Who oversees whom?

In the ongoing debate of whether or not the government should increase regulations on homeschooling, Dana Henley, author of the Principled Discover blog, makes an excellent point:

Will there occasionally be a homeschooler who abuses this freedom?  Certainly.  Just as there have been priests who have taken liberties with children while in their positions of trust and just as there have been teachers in public schools who have done the same.  And just as my neighbors could be dealing drugs for all anyone knows.  But how much power are we willing to grant the state in order to monitor the possibility of wrongdoing?

In a free society, it is the citizen who is vigilant in overseeing the state, not the state in overseeing the individual.

Who’s job is oversight, anyway?  Forget that no evidence shows the government regulation benefits homeschooled children, this cuts to the heart of the debate.  This country was built on a government of the people.  We oversee the government.  We provide checks and balances.

http://principleddiscover.com

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Nurturing Brave Writers

Writing is dear to my heart.  From literature class to journalism to blogging, I seek out every opportunity to make my thoughts gel in written form. 

Because of this strong background, I’ve never been scared of the thought of teaching my own children to write.  Through homeschooling I’ve had various levels of success at doing this.  Each child has his own personality and voice, and none of them actually dread the “w” word.  Even then, I still seek out expert advice and welcome help from those more skilled and experienced than myself.

Which is why I’m sooooo excited that Julie Bogart of Brave Writer, Inc. has agreed to hold a live, in-person seminar on Nurturing Brave Writers here in Wichita Falls.  Woo hoo!  Yippee!  My pencils are sharpened. 🙂

If you’re a homeschooler anywhere in the North Texas/Southern Oklahoma area, you should check this out.  She specializes not just in teaching kids to write, but in teaching moms to teach their kids to write.  She also refreshes and energizes the homeschooling soul.  It’s worth the drive. 

http://www.bravewriter.com/workshop_2008.html

Hope to see you in the Falls.

Dear Mr. Obama (a commentary by a US veteran)

I have the utmost respect for the military, folks who sacrifice so much for the safety and peace of others.  This is a moving testimony by an American hero about why Obama calling the Iraq war a “mistake” is such an insult to the work and sacrifices they have put in, and the victories and progress so dearly purchased.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4fe9GlWS8

Be sure to watch the very end.

Sarah Palin

Tonight I told my daughter she could grow up to be the Vice President of the United States.  Sarah Palin slammed Obama in the kneecaps tonight, and did it with a pretty smile.  Women in politics!

And I ordered that Palin t shirt, too.

Reading the signs

I can tell that it’s the first day of school just by looking in my front closet.  The pencil box is too stuffed to close and the stack of spiral notebooks overflows the shelf like a levee in New Orleans.  It won’t take long before those spirals get distributed to different kids, different subjects, different shelves and consumed.  The pencils will scatter like dandelion seeds in spring.  I’m never quite sure what happens to the pencils.  By mid-semester, they get rare.  I have to search 15 for one that’s long to wrap my hand around, add another 10 minutes if you want one that isn’t broken. 

But somehow they all return home to the pencil box in time for the new school year.  Maybe they aren’t the same pencils.  I can picture them like spiders creeping around in dark corners and under beds, hiding for months, then laying egg sacs and thousands of them suddenly spring out.  Crazy pencils. 

Let’s get this school year going.  I’ve got pencils.  Who wants to be educated?