Friday, April 11, 2008

What's my password?

It's been so long since I blogged I thought I'd forgotten my password, thank God it is all linked in my Google account!

I do want to continue to blog, to log my thoughts and observations and activities of learning. Lots of that is going on, but I've gotten out of the habit of reflecting on it. I guess I've been busy reflecting on other things. We returned last week from a trip to NC during which my DH and his brother cleared out the storage unit with all of Bill's things. We also looked through many pictures and hard to believe but there were more letters than pictures. It was humorous and sad. We all still miss him. I know for Erin there were many things she wished to talk to him about. He would have been so proud of her learning Gaelic. He once told me he wished he had studied it himself. Life pushes forward and yet pieces and people from the past keep coming back. Much too much to get into here, but we must keep pushing forward and refuse to be pulled back.

So, here's hoping that thoughts and energies can once again return to reflecting about the here and now, the precious days of my children's youth and their boundless energy and their learning.


  • At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi! I dreamt of your wonderful children last night! How funny that I awoke to a rare blog from you!

    Are you going to Morris today?


  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger David Black said…

    I wonder what academic training and state issued teaching certification you possess that allows you to believe that you can do better than a professional in teaching your kids.

    You live in the Philly area? There are plenty of quality private schools if the publics aren't up to par.

    I hope you know that this whole unschooling movement is an extension of an unchecked ego and indulging a Loser-tarian streak.

    It's in reality more about the parents than it is about the children.

  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger Kathy said…

    Not expecting that you will check back for my response, Mr. Black. But if you do...

    Pa doesn't require certification for homeschooling. Private schools in PA are also not required to have certified or "trained" teachers.

    That said, I have a BS in Chemical Engineering and have read widely on many many subjects including early childhood education and learning. My husband is a PA state certified teacher and administrator with nearly 20 years experience along with degrees from the most highly rated colleges and universities in the country. He thinks I'm doing just fine and assists and advises in the subject areas that are his expertise.

    He is well acquainted with what is involved in professional teaching and much of it is unnecessary when dealing with a class of three. We know of several homeschooling moms who have gone on to get certified after their experience with their own children and are now professional teachers.

    I don't know how you found my blog or what your purpose was in posting a comment. I hope you honestly want to learn more about something that it seems you currently smugly dismiss.

    I have not met any homeschooling parent that has undertaken this task lightly.

  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger David Black said…

    I don't take the subject too lightly. either, since there's massive fraud out there with untrained and non-certified teachers thinking they know more.

    Anyone can pump a kid full of information and expect them to spit it back out by rote.

    How does a untrained and non-certified person know of any strategies to have the kid internalize that information and synthesize it?

    "Pa doesn't require certification for homeschooling."

    What a shame, since PA requires the most rigorous of training and testing too become a certified teacher to begin with.

    "Private schools in PA are also not required to have certified or "trained" teachers."

    I know for a fact that the best private K-12 schools in the Philly area now require certification from applicants.

    You can read all the books you want, Kathy, it doesn't qualify you. I could read every engineering textbook and that wouldn't qualify me to be an engineer, would it?

    What should stop me from practicing medicine if I've read a few medical textbooks?

    I'm simply applying the twisted logic of the typical homeschooling parent.

  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger David Black said…

    "I don't know more than a certified teacher about how to teach a class of 30 kids."

    The same possibly applies to a class of three.

    " I do know my kids and their learning style better than any certified teacher ever will."

    But you aren't trained to address those learning styles using strategies that can only be learned first in an accredited institute of higher learning.

    " I can also individualize the subject matter and method of instruction in many many more ways than a teacher with a class of 30 kids or even 15 can do."

    Without adhering to PA state or national standards, how can you be so sure?

    What training do you possess allows you to construct an effective assessment?

    "I will reiterate that my husband has experience, expertise and training in both subject matter and educational pedagogy and he would be saying these things, so don't consider them only as my "untrained" opinion."

    Your ego prevents you from grasping the obvious.

    I've already expressed the illogic of the autodidactic student who proclaims expert status without formal training.

    Your husband's input at this point is no different from any parent who works with classroom teachers. While his involvement is laudatory and necessary, he cannot overcome your shortcomings as an uncertified and untrained teacher.

    "Well, somehow I've managed and the two oldest are reading (and understanding) well above grade level and more than that they LOVE to read."

    That's great that they love to read, but what assessment results do you have at your disposal that verifies your claim that they are above grade level?

    You have said nothing so far about PA standards based instruction, which is troubling and endemic of the homeschooling mentality, if applicable here.

    I wonder if you even know how to write a lesson plan, the foundation of any proper instruction.

  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger Kathy said…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • At 11:06 AM, Blogger David Black said…

    Based on that response, I can only surmise that your motivation to homeschool is serving your own personal agenda rather than what's best for your children in the long term.

    However, feel somewhat comfortable in the knowledge that most, if not all, homeschooling parents suffer from an unspoken collective lack of control over their lives and the lives of their children. They look around for targets to vent their frustration and they choose the public and private k-12 educational system, because a law or two gives them the latitude they desire to control their own kids with little or no accountability.


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