Category Archives: smartscienceonline

The Real Agenda of the Pro-Voucher, Home Schooling Crowd

A previous posting about voucher schemes as part of the right wing’s larger War on Public Education solicited this highly enlightening comment from Daniel Newby:

I promoted tax credits, and even vouchers, for many years, until I realized the damage they would do to the private institutions we are attempting to empower.

There are better ways to speed the inevitable collapse of the government school system.

Actually, I found Daniel’s comment to be refreshingly honest. After all, most pro-voucher types couch their arguments with feel-good terms like freedom of choice and claim that vouchers will actually improve public schools; few will come out and admit that the ultimate goal is to destroy public education as we know it and replace it with government-funded religious education and corporate-run schools (yet another example of the religious fanatic/corporate alliance).

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Homeschooling Pros and Cons

The decision to homeschool your child or children is often not easily made and usually a complicated process. But giving it a lot of thought may be absolutely worth it, and you definitely wouldn’t like to miss out the chance to give your kids a homeschool education if that is the right thing for them to do.

The following is a (by no means complete) list of the benefits and disadvantages of homeschooling. It will provide you with valuable infrormation on homeschooling that may be useful if you’re considering to educate your children through schooling at home. There are quite a few pros and cons to homeschooling your kids and we hope this article will shine some light on this challenging topic.

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Smart Science, Startups and TechCrunch

1. PARTNERSHIPS

Sent to me from an old friend! Researchers from the Center for Study of Entrepreneurship at Marquette University investigated a sample of nearly two thousand companies and categorized the top performers as ‘hypergrowth’ companies and those at the bottom as low growth companies. Solo entrepreneurs founded only 6% of the ‘hypergrowth’ companies.

Partners founded a whopping 94%, and many of those had three or more founders.” “In a poll taken a few years ago, Inc. asked business people if they thought partnerships were a bad idea. Two-thirds of the respondents said they were. When asked why, the majority said they disliked co-ownership because of the partners’ ‘inevitable conflicts’ and ‘unmet expectations’.”

2. THANKS TECHCRUNCH!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the TechCrunch party – and attended with my good friends from MediaTemple (who seem to be powering most of the valley’s hot startups including TechCrunch!) The party was packed – speeches were inaudible – and everyone had a fabulous time.

There were a few demo booths which had some interesting new technology that I quite liked : ) ! It was a fantastic event – and per usual my good friend (and LA to SV transplant) Peter from Photobucket was in full swing – I believe he is the most recruited new bus person in the valley – no only if I could convince him to move back to LA!

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GED test taking tips

Here are a few good tips for taking the GED test

1. Master Time Management – Time management is essential to be successful in online studies. You need to realize the value of your studies and dedicate time where you will concentrate and accomplish different tasks relating to your academics while learning online. To easily manage your time, you need to take into consideration the amount of time available for your online studies. After you have identified the amount of time that you have, then you should divide it into blocks which will enable you to cover all the topics that your online course entails.

2. Familiarize Yourself with the Course – This will require you to take your time and assess what your course entails. During your process of trying to familiarize with your course, you will be required to touch on matters such as reading through the syllabus and curriculum of your course which you will be offered online closely. While reading the syllabus you should try and understand the nature of the course that you have decided to undertake and figure out the requirements of the course. This is necessary for you to be able to plan your study schedule according to the nature of the course.

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Interview with Jan Hunt on the future of unschooling

I’ve been reading The Natural Child Project for quite some time now. I’ve linked to many of its posts already and, most of all, I have learned so much there.

From a year ago, when unschooling was a new cool word for me till now, I have changed so much may view on education and natural parenting and much of this is thanks to some of Jan Hunt’s words.

Jan is the director of The Natural Child Project, and she is an attachment parenting/unschooling counselor among other projects that she´s involved with.

When I sent her an interview request, just a bit over a week ago, I didn’t count on it happening so fast, I´m really excited to share her answers here.

As an unschooling advocate, what do you expect that can happen when more people join this way of life? Can it reach or is it reaching a global scale?

Jan: Homeschooling and unschooling are already growing faster than public schooling. If the current trend continues, there will be more homeschooling children than those in school by the year 2050 (see http://alturl.com/6iov2 ).

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What I got from teaching another language at my daughter´s school

This is what a good friend of mine wrote to me:

This semester I started a new personal project: teach young kids a second language at my daughter’s school for free. I started doing this because I was teaching English to my daughter at home, so why not do it for more kids at the same time?

To make things easy, instead of organizing kids to come to my house, I offered myself to go to Luísa’s school twice a week (then 3 times) and sing songs with my guitar to the kids there for half an hour.

With the principal´s approval, I rehearsed a few children songs and got my repertoire ready to go. I also started to read books to them before singing.

Some of the songs are Three Little Birds, Don’t Worry Be Happy, One Love, Octopus’s Garden and There Ain’t No Road Too Long (from Sesame Street, I really love the message in this one).

The kids in the two groups I teach are between 2 and 5 years old.

I started doing it also because I feel like participating actively in the children’s education (not only my girl’s) and this seemed like a good way to start. With my half an hour little classes 3 times a week, I spend less than 2 hours a week dedicated to this. It´s not so much and I can do it because I´m not in a full-time job (or a job of any sort).

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To unschool or to not unschool?

Rita comes from Brazil and now lives in a rural area in between a tiny town with about 300 people and a little town with about 3000, and she shares her thoughts on homeschooling. She says:

The tiny town is simply one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. As I rode a bike through an amazing path by the sea with this exuberant green life, I decided this was worth a while longer to stay.

The big difference about these two options is the school. The tiny town obviously has no kindergarten. Instead, there is a wonderful lady doing some volunteer homeschooling work for two hours twice a week.

There is another tiny town close by (half an hour by bike) with a same kind of homeschooling hours program in which I could put Luísa into (and get fit while doing so :) ).

Besides these few hours, I’d need some babysitting hours to complement and give me some time to work. It would be very close to unschooling.

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Enough of unschooling for now

I really like the unschooling path and I want to be there one day. But my reality shows it´s not the best option for now. After 2 months being back home from Costa Rica, we didn’t make any new steady friends and I realized it was harder than I thought, since all kids are in school.

My 5-year old girl can play with 2 boys that are sons of two of my friends. But it´s not very frequent that we meet them and so Luísa was left without kids for many days in a row. She seemed perfectly fine with this. She never wants to leave my side and wasn’t keen on the idea of going to school.

We live in a house a bit far from downtown and we have no neighbors, so it´s a pity that she can´t go and find kids in our street. Playing with other kids involve my full commitment. I want her to be with kids every day, or almost every day. So I had to decide fast if I wanted to give it a go at the local private school before the school year ends in December.

I also was having no time for myself, or for work. Before coming back to Brazil, I thought I´d hire someone to watch her a few days a week, but it just doesn’t make any sense to have a babysitter with no kids around.  Plus it would cost more than school. And since all kids are in school, she would be with another adult most of the time.

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Homeschooling in California

The interests of homeschooling parents and organizations are in California represented by The HomeSchool Association of California (HSC). This organization was established in 1987 by a small group of homeschooling moms in the Bay Area. Initially they called their organization the ‘Northern California Homeschool Association’, but later changed the name in HSC, and the group has grown into a statewide, powerful organization.

The original founding families have come to new stages in their lives, and have passed their vision and knowledge on to new Association members. It is the Association’s vision to be an inclusive organization dedicated to homeschooling and to support all types of homeschooling families in every possible way. The organization and its members believe and are convinced that homeschooling parents have the fundamental right and are the best deciders for their educational choices.

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Homeschooling in New York

When it comes to homeschooling, New York is a pretty heavily regulated state, but if you’re convinced that homeschooling your child is the best option, nothing should keep you and your family from going the path that you trust.

In New York state there are two crucial documents that you need to submit. The easy one is the letter of intent (LOI), and the somewhat more complicated one is the Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP). You must submit these two documents at the start of each school year to your school district’s superintendent for every child that you wish to homeschool.

You are required to submit your Letter of Intent by July 1st, or within two weeks after you started your homechooling activities. Within ten business days of receiving your Letter of Intent, your school district will send you an Individualized Home Instruction Plan that you must complete and return withing four weeks. You can use the school district’s form or use your own form. Within ten business days (or by August 31st), the district will be notifying homeschooling parents if their IHIP is complying with all state requirements.

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