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    theresa


    Theresa Lode or, simply “T”, had her world turned upside down and inside out when her son was diagnosed with ADHD and a few other goodies. Her choice- follow the doctor's orders....or trust her heart and delve into the world of Free Range Education. She chose the latter...

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The outrageous violation of our rights/ School Norwegian style

A few articles worth your attention:

Sometimes I just get too spitting mad about something that it’s hard for me to write about it until my fury subsides and my thinking gets a bit clearer. But this…this bit of news…still has me boiling after a few days.  So I’m really glad that Matt Walsh has tackled the topic succinctly in this blog piece, “Politician: ‘Let’s treat all homeschool parents like felony child abusers'”.  

And second, this opinion piece from a mom regarding her son’s experience in a Norwegian school.  “What works for kids?  In Norway it’s a less stressful classroom environment”.

The writer’s son, age 9, had been on medication for his ADHD but (*Gasp! Surprise!*) did not need any while attending school in Norway.  The relaxed environment and lack of standardized tests (and the incumbent pressure that goes with them) helped her son thrive.  The kid even joyfully anticipated getting up for school in the morning.  

What both of these articles have in common is the belief that government knows best.  Never mind the latest research in education and our dismal performance scores as a nation…American education continues down the same disastrous cow path.  Pity the kids with any special needs.  

When it comes to the politicians and educrats, this isn’t about education – it’s about their own intere$ts.  

If moving to Norway isn’t an option for your family,  consider homeschooling.  Provided of course, that you pass the background check. 

Is ADHD really Grain Brain?

What if your kid’s ADHD symptoms were really fueled by his food?  Set down your bagel and listen closely…

Early in our diagnosing days, I read a lot about diet and its role in ADHD and autism spectrum.   Many of them overlapped in their advice: Stay away from processed foods and sugar.  Simple enough, eh?

Well, not really.  Because that advice, while good, overlooked the most significant probable cause in hyperactive behaviors:  GLUTEN.   That’s the protein found in wheat and barley and ‘pert near everything sitting on a grocery store shelf.

Some kids have the dubious benefit of being acutely sensitive to gluten making it a clear no-no and hence, easier to be vigilant in avoiding.  (Or so I like to think anyway.)  The book, Unraveling the Mystery of Autism, illustrates just how toxic gluten is to some kids’ brains.

Truth be told though, your kid (and you) are likely more sensitive than you realize.  Consider this short clip.  I would argue that if Big Pharma had a drug credited with these kind of dramatic and positive results, it would be all over the news.   But alas, dietary intervention can’t be bottled and sold for big bucks.

I know my personal experience with being wheat free has been very positive.  Unless I have a hankering for a really good case of heartburn.  Yes, heartburn.  Go figgur.

What are you thoughts?

 

Tonight’s the night!

My eBook- Available for $5.95 (USD)

My eBook- Free for the asking!

 

Come join me TONIGHT at the Lewis and Clark County Library at 7:00 for “A Parent to Parent Chat on ADHD”.

Your’s truly will be sharing information to education, encourage and empower you to reframe your view of your kid’s ADHD.

It’s gonna be fun!  And free yummies too!

And please…come…so I’m not all by my lonesome.  ;)

A survey for the school and why I got pissed

The School Borg- You will be assimilated!

The School Borg- You will be assimilated!

I participated in a survey the school sent out yesterday. I highlighted the positives as much as one can do on a multiple choice but overall, it was an exercise in frustration because there was no room to elaborate and quantify what must look like a very negative review. (Yes, I am a huge critic of the “system” but NOT the loving teachers and well-intended leaders that are there. This of course, was impossible to distinguish in the format used for the survey.)

Which by the way, made me think about the multi-guess approach that is a widely used format in testing. It is an approach that was developed in 1914 by a professor as a quick way to sort kids out so they could fill the right slots in WWI. In the words of the Professor, “This is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders.”

Okay…moving right along. So I filled out the form, click on “Next” and WHOA….the next question was “How many hours do you volunteer at the school?”

I felt immediate guilt. I don’t volunteer. At least not at the school.  (I’ve spent much of my life doing volunteer work.)

And then I got pissed. I felt  manipulated.

Parents are stretched beyond the limits of where a healthy human should live.  Many homes are two-income or single parent.  And they have the audacity to ask “how much have you volunteered”?

The appetite of government schools is never sated.  It is constantly asking for more…more money for their bloated administration, more time and now…more participation from exhausted parents.

And to put a cherry on top of this, this year the administration in its brilliance, has implemented a new approach to scheduling in order to accommodate continuing ed for teachers.  (And don’t get me started on the confusing and poorly written edict that announced this mess.)

What this means is, 10 days out of the month, the starting times and ending times are different.  Instead of 7:25….it’s 7:15.  Dismissal time in the afternoon varies by an hour or more.  10.days.a.month.   It’s got parents frustrated and venting over on FB.  Kids who ride the bus are sitting idle in school while those of us who drive our kids, get our brains scrambled on a regular basis trying to sort out the funk this creates with commuting and work schedules.

I have written to the principal offering my opinions on these matters but will it make a difference?  I highly doubt it.

The School Borg continues to move forward.  You will be assimilated.

How American homeschoolers measure up

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

Embed this infographic on your site!

 

HOMESCHOOLED: HOW AMERICAN HOMESCHOOLERS MEASURE UP

Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. But around 150 years ago states started making public school mandatory and homeschooling eventually became illegal. It wasn’t until the 90’s that all states made it legal again. Today, with more than 2 million homeschoolers making up 4% of the school-aged population, it’s the fastest growing form of education in the country.

HOMESCHOOL HISTORY

  • 1840: 55% of children attended primary school while the rest were educated in the home or by tutors.
  • 1852: The “Common School” model became popular and Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory attendance law. Once compulsory attendance laws became effective, America eventually relied entirely on public and private schools for educating children. Homeschooling then became something only practiced by extremely rural families, and within Amish communities.
  • 1870: All states had free primary schools.
  • 1900: 34 states had compulsory attendance laws.
  • 1910: 72% of children attended primary school.
  • 1960: Educational reformers started questioning public schooling’s methods and results.
  • 1977: “Growing Without Schooling” magazine was published, marking a shift from trying to reform public education to abandoning it.
  • 1980: Homeschooling was illegal in 30 states.
  • 1983: Changes in tax law forced many Christian Schools to close which led to soaring homeschooling rates.
  • 1993: Homeschooling become legal in all 50 states and saw annual growth rates of 15-20%.

Today:

32 states and Washington D.C. offer Virtual Public Schools – free education over the internet to homeschooling families: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia (DC), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

4 States offer tax credits for homeschooling families: Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois.

10 States don’t require notification of homeschooling: Alaska, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut.

14 States require notification of homeschooling: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Delaware.

20 States and D.C. require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, D.C., Hawaii.

6 States require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students; plus other requirements like curriculum approval, parent qualification, home visits by state officials: North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rode Island.

No Federal help is available to homeschooling families yet. The IRS says that homeschooling costs “are nondeductible personal, living, or family expenses.”

HOMESCHOOL GROWTH

Home schooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country.

  • 1999: 850,000 homeschoolers (1.7% of the school-aged population)
  • 2003: 1.1 million homeschoolers (2.2% of the school-aged population)
  • 2007: 1.5 million homeschoolers (2.9% of the school-aged population)
  • 2010: 2.04 million homeschoolers (4% of the school-aged population)
  • From 2007- 2009 home-schoolers increased ate a rate of 7%/year
  • From 2007- 2009 public-schoolers increased at a rate of 1%/year

HOMESCHOOL PARENTS

Education Level of Homeschooling Parents (Fathers/Mothers)

  • No High School Degree: 1.4% / 0.5%
  • High School Degree: 8.4% / 7.5%
  • Some College: 15.4% / 18.7%
  • Associate’s Degree: 8.6% / 10.8%
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 37.6% / 48.4%
  • Master’s Degree: 20% / 11.6%
  • Doctorate Degree: 8.7% / 2.5%

Number of children in homeschooled families:

  • 1 child: 6.6%
  • 2 children: 25.3%
  • 3 children: 26%
  • 4-6 children: 35.9%
  • 7+ children: 6.3%

Most important reasons parents say they homeschool their kids (students, ages 5-17, 2007):

  • 36 %: To provide religious or moral instruction
  • 21 % : Concern about the environment of other schools: safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure
  • 17 %: Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
  • 14 %: Unique Family Situation such as time, finances, travel, and distances
  • 7 %: Nontraditional approach to child’s education
  • 4 %: Child has other special needs
  • 2%: Child has a physical or mental health problem

HOMESCHOOL STUDENTS

Standardized achievement tests: On average, homeschoolers rank in at the 87th percentile. (Note: The 87th percentile is not the test score. It is the percent of students that scored lower… so, only 13% of students scored higher.)

  • Boys: 87th
  • Girls: 88th
  • Reading: 89th
  • Language: 84th
  • Math: 84th
  • Science: 86th
  • Social Studies: 84th
  • Core: 88th
  • Parents income <$35,000: 85th
  • Parents income $35,000-$70,000: 86th
  • Parents income >$70,000: 89th
  • Parents spend <$600/child/year: 86th
  • Parents spend >$600/child/year: 89th
  • Neither parent has a college degree: 83rd
  • Either parent has a college degree: 86th
  • Both parents have college degrees: 90th
  • Neither parent has a teaching certificate: 87th
  • Either Parent has a teaching certificate: 88th

Grade Placement compared to public schools:

  • Behind: 5.4%
  • On track: 69.8%
  • Ahead: 24.5%

WHEN THEY GROW UP

Homeschooled Adults’ Perception of Homeschooling

“I’m glad that I was homeschooled”

  • Strongly Agree: 75.8%
  • Agree: 19.4%
  • Neither: 2.8%
  • Disagree: 1.4%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.6%

“Homeschool gave me an advantage as an adult”

  • Strongly Agree: 66.0%
  • Agree: 26.4%
  • Neither: 5.7%
  • Disagree: 1.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.4%

“Homeschool limited my educational opportunities”

  • Strongly Agree: 1.0%
  • Agree: 4.2%
  • Neither: 6.6%
  • Disagree: 29.2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 58.9%

“Homeschool limited my career choices”

  • Strongly Agree: 0.9%
  • Agree: 1.2%
  • Neither: 3.9%
  • Disagree: 18.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 75.3%

“I would homeschool my own children”

  • Strongly Agree: 54.8%
  • Agree: 27.3%
  • Neither: 13.5%
  • Disagree: 2.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1.6%

Homeschooled / General Population

  • Participate in an ongoing community service activity (71% / 37%)
  • Consider politics and government too complicated to understand (4.2% / 35%)
  • Read a book in the past six months? (98.5% / 69%)
  • Continue on to college (74% / 49%)

“Taken all together, how would you say things are these days–would you say that you are …”

  • Very happy (58.9% / 27.6)
  • Pretty happy (39.1% / 63%)
  • Not too happy (2% / 9.4)

HOMESCHOOL COST

Average homeschool family spends $500/child/year.

The average public school spends $9,963 per child per year, not including capital expenditures or research and development.

Sources

http://www.synergyfield.com/homeschooling_parent/homeschooling/a-brief-history-of-american-homeschoolin/

http://www.education.com/reference/article/home-schooling1/

http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/christian-education/homeschool/homeschool-history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education_in_the_United_States

http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/home-schooling/

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009030.pdf

http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/ray2009/2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf

http://www.hslda.org/docs/media/2009/200908100.asp

http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/543/666

http://www.nheri.org/HomeschoolPopulationReport2010.pdf

http://blogs.christianpost.com/bright-ideas/home-schooling-state-laws-infographic-11302/

http://www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/HomeschoolingGrowsUp.pdf

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2903485/posts

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20041109a2.asp

http://www.hslda.org/earlyyears/Costs.asp

http://www.homeeddirectory.com/articles/1_feb10

http://www.k12.com/schools-programs/online-public-schools#.UfATehZdU6o

http://www.connectionsacademy.com/our-schools/availability.aspx

Homeschooled

A trillion reasons NOT to go to college

I had a conversation the other day with a mom who told me she was encouraging her kid to take all the math she could while in high school so she could cut it in college.  It took me a while to get my mind around what she was saying since I view most maths as nothing more than a distraction from what a kid really wants to study.

She explained that she had difficulty getting her marketing degree because she had such great difficulty in calculus.  Which I’m sure is something she’s so grateful she took since it’s so helpful in her career as a hair stylist.  NOT.

It made me irritated…okay, mad really…that this mom is just participating in the game.  I’m not mad at HER, mind you.  Just this system that keeps requiring more and more with less and less return on the so-called investment.

I can think of a trillion reasons why not to send your kid to college.  The first one is the fact that student loan debt is over ONE TRILLION dollars.  And how about this bombshell - Since 1985, college tuition has risen over 500% since 1985.  Think about that.  500%!!!

Where is the outrage?  Where is the outrage from parents that your kids are taking twaddle-filled classes irrelevant to their fields while the industry grows fatter and fatter?  When will parents cry “ENOUGH!” and hold colleges accountable for the inflated tuitions and claims?

But as long as consumers (yes, I choose the word “consumers” instead of “students”) continue to be wooed by their marketing claims, plunking down their money and signing on the dotted line for student loans, the insanity is going to continue.

 

 

Punishment or passion?

There are two major tools in the educator’s bag ‘o’ tricks:  Punishment or passion.

Sadly, passion doesn’t scale well in an industrialized school model so punishment, in the form of grades, threats and stigmatization,  is the modus operandi for most classrooms.

I call the passion approach as the “get-out-of-the-way” approach.

Think about the things you have mastered and enjoy doing…was it because you were forced to learn it and obtained mastery of it as evidenced a good grades?

 

 

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