HST Notes, California, the Olympics, homeschoolers at school and the gifted

Update: This week’s show is posted, but there is some dead air at the beginning of the program after the intro.  Once I got the sound working, I didn’t realize it was working so you can listen to the introduction twice, at least until I have time to edit it.  If you fast forward to about ten minutes into the program, you will have sound.

Home School Talk Notes

Join me Monday, August 18 at 1PM CST to discuss news, homeschooling “as it should be” and homeschooling the child with special needs.

Coming feature: The show should soon be available via iTunes.  My understanding is that it can take up to a week to be included and may not immediately show up in searches, but I will announce as soon as the show is there.

Last week’s show (8/11/08), available here:  Home School Talk, The Gifted Child

I.  California Appellate Court ruling regarding homeschooling

The first article I read regarding the decision actually popped up in my feedreader from OneNewsNow, a conservative Christian news site.  After summarizing the case, I focused on the closing paragraph of their report.

Farris says groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Counsel, HSLDA, and Focus on the Family teamed up and were armed with new information that compelled the court to uphold parents’ constitutional right to educate their children at home.  OneNewsNow

From the beginning of this case, I was impressed by the ability of so many disparate groups to work together for one common goal.  HSLDA and the three statewide California homeschool associations were even able to issue a joint statement showing their commitment to the preservation of homeschool liberties for all.  But suddenly, now that the case is over, the only ones of relevance are conservative, Christian groups?  Rather than commending the efforts of California homeschoolers, all recognition goes to a handful of national interest groups.  Annoying, and I’m not even from California.

II.  The Olympics

In 2004, the US diving team failed to bring home a medal for the first time in 96 years, raising concerns that perhaps the program needed to change.  One of the biggest challenges the team faced was the fact that US athletes tend to train part time whereas athletes in other countries train full time.  The answer?  Homeschooling.

USA Diving established a national training center three years ago in Indianapolis and continued to identify young and talented athletes.  Wingfield and Chen started to sell athletes and their families on the idea of training full-time and being home-schooled.  JCOnline (original article removed)

For students who see homeschooling as a sacrifice to be made for their Olympic dreams, they seem to be doing pretty well.

My daughter also had a comment on the story, but you will need to listen to the show to hear her (along with her lovely introduction to the show, of course!)

Links for lessons:

Summer Olympics 2008 Lapbook

Debbie’s Digest, with a variety of links and information

III.  An Unschooled Child’s View of School

This was a brief discussion of Kevin Snavley’s essay “Education From the Free Eye,” and included some thoughts on the introduction, which I discussed here last week in A homeschooled child’s view of school.

IV.  Gifted education

My guest this week was Susan of Life on the Planet who spoke from her experience homeschooling a gifted child.

If you have questions, comments, show ideas or would like to be on the show, please email my at homeschooltalkshowATgmailDOTcom.  Or leave a comment here.  Also, if you have any lessons you would like to share or have come across, let me know.  I would like to at least occasionally feature lesson plans and unit studies, especially when they are relevant to the news of the day.

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JJ Ross
A more important idea about schooling and world-class sports performance, is that standardizing a system for either one isn’t a winning strategy. World-class tennis had the same concerns the diving team does now, but the answer wasn’t homeschooling so much as UNschooling both academics and sports performance! 🙂 “Flash! WIMBLEDON WIDGET WOES: Intelligent Individuals OutRank Factory Robots!” The Whole Game has changed so much over 120 years–were racquets made of wood then, or whittled whale bone, oh dear, not raw human flesh like the 11th century monks?? –that surely those early (almost accidental by comparison) greats would urge us to… Read more »
No, there is no one way to do much of anything. 🙂 And it seems only natural that a lot of young people competing at this level would be looking to homeschooling to give them the flexibility their schedules demand. The two young men I talked about appear to be enrolled in some sort of virtual program, but it was interesting how much the grades of one of the young men improved as soon as he was no longer at such a disadvantage for missing class time. For viewing this as a sacrifice, both of them seem to be doing… Read more »
I saw a different article, that talked about the ruling and then basically turned it into a commercial for HSLDA. I had the same reaction you did. I talked by phone with the head one of the more inclusive groups and she remarked about how well all the different groups got along. One thing I’ve learned after being quoted in the media myself quite a few times is that the fault is typically with the writer who is trying either has a preconceived notion about the issue or is trying to create one. Either way, it is annoying.
JJ Ross

Sure, more time flexibility in academics is great — unless it’s squandered by merely pouring even more youthful time and energy and focus into some other kind of nationalized performance machine.

Yes, but my impression at least was that these young men were happy to be training to meet their dreams. I don’t know all that much about them outside of this article, though. Spunky, that is true. Reporters ask quite leading questions, and OneNewsNow is hardly unbiased, although I don’t find them as sensationalistic as some others. The whole thing is annoying. The efforts of those which don’t fit a particular ideology were excluded. But it is more than that. I don’t mind nationwide organizations, but to me there real function should be to work support state groups and serve… Read more »
JJ Ross

Well, your seemingly unrelated grab bag of topics in this post turn out to have quite a lot in common! 🙂


That’s funny. 🙂 See if it works for next week’s “grab bag.”