Category Archives: A Little Good News Today

This is where we will find success stories – with students, teachers, families – and yes – once in awhile – a particular school, or district which has overcome adversity to provide a winning agenda. You may also find postings regarding proposals POSITIVE changes to and for the education system suggested or presented by both public and private individuals. And in the words of the song by the great Anne Murray – we are looking for a “Little Good News Today!

Oh yes… this is the place you will also find single image posts, which may be quite suggestive in nature – for both positive and/or negative effect.

Making a Case for Cursive

Recently, I asked my fifth graders if they enjoyed writing in cursive. Students at the all-boys Catholic school where I work start training in cursive penmanship in third grade, so my students had been practicing it for the better part of three years. I expected them to say that it is boring, that they do not like it, but they all said that they preferred cursive to printing. Continue reading

A Hybrid Homeschool That Gives Control to Parents, Focuses on Tradition — and Includes God

(Courtesy of Renae Zentz)

Ten years ago, a visionary mom embarked on a homeschooling journey with a heartfelt admiration for traditional American values, a never-ending love of learning, and a mission to spread kindness. Many families came on board, one after another, and together they are creating a subtle yet significant difference in our society.

I know this woman and her family personally and feel honored to be one of the teachers at this hybrid homeschool. Let me take you on an educational adventure to this institute that embraces God and prioritizes families. Continue reading

Thousands of Public Schools at Risk of Closing as Enrollment Declines

Maybe it is about TIME!

In a trend that began with the pandemic, data shows ongoing school enrollment issues, and thousands of public schools nationwide are at risk of closing. According to the Department of Education , in 2023, 1.8 million fewer students enrolled in public schools nationwide compared to 2019.

Less students means less funding for schools, and with federal relief funding dwindling, schools are closing.

Jackson, Mississippi, has seen 11 schools close their doors, some of which have experienced a 30% drop in enrollment since 2018. That trend is not exclusive to Mississippi. Continue reading

Cursive Makes a Comeback — by Law — in Public Schools

A child practices cursive writing exercises at home. After nearly dying out, cursive is making a comeback in public schools, with more than 20 states requiring it so far. (Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press)

In 2016, California Democratic state Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva sat with then-California Gov. Jerry Brown at an event where he signed baseball-type cards featuring the image of his dog, Colusa.

But many of the recipients of the cards couldn’t read his cursive signature, Quirk-Silva recalled, much to the Democratic governor’s dismay. “The governor asked me what I did” before becoming a legislator, she remembered. “I said I was a teacher, and he said, ‘You have to bring back cursive writing.’”

After seven years of trying, she finally succeeded. Continue reading

Washington’s Parental Rights Bill Gets One Step Closer to Becoming State Law!

In a significant development, Let’s Go Washington, a citizen’s action group, has successfully gathered the required signatures for Initiative 2081, aiming to establish Washington state’s first Parental Bill of Rights.

This move has sparked discussions about the potential impact of parental involvement in education and child welfare.

Let’s delve into the key aspects of this initiative. Continue reading

Florida School District Is Transformed After Banning Students From Using Phones for ENTIRE DAY

Bullying drops, student engagement in class rises – and kids saying they’re enjoying face-to-face interaction!

‘We saw a lot of bullying,’ Timber Creek High School’s Marc Wasko said of his district’s spin on the statewide law. ‘We had a lot of issues with students posting, or trying to record, things that went on during school time’

Florida school district faculty are praising a new cellphone ban on its nearly 200,000 students – one markedly more severe than what’s required by the state.

The ban went into effect in September, and has prohibited pupils in Orlando’s Orange County public schools system from using their devices since.

The district, the fourth-largest in the state, has 264 schools, and made the move after Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law this past May barring kids from using their phones during class.

The guidance from Orange County Public Schools, however, took that a step further, disallowing students from using their phones during breaks, while requiring them to keep them in their backpacks instead of pockets. Continue reading

Mom Who Homeschools Her Children Reveals She Lets Her One-Year-Old Play in and EAT Mud…

But Insists It Is Good to Build Up a Healthy Immune System

A mom who refuses to put her kids in school has revealed that she lets her baby play in and eat mud to help build a healthy immune system.

Taylor Moran and her three children, Hudson, five, Thompson, three, and Gus, one, previously hit the headlines after revealing their controversial lifestyle.

The Arkansas-based mom, 32, who doesn’t believe in the traditional schooling system, thinks that classes and homework ‘kills kids’ spirits’ and instead teaches them through exploring.

While she’s received some backlash for ‘unschooling’ her children, the former teacher believes it’s important to let kids be kids, no matter how dangerous that can be.

‘It’s important for them to take on risks like climbing trees, running barefoot or playing in mud,’ said Taylor, who has 73,000 followers on TikTok . Continue reading

Harnessing Creative Brilliance in Children With Learning Disabilities

In the vibrant tapestry of human expression, art stands out as a medium that transcends words, allowing souls to communicate in colors, shapes, and movements. For children with learning disabilities, delving into the arts unlocks a universe of possibilities, providing them with a medium to express themselves and a bridge to connect, grow, and redefine their potential. Continue reading

Former Public School Teachers Find Happiness In Entrepreneurship

Education entrepreneurs are finding joy in launching their own innovative learning programs and are spreading that joy to their learners.

Jennifer Hunt works with students at Salt + Light Academy in Kansas. Photo: Kerry McDonald

I spent much of last week in the greater Kansas City area visiting microschools and learning pods, and talking to founders, ahead of the Heartland Hybrid & Microschools Summit, hosted by Kansas Policy Institute.

All of the seven learning environments I visited in Kansas and Missouri were founded within the past three years and all of the founders are former public school teachers who quit and created these alternative programs. They all expressed greater levels of personal and professional fulfillment. Continue reading

Charters Receive Far Less Money Than Traditional Public Schools. They Do Better Anyway

New research is casting doubt on the common assumption that more funding is a key driver of better educational outcomes.

If you thought charter schools received anywhere near the same amount of funding as traditional public schools, then think again.

A new, massive study from the University of Arkansas finds that “On average, charter schools across 18 cities in 16 states (…) receive about 30 percent or $7,147 (2020 dollars) less funding per pupil than traditional public schools.” Over the past two decades, this funding disparity has remained relatively stable. Continue reading

How to teach … Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens turned 200 years old on Tuesday February 7, 2012. To mark the bicentenary, the Guardian Teacher Network created materials to help you bring his work to life for children

An illustration from Dickens’s novel The Pickwick Papers. Dickens’s most vivid personalities are celebrated in the Guardian’s resource Charles Dickens’s Characters in Pictures.

Charles Dickens’s Characters in Pictures is a guide to some of the most vivid personalities in Dickens’s novels. Created by the Guardian, the resource contains illustrations of characters including the Artful Dodger and Ebenezer Scrooge, along with extracts about them from Dickens’s work. It provides inspiration for activities including role play, descriptive writing and costume design.

What the Dickens? is a website for students and teachers containing creative-writing lesson plans, activity sheets and an outline for a Dickens-themed assembly. There are also short videos from children’s authors celebrating the work of Dickens and an interactive story-writing competition open to 9- to 14-year-olds. Continue reading

Loudon: Why Parents and Grandparents Need to Teach Their Children to be Curious

More and more, children are being left by the parents for the teachers to do all of the preschool and academic training for their children. Parents and grandparents can do a tremendous amount of brain skills learning, especially at very young age and it is a great benefit for the children. If they are prepared for preschool when they are 5, then they are far ahead of the group, and experts say that these ready pre-taught children usually stay ahead of the class all the way through school. ~ M. Loudon

There is no better lifetime achievement than to teach your children or grandchildren to be curious. One of the greatest examples ever written is in the biography of Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein’s parents understood the importance of teaching their children to be curious. They began to encourage Albert by getting him enrolled in the greatest math and physics schools in Europe. But another event at the age of 10 years also had a lot of influence on Albert when his father gave him a compass. Albert was fascinated with the compass and very curious about how the needles moved and what force was moving the needles. Curiosity about the movement of the needles never left Albert and was a great inspiration in his mind for learning everything about the compass. Continue reading

House approves Parents’ Bill of Rights to give Americans more say in their kids’ education

The Republican-led House voted to pass its Parents’ Bill of Rights on Friday with zero Democrat votes after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called it ‘fascist.’ The controversial bill, which gives parents a stronger role in what’s taught in public schools, is not expected to be taken up by the Democratic-majority Senate.

Critics denounce the legislation saying it has led to book bans, restrictions aimed at transgender students and unhinged board meetings nationwide. Continue reading

The Classics Are for Everyone, Not Just Old, Dead, White Men

Yes, yes, and YES!

That was what I shouted, in the silence of my heart, when I finished Louis Markos’ online review “How Classical Education Can Liberate Black America.”

Earlier that same week, I’d read yet another account of an attack on the classics of Western civilization, the Great Books as they were once called, as racist and misogynistic. Though I can’t recollect where I saw this piece, I was once again knocked for a loop, wondering if those who were panning Aristotle and Pascal had ever read any of the writers in this canon… Continue reading

What Can Parents Do When School Isn’t Working for Their Child?

Now is often the time of year when parents begin looking into other learning options and schooling alternatives for their kids. The new school year has been in session for several weeks and some parents may be finding that bubbling issues may have reached a boiling point.

Perhaps their child isn’t a good match with his or her assigned teacher. Perhaps parent-child battles over homework have emerged. Perhaps parents see certain elements of their child’s curriculum that they dislike, or hear about various classroom practices that they find unsettling. Perhaps their child is bored or withdrawn, frustrated or irritable, anxious or depressed. Perhaps the bullying has started or worsened. Continue reading

Stansell: Might Our Storm Clouds Be Parting? A Child Shall Lead…

Last week, students at small Christian college in Kentucky gathered for their regular Wednesday chapel service. Ten days later, it has not ended. People from around the country and the world continue to join in. No matter your religion or lack thereof, THIS is an exceptional happening. More exceptional even, is that this spirit has spread to other colleges and universities. Continue reading

4 Unique Ideas for Educators Looking to Break Their Classroom Out of the Box

There are STILL some Teachers who give a damn! ~ Editor

It’s every teacher’s dream to implement a lesson plan that makes their students truly excited to learn. But in the busy life of an educator, it isn’t always easy to come up with fresh ideas that both engage and educate. If you feel like you’re in a teaching rut, you’re not alone. Here are a few ideas for shaking up your curriculum.

When kids are stuck inside for hours on end, just about everything gets to feel monotonous. Give them a different change of pace by taking your classroom outside. You can choose a lesson plan devoted to the outdoors, or simply adapt an existing lesson. For example if you’re an English teacher, have an outdoor reading session. In addition to the book you’re studying, students can practice reading aloud and learn to project their voices. Alternatively, science teachers can take students out during a windy day to discuss and experiment with the way sound travels, and how it can be affected by outside factors. Continue reading

GOOD NEWS TODAY: Parents Are Dropping Kids Out of Public School

After two years of lockdowns, masking, and related wrongs, many parents are awakening to the prospect of school choice.

It’s that time of year again… as families return from vacations, they start thinking about sending their kids back to school (if they’re not back already). But in the post-pandemic era, there’s an increasing likelihood that some parents aren’t sending their children back to the same school. In particular, data suggest that many parents have had enough with public school education altogether.

“In the past two years, a mass exodus of over 1.2 million students has left the public school system as parents seek alternative education routes, such as public charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling,” writes Marjorie Jackson at The Daily Signal. Jackson adds that some parents “believed the school’s handling of the pandemic was unsatisfactory, due to lockdowns, which inconvenienced many families, as well as masking and vaccination policies. Others were unhappy after taking a closer look at their local public school curriculum and wanted more say in what their children were learning.” Continue reading