Category Archives: Sometimes a Great Notion

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 proposes POSITIVE changes to and for the education system suggested or presented by both public and private individuals. HEY – if nothing else – look at the work of people such as Kim Allsup. Yeah – Kim is here too.

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.

Zappa on Civics and more!

I remember well, that, in Illinois, to graduate from High School, you had to pass a US Constitution Exam. You were first were given the test in your Sophomore year, and a small group of knuckleheads were still taking the test two years later, in their Senior year. However, we all passed the exam before graduation. Apparently many of those people washed all of that information from their brain shortly afterwords. ~ Phillip Meier

Mr. Meier was a classmate of mine back in the day. ~ Ed.

Sowell: Charter Schools and Their Enemies

Can someone explain to me: How do you live to be 90 and still be intellectually active? To be writing at this age – what a quality of life! …and a quantity of life too; more of this man is needed at least for my country, Cote d’Ivoire! ~ Olivier Mgbra

Homeschool or Traditional?: The Teacher Speaks!

First, let me explain my qualifications for answering this question. I am a fully certified teacher in two states. I have credentials for teaching K-6 general education and K-12 special education. I have a BA in special education and a Master’s in Learning and Technology. I am currently a 6th-grade teacher in a public charter school and teach leadership and STEM. But my most important qualification for answering this question is that I homeschooled my own children for 24 years. (I did not teach outside of that during those years, but I did start a private cottage school and ran that for 7 of those years). You want to know why your grandson gets finished with assignments in such a short amount of time. It does not take as long in homeschool with 1 on 1 learning. There is no better learning situation than 1 on 1. You do not have interruptions like you do in a classroom. We were always finished with our core academic schoolwork at home in about 1.5 – 3 hours depending on the subject. Keep in mind, I have twins with autism as well (which is why I had the cottage school) and my other two sons had/have dyslexia. Continue reading

Schools Beat Earlier Plagues With Outdoor Classes… We should too!

A classroom on a ferry in New York City, circa 1915. Credit…Bureau of Charities, via Library of Congress

In the early years of the 20th century, tuberculosis ravaged American cities, taking a particular and often fatal toll on the poor and the young. In 1907, two Rhode Island doctors, Mary Packard and Ellen Stone, had an idea for mitigating transmission among children. Following education trends in Germany, they proposed the creation of an open-air schoolroom. Within a matter of months, the floor of an empty brick building in Providence was converted into a space with ceiling-height windows on every side, kept open at nearly all times. Continue reading

Let’s Go Backwards in Education

Maybe part of the “New Normal” should be the “Old Normal” – ’cause it sure beats Abby Normal!

In the last two weeks, lost among the coronavirus ruckus, some organizations have issued reports revealing the poor scores of our elementary and middle school students on standardized tests. From the Pioneer Institute comes a study showing the failures of Common Core in basic subjects like reading and math.

Nearly a decade after states adopted Common Core,” said the Pioneer Institute’s Executive Director Jim Stergios, “the empirical evidence makes it clear that these national standards have yielded underwhelming results for students. The proponents of this expensive, legally questionable policy initiative have much to answer for.” Continue reading

Schrock-Taylor: Getting Sons To Read

Author Jack Cashill recently wrote an article entitled “Why Your Sons Refuse to Read”. It is a must-read for every parent with a son who has not learned to read or who has not learned to read well enough to succeed at his grade/age level. I hope to help parents understand what must be done in order for their sons (and daughters) learn to read well, to enjoy reading, and to begin catching up with all of the concepts and vocabulary that they missed during the years of not reading. Continue reading

Allsup: Stories for Children in Times of Trouble

Storytelling Help for Parents in the Era of COVID-19 and Sharing the ongoing story: The Secret Prince

You’ve stocked up on essentials: hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and you’ve got a cupboard with non-perishable food including enough pasta to feed your neighborhood. But your neighbors won’t be visiting anytime soon.

If you have children, here’s one more thing to add to your list of essentials in this era of solitude: stories, especially stories that you create yourself to help your kids cope with unexpected changes in their daily lives.

The Secret Prince is an ongoing story meant to support the inner journey of children in this time of solitude. You will find the first five chapters below. My goal is to add a new chapter each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I hope your child(rens) aged four through twelve, find The Secret Prince helps to normalize staying home for many days.

The story shows a child whose independent spirit helps him deal with being stuck inside for weeks. This story has no mention of disease; it’s about a boy who has to stay inside due to flooding. It’s not an explanation for why we are practicing social distancing. By now your child already knows why their daily routines are different. The question now for most children is not so much why as how to re-imagine their daily lives. Continue reading

Should Children Be Taught How To Grow Food As Part Of Their Schooling?

Our children live in a fast-paced society, and their life has become much easier than the one we were used to.

I know countless applications that can do their tasks and assignments instead of them, and they can type just a few words on their computers and find everything they need, without having to jog their memory or use their knowledge.

Yet, many fear that in this way, we are raising slouches, irresponsible future adults, and a burden to our society. There is no doubt that new inventions have provided more comfort than we ever dreamed of living in. Continue reading

Sometimes We Meet Someone Who Changes Our Lives Forever

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school,
she told the children an untruth.

Happy Birthday, Miss Jones ~ Norman Rockwell

Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. Continue reading

Public schools are teaching our children to hate America

“A government is like everything else: to preserve it, we must love it.”

Today’s schools teach only the ugliest parts of US history, turning students off from civic engagement. Shutterstock

When he was young, Thomas Jefferson carefully copied those words — a quote from the great political philosopher Montesquieu — into his “commonplace book,” the private journal he kept as a student for future inspiration.

Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic,” the passage continued. “And to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education.”

Thomas Jefferson thought teaching children American History, at an early age, should be a central focus. Continue reading

Yes, Parents Are Capable of Choosing How Their Children Should Be Educated

The idea that parents get in the way of children’s education and can halt their flourishing is nothing new. It’s also false!

At the heart of debates around education freedom and school choice is the subtle but sinister sentiment that parents can’t be trusted. They are too busy, too poor, or too ignorant to make the right decisions for their kids, and others know better how to raise and educate children. Never mind that parents have successfully cared for and educated their children for millennia, ensuring the ongoing survival and continued success of our species. Continue reading

Boom!” There, I said it….

No, Let Me Shout It Out For You…BOOM, BOOM, BOOMER!’

Boomer” as of recent past is being used as a pejorative term to paint us boomers in veils of black. How quaint! Yes, it’s true that we think a lot alike.

We grew up with all-American values, values that coarse through our veins as our life blood. Freedom is more than just a word; it has become a genuine part of our DNA! We know Americanism because we were taught from young on what the alternative was. We embraced the American way of life with every fiber of our being because we were taught the history of what the alternative was. WE WERE GIVEN THE CHOICE AND GIVEN THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE, WE CHOSE FREEDOM!
Continue reading