New article: "Homeschooling During Y2K" (WARNING - Liberals, don't read this) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This article will eventually be on my website, but I am posting it here now for the benefit of members of this forum who have previously found my writings useful to their Y2K awareness and planning.

my website:

Home-Schooling During Y2K

Some links for information on this subject:

____________________________________________ NHERI is a respected nonprofit clearinghouse on information about homeschooling. Lobbyists and government officials make use of their statistics. _____________________________________________________________ One of the very best... a comprehensive listing of helpful sites, with a section that lists by state. _____________________________________________________________

State Laws and homeschooling: ______________________________________________________________ Other homeschooling links:

If the schools are unheated and without lighting due to utility shutdowns, the school buses do not have fuel and their embedded chips keep them from operating if they did, the highways are not getting snowplowed, teachers and other staff aren't getting paid, and food is in short supply for many people, what is the likelihood that the schools will be in session in January 2000, or anytime soon thereafter? My conclusion is: not high. Even if many employers are open for business and substantial numbers of workers are able/inclined to come in to work, the schools are still not guaranteed to reopen anywhere as early as businesses do. I fully expect the vast majority of schools in much of the country to lose the entire January-June 2000 semester, and many to be closed much longer. You will surely not want your children to lose months or years of progress in school. This means that part of a complete Y2K family preparation plan includes obtaining materials to continue your children's education even if the schools are closed for a long time.

You need specially-designed instructional materials for the little kids, as they do not learn by the same process adults do. Design of materials teaching the alphabet/how to read in particular is actually fairly sophisticated. (Only buy phonics-types, as the "look-say" types have been proven to be much less effective.) However, once middle-school is hit, children increasingly learn the same way that adults do; they simply need to expand their knowledge base and attention span.

A respected researcher on schooling in America (whose name I cannot recall at the moment) wrote a book I read several years ago on the weaknesses of public education in America. He thought that the only subjects that should be allowed during core hours in public high schools as a matter of law should be Writing, Literature, Mathematics, History, and Science. (I would amend the latter to allow only physical or biological sciences that existed as branches of inquiry before 1960). If they wanted to take tertiary subjects such as art anything, music anything, a foreign language, phys-ed, varsity sports, shop, religion,etc., they would take it after hours at their family's expense. I think he was onto something. If a juvenile is below grade level (and most K-12 students in America currently are) in any of the 5 core subjects listed above, there arguably would be no time available for instruction in other areas as if they were core academic subjects during time reserved for core academic instruction. In a post-1999 world of much physical labor to do during daylight, and lights at night being effectively rationed (if available), staying focused on the core academic subjects will be more important, not less. Plan on accumulating mounds of books of all kinds for your children to read, including ones not easily defined as belonging in any particular academic category, for reading "after class". Never forget that reading is an acquired skill as much as it is a means for obtaining information/stimulating thinking; it is better that children read something of neutral value, than it is that they not be reading.

The above does not mean that no one should study foreign languages; on the contrary, they will undoubtedly become important again for Americans one day (Spanish is valuable now in much of the U.S. Southwest, Florida, and some major cities in the East). Art and music are historically popular and mostly harmless forms of recreation (excepting rap and some rock). Some valuable skill areas for shop/vocational instruction are listed in the second half of item #4 in my article "Finding Y2K Prep Time". Simply, this article is focused on the most important academic subjects, ones without which no one can reasonably aspire to professions that require college (for when colleges reopen one day) education without proficiency.

The above leads me to this advice on selecting instructional materials: obtain a variety of used textbooks (mainly on the 5 core subjects above) from inexpensive sources such as garage/rummage sales, bookstores specializing in used textbooks (common near colleges), and the like. These books are so cheap if obtained from the least costly sources, and are so invaluable for continuing your children's education if Y2K disrupts society for years (as I suspect it will), that obtaining at least 5 year's worth of textbooks per child should definitely be on your "must-get" list. The minimum competence level of writing among U.S. textbook writers seems to have been higher before about 1965, so for many areas, the older books are actually preferable. Most literature worth reading was written before the Vietnam war; almost the only important literature written since then (I'll put Rudyard Kipling up against Danielle Steele any day) would be hard-science science fiction (Pournelle, Asimov, Niven, Drake and Le Guin would be representative authors) or Ayn Rand's last works.

Mathematics and introductory physics/inorganic chemistry have not appreciably changed in the last several decades, at least at the level at which noncollege-level students will be studying them. In science, books current enough to cover DNA, continental drift/plate tectonics, evolutionary biology (including the dinosaur extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous), quantum theory/electron orbitals, the Green Revolution, recent discoveries in astronomy and the like will eventually be needed for older students. (Prions, Malthus, Freud, the flaws in Kant's writings,and B.F. Skinner can wait until college-level). If a science book speaks positively of the concept of nuclear winter, creationism (or gives it more than 3 sentences), treats global warming as a proven fact, though, don't buy it, because it is probably a bad science text.

Obviously, not all of history will be covered in a 30-year-old book, but most of U.S. history occurred before 1965, and the older books cover that period well. Below are some items to tell if you have a good high-school history textbook on a particular period in front of you or not. (Items nearly certain of inclusion have been left off this list). Note that an omission of a significant historical event from the list below that I have considered worth mentioning is probably less important than the presence of a marker of undesirability. This is because missing pieces of history in one book can be made up for by finding a fair account of them in another book, while if a negative marker is present, the latter is a likely indication of poor scholarship/presence of a negative-value agenda on the part of the author(s), condemning the whole book. The only exception to this would be if few of the significant events for a period that I have listed below are present; that would indicate a pattern of deliberate exclusion of events that "round-out" a student's dawning comprehension of the period, also removing the book from consideration for use in instructing history.

Bad Signs:

Miscellaneous -mentions Seneca Falls -glorification of American aborigine society -unrealistically glorifies agricultural life at the expense of industrialized life -mentions "peace institutes"

Pre-Revolutionary War Period -doesn't mention how American aborigines crossed into the New World by the Bering Straits land bridge a few thousand years ago (if known when book was written) -is predominantly negative about Columbus -doesn't mention the failure of socialism at Jamestown -doesn't mention the wide variety of European nations colonizing the New World

Revolutionary War -doesn't mention Patrick Henry -doesn't mention Nathan Hale -doesn't mention John Paul Jones -doesn't mention the British hiring Hessian mercenaries -doesn't mention the battles of Saratoga, Breed's (Bunker) Hill, or Lexington/Concord -mentions Benjamin Franklin's private life

War of 1812 -doesn't mention the origin of the National Anthem at Fort MacHenry -doesn't mention the Battle of New Orleans -doesn't mention the Monroe Doctrine

Civil War -doesn't mention the North once had slavery -doesn't mention tariffs favoring Northern manufacturers -doesn't mention the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, or Cold Harbor -doesn't mention the CSS Alabama/USS Kearsage battle -doesn't mention the French emperor Maximilian of Mexico

World War I -doesn't mention the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 -doesn't mention the British reneging on delivering the ships they were building for Turkey on the eve of WWI -blames Germany for the war -doesn't mention how the Russian mobilization pushed Europe toward war -doesn't mention the French Army mutinies -doesn't mention Kerensky

World War II -doesn't mention the Japanese attacking the USS Panay in 1937 -doesn't mention the Japanese Rape of Nanking -doesn't mention the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact -doesn't mention the Soviet invasion of Finland in the 1939 Winter War -doesn't mention how Britain planned to invade Norway in WWII -doesn't mention the Katyn Forest massacre -doesn't mention the Soviet murder of tens of millions of their own people -doesn't mention Vlasov -doesn't mention the WWII German and Japanese nuclear weapon research programs -dwells on the incident where General Patton slapped a soldier

Post-World War II -doesn't mention the Berlin Wall -doesn't mention the Chinese Communist murders of tens of millions of their own people -doesn't mention the Gulag in the USSR -mentions U.S. open-air nuclear tests without mentioning the USSR/Red Chinese tests that ended later -doesn't mention the Soviet biologist Lysenko -is sympathetic toward Communism, such as considering it just another economic system -speaks negatively about European colonialism in the Third World without mentioning the even more tragic human disasters that followed when it ended -doesn't mention the Cultural Revolution in China Vietnam War and later -exclusively blames Israel for the post-WWII Mideast wars -doesn't mention the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 -doesn't mention the Soviet invasion of Czechoslavakia in 1968 -doesn't mention Soviet dissidents such as Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn -is sympathetic toward socialism -mentions Wounded Knee -speaks positively about having children out of wedlock -speaks approvingly of Vietnam War draft dodging -speaks approvingly of moral relativism -dwells more on My Lai than VC/NVA atrocities -doesn't mention Tibet -mentions the ERA positively -doesn't mention Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick -dwells on Three Mile Island or Love Canal -dwells on Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" -speaks positively about the welfare system -mentions homosexuality at all (except in a discussion on HIV) -dwells at length on race post-1970 except for busing, affirmative action, Bakke ruling, the Rodney King riots or Simpson trial -blames the West for Third World hunger -doesn't mention the Chinese Tiananmen Square massacre

-- MinnesotaSmith (, October 23, 1999


"(WARNING - Liberals, don't read this)" ???

Care to elaborate?

-- @ (@@@.@), October 23, 1999.

Minnesota thinks that "Liberals" are the problem, they are the DGI, they cause all the problems, they are the reason things will go TEOTWAWKI.

Just another freak in this "Y2k sideshow".

-- hamster (, October 23, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

For a completely different POV about homeschooling, from a libertarian, check out my July 11th & 14th, 1999 posts on Homeschooling, and some safety considerations for homeschoolers.

For a completely different POV about history, see Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen, and A People's History of the United States : 1492-Present by Howard Zinn.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 23, 1999.

Liberals usually (and it is a wide stereotyping) want people taught in schools by the govt, because the govt. knows best.

Incidentally, as a side note, if the history book says that nuclear bomb tests are great because they give beautiful sunsets, don't get it. :) (I still remember that from high school.)

-- James Collins (, October 23, 1999.

I hate sterotypes, but if I have to choose between being an open- minded liberal or a narrow-minded conservative, I guess I'll be a "liberal".

-- @ (@@@.@), October 23, 1999.

Excellent post! I wholeheartedly agree with homeschooling. In fact, I homeschool myself and have for the past 4 years. Your philosophy is similar to my own. Remind folks that when you teach your own kids that YOU get to construct the educational framework and YOU get to define the goals you wish to achieve. Sure you must meet state guidelines, but those are usually quite broad. As a homeschooler you can cover so much more, so much better.

I agree that much of the stuff put out to day is too PC to be accurate. I realize that you stepped lightly around that wording by preferring pre 1965 textbooks, but there you have it in a nutshell. I lived in Japan and those folks don't even teach their kids modern history. They have to wait until they are in post-graduate school to find out their own very slanted version of the "facts". You wouldn't believe what they are told. They think that we were the aggressors in WWII and that we dropped the bombs for no reason except to conquer them. Pearl Harbor rings no bells with them and they know nothing of the rape of Nanking. When told, they blink severely and deny that it ever happened. Then they demand that the Smithsonian remove the display on the dropping of the bombs in Japan. It is a part of history. You can't ignore it and pretend it will go away. They come to our Arizona memorial and smile as their pictures are taken. You must understand that in their society, smiling is NEVER done in a picture. Heaven forbid that YOU should smile at their Peace Pavillion. I felt great sorrow at both locations and would never have viewed either one as a celebratory photo op. We owe our kids a better history than that. We owe them the truth. Homeschooling allows us the freedom to do just that.

The more that I travel the world, the more I understand. Americans don't realize how few people understand their own history. They think everyone is afforded the same view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just last month I was asked to explain WWII to some Italian high school students. The person that asked me was an Italian high school teacher. The kids didn't have a clue about what even started the war and they were about to graduate! Those that do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it.

I homeschool for continuity as my family travels and lives overseas. Yet the more I see and read about the public education system back home, the more I begin to think I should continue it when I return.

Stocking up on books is an excellent idea. Don't forget to stock up on ones for Mom and Dad too as they will be the ones that act as reference tools.

I "save" books and put them out periodically. My daughter is constantly "surprised" by the new books on the shelf. I rotate them too. When they are not read, I put them away for 6 months and try them out later. I choose the books for content. My daughter just turned 8. We went to Bath Abbey in England and spotted a stained glass of King Alfred. I asked who was being depicted and my daughter piped up with, "I know who he is, Mommy." The rector looked down at her and I prompted her to tell us all the story. She did. The rector smiled at her and placing a hand on her shoulder said how nice it was to have somebody literate visit his abbey! I was so proud!!

I am constantly being told how bright my children are and asked how I do it. It's easy. Love'em, listen to them, ask them, listen to them, love'em, love'em, love'em.

I was told by my mentor teacher once, "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Truer words were never spoken. Trust yourself as a parent and as a teacher. Whether you homeschool or not, you are teaching your children every day by what you do and say.

Y2K presents many opportunities for growth and education. There is planning, record keeping, lists, recipes, storage means, etc... Let your kids help you. You will be amazed at how adept they are and how much they want to be involved. They will be less frightened too if they understand what you are doing and why.

Homeschooling is more than books. It is about giving your kids a lifelong joy of learning. Not everything worth learning comes in a book. There are places to see, ideas to discuss, things to build and study, stuff to dig up and explore, people to question and learn from. We discussed mummies and the pyramids with an egyptologist at the British museum. My daughter dug up 300 year old pottery shards with the neighbors at the house they are renovating. Stonehenge was AWESOME!

Yes, we are lucky to live here right now. But if I were back in the states, I'd be at the state and national parks, talking with the vet about animals, taking pond scum samples in for analysis and using my microscope to look at it at home. Don't forget the manipulatives as you stock up on supplies.

I personally enjoy the arts. I regret that my education did not include them and that I was virtually illiterate in that area. I have stressed it in our home. We visit national galleries, local archeological sites, etc. Art is history. It tells us so much about the past and the people who lived then. I wish I knew more. My daughter certainly knows more than I did at her age. My son is still too little yet.

I wax waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too long. As you can tell, I too am an avid adherent to homeschooling. It is not for everybody....yet, but if Y2K goes as many of us predict, it may soon be. So prepare for this too. If you are worried about doing this, don't. It comes quite naturally. Remember, as parents, you have been teaching them since you brought them home from the hospital...."Say Mommy, Say Mommy, honey.....Moooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyy".....Great Job, Mom and Dad. You can do it!

-- Ynott (, October 23, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

There's a new thead on homeschooling at the Prep Forum.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 23, 1999.

Hey y'all. Guess you could say I'm not only liberal, but feminist to boot. Unschooled my kids last year. It's been terrific. Can recommend it w/ out reservation. It's also hard work, and demands that you make an ongoing commitment to your children. My approach was to let tham lead the way w/ their interests, and I'd support them. It's amazing, the life skills that are easily incorporated into projects kids want to do. Childrens' experience of participating for a time in 'the real world' (aka the local community), alongside adults doing the work they do, is w/out parallel.

-- silver ion (, October 23, 1999.

Minnesota Smith is a Rush Limbaugh wanabe. He even looks like him. By the time you finish reading the first page of his website--almost everyone would be offended. JMHO.

-- incredulous (, October 23, 1999.

I am an 8th grade Reading teacher and have a daughter who will be 5 in December. She attends a Montessori preschool, which we both love. Next school year will be/would have been? her first in public school (same district in which I teach and I can choose her school). But just in case, I have laid in quite a store of materials. Manipulatives, the dreaded workbooks (she actually likes them). She has been teaching herself to read for the past few months. She is recognizing some whole words without pictures now, such as cat. She "reads" a book by turning the pages, telling the story as she remembers it, and describing the pictures. This is definite pre- reading. She has TONS of books and I also put some things away and bring them out as I feel she is ready. Remember, small children (actually all of us) still learn quite a bit from *doing*, and not just all academic work. I am prepared to homeschool.

-- Preparing (, October 23, 1999.

Open minded liberal? Never heard of such a thing. The classical liberal would today be considered a conservative (liberal economically). Name one thing todays liberals are open minded about. Partial birth abortion? Tax cuts? School choice? No, No, No.

-- (, October 23, 1999.


Compared to Minnesota Smith here, almost anyone is more open-minded. Again, I see no need for labels, but if he is conservative, then I'll definitely fall into the "liberal" category.

Maybe I should start a thread something like this:

Feeding Your Children At Home During Y2K (WARNING - Conservatives don't read this)

After all, it is a well known fact that conservatives don't feed their children, right?

-- @ (@@@.@), October 23, 1999.

Hey Preparing, verbs are big red circles!

My kids were at Montessori from toddler age on up to, respectively, 4 and 8. I attended their Montessori school as a kid too, until I was 12. Plus I'm an academic by trade. All this notwithstanding, it took unschooling to make me realize that in developing her method, Maria M. was trying to approximate a home environment for the benefit of Italian street kids who would otherwise not have had anyone to respect their sensitive little souls. Unschooling can describe the essence of what is best about Montessori education, w/out the bureaucratic nonsense.

My suggestion to prospective homeschoolers: cruise books by Maria Montessori and about Montessori method (there are lots) for really smart, thoughtful ideas on the 'how to' of participating in kids' learning--and then follow your intuition about which notions are valuable.

-- silver ion (, October 23, 1999.


Good subject, government systems could be in trouble if Y2K is more than a BITR. Too bad the liberal comment could ruin your thoughts here.

Government schools are not to be trusted. Y2K or no Y2K.

@ (@@@.@),

No, no, conservatives feed their own children but they do not want to feed everyone else's children who do not need to be fed other than the fact that their parents are willing to let someone feed them if food is offered to them. However, as a conservative,I would agree that it is a stretch to call ketchup a vegetable.

-- the Virginian (, October 23, 1999.

Silver Ion: You are right about Maria Montessori. She was a woman WAY ahead of her time. If she was alive today, she'd still be ahead of her time. I think her educational philosophies are very underrated and misunderstood. They have been taken out of context and twisted into something "weird", and they certainly are not. My daughter has received the most wonderful preschool education because she has attended a *true* Montessori school (not just one that uses the name).

-- preparing (, October 24, 1999.

My daughter is in Italian school for language immersion. I supplement her lessons at school with Saxon math, which I see as her weak area, although she is on level. She reads at the high school level, though of course "deep" concepts are somewhat beyond her right now. So, I hold off on those books and concepts until later. Her father and I decided to "lateralize" her this year through the immersion process. She was already one year ahead. I watch those shows where children are graduating high school at 12 and cringe. Children can and often do finish a year or two early. But if your little genius is "that" advanced, try some lateralizing of your own. There are many projects that can be accomplished to further stretch their abilities without pushing them ahead by the numbers. You may note that none of those children graduating at such "incredibly" young ages attend prestigious, large universities. Not that that is the only basis on which to judge success, but obviously the parents of these little geniuses feel that it is or they wouldn't be pushing them so hard. Additionally, they don't seem to excel in life later either. Let's face it, there are very few jobs available to 15 year olds with history degrees. Heck, 22 year old history majors can't find work!

As I said before, I like art. I believe that it gives a more well rounded view of history. A good and economical way to pursue this topic, if you are interested in teaching your children this subject, is to visit your local galleries, the public libraries, the school libraries, and collecting post cards. The post cards of great works of art can be mounted on poster board and the back used for description. Art prints are also readily available through many sources. However, they need to be mounted or stored in some manner as the paper is usually quite flimsy.

As a homeschooler, these subjects and so many more can be selected by you or your children as your interests arise. I happen to live in a wonderful location to view art and collect the post cards. I am not wasting this opportunity. I also collect post cards of famous sites and locations. I have a wonderful collection started containing such famous locations as Devil's Tower, The Colisseum, The Kremlin, etc. Have your relatives and friends send you some as they travel. Sometimes the Chamber of Commerce will send you material!

Some folks here worry about socialization and other view points being offered to children. That is a valid question. For those of you who are interested, homeschooled children have a very rich and varied socialization not afforded to public school children. When you think about it, how much socialization do public school children receive and what type? If they are behaving, then they are NOT talking in their seats at school and only get a little conversation in between classes, at lunch, and perhaps P.E. or recess. The conversations (at least what I remember from school, both as a teacher and as a student) generally revolve around who is dating whom, what to wear, and who said what. And by the way, is it really natural for a child to associate with only one age group, that being their own? For those of you wanting your kids to deal with "real life", how many of you associate only with people of your age right now? The morals and lessons that they learn, the behaviors that they mimic are their friends and not those of adults. Shouldn't children be modeling proper adult behavior that they will grow into as opposed to juvenile behavior that you want them to grow out of? Let's contrast that with a homeschooled kid. He/she finishes school and then perhaps takes a language at the public school or local college (yes, homeschoolers often take advantage of the local public school for languages, band, chorus, etc.), then the young person is off to their part time job at the vet's learning how to care for animals. My brother did that and today he is chief of staff at a Florida hospital. We attended public school, but took advantage of early graduation and CLEP testing to accelerate out educations. After the job, he/she can now attend activities with their peer group, enjoying such activities as clubs, events, etc.

In homeschooling, the greatest advantage is that you and your child can custom tailor the educational process. I love the endless avenues of inquiry afforded us.

People homeschool for many reasons. Some do it for religious reasons, political reasons, out of fear for their children's safety, continuity, enrichment, or just because they want to. Some homeschool for a year and some for the entire primary and secondary phases of education. Almost without exception these kids flourish.

It is true that homeschooled kids outscore their peer groups in public schools. It is true that homeschooled kids are able to interact with many age groups comfortably in a way far different from their peer group. It is true that they are able to "stand their ground" in ways far different from their same aged friends.

There seems to be a fear that they are limited in their ability to hear many ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Homeschooled children read more viewpoints than the single text in a public school can provide. They must "defend" their ideas to their teacher (just as in public school). They also "defend" before other homeschoolers at meetings. Yes, many of us meet on a regular basis for mutual support and edification.

There seems to be a fear that homeschoolers work in isolation. We are more in the mainstream than are public school kids. We work in the community and explore it on a daily basis.

I am a product of the public education system. I have taught in both the private and public sectors. I have also homeschooled for the past four years. Both systems have their merits and weak points. But a dedicated parent with the desire to teach their own children can and almost invariably DOES surpass what a public forum can do. You are teaching at exactly the correct level. You have a one on one classroom situation. You can go off topic as much as you like and pursue avenues of interest that a classroom teacher simply does not have the time for. How can you not succeed?

Homeschooling requires intense dedication and patience. It requires love and respect. It requires you to be on call 24 hours a day, 52 weeks a year. Nothing is off topic. Everything is fair game.

Homeschooling is not for everyone. I am not putting down public education. I am a product of an excellent public school system. I may enroll my children in the public schools when I return. It depends on what I find when I figure out where we will be living. With homeschooling, I have found that I now have a choice and a voice that I never realized I had before.

Before you go putting down homeschooling, research it a bit, just as you did Y2K. You may be surprised. It didn't hurt Ben Franklin or Einstein either.

-- Ynott (, October 24, 1999.

Ynott: Touche. I second everything you said. I have often thought that the ideal education for young people would be to be taught by a dedicated educator in a very small setting, maybe three children, maybe a multi-age grouping, at home. People always assume b/c it is called homeschooling that they never leave the house. Quite the contrary, if you are doing a good job by the kids you leave the house quite a bit. There is a lot to be learned in the big world.

As a teacher and a mother, I have often wanted to have a "homeschool" in my home with my daughter and one to three (max) other children, not all necessarily the same age. I know a woman here who does this very same thing. She keeps the same kids (her son and two other boys) year after year....they have the stability of the same teacher and she simply moves up with them. They are taught year round, they do not stop learning over the summer, but it does take on a different dimension in different seasons. They not only immerse themselves in rigorous academia, but also learn practical lessons. These boys are in the 8th grade and know more about zoology than I learned in my college zoology course, just b/c they all showed such an interest in the classificatory science of animals. They also are great gardeners and are certified master composters. They get so much great hands-on experience it is amazing. One of the boys she teaches is my cousin and he loves it. The teacher also feels it is important for children to develop deep, lasting, and meaningful relationships with their educator and peers. That is definitely going on with them.

They perform science experiments in the kitchen and backyard and garage. They have gone to more museums than other kids their age. They have visited high-tech companies and received a behind the scenes look at computer chip manufacturers (only b/c they are such a small group I am sure). Discipline problems are almost nonexistent. Parent/teacher communication occurs daily. To me, that is an ideal education.

-- Preparing (, October 24, 1999.

Wonderful prepared! I hope that you too get the opportunity to pursue your dream of homeschooling. I can tell by reading your posts that you would enjoy it immensely and that you would be terrific at it as well!

I hope my posts served to encourage anybody who was interested in trying it and to support those who "fear" they might have to very soon. It is the greatest job you will ever have....and you will love it. Always changing and challenging. Good luck to us all and God bless.

-- Ynott (, October 25, 1999.

"mostly harmless forms of recreation (excepting rap and some rock)".Does this include Blondie's "rapture",one of the first recorded rap songs?BWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!(SORRY FELLER)Wow,if you don't think listening to rap music or "some rock" is "mostly harmless" I wonder what opinion you have of true "dangerous"revolutionary recreation(like reading and discussing the U.S. constitution!)I guess for some Rush Limbaugh is still a short cut to thinking!There's really no reason to hide racism behind conservative politics.Still,I'm sure Will Smith feels sleeps a little better knowing he's not "mostly harmless"

-- zoobie (, October 25, 1999.

...the man from mars stopped eating cars and eating bars,and now he only eats guitars!!-"RAPTURE" by BLONDIE

-- zoobie (, October 25, 1999.

zoob -

Dude. "Rapture"? Debbie Harry deadpanned her way through some bad Dr. Suess and they cashed in on the latest craze, 2 years after Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" made the sound accessible to the mainstream.

Blondie wandered off and went to sleep when the disco/dance sound died in the early 80's. It was tracks from Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Run-DMC, the Fat Boys, and of course DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (Mr. Smith himself) that put the music on the map.

Having said all that, for you to imply that an aversion to "rap" is racist is absurd. I love the sound and the form, but I have a strong aversion for what far too many rappers do with it nowadays. Tracks packed with idiotic, misogynistic, violent scenes, encouraging youth to adopt an attitude of "I'm the baddest man around and I can do and will whatever I want whenever I want." That type of music is hateful, in the fullest sense of that word.

Artists like Will Smith and Lauryn Hill communicate wonderfully and affectingly using the form, but they are few and far between, and many of the others give the music a very bad name indeed.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), October 25, 1999.

Oh,whatever.Country music still has the most violent and misogynistic referances in song titles and lyrics but that's cool because it's performed predominantly by whites.

-- zoobie (, October 30, 1999.

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