April 16, 2014

10 in Five for Us on the Web 1/15 – 1/19


1. Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Signs Transgender Equality Bill Into Law

The transgender equal rights law will make Massachusetts the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class. The law modifies language in Massachusetts statute to protect all individuals from discrimination, regardless of gender identities. This change will create equal protections for transgender individuals seeking employment, housing, credit and education. There are approximately 33,000 transgender residents living in Massachusetts.  -from Colorlines

2. Find Our Missing Shines A Media Spotlight Where It’s Sorely Needed 

Like other news magazines, the show, which debuted this week, focuses on the unsolved mysteries of missing persons that any crime junkie will find thrilling. The only difference between the cases featured on this show and programs like Dateline and 20/20 is the color of the victims’ skin. Host S. Epatha Merkerson (of Law and Order) focuses solely on the oft-ignored ignored cases of missing people of color. Aside from the victims, it’s important to point out that there is absolutely nothing about Find Our Missing that codes it as a ‘Black Show’. Yes, the cases are about our own [African-American] missing, but there is nothing about them that should prevent them from getting the same attention from the network programs. - from RACIALICIOUS

3. Has Christianity Become a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” for African Americans?

The bottom line is this: If a man’s spiritual journey leads him to a unique place, this message from God is no less authentic than the one received by those who’ve been socialized since birth to buy into a set of rules and protocols that get them into heaven in spite of any dastardly thing they’ve done.  Part of the allure of a faith can be the rewards of conformity, as well as the threat of punishment from deviation. There is nothing more tempting than to know that saying a few simple words can clear my soul of any horrible things I’ve done to others. There is also nothing more frightening than to hear that my lack of compliance will result in burning in hell for all of eternity. That, my friends, is a very powerful marketing plan. At worst, it is a form of coercion that would lead Michelle Obama to call the anti-bully police. -from Huffington Post: BlackVoices

4. Wanted: More Black Entrepreneurs

Job cuts in the debt-strapped public sector, where one in five black workers is employed, have had an outsize impact on the African American community. Labor Dept. data show some 280,000 public employee positions were cut last year, even as the overall economy added 1.64 million jobs. Black unemployment increased to 15.8 percent in December, more than twice the level for whites. So black business leaders are shifting focus to addressing issues in the small business sector, where most new jobs are created and African Americans haven’t fared well. -from BusinessWeek

5. Black Women are Standing in a Crooked Room

When they confront race and gender stereotypes, black women are standing in a crooked room, and they have to figure out which way is up. Bombarded with warped images of their humanity, some black women tilt and bend themselves to fit the distortion. It may be surprising that some gyrate half-naked in degrading hip-hop videos that reinforce the image of black women’s lewdness. It may be shock ing that some black women actors seem willing to embody the historically degrading image of Mammy by accepting movie roles where they are cast as the nurturing caretakers of white women and children. It may seem inexplicable that a respected black woman educator would stamp her foot, jab her finger in a black man’s face, and scream while trying to make a point on national television, thereby reconfirming the notion that black women are irrationally angry. To understand why black women’s public actions and political strategies sometimes seem tilted in ways that accommodate the degrading stereotypes about them, it is important to appreciate the structural constraints that influence their behavior. It can be hard to stand up straight in a crooked room. -from Jezebel

6. The Justifiable Anger of Black Women … For Those Who Should Know Better (But Don’t)

As we know, our First Lady, Michelle Obama, recently answered back in an interview about the latest Obama gossip book, where she’s less-than-overtly portrayed as the ubiquitous embodiment of an “angry black woman.”

It’s been interesting to see how the public have responded to that interview; indeed, that the book should be taken with any credence at all is mind-boggling, because – as a friend of mine says – it’s all third party hearsay. The people directly involved weren’t interviewed at all. -from Osborne Ink

7. Black Women in European Politics: from Struggle to Success

Nowadays, it is a common occurrence to witness African-born women having successful careers in Europe. Despite the evident challenges, many of them have also distinguished themselves in politics. Still, it was not so long ago that such success would have seemed impossible. To achieve greatness, these women have often come a long way, both literally and figuratively. -from Global Voices Online

8. Why are we Expected to Line up for Red Tails but not Pariah?

Interesting enough, Red Tails was created by the same guy who brought us Jar Jar Binks, the computer-animated character who appeared in the Star Wars prequels and which generated much controversy over its racially charged, Rastafarian mimicry.   So why there is such a heavy emphasis on supporting Lucas’ Red Tails while genuine black films like Pariah are left to their own devices? -from Madame Noire

9. The Big C’s Big Black Problem

Is “overweight underachiever with an endless arsenal of clever one-liners” a euphemism for sassy fat black girl? Why yes it is. Enter Sidibe, or Andrea, a student who cuts class, uses foul language, and proudly does not exercise. She is all attitude and doesn’t give a flying expletive what you think of it. When she was first introduced, I audibly expelled air — seriously? This again? Don’t we already have plenty of series with largely white casts flanked by sassy black tropes? Hiya, Mercedes from Glee, Donna from Parks & Recreation, Ava on Up All Night, Raineesha on the now defunct Reno 911!, Miranda on Grey’s Anatomy! And please don’t say “quit hating” — I love all those shows, The Big C included. I just know they have problems. -from Clutch Magazine

10. It wasn’t Pretty, but Philly Mayor Nutter was Speaking Truth about Bad Parents

While I agree that politicians must be held to a higher standard in controlling the words that fall from their lips, I was not disturbed at all when I read the mayor’s comments because he didn’t say anything that nearly all of us would have said in the privacy of our homes when we heard the details of this tragic and ridiculous shooting. -from My Brown Baby

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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The Fight for Troy Davis; a Fight for the Soul of the US

The Troy Davis case has awakened this site. Deneene Milner over at My Brown Baby wrote eloquently about her views on the Death Penalty saying:

But then my brain takes over when I consider America’s dark history of lynching, mutilating and murdering African American fathers, sons, mothers and daughters—all-too-many times for no other reason than because the accused was black and the accusers reveled in the killing. Evidence of wrongdoing was inconsequential. Emmit Till. The Scottsboro Boys. The Brothers Griffin. Those are the names we know. Scores more, we don’t. But their deaths sear my soul.

Her words mirror my sentiment- the Death Penalty makes sense in an “eye for an eye” sort of way. Unfortunately, it is far

too easy for a person (especially a person of color) to be wrongfully accused and found guilty. Human beings are fallible. We make mistakes, we are prejudiced, we are irrational, and we are filled with fear. Those traits makes it far too difficult for our Justice System to be flawless. Combined with our country’s history of hatred and our continued systematic racism and classism, there is just no way that the Death Penalty can be a solution.

What comes to my mind is that this is another fuck-up in a long line of events that has made me so sad for our country. I am a Patriot! I love America and the ideals that once propelled us to greatness. But as of late, my love of the United States has been replace by sadness and uneasiness, I don’t see good things for us; I see horrible times. And if Troy Davis, a man whose guilt is as questionable as Sarah Palin’s intelligence, is put to death, the future of this county is bleaker than ever. There is no denying that. If we cannot rely of the Supreme Court of the United States to do the right thing – if they don’t intervene in a more permanent way – we may as well burn The Constitution of the United States of America and head back into an age of darkness.

I have often spoken of Bowen’s Theory of Social Regression. The premise is that every society gets to a point when it starts to regress:

The “symptoms” of societal regression include a growth of crime and violence, an increasing divorce rate, a more litigious attitude, a greater polarization between racial groups, less principled decision-making by leaders, the drug abuse epidemic, an increase in bankruptcy, and a focus on rights over responsibilities.

I hang my head in shame and sadness as I see our regression on full display. The United States is a joke! We are a shell of what we could be – a mirage of greatness. This is a fight for the very soul of the United States of America. But the fight, the struggle for equality, respect, awareness – it has to continue beyond Mr. Davis. So this is our “Welcome Back” post. I can’t ignore it anymore.

 

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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Educate parents rather than banning homemade lunches

Yeah…you read that right.  How does that make you feel?  It would be a bad day any day somebody would tell me I can’t send my child’s lunch to school.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” principal Elsa Carmona told the paper of the years-old policy. “It’s about … the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke.”   Principal Carmona needs some educating. She’s looking ignorant. I get their issue:  milk vs. Coke.  I respect their concerns but not how they go about resolving the issue.  Address the parents individually that pack unhealthy lunches for their children.  DUH.  Educate those ignorant to the labels on packaged foods and explain the affects of high salt and high sugar on their child’s behavior, you don’t decide for the entire school to ban lunches from home.  Banning parents from sending lunch promotes ignorance. It’s my prerogative as a parent to send my child’s lunch and if I send it they better eat it.  Better yet, as a stay at home mom – don’t make me come up there during lunch time to sit with my child and watch them eat MY lunch from home.

As a parent I have my concerns about school lunch.  Is it fresh? Is it delicious?  Will my child eat it?  Are the portions large enough?  If it’s a hot meal, is it served cold or warm enough? Was it prepared with clean hands? Did the staff wear hair nets? When was the last time the cafeteria was inspected?  What grade did it receive? Is the USDA doing their job? *side eye* Let’s address all of that.

The issue has now become telling me, as a parent, what I can/can’t send for my child’s lunch.  NOBODY can tell me that, I’m not having it and I am sure I am not alone on this issue. Educate the parents sending the unhealthy lunches and leave the rest of us who have common sense alone.

 

original article: http://yhoo.it/fKml73

 

Pascha Dudley

Pascha Dudley

Pascha Dudley is a wife, mom, contract paralegal and freelance editor. She writes The Posh Blog, www.theposhblog.com and is a Social Influencer for an online retail forum. She resides in Suwanee, GA with her family.

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Teachers are not the enemy of education reform

There is a very popular idea that teachers do not want their students to be successful. That educators are really at fault for what ails the failing education system. Additionally, there is the popular belief that those who have money have the answers. And finally, popular opinion is that newer, younger teachers are better than more experienced teachers who may or may not have tenure.

I am going to do something that I have refrained from doing on We of Hue. I am going to be blunt and direct. That is, I will sum up the above notions in one word:

Bullshit!

Because you see, I am a Teacher. An Educator. And a Parent, which encompasses both. I became a High School teacher through an alternative certification program and went back to the Bronx where I was raised to teach at Harry S Truman High School. While there, I had the pleasure of working with some amazing educators who are dedicated, exhausted, innovative, and frustrated. I have had the pleasure of dealing with some extremely compassionate administrators who, despite their personal ideologies, were forced to adhere to the guidelines put forth not by experienced educators, but by politicians who have never stepped foot in a classroom, yet alone a public school. Furthermore, I have had the spirit-crushing opportunity to meet with parents who were unwilling to actively participate in their child’s education in anyway. I have had my efforts to step outside the box and introduce new techniques of learning and teaching be hindered by the test-centered efforts of NCLB. I have been bogged down by administrative paperwork for five classes of 34 students each. I have taught students who had amazing potential but were forced to choose between being smart or fitting in- students who needed extra attention but had to compete with the extremely divided attention of their teacher. Students who needed more support and guidance than any school could possible provide as their home lives were not providing the support they needed outside the classroom.

The problem is not the teachers.

You, those of you who are so anti-educators, seem to think that the teachers have decision-making power in the schools or even in their classrooms. We do not. They do not. We are merely ship-hands on the Titanic sinking faster than ever imagined and as much as we beg for life-jackets and lifeboats we are given nothing.  And contrary to popular belief, it is not a part-time job for us. Most of us, the good teachers, bring it home with us and carry it around ALL THE TIME. It is our life’s-work. It is the only profession that requires that you have a masters and continually earn credits in order to make money. It is the only profession that requires you be skilled in a particular area and then fight to be called a professional….

Teachers are not the problem. You are.

You , the parent who believes that what you read and see on the news is the truth and the whole truth. You, the parent who believes that someone else is better at disciplining your child or advocating for your child simply because he started a company or has money. You the parent who thinks that because someone is finally paying attention to minorities that they have your best interest in mind. You the parent who spews words of hate at educators without actually knowing that for every bad teacher, there are 100 good ones who are never given attention in the news.

Some say that because the public system is not working it needs to be privatized. That charter schools (controlled by corporations and seem to succeed because they handpick the students who are more likely to succeed while denying access to those who need extra help like special education students), KIPP schools (whose philosophy that minority children need intensive discipline and structure that would never be accepted in white neighborhoods rather than addressing the societal ills that have contributed to the poor education available to minority students and whose students are actively enrolled by parents (which already says that those parents understand the importance of education and those children would probably succeed at any school)), and Bill Gates (whose Microsoft approach to education (repackage what others are saying and doing without actual long-term thought) turns success into a standard product instead of individually specific one that is based on one’s own ability)  and the Walmart Waltons are the only answer because money solves problems.

But let me ask you this: If the Waltons are truly concerned about the education and well-being of the working class, why do they continue to break the law by denying their employees basic human rights everywhere they operate? And does philanthropy negate Bill Gates’ very fascist corporatist beliefs (which may look good when taken at face value but is actually a method of controlling opposition and rewarding political loyalty by taking power away from the people and putting it in the hands of those who proclaim to know better) that do not align themselves with the betterment of the very population he claims to want to help? Why do we hesitate to question their agenda? Why do we follow blindly and then accuse those who don’t agree of supporting the status quo? And why is it that we forget those who are trying so desperately to prove that “poverty is not an excuse” are the very ones keeping people in poverty.

I don’t deny that accessibility is a problem in poor districts. But, providing equipment and materials is only one part of the problem. Increasing instructional time by 62% on average as done in the KIPP schools is only a minor fix. What is ruining education is that politicians are content to change the focus whenever their financial supporters come calling. The corporate push is why testing has become the backbone of NCLB. There is money to be made in the creation of these tests and in the materials that are used within the schools to prepare students for them. New York City changes tests so often that just when the teachers begin to understand how to revise their curriculum to meet one standard, they are forced to learn a new one. Let’s not forget another important fact of which I was reminded by a close friend, the NYC Chancellor of Schools creates the very regulations that bind teachers when it comes to discipline, requires that they teach to the test and force them to pass students who cannot read, then bashes those teachers/schools for failing, while allocating the monies given to help those failing schools to charter schools. And while public school teachers are struggling to find a way to affect positive change in the classroom with limited support regarding discipline, those charter schools are given the freedom to do just that!

Are you following, because THIS is the reality.

While many are content to put a band-aid on a gaping wound, there are people like Diane Ravitch (who was pushing for National  Standards before The Gates Foundation was even a thought) who believe that education reform must be a partnership between parents and teachers. Corporations and politics are not essential to providing children with a good education. It must be done through other means- and that is by creating a system the addresses societal failures- that incorporates more than just testing and nodding and chanting and pretty packages. Educating children must be a holistic approach in order to create free thinkers and not brand loyalty.

And this superficial blaming of teachers needs to end. Teachers want to teach. They want to educate students. It is not a field one enters into and stays in because he/she wants to make money.

We need to look to the nations that are surpassing the USA in education and realize that what matters in not quantity (extensive hours spent in the classroom) but the quality of what is being taught. We need to demand that our children receive a quality education by spending less time appeasing these egomaniacs who believe that they have the best answer. We need to revisit the old philosophies- before the indoctrination approach to education and before the Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

In short, we need to cut the bullshit and get real!

And here are some links to help you do just that:

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

More Posts - Website

Hate Bill Gates’ Plans for Education? Got a Better Idea?

About a week ago our illustrious founder, Kristina Daniele, posted an article by Huffington Post reporter Gary Stager entitled, “Who Elected Bill Gates?” Normally I would just read an article such as and go on about my day. But something about this piece got me a bit intrigued, especially with all the recent discussions about failing education in our country, so I decided to share my views here at We of Hue.

From the start Mr. Stager starts off on the wrong foot by categorizing Bill Gates as solely a “philanthropist” with nothing better to do with his time and money. That and he also believes Mr. Gates’ plans are “demonic” as he is also likened to Charlie Sheen as they both need an “intervention.” Let’s be frank, calling Bill Gates “just” a philanthropist is like calling Michael Jordan “just” a basketball player. Yes, if you want to nit-pick, in every sense of the word Bill Gates has been VERY philanthropic with his billions of dollars over the years. But have we forgotten that he is not one who inherited his money? If my memory serves me correctly (insert a large dose of sarcasm here), isn’t he  the man who kinda-sorta, maybe, a little bit, in a round-about sort of way revolutionized the ENTIRE WORLDWIDE COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE INDUSTRY WITH A LITTLE COMPANY CALLED MICROSOFT!!?  If there’s a person who we should listen to and who is probably capable of offering up a plan on how to best ensure our children eventually compete on a global scale it’s “philanthropist” Bill Gates. There aren’t many people in this world who have a good idea what type of workforce and leaders we will need in the coming years to keep our country competitive, while at the same time who have the $$$ to make those ideas come to life; one of those men is you guessed it, Bill Gates.

Love him or hate him (and truth be told, I’m a Mac guy), but the man puts his VERY large bank account where his mouth is in reference to education and many other causes such as AIDS research, agricultural development, and global health. From millions of dollars in scholarship money; to the KIPP Prep Academies in which he is a major contributor; to numerous speeches and presentations on the subject; to financing the movie “Waiting for Superman”, Mr. Gates seems to get it. We all know what needs to be done, but when you have billions to spend you can actually get it done. One thing money allows you to do is to cut through all the bureaucratic nonsense, do it yourself, and put forth an initiative YOU believe in regardless of what the status quo has to say about it. No need to go through mounds of paperwork and countless telephone calls to get something done. As a teacher, you have a good idea on how to teach a group of student’s physics? Go for it! You have a plan to get your students more involved in literature? Do it! It’s as if we have sucked the creativity from our teachers and refuse to let them do what they do best…TEACH! Mr. Gates fully understands it’s about getting back to educating and developing critical thinking skills and not just focusing on standardized test taking, which is what education has become in recent years. And don’t get me started on decaying schools, high dropout rates, the U.S. lagging behind many third world countries in math, science, and even English! Please, I’d jump on the chance to have my child in KIPP Prep! And don’t think I didn’t try! Just way too far away and., wait for it….there is a HUGE waiting list!

But what perplexes me to no end is why so many folks are afraid of change (I know, I know, probably because it’s change stupid, Duh!)? But seriously, I continue to hear the arguments on how privatization of education is so wrong. Is it really? I doubt that Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and members of the Walton Family (Wal-Mart) sit around a big table wringing their hands (insert evil laugh here) as they try to figure out the best way to dupe the public, while they take over the countries educational system and make money doing it.  I mean are there still some of you out there who believe that the “public” in public education still means anything?

Our public schools have been in the hands of “private” industry for years. If it’s not the multi-billion companies such as McGraw-Hill and Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt who determine what our children learn (or don’t learn) by selling text books by the bulk, it’s the way they “help” shape lessons plans as well as standardized testing at the state level in order to ensure it’s their company’s books that are used and not the competition. And less we forget companies such as Sysco who provide much of the most non nutritious, yet cheap food to our cafeterias. Our schools haven’t been “public”, or for that matter locally run for DECADES!  Think about it, when was the last time planning, funding, testing, or a major policy was decided SOLELY at the local level?

I’ll wait………(cue Jeopardy theme music)………………… EXACTLY! It doesn’t happen anymore!

Teachers and school districts across the nation are forced on a daily basis to be “reactive” instead of “proactive” due to the various cuts to their budgets. Instead of pushing the envelope and pushing their students to succeed they are busy trying to keep the ship from sinking. You CAN’T teach or educate in that type of environment! In my humble opinion, this is also one of the reasons that not only has the discussion for privatization risen in recent years, but so has the clamor for “non-traditional” methods of education. Charter schools, Montessori education, and yes, even homeschooling have all had a boon recently due to the fact that government officials and so-called education professionals have been trying to “fix” this system FOREVER and parents can’t afford to wait any longer. This is also why prep schools have been around for so long. People with “means” don’t worry about the public education debate because they send their children to prep schools; yep, just like the fictional Bel Air Academy on Fresh Prince. But all joking aside, one of the statements that troubled me from Mr. Stager is how he accused Mr. Gates of not sending his own children to the KIPP Academy’s because obviously they aren’t “good enough”.  Really? The man sets up some of the most technologically advanced and forward thinking schools in the nation (which by the way rival even some of the best prep schools in the country) and you want to kick a gift horse in the mouth!?!? These academies are the closest thing to a prep school that most regular everyday folks without “means” will see. I’m not going to get into unions, teacher tenure, etc… BUT by spending his billions to open his own schools, Mr. Gates can EASILY bypass much of the red tape drama that far too many school districts are drowning in. His money, his ideas, his way!

And just to take this discussion one step further, I’d like you to think about something for a moment. You know what doesn’t get talked about too much? It’s that the “establishment” is counting on a little thing called time. They have plenty of it, and we as parents do not. Our children continue to get older in a lackluster system because they know all too well that one day our children will be old enough and OUT of “public” education (K-12). Usually by the time many of our children have (hopefully) moved onto college we have lost the want, need, or desire to concern ourselves with how K-12 public education continues to decline. It’s as if, “Whew…I’m done, let the next group of parents deal with this nonsense!” Many of us are too tired, busy, stressed, and pulled every which way on Monday-Friday to focus on fighting the good fight, AND THEY ARE COUNTING ON THAT!

We all want what is best for our children, but let’s face it do any of us really have the means or the where-with-all to fight a system which has been playing this game since at least the 1950’s? NOPE! The status quo is counting on us not getting involved. One of the ways they achieve this is making it damn near impossible for us to find, or even enroll, our children in some of the best public schools in our own communities. And trust me I know of what it is I speak as I’m currently fighting the good fight with our local school district to get what I believe is best for my family. But In the end, they are counting on our eventual and continued APATHY to it all. If they put up enough stumbling blocks, sooner or later we will go away and they will continue to chug along.

Like Bill Gates? Hate Bill gates? Agree with him, don’t agree with him? But the facts are pretty clear if not for him, and others like him who are tired of the way our children are being educated we would not be having a serious discussion today on the future of education in America. Movies such as Waiting for Superman, The Lottery, etc… and program’s such as The Harlem Children’s Zone all have brought to light what many have been trying real hard to keep in the dark. I, for one, applaud the efforts of folks like Bill Gates and Gary Stager who are doing what they believe to be right on behalf of our children.

I think we all can agree that we want the best education for our children and that (for many) the education they are receiving is sub-standard at best. I also think we all can agree that some major changes need to be made, that none of the problems are going away anytime soon, and an open, honest dialogue where all views are respected is paramount. So if I were Mr. Stager, instead of insulting the man (I’m still trying to figure out the Charlie Sheen analogy) I’d get in line to see if I too could get a bit of the Gates Foundation money and find away to work together (yep, didn’t I mention that Mr. Stager has his own education based organization called The Constructivist Consortium!?). Because just like this problem, the money and clout of Bill Gates isn’t going away anytime soon either.

Just my two cents, what say you?

James Higgins

James Higgins

Nothing special about me at all, I'm a happily married, college educated (Go Bison!), stay-at-home father of two wonderful children. Just trying to keep myself, my wife, my children, and my cats sane as we navigate through this journey called family life.

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Homeschooling Myths Debunked

Let’s clarify some of the most common misconceptions about homeschooling, because quite frankly, there are too many good reasons to homeschool and way too many myths associated with doing so.

The Argument: Homeschooling hinders the social development of children because they cannot learn to interact with others. It also hinders their ability to deal with diversity.

School should NOT be the primary method of developing social skills. School is not where children learn how to behave in society. That job has been traditionally the job of the parent and it is about time that it is returned to them. School is not about socializing. It is a structured environment meant for learning. Because so many parents think that students should socialize in school, emphasis has been taken off academics and placed on social skills. Social skills are taught at home, in the community, and through activities outside the classroom.

The Argument: Children cannot learn everything that they need to know in a homeschool environment because it is not structured.

In traditional schools, children spend 45-50 minutes a day in a subject class. The reality is that this time is by no means enough time to learn everything. When classrooms are filled with dozens of students teachers have to deal with each of their personalities, personal issues, life baggage, learning -styles,  and let’s not forget administrative duties. When all is said and done, no matter how organized a teacher is or how well they manage a classroom, 45 minutes is in no way enough time to teach.

In the homeschool setting, you do not have these time constraints, If you notice that your child needs to spend more time on writing, you can give it to her without worrying about testing dates or ignoring others. Homeschooling can be better for a child because it is individualized learning. Most children learn better when they receive one-on-one instruction. The number one problem with schools is overcrowding and underfunding. If you take that factor away, students will naturally do better. They get more attention and the learning is tailored for their needs.

The Argument:Not every parent is qualified to teach.

Parents do not have to be college educated, but do have to be resourceful. This is true in both the home school environment and the non-home school environment. If you are home schooling, it helps to have graduated high school as you do need a basic working knowledge of the subjects, but when you do decide to home school, there are SO many resources available for you. You just have to be willing to look for them and use them. You have to have the grace to admit that you don’t know something and the will to find the answers. Additionally, parents may be better qualified to teach their children because they know their children better than a teacher will. Parent swill know if the child had a bad day and that is why he/she is acting out. Often times clashes in the classroom can be avoided if teacher’s were privy to this kind of information.

With the current influx of teachers from alternative certification programs like the NYTF and TFA, it is absurd to assume that all teachers are better qualified than all parents to educate children. The truth of the matter is that you will have bad homeschooling parents and you will have bad traditional teachers. Even if you are not home schooling, you still need to be active in your child’s education so being resourceful helps. You may need to provide your child with extra materials and guidence to ensure academic success.

The Argument: Traditional schools teach competition and street smarts.

Let’s get serious. I have taught and I am not buying this one at all. I equate street-smarts with common sense and quite frankly, from what I have seen, traditionally educated students are no more street-smart than those who are not. I’m not quite sure if common sense (i.e. rational thinking) even kicks in until after college when a person has a chance to gain some life experience.

As far as competition is concerned, Homeschooling can remove unhealthy competition that is so prevalent in traditional schools. Yes, competition is good later on in life, but young children need to learn to have faith in themselves. They need a solid level of self-esteem before they can deal with the pressures of peer-competition. In fact, homeschooling can prevent kids from falling into the dangers of peer pressure because they have been given an opportunity to form their own identities without worry of being “cool” or “freaky”.

One of the growing problems in the United States is this need to force children to act like adults before they are ready. We throw them into situations that  require skills that they have yet to develop. And then, when they do not succeed, parents blame teachers. Teachers blame the parents. When the parent and teacher are one and the same, the blame game stops.
Talk about accountability!
It is time that homeschooling become an acceptable alternative to traditional school. The traditional system has not been working for so long and the myths of homeschooling only help to ensure that education continue to fail in this country.

Reposted by Kristina Daniele. The original version of this article was originally posted at Minit.com in June 2006 on Examiner.com in 2009. What appears here is an edited and revised version of those articles.

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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