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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

So...where the hell do *I* fit in??

Nowhere!! Just as is usual for me. Don't worry, though. I sort of like it that way.

Most homeschoolers choose homeschooling for religious reasons. Not I!

Most homeschoolers do so without the help of a Cyber Charter. Not I!

I am not technically a homeschooler. We do all of the schooling at home, with my husband and I directing everything using the K-12 curriculum. BUT - that is looked down upon by many of the 'purists' (I call them). The homeschool purists. Many of whom would never dream of using any curriculum at all. (God Bless them - how do they do it?)

The biggest thing I have a problem with is the assumption by most that homeschoolers are religious whackos. You've seen 'em - or heard of 'em. I had the same preconception of it myself before it all started. If you've noticed, most of the homeschool support groups are religious in nature.

Okay - I'm a Christian. Lapsed Catholic actually. But - I do believe in God and Jesus and all that. It's just not the main motivation behind the decision to homeschool. And actually my spiritual relationship with God is not one that I speak about very much. I teach my kids what I believe and I also tell them there are lots of different ways to approach it. I'm not an 'on fire' Bible thumping kind of person. I'm sure many Christians would have a problem with that.

So - I don't really fit in with the religious homeschool support groups. Don't feel comfortable with that crap.

The reason that we prefer to teach our own children is this:
The Government Does a Really Crappy Job.

American kids don't fare very well when compared to other countries. Our kids are not being adequately prepared to survive well in this world. Mediocrity rules.

Education Reform

That's just not good enough for MY little dearies! Or for yours!


Blogger Abe said...

I applaud you for your efforts. I am fortunate to be able to live in a city with very good public schools, and my chlidren go there. Still many here opt for homeschooling and private schools, usually for religious reasons.

You should look at the curiculum developed by Art Robinson. I have no firsthand knowledge of the curiculum, but I have met Dr. Robinson and a son (educated with the program). Dr. R is quite a bright guy, a scientist working in biotech. That's how I happened to meet them.

26 February, 2005 12:22  
Blogger marjo moore said...

I admire that. I was homeschooled for a time when I was younger. I valued the flexibility in the curriculum, and the way my needs and interests were worked into the lesson plans. In keeping, at a very young age, I began to work (volunteer) at a local theater, and that experience was one I would not exchange for all the recesses in the world.
With pee wee athletic leagues, and the openess of many school districts (starting to allow homeschoolers to participate in activities) the socialization factors are being met. There's no question, though, it's harder when it comes to college... but strides are being made. :)
I admire that. You guys must be extraordinary parents. Some blogger in SC pointed me to Edu-wonk. It was an interesting site, that I only looked at briefly, but maybe it would be helpful to you in some way? Forget the exact link, but I know I blogrolled it on my page.

Anyway, great site you have. Have you sent your feed to Karl Martino at Phillyfuture.org?

26 February, 2005 21:19  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Hey MonicaR:

The public schools do WORSE than a crappy job... it's the political indoctrination endorsed by the left that really worries me. The problem is much greater in higher education where only now are conservatives starting to fight back.

Any of us who DARED express a conservative or Republican oriented view on a college campus knows what I am talking about.

So much for diversity and tolerance...

27 February, 2005 12:10  
Blogger Ann said...


You'd fit in here in New Hampshire!! We have lots of homeschoolers and not so many religious fanatics. The homeschoolers around here are looking for diversity or differential approaches to K-12 but not necessarily a change in the curriculum content. Hope that your kids will be successful in life and always appreciative of their parents. Parents usually know what is best for their own children.

27 February, 2005 23:09  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Abe - thanks for the info. I checked out Art Robinson briefly and am interested enough to do some more checking! As good as your school district is - you are smart enough to know that it is ultimately OUR responsibility to see that our kids are educated. I think many people don't understand that - they just hand them over to the state.

Marjo - how cool that you were homeschooled. That's what I like about it - it takes into account TOTALLY what it is my kids need. The socialization issue is the last, best hope of the government teacher union hacks. It, too, has turned into a non-issue. Although my concern about it for my kids is great enough that they are involved in many things, I have noticed that my neighbor's public schooled kids really do...nothing...except go to school. That is not 'socialization' as far as I'm concerned. My teacher-union hack friend would totally disagree with me. Anyhoo - it's a great topic and one that makes a lively debate and thank you, too for commenting. And I haven't contacted PhillyFuture yet - but I will soon!!

Mike - you are completely CORRECT! It is frightening - FRIGHTENING!! Not just alarming - frightening! I'm headed over to you to let you know about Students for Academic Freedom. I'm sure you know about them already but I'm doing it anyway. Thanks for your comments, too.

27 February, 2005 23:13  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Ann - nice to see you and happy to know that I'm not the ONLY non-religious fanatic that has chosen homeschooling. LOL!

There are so many good reasons to do it and you are right - most parents DO know best. I really think it's been drummed into us to believe that parents are not to be trusted and we really don't know enough.

27 February, 2005 23:15  
Blogger Mike's America said...


That David Horowitz does keep busy doesn't he? Books, Frontpage Magazine, Students for academic freedom and now this great interactive database on the left: discoverthenetwork.org.

Lots of other student advocate groups organizing too. The guy who does brainterminal.com is doing a film on the subject.

And I ran across http://www.thefire.org/index.php/

FIRE is providing legal and other help to students.

I wish I had a group like that around when I was in school. The stories I could tell about bias and discrimination!

27 February, 2005 23:45  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Mike - all I can say is thank goodness David Horowitz is on OUR side now! LOL! He was a formidable opponent when he was on the Left and he is a formidable opponent now on the Right. I didn't notice about discoverthenetwork.org until you pointed it out to me. Wow! He is quite the busy bee. Very cool place.

I'm glad to see that there are more organizations supporting freedom of thought on campus. It's a good sign.

28 February, 2005 09:45  
Blogger Abe said...


Indeed, I'm teaching them economics and politics myself. :-D My oldest ("Tycho" on the blog) is a high school senior, and political/free speech climate at the colleges was definitely part of the selection process for us.

You will probably also enjoy Art Robinson's group/newsletter Access to Energy.

I saw "you" at Irag the Model the other day, when I posted a comment. That was after I had landed here via the "Next Blog" button.

Abe of Lincoln

01 March, 2005 02:15  
Blogger DagneyT said...

((((((((clap))))))) ((((hugs))))

Good for you, Smart Mama! Schools today are no more than propaganda mills for the left, anyway. I was raised the old fashioned way, schooled at home, as well as school. Mom and Daddy loved to exchange "words of the day" and quiz us using the dictionary. Good parenting, in other words. ;-)

01 March, 2005 08:20  
Blogger Steve Donohue said...

Even getting apart from colleges and the issue of indoctrination there (which I talk about extensively on my site, being a college student myself)- public schools K-12 today are often mired in endless bureaucracy and silly teachers' union politics. And frankly, the standards for becoming a teacher are appalling- but any attempt to fire a downright awful teacher will be curtailed by the all-powerful union.

01 March, 2005 20:02  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Dagney thank you for the encouragement and the hugs! It means so much to kids to have parents who care about them no matter what the method of education. As I can tell by your memories of your Mom and Dad that it meant alot to you. My kids really enjoy learning and quite frankly I enjoy teaching them and learning with them. We discover a lot of things together.

Government schooling today IS about indoctrination. Not just university either.

Steven I know some teachers and they constantly blow my mind. Always bitching, always whining, making good money and protected by their union, best medical, retirement and time off, blaming the parents (and that evil 'W') ALL of the time.

It makes me sick.

Abe I left a comment on your blog - very enjoyable your blog.

02 March, 2005 00:57  
Blogger Jethro said...

I have my own theory as to why kids in America can't compete with kids elsewhere in the world. I think it's because kids aren't taught how to compete anymore. They want to give passing or failing grades so that the kids don't FEEL bad. The whole progressive movement of education sickens me. I want my kids to be exposed to competition. I want them to learn how to deal with it at an early age so that they can stay a step ahead of other kids around the world.

02 March, 2005 18:55  
Blogger Abe said...

"Irag" - "Iraq" PIMF

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Yours was the first. I did a reply there, too.

You're quite the night owl, I see from the logs for my blog. :-) Last night Tycho and I went to a concert in Omaha (50 miles away) that got out after midnght, so by the time we got back it was 1:30. Too late to write anything coherent.

The group was Modest Mouse, who I like fairly well and Tycho likes a lot. There were perhaps half a dozen people in my age group there. It was good, apart from the 5 hours standing around in a smoky, hot, crowded, loud firetrap. :-D

02 March, 2005 21:23  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Hey Jethro - I have to agree that it is definitely a part of it. I know that out playing on the block, my kids learned a song from the 'publics' to sing to the winner at the end of a game:
"First is the worst, Second is the best, Third is the one with the treasure chest."

I had to tell them that First really IS the best and Third really WON'T get the treasure chest. First is what we want to strive for. When we DO come in first it is important to be proud of it but be a good sport about it. When we don't come in first then it is important to be a good sport, too - no pouting or whining about it. (I have girls...) Fair and square is fair and square.

This is one reason we refused to enroll them in T-ball. No winners or losers. Plus the coaches in our athletic league are real dicks.

02 March, 2005 21:29  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Hey Abe! I will comment back to you on your blog a little later. Have to get the girlies in the shower and to bed.

I am most certainly a night owl!! I worked graveyards for 17 years and LOVED it. My husband is the same way - we just cannot sleep at night. It's really hard with young kids - ours are morning birds!!! LOL!

02 March, 2005 21:34  
Blogger Abe said...

OK. Once more while I'm here. :)

When we lived in Connecticut the state set some educational goals for the schools. There was a significant performance disparity between white and minority students. The official, explicitly stated improvement goal was:

"Reduce the gap between white and minority performance."

Talk about perverse incentives.

02 March, 2005 21:39  

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