Home School Online

Homeschooling Online – Together At Home!

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State Homeschooling Info

There are some sites that review the state laws and do it while trying to sell homeschool legal insurance.  I don’t want to say that it’s a scam but they certainly have a strong commercial interest to emphasize the risks and oversteps by the government so that they can collect more insurance premiums. Some sites also have a very political agenda.

The A2Z Homeschooling site is unusual in that it is simply a resource for the homeschool community which is not trying to overstate (or understate) the rules and regulations. I’d recommend them as a great way to get to understand the state by state homeschooling laws. (DISCLOSURE. I’m affiliated with them but I would recommend the site anyway). However, no website could possibly be comprehensive enough to address all the legal questions.  And  I quote:

“It is important to home school legally!

Laws for Homeschooling by State, Province, or Country
Mobile-accessible list to find homeschool laws easily by political region. It is important to read the actual laws for homeschooling in your political region. Each is different from any other region, though there may some overlap in requirements.

How to Know Which Laws to Follow

If you have been in a state long enough to be legally required to have that state’s license plate on your vehicle, or are required to have that state’s driver’s license, then you should also follow that state’s homeschool law. If your primary residence is in a state where you vote and pay taxes, consider that your home state. There is no statutory definition for principal residence in the Tax Code. What if you move around a whole lot, living in an RV or boat? Either of those would have some state’s registration.”

There are some big complicated issues that she has just raised there. Lets review one.

Jurisdiction.  She says that a good test is that if you have their license plate, you should also follow the homeschool laws of that state. I’d like to dig deeper into this. What about where you vote, where your driver license is from,  and where you pay taxes? This is a more complicated question than that but as a starting point, she has a godo point that license plates matter. Still, I’d consult an attorney.

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Homeschooling 2017

The homeschool movement has continued to grow and shift over the last few years. Megatrends in homeschooling to note:

  1. Growth. Homeschooling is no longer the rare fringy movement that characterized it ten and twenty years ago. Now several percent of the US population, perhaps 3% is actively homeschooling.
  2. Mainstream Awareness, Many Involved.  Because of the widespread awareness and acceptance of homeschooling, the pirate or “us-them” mentality that characterized homeschooling for many years has somewhat dissipated. In fact, many families now homeschool for a few years or homeschool some but not all of the kids. Before, the homeschooling community was somewhat separated from the others, this is not nearly so much the case.
  3. Homeschooling Acceptance. In the old days, homeschoolers had trouble getting resources and even text books or teacher editions. Now, there’s a significant number of vendors, especially technology vendors, who actively market to homeschoolers. Time4Learning, Accellus High School, Reading Eggs, Time4Writing, Science4Us, VocabularySpellingCity, HugeSpelling, All About Spelling, and Writing Without Tears are just a few of the vendors who cater to homeschoolers. There is even a site about homeschooler’s literature!
  4. Technology – The homeschool market and community are now using all the great community tools on the net to find and work with each other. There are Facebook groups (and Twitter and so on) for Road Schooling, Military Homeschoolers, Waldorf Homeschoolers, UnSchoolers, Classical Homeschoolers, and so on and so on.

More Later…

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Podcasts About Obscure & Poorly Understood History

To stay in shape, I ride my bike and I go to the gym.  At the gym, I often wear earbuds and listen to podcasts, often TED talks.  On my bike, for safety, I only wear one earbud and I also listen to podcasts.

Today, I listened to a series of podcasts by Malcolm Gladwell and Panoply Media. It’s a ten week series with this being the 3rd week. I liked them but don’t love them.

The first podcast that I listened to featured Wilt Chamberlin, one the greatest US basketball player. It’s not really about basketball, it’s about how peer pressure and the mob mentality works.  In a clever and entertaining fashion, the podcast sets up the fact that Wilt’s achilles heel as a player was his foul shooting. And a weak foul shooter cannot be the goto guy in a tight game at a critical moment since the defense will just foul, watch him miss the foul shots, and then get the ball back.  In modern times, Shaq had the same problem.  The solution of course is to learn to shoot better foul shots. At one point in his career, Wilt changed his style and started shooting brilliantly and consistently.  But then, for no reason other than peer pressure, he changed back. The question can also be put this way: Is it better to shoot foul shots underhand (“granny-style”) and be a high percentage shooter, or to be like everyone else and shoot the macho over-the-head low percentage style.

It’s a fascinating question. He discusses it in many ways but he leaves out the counter arguments which sort of annoy me. I think there’s a case for it to be easier for someone to train only one way to shoot, always overhand, rather than two different ways. Or to say that this is a historical point since in the modern NBA, the foul shooting percentage is now way up. It’s between 69% and 81%.