against Thompson in U.S. District Court on Thursday. Two counts relate to state and federal protection for whistle-blowers. She also charges that Thompson placed her in a false light before the public and denied her freedom of speech and due process.

So this principal was moved because she didn't fit into the correct Thompson mold. "Balanced literacy"- whatever that new cutting edge term for being able to read (or not), might be. You wonder if this is really About The Kids and making sure they can read. AND Thompson lost a grant because he wouldn't let the grant monitors investigate to make sure the requirements were fulfilled. From an April article:

Thompson told monitors to come back after making an appointment in advance. The state, which runs the Reading First grant for the federal Department of Education, says rescheduling an investigative visit is not acceptable. The state has been under increasing pressure from the federal government to improve how it monitors the grants.


Still, Thompson said he has talked with the state to improve communication. He didn’t like being told about the visit with one day’s notice.
I thought only parents were told to make an appointment and they'd try to fit them in when they want to investigate their children's education. Back to the editorial:

"We do not value education in this community the way I have seen it valued in other communities," said Martha Hayes, the Rockford School District's chief instructional officer. Hayes, the mayor and other officials presented the program to the Editorial Board last week.
Apparently but not in the same manner that she might have meant?

Hayes is relatively new to the city, but her lament about the low priority given to education here is an old and familiar one. And there are other reasons for the district's high truancy rate, Hayes said. The school system has failed to keep some students engaged well enough to make school a place they want to be.
Or since she's a newcomer, maybe she did mean what I mean about the school district's lack of accountability starting at the top.

Rockford police and city attorneys looked to other municipalities for examples of daytime curfew ordinances that seem to have been successful.
Waukegan? from another RRS article:

Waukegan operates a teen court, where students sit on juries that dole out punishments for curfew offenders. The effort hasn't kept Waukegan from leading the state in chronic truancy.
And their other model truancy program in Monrovia, CA puts the kids into juvenile court as truants. So how did the RRS editor turn to the backwards logic for city truancy enforcement by admitting that"Once young people get involved in the juvenile justice system, their chances of succeeding in life are diminished." hmmm....
IN ILLINOIS, daytime curfew is getting positive reviews in Waukegan and Round Lake.
Am I reading something wrong again or are the positive reviews from the school district who have truancy off their back, of sorts? I don't know about Round Lake but Waukegan leads the state in chronic truancy at 24.8%. A quarter of the students are truant. But this other factoid is fascinating and go figure. Waukegan's dropout rate is quoted at 4.2%. Amazing and very convenient per NCLB funding.
Very strange editorial.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Why do we homeschool? Two words: Square dancing

Article from a homeschooling dad, Christopher Smith, in TN

So why do we homeschool? I'll give you 20 reasons.
1.No one, and I mean no one, has the right to teach my son how to square dance.
2.Summer vacation can begin in January and end in March.
3.While I agree with the ACLU that
religion has no place in public education, I don't think you can teach "character education" without it. I don't think you should teach sex education
without it. And anyone who thinks you can give a child a complete education in
science without discussing God doesn't know enough about the history of science.
But I also believe God invented evolution, so my ideas aren't real popular among
most homeschoolers either.
continued at the site.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Other Illinois Towns With Daytime Curfew

Where to Go and Where NOT to Go
More from the Rockford Register Star
Other Illinois communities have tried the law, but it has not always worked
The survey said:
A survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1995 determined that seven Illinois cities had daytime curfews: Bolingbrook, Elk Grove, Lansing, Lombard, Park Ridge, Pekin and Waukegan. The study hasn't been updated.
and more from the article:
Waukegan operates a teen court, where students sit on juries that dole out punishments for curfew offenders. The effort hasn't kept Waukegan from leading the state in chronic truancy.
Waukegan also fines kids from $75 to $500. Obviously that's been a very useful policy for ummm...The City; who collects $75-$500 from the kids. Rockford plans on replicating that useful policy.

Peoria adopted a daytime curfew in 1998, but school officials there say the ordinance has gone largely unenforced.

And they will have a media campaign paid for with $4,000 in federal grant money (cha-ching). Peoria wants adults to report anyone suspicious out there. Too darn bad. Peoria has a decent museum there
"We are really working together with our Police Department for the first time to enforce this," said Cindy Fisher, a Peoria School District administrator.
Peoria's truancy rate is 5.1%. They charge $50 for truancy. So Peoria made $50 times 46 (the number apprehended last year) as opposed to the measly 10 in '03-'04.

Do Your Job, Peoria School District

And here's the Elgin story from the RRS:
Elgin doesn't have a daytime curfew, but police and educators regret the loss of a federal grant that paid patrol officers to work from 7 to 10 a.m. on a special truancy detail.
"They would just literally scour the countryside and follow up on the absentee children," Elgin police Sgt. Joanne Demmin said.
"It wasn't unusual to round up five or six kids in a day. Generally, these kids aren't too clever. You see them walking along with a backpack at 9 or 10 in the morning. Gee, you think that might be a truant? It's like a Jeff Foxworthy joke."
Charming commentary on kids.

Interesting 1997 Cato Institute article How Big Brother Began

The premise of the law is that all citizens may be treated as suspects.

ending with
Imagine a state in which you must register your name and address with the authorities, just so they can find you in case you break the law. In an age when bills vaunting protections for privacy abound, and when surveys of consumers rank privacy as a top concern, could that happen here? It is already happening. When we rely on the federal government to solve our problems, we invite it to intrude upon our privacy. We are asking Big Brother to come in and make himself at home



Wasn't a Homeschooler that needed that red marker on the following headline

Homeshoolers busy preparing for academic year

Like teachers and administrators in institutional schools,homeschoolers are getting ready for the new school year.

Not one of my favorite articles, for sure.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Rockford Daytime Curfew Faqs

What ANY teenager and their family that dares to venture into Rockford Must Know


Rockford Homeschoolers' Quality of Life

Morrissey hopes to have the ordinance in place by the first day of school
Excerpts:The freedom that their children and other home-schooled students enjoy when they pack up their books, often at times different from traditional schools, is one issue that has emerged in the ongoing effort to establish a citywide daytime curfew.

The city really needs to address the huge home-school movement that's going on here," Bennett said. "They need to be aware of it and make sure they have an effective tool in place to address it. Children shouldn't have to feel intimidated or hassled walking out of their house."

Why does it not surprise me that Rockford has a huge homeschool movement. I like to see folks homeschooling but hate to see it because the school district is sorely lacking in accountability
Their hands tied by a lack of home-rule authority, city and school officials lobbied state lawmakers to expand truancy laws, with no luck.
Gee thanks, Boys. The rest of the state really appreciates your non-fixing of your problem. But more state legislation makes this world go round, aye?
Spurred by a truancy rate that is more than four times the state average, District 205 leaders approached the city about a year ago with the idea of a daytime curfew, city attorney John Giliberti said.
And the city didn't say Do Your Job!?! And again, why is the truancy rate so high? Because the school system isn't finding a way to keep these kids educated and intrigued and curious? Any teenager I know wants to have their brain engaged.

Do Your Job, Rockford School District.
Giliberti, who crafted the proposed curfew ordinance, studied cities in Illinois and nationwide that had implemented a truancy ordinance, daytime curfew or both. He closely modeled the proposed ordinance after the state's nighttime curfew law and recently amended it to include specific provisions for home-schooled children, as well as make clear that expelled and suspended students are not exempt from the curfew.
Definitely a money maker for the city. Plus they can have all those kids clean up the garbage that spills out affecting the Rockford Quality of Life. Fleece the kids and have them do community service. That'll keep some happy and most unhappy and the city attorney can be pleased about his money making venture on the backs of kids who should be learning.
He closely modeled the proposed ordinance after the state's nighttime curfew law and recently amended it to include specific provisions for home-schooled children, as well as make clear that expelled and suspended students are not exempt from the curfew.
Aah yes, the old exemption when you prove it.


How the Creeping Continues

Some of the Illinois Mental Health Timeline

A Joint Resolution in the 92nd General Assembly was passed in 2001. Unanimous vote.

As you read the language, you'll see for one, that it gets IVPA moving with the mental health screening movement here along with Barbara Shaw's megabucks budget. The language was then repeated in the Illinois Childrens Mental Health Act, which also included wording to form a be all and end all Plan to be submitted and updated every year . The Dream Plan. Their short term strategies (within 1-2 years) were to screen all women for depression during pregnancy and following the birth of a child one year post partum, and ensure that all children receive periodic social and emotional developmental screens.

Never assume that mental health screening proponents have seen the light with their new and more clever Plan submitted to the governor June 30 of this year. Never. A new Plan will be submitted next year and next year.... Run a search of the 2005/2006 Plan and simply take out the word voluntary. One word removed and we're back to square one.

Continuing on, the House passed a Resolution last year calling for screening of all children. This was not a Joint Resolution. Our senators did see some light apparently. But unfortunately, this Resolution lays out the plan to use TeenScreen as

it's been proven successful, offers technical assistance for
implementation of a screening
program, and provides all the components for
such a program at no charge at this time

Here's some sample questions from TeenScreen

In the last year, has there been a time:
(1) When nothing was fun for you and you just weren't interested in
(2) When you couldn't think as clearly or
as fast as usual?
(3) When you had less energy than you usually do?
(4) When you felt you couldn't do anything well or that you
weren't as good-looking or as smart as other people?
(5) Have you often felt nervous or uncomfortable when you have been with a group of
children or young people—say, like in the lunchroom at school or at a party?
(6) Have you often felt very nervous when you've had to do things in
front of people?
(7) Have you often worried a lot before you were
going to play a sport or game or do some other activity?
Here's some results from the TeenScreen given w/o parental consent or consultation:
The first notice of intent to sue was filed this month in Indiana by Michael and Teresa Rhoades who were outraged when they learned their daughter had been given a psychological test at school without their consent.

In December 2004, their daughter came home from school and said she had been diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive and social anxiety disorder after taking the TeenScreen survey.


Is your family ready for Primetime Television?


Do you feel passionately about unschooling? Yep

ABC's Wife Swap is looking for families who educate their children
through unschooling and are interested in exposing the nation to this unique learning method!

For two weeks, two wives from families with
different values exchange husbands, children and lives!

Kind of the anti-thesis of a homeschooling family, isn't it? Sticking your kids with someone for 2 weeks with different values? I don't get it.

Reality shows tend to look for controversy (kind of like Jerry Springer)? Why would anyone do that to their family, I dunno. Kinda like being on Dr. Phil trying to fix your marriage? Maybe your marriage will get fixed but how do your kids and you live with the neighbors, I've always wondered?

Homeschool Legislation Watch
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