Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reminder - send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The carnival next week will be hosted at The Common Room.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Another beautiful picture from the Astronomy Picture of the Day

Máximo Ruiz gave me permission to post his picture of A Dusty Iris Nebula:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recent poll finds only 26% Say U.S. Public Schools Provide World-Class Education

My mom forwarded me a link to a report on a recent Rasmussen poll which found only 26% Say U.S. Public Schools Provide World-Class Education:

However, only 26% believe U.S. public schools provide a world-class education. A majority (62%) does not think American public schooling provides that level of education, while another 12% are not sure.

The snarky part of me thinks that 62% know about the problems with government schools in the United States and that the 26% are not very well informed.

A daughter reviews a TED talk by Hans Rosling

My oldest daughter recently watched a TED Talk by Hans Rosling.  Here are her thoughts:

Hans Rosling is a Swedish professor who in 2009 was listed as one of 100 leading global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation.

Rosling began by teaching a class on world health at a Swedish university. At his first class he gave a quiz to determine whether he could teach the students anything. The students scored less than a chimp. The professors scored equal with a chimp.

So, Rosling helped create Gapminder.

Gapminder Foundation, a non-profit organization, tries to increase understanding of statistics about social and economic development.

Here is the Hans Rosling's talk - No more boring data:

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Logistics of a Homeschooling Family

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at No Fighting, No Biting!

Katherine starts the carnival with:

As the mother of 6 children, my life is complicated already. Just getting all the children up, dressed, teeth brushed, and fed before noon is a major accomplishment. Add homeschooling 5 of the children to the mix, ferrying them all to various extracurricular activities, and fitting enough time to keep the house tidy and at least one cooked meal on the table each day keeps me moving at a frantic pace.

We have never put our children in "away school" so this will be our 9th year sitting at the table learning phonics, arithmetic, spelling, science, history, English, and religion. If our family continues to homeschool all the children, we could conceivably still be sitting at the table each day reading and working out math problems for the next 15 years since Julia Ellen won't even be starting Kindergarten for another 3 years.

Logistical management is what every homeschooling mom spends much of her time doing: planning days so learning occurs in whatever form that takes, while also fitting in housework, cooking, shopping, bill paying, doctor's appointments, errands, volunteer work, exercise, children's activities, and squeezing in a tiny bit of alone time to renew her spirits. Some families also sign up for extras for the kids such as music, sports, arts, and/or scouts outside the home. Making the schedule "work" is sometimes a difficult task, but sometimes it all clicks, such as me signing all the kids up for this fall's swimming classes on Saturday afternoon. Let us learn how others homeschoolers cope with "trying to fit it all in."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cool - something we don't understand

I got my BS in Physics.  I find it fascinating when scientists come across something they don't understand.

Gyroscope's unexplained acceleration may be due to modified inertia:

When a spinning laser gyroscope is placed near a super-cooled rotating ring, the gyroscope accelerates a bit in the same direction as the ring, and scientists aren’t sure why. The anomalous acceleration was discovered in 2007 by Martin Tajmar at the Space Propulsion group at the Austrian Institute of Technology in Seibersdorf, Austria. So far, the effect has only been observed in this one laboratory. Since then, scientists have been looking for an explanation for the so-called Tajmar effect.

Homeschool to College - Part 2

My head is still spinning as I mention in Homeschool to College.

Last night, I attended a presentation from a private religious college my daughter is considering. The price is right but the location is not our first choice. (However, it is still 3 times more expensive that the local community college options).

The main speaker made a point of distinguishing between "going to college" and "being a college student." He listed off the characteristics of "being a college student" that included "asking the appropriate questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time."

This was comforting to me. Homeschooling can help create life long learners. My kids are good students, but not flashy. My oldest daughter (who is already taking classes at the community college) is definitely ahead in the "being a college student" category.

The university spokesmen also made a point that students need to pick a major from the beginning even though the average student changes his major 3 times. The sooner the student starts down an academic path, the sooner he will find out it is the right or wrong path. Waiting until your Junior year to declare a major makes it that much harder when you figure out it doesn't fit during your Senior year. Better to do in the freshmen year.

This concept helped me a great deal. I'm not feeling near as stress as I was last week.

For now, my daughter is applying to this college as a back up plan. Her current plan is to attend the local community college and then transfer to the local university, a state university, or a private religious university to get a Bachelors Degree. She is on the waiting list to take the introduction class to her chosen major (Interior Design). Hopefully, she will discover if it is a good fit before she officially starts her Freshman year at college.

Education in Seven Questions

Aaron Smith makes some great points in Education in Seven Questions.  He starts with:

America's system of education is plagued by problems. The natural tendency for politicians and technocrats in search of solutions is to devise grandiose plans that involve more testing, regulation, and spending. However, these schemes do nothing to alleviate the root cause of problems, and indeed only serve to perpetuate them. What our system of education needs is simple: a recognition that children, parents, and educators are diverse and should be treated as individuals.

Below I've highlighted seven key questions that should be asked of our education system. Interestingly, all of the problems they touch on have one common culprit: mass standardization. While left-liberals love to espouse the virtues of diversity, their actions do not follow their words. Real diversity is achieved by respecting the liberties of individuals, not by forcing conformity on them. Real educational diversity requires the freedom to define and pursue education according to one's values, interests, and aptitude. Education will be revolutionized once these liberties are afforded.

Constructive praise

From Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

Nobody wants constructive criticism.  It's all we can do to put up with constructive praise.

Recent homeschooling carnivals

The latest Homeschooling on the Cheap is up at 3 Boys and a Dog.

And the latest edition of a homeschooling carnival is up at Garden of Learning.

I would vote for this

My mother shared on Facebook Warren Buffet's solution for handling America's debt problem:

"I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than three percent of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection. "

7 billion and counting

I hadn't realized we were so close to 7 billion people on this planet: World population to surpass 7 billion in 2011.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good video on the growth of the United States

I like this video on the Growth of a Nation.

Hat tip: Robert M. Lindsey

The crazy Fall season

We have started the crazy soccer season.  I'm coaching my son's team.  I picked up the roaster last night.  We'll start having practices this next week or the week after.  My two younger daughters are also on teams and have already been going to soccer practice.  With three games each Saturday we will get much less done for the next couple months.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - the Tell Me Summer isn’t Almost Over Edition

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Our Curious Home.

ChristineTheCurious begins the carnival with:

My family finished up last year’s homeschool two weeks ago.  Saturday was the Family Fun Fair at church, and a week ago yesterday the kids and I started organising the house.  I have all my homeschool paper work filed with the district, and two more weeks left of Summer while the books come in the mail and I gear up for next year.  So tell me Summer isn’t almost over, mine just started!

Looking for help on Facebook

Is it possible to have two levels on my wall in Facebook? 

When I have a few minutes I want to check on what family members are doing.  When I have more time I then would love to see all the posts to my wall. 

What I really would like to be able to do is read the posts for just the people in one of my lists. 

Does anyone have any suggestions?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Homeschool to College

I have to admit that the last few weeks have been very stressful at our house. Our oldest child is beginning her "senior" year of high school. Suddenly, college application deadlines which seemed years away are now.

Regardless of how you educate your children (public, private, homeschool), the system of college application is very screwed up.

The application dates for many colleges begin in November. I feel like I need a crystal ball. Very few 17 year-olds know what they want to be when they grow up. Many of the academic majors are so scripted and sequential that a student must literally plan out their entire university career the year prior to graduating from high school.

When I went to college, I changed my major three times and still graduated in less than 4 years with the help of CLEP credits. I'm a little reluctant to have my daughter do the same (change majors) when a year of college cost $20,000 if she is lucky.

Then there is the community college system. In our area, they have "concurrent enrollment" options for juniors and seniors in high school. We have taken advantage of this program, but it has been a trial and error system. [I will know better what I am doing for the next kid].

For example, last Monday was the first day that concurrent enrollment students could register at our local community college, Mission College. Concurrent enrollment students must register in person and are not allowed to use any of the online options. We arrived early, but found that the classes we had chosen were full with long waiting lists. While standing at the counter, we shifted the classes schedule to classes with shorter waiting lists.

After I went home that evening, I discovered that even though our daughter couldn't register online, she could check the availability of classes on line. I just happened to come across the link while I was looking for something else.

We found an open class and returned to re-register. We kept on the waiting list for a few other classes, just in case they opened up later.

A few days after this, I realized that I could also look online for classes not only by subject, but by day and time. I looked for classes that fit into the schedule of the class we already registered for. Happily, I found a class that fit the schedule and that didn't have a waiting list.

Sadly, we had to wait until the following Monday (today) because the admissions office is closed on Fridays and during the weekend. When we went to register today, the class was full and she is now on another waiting list (though only second in line.)

During all this looking for classes, I accidentally clicked on the wrong (or right button) and discovered that another community college in our area had openings in the classes we wanted. However, with further investigation, I discovered that this community college, West Valley, limits the concurrent enrollment students to one class per semester. So, we couldn't register for all the classes that she wanted even though they were open. If these same classes were open at the first community college, we could have registered because Mission College allows concurrent enrollment students to take up to 6 credits and more with approval from the student's high school. (Since I sign both the parent permission and the school permission line on the form, that would be pretty easy to do).

This afternoon we raced over to West Valley College to register for the one allowed class. We checked online and there was only one opening. The second community college doesn't allow concurrent enrollment students to be put on a waiting list, so we were particularly anxious to get there and register.

We were disappointed to find that the second community college wouldn't allow our daughter to register for 24 hours because it takes that long for them to process her application. The first community college did it instantly which could explain why their classes are all full.

So, tomorrow at the appointed time, we will return to West Valley College to see if our daughter was able to get into the class we wanted.

If every thing works out, she will end up with two classes at Mission college on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and one class on Friday mornings at West Valley. This becomes important because concurrent enrollment students don't have to pay tuition. Now that I know how much these classes will cost us a year from now, we are very motivated that she take as many as reasonably possible.

Also, the West Valley class is the introduction class to the major (Interior Design) she is considering. If she takes this class and likes it, then we at least have a potential major.

This however opens up another dilemma. Not all the courses our daughter takes will necessarily transfer to another college system. Theoretically, the credits with transfer in the University of California and the California State University system. I say theoretically because (back to the original problem) the class schedules are so sequential and scripted that a class from another university or college may not be accepted by their Interior Design department.

If we had a crystal ball and knew for certain which major and which university would be the most affordable and would accept the credits from the community college classes she had already taken and will take, then we would know which choice to make. However, she must apply to the university to find out what financial aid and which course work they will accept.

West Valley has a wonderful Interior Design program and we are tempted to have her complete their three year AS/certificate program and then transfer to San Jose State University to finish with a BS in Interior Design. The up/downside is that she could be at home for entire college experience.

Henry lived with his parents in San Jose and graduated from San Jose State. I, on the other hand, couldn't get out of my parents' house and home town fast enough. I had never considered that our daughter wouldn't leave for college. I would love for her to stay closer to home, but I'm also worried that she will regret it later.

I will admit that I also thought that community college was for losers who couldn't hack the 4 year schools. Now that I'm the one looking at the cost, I'm thinking "Community college, what a deal!"

We are also considering a small out of state private religious university for ecumenical reasons. I don't know if they will accept any of the West Valley's interior design AS classes into their tightly sequential program. I'm pretty sure that most of the general education credits will transfer, so I guess that is something. If they won't accept the Interior Design credits, then it wouldn't be a good idea for her to try and transfer there after she gets an AS at West Valley. I'm not entirely sure all the credits will transfer to San Jose State.

So, even though it is more expensive, maybe she would be better off starting at San Jose State or any of the other 4 year programs we've looked at so that she doesn't end up repeating course work. All of this assumes we can get into the university of our choice in the first place.

One university wanted homeschool students to have a GED or take the Compass test. California won't allow homeschool students to take the GED before the age of 18, which would miss the application deadlines for the 2012 -2013 school year. The Compass test is usually administered on campus (which is a few states away).

The university will also accept 15 credit from another college (like the community college classes she is taking), but she won't have 15 credits worth until after the application deadline. What makes it worse is that our daughter thinks she likes the West Valley program better, so we could go through all this work to get her accepted into any number of programs, just to have her turn them down. I'm afraid that if we don't pursue a few options, she will change her mind and be disappointed.

All of this makes my head spin. I really want a crystal ball.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Interview with Glenn Reynolds on the Higher Education Bubble

A Bubble in Higher Education starts with:

There was a time in our nation’s history when college was reserved for a privileged and well-heeled few. And today many worry that those days may be returning, given the spiraling cost of tuition.

According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, average U.S. college tuition and fees rose by an astonishing 439 percent between 1982 and 2007 — more than four times as much as the inflation rate for that period (106 percent), and about three times the increase in median family income (147 percent).

Bruce Wright then goes on to interview Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit.

Two recent homeschooling carnivals

Classical Homeschooling Carnival #18 is up at Baby Steps.

The latest Homeschooling on the Cheap is up at 3 Boys and a Dog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The back-to-school carnival

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Faithful Homeschool.

Amanda starts the carnival with:

Who doesn't love a carnival? Throw some crayons and notebook paper and back-to-school fun in and you are set for a GREAT Tuesday read!

While I work diligently this week on scraping together our hodge-podge curriculum to form comprehensive lesson plans, I have been blessed to also find myself sifting through the carnival submissions and enjoying the pleasure of being inspired by many others currently schooling or preparing to school for the 2011/2012 school year.

Even though we have freedom in homeschooling, we often find ourselves, from time to time, at the mercy of the neighborhood kids' public school schedule or a pending graduate's college ambitions. Whatever the reason (or non-reason) for celebrating 'back-to-school' in the not-so-traditional-setting of home, fresh starts are always inspiring.

Did I already use that word? I can't help it! Check out why:

As she says, check it out!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A cool thing about homeschooling: Doing schooling part time

There is a lot of moaning and groaning in our neighborhood today.  Public schools opened today in our local school district and children returned back to the classroom.  It is sad.  Summer is still going strong.  The weather is practically perfect. 

It seems like when I was in public schools, school always started early in September. 

One of the great benefits of homeschooling is flexibility.  We are transitioning our children in steps.  For the last couple weeks our children have been blissfully reading and hanging out with their friends.  Today we started doing school part time.  They are only doing a partial load.  If they are focused they can get everything down in about three hours.  Because they get distracted it often takes closer to four hours.

The plan is for them to spend a 110 minutes doing academic activities.  They also are responsible for house work and yard work.  We expect this to take about 70 minutes..  Spring cleaning has gone on all through the summer.  We've had them sort the silverware drawer, organize the garage and so on.  Most of the yard work has been planting a garden and maintaining it.

We've had a bit of grumbling as we started doing part time, both on the part of our children and on the parents.  But I expect that overall everyone will be happier that full time school doesn't start for another couple weeks.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We're on track for this to be a great blogging year

Janine and I joined the blogging world in October of 2005.  Once we switched to the Blogger Layouts I noticed that 2011 was shapping up to be a good year for the number of posts.  Here are the number of posts per year for the previous years, in order:

2005:  89 posts
2010:  560 posts
2009:  739 posts
2006:  776 posts
2007:  811 posts
2008:  908 posts

I'm not sure why we posted so much in 2007 and 2008, but then dropped off in 2009 and 2010. 

So far this year we have posted 785 posts, passing four other years.  I expect to pass 2007 in the next week or two, and then 2008 in September. 

A few homeschooling carnivals from the last week

Homeschool on the Cheap is up at 3 Boys and a Dog.

A homeschooling carnival is up at Garden of Learning.

Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival is at Science of Relations.

Homeschool Showcase is up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Good column on a fundamental battle happening in the world today

Janine found this great column by Janet Daley.  In If we are to survive the looming catastrophe, we need to face the truth Janet starts:

Which of these is the most important question to ask in the present economic crisis: how can we promote growth? Should we pay off government debt more or less quickly? Is the US in worse trouble than Europe? Answer: none of the above.

The truly fundamental question that is at the heart of the disaster toward which we are racing is being debated only in America: is it possible for a free market economy to support a democratic socialist society? On this side of the Atlantic, the model of a national welfare system with comprehensive entitlements, which is paid for by the wealth created through capitalist endeavour, has been accepted (even by parties of the centre-Right) as the essence of post-war political enlightenment.
Later she writes:

Also collapsing before our eyes is the lodestone of the Christian Socialist doctrine that has underpinned the EU’s political philosophy: the idea that a capitalist economy can support an ever-expanding socialist welfare state.

Read the whole column.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A great thought about success

From my Franklin Covey planner:

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
-Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

Reminder - send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. Amanda will be hosting the carnival next week at The Faithful Homeschool.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Carnival of Homeschooling 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Summer Isn't Over Yet

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Janice Campbell - Taking Time For Things That Matter.
She starts the carnival with:

Welcome to the August 9, 2011 edition of Carnival of Homeschooling. Although a few of you are ready to jump back into school or have already done so, others seem to be stretching those happy summer moments for as long as possible.

I suggest that you pour a frosty glass of lemonade, find a cool spot, and enjoy the delightful posts that have been submitted.


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, August 08, 2011

There is some truth to this

From A.Word.A.Day:

The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth.
-Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, scientist and philosopher (1742-1799)

The Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

The Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up at the Fisher Academy International.

Can education be automated?

One of the greatest inventions ever is the assembly line.  Adam Smith explained how breaking down the steps of a creating a needle among several works could dramatically increase the production of needles.  Henry Ford drove down the cost of manufacturing automobiles with the assembly line.  It allowed average Americans the ability to own a car.

For the last 150 years the education world has tried to turn children into widgets and run them through an assembly line.  In a class of twenty the teacher tries to keep all the children moving along the same line learning the same thing at the same time.

Today during lunch I was talking with a friend.  He had spent some time at a startup company which was trying to use technology to education children.  The company had really struggled and they were never able to come up with an effective solution.

Clearly there are areas in education which technology can assist.  Using a company for drill or displaying video can work well.  But the higher level job of deciding when a child should go on, redo the material, or even take a break may be a task that is only done well by a human.  A good teacher can recognize what fundamental mistake the child has made in his assumptions.

Often in public school when a child has to stay home for weeks or months the school will arrange for a tutor to come by, normally for just a couple hours a week.  While we talked during lunch today it occurred to me that maybe rather than having twenty children sit eight hours a day in a classroom, it might be more effective to have the teach spend two hours from 8 to 10 on Mondays with one child, and then two hours from 10 to 12 with another child, and work through all the children each week.   This is would be a much more effective use of the time of the students. 

And this is exactly what homeschoolers do.  The students are not treated like widgets.  They get personalized attention. 

Assembly lines are wonderful for producing an object again and again.  But children are not objects.  And I wonder if good education can ever be automated or turned into an assembly line.  And while we wait I am glad we can homeschool.

Review: TED Talk by Salman Khan on education

This is my oldest daughter's review of a TED Talk: Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education:

Salman Khan was tutoring his cousins. But there was a problem, he was living in Boston, and his cousins lived in New Orleans. As a tool to help his cousins he began to put his lectures on Youtube.

The results shocked him.

First his cousins like recorded Youtube Khan better than the real deal, and second he got really great reviews.

Khan relized that there are many benefits to a recorded lecture. Things like pause, repeat, or repeat something that you should have learned a long time ago, alow students to comfortable go at their own pace.

For several years Khan continued to put these videos up on Youtube. Now he and his team have a website designed to help teachers and students.

Here's the video:

What we will be held accountable for

From A.Word.A.Day:

It is not what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.
-Moliere, actor and playwright (1622-1673)

The Rahn Curve is a strong argument for smaller government

This explains why large government is bad for economy and thus for society:

Have you used Doodle?

I changed jobs about six months ago.  There is a group of us from the previous job who try to get together every couple months for lunch.  Typically this is a real hassle.  Lots of emails fly around.  Is this day good for everyone?  No?  How about this day? 

Doodle greatly simplyfies the job!

Last week I picked eleven days that were good for me.  I created a survey on Doodle.  I sent out an email to the group.  Everyone filled out the survey.  We found one date that worked for 13 of the 16 people.  It was probably the best we have every done.

If you are trying to select a time that works well for a large group, go check out Doodle.

Fun web site: Test your vocabulary

Test Your Vocabulary is a fun site.  I took the test.  It estimates I know the definitions for about 29,800 words. 

Leveling the playing field for influencing society

Traditionally only the Main Stream Media could get a message out to thousands and even millions of people. 

Glenn Reynolds makes the point in Army of Davids that technoloyg allows individuals to compete.  Obama Budget Cuts Visualization is an example of this.  It was produced two years ago and 1.6 million people have watched it.

Doorbell is another example of this.  The video went up July 28, and it already has 150,000 views:

The School House Rock videos

The School House Rock videos can be a fun way to introduct your children to the parts of speech.

Here is one of the classics:

Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers

I have worked in the high tech industry for a couple decades.  I know how important good managers are to the sucess of the company.  I was fascinated to learn of Google’s Quest to Build a Better Boss:

IN early 2009, statisticians inside the Googleplex here embarked on a plan code-named Project Oxygen.

Their mission was to devise something far more important to the future of Google Inc. than its next search algorithm or app.

They wanted to build better bosses.

So, as only a data-mining giant like Google can do, it began analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise and complaints.

Later that year, the “people analytics” teams at the company produced what might be called the Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.

One of the key things Google did was to rank the eight traits they found which were the most important.  The traits, in order, are:

1. Be a good coach.
2. Empower your team and don't micromanage.
3. Express interest in the team's success and personal well-being.
4. Don't be a sissy: be productive and results-oriented.
5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team.
6. Help your employees with career development.
7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
8. Have key technical skills so you can help your team.

I was surprised that clear vision and technical skills were so low. 

For more information on the eight findings check out Google Studies Management and Uncovers....the Fundamentals and Google's Rules.

(Hat tip: A recent Toastmaster event.)

Another way higher education prepares you for life

Great humor often has an element of truth.  Yesterday's Shoe shared a way higher education prepares our chidlren for life.

A great line about hard work


Hard work never killed anyone...but it will keep you off of twitter and Facebook!

Hat tip: Ann Kerchner

I wonder if a TSA agent is going to kill someone some day?

Janine is diabetic.  She needs insulin to live. 

Recently TSA agents took away insulin from a woman.  She had all the proper notes from her doctor.  TSA rules allow people to take insulin on flights.  Janine has successfully done this in years past, when we were still flying. 

Over the last couple years the TSA has taken an increasely paranoid attitude towards people flying.  Now we have these nude scanners and the agressive pat downs.  And TSA agents are taking away insulin from people whose life depends on the insulin. 

Pregnant Woman Says TSA Agents 'Confiscated' Her Insulin:

The woman, a frequent flyer, did not want to be identified for news reports for fear of retaliation but recounted her experience to

"He's like, 'Well, you're a risk.' I'm like, 'Excuse me?' And he's like, 'This is a risk ... I can't tell you why again. But this is at risk for explosives,'” the woman told the channel. (She eventually managed to sneak a small amount of insulin past security, she said.)

She told the channel that when she started to ask for TSA agents’ names, they “scattered” and “left me crying at the TSA checkpoint.”

TSA agents have been widely criticized for what many in the public perceive as an abuse of power. And TSA appeared to have made some efforts to assuage concerned passengers.

The TSA claims their agents only wanted to make sure the insulin was packed in ice. 

I'm not sure I trust the TSA on this issue.

Reminder - send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. Janice Campbell will be holding the carnival tomorrow at Taking Time for Things that Matter Most.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

So you have just twelve hours!

Carnival of Homeschooling 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Surprise, Surprise

I really try hard not to get snarky about public education. However, this one was too good to pass up.

Teachers union disavows internal memo endorsing deception of parents

American Federation of Teachers officials have disavowed an internal report after it was posted on the union's website following its annual conference, embedded on each of its 19 pages with the union's logo and signed by a union official.

The report, titled "How Connecticut Defused the Parent Trigger," was replaced on AFT's website with a note saying "we have received complaints about these materials and have removed them because they do not represent AFT's position."

....But where California teachers unions lobbied to block the bill in their state legislature and state education department, AFT's Connecticut affiliate began an offensive that ultimately neutered the bill.

And, according to the now-disavowed report, they succeeded because the proposal's "name is a misnomer," since school governance councils "are advisory and do not have true governing authority."

I vote that we get rid of the teachers unions as a menace to society.

[hat tip: Instapundit]

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Hand-Crafted Education edition

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Home Spun Juggling.

Cristina explains the theme of the carnival thus:

Our family happens to love arts and crafts. Each person expresses their creativity in their own unique way. I find this is true of home educators as well. Whether we are homeschooling from a box curriculum, creating our own curriculum, making it up as we go along, or unschooling all the way, we all add our own individual flair to our educational choices. So break out the craft supplies, grab the scissors, glue and tape, and get ready to enjoy the activities, ideas and thoughts of this week's submissions.

Pop over to the carnival and see some of the crafts her children have done, and then read about this week's posts.