A2Z Homeschool – Ann's Blog

Homeschooling From Ann's Perspective

Sample Request for School Records

March20

<a href=”http://a2zhomeschooling.com/main_articles/sample-request-school-records/”>Sample Form to Request School Records</a>
Some may want to have a copy of a past school’s record kept concerning their child’s past grades, test results, and other items kept in their child’s cumulative folder. Do note that you will only get a copy, and that the original will remain at the school. Parents have a right to get and examine these records even if they are not homeschooling.

 

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Homeschooling Works

November13
  • People are born ready to learn. Learning involves everyone everyday. Living and learning are not separate activities. Learning cannot be contained in a place or time. Learning is too wonderful and powerful to limit it by turning it over to conventional schools.
  • Children need the love and support of their families and communities, just as adults do. Throughout time, families have raised their children to be knowledgeable and competent adults. Having a sincere desire to homeschool qualifies a parent to homeschool. A homeschool is a good place for people to heal from the inaccuracies and injustices that accompany labels such as ADD and LD.
  • People gain social experience and skills by interacting with a diverse group of people of all ages. Homeschooling provides opportunities for such interaction easily and naturally.

Regulation

  • Hundreds of thousands of families are showing that homeschoolers do not need to be regulated by the state. There is no evidence that any regulations foster better homeschooling.
  • To maintain homeschooling freedoms, homeschoolers learn what rights and responsibilities they have, refuse to do more than the minimum required by law, and avoid setting precedents that exceed the law and cause difficulty for homeschoolers. Laws and court cases cannot protect our freedoms. Any law, even one that is viewed as good, can do damage. No law, no matter how good, is enough. Exercising our rights and responsibilities daily and consistently, even on seemingly small points, is essential.
  • We oppose special regulations or requirements for small groups of homeschoolers, such as those who want to play sports; those who have been labeled “at risk,” “ADD,” “LD,” etc.; and those who have been accused of truancy. Increased regulation of any homeschooler can easily lead to increased regulation of other or all homeschoolers. Homeschoolers are not joining the bandwagon to beat up on those for whom conventional schools do not work.
  • Attempts of homeschoolers to regulate each other are unnecessary, complicated, divisive, and dangerous.

Federal and State Goals and Standards

We are concerned about the way state and federal standards in education, standardized tests and assessments, and school-to-work programs are moving conventional schools toward “compulsory education” (different from the currently required “compulsory attendance”) which will undermine the basic freedoms needed to maintain a free society. We are committed to resisting the homeschooling movement being drawn into this web of compulsory education.

Not Mixing Causes

For homeschooling to remain about homeschooling, we must resist being used by others for their agendas.

Diversity

There are many approaches to homeschooling that work. A major strength of homeschooling is the diversity of people, methods, and philosophies involved. Having close connections across diversity lines is a radical act. Homeschoolers foster diversity by:

  • Respecting and celebrating diversity.
  • Respecting anyone’s desire to homeschool while remaining true to principles that make homeschooling freedoms possible.
  • Understanding that what supports one family’s homeschool might not be right for another’s.
  • Working to maintain the rights of families to make their own decisions regarding the education of their members.
  • Developing and maintaining inclusive organizations across cultural and religious diversity lines.
  • Describing to others the diversity within the homeschooling community.
  • Refusing to speak for homeschoolers; rather, providing forums for individuals’ voices to be heard.

Support

The knowledge and effective support homeschoolers offer one another are major strengths of the homeschooling movement. Homeschoolers who create and participate in support groups, share resources, and gather for activities and discussions are making an important contribution to the growth and stability of the homeschooling movement. Grassroots organizing and networking have been a source of the homeschooling community’s strength.

Vouchers

We would not expect the government to give away tax money with no strings attached and no accountability. Government programs to supplement homeschoolers’ educational resources (by providing services or funding) would have accountability strings attached. We realize that vouchers given to families would lead to increased government presence in our homeschools. Vouchers inevitably lead to increased government regulation and unacceptable reductions in our homeschooling freedoms.

Conclusion

Homeschooling strengthens families and communities. Strong homeschools are an asset to our communities and our nation. They provide alternatives to conventional schools, save taxpayers’ money, and provide valuable perspectives on learning and education.

This statement was written to stimulate discussion, not to speak for all homeschoolers.

YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO REPRODUCE THIS STATEMENT AND DISTRIBUTE IT WIDELY.

National Homeschool Association
Post Office Box 290
Hartland, Ml 48353-0290
513-772-9580
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Health Care Reform for Homeschool Moms

October26

Originally by Ashley Roybal. Edited by Ann Zeise for the homeschool community.
DAWN Newsletter October 2009.

Over the last few months, everyone has heard a lot about health care reform: why we need it, why we don’t, and how it should be done. It seems everyone has an opinion.

Most Democrats, such as myself, believe that health care ought to be accessible for all, and that the government ought to take measures to ensure affordability, and to eliminate fraud and abuse. We homeschool moms don’t all agree what form health care reform should take, but we do believe it is necessary.

There is another aspect of health care reform, however, that many of us often forget: the effects that reform will have on women have often been forgotten or brushed aside in this debate, in favor of “the Big Picture.” As women, we can provide an important perspective in this debate, for in many ways health care reform is more important to us than it is to men. Women face many unique health challenges, and are often more vulnerable to rising health costs or insurance company abuses than men or children may be.

Over the last few years, everyone’s health care costs have gone up. Since 1987, the cost of the average family health insurance policy has risen from 7% of the median family income to 17%. For women, this can leave very few options. Only 48% of women get coverage through our employers, compared with 57% of men. This is often because women are less likely to e employed full time than men (52% of women compared to 73% of men). Women who aren’t covered by their jobs are left with few options: they are forced to seek out coverage in the individual market (5%) or through public programs (10%). They end up dependent on their spouse (41%), or they are left uninsured without health options (38%).

Even when we have the same financial resources that many men have, our health insurance is still harder to afford, because policies for women are often far more expensive than those for men. A 22 year-old woman can be charged one and a half times the premium charged to a man the same age, and these disparities can increase as women age. Because of discrimination based on age, gender, and health status, and a lack of access to group rates, older women who purchase health insurance for themselves directly pay about four times more than those with employer-sponsored coverage.

Women also require more preventative care than men including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Because of high costs, and lack of access to insurance, one in five women aged 50 or above has not received a mammogram in the past two years. Because of the cost of preventative care and making regular doctor visits, many women do not even learn they have become more expensive and difficult to treat.

In addition, some of the other hazards women face make health insurance even harder to afford. It is unbelievable that, in 2009, there are still 8 states where insurance companies can, and do, list domestic violence as a pre-existing condition, and refuse to cover victims’ treatment. In addition, many insurance companies list pregnancy and caesarian sections as pre-exisiting conditions, effectively excluding coverage for millions of women.

These factors, and many others, can clearly make it impossible for women to access affordable care under the current system. In the last few years, over half of all women reported problems paying medical bills, compared with 36% of men.

The House health care reform bill, H.R. 3200 will address these issues, and increase health care access for millions of American women. The bill will end discrimination based on health status and gender, and would limit the amount that premiums can vary by age to no more than 2:1. In addition, the bill will make it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, eliminating almost all of the excuses commonly used to deny care to women. The bill would also allow all Americans not insured through their employers to access the group insurance rates currently only available to large employers, making care more affordable for stay-at-home parents, the self-employed. and many others who currently have a hard time affording insurance.

Health care’s affects on women are rarely discussed, but will have a dramatic effect on our lives. Health care reform is a women’s issue, and without reform we will never achieve gender eqality. By enacting health care reform, we can ensure that American women do not fall further behind, and we can make sure that no American, regardless of gender, is denied access to care.

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2009-10 Membership Cards Ready

August23

Files are here:

There is no requirements other than you use the A2Z website, blog, or Yahoo Group.

Who most needs a membership card?

* If you live in a state such as Texas where you do not file anything, so you have no official copy of anything to show at a store for getting an educator discount.

* What you do have is too bulky to carry around in your wallet or handbag.

Home Educators’ Discounts

* You don’t belong to a state association or local homeschool support group that gives you a membership card.

Regional Information

* You are enrolled in a distance learning program or virtual school, but they don’t issue you membership cards.

Distance Learning Programs

* You live in a city with a daytime curfew law, and your teens need something to prove they are homeschooled when outside without you.

Being a Kid is Not a Crime

There is room on the right or left side to add a digital photo (head shot) if that will make your card look more official in your city.

Feel free to use these templates to make membership cards for your support group, so members will have something to show at stores to get educator discounts, and teens will have something to show if stopped because of daytime curfews.

Ann Zeise
A to Z Home’s Cool

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The Wild and Free Pigs of Okefenokee Swamp

June17

by Steve Washam based on a telling by George Gordon

As school districts dangle more and more corn in front of homeschoolers in the form of vouchers and charter schools, please remember this parable. After all, government schooling is just educational welfare!

Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions–especially his traps–and drove south. Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

It was a Saturday morning–a lazy day–when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town’s local citizens.

The traveler spoke, “Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?”

Some of the old timers looked at him like he was crazy. “You must be a stranger in these parts,” they said.

“I am. I’m from North Dakota,” said the stranger.

“In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs,” one old man explained.

“A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!”

He lifted up his leg. “I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp. “

Another old fellow said, “Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off!”

“Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They’re wild and they’re dangerous. You can’t trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself. “Every man nodded his head in agreement.

The old trapper said, “Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?”

They said, “Well, yeah, it’s due south–straight down the road. “But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he’d meet a terrible fate.

He said, “Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load them into the wagon. “And they did.

Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they’d never see him again.

Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn.After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.Two weeks later he returned and, again, bought ten sacks of corn. This went on for a month. And then two months, and three.

Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn and drive off south into the swamp.

The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn.

He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up,and they’re all hungry. I’ve got to get them to market right away. “

“You’ve WHAT in the swamp?” asked the storekeeper, incredulously.

“I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven’t eaten for two or three days, and they’ll starve if I don’t get back there to feed and take care of them. “

One of the old timers said, “You mean you’ve captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?”

“That’s right. “

“How did you do that? What did you do?” the men urged, breathlessly.

One of them exclaimed, “But I lost my arm!”

“I lost my brother!” cried another.

“I lost my leg to those wild boars!” chimed a third.

The trapper said, “Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn’t come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I’d spread a sack of corn.

“The old pigs would have nothing to do with it. But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first.

“I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn, after all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time.

“The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So, I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing.

“At first they wouldn’t come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them.

“But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day.

“And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them.

“The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn’t get suspicious or upset, after all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there everyday. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out.

“This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts.

“The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail, after all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence–they could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time.

“Now I decided that I wouldn’t feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day. On the days I didn’t feed them, the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them– but I only fed them every other day. Then I put a second rail around the posts.

“Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food, they now needed me. They needed my corn every other day. “

“So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate and I put up a third rail around the fence.

“But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will. “Finally I put up the fourth rail. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well. “

“Yesterday I closed the last gate and today I need you to help me take these pigs to market. “

The price of free corn was freedom.

The parable of the pigs has a serious moral lesson. This story is about federal money being used to bait, trap and enslave a once free and independent people.

Federal welfare, in its myriad forms, has reduced not only individuals to a state of dependency; state and local governments are also on the fast track to elimination, due to their functions being subverted by the command and control structures of federal “revenue sharing” programs.

Please copy this parable and send it to all of your state and local elected leaders and other concerned citizens. Tell them: “Just say NO to federal corn. ” The bacon you save may be your own.

© 1997, The Idaho Observer. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for non commercial purposes in entirety including this notice.

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