Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

Parent’s passion: Keep playing that piano. You’ll thank me someday. I hope.

As a longtime fan of advice columnist Dear Abby, I valued her practical answers, especially about raising children. However, one question stumped her years ago, and she threw it out to her readers to answer: Should children who hate piano lessons be forced — even kicking and screaming — to continue because they may eventually find joy in it and even decide that music is their passion? Abby’s mail was split. Readers wrote that they hated every second of their childhood piano lessons, and the experience soured them forever on music. Others wrote to say that they were now with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music or the Boston Pops and were forever grateful that their parents held their ground.

One mom maintained that parents force kids to do many things, including bathe, brush their teeth and eat their vegetables. Why should music be any different? Her son begged to quit piano when he was 10. Today, she said, he was a noted conductor and music professor.

But another mother …

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Newsweek list of top high schools: 55 Georgia schools among 1,600

We all say that we don’t care about these lists of best schools, but then we frantically search to see if our schools are on them.

Start searching as Newsweek is out with its best high schools issue.

Georgia is not represented in the top 20. Our first appearance is slot No. 79 and that is Cobb’s usual high scorer, Walton.

Newsweek picks the best high schools in the country based on advanced placement college-level courses and tests. Just over 1,600 schools— six percent of all the public schools in the U.S.– made the list. In the list of 1,600, there are 55 Georgia high schools, most from metro suburban systems.

Critics discredit the methodology used to assemble the Newsweek list each year, but I still would have liked to have seen my local high school earn a spot in the very top tier.

Was yours on the list?

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Home schooling as a respite rather than a retreat from public schools

Writer Laura Brodie once received this sage advice from a preschool teacher: “Don’t worry about tears at drop-off time. Was your child crying when you picked her up?”

Frustrated with testing and rigidity in the classroom, Laura Brody home schooled her 10-year-old for one year and chronicled the experience.

Frustrated with testing and rigidity in the classroom, Laura Brodie home schooled her 10-year-old for one year and chronicled the experience.

Brodie remembered those words when her oldest daughter Julia struggled in elementary school and came home desolate. A dreamy child with a unique learning style, Julia grew increasingly unhappy with the relentless test prep, drills and worksheets.

So Brodie, a professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, decided to home school Julia for fifth grade, cutting down her own college teaching load to become her daughter’s teacher.

Brodie chronicles the challenges and rewards of that year in her new book, “Love in a Time of Homeschooling.”

The book is not a paean to home schooling, which Brodie says she could never embrace full-time, calling herself a public …

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Family granted political asylum for homeschooling persecution in native Germany

A Tennessee judge has granted political asylum to a German couple who maintained that they were persecuted in their homeland for homeschooling their children.

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Granted asylum by a Memphis judge, Hannelore Romeike and his son Christian homeschooling in Tennessee. (Mike Belleme/The New York Times)

The story is fascinating. Germany makes it not only illegal to homeschool, but costly and onerous, leveling thousands of dollars in fines and sending police to retrieve the children.

The Romeike family felt that both public and private schools in Germany were too rowdy for their children and began homeschooling them. But after fines of more than $11,000, threats that they would lose custody and a visit by the police who took the children to school, the family made the decision to move to the United States and seek the protection of the American courts.

And they got it.

According to The New York Times:

The family has been here for some time, having left Germany in 2008. But it was not …

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