Thursday, August 27, 2009

Problems Getting Immunization Waiver

Yesterday I had problems getting an immunization waiver form for my 13 yr. old son. He won a scholarship for two on-line computer classes for homeschoolers and was thrilled. (I couldn't afford them without this scholarship.)

AFTER he won we were sent a form stating that these classes were run-through a charter school so he'd be considered a 'part-time' student of that school. In order to do that we'd have to send them a copy of his birth certificate and immunization record. (Why would they need an immunization record for an on-line class?)

I decided to sign the optional 'waiver' form instead. (I'd done that in the past once when he was in public school.) Though he is actually 'up-to-date' on immunizations as required by scouting I didn't want to share this information with this charter school and those funding these classes.

I went to the school district office to sign the form. The receptionist (someone I knew) read over the form and said 'That's wierd. They've never done that before...and I've worked here for 20 years". She handed me the form which said that I must get the waiver from the Health Department.

So, I drove over to the health department. The receptionist there informed me that I would have to 'meet' with the nurse and pay $15.00 in order to do it. And....the nurse wasn't in. She was only in for a few hrs. per week.

In addition to doing that --- they would keep 2 of the 3 forms that I filled out.

Well, I don't know about the rest of you but, with all else that is going on, this is something more to be concerned about. Not for those of you who are burying your heads in the sand. But, for those of us who know and see what is coming down the pike. Truly our parental and privacy rights are being threatened and overruled.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Homeschooling and Socialization; GREAT article

My friend sent this article to me. It says what I'd say so I wanted to share. The author deserves all the credit. His name is at the end. Enjoy! It's food for thought....

August 10, 2009
Whenever we tell new acquaintances that we home-school, the same question seems to pop up. As if scripted, they look at us with heads turned to the side in concern and ask, “Don't you worry about socialization?" The implication of the question is that home-schooled families invariably have a vast iron door, behind which the outside world is not allowed. Day in and day out, our little ones are subjected to nothing more and nothing less than the voices of their parents and the dreary monotony of school-work in a classroom where the only children present are siblings.The further implication, though probably not intentional, is that we are in danger of turning the children into odd little things, akin to Uncle Fester on the Addams Family. You know, educated, capable, oddly charming, but entirely unsuited for polite company in the world at large.Well, let me reassure everyone that socialization is progressing nicely in the vast majority of the home-schooled families I know, and that it is equally unsuccessful in many of the families whose children are not home-schooled. Socialization, a rather modern and meaningless word, has far less to do with educational technique than it does with parental direction; or failing that, the guidance of non-parental forces in the world at large.In fact, my children socialize with relatives, with other youth at our church and with adult instructors in music lessons, sports and cooperative classes. They even interact with friends, many of whom are not home-schooled but who hang around with us despite our odd, “Fester-like” ways.I feel very comfortable with the “socialization” my progeny receive, because I see that they are consistently polite, they smile at others, they carry on engaging conversations with adults, and they have hopes and dreams to engage in society at large. They are growing into individuals who are wise, appropriately bold and always kind. I think that's the kind of socialization I want them to undergo.So, I consider myself a little bit of an expert on “socialization.” And as the new school year is rapidly approaching, I want to share my perspectives for the encouragement of other parents, home-schooling and otherwise. Here goes:Children and adolescents do need to spend time with kids their own age. They need friends and allies. But do not be deluded that friends are adequate socialization. All children, and especially all teenagers, are charming morons. No, don't be offended. I love them! They are nuclear reactors of potential. But they need guidance. The very idea that hanging around with other kids will make children into proper adults is madness. It makes as much sense as training a soldier by having him hang around an amusement park (well, he's with people his own age!). It's as rational as training a hunting dog by turning him loose in a dog-park; which makes for a standard-issue dog, but not much of a pointer or retriever.Socialization, as I see it, is the act of teaching our young to be responsible members of society. And it requires intense, well-planned and daily monitored guidance. And no matter how much we may love our children's friends, they are not there to “socialize” our kids; more to the point, it's our job as parents to socialize even our children's friends! I'm forever taking their hats off indoors, reminding them to be polite and questioning their statements and assumptions. It's my job as an adult to help shape all of the kids around me into proper adults. That's socialization!The modern perversion of socialization, from my perspective in a busy emergency department, regularly results in kids committing crimes, using drugs, getting STDs or unwanted pregnancies, and learning to be profane. It further leaves them with no coping skills, no moral, spiritual or intellectual framework, and worst of all, no vision of greatness for themselves!Those are the legacies of what we now call “socialization.” But they don't have to be. The most important factor in the socialization of children is the intense, concerned involvement of their parents. Our kids' friends are not the instruments of change, for they are in need of change themselves.But if we love them all intensely, our own and the ones who visit our homes, socialization will be exactly what we hope for it to be. No, I don't worry about socialization. It's going just fine.Ed Leap is a physician and writer. He lives in Tamassee and can be reached at drdagger@juno.com or www.edwinleap.com.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What we're doing this year....

What are we doing this year?  Well, we're getting prepared to move.  But, in the meantime we're meeting with a community co-op and participating in a wonderful group of homeschooling families.  We have several parents teaching courses this year; in math, science, writing, history, government and music.  We are so thankful for all who give of their time to mentor other students.  This is a great group of students and parents who are similar-minded in their quest for true education and learning from the best books.

All of us give of our time in one way or another. As we all work together in helping each other our resources are expanded.

We all do much at home as we seek to build self-starters and those with a quest for life-long learning.  Each child has different strengths and weaknesses, talents and abilities, desires and learning styles.  The benefit of homeschooling and co-ops is the flexibility of the forum.  It's not a one-size-fits-all as is public education.

I recently talked to a teacher in a neighboring county whose district has had to cut teachers'.  Her class size is now to 38.  She says that it's mostly 'crowd control'.  She doesn't have the time nor ability to really teach as she'd like.  (Plus, may I add, the textbooks are watered down.  That's a blog for a different day.)  :)

For more information on our philosophy visit our other blog;  http://homeschoollist.blogspot.com/