February 21, 2012
By Bohemian Mom
“Here is a nice follow up article about home schooling regarding the video we posted yesterday about school in America and how it’s a huge propaganda machine. If you want to home school your kids and teach them what they actually need to know, you should read this article.” –KTRN
Since we decided to homeschool and eventually unschool our boys, I get asked a lot of questions. It’s understandable, as the lifestyle we have chosen definitely goes against the grain of societal norms. Even I had a lot of trepidation at first, and found myself asking some of the very same questions.
It took me over five years to fully reconcile the ideas and, truth be told, I still question myself at least once a year.
Over the eight years plus since we started to homeschool, my perspective through research and experience has grown considerably. This perspective has allowed me to address the most commonly asked questions.
What about college?
This is probably the most commonly asked question. The short answer is yes, homeschoolers can go to college. So can unschoolers. And they do! Millions of them in fact. With the advent of online college courses one can simply continue with a homeschool model even in college. Otherwise a student can take tests like GED and SATs, put together a transcript or examples of their work and apply — same as anyone else does. Prestigious universities such as Yale, Stanford, and Harvard accept and even seek out homeschoolers. Oftentimes they are more prepared then conventionally schooled children to tackle the pressures of a higher education.
The longer answer to this question will be covered in the next installment of this series, so check back next Monday for my rather unconventional (but gaining more momentum) ideas regarding college, and if it really is the best path anymore.
How do children socialize and learn to work with others?
Some conformists actually argue that our kids won’t be prepared for the real world because they aren’t socialized in school. Pardon me for any typos from here on out, but I can’t help but laugh out loud at this common misconception. As if herd pressure to look, dress, or behave a certain way is required to function in the world. Or that facing daily bullies is necessary to toughen somebody up for the “real” world. Or that learning about sex or relationships is better taught by confused pubescent middle-school peers who claim to be experts because they’ve gotten to second base. It’s nonsense.
And just because we homeschool doesn’t mean we stay home like hermits. Even before adopting a travel lifestyle we were on what seemed like a permanent field trip. Hikes, waterfalls, skiing, surf lessons, science centers, museums, and play dates of all kinds, etc. Most homeschoolers use the world as their classroom and spend lots of time exploring and engaging with people.
July 11, 2011
By Frederik Joelving
Swedish teenagers who consumed more folic acid got better school grades, a small study published in the journal Pediatrics has found.
But don’t run out and stock up on the B vitamin with the rest of your school supplies just yet, one expert warns.
“There is very little deficiency of folic acid in North America,” Deborah O’Connor, a nutrition researcher who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health. “If you’re already sufficient, there is not a lot of evidence that taking more supplements will help.”
She said the teens in the study might have been deficient in folic acid, with levels a few times lower than what’s typically seen in North American kids.
Because a lack of the nutrient during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects in babies, certain foods are fortified with folic acid, also called folate, in North America. Most of the population is thought to get adequate amounts for that reason.
During the study, Sweden did not fortify foods, nor did kids use a lot of supplements. Folic acid is naturally present in green, leafy vegetables and legumes.
The new study is among the first to examine whether folate is tied to school achievements, according to Dr. Torbjorn Nilsson of Orebro University Hospital and his colleagues.
July 11, 2011
By Jim Tankersley
Here’s a fact that should give economists—and maybe President Obama’s political team—heartburn: Two years after the Great Recession officially ended, job prospects for young Americans remain historically grim. More than 17 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds who are looking for work can’t find a job, a rate that is close to a 30-year high. The employment-to-population ratio for that demographic—the percentage of young people who are working—has plunged to 45 percent. That’s the lowest level since the Labor Department began tracking the data in 1948. Taken together, the numbers suggest that the U.S. job market is struggling mightily to bring its next generation of workers into the fold.
This is a dangerous proposition, economically (for the United States as a whole) and politically (for the president).
As The Atlantic’s Don Peck wrote last year, citing a litany of research from Yale University’s Lisa Kahn, college graduates who enter the labor force during a recession make significantly less money—in their first year and over the course of their careers—than grads who walk into an economic boom. Workers stuck in the unemployment line for an extended period risk watching their skills atrophy and face increasing difficulty finding new jobs. That’s particularly true, though, for people waiting and waiting and waiting to land their first job. The longer a whole batch of fledgling workers sits waiting to be hired, the more the economy risks losing young employees with valuable, high-end skills at a time when global competition is increasingly fierce.
Snowballing youth unemployment feeds social unrest. Exhibit A is the Middle East. Exhibit B is Europe’s periphery; in such countries as Spain, Greece, and Croatia, more than one in three young people is unemployed, a problem that The Economist magazine warned this week is “as great a challenge for these governments as protecting their tottering banks and slashing their budget deficits.”
February 28th, 2011
By: Peter Busch
The longest red light in the world would not give you enough time to read all the bumper stickers on Tarah Ausburn’s Toyota Prius hybrid.
“I just like the ability to take a controversial topic and sum it up in one clever line. I’m an English teacher; that’s what I do,” Ausburn told CBS 5 News.
But this English teacher found herself in the principal’s office after she said some parents at Imagine Prep High School in Surprise started complaining about a bumper sticker on Ausburn’s car that asks, “Have you drugged your kid today?”
“It’s kind of a criticism of us tending to over-medicate hyperactive kids who might not need those medications,” said Ausburn, who said she has been a teacher for seven years.
Ausburn said she did not share her opinion in class, but that school officials fired her for refusing to remove the bumper sticker.
Ausburn’s story was first publicized on the Web site thesociallyaware.com.
CBS 5 News contacted officials at Imagine Prep, who initially agreed to speak on camera about Ausburn’s situation. They later canceled the interview.
Ausburn said she is fighting to get her job back, claiming that her First Amendment rights were violated.
August 23rd, 2010
By: Jerry Ulmer
Ten McMinnville High School football players remained hospitalized Saturday as they were treated for a rare soft-tissue condition after participating in an “immersion camp” at the school last week.
The players are suffering from “compartment syndrome” — soreness and swelling — that affects their triceps. They have received intravenous fluids to ward off a potential kidney disorder, according to Dr. Craig Winkler, who is treating seven of the players. Earlier Saturday, 12 players were at Willamette Valley Medical Center, but two were released by Saturday night, a spokeswoman said.
“The reason we’re treating these players so aggressively is to prevent renal disease,” Winkler said. “If it’s significant enough, it could actually end up in dialysis.”
McMinnville School District officials continue to investigate the cause of the condition. Superintendent Maryalice Russell said Friday that she didn’t believe the workout prescribed by first-year coach Jeff Kearin was excessive. The camp was in preparation for the first week of practice, which begins Monday.
Kearin has experience coaching in college, including at USC and UNLV, but a former colleague dismissed the idea that such a background could lead the Grizzlies’ coach to push high school players too far.
“He’s been an educator for a long time,” said Los Angeles Valley College coach Jim Fenwick, who worked with Kearin at Cal State Northridge. “He’s very conscientious about the high school development and the kids.”
Fenwick, formerly head coach at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, said he offered Kearin, 50, a job as an assistant this season should he decide against taking a high school coaching job.
“He works well with kids,” Fenwick said. “His personality is not a big, hard-nosed, lineman’s mentality, or a weight-room-mentality guy.”
The players are being treated for high levels of creatine kinase, a protein that can harm the kidneys.
Doctors are keeping a close watch on the CK levels of the players, some of whom entered the hospital with levels higher than 42,000, well beyond the level of 3,000 needed before they are discharged.
Winkler said that “95 percent” of the players are responding well to treatment. One player is “not responding adequately,” though, and would be treated with more fluid to flush out his kidneys faster.
Dennis Nice was among the parents waiting at the hospital for reports on the CK levels. Nice and his wife Margaret — parents of Joshua, 17, and Daniel, 16 — have been at the hospital around the clock since Wednesday.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Dennis Nice said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. We’re just waiting for the numbers to drop. All the parents pretty much know each other now. We’re all supportive of each other.”
Daniel Nice was one of three players to undergo surgery to reduce swelling. His CK levels had dropped from 17,000 to 6,600 by Saturday, according to his father.
Junior Kyle Downing said he had slight swelling in his triceps Tuesday but it receded. He took a blood test as a precaution Thursday night, however, and it revealed a CK level of 18,000. It has dropped to 6,000 since he was admitted Friday.
The cause of the condition has school officials, parents and doctors puzzled. Winkler said most cases of compartment syndrome are due to trauma.
“We could only find like 10 documented cases of triceps compartment syndrome,” he said. “It’s very, very rare.”
Some have speculated that a workout that targeted the triceps, in a hot wrestling room at the school Sunday, could be the cause. But Downing, who has been lifting weights all summer, disagreed.
“It definitely wasn’t the workout. The workout was fine,” he said. “It was basically nothing. The complete triceps workout was about one minute. This is odd.”
Russell said Friday that she supports the coaching staff. Rene Downing, Kyle’s mother, said Saturday that “the kids are crazy about the coach. He’s a good coach.”
Kyle Downing said the team remains excited about the season.
“This is a speed bump for us,” he said. “This is definitely a big building block. This is adversity at its greatest. To all the teams we play, I’d have to say, ‘Watch out.’ ”