Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Common Core Information



More Links to articles on Common Core:

Sandra Stotsky, Ed.D. has numerous links to articles against Common Core.
 http://www.uaedreform.org/sandra-stotsky/

Joy Pullman has also written articles against Common Core.
http://heartland.org/joy-pullmann

Richard Innes of the Bluegrass Institute has also spoken out against Common Core.
http://www.bipps.org/author/richard-innes/

Karen Schroeder of Advocates for Academic Freedom speaks out against Common Core.
http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.org/default.asp#.UfkGLW08n3w


Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Reason to Homeschool: Washington Times: Whitehead: Turning Public Schools into Forts

 

WHITEHEAD: Turning public schools into forts

There’s a peril in the mindset of the police state, John W. Whitehead, Washington Times, July 29, 2013. 

As surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, zero-tolerance policies, lockdowns, drug-sniffing dogs and strip searches become the norm in elementary, middle and high schools across the nation, America is on a fast track to raising up an Orwellian generation — one populated by compliant citizens accustomed to living in a police state and who march in lockstep to the dictates of the government. Yet as I point out in my book, "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State," with every school police raid and overzealous punishment that is carried out in the name of school safety, the lesson being imparted is that Americans — especially young people — have no rights at all against the state or the police. Indeed, the majority of schools today have adopted an all-or-nothing lockdown mindset that leaves little room for freedom, individuality or due process.

Once upon a time in America, if you talked back to a teacher, or played a prank on a classmate, or just failed to do your homework, you might find yourself in detention or doing an extra writing assignment after school. Nowadays, students are not only punished for transgressions more minor than those — such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing Legos to school, or having a food fight — but they are punished with suspension, expulsion and even arrest.

When high school senior Ashley Smithwick grabbed the wrong lunch sack — her father's — on the way to school, the star soccer player had no idea that her mistake would land her in a sea of legal troubles. Unbeknownst to Ashley, the lunchbox contained her father's paring knife, a 2-inch blade he uses to cut his apple during lunch. It was only when a school official searching through students' belongings found the diminutive knife, which administrators considered a "weapon," that Miss Smithwick realized what had happened and explained the mistake. Nevertheless, school officials referred Miss Smithwick to the police, who in turn charged her with a Class 1 misdemeanor for possessing a "sharp-pointed or edged instrument on educational property."

Read More: Washington Times

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Common Core: Read More About It

Here are just a few articles on Common Core:

Education, the Bible and Obama's Common Core by Jane Robbins, Catholic Exchange, July 25, 2013

David Coleman, the non-English teacher who wrote the Common Core national English language arts (ELA) standards, is conducting a charm offensive to persuade Christians to embrace the new national standards. According to Mr. Coleman, students “educated” under Common Core will be better readers and better able to understand Scripture, and thus will enjoy deeper and more satisfying spiritual lives. Quite a claim for any set of school standards – much less standards based on an arid view of workforce-training rather than true education.
The central organizing theme of the Common Core ELA standards is that study of creative literature must be diminished in favor of nonfiction “informational texts.” The idea is that students should be drilled in the types of documents they are more likely to encounter in their entry-level jobs (and make no mistake, Common Core is a workforce-development model, not an education model).

READ MORE @
http://catholicexchange.com/education-the-bible-and-obamas-common-core/

Worried About Privacy? How About Common Core? by Dr. Paul Kengor,  Catholic Lane,  July 22, 2013
 
There’s an intense debate right now over “Common Core,” a major effort to implement a set of federal education standards in public schools nationwide. The Common Core State Standards thus far have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Though it isn’t my area of expertise, I’ve received numerous impassioned emails on the subject. Among them, one person’s concerns particularly struck me.

READ MORE @
There’s an intense debate right now over “Common Core,” a major effort to implement a set of federal education standards in public schools nationwide. The Common Core State Standards thus far have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Though it isn’t my area of expertise, I’ve received numerous impassioned emails on the subject. Among them, one person’s concerns particularly struck me.
- See more at: http://catholiclane.com/worried-about-privacy-how-about-common-core/#sthash.PmbN7p9q.dpuf

http://catholiclane.com/worried-about-privacy-how-about-common-core/


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Do We Homeschool: Catholic Lane

Why Do We Homeschool? by Elizabeth Yank Catholic Lane July 22, 2013



 “Why do we homeschool?” Often when we begin homeschooling there is something that prompted us to begin. It may have been a child struggling with school, a negative socializing experience, or any number of issues. Once the mom begins, she may feel conflicted that her children will miss out on some great academic experience. She may moan, “I wish I had a real science lab” or “I could never have an interesting literature discussion like I did in my British Literature class.” So why are we doing “that”? Why are we homeschooling? Because we want to educate the whole child; we want to educate the child for eternity.

On occasion my twin nephews, who are six years old, will burst into song, “Father, I adore you. And I lay my life before you. How I love you.” In a public school setting, I guarantee the teacher would not appreciate or encourage such a song. But in the home, this is a beautiful testament of my nephews’ childlike faith.

Too often we focus on the academics and overlook the whole child, the need to build the character of the child and consider all aspects of the person. In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Blessed John Paul II described Christ as one who “labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart” (par. #4). We need to ask ourselves when we educate ourselves and our children, “Do we labor with Christ’s hands, think with Christ’s mind, act with Christ’s will, and love with Christ’s heart?” We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children’s mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls.

Because the child is a whole, integrated person, we cannot always compartmentalize when we will be educating their minds, their hearts, or their hands. While showing my daughters how to crochet, we might have a discussion on a topic that would form their character or is related to their academics. In practicing her violin or playing the piano, my daughter develops any number of virtues, such as perseverance, attention to detail, and listening to the soul.  When I ask a young child, “Please bring me a diaper or wash cloth” or another simple task, I am testing his will and encouraging his obedience. In the home, education is life.

What are we educating? The whole child.

How do we educate the whole child? Father Kentenich, the founder of Schoenstatt, an apostolic lay movement said, “We must educate our children in such a way that he or she can later give themselves to God, freely and of their own accord, when and where God wishes. When God asks us to return our children to him, we cannot keep them for ourselves. We must return our children from where they came, our Heavenly Father, whether in a consecrated life or a married or single state of life” (The Nazareth Family, unfinished manuscript, Fr. Jonathan Niehaus, 9).

Anybody can accomplish school academics for a year. We want to instill a lifelong love of learning, a striving to be a saint. Homeschooling should be a restoring of childhood to its proper place. Even if you did not experience an ideal family situation when growing up, because of death, divorce, or brokenness, our Heavenly Father through the gifts of the Holy Spirit gives you the grace to transform your family into a family filled with the love of Christ.

What is your goal in homeschooling? If you define a successful homeschool year as doing every problem on every page and finishing all the textbooks and workbooks by a certain date, you may accomplish your goal, but did you achieve success? With this goal, you may end up a burnt out, frazzled, crispy-around-the-edges mom.

If you define your goal as the extreme opposite—Oh, just hanging out and doing whatever you feel like whenever—, then you don’t have a plan. What are “you” trying to accomplish? We need to have a goal. I need to know, “Why am I doing this? What do I hope to achieve?”

What is the one thing you want to accomplish this year with each child? It can be a habit or a virtue, not just a subject or a skill. What are the social, emotional, psychological, and academic reasons that you are doing this?

Let us strive to make our homes havens of peace, joy, laughter, and love. Pope John Paul II said the home “is truly ‘the sanctuary of life’” (Evangelium Vitae). Ultimately, homeschooling is an avenue to live that sanctuary of life. It is turning our homes into oases of love, miniature churches, in the midst of the world.

Homeschooling is not about academics or SAT scores or basketball scholarships. It’s about love. Love your children with the love of Christ. I may not always want to love, especially when someone is being unlovable, but I can ask Christ to love through me. Since we are fallen creatures, teaching our children to love is a lifelong process. In Familiaris Consortio, we read, “Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” (Par. 11).
Homeschooling is all about love.
“Why do we homeschool?” Often when we begin homeschooling there is something that prompted us to begin. It may have been a child struggling with school, a negative socializing experience, or any number of issues. Once the mom begins, she may feel conflicted that her children will miss out on some great academic experience. She may moan, “I wish I had a real science lab” or “I could never have an interesting literature discussion like I did in my British Literature class.” So why are we doing “that”? Why are we homeschooling? Because we want to educate the whole child; we want to educate the child for eternity.
On occasion my twin nephews, who are six years old, will burst into song, “Father, I adore you. And I lay my life before you. How I love you.” In a public school setting, I guarantee the teacher would not appreciate or encourage such a song. But in the home, this is a beautiful testament of my nephews’ childlike faith.
Too often we focus on the academics and overlook the whole child, the need to build the character of the child and consider all aspects of the person. In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Blessed John Paul II described Christ as one who “labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart” (par. #4). We need to ask ourselves when we educate ourselves and our children, “Do we labor with Christ’s hands, think with Christ’s mind, act with Christ’s will, and love with Christ’s heart?” We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children’s mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls.
- See more at: http://catholiclane.com/why-do-we-homeschool/#sthash.lQZqvulH.dpuf
“Why do we homeschool?” Often when we begin homeschooling there is something that prompted us to begin. It may have been a child struggling with school, a negative socializing experience, or any number of issues. Once the mom begins, she may feel conflicted that her children will miss out on some great academic experience. She may moan, “I wish I had a real science lab” or “I could never have an interesting literature discussion like I did in my British Literature class.” So why are we doing “that”? Why are we homeschooling? Because we want to educate the whole child; we want to educate the child for eternity.
On occasion my twin nephews, who are six years old, will burst into song, “Father, I adore you. And I lay my life before you. How I love you.” In a public school setting, I guarantee the teacher would not appreciate or encourage such a song. But in the home, this is a beautiful testament of my nephews’ childlike faith.
Too often we focus on the academics and overlook the whole child, the need to build the character of the child and consider all aspects of the person. In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Blessed John Paul II described Christ as one who “labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart” (par. #4). We need to ask ourselves when we educate ourselves and our children, “Do we labor with Christ’s hands, think with Christ’s mind, act with Christ’s will, and love with Christ’s heart?” We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children’s mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls.
- See more at: http://catholiclane.com/why-do-we-homeschool/#sthash.lQZqvulH.dpuf
“Why do we homeschool?” Often when we begin homeschooling there is something that prompted us to begin. It may have been a child struggling with school, a negative socializing experience, or any number of issues. Once the mom begins, she may feel conflicted that her children will miss out on some great academic experience. She may moan, “I wish I had a real science lab” or “I could never have an interesting literature discussion like I did in my British Literature class.” So why are we doing “that”? Why are we homeschooling? Because we want to educate the whole child; we want to educate the child for eternity.
On occasion my twin nephews, who are six years old, will burst into song, “Father, I adore you. And I lay my life before you. How I love you.” In a public school setting, I guarantee the teacher would not appreciate or encourage such a song. But in the home, this is a beautiful testament of my nephews’ childlike faith.
Too often we focus on the academics and overlook the whole child, the need to build the character of the child and consider all aspects of the person. In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Blessed John Paul II described Christ as one who “labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart” (par. #4). We need to ask ourselves when we educate ourselves and our children, “Do we labor with Christ’s hands, think with Christ’s mind, act with Christ’s will, and love with Christ’s heart?” We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children’s mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls.
- See more at: http://catholiclane.com/why-do-we-homeschool/#sthash.lQZqvulH.dpuf

http://catholiclane.com/why-do-we-homeschool/ July 22, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

History, History Everywhere, a Multifaceted Approach--Keeping It Catholic

What is the nickname for the U.S.S. Constitution? Which War did it participate in? Do you dread those history questions when playing Trivial Pursuit ?   When history is a laundry list of disjointed facts, figures, and events, then people connect it with something medieval, and certainly not as entertaining as watching

keepingitcatholic.org/history.html

Okay! Have mercy on me! This WAS written some time ago.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Key to Homeschool Success

 

I was searching for some homeschool info. but what should I find. From Catholic Exchange, some time ago. But still relevant.

This past weekend our homeschool group held its biennial Catholic Homeschool Conference. I gave a talk titled, “Getting Started: Jump Start Your Homeschool to a Slam Bang Success with Practical Tips, Helpful Resources, and Timely Advice.” A real mouthful! We cut the title for the program.
In my talk, the most important point I made is that homeschooling is not about getting into Harvard or receiving a basketball scholarship. Homeschooling is about love. But what does that mean?
Later on Saturday as I was reading at my table, a dad came up to me. He was excited and had to share something with me. This family has been homeschooling from some time and the dad did not know about the theme of my talk. Our family has known this family for quite a few years.

Their older son is now 20 and is a full time student at a local college. Like many college students, he also works. Friday was a long day for many of the conference volunteers, vendors, and speakers. When the mom got home that evening after a very long day, the son happened already to be home relaxing, watching a movie while eating his dinner, also after a very long day of classes and work.
This young man had a choice to make. He could have ignored his mother and siblings and continued to watch his movie without interruption. He didn’t. He could have paused the movie, gone in, said, “Hello,” and returned to his little haven of peace and quiet. He didn’t. He chose a different path. He turned off the TV and chose instead to go into the kitchen and visit his mom and siblings. He could have also chosen a far different path. He could have chosen to go out with his friends to a local bar. He didn’t.

Why was this father so excited that he had to share this story? His son chose the better path, freely and joyfully. This father was firmly convinced it was because of two reasons. They homeschooled. But, more importantly, the mother homeschooled in such a way that her children want to be around her, they want to express their love by being around her. They enjoy her company as much as she enjoys them. That is what homeschooling is all about.

Lest you think this is an isolated family, I was walking through the conference hall, running back and forth between two tables, when a seventeen-year-old high school boy jumped out at his mom and startled her by joyfully saying, “Mom,” and hugging her. She, of course, smiled and hugged him back and engaged him in a short conversation.

Now, not all children are quite so freely expressive. The young man in the first example never would have done that because he is far too shy. But both stories illustrate what homeschooling should be all about: love. As St. Francis de Sales said, “Love must become the fundamental principle of our lives and education.”

The ideal is possible. I have seen it. It’s not the case in every situation. I could share plenty of sad stories too. But, every once in a while the grace of our Heavenly Father shines through, illuminating our valley of tears. The key to homeschool success is love.

“Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).