News and Views of the Week

First the news…

It’s been a bit of a slow news week, especially on the homeschooling front except for the big news in that unschooling is probably going mainstream. No way to tell for sure, of course. But this article in Good Housekeeping sure seems to point in that direction.

On the national front, President Trump is cutting funds from the Education Department by 13.2% – what has been referred to as a dramatic downsizing. You can read all the details about that here.

A new study released this week shows the benefits of actually writing things down with pen and paper as more helpful to learning than typing with a keyboard.

And here’s proof of why homeschoolers & unschoolers are better learners as adults: teaching others is the best way to learn, according to this article.

Then the views!

I’ve been continuing my study in the Greek classics – which I briefly mentioned in my post yesterday: The Real Tragedy of Education Today

I had a chance to read some very exciting books this week, which I will have posts about in the upcoming days but I wanted to mention one in particular that is excellent: Grit by Angela Duckworth. It is a fascinating look at what makes grit and the real surprise I found was that she sounds a lot like an unschooler when it comes right down to it. Do yourself a favor and read it!

Well, that’s it from me this side of Friday. Have a good weekend!

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News and Views of the Week

Hope the week has been easy on you. It’s Friday! Which means another edition of Homeschooling News and Views.

Here’s what been going on this week in the homeschooling world.

First, the news…

There has been much talk about homeschoolers, abuse and the supposed requirement of government oversight. This article does a fantastic job of addressing that. I posted this on my Facebook page and it’s still making the rounds.

Another excellent article you must read came out this week. This is a must read, especially for those of you who are stay at home or work at home moms. I know I’m tired of hearing that I’ve wasted my education! How about you?

Does free online education violate the American with Disabilities Act? Apparently, some (well meaning, I’m sure) bureaucrats think so. Read all about it here.

Unschooling is in the news again. We’re going mainstream!

And in local news, Kentucky homeschool students can now be involved in public school teams.

Then the views!

This has been a busy week for me, but I did manage to carve out some time to read. As I said in my post last Friday, I’ve been quite taken by the Greeks, especially Plato.

So this is what I’ve been reading this week. Some of these are excellent. I’ll have a separate post on them soon.

Have a good weekend! Enjoy the changing weather!

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Homeschooling News and Views of the Week

Happy Friday! Here’s what has been going on this week that caught my interest.

First the news…

President Trump mentioned homeschooling as a choice in his first speech before Congress. “These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.” You can read about it here.

Bumblebees rolling tiny balls caught the internet’s attention this week. Can you train a bee? Apparently, you can! Read about it here. The implications to learning in general are immense.

A good article about how technology can’t simply be used to replicate the lecture system – all it does is add a screen – was published by Washington Post this week. You can read that here.

Then the views…

This week, I wrote Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Ineptitude. An incident at an assembly line for my car made me think about how leaving an established system always ends up angering people. But we must choose to leave anyway. If we are committed to our convictions, anyway.

I also have a review of sorts about Shoe Dog by Phil McKnight, the founder of Nike. It reminded me of a few things I have written in the past.

And I have the Top Five Apps To Use With Children. We use these apps all the time and we love them. I especially like that the kids adore them.

And finally…

…my favorite part of this series. What I’ve been reading this week.

I’ve been delving deep into some self-assigned classical reading. I’m starting with the Greeks for now and moving onto the Romans. But just to keep it interesting, I’ve thrown in a few other things, too. I’m really, really enjoying Plato. (There’s something I never thought I’d say a few years ago!)

Well, that’s it from me this week. Have a good weekend!

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Homeschooling News and Views of the Week

Oh, look it’s been a week already and here we are heading into the weekend. From what I read, there isn’t much that is new, but there are some developing stories worth mentioning.

First up, the HSLDA pledged support to what is called the last homeschooling family in Sweden. Thomas and Marita Sandberg of Mörbylånga, Sweden, have endured threats, fines, investigations, and even public shaming as they continue to defend their right to teach their own children. The Sandbergs are currently live in Finland.

More news on the Buffalo mother who has now been separated from her children for 45 days. She has now filed a civil rights case.

I found this defense of writing about math in Common Core a good article. As I have mentioned before, I don’t have a problem with teaching different techniques of solving a math problem, it’s the this is the only way approach that is bothersome to me.

In local news, cursive writing might become part of the curriculum in Ohio schools, Arkansas homeschooling advocates push to let homeschoolers play school sports and an Internet poll in Texas reveals parents want a removal of tests, not school choice.

My reading this week has been a little fantasy and a little fun.

And that wraps up another News and Views post. See you next week!

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News and Views of the Week

It’s raining out here in Sacramento, California as I write this and the rain seems to be dampening everyone’s spirits, because news this week is fairly tame.

(Except for those handpicked stories I am sharing here, of course.)

First up is the HSLDA story about HR 610 – a bill introduced in Congress that calls for all federal education dollars to be turned over to the states. The states are to then make them available as vouchers to all public, private and homeschools. According to the HSLDA, this will hurt your rights as homeschoolers and they oppose it as a matter of prudence and principle. You can read the details here.

If you’ve been following the news story of the Buffalo mother who pulled her children from public school to homeschool them and then had CPS take the children away, you can read the follow up to that here. Last I heard, HSLDA has taken up the case, so I will post more when I have further information.

This post to homeschool children to keep them away from someone who is in favor of homeschooling struck me as funny.

New books in the last 30 days I am looking forward to reading: Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the WorldThe Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need from Grownups, Norse Mythology (those of you who are Neil Gaiman fans, this is a double attraction!) and The Homeschool Life Coloring Book

And, oh, if you are a coloring book kind of person, you should check out this deal on gel pens I shared on my Facebook page last week. 80 gel pens for under $16! Claim it here:

Have a great weekend!

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News and Views of the Week

Wow, it’s been a news-y week, hasn’t it?

If you’ve been following the state of national education on my Facebook page, you couldn’t have missed the big story about Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as Education Secretary. Or about Massie introducing a (one sentence) bill to abolish the Department of Education.

Don’t miss this story about CPS investigating families for “educational neglect” when they took them out to homeschool them.

In smaller stories, this news article about the thermodynamics of learning caught my eye. Could we make learning better if we understand the basic mechanics behind it? Fascinating.

Besides the big homeschooling news this week, I have some news of my own. I have a new book out on Amazon! Big Shoes to Fill: An Imperfect Mother Learns of God’s Perfect Love is a Christian memoir about seeing God in the everyday ordinary life of raising three kids, five and under.

Well, that’s it from me this week. Have a great weekend!

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News and Views of the Week

Ah, Friday seemed to come on winged feet this week! Seriously, where did the week go?

If this week’s news seems a little video game and app heavy, it’s not your imagination. There really seems to be a massive explosion in the tech world to provide educational apps and games. Consider Lindsey Tropf who is building an educational online role playing game comparable to War of Warcraft.

Tennis legend Andre Agassi has invested in an app aimed at preschoolers to teach them to phonics and reading. You can buy Square Panda here. It works with an iPad.

And then there are the apps that help you do math. Where have these been all my life?

In other news, polls found that only 40% of teachers agreed with Common Core and approved of its implementation. It’s not just parents that hate don’t like it, no matter what gets reported. Maybe the strongest supporters are the loudest?

Here’s a good opinion piece reacting to the call for all homeschooling families to be registered and checked on every four months to prevent child abuse in Iowa. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

And have you seen this cool map of how the world changed through written history? It’s fun, interactive and free!

Have a good weekend, classical unschoolers! Stay amazing.

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News and Views of the Week

It’s Friday! Time for another edition of news and views of this week!

Earlier this week, Forbes published that education start ups are growing at an exponential rate. This is good news for more decentralized education outside of state control. The more private businesses get involved, the better.

Speaking of new ways to learn, here is a buyer’s guide for the best apps for learning a language. Duolingo is the #1 free app. Which one do you use?

A columnist at the New York Post asks why schools have stopped teaching American history. As you probably know if you read this blog that history is a subject close to my heart – one we take quite seriously in our homeschool. This article makes some good points.

Some local news I found interesting (and maddening!) coming out of Iowa where lawmakers want to call for a state teacher to visit families in their homes every four months as a “safety net.” Apparently, this will prevent abuse. There aren’t enough angry emojis on my keyboard for how I feel.

Another piece of local news comes from Virginia where the House of Delegates passed a bill allowing homeschooled students to play in public school teams.

Some interesting new book releases I intend to pick up at some point are:

Have a good weekend!

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Homeschooling News and Views of the Week

Happy Friday!

The biggest education news story this week was of course Betsy Davos appearing before the Senate Education Committee in her confirmation hearing. Yet, with all the news stories out there, I couldn’t find a single one out there that I wanted to link to. So instead here’s the full hearing.

There has also been much talk about the new movie Hidden Figures. I haven’t seen it and I don’t know if I ever will. It sounds interesting, but history translated by Hollywood always leaves me feeling cheated. I might however read the book by the same name that inspired the movie.

And here’s a quick story about how to claim tax breaks for higher education while filing taxes.

Have a good weekend!

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Homeschooling News and Views of the Week

It’s been a busy news week for homeschooling and education with some fairly interesting news and views coming our way.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments over a case advocates described as the most significant issue to reach the court in thirty years. The question was the level of education schools owe disabled children – “some” a.k.a. something just above trivial or something more meaningful. You can read the entire story here.

This one surprised me: as it turns out, there are at last check 2.8 million people over 60 with student loans with approximately $66.7 billion in student debt. Yes, you read that right. They are over sixty and the population is growing. They are borrowing this for their grandchildren.

If you’re like most homeschoolers, you have a general interest in what changes will come to public education under President Trump. Bill Gates recently met with him and had this to say.

“I had an opportunity to talk to him about innovation. A lot of his message has been about things where he sees things not as good as he’d like. But in the same way that President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that, I think that whether it’s education or stopping epidemics, other health breakthroughs, finishing polio, and in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that his administration is going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation be one of the things that he gets behind. Of course, my whole career has been along those lines. And he was interested in listening to that. And I’m sure there will be further conversation.”

You can read that entire news story here.

If you have a few minutes, you should go here and complete a homeschooling survey being conducted by Alex Cimpoca who recently contacted me. He is doing indepth research into homeschooling and needs more responses. You will be entered to win to 1 out  of 10 Amazon cards worth $50 when the research is complete. All responses are anonymous and no personal data will be shared.

You can take the survey here.

Our featured promo this weekend comes from Peel, Play and Learn. You know I love strewing things my children can learn with even when left alone. Well, this is one thing you can strew! You have got to take a look these maps, charts and otherwise hands-on learning activities a.k.a. fun for all ages! Everything from fractions to maps to the solar system to the US government is between 10% to 31% off! My personal favorite? The “Bundle and Save” human anatomy and solar system set.

Well, that’s another week! See you on the other side. 🙂

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