Homeschooling is Not Abuse

Miami’s CBS Local reported on an adoption bill already passed out of the House and waiting for a final reading/vote in the Florida Senate.

Adoption Bill Passes Amid Home-Schooling Questions

An amendment added to the bill Tuesday declared that Floridians cannot be denied the opportunity to adopt if they plan to home-school their adopted children. The provision has worried people who point to child-abuse cases in which crimes were committed by home-schooling foster and adoptive parents.

“I really feel that we’re leaving some children at risk,” said Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura.

But bill sponsor Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, called boosting adoptions “one of the most loving and kind things we can do.”

Agree with the latter and find the assumptions by Representative Geller a shallow shot at parents loving those children enough to spend lots of time nurturing them. If these children were already in the foster care system, we could assume nothing would escape the government watch.  But sometimes terrible things happen right out in the open.

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Can’t Have Everything

Homeschoolers get a bad rap many times because “we’re getting away with something.” We don’t go with the flow of mainstream education.  We hear we’re too defensive many times. I like to say freedom isn’t free and unfortunately, we have to fight to keep it.

However.  This article from Nebraska caught my eye and makes me see why some might view us as greedy and suspicious.

Board denies request from home-school student to attend prom Lincoln Journal-Star

Kate Ratigan, a local restaurant owner, said her daughter is home-schooled for religious reasons.

The high school, she said, is a resource for the whole community, as all community members pay taxes, and said allowing her daughter to attend wouldn’t be taking away anything from Beatrice High School students.

“I don’t like the idea that if you don’t put your kids in high school you shouldn’t expect to get those benefits,” Ratigan said. “Those benefits don’t belong to the high school, they belong to the community. We give them to those kids so they can have that opportunity.”

Having some kids in public school in the past and others who were always homeschooled, I’ve seen the issues parents deal with in the schools.  One of them is raising outrageous amounts of money for the prom/post-prom party. I would assume the Beatrice school has all that, along with fund-raising events starting as soon as the kid walks in the door as a freshman.  I’m  assuming Ms. Ratigan and her daughter didn’t participate in that.  For that matter, if she’s homeschooling for “religious reasons,”, she probably wouldn’t care for the prom activities anyway.

I don’t get it.

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Carnival of Homeschooling – March Madness


Welcome to the Carnival of Homeschooling – March Madness.  Homeschoolers could relate to the sense of madness we feel at times fussing over our children’s well-being and education.  NCAA basketball is another frenzy starting the middle of this month.  St. Patrick’s Day is one week from today and three days later, spring is officially sprung.  This sort of madness can be fun and reflective.

Let’s start this Carnival with a fellow Illinoisan and long-time homeschooler Laurie Bluedorn at Trivium Pursuit – “If you are not enjoying the adventure of homeschooling — and it truly is an adventure — but are rather seeing it as a job which must be endured, perhaps you might consider changing your perspective.”  Laurie’s blog – Are you experiencing homeschool burnout this month? passes along the reminder to relax.  Her post’s first paragraph describes that state of madness many parents feel as they wonder if they are doing enough.  My favorite mantra I learned was no one can do everything – just keep it quality-driven and fun.

One joyful piece of learning is art and SusanOnline suggests An Early Start with Art in The Every Day of Education blog. Susan says: “Art is a subject where children develop and exercise important skills by exploring on their own.” Hands-on art projects for little ones are wonderful in exploration of their world.

Speaking of hands-on, chemistry was the showcased theme in Colleen’s blog at Solagratiamom. These kids were having a blast making their DIY Giant Periodic Table of Elements out of egg cartons and some imagination.

They were also fortunate to have an Experiment Extravaganza introducing them to the world of elements and experimentation.  It’s easy to play with Element Concoctions using everyday products we have around the house.  It looks like learning science was a good day when you see the pictures at Solagratiamom.

Household goods are used in many innovative ways by homeschoolers. With that savings and other financial considerations in mind, Karen at Living Unabridged offers thoughtful tips in her blog – Homeschool Budget: Burden or Blessing?  Karen says: “Budget” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “Burden”. Here are 17+ ways to stretch your homeschool budget, no matter how high or low it is.

Susan at The Every Day of Education posted a thoughtful article on the importance of communication with writing and speaking skills.  Check out STEM+Liberal Arts=Innovation for reasons to integrate language arts into science.

Finally, the Carnival of Homeschool founder – the Cate family, offered their post on Why Homeschool. Janine writes about one of the benefits of homeschooling – allowing children to move at their own pace in The Curse of Grade Level Standards.  Each family and each child have their own “normal”, which rarely matches up to grade level standards at an exact point in their lives.

I truly appreciated Janine’s description of an IEP meeting and the “social sophistication” displayed by their child.  Homeschoolers have been saying all along we generally know how to socialize, but “school socialization” is a whole new bag of tricks.  Illinois’ Social/Emotional Learning Standards have always troubled me for public school students’ sake, along with the concern that it will land on homeschoolers’ backs at some point. That’s something that makes me a bit mad.

There you have it, the Carnival of Homeschooling – March Madness.

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  We are able to be home with our kids and life is good.  Enjoy!Bridget on sandbar