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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Homeschooling News and Views of the Week

Oh, look… it’s Friday again! We made it!

Here’s what happened this week in the homeschooling world. (As a side note, I share many of these stories as they happen on my Facebook page, so if you haven’t liked it yet, go do it now.)

Here’s what caught my eye this week.

Here are NPR’s Predictions for education in 2017. I’ll bring the popcorn. 😉

Fisher Price will soon be releasing the Think and Learn Smart Cycle. The Smart Cycle aims to give kids an outlet for that extra energy along with instruction – for about $150.

Science says that parent’s presence while children are watching TV affects learning. Well, we already knew that, but nice to read, nonetheless.

Also, HSLDA’s year in review is worth reading.

And this article about how Elon Musk learns and masters information is quite interesting, even if you don’t care two whits about the guy.

Have a great weekend!

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Year End Homeschooling News Round Up

Well, would you look at that! It’s almost 2017 and chances are good that some of you are reading this in the new year. I touch the future as I write this. (As if homeschooling itself didn’t warp time!)

As a tribute to the passing of this year, I thought I would highlight some of the main homeschooling (and unschooling) news stories throughout 2016.

Now, let’s all be nostalgic together.

The year began with this article about homeschooled children in their natural habitat which made the rounds and, I will admit, made me walk a little taller for being a homeschooler. These are some gorgeous pictures, so if you didn’t have a chance to see them, check them out now.

“If every student in my classroom were a radio, my home-schooled student was the one whose switch was turned on.” A college professor wrote that sentence and it became the highlight of many homeschooling Facebook pages. Especially since it came after thinking that he used to view homeschooling as “a kind of educational abuse, or, at best, neglect.” Read what made him change his mind here.

Some heated battles around homeschooling families and busybodies raged in the spring and summer of 2016.

But fall brought more reluctant admissions of homeschooling being really the best way to get an education in the 21st century from some mainstream media and even from India! Meanwhile, the Secretary of Education was “concerned” for homeschoolers.

And remember this article in The Guardian about radical unschoolers who only learn what they want to?

Overall, I think 2016 was a great year for homeschoolers. According to NHERI – National Home Education Research Institute – there are approximately 2.3 million home educated children in the United States. And we are growing at anywhere between 2% and 8% every year.

I wonder what 2017 will bring. Guess we’ll just have to find out for ourselves.

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