News Nov. 22-28

Number of homeschoolers in DC is increasing.

Same thing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Radio Boston explores the growth here, in a fair interview which came out after this Boston Magazine article. The Boston magazine article asks a question which I think is interesting:

More and more of Boston’s smartest families are opting out of the education system to homeschool their children. Is this the new model for creating elite kids?

Helicopter Parenting is Really a Symptom of Underparenting.

Ms. Bateman argues that the term “helicopter parenting” is far too simplistic to cover the vast array and complexity of parent-child relationships. She says parents spend less time than ever with their kids today, and could be making up for that loss with over-involvement during the time they actually are with their kids.

Her theory supports anecdotal evidence from my circle of homeschooling friends who tend to let their kids take more risks than most parents. How does your anecdotal evidence weigh in here?

On the plus side, the stats support homeschooling:

Research shows that students who are raised and educated by their parents through home education are highly successful in their postsecondary studies. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, studies show that homeschoolers who go on to college outperform their peers.

But for those kids not being homeschooled, Bateman says “[We] must pay more attention to the caregivers who help shoulder the responsibility of making kids succeed or fail.” How can we help daycare, after school, and other providers help kids learn to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and thus reduce the rampant over sensitivity we’re seeing in millennials? It seems to me, this would include some revamping of parents’ thinking on liability law.

To end, Bateman describes a friend’s novel:

Michael Anderson’s “Provoke Not the Children” describes a daunting dystopia where parents are no longer considered adequate at raising children. Instead, at a young age, the children are turned over to child-rearing professionals. What a strange, disjointed world it appears to be.

College’s cost:benefit ratio way off

And some colleges are skewing the numbers to make it look like fewer of their grads are suffocating under student loans.

From 2005 to 2012, average student loan debt has jumped 35 percent, while the median salary has dropped 2.2 percent, according to the New America Foundation.

Child Development Expert Critiques Early Childhood Education

We all share a common vision: Education is a human right and every child deserves one. An excellent, free education where learning is meaningful – with arts, play, engaging projects, and the chance to learn citizenship skills so that children can one day participate — actively and consciously – in this increasingly fragile democracy.

These words from Nancy Carlsson-Paige, recent recipient of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing’s Deborah Meier award. You can read her speech here.

It’s always encouraging to me to see movement within public education toward humanizing our nation’s children. With, as the article notes, the Gates Foundation spending $200 million to mobilize Common Core and all the testing that has followed, we know it’s an uphill battle to reduce testing in schools. I choose to homeschool for many reasons, but one of them is how I know my high-anxiety kid would crumble under so much manadory testing.

For those public school teachers, administrators, and staff who remain within the system fighting for children (and fighting for the ability to treat children as children), keep up the good work, brothers and sisters. America’s families need you.

Eleven-Year-Old organizes shoe donations for Africa

What a great way to practice leadership and learn to be a servant of others.

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