You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2007.

Yesterday we received our paperwork back from the county indicating that A is officially recognized under the home instruction program. Woohoo!!!!!!

I am so excited and considering I had heard some not so encouraging stories about the staff at the home instruction office, they returned the paperwork within less than 2 weeks of my sending it in, I don’t think that is bad at all.

Of course, I am equally nervous and excited about our journey. Let’s face it, since our children were born all parents do some form of home instruction or at least I would like to think they do. 🙂 It is just different now in that she is really ‘enrolled’ so to speak in what society marks as the beginning of education – Kindergarten.

I still have a few items left to tidy up in terms of a schedule which I need to keep myself on track but the intent is to really just continue our flow of some math, more reading, story time and a mild intro to history/science with a unit study approach. Also, art and music as those are definte areas of interest to my daughter and see if she still really wants to learn Spanish and sign language. When I type it out it seems like way more but really it isn’t that bad being that only Bible, Math and Reading are done daily.

I hope each of your plans are firming up as you like and if they aren’t they you are bending like a willow tree as you make adjustments. 😀

Last Friday we went to the National Zoo in Washington, DC. The pics have been up on my flickr page but I hadn’t posted about it because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. 🙂

My parents accompanied the kids and I and we took the Metro which the kids love because that is how “daddy goes to work.” It was hot and humid, like it is now and usually is in DC in July, but I had never been to the National Zoo and was determined to go and not waste such a national treasure.

Here are the kids at the entrance:
At the entrance

The Giant Pandas are a huge zoo attraction and all 3 were sleeping when we came through, must have been the heat and having to wear a fur coat. Here is Papa Panda – Tian Tian, I haven’t uploaded momma and baby yet, so stay tuned. I must admit that Giant Pandas are proof that there is some good in stuff that is Made in China. 🙂
Papa Panda - Tian Tian

I love this photo of the Komodo dragon.
You're still here

If you click on any of the photos, it will take you to my photostream with the other pics as I haven’t placed a flickr sidebar on this site just yet…tsk tsk I know but remember there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

What are your rights as a parent? I guess it really depends on who/what you ask. Here in the State of Maryland, I have recently learned that my rights can be summed up as follows:

“And although a parent does have a right to control the upbringing of a child, “that right is not absolute. It must bend to the State’s duty to educate its citizens,” the state board wrote.”

This quote is from our State Board of Education as it relates to a series of lawsuits in a neighboring county regarding their health plan that deals with homosexuality. More information can be found here at the Washington Post.

While on the topic of parents rights, I came across this little ditty from the Washington Times, it is from a recent Supreme Court decision.

“While parents may have a fundamental right to decide whether to send their child to a public school, they do not have a fundamental right generally to direct how a public school teaches their child.”

The article is an opinion piece by Michael Smith of Home School Legal Defense Fund and has many positives about homeschooling which if you live in Maryland may be a good idea considering your parental rights are absolute to an extent.

Article published Jul 9, 2007
Supreme Court levels playing field

July 9, 2007

Michael Smith – It is no secret that home-schooling is growing and gaining credibility as a viable educational alternative.

More and more colleges are actively recruiting home-schooled students, each year there are an estimated 50,000-plus home-school high school graduates who find work or go to college and thousands of new curriculum products have become available over the past five years. Meanwhile, the number of home-schoolers continues to grow by 7 percent to 15 percent each year, more states are reforming their laws to remove the burdens from parents who want to home educate, and home-schoolers continue to excel in national competitions as well as on standardized tests. In short, home-schooling is a major success story.

Now, for the first time, home-schooling has been recognized in an opinion by a U.S. Supreme Court justice as a viable educational alternative. Morse v. Frederick, which recently made national headlines, involves free speech and whether a public school can regulate what a student says. The 5-4 decision said that the school principal, Deborah Morse, did not violate the free speech rights of Joseph Frederick when she took down his pro-marijuana banner, which said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” The student had violated school policy and was advocating illegal drug use.

While the Home School Legal Defense Association agrees with the ruling in this specific case, it is a reminder to all families that when your child enters the public school, you have virtually ceded your parental rights to the public school.

The clearest explanation of this view was expressed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Fields v. Palmdale, when it said, “While parents may have a fundamental right to decide whether to send their child to a public school, they do not have a fundamental right generally to direct how a public school teaches their child.”

This is the reason many parents have chosen to home-school, especially those parents who have a religious worldview, because they know their children will be taught secular values by the public system.

In Morse v. Frederick, however, Justice Clarence Thomas said, “If parents do not like the rules imposed by those schools, they can seek redress in school boards or legislatures; they can send their children to private schools or home school them; or they can simply move.”

This is the first time the Supreme Court specifically has recognized home-schooling as a viable educational alternative. HSLDA has worked for 24 years to advance a parent’s right to home-school and to promote home-schooling to the general public.

After 24 years, it is gratifying to read the words of a Supreme Court justice who rightfully placed home-schooling on a level playing field with public and private schools. This kind of recognition is tremendously significant to the home-school community.

It’s another step on the long road to raise home-schooling to the point where, when the terms public, private or home-school are used in the same sentence, they all will be seen as mainstream educational alternatives.

Home-schooling is a modern education success story and HSLDA urges all parents to carefully consider their educational options. Home-schooling should be front and center because it is a viable alternative that has helped hundreds of thousands of children become mature, productive citizens.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at 540/338-5600; or send e-mail to media@hslda.org.

In May, I shared our adventures at the Museum of Life and Science. This museum is located in Durham, NC and we were so blessed that dh had to return there for another meeting. We have truly enjoyed traveling with dh on his trips, in June we visited the Creation Museum.

In our previous 2 trips to the Museum of Life and Science, my dd has wanted a butterfly to land on her very badly. She would talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. On our visit this time, I noticed that the number of butterflies was not as plentiful as it had been on our previous visits. As a mother, I become concerned especially when my dd sits on a bench and says “butterflies, I love you please land on my finger.” We go though the butterfly exhibit and no butterflies land and we are getting ready to leave with a sad dd. The butterfly house is designed in such a way that as you prepare to exit through the doors, there are bursts of air to keep the butterflies from hitchhiking a ride. Well, there were a few determind butterflies, 1 in particular, that wanted a taste of freedom. He stayed near the door and the bursts of air kept blowing him to the floor. My dad allowed the hitchhiker to get on his finger to move him away from the door. DD took this as the opportunity to achieve her dream of a butterfly being on her finger. Here is a sequence of pictures:

The Beginning of a dream being achieved

Next step

It is really on my finger!

Look Mommy, I did it!

I was talking with dh via cell so I had to quickly get out the camera and just start clicking and God is good because I was able to get these awesome shots.

There were some beautiful flowers inside as well and they are below:

Beautiful flower

Odd but pretty!

Even odder but stil pretty!

Pretty in purple!

And this one took my breath away…

Pretty in pink and purple

Just so you don’t think all of our time was spent with butterflies and flowers even though the beauty was wel worth every minute, we did get to enjoy some other stuff.

Here is my dad aka Pop-Pop with the kids getting ready to go on the train ride.

The train, the train

Since our last visit, they have completed a new area and there was Ornithopter ride.

Ornithopter, ornithopter

The kids enjoyed our visit!

Yeah, this is fun!

While in Durham, even though the pool had its moments, once clean we did have some fun swimming.

Our Scripture

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. ~Psalm 1:3

Something to think about…

"I never teach my pupils: I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." ~ Albert Einstein
July 2007
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