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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.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Islam Flourishes Among Blacks

Via Drudge.

This Reuter's article is a fascinating look into what motivates many blacks in America to turn to Islam. Islam is growing fast amongst the black population (African-Americans per journalist) in America.

"Converts within the black community say they are attracted to the disciplines of prayer, the emphasis within Islam on submission to God and the religion's affinity with people who are oppressed."

This brings to mind what the Imam Isa Abdul Mateen spoke about in the CAIR meeting that Troll and I attended last year. He spoke a lot about OPPRESSION. Can someone enlighten me on who, exactly, might be oppressed? I can only think of the Jews and Christians in moslem countries. Who is being oppressed in America??

The story highlights a mosque in Atlanta, GA. It goes on to explain that the mosque has strong ties to the history of black moslems in America. Here is another snippet of the article:

"You are talking about a people who were cut off from their roots .... Islam reconnects you with Africa and with other parts of the world so your peoplehood transcends race," Ali said later in an interview.

The mosque has a direct link to a slice of black history. It was founded by H. Rap Brown, a one-time member of the 1960s Black Panthers group. Brown became a Muslim in prison in the 1970s and changed his name to Jamil al-Amin.

The Black Panthers of the 1960s has the reputation of a ruthless, Marxist organization. Many blacks in prison are converting to islam, which the 'Wahhabi Lobby' has influence over in selecting Wahhabist imams for the United States prison system. Wahhabism is the poisonous, radical sect of islam controlling Saudi Arabia. KSA distributes billions of dollars globally to promote Wahhabism. Schools, prisons, textbooks, mosques in America and madrassas throughout islamic countries in Asia.

Nevermind though, because Brown is serving a life sentence in prison right now for murdering a cop.

This particular mosque teaches that there is no difference between Sunni and Shia moslems. That is a lie. There is a huge difference between Sunni and Shia moslems - a major disagreement that goes way back to when Mo died, from what I understand. Much blood has been shed between the two groups in this little dispute.

I wonder what else is being preached? Don't you? Maybe, just maybe, it's this:

"America needs war to maintain its economic status," he said."

"For young African Americans, there is some attraction to learning about traditions that have been associated with resistance to European imperialism,"...

"Islam reconnects you with Africa and with other parts of the world so your peoplehood transcends race,"...

America does not need war to maintain its economic status. America needs less government interference into the free market to maintain its economic status.

Would someone, anyone, please explain to me what 'European imperialism' we are suffering with right now??

It also sounds to me as though nothing transcends race for the followers of this particular mosque. It's all ABOUT race. What happened to 'I Have a Dream?' What happened to that??? I believe that Martin Luther King is rolling over in his grave at what the civil rights movement has become. Preferences, separation, remuneration for past injustices, victimhood, delusions of some sort of 'oppression' in the United States of America.

Well - it's here and we are going to have to deal with it sooner or later. Islam has become the new vehicle used to justify criminal behavior.

Keep your powder dry.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Aesop's Fable Friday

The Fir-tree and the Bramble

A Fir-tree was boasting to a Bramble, and said, somewhat contemptuously, "You poor creature, you are of no use whatever. Now, look at me: I am useful for all sorts of things, particularly when men build houses; they can't do without me then."

But the Bramble replied, "Ah, that's all very well: but you wait until they come with axes and saws to cut you down, and then you'll wish you were a Bramble and not a Fir."

Moral of the story: Better poverty without a care than wealth with its many obligations.

Alright - this moral seems off to me. I like this better:

Don't look down on others, all have their advantages and disadvantages. Or:

Those who believe themselves better end up eating their words. Or:

He who is still around to laugh, laughs best!

Something like that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Idol Junkie

This is the first season that I have watched. The girlies and I are completely addicted. Too fun!

We watched the top 12 men perform last night, and the top 12 women perform tonight. Out of the men, for us, it was hands down:


For the women, it was a toss up for me between:




They are all completely awesome. We loved Sundance at first, but he has totally choked. It's a shame. He needs to stick with singing the blues - he was great at that. Maybe, just maybe, he'll get another chance.

We will find out tomorrow night. Enjoy!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Aesop's Fable Friday

The Dog and the Shadow

A Dog was crossing a plank bridge over a stream with a piece of meat in his mouth, when he happened to see his own reflection in the water.

He thought it was another Dog with a piece of meat twice as big, so he let go his own, and flew at the other Dog to get the larger piece.

But, of course, all that happened was that he got neither: for one was only a Shadow and the other was carried away by the current.

Moral of the Story: If you grasp at the shadow, you may lose the substance.

The Grizzly Grid

Everything you ever wanted to know about Grizzly Mama!
Mouse over the colors to see my wonderful personality traits..

Thanks to Homeschooler MamaGeph.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling

This week's host? The Nerd Family.

Lots of great entries, covering lots of different aspects. Thank you Nerd Family for hosting! Go take a look - you know you want to!

Painting: 'Carousel', by Samuel Gana.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Grizzly Poll

What will come first?
The flooding of Manhattan.
The burning of anthropogenic global warming 'deniers'.
pollcode.com free polls


Friday, February 09, 2007

Aesop's Fable Friday

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

A Wolf once found a Sheep's skin, and thinking he would have an easy way of getting his prey, wrapped himself in it and slipped into the sheepfold with the flock, intending to kill all he wanted during the night.

But soon after the Shepard had made the door fast, he found he had nothing for supper, and, going in with an axe to kill a sheep, he mistook the Wolf for one of them and killed him on the spot.

Moral of the story: The wicked often fall into their own traps.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


My mother sent me a newspaper clipping last week. It was an article titled, Homeschoolers Content to Take Children's Lead. It is written by Susan Saulny. It's very interesting, however I have to wonder what it is that people unfamiliar with the concept of unschooling might come away with after reading it.

Ms. Saulny starts off on the wrong foot slam-bang in the first paragraph with this: "One recent afternoon, time passed loudly, and without order or lessons, in their home..."

First off, the time may have seemed to pass 'loudly' for Ms. Saulny, but for those of us with young children in the house it probably wasn't that bad. In fact - it sounds normal when you are dealing with 4 kids. I have noticed that we mothers are able to tune out the 'loudly' part of raising children - - but the 'loudly' part of it does not go unnoticed by those not initiated in the art of spending time with young'uns.

Second off, 'without order'. What may seems to be 'without order' to Ms. Saulny, again, sounds quite orderly to me. The 4 y/old has a box over his head, the 7 y/old is playing with the baby. The 9 y/old is reading aloud. Everything's under control!

Third off, 'no lessons'. I disagree. The 9 y/old is reading aloud to the younger ones about medieval warrior women. Great subject - and the kids will adore it! What do any of us know about medieval warrior women? Nothing? I thought so.

She then goes on to provide the estimated number of homeschooled children in the US as 1.1 million nationwide.

According to The National Home Educators Research Institute, that number is closer to 2 million for school year 2005-2006.

In the same paragraph she calls unschooling the 'most extreme application' of homeschooling.

Here's the deal with homeschooling. On the spectrum of style of homeschooling - you run from unschooling (no formal curriculum, real-world instruction on the subjects that most interest the child) to what some would consider a very rigid, curriculum based 'school at home'. Just for your information, over the (almost) 6 years that I have been teaching my children at home, I have gradually moved from a very nervous, rigid teacher-mom to a more relaxed, 'yes we need to get x-amount of instruction in but let's take some extra time on this since you are enjoying it so much' type of mom. I went from doubting my ability - and quite frankly doubting my children's abilities - to knowing that we are doing great, they are doing great, we don't need the 'experts' to advise or supervise us. My focus is on academic excellence. Every family has their own priorities. Some believe that being a good Christian is the primary goal, others believe most in their children's creativity and focus on not stifling that. I have also come under fire from homeschoolers who have a different philosophy than I have . I'm a 'live and let live' kinda gal. I'm open to others having a different priority than my own. So. Anyway - onward and upward.

I am a little disappointed that Ms. Saulny uses Luis Huerta as her professional expert for her article. Luis Huerta is a professor at Teacher's College of Columbia University and co-author of a paper entitled 'School Choice: Abundant Hopes, Scarce Evidence of Results.' *warning - pdf*

Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear. Apparently, neither Mr. Huerta nor Ms. Saulny are aware of numerous studies done on homeschool students and charter school students. Here are links to a few - *sigh*. (I'm very annoyed about having to provide this information when it is out there for any journalist or professor at a Teacher's College to find themselves. Anyhoo - here goes.)

From NHERI there is this:
An overview of the research that has been conducted on homeschoolers academic performance and socialization.

Academic Performance:
* The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.

* Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.

* Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.

* Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.

* Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.

* Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

Social, Emotional and Psychological Development:
* The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.

* Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.

On 'Socialization':
A Great Reason Not to Go to School.

On Charter Schools:
Performance of California Charter Schools. *warning - pdf*
The summary of the study goes thus: "Among other things, it showed that charter schools are improving the scores of low-achieving high school students significantly faster than their traditional counterparts. The study also found that the lower overall scores of charter schools are likely due to the type of students enrolling in them, rather than poor teaching. With many charter schools still in their infancy and likely to improve with age, CREDO's study suggests the state should continue supporting these fledgling schools."

Professor Huerta is apparently very concerned about the 'unschooled' children. All studies of homeschoolers - whether unschooling or school at home - show that the homeschooled children are outperforming their peers in public schools in every way. When a study is done, or test scores are compared, the style of homeschooling is not asked for. Therefore Mr. Huerta doesn't know which high achieving homeschooled kid is an unschooler and which is not. Listen. Pennsylvania has one of the most oppressive homeschool laws in the country. The kids are evaluated every year by a professional evaluator, they are tested using state approved tests in several grades, a list of goals has to be submitted to the school district every year, a portfolio of work examples must be kept, days or hours must be documented - we don't know, nor do we care, what philosophy of homeschooling the parents happen to have. They outperform - period. For most unschooling type homeschoolers, tests are taboo. They object to the almighty State's attempt to weedle their slimy little tentacles into their children's mind. I can understand that - and respect it. My belief is different - but I can definitely see their point. Can you?

Ms. Saulny appears to be alarmed that unschooling, which comes 'under the umbrella of home education', is legal in every state.
I repeat - unschooling is a style of homeschooling and it always has been. There is nothing new here. Kids have been unschooled their entire school career, have gone on to college and graduated, and by and large are living as productive members of our society - even marrying and beginning to unschool their little ones. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, yes! Even in a highly regulated state such as Pennsylvania, the state does not dictate your day to day operation of your homeschool. If the kids are being educated to the state's satisfaction, you're fine.

Here's a quote from the article to get you going:
"Experts assume that the upward trend (of families choosing homeschooling) has continued, and some worry that the general public is unaware of the movement’s laissez-faire approach to learning."

Okay - I started out thinking this journalist was being fairly reasonable in her approach to homeschooling - but that - right up there - just pissed me off. May I please ask the journalist AND the worried 'experts' if they are perhaps worried about the children in public schools who are incapable of outperforming third-world countries in global comparisons? It's not the homeschoolers that you need to be worrying about - it's the kids rotting in the sewer of the teacher's union controlled public school system that need worrying about.

Oohhhhhhhhhh, but nooooooo. These lovers of the status quo, these swine feeding at the federal trough of taxpayer money, will do anything to stop school choice or school reform. 'Education Next', a publication of The Hoover Institution, features a juicy - yet disgusting - little tale of the lengths to which charter school opponents will go in their attempt to prevent you and me and every taxpaying citizen from exercising our parental duty to provide a decent education to our children. Our children - the future of this great Republic. Read the gory details here: Games Charter Opponents Play.

Bah! I'm done.

God bless America. God save the Republic!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Aesop's Fable Friday

The Traveler and His Dog

A Traveler was about to start on a journey, and said to his Dog, who was stretching himself by the door, "Come, what are you yawning for? Hurry up and get ready: I mean you to go with me."

But the Dog merely wagged his tail and said quietly, "I'm ready, master, it is you I am waiting for."

Moral of the story: Sometimes the slow ones blame the active for the delay.

How about: Just don't get all high and mighty thinking you're the only one who's on the ball - pay attention! Notice something besides yourself!

Poor little doggy...