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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!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Could these quotes apply to education in America?

Frighteningly enough I would say the answer is 'YES'!

Jonathan Kozol (American education reformer):

'The first goal and primary function of the U.S. public school is
not to educate good people, but good citizens. It is the function
which we call --in enemy nations-- "state indoctrination." '

Edward Ross (Sociologist, Chm. ACLU, d1951):

'[The role of the schoolmaster is to] collect little plastic lumps
of human dough from private households and shape them on the
social kneading board.'

Karl Marx (d1883):

'The education of all children, from the moment that they can get
along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at
state expense.'

John Stuart Mill (d1873):

'State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be
exactly alike one another ... in proportion as it is efficient
and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading
by a natural tendency to one over the body.'

Robespierre (d1794):

'The nation alone has the right to educate children.'

"Mission statement" among documents from John D. Rockefeller's 1906 General Education Board:

"In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present eduction conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds, and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people, or any of their children, into philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen -- of whom we have an ample supply. The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way." (emphasis added)

Well - I just KNEW it! I've seen the attitude with government educators and I know that you have, too. The educators see the parents as the 'problem'. They need to undo what it is that we do to our children. They know best you see. They are the educators, the educated, the all knowing holders of the key, they know better than we what our children need most.

So - are you scared yet??!!

Thanks to the Kosser Education Newsletter for the quotes.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Philadelphia and Free Speech

Well - after much ado and thank goodness, Justice was finally served. The 'Philadelphia 5' had all charges against them dismissed.

Philadelphia 5

Alright - so the Christians were evangelizing at an outdoor homosexual event in Philadelphia called OutFest. The Christians were arrested with one of the charges being 'ethnic intimidation'.

I'm not into evangelizing and quite frankly I don't care that gays want to come out on OutFest. I think it's healthy that they are both there - and at the same time - and saying what they want to say.

BTW,there's a bit in the article, though, that surprised me. It just might piss you off:

"The OutFest participants staged a national coming-out day on a public street using public funds, and then they tried to say it's a private event." They used public funds for this?!

Anyway, we got lucky here - because this judge apparently understands our constitutional right to free speech. (Some of them don't, you know)

"The judge saw this case for what it is," Joe Infranco, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said in a statement. "This was the right response to an outrageous abuse of power to silence speech that some people didn't like."

Do you like that the KKK can march and they are protected by the Constitution? I don't but I certainly wouldn't arrest them. Do you like when protest groups burn Dubya in effigy? I don't but they do have a right to do it. Do you like when gays come 'out' on public funds on a public street? I'd rather not be subjected to that. Do you like Christians pushing tracts at you and trying to talk to you about your personal relationship with God? Not me. They all have a right to do what they do. (except for the public funds thing...)

Another interesting tidbit in the article mentions that the Department of Justice is being called upon to investigate the "corruption and profound abuse of power that we have seen in Philadelphia."

The City of Brotherly Love really IS one corrupt, stinking place. Good food, though. Cool history. Great museums. Did I mention the good food?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Chop, chop Monica - time to move on

After all the hubbub and celebration of the Iraqi victory in elections - it is now time to reflect on our own brave men and women in the military.


Thanks to Mike at Mike's America for sharing this link.

I am a veteran of the Army.

All of the whining of people being called up from Inactive Reserve has me puzzled. I knew 'til the HOUR when my commitment ended. Had I been called up from Inactive Reserve I would not have liked it - but I would have gone without hesitation or serious complaint.

I'm sure most know someone in the military. I do. God Bless them and protect them.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Vaya con Dios, Old Man

I've just been informed that my father is on his death bed. My father cut off relationships with his 7 living children many years ago. The anger and then the tears came with the process of letting him go many,many years ago for me.

The news came as no surprise. He hadn't even entered my thoughts for years - and then over the last 10 days he had been on my mind almost constantly. I had been thinking about how his death would affect me. I had been thinking - are there positives handed to me from HIM that I would pass to my own girlies? Any positives at all? After ruminating for many days the phone call came from 2,000 miles away - he is on his death bed. The first I had heard of him for a long, long time.

There are lots of negatives with him - lots! I spent a long time concentrating on the negatives years back. How could I not? The family lies in various states of ruin around him. We have each struggled to build some semblance of good with different degrees of success - yet all of us bear the weight of the injury.

Now the time has come to try to extract the positives. I feel that this must be done. I do not know why. It's something that defies understanding and logic. Maybe it's my Catholic brainwashing that says I must honor my mother and my father. I read recently that Jewish people believe that what is said about a person after they die determines how they will spend eternity. (or something like that) I don't wish for the old man to go to hell and misery. I don't wish for the old man to die in pain as he is doing right now.

Like it or not - there is a connection there that cannot be denied. There were a few good moments amidst the bad and that cannot be denied either. He is the smartest man that I have ever met. It is now time to concentrate on the good. I must do this thing - honesty demands it.

All of these good things were taught by his example, by things he did or didn't do. These good things will be passed on to my cherished little ones.

1. Patriotism
2. Respect for veterans
3. Blood and Guts secured our freedom
4. A love of history
5. Rocks - interest in geology
7. The feeblest attempt to reach out means the world - especially to your children.
8. Vulnerability = Strength
9. Spend money wisely

I have to believe that there is some possibility of redemption, even for the worst of us.

UPDATE My father died at 6:00 p.m. Mountain time on Wednesday February 9th. That was really fast and I'm glad he didn't hang around in pain too long. I hope your spirit is healed and flying.