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Tusagi
01-11-2007, 06:11 PM
I guess it was a sign! This article came the same day we started homeschooling :cool:

You can go to the Portland Tribune online for more of the article. I was not able to post the URL


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Home is where the learning is
BACKSTORY: Families take the leap as home-schooling loses stigma

By Jennifer Anderson

The Portland Tribune Jan 10, 2007 (18 Reader comments)
(news photo)

JIM CLARK / P0RTLAND TRIBUNE

The scene at the Walker household isn’t one of your average classroom as Ruby, the family dog, snoozes during a lesson taught by mom Lori Walker to daughter Natalie, 6. Walker is among a new wave of middle-class families that, for a variety of reasons, have made the leap to home schooling.

Lori Walker regularly teaches class barefoot. On lazy days, she even stays in her pajamas. The same goes for her star pupils – daughters Natalie, 6, and Claren, 10.

“Usually, we manage to get dressed,” says Walker, one of a small, but some say growing, number of parents who home-school their children in the Portland metropolitan area. “But it’s nice to have that flexibility.”

Walker knows that the term “home school” connotes images of antigovernment radicals living in the hills and Christian fundamentalists sheltering their children from subjects like evolution.

But she’s far from belonging to either group. Walker, who lives in Beaverton, just a block from the Portland city boundary, is part of the new wave of mainstream, middle-class families choosing to educate their children at home for a variety of reasons.

“Ten years ago, they thought home-schoolers were fringe nuts,” said Brian Ray, president of the Salem-based National Home Education Research Institute, a clearinghouse for research on home schooling nationwide. “It’s almost mainstream now. It’s fascinating to watch.”

Not everyone is as enamored with the trend. “We believe the developmental needs of children are best served by public schools,” said Jerry Caruthers, executive director of the Oregon Education Association, the state branch of the public education employees’ union.

The association respects the right of home-school families to pursue that type of education, he said, but socialization is a big concern, as it is with other critics.

“This is a very diverse culture,” he said. “Learning to live with others that are from different backgrounds is important to our society.”

There’s no way to tell for certain whether home schooling has grown, because although home-schoolers in Oregon must register with their county, some do not register and others register but don’t notify the county when they stop home schooling.

The Multnomah Education Service District currently has 1,659 registered home-schoolers on record, about half (820) of whom live in Portland. That’s just under 2 percent of the 47,000 students that attend Portland Public Schools.

It may seem like an insignificant number, but not for the families that are reaping the benefits of more family time and total freedom to teach their beliefs, values and desired curriculum – and taking advantage of a burgeoning network of resources.

There are online discussion groups and curriculum, home-school activity centers and gathering places, home-school proms, annual conventions, book sales and clubs.

“There’s a very romantic aspect of home schooling,” said Marsha Johnson, director of Shining Star School, a Northeast Portland Waldorf-inspired school that offers a class once a week to home-schoolers who gather to knit, bake, do crafts and socialize. “It’s a very cool thing to do. It wasn’t cool until there was the Internet. Now, with virtual reality, they can get together with others so they don’t feel as lonely.”
Testing the testing mandate

While home-schoolers are enjoying their autonomy, one of the biggest fights at the moment is over accountability.

Many public-school advocates, including Caruthers, of the Oregon Education Association, say home-schoolers must be held to the same standards as public-school students.

If not, home schooling “could lead to kids being miseducated, uneducated,” said Peter Cookson, dean of the Lewis & Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling and a national expert and author on school-choice issues. “Kids deserved to be protected at that level,” he said. “It seems to me to be a safeguard.”

To that end, Cookson said, he thinks home-schooling parents ought to make some sort of presentation to the school district on what type of curriculum they are providing.

No such requirement exists in Oregon. Currently, the only state regulations for home-schoolers are to register with their county and to take a standardized test at grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.

If they don’t make a passing grade, they are sent back to their public school. And if they don’t register or take the test, they could be found in violation of the state’s compulsory attendance law.

Home-school parents think both the registration and testing mandates are unnecessary and should be removed.

The nonprofit Oregon Home Education Network, a lobbying and resource group for home-schoolers, has sponsored two bills in the Oregon Legislature to treat home schooling as private education and eliminate the requirements to test and notify officials of their intent to home-school.

In 2003, both the Oregon House and Senate approved the bill, but Gov. Ted Kulongoski vetoed it. In 2005, the Oregon House passed the bill, but it died in a Senate committee.

Amy Grant, a Beaverton home-schooling mom who is the legislative director for the Oregon Home Education Network, said she will bring back the bill this year because home- schoolers are passionate about it.

“I don’t think those tests are at all good measures of a child’s progress,” said Grant, an attorney who quit her practice to home-school her son, now 14. “I think if families want to use them, fine. But I don’t think it’s something the state should require.”

Ray, of the National Home Education Research Institute, wholeheartedly agrees. “Home-based education is private education,” he argued.

“If the government isn’t funding the education through one’s neighbors’ tax dollars, it should not be controlling the teaching, training and testing of children.”

Yet Kulongoski – whose smiling portrait is featured prominently on the Oregon Education Association Web site – has been consistent in his position that home-schoolers must be tested.

According to his spokesman, Jake Weigler, the governor believes families should be free to pursue home-schooling “but also believes all children in Oregon should get education that prepares them for the future and provides them for better life. He believes we must have measures in place to ensure that all children in Oregon are achieving academically. He opposes efforts to undermine or eliminate those accountability measures.”


portlandtribune.org

Deena
01-14-2007, 05:34 PM
I can't find this article. Where is it?

Tusagi
01-14-2007, 05:40 PM
I can't find this article. Where is it?


as a new person I can't post http links, but if you google "Portland Tribune" AND Homeschooling, you will find the article.

Deena
01-14-2007, 06:18 PM
I got it. But it said there were no articles when I put in homeschooling. So I came back here and put in the name of the article and the writer and found it that way. Thanks for sharing that!

Tusagi
01-14-2007, 06:20 PM
I got it. But it said there were no articles when I put in homeschooling. So I came back here and put in the name of the article and the writer and found it that way. Thanks for sharing that!

I think it was somewhat positive, but the comments to the online version were the most interesting Part. Parents all came back to the inability of schools to attend to those needs that were crucial.

Deena
01-14-2007, 06:31 PM
Yes, I read through the comments too. Some looked like they were posted there to flame, or because someone had a chip on their shoulder about homeschooling...

Tusagi
01-14-2007, 06:47 PM
Yes, I read through the comments too. Some looked like they were posted there to flame, or because someone had a chip on their shoulder about homeschooling...

Yeah. I was most intrigued by the school official who actually gave a good, solid, standpoint on the education dept. worrying about some homeschoolers, (but praising 90 percent of them all).

kyzg
01-15-2007, 02:11 AM
“We believe the developmental needs of children are best served by public schools,” said Jerry Caruthers, executive director of the Oregon Education Association, the state branch of the public education employees’ union.

This mentality is so scary, I got goosebumps when I read it.

The association respects the right of home-school families to pursue that type of education, he said, but socialization is a big concern, as it is with other critics.

Anyone got a violin?


If not, home schooling “could lead to kids being miseducated, uneducated,” said Peter Cookson, dean of the Lewis & Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling and a national expert and author on school-choice issues.

Yeah, like they're all soooo well-educated when they leave PS. But, hey, what do I know. After all, this guy's an expert

If they don’t make a passing grade, they are sent back to their public school.

And what happens if they fail the test while students of PS, hmmmm???


“If the government isn’t funding the education through one’s neighbors’ tax dollars, it should not be controlling the teaching, training and testing of children.”

AMEN to that!