jeudi, janvier 27, 2005

For All the Single Parents Out There

[Closed circuit to all my readers out there: My work is no joke right now...I mean to write more, but my days are insane and my nights...well, my'll just tell you...]

My wife is in Atlanta right now for a Horticulture conference. She returns on Saturday, and in the interim, it's daddy day care. Good times. Good times.

What's remarkable is that this is remarkable. My wife works every 7th weekend, and on those Saturdays and Sundays, my daughter is with me from 7 to 5. In the summer it's pretty darn easy. We just hang out in the fresh air and work and play. In the winter, being with a toddler in snowy Minnesota can be challenging. If I can say it respectfully, toddlers are like border collies; they are happiest if they can run until they drop.

My wife on the other hand...well...she's with our little one whenever I travel, and let's just say that I do my share of traveling (so far this year: NJ, San Diego and Sunday I leave for Denver). These days with my wife away will give me a small appreciation for what it is like for her when I am gone. Our daughter is wonderful and kind and polite and good natured with toddler jags of fury and rage and isolated moments of contrary behavior. But for the most part she is pretty darn good. What I've observed is that it's best to keep her fed and rested and engaged. Woe unto him who will not heed this warning.

But four days of daycare and every 7th weekend all by my self is really not that tough. It can be tiring and frustrating, but, for the most part, it is wonderful. I don't get to spend too much time with my daughter, just the two of us, and I try to regard it as precious. I don't always succeed.

What I can barely wrap my mind around (even as I understand that most of us adjust to the challenges of the life we lead) is how single parents do it. I'm telling you what. I would struggle. We all need a teammate...we all need someone to tag up with when life is giving us the piledriver, and we all need someone to bounce ideas off of, etc. That there are single parents out there making their way, and doing their thing largely on their own makes me embarrassed and ashamed that four days on my own is a noteworthy event.

So, as I care for my daughter by myself (and figure out how to make it to the Timberwolves game on Friday night), I raise a glass of this season's best beer to all the single moms and dads out there gettin' it done. But only one glass - I need to stay sharp while we work the Dora jigsaw puzzle and I limit my daughter's applesauce intake to three small bowls.

Two subjects come to my mind with all of this: first, can we acknowledge that it's just better to have two parents to raise a child? It's hard because I, for one, do not want to place value judgments on the lifestyles (intentional or unintentional) of others, but man, oh man it's nice to have an extra set of hands. Can we just say that and still love our brothers and sisters who are single parents?

Second, in the two income house - it can be hard to manage it all. This is our (atypical) ten day stretch, starting last Sunday:

Sunday - go to Mamma Mia downtown; immediately after play Duf leaves for San Diego
Monday - Mrs. Duf with TinyE
Tuesday- Mrs. Duf with TinyE; Duf returns at 10:00 pm (thanks grandma and grandpa)
Wednesday - Mrs. Duf leaves for Atlanta
Thursday - Duf with TinyE
Friday - Duf with TinyE (Timberwolves tickets...hmmm)
Saturday - Mrs. Duf returns from Atlanta
Sunday - Mrs. Duf works to disassemble the orchid show; Duf leaves for Denver.
Monday - Mrs. Duf with TinyE
Tuesday - Mrs. Duf with TinyE
Wednesday - Duf returns, jumps off plane and attends State of the Company meeting.

It all leaves me thinking that the one wage earner, one parent at home, two parent model is ideal - even as I recognize, respect and admire all the other models out there (including our own).

vendredi, janvier 21, 2005

Everybody Chill Out, He's a Pineapple that Lives Under the Sea!


jeudi, janvier 20, 2005

Tsunami Tstingyness - Why the Disaster Compels Me to Fight Hunger

The other night, I said to Mrs. Duf (she is more frugal than most) that I don’t think we should donate to a Tsunami relief fund. I felt like a big jerk for saying it, but I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I just don’t know that any contribution from our household would have much value beyond the symbolic. I think our charitable dollars are better spent elsewhere.

Here’s my reasoning, please tell me if I’ve reached the wrong conclusion.

First, by way of introduction, our family is blessed, there’s no doubt about it, but we are far from wealthy.

Second, we are a charitable people, and we support non-profits, our public radio station, charitable organizations, our church, every friend who does the three day walk for breast cancer research, the March of Dimes, the United Way, and (from time to time) individuals in need.

Third, if we were to donate to Tsunami relief, and let’s say we dug really deeply, we might be able to donate $500 (in theory we could do more than that, but $500 would be near the upper limits of any gift we would make – and, in reality, such a gift would likely be significantly less).

Last, any gift we made would compel us to reconsider gifts that we traditionally make. I figured it up, and we currently donate about 3% of our income to charity. In some years (when our income was smaller and we donated the old Honda), we donated a much as 8%.

The tsunami disaster is one of the more horrific specific natural events that has happened in my life time. I’m barely able to imagine the scope of it. The current death toll is near 180,000 and expected to reach 200,000 before all is said and done. That’s more than half the city of St. Paul. And even putting the disaster in those terms, it still makes little sense. In a conversation with a friend, I mentioned that the disaster compelled me to think about God and providence. So much power. So much devastation. In the way that all awesome things conjure up the majestic and all majestic things call to mind the divine, thinking about the tsunami makes me think about God.

I’ve read a lot about it too. One of my favorite articles put the disaster in a different perspective. It appeared in the January 17th issue of the New Yorker (which I’ve unilaterally decided is the best magazine of all time), and it started like this:

Nearly four million men, women and children have died as a consequence of the Congo civil war. Seventy thousand have perished in the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. In the year just ended, scores of thousands died in wars and massacres elsewhere in Africa, in Asia, in the archipelagoes of the Pacific, and, of course, in Iraq. Less dramatically, but just as lethally, two million people died of malaria around the world, and another million and a half of diarrhea. Five million children died of hunger. Three million people died of AIDS, mostly in Africa. The suffering of these untimely and terrible deaths – whether inflicted by deliberate violence, the result of human agency, or by avoidable or treatable malady, the result of human neglect – is multiplied by heartbroken parents and spouses, numbed and abandoned children, and, often, ruined survivors vulnerable to disease and predation and dependent, if they are lucky, on the spotty kindness of strangers.

So, as these things are measured (crudely). It seems better to a survivor in the regions where the tsunami played its havoc than it is to be tucked away somewhere quietly wondering if you will get enough food, or if that drink of water you just took will give you a lethal dose of diarrhea. Because, if you are in the path of the tsunami, you have something that many other victims lack and desperately need: you have attention.

Rock stars, professional athletes, actors and actresses. Countries. Aid organizations. Special concerts. Air time. Lots and lots of air time. I heard that Sandra Bullock gave a million dollars. While Randy Moss was busy asking the world “what’s ten grand to me?” NBA players were lining up for praise because they donated a $1,000 per point or per rebound.

Germany has promised $674 million.

The UK has currently pledged $100 million and will go to the several hundred millions soon.

The U.S. has pledged $350 million (but apparently, George Bush plans to use money from the disaster and famine assistance program to provide aid for the disaster (their current budget for 2005 is $384 million). Apparently Mr. Bush has been meeting with senior Republicans to try to cover the costs of the disaster without undermining his other priorities. Nice. Rob from the poor to pay the ravaged while the rich burn money to light Cuban cigars. Very nice indeed.).

And I’m told that Germany, Australia and Japan are giving more than us in absolute terms and several more countries are giving more than us per capita.

All told, the total amount currently pledged (by countries) to support the tsunami victims is 3 billion dollars. And that doesn’t even count the $1,000,000 Sandra Bullock is kicking in or the $30,000 or so that Carmelo “Stop Snitchin’” Anthony will peel off.

But let’s assume that the Duf family gives the most that it can ($500) and that the nations give all that they’ve pledged ($3,000,000,000). Our stretched donation amounts to throwing a bucket of water into the ocean. It’s not even one percent of one percent of one percent times 3.

I want to be careful. The tragedy is unimaginable. The aid is heroic and wonderful. It’s just that, in the face of it all, I feel all the more compelled to support the others who are suffering, particularly in light of the plans to divert aid from our existing disaster and famine budget (values voters of the world rejoice! Oh well, you can't help the hungry and pay favors to Wall Street at the same time!). Maybe now, dollars to fight famine and AIDS and water-borne infectious diseases will go further (and yes, cholera is a big threat to survivors in the tsunami's path of destruction). But friend, aid elsewhere could be a part of the tsunami's legacy - in the way that all natural disasters call forth the best of human nature.

Anyway, weigh I off track in my thinking?

lundi, janvier 17, 2005

"Sleep, Sleep Tonight, and May Your Dreams Be Realized..."

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
December 11, 1964

lundi, janvier 10, 2005

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling Part II: The Advantage of Socialization

Socialization (n) - to fit or train for a social environment.

In arguing the advantages of homeschooling, proponents suggest that homeschooled kids have a socialization advantage by essentially making three (3) points:

(1) The homeschooler has a community-based socialization, rather than a classroom-based socialization. One example, homeschoolers are not restricted to learning environments that are driven by.

(2) It is easier to model a particular behavior for your child if you have a wider range of ages to serve as models.

(3) Socialization for homeschoolers is real. It is not the artificial, contrived, false socialization of the classroom.


In my view, schools have an inherent advantage over homeschools in that they provide a microcosm of a particular community, rather than a simulated microcosm of community. Children in traditional schools also exist within the larger community and may even have an easier time connecting to community than their homeschooled counterparts. Classroom socialization is not artificial, contrived or false. It is age appropriate and closely resembles the socialized dynamic that is represented in a preponderance of our social structures (like work and college).

The First Point

The homeschooler has a community-based socialization, rather than a classroom-based socialization. The particular site I consulted argues that having children learn only among people their same age is forced and contrived. (I see this as two points – community based learning and learning divorced from age constraints).

Community-based Learning

With respect to the first point (community based learning) I cannot see an advantage for homeschoolers. They seem to argue that they learn about community best by withdrawing (even if only a little) from community. Initially, I thought the homeschool was rooted in the notion of home as the center of learning, and of course it is. But in my limited research, I found a lot of homeschool networks that form a community. Uniform homeschool curricula are available by computer. Homeschool parents meet to share ideas and approaches. Families get together to hire teachers for specialized subjects, to form musical groups and perform plays, and to participate in sports and other activities. But my argument is that homeschoolers have a home-based socialization. In order to have a community-based socialization, homeschoolers would have to be out in the community (which they are), but not nearly as much as students in traditional schools.

Taking the definition of socialization, if we are talking about training our children for a social environment, why not make that environment the community itself. Remember, one of the advantages of homeschooling is improved sharing of religious or philosophical concepts with one’s children. The more you go into the community, the more you potentially undermine that first advantage. If I were a computer genius, then I could place this all on a graph: the more at home you are, the less in the community you are. The more in the community you are, the less at home you are. The advantages of each, if not carefully balanced, start to compete with each other.

Age-based Learning

Homeschoolers are not confined to learning with “age-mates.” This particular homeschooler argues that true “classmates” are people of like ability, not people of like age. Learning with people one’s own age is limiting.

I agree with the general idea. It is better to learn with “classmates” than “age-mates.” I’m not sure homeschoolers necessarily do that. They learn at their own pace, so perhaps they are able to move on sooner than most students (my brother-in-law who has a Master’s in Education and experience as a teacher tells me that when homeschool kids came to his class, they were usually academically advanced, but socially behind – I realize that’s anecdotal). I wonder how families with children of multiple ages create classmates. I wonder if the oldest kid gets the same benefit. I wonder if the benefit of competition (I want to get the highest score in the class, or I want to get a higher score than Lisa) is lost. We know that homeschooled children can sometimes not have age-mates in their primary learning environment; can homeschooled children sometimes fail to have “classmates” as well?

So, let’s continue the argument that “classmates” are better than “age-mates” and in most traditional schools, there is a provision for this. Particularly in junior high school and high school, people tend to take classes and learn in rooms with peers – not people of their same age. In Minnesota, there is an International Baccalaureate program, and Advanced Placement program, and a curriculum that allows for class choice – consider mathematics – you take geometry, pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus I, calculus II or differential equations based on your ability – it’s true of everyone in your class too.

Also, most elementary schools have the ability to sort by ability and actually do sort by ability. A lot of traditional schools have children learn in age ranges (my daughter’s Montessori is set up so that she is in a class with younger and older kids. She learns; she teaches; appropriate behavior is modeled; she models appropriate behavior. In other words, the “age-mates” concept may not be a prevalent as this particular author suggests.

But consider one other thought. At a certain age, perhaps it is appropriate to learn among age-mates. Somehow I like the idea that my daughter will learn her address and how to line up for milk, the basics of language and math, and kickball all with kids who are around her age (though I have to add – not all of whom look like her). I don’t think she would be handicapped by learning next to a seven year old sibling (although there isn’t one), but I don’t think she is stunted by being around children of like age either. In fact, in a community setting, children may be less intimidated by learning in a class with people who are their size and age. Although certainly intimidation is not an issue at home.

The Second Point

It is easier to model a particular behavior for your child if you have a wider range of ages to serve as models.

I don’t want to give this advantage the short shrift, but I’m tempted to concede this point so that my post is not too long (I know, I know). If the older children are appropriate models, then fine, it’s easier. Traditional schools usually have a wider range of ages than most homes do. I also feel that we learn in myriad ways, including by seeing how we should act, and how we should not act. We learn in the classroom. We learn on the bus. We learn at recess. We learn on field trips. We learn at home. We learn during trips to the store. We learn all over place all the time.

The Third Point

I’ll start with a quote from the homeschool site I have referenced for this series.

…the socialization for homeschoolers is real. It is not the artificial, contrived, false socialization of the classroom. In the traditional classroom the variables are controlled by an unknown adult. The environment is controlled by people who have been hired to maintain the control of those variables for a defined agenda in classroom management. In the homeschool, students are exposed to all the variables of real life in the real world. They actually see adults they know, love, and trust solving the problems of daily living -- academic study balanced with real schedules, caring for the sick neighbor and getting her walkway shoveled, having the car inspected, doing the grocery shopping, changing the diapers while on the phone with Uncle Harry while turning down the heat on a boiling kettle, etc. etc. The never-ending balancing act that real people experience in the real world, not the spoon-fed phony regulation of the classroom.

This paragraph strikes at the core of my inability to appreciate the advantages of homeschooling. At times, I see the debate coming down to considering one concept as static (the traditional school) and the other as fluid (the home school).

Taking the key points from this paragraph…

I don’t want to concede that traditional schools are artificial, contrived or false environments for socialization (particularly since many home schools, I assume, seek to shelter children from some environments – sheltering in ways that public schools cannot).

I don’t want to concede that teachers in traditional schools are “unknown adults.”

After reading the persuasive comments to my first post in this series, I might concede that “the environment is controlled by people who have been hired to maintain the control of those variables for a defined agenda in classroom management.” One concern in traditional schools is that classroom management must occupy too great a portion of the learning time (classroom management is also a concern with homeschools, but presumably to a much lesser extent – and might environment management be an issue?).

But I flat out disagree with the following as a statement of fact or as a universal statement: “In the homeschool, students are exposed to all the variables of real life in the real world.” To this I say: not necessarily. In fact, it is highly unlikely to me that your average homeschooled child is exposed to all the variables of real life in the real world at anywhere near the extent of the average child at a traditional school.

Simple mathematics is all you need to figure that out. The more people you have, the more variables you have. A (usually) homogeneous school with five students has fewer variables than a (less homogeneous) school with 250 students. The more variables, the more real…and...the more like the real world.

I won’t concede that homeschooled kids “actually see adults they know, love, and trust solving the problems of daily living” but that children in traditional schools do not.

I won’t concede that academic study is not balanced with real schedules in traditional schools. In fact, I think real schools have an advantage over home schools in this regard because, to the extent that the end is considered, the setting is critical. Here’s what I mean. In college, you have set start times, in set rooms, with chairs that are all lined up in a row with set end times, a teacher at the front, and all the students doing the same thing at the same time. The students are diverse and different. In work, perhaps you sit in a cube, perhaps you go to meetings with set start and end times. You work on certain things at certain times. Perhaps you take work home at night – let’s call it “work you do at home” or “home work.” You are in an environment with many different people, and you have to figure out how to make it work. I’m saying the “regulation of the classroom” is a lot like the regulation in college, and a lot like the regulation at work too. Advantage, traditional schools.

In fact, the last two sentences in the italicized paragraph seem to me to be arguments for traditional schools. I always thought that homeschooled kids were learning in a more sterile environment. This suggests that while the lesson is more catered, the classroom management challenges – the challenges to the environment - are very real indeed. Is it okay if I don’t mind my kid sitting down at a desk learning adverbs if the alternative is shoveling someone’s sidewalk? Yes, it’s good to learn charity, but…as they say, charity begins at home. I can teach my child to be kind to neighbors after school.

vendredi, janvier 07, 2005

Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling Part One: Religious and Philosophical Convictions or It’s Hard to Replicate the World in Your Home

I have been surfing around digging on the whole homeschool scene, baby. Here’s the scoop, can you dig it?

Most pro-homeschooling sites, in one way or another, boil the advantages down to these:

First, the advantage of religious/philosophical convictions

Second, the advantage of socialization

Third, the advantage of academics, including –

Custom designed curriculum
Moving at child’s own pace
Working with the child’s learning style

Fourth, the advantage of "time as a family"

Source (a great site BTW)

Today’s post will consider the first advantage, the advantage of religious or philosophical convictions.

Of all the motivations for homeschooling, this is the one that makes the most sense to me, and, simultaneously, the least sense.

Here’s what I mean.

First, I feel strongly that public schools should not attempt to educate based on religious or philosophical convictions. I assume everyone agrees with that statement. How can a school seek to educate the public and teach religious or philosophical convictions at the same time? As a practical matter, it can’t. And, truly, most would not want it to do so.

However, this does not mean that traditional schools cannot promote religious or philosophical convictions. For many of us, including me (believe it or not) there are faith-based schools, in our communities, that also meet our needs. For those who do not have such schools in their communities and want to build an educational foundation on religious or philosophical convictions, homeschooling can be a wonderful alternative. In that way, it makes sense to me. Additionally, few can argue that for imparting your family’s religious or philosophical convictions, there are few better teachers than, well, your family.

The way this advantage does not make sense is that religious or philosophical convictions can be shared with our children in addition to the lessons they learn in traditional schools. When I struggle with homeschooling, this is where I struggle most - it tends to presuppose that its advantages cannot be obtained in traditional schools. Teaching your children your particular religious or philosophical convictions and sending them to a traditional school are not mutually exclusive.

My assumption is that parents who homeschool argue that their convictions are harder to impart if their children go to traditional schools because their convictions are set against the backdrop of other people’s religious and philosophical convictions (or lack thereof). Here, the argument will be settled differently for different folks. Some will conclude that it is best for children to hear one message and to take it in unchallenged until they are ready (read old enough) to consider other messages. Others (like me) will conclude that if our convictions are presented to our children with passion and reason, then they will endure in spite of other messages they receive.

I have a real-life example. My daughter goes to a Montessori in St. Paul. There are many things that I like about it. It is very structured. It is, even for three year olds, somewhat academic. She learns to socialize with other kids. She learns from and teaches children who are older and younger than she is. She picks up many, many things that we are proud of and admire, and a few that we wish she had not learned. The most awful example is that she recently brought home the word “stupid.”

One of the worst words ever. As one of my favorite professors said “you shouldn’t call a person stupid. It’s usually not true, and when it is, then you really shouldn’t say it.” What I’m trying to say is that we have a religious/philosophical conviction against calling people “stupid.”

So, there’s two ways to take this: first, we could imagine that we could craft an existence where our angels would not hear words until they were old enough to understand what motivates people to say them, why it is wrong to say them, and (more to the point) why their family does not say them. Or, second, we could use it as an opportunity to teach our religious and philosophical convictions - which is what we do. So, guess what my daughter says a lot these days.

“We don’t say ‘shut up.’”
“We don’t say ‘stupid.’”
“It’s not nice to hit people.”


Now, here is my critical point. This does not mean that homeschooled kids don’t benefit from the same teaching and lessons. Of course they do. I hope it underscores my point that teaching religious and philosophical convictions can happen in both settings.

So, which is better? Well, I might actually concede the advantage to homeschooled children because (obviously) as our daughter gets older, the challenges will intensify and her willingness to take direction from us may decrease. There is, in that sense, an advantage to a consistent, clear and unchallenged message. Instead of having to learn early that some kids call other kids stupid and why that is wrong, there will come a time when our daughter may go to school with kids who use drugs, with kids who do not buckle their seat belts, with Republicans who suppress voting rights and who condone torture, with pregnant students, and with scofflaws. We need to prepare her to have a strong sense of self and to stand tall against contrary messages – and believe me, that is (and will be) very difficult to do. I would rather shield her from those messages than count on her to have the strength to say no a thousand times.

Still, we want very much to prepare our daughter to be a citizen of the world and to understand that there are people who are different from her but who are worthy of her respect. She's learning that already. She goes to school with children of different races and backgrounds. She goes to a school with a child with who has special needs. She goes to a school where she has learned about Kwanzaa and Christmas and Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice. She goes to a school with kids who have two mommies, kids who have two daddies, and kids whose parents are divorced. She goes to a school with kids who are adopted. She goes to school in our community which is our world in miniature. She is getting a tremendous education. Some elements of it are not as we would have it (“stupid”). Many of them are as we would have it (see list, this paragraph).

Bottom line, it’s hard to replicate the world in your home – sometimes you don’t want to replicate it, sometimes you do.

Overall advantage: Homeschoolers (with some potential losses). I think their road is easier where religious and philosophical convictions are concerned.

[Note to readers: there is another post below this one, I don't usually post twice in one day, and didn't want you to miss it - have a good weekend.]

Viva Barbara!

One poignant moment in the film “Fahrenheit 9/11” was the scene where President-elect Albert Gore, perhaps in tribute to days long past when the Senate was a civilized and well-mannered institution with an (often overly) rich sense of history, presided over his own demise while no Senator would join a member of the House of Representatives in raising concern over the numerous and profound voting irregularities in Florida (yes, that’s one sentence). But then the right to vote is not an important or valued right in a democracy, so who cares (for an example of an important and valued right, see the 2nd Amendment).

In reversal of a shameful chapter in our nation’s history, the wonderful and distinguished Senator from California, Barbara Boxer, joined members of the House in challenging the election results in Ohio (home of numerous and profound irregularities – read about it here). It’s easy to say that it didn’t matter because the result is unchanged (George Bush is still your President), but even I’m not so jaded and pessimistic that I would take that view. I think it does matter. Silence is assent, and when we don’t speak out, we let Republican values like undermining suffrage and torturing people prevail.

jeudi, janvier 06, 2005

Wife Swap and Thanksgiving and Homeschooling - Oh my!

Some of my readers know that the hit ABC show "Wife Swap" is one of my guilty pleasures. I don't brag about it, but there is something about that show that appeals to my voyeuristic side (no, not that kind of voyeurism).

In this season of the hit ABC show “Wife Swap,” there were (at least) two families who homeschooled their children. One seemed to do it really well, and one did not seem to do it well.

Then, over Thanksgiving, I visited my brother’s family in Kansas City, and they will homeschool their three children (they homeschool two children today).

Anyway, based upon that visit, and based watching the hit ABC show “Wife Swap,” I have been thinking a lot about homeschooling. It seems to me to have pros and cons. I thought this would be a great place to think out loud about homeschooling. Please journey with me as I work this out, and start the whole thing off tomorrow with a series of advantages to homeschooling. Soon to follow, a series on the disadvantages of homeschooling.

Today, some personal background - Mrs. Duf and I will not homeschool our daughter. There are several reasons for this, here a few:

First, we both work full time.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, neither of us wants to homeschool. I envy families with the time and the inclination.

Third, neither of us feels qualified to homeschool (considering our qualifications in light of our particular goals for our daughter – it’s hard to explain, but we want total health for her and options, and it seems her options would be limited if we homeschooled her). I envy families with the ability (or the confidence) that we lack.

Fourth, we live in an area with good public schools (some are excellent, some are above average and some are below). We have open enrollment in St. Paul, so our daughter can go to any school in any district (time and distance are, of course, factors) We are willing and able to spend some time to find the public school that fits her particular needs. My sympathies to those who do not live in districts with good schools (and I'll refrain from getting on my soap box about how we are quick to indict our schools without really knowing their strengths and weaknesses - we heard they are bad, so they must be bad, right?).

Fifth, if we are not able find a public school that works, then we will find a private school that does.

Sixth, unlike families with particular religious or faith traditions, we don’t have an independent justification to homeschool. And to be candid, the tendency or conservative christians to homeschool accounts for any prejudices I have against homeschooling. For some it can represent the dark side of segregation – I disagree with elements of society and portions of community, so I’m going to disassociate. I struggle with that part. I know it is my issue.

But readers, please use the comments to educate me on this issue as I think out loud. I'm very much in the formulation stage of my opinions on homeschooling, and I need help.

samedi, janvier 01, 2005

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