Carnival of Homeschooling

The Faithful Homeschool is hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Homeschool Post. Reaping what you sow is the theme.

Coming to Grips with My Homeschool Reality (The Holistic Homeschooler) and 10 Reasons to Homeschool an ADHD Child (Harrington Harmonies) deal with homeschooling children with dyslexia, mood disorders and/or hyperactivity.

Carnival of Homeschooling

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at momSCHOOL.

Carnival of Homeschooling

The Common Room is hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling.

Victorian family of homeschoolersSensory Processing Disorder is a Deceptive Adversary, writes Christina on SPD and ME.

The Headmistress also has a special-needs child. She recalls a “not really so horrible very bad day.”

Carnival of Homeschooling

Homeschool Atheist Momma is hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling from Brisbane, Australia.

Carnival of Homeschooling, with slime

slimeThe Foodie Army Wife is hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling, which includes a classic slime recipe.

For a unit on early explorers, Learning Curve’s daughters constructed wooden ships, made maps of make-believe lands, built an astrolabe and cooked ships’ biscuits. (The recipe is included.) Mom couldn’t get them to try salted or dried fish.

Housekeeping offers a variety of pumpkin decorating ideas. She suggests using a drill to carve a pumpkin.

Streaming on aquatic life

oceans There are lots of good science videos for children out there, says Mike Petrilli. His 10 best streaming videos on aquatic life start with Disneynature’s Oceans, “a spectacular story about remarkable creatures under the sea.”

The Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans has eight 45-minute episodes. “David Attenborough narrates this definitive exploration of the marine world, from the familiar to the unknown, revealing the sea and its communities at their most fearsome and alluring.”

In Turtle: The Incredible Journey, “a loggerhead turtle swims from a beach in Florida across the Atlantic Ocean, encountering stunning sea creatures as well as serious hazards created by modern man.”

Ron Paul: Abandon public schools

Ron Paul doesn’t call for reforming schools in his new book, The School Revolution. He wants parents to abandon state-run schools and teach their children at home — with the help of low-cost online courses. (His own courses cost $50.)


“Teach” means “have your child read a lot of books and watch YouTube videos on his or her own,” writes Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at the New America Foundation, in the New Republic.

A fan of self-reliance, Paul believes students should learn on their own, starting in fourth to sixth grade, writes Carey. “If they need help, it’s best to ask other students. No teachers are required.”

“The parent who demands that his child be given special attention by a high school teacher is making a big mistake,” writes Paul.

Paul’s plan creates an “isolated learning experience focused exclusively on reading, writing, and debate, with no exposure to heterodox views,” writes Carey. “His program will shield students from the evils of liberalism and, worse, Keynesianism, and train them to argue their cause with facility and zeal.”

Carnival of Homeschooling

Homeschool Buzz has created artistic word clouds for this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling.

“This is going to be fun” is a “coercive statement,” argues Brave Writer. Maybe, in hindsight, learning about dependent clauses will turn out to have been fun. Maybe not. “No one wants to be required to enjoy a subject area.”

Fix schools by not fixing schools

Fix Schools by Not Fixing Schools advises Jay P. Greene. Instead of trying to reform traditional public schools, go around them.

We can expand access to other educational options, including charter schools, voucher schools, tax-credit schools. ESAs, digital schooling, home-schooling, and hybrid schools.  We can also expand access to enriching non-school activities, like museums, theaters, historical sites, summer camps, and after-school programs.  Reformers should concentrate their energy on all of these non-traditional-school efforts and stop trying so hard to fix traditional public schools.

Traditional public schools don’t want to be fixed, writes Greene.

The people who make their living off of those schools have reasons for wanting schools to be as they are and have enormous political resources to fend off efforts to fundamentally change things.  Trying to impose reforms like merit pay, centralized systems of teacher evaluation, new standards, new curriculum, new pedagogy, etc… on unwilling schools is largely a futile exercise.  They have the political resources to block, dilute, or co-opt these efforts in most instances.

“Second, attempting to impose reforms on traditional public schools requires a significant increase in centralized political control,” Greene writes.  When traditionalists subvert “most reforms through poor implementation,” the centralization remains.

 Centralized reforms that can be adopted and implemented have to be watered-down enough to gain broad support for passage and implementation, rendering them mostly impotent.

. . . even if by some miracle an effective and appropriate centralized reform with bite is adopted and properly implemented, there is no natural political constituency to preserve the integrity of that reform over time.

Traditional public schools don’t resist the creation of alternatives “with the same ferocity that they oppose reforms that directly effect their daily working life,” Greene writes. Creating alternatives doesn’t require centralization or pleasing everyone. Successful alternatives build their own constituency.