30 July 2009

SCV Scholarship Winner Announced

Back in March, I posted some comments about a new Sons of Confederate Veterans scholarship. I was asked to serve as committee chairman, set guidelines and rules, and choose a panel of judges. This scholarship program will run through the duration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

I am now pleased to announce our winner . . .

South Carolina student wins SCV scholarship

The Army of Northern Virginia of the International Sons of Confederate Veterans is pleased to announce that Michael C. Griffin, Jr., of Hanahan, South Carolina, has won the ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA SESQUICENTENNIAL SCHOLARSHIP for 2009. In addition to a financial award of $1000, the winning essay will be published in Confederate Veteran Magazine, a publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Mr. Griffin is a recent graduate of Northside Christian School in North Charleston, South Carolina and will be attending The Citadel in the fall.

The winning essay was titled “A Natural Leader” and deals with the actions of Robert E. Lee in dealing with the 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, by abolitionist John Brown.

The ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA SCHOLARSHIP is awarded annually to a high school senior. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote history in our schools. Only students living in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are eligible for the award. I hope to have a more formal announcement soon as well as information on the scholarship for 2010.

29 July 2009

Bailing Out Journalism?

These clowns look to their masters to save them. If they would simply quit lying and serving as stenographers for the government, they wouldn't need saving. The reason they've lost audience and relevancy is because most Americans no longer trust them - and with good cause. How utterly degrading - the Press asking the federal government to "save them." The statist media are already lap dogs to government; you reckon they might be somewhat beholden to Big Brother for their salvation if this happens?

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that I shed my ink for thee,
and that thou bidst me lie for thee,
O Big Brother, I come, I come.

Celebrating A Terrorist?

"John Brown was, in effect, a terrorist. Whether you agree or that what he was doing was right or not. There are people in the Taliban who believe what they're doing is right." ~ Gerry Gaumer, spokesman for the Park Service in Washington, D.C.

John Brown a terrorist? Not according to the Summit County Historical Society of Ohio:

"In honor of the 150th Commemoration of the raid at Harpers Ferry by the famous abolitionist John Brown, Summit County Historical Society will host several Open Houses at the site of John Brown’s former home located at 514 Diagonal Road . . . He was a talented farmer, tanner, surveyor, and shepherd who was liked for his honesty and feared for his strong beliefs." (Emphasis mine).

We so often hear from those who focus on criticizing "celebratory history" in regards to Confederate heroes and so-called "Lost Causers." But the silence and lack of criticism in regards to "Holy Causers" and celebrating the life of a terrorist is deafening. It is also instructive. Will we hear the same mocking, snarky, comments about "hero worship" in regards to John Brown? Don't hold your breath. Righteous indignation from certain quarters of academia is quite selective. Where I come from, we call that hypocrisy.

See my previous posts here and here on this subject.

27 July 2009

The Health Care Plan Will Cost You Freedoms

I've been having a debate here, and in some email exchanges elsewhere, with those who simply can't accept the truth about what's going on in Washington. These individuals are so invested - emotionally, psychologically, and philosophically - into President Obama's agenda that they just cannot bring themselves to face what is so obvious to anyone who looks at that agenda with an objective eye - this is especially the case regarding the health care debate. But some are beginning to wake up - even CNN. Here's a recent headline on their website:

"5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform: If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear."

Read the complete story here. And Obama's plan will not save any money, as he keeps claiming. And that assertion comes from the objective review of the Congressional Budget Office. Darn those facts.

Future historians will marvel at what we're seeing unfold right before our eyes.

Quote Of The Day

On the "bipartisan effort" to pass "healthcare reform":

"The only thing bipartisan about the measure so far is the opposition to it." ~ Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

25 July 2009

George Washington Carver Documentary

Franklin Springs Family Media, the film company that produced Still Standing ~ The Stonewall Jackson Story (based primarily on my book about Stonewall Jackson and his black Sunday School class), is wrapping up production on a new documentary about George Washington Carver. Check out the sneak preview trailer below with commentary by historian and biographer, John Perry:

24 July 2009

States Rigths Raised Over Healthcare Debacle

"Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be "disastrous" for Texas."

Story here.

Who Is The Stupid One?

In a press conference this week, President Obama said the Cambridge, Mass. police department "acted stupidly" in their arrest of Harvard Professor Louis Gates. After his comments erupted in a firestorm of criticism from various law-enforcement interests across the Nation, Obama did an interview with ABC to try and qualify his statement. In that interview, Obama said:

"I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who's in his own home."

That is an ignorant and stupid statement. It is proper protocol and procedure, and follows nationalized standards in law-enforcement, that whenever a person becomes combative and/or is placed under arrest (as was the case with Gates), he/she is to be handcuffed. Period, end of story. This is done for safety reasons to protect both the accused and law-enforcement officers. Handcuffing Gates was the proper thing to do - his age, use of a cane, or where he was located is irrelevant. Obama is supposed to be a brilliant lawyer so he should know that. Maybe he's not so brilliant. Maybe he thinks cops should treat persons differently based on who they are.

The President also made another ignorant and stupid statement recently in his infomercial about healthcare. In his "healthcare press conference" earlier this week, Dr. Obama made this comment:

"Right now, doctors a lot of times are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that's out there. So if they're looking and you come in and you've got a bad sore throat or your child has a bad sore throat or has repeated sore throats, the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, "You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out."

You would think the man who claims to be the architect and genius on socializing our healthcare would know that pediatricians have not been taking tonsils out for about 50 years now. Kids who may need that surgery are most often referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

The President is talking and acting stupidly. Perhaps he needs some time away from Joe Biden. Perhaps he needs an education.

**Update: I just heard part of an interview with Officer Crowley. If his account is accurate and the 911 tapes confirm that, Professor Gates and President Obama have a huge public relations nightmare on their hands.

**Update 2: Things are heating up. Police demand apology. This is not going to go away any time soon.

Back to some history and Civil War blogging soon, I promise. Some upcoming posts:

* The Dominance of Southern Culture

* Grading the Professors

20 July 2009

Wrong Side Of History Part 3

More evidence that this administration is on the wrong side of history. The WSJ folks must read my blog. ;o)

To qutoe the WSJ:

". . . yet another sign that the Obama administration is on the wrong side of history."

Read the whole piece here.

Oakwood Cemetery Update

Six upright markers were placed this past week at Oakwood Confederate Cemetery. (See previous posts here.)

As part of the agreement with the City of Richmond, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is to only install upright markers in consecutive rows, section by section and not randomly. This will be a massive undertaking and requires much planning and additional research confirming and documenting names and the proper burial plots at Oakwood.

The six upright markers that were installed at Oakwood were ordered several years ago by their ancestors and/or at the request of the (SCV) Oakwood Cemetery Committee. The committee got the verbal okay from the city to install the six existing upright markers that had been in storage for some time.

Unofficially, it has been mentioned by some of the cemetery workers that the Confederate section in Oakwood will be turned over to the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans on August 1st. With God's blessing that the final signatures will be obtained within the week, we can get to the business of properly marking these Confederate American veterans which is long overdue.

17 July 2009

On The Wrong Side Of History?

Does the United States still support the universal yearning for freedom and liberty? If so, we are missing a historic opportunity to do so. Why?

"Tens of thousands of government opponents packed Iran's main Islamic prayer sermon Friday, chanting "freedom, freedom" and other slogans as their top clerical backer Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered a sermon bluntly criticizing the country's leadership over the crackdown on election protests. Outside, police and pro-government Basiji militiamen fired tear gas and charges thousands of protesters who chanted "death to the dictator" and called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to resign. Dozens were arrested, piled in trucks and taken away, witnesses said."

When in the course of human events . . .

It would appear that the current political class in power prefers ever-increasing statist control over freedom and liberty.

Story here.

16 July 2009

Boxer Gets Put In Her Place

Finally, someone with the guts to challenge one of these elitist members of the American Politburo. Harry Alford takes Senator Boxer to school. And, no it's not "friendly" Senator, you are an arrogant, know-nothing, power-hungry, politician and you make me sick. Harry Alford for President!

Homeschooling Follow Up

For more evidence of homeschooling's growing popularity and acceptance, I offer the following:

"The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) passed new scholarship eligibility guidelines on July 14, 2009. Homeschooled applicants for the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program may now submit SAT scores of 900 and above and ACT scores of 19 and above as an alternative to a homeschool GPA."

After years of being unjustly discriminated against, homeschoolers now share the same access to these funds as do other school children in Virginia. Does this mean the state is guilty of encouraging child abuse?


Story here.

14 July 2009

Thought For The Day

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” ~ T.S. Eliot

12 July 2009

Is Homeschooling Child Abuse?

It is according to some comments posted at Kevin Levin's Civil War Memory blog, to wit:

"The real tragedy is to see the children who are the product of homeschooling. Yes, there is evidence to suggest that *some homeschooled kids out perform their public school peers, but I’ve taught a number of these kids over the past eight years and it isn’t pretty. Most of the kids I’ve taught with this background find it very difficult to adjust to a school community. Many haven’t spent enough time learning how to interact with their peers, but the biggest disappointment is to watch them in the classroom. The kids I’ve taught are very obedient and well-behaved, but try to get them to question what they read or what the teacher says and you will end up pulling your hair out. They were never taught to formulate their own ideas or to see school as an opportunity to develop their own views about things. It’s very sad. I’ve seen up close what happens to kids who are taught to see US History as “God’s plan”. In a previous comment someone said that it reminds them of child abuse and I couldn’t agree more." ~ Kevin Levin (Emphasis mine). *Try most. See graph below: How Do Homeschool Students Score?

And this baseless comment from a reader . . .

"If you think about it, Kevin, what you saw in these kids is inevitable. Many parents who insist on home-schooling their kids have a set of beliefs which they don’t *want* their kids to question or dispute, and that is what they see school as being for: The simple transmission of information. So the kids get a double-whammy: Not only are they taught ridiculous junk, but they are taught that none of it should be questioned."

And more misinformation:

"The problem is compounded for kids who are homeschooled early on and than [sic] have to adjust to a classroom like mine. Much of what I do is organized around discussion and debate. I want my students to question one another and me as part of a process that will lead them to their own conclusions about what they read. But look at this from the perspective of a homeschooled child. They’ve little exposure to debate and/or the questioning of authority figures. So, they come to my class not having questioned their parents and are not inclined to challenge me and they are surrounded by students who take such a stance for granted even if not all of them exercise it." ~ KL (Emphasis mine).

And more misleading comments from another reader . . .

"I can’t tell which of my students now were homeschooled (though I sometimes have my suspicions) but a few years ago I worked in a museum and we had students on tours from public schools, private schools, and homeschooled. One of our docents described the homeschooled kids as “little robots.” The public school kids were the least well behaved but they tended to ask the best questions. An unscientific survey certainly, but I much preferred the more rambunctious public school kids." (Emphasis mine).

"Little robots", huh? How nice. Well-behaved children are "little robots" while those misbehaving are simply "rambunctious." Uh-huh. Certainly no bias against homeschoolers here.

And yet another reader used the term "religious and regional numbnuts in Dixieland" to characterize certain religious Southerners. Isn't that nice? Nothing like open-mindedness and the embracing of diversity from academia. You'll notice that no one objected to that bigoted characterization. Of course, South-bashing and Christian-bashing is just a figment of our imagination.

I must say that many of the comments in this post contain some of the most non-thinking, cliched, scripted, ill-informed, prejudiced, intolerant, narrow-minded, and intellectually dishonest (Did I miss anything?) ideas and thoughts I've ever seen expressed in regard to homeschooling. What began ostensibly as a critique of John Dwyer's book, The War Between the States: America's Uncivil War, descended quickly into a rather dark homeschooling/Christian parent-bashing free for all. The comments noted above went way beyond any reference to Dwyer's book and it is those comments that are the subject of this post. The broad and baseless generalizations expressed in the comments, and the shallow thought process that went into them, betray a number of things about those who wrote them: fear of what they do not understand, as well as a resistance to embrace positive change in educational trends--specifically homeschooling.

Those making these comments are obviously unaware of recent studies, statistics, the astounding successes, and trends involving homeschooling. All of these ill-informed mischaracterizations were disproven years ago and are outdated. The only thing these comments prove is that those who wrote them are clueless about homeschooling and its broad acceptance and continued explosive growth in the United States. The comments quoted also reveal an underlying current of rigid, elitist thinking regarding the teaching of children i.e. - "Leave it to us experts." The ignorance expressed in the comments about one of the most successful educational options in modern America is jaw-dropping astonishing; even more so when you consider many of these comments came from those who are educators and members of academia.

Before I respond to the comments, allow me to give you a little background about my family and our own experience with homeschooling. Most who read this blog with any regularity know that my wife and I homeschooled 4 of our 6 children and that I am an enthusiastic proponent of homeschooling. Our two oldest children's education was comprised of a combination of some public, but primarily private school with our son finishing his last two years of high school at a military school. So, in addition to homeschooling, we've had plenty of experience with the diverse options for education available to most Americans. I know more than a little about that which I'll be commenting. Moreover, my wife would concur that homeschooling our 4 youngest children was one of the most rewarding experiences we've had in our 50+ years. We would most assuredly do it all over again - only we would have started sooner.

Three of our four youngest children were educated through a combination of a private Christian school and homeschooling, with our youngest child being educated solely through homeschooling. One of these 4 children is now a lead teacher at a private Christian school in our area and our youngest child was accepted into Patrick Henry College, a very selective and highly respected school which caters to homeschoolers. She decided not to attend PHC and now, in addition to being a wife, mother, and helping my wife in her business, is pursuing her degree part time. She's written columns for our local paper and elsewhere as well. We began homeschooling our youngest son when he was 12 and he had originally planned on attending Virginia Military Institute. He changed his mind when VMI was forced to go co-ed. He started his own business when he was 17 and today is a very successful farrier, husband, and father of two. Our other daughter whom we homeschooled is a mother of two and married to a pastor who serves a church in Canada. I consider our efforts in teaching our children a success and we are grateful to God for His blessings on our family.

Now, let me address some of the comments noted above. Levin writes that most of the homeschool children he's encountered "find it very difficult to adjust to a school community" as if that's the purpose of their life up to that point - to prepare them to adjust to his classroom or to a "school community". Rather presumptuous, wouldn't you say? Why would one assume everyone is going to accept the premise that herding 20-30 into an institutional classroom setting where a stranger presides over their education is something worth adjusting to? Why would one assume that there is only one definition of "school community?" We could turn it around and say that children coming out of a public school would have difficulty adjusting to a "homeschool setting." What's the point? His comment is a rather weak straw man to shoot down, but let's acknowledge that many children often have trouble adjusting to new settings when changing school environments, moving, etc. So what? The comment proves absolutely nothing and is meaningless. Besides, I could cite numerous cases where homeschooled children who moved to a private or public school were well-advanced of their peers and who had no trouble adjusting, except they felt somewhat stifled by the rigidity of a traditional classroom setting - not always the best atmosphere for learning. So let's move on to the next straw man.

Then Levin trots out the old worn-out concern over "socialization" - "Many haven’t spent enough time learning how to interact with their peers, but the biggest disappointment is to watch them in the classroom." That baseless charge has been disproven so many times that you rarely even see it brought up any more. Recent research totally refutes that old phony concern. Only those who are uninformed about the subject, or pushing an agenda, would still attempt to present it as a concern. The comment conjures up images of poor, lifeless children locked in a spartan basement by cruel parents who forbid their children to interact with anyone other than their parents or siblings, and who never venture outside their "agrarian farmstead." It is utterly ridiculous and baseless. The positive comments we most often received about our homeschooled children were in regards to their level of maturity and behavior. If they had any trouble "interacting with their peers" it was because they sometimes thought the silly, immature conduct of some of them was not something with which they wished to interact. In other words, many other children their age were behind in their emotional and social development due to the fact they spent so much of their time "with their peers" and emulated immature, youthful behavior. I find rejecting silly behavior to be a positive, not a negative. The point of education, in our view, is to prepare young people to serve God, their fellow man, and become productive members of society and not so that they can "interact with their peers" - that's nothing but distracting psycho-babble. All of my children had lots of friends their age while growing up, got along just fine with them, and still do.

As for "socialization," most homeschooling families, including ours and that of my oldest daughter, get as much or more interaction with other children as does any other child in America. While our children were being homeschooled, they were very involved in numerous church activities, ministered to shut-ins at nursing homes, lobbied legislators, attended church camps, participated in 4H clubs and competitions, took music lessons and competed against other children, attended music camps, competed in spelling bees, went with other homeschooling families on joint field trips, etc, etc, etc. The socialization homeschooled kids receive, in most cases, is far more diverse and educational than what many children receive in the rigid, bureaucratic "box" mentality of government schools; or many private schools for that matter.

The church our oldest daughter (who holds a bachelor's degree in education and is state certified to teach) attends sponsors a homeschool "co-op" where families meet every Friday for joint activities and field trips. Scores of children show up, along with their parents, every week. Just more "religious and regional numbnuts in Dixieland" I suppose.

Levin continued with "try to get them to question what they read or what the teacher says and you will end up pulling your hair out. They were never taught to formulate their own ideas or to see school as an opportunity to develop their own views about things. It’s very sad."

Actually, what's sad is that someone would actually try to make their case with such a baseless accusation. Maybe it's the teach
er who can't relate with students from a different background than what he or she is accustomed to. Why should anyone assume the children are the ones with the problem? It's certainly true that homeschooled children are often more courteous and respectful of authority than many of their peers and might be hesitant to challenge a teacher. That is not necessarily a bad thing - to a point. But I've found quite the opposite to be true regarding questioning ideas and authority among homeschooled children. None of my children are afraid to question authority - respectfully - when warranted. Lord knows they've questioned mine more times than I'd like to remember.

Case in point. A couple of years ago, my youngest son and his wife took their first daughter to their pediatrician. My son was in his early twenties. His daughter was experiencing some digestive problems and the Doc, after a very brief examination, prescribed a strong anti-acid medication. My son objected and started asking the Dr. about side affects, how often did he prescribe this drug to infants, why so quick to prescribe medicine without first considering a change in diet, he wanted another opinion, etc. My son told me the Dr. very intently stared at him for a moment and then asked, "You were homeschooled, weren't you?" My son, a little shocked replied, "Well, yes I was, but why do you ask?" The Dr. answered, "Because 99% of young parents I talk with NEVER question my opinions or treatments. Every time someone your age does, I discover they've been homeschooled." Turns out my son was right, by the way. They altered my grandaughter's diet somewhat and that resolved the problem. I could give other similar incidents regarding my other children but, suffice it to say, the notion homeschooled children are "little robots" or were never taught to think for themselves and challenge authority is nothing less than cliched, ill-informed nonsense. It is an offensive, demeaning, and agenda-driven insult.

"Develop their own views?" Is anyone really naive enough to think that education takes place in a vacuum? The views of the teacher and educational philosophy is always part of the environment - to one degree or another. Certainly no one would be silly enough to suggest that whoever is doing the teaching is not "steering" their pupil in a certain directio
n. Yes, we want children to think for themselves and form their own opinions, but every teacher influences their pupil in one direction or another, whether you wish to admit it or not.

"I’ve seen up close what happens to kids who are taught to see US History as “God’s plan”. Mr. Levin calls teaching this view of history "child abuse." Child abuse! Wow. I'll tell you what I've seen. I've seen many of these kids (including my own) who are taught a Christian worldview of history grow up to be productive members of society who are active in their church and who give back to their communities. I've also seen that many of these kids are much less gullible to leftist propaganda and lying politicians who wish to limit and take away their freedom (which is one of the main reasons educational bureaucrats don't like homeschooling).

Whether elitists want to accept it or not, there are millions of Christians in the United States who believe that God's providence directs history and that all nations are a part of His plan. Being intolerant of those views is nothing new, but such beliefs are certainly common among Christians and not outside the mainstream. To suggest that teaching that all of history, including US history, is part of "God's plan" is a form of child abuse is an extreme, radical position to stake out. That position truly is outside the mainstream.

And if you think its only Christians who believe that public schools are involved in propagandazing children, think again. The following comment comes from the Atheist Homeschool Blog:

"I didn’t like the way the kids were taught to be followers instead of leaders. [Uh, does she mean "robots?"] I didn’t like how they downplayed the importance of families. I didn’t like how filled all the curriculum was with governmental propaganda and the social agendas being pushed upon the children."

Homeschooling is the most positive, cutting edge revolution taking place in education. It has grown from what was once considered a "fringe movement" to being very mainstream, acceptable, and practiced across diverse political and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is, in the truest sense, a "people's movement" - taking place from the bottom up and, quite literally, has turned the failed traditions of conformity in government and private education on their collective heads. To be so ignorant of a stunningly successful educational movement involving hundreds of thousands of Americans, especially when that information is so readily available, reveals a willful blindness to the truth or an overt attempt to suppress it.

Not surprisingly, those who wish to impugn, demean, suppress, and downplay the success of homeschooling are usually those who have a vested interest in doing so - protecting their turf. Teachers and administrators in traditional educational settings are no doubt feeling a little threatened by the competition - with good reason.

Homeschoolers have the means to provide a quality - and often superior - education for their children at a fraction of the cost without exposing their children to drugs, violence, political correctness, and wasted time that is so often the case in both public and private school settings.

The other overriding concern of many statists in big-education is the fact homeschooling prevents "the machine" from indoctrinating the minds of children with liberal and progressive philosophies, leftist ideologies, moral relativism, Darwinism, and other things to which many parents would object. As already noted, it is an elitist mindset that is anti-freedom and anti-liberty. And, according to all the studies, does not include the best interest of the child as its motivation. For every child who is homeschooled, that translates into less money going to the public school locality which means less money for salaries, bigger facilities, sports programs, etc., etc. This has been pointed out over and over and I've had public school teachers and administrators admit this to me - on the condition of anonymity, of course. It's all about money and control.

Below, I've included some information which was in an article written by Dr. Brian D. Ray. It has some excellent information and statistics about homeschooling-- all verifiable. I've also included some links for those who are interested in finding out more about homeschooling.


Homeschooling – that is, parent-led home-based education – is an age-old traditional educational practice that a decade ago appeared to be cutting-edge and “alternative” but is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. Home-based education has also growing around the world in many other nations (e.g., Australia, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, and the United Kingdom).

There are about 2 million home-educated students in the United States. There were an estimated 1.8 to 2.5 million children (in grades K to 12) home educated during 2007-2008 in the United States. It appears the homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 5% to 12% per annum over the past few years).

Families engaged in home-based education are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children’s education. The finances associated with their homeschooling likely represent over $16 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend since these children are not in public schools

Homeschooling is quickly growing in popularity among minorities. About 15% of homeschool families are non-white/nonHispanic (i.e., not white/Anglo).

A demographically wide variety of people homeschool – these are atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas.

Reasons for Home Educating

Most parents and youth decide to homeschool for more than one reason.

The most common reasons given for homeschooling are the following:

· customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child,

· accomplish more academically than in schools,

· use pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools,

· enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings,

· provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults,

· provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and

· teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth.

Academic Performance

* The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (Percentiles range from 1 to 99 on these tests.)

* Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.

* Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.

* Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.

* Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.

* Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges. [I found this to be the case with all of my homeschooled children.]

Social, Emotional, and Psychological Development

* The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem. (Emphasis mine.)

* Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.

Gender Differences in Children and Youth Respected?

* One researcher finds that homeschooling gives young people an unusual chance to ask questions such as, “Who am I?” and “What do I really want?,” and through the process of such asking and gradually answering the questions home-educated girls develop the strengths and the resistance abilities that give them an unusually strong sense of self.

* Some think that boys’ energetic natures and tendency to physical expression can more easily be accommodated in home-based education. Many are concerned that a highly disproportionate number of public school special-education students are boys and that boys are 2.5 times as likely as girls in public schools to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Success in the “Real World” of Adulthood

The research based on adults who were home educated is growing; thus far it indicates that they:

* participate in local community service more frequently than does the general population,

* vote and attend public meetings more frequently than the general population, and

* go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population.

* internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a very high rate.


The above findings are extensively documented in one or more of the following sources, all (except one) of which are available from www.nheri.org:

· A Homeschool Research Story, Brian. D. Ray, 2005, in Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader.

· A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls. Susannah Sheffer, 1995.

· Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and Other Traits, Brian D. Ray, 2004.

· Home schooling: The Ameliorator of Negative Influences on Learning, Brian D. Ray, Peabody Journal of Education, 2000, v. 75 no. 1 & 2, pp. 71-106.

· Homeschoolers on to College: What Research Shows Us, by Brian D. Ray, Journal of College Admission, 2004, No. 185, 5-11.

· National Education Association. (2005). Rankings and estimates: A Report of School Statistics Update. Retrieved 7/10/06 online http://www.nea.org/edstats/images/05rankings-update.pdf.

· The Truth About Boys and Girls. Sara Mead, 2006.

· Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling, Brian D. Ray, 2005.

Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. is an internationally known researcher, educator, speaker, and expert witness, and serves as president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute. He has taught as a certified teacher in public and private schools and served as a professor in the fields of science, research methods, and education at the graduate and undergraduate levels. His Ph.D. is in science education from Oregon State University and his M.S. is in zoology from Ohio University. Dr. Ray has been studying the homeschool movement for about 24 years.

Recommended Links:

State regulation of homeschooling doesn't help test scores
Home School Legal Defense
National Black Home Educators
Jewish Home Educators Network
American Homeschooling Association
Homeschool World
Secular Homeschooling
Virginia Homeschool Groups - (Over 150 of them)

Even elitists will have trouble with the overwhelming tsunami of research and evidence that proves homeschooling is working extremely well for thousands of Christian and non-Christian families and, in many ways, producing superior results for the children involved. Not exactly what I'd call child abuse.
Note: Anyone wanting to comment on this particular post must stay on topic. I won't post any comments, pro or con, that I deem intended to distract, obfuscate, or stray from the topic; including any comments, pro or con, about Dwyer's book. This post is not about Dwyer's book, it is specifically about the negative comments regarding homeschooling. If you wish to comment about Dwyer's book, do so on Kevin's blog. Other than that, I'll take all comers. Come prepared.

I understand that there are many good, dedicated teachers and administrators working in the government school systems. I know several of them personally. My comments are not meant to be a criticism of their work or their efforts. They work hard, love their jobs, sacrifice for their students and are doing the very best they can in a system that is, in many instances, working against them. I hope they make a positive difference and pray God's very best for them.

08 July 2009

Should She Be Impeached?

"Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." (Emphasis mine) ~ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Elitist snob. Exactly which populations does Ms. Ginsburg not "want to have too many of?" Doesn't anyone find that comment shocking? Notice that the NYT reporter didn't bother to follow up. How in the world did that comment get by the reporter and through the editing process? Am I missing something here?

I wonder if we'll hear an outcry from the left and calls for her resignation - nah. Its ok to suggest this kind of thing if you happen to be an elitist and a leftist. The indignation of the left is always selective which is why they have no credibility.

06 July 2009

Yeah, What About Arlington?

We could always drape a cloth over the crosses and sandblast all the Scripture verses.

Independence Day Follow Up

1960's radicals. The same types who now control Congress and the state-run media. What do you think about that baseball play Michael? ;o)

02 July 2009

The Wisdom (sometimes) Of Garrison Keillor

"We see the world clearly when we are children and we spend the rest of our lives trying to remember what it was we saw." ~ Garrison Keillor

"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." - The words of Christ, Matthew 18:3

Is A College Degree Worthless?

"I'm not arguing against higher learning but for it -- and against the degree system that stands in its way." ~ From SmartMoney

See full article here.

01 July 2009

More Celebrating John Brown

We so often hear criticism today about "celebratory history" - especially if those celebrations involve Confederate war heroes. However, the silence regarding the "celebration" of John Brown is deafening. See my previous post regarding this here.

Now, read this story about the recent unveiling of a plaque about John Brown.

I think the plaque in this story is certainly appropriate and is done very well. Ironically, the print story refers to John Brown being "celebrated" while Tim Riford (the man unveiling the plaque) refers to the marines who "saved the day" [at Harper's Ferry]. Hmmm . . . the United States Marines, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee, "saved the day" against someone who is being "celebrated?" I'm confused.

Well-known Harper's Ferry park historian, Dennis Frye, was at this "celebration" about John Brown while another park historian, Gerry Gaumer, recently referred to Brown as a terrorist and compared his actions to those of the Taliban.

Perhaps they're just offering something for everyone? Could we be seeing a new tone of reconciliation?