My eight-year-old daughter and I recently read about the Salem witch trials. She had heard about Salem from a friend who visited the nearby town during its popular Halloween festivities, and she was curious about the witches. We went to the library to get some books on the topic of how 20 innocent people were put to death for “witchcraft” in 1692, with scores more accused and jailed.
What struck me most about revisiting the Salem Witch Trials with my children was the fact that these English Puritans who had recently settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony had no presumption of innocence. Those accused of a crime at the time, both in the New World and elsewhere, were guilty until proven innocent. The presumption of innocence in trials, with court defenders and impartial juries, would take centuries to catch on. The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” was coined by an English lawyer in 1791, but even then it took a long while to become the legal precedent we all now take for granted. Continue reading
Many people still consider “homeschooling” to be a religious farmstead cult instead of a legitimate form of education. Yet on average, homeschoolers are far out-performing their publicly-educated peers in almost every subject.
According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA),
In 1990, the National Home Education Research Institute issued a report entitled “A Nationwide Study of Home Education: Family Characteristics, Legal Matters, and Student Achievement.” This was a study of over 2,163 homeschooling families. Continue reading
It is National School Choice Week and a new poll indicates growing support for school choice options.
The American Federation for Children released the poll last week, which shows continuing strong, across-the-board support for educational options. Continue reading
Huckleberry Finn and Jim
Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change?
…and 4 Challenges
When deciding whether or not to homeschool your child, it’s important to keep in mind both the positives and negatives of homeschooling.
All parents want what’s best for their children. But when it comes to schooling, the field of choices can be murky and the decisions difficult. Parents don’t always get a close look at what goes on in their kids’ schools, nor can they fully understand the demands of homeschooling until they’ve made the leap. Continue reading
In a decision last week, the European Court of Human Rights has undermined its claim to being the “conscience of Europe” and pitted parents against children.
The Wunderlich family wanted to do what thousands of families in America do with no questions asked: educate their children at home.
But homeschooling is not allowed in Germany, and the state has relentlessly pursued the Wunderlichs and even seized their children. Continue reading
Teachers (have gone) on strike in the Los Angeles school district …
They have plenty of complaints. But what they don’t have is accomplishments.
Only 22% of fourth graders in the district scored proficient in math. Even a typical terrible inner-city school district has a 30% proficient rate.
Since 2003, 245,000 students have left the district in favor of better districts, or charter schools. Continue reading
A school system in Massachusetts is proving to be malicious, incompetent, or maybe both.
Of course, we suspected that already. But the latest example comes from a lawsuit from a woman who pulled her 8-year-old son from Worcester Public Schools to homeschool him last January.
Josilyn Goodall is suing the Worcester School Committee, Superintendent Maureen Binienda, and the state Department of Children and Families after police entered her home, handcuffed her, and arrested her over what amounted to a paperwork dispute. Continue reading
Although homeschool anecdotes are a dime a dozen, hardcore statistics on this emerging education trend are often few and far between.
But on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education released the latest official numbers on homeschooling in America. Not surprisingly, they continue to rise. Continue reading
J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most famous authors of the 20th century. Known for the mythical worlds and creatures he presented in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien is beloved for his way with words and his imaginative genius.
Tolkien’s fame, lovability, and worldwide influence are the types of things most parents dream of seeing flower and bloom in their own children. Unfortunately, there is no set formula that parents can follow to cultivate children who are successful and impactful like Tolkien. However, parents can glean a number of insights from Tolkien’s upbringing in the hopes of awakening some of the same hidden genius in their own offspring. Continue reading
Why is it that we are unable to teach children how to read when nearly every single child 100+ years ago could read and write? We do not need more money. We do not need more teacher training. We need to return to what has been proven to work. When we choose to use a curriculum that has been demonstrated with fact and figures to be inferior, then the only conclusion is that it is a deliberate effort to ensure the destruction of your child’s potential. You are going to have to get involved with the education of your children. IF your superintendent will not fix the problem, then fire him. If your school board will not fix the problem, then fire them. Your children’s future is at stake. To save America, we must save one child at a time. It starts with education – at home and at school. ~ Rosemary Stein, MD
The long list includes mass shootings, sexual indoctrination, and poor academic performance.
In 2010, Patriot Post columnist Burt Prelutsky said of our underperforming public school systems, “It’s not a school system, it’s a penal colony with report cards.” At the time, it seemed humorously hyperbolic. Today, it seems depressingly understated.
Perhaps that’s why, as The Washington Times recently reported, there has been a surge in parents turning to homeschooling. Continue reading
Thanks to the incessant Left-wing counter-culture social engineering and increasing levels of violence and bullying, more American parents are pulling their kids out of failing government schools and teaching them at home. Continue reading
It seems like every graduation season has its stories of whiz kids. The kids who are so ambitious and so accomplished that they’re graduating from high school, and even college, before the normal time.
One of the latest is 14-year-old Matthew McKenzie from Georgia, who received his high school diploma and associate degree the same day. And like many other whiz kids, McKenzie was – you guessed it – homeschooled. Matthew’s mother, Monique McCord tells the story:
“We would pull material from different textbooks and different resources so I would pretty much custom create his curriculum.” Continue reading
There’s a lot to dislike about many public schools — and right now, student safety is at the top of the list. “After a gunman opened fire on students in Parkland, Florida,” a new Washington Times feature explains, “the phones started ringing at the Texas Home School Coalition, and they haven’t stopped yet.”
Like so many state organizations, the Texas organization was used to a certain number of inquiries about homeschooling. President Tim Lambert says they usually averaged about 600 calls a month — a number he watched double over the past several weeks. “When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded. And they’re not alone. Continue reading
If you don’t have kids in a public school somewhere, you may not be aware that the U.S. education system is among the world’s worst when it comes to giving our children the basic building blocks of knowledge that they need in order to make it in an increasingly competitive world.
In fact, today’s Millennials are the worst-educated in our history, coming in 15th out of 22 industrialized countries in literacy, math and computer-era problem solving. Continue reading
I thought I might chronicle the steps taken to end up where we are now, with respect to education. This may help those considering homeschooling, a bit.
When my wife first became pregnant, I started researching education alternatives for children. I thought that was simply one of the duties of being a parent– however, rarely it happens! I generally don’t imagine “everybody else does it”–that is, almost everybody defaults to using the government schools–is much of an excuse for skipping this duty. Continue reading