Oct 26, 2010

Chelene Nightingale, California Vote 2010

Chalene Nightingale For Governor Of California 2010!

She wants to uphold the Constitution and ttraditional American family values. She is for the rights of the unborn human person and all of us to have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness! She believes in the rights of homeschooling families to educate their own children and supports other education choices for American children and families.

Oct 22, 2010

Modesto CA Home School Group

Modesto Home School Group: As seen at AmericanTowns.com

ATTENTION: You will have to log in to FB to join and view this group.

After loggin in you may click on the link below and it should take you to the group. Then join group. I will contact you and approve you in the group. I will see you there! Joanne Utke

Oct 14, 2010

Why Homeschool: Scholarships for homeschoolers - the website

Why shouldn't their be Scholarships for home schoolers? Check out how a family is making it happen for some homeschoolers and this is just the start. I hope one day their are Scholarships available to every college bound home school student! 

Why Homeschool: Scholarships for homeschoolers - the website

Oct 13, 2010

Free Printable Cursive Pages

   My son has shown an interest in learning cursive so I found a couple of great free printable cursive packets. We printed out both packets I have listed here and it will be the cursive curriculum for a long time. He is seven and he wants to do about two pages a week. I have posted the packets here, they are free printables.

Cursive Alphabet Practice 12 pages  I found this at TLS Books

I have also found a free printable cursive packet of 26 pages containing all the upper and lower cases at ABC Teach.

Oct 12, 2010

Parenting, Discipline and Kids.

  This content was move to Hub Pages you can read  Parenting, Discipline and Kids at Hub Pages. Comments always appreciated and you can leave them here or on Hub Pages.

Thank You For Your Support!

Joanne Utke

Oct 7, 2010

Standardized Testing And Home School, My Thoughts.

    I have been doing some thinking on the pros and cons of standardized testing in schools and among homeschoolers who are forced to partake in this ritual. The method of state standardized testing is a way of tracking the academic progress of school children, testing them on basic knowledge. The student is given a score and placed among a statistic for their age and grade. Schools like this because they feel it gives them an idea of what the students know and if they meet the standard for their age and grade set by our education system. Schools are then commended for high scores among the masses of their students while low scoring schools, students and teachers are looked down on and encouraged to raise those scores. This may increases the stress of the teachers and students only making the problem worse! Standardized testing says that all children at like ages and grades must know generally the same information in the same way. Standardized testing does not take into consideration the home life of the student, the people who talk to them and don't, as well as their ability to learn at the same rate as other kids who are taking the same test.

The reason why schools are so fond of standardized testing is because it provides them cookie cutter information for the cookie cutter society they are training kids for! They can weed out the "fast" learners to the "slow" learners and label them accordingly. This may produce stress and depression for the "slow" learners and high levels of "self esteem for the "fast" learners. "Great job you have a high score" as they get a pat on the back for all of their hard work. The "slow" learners just get "you need to do better or you will fail" then they are placed in a class where they can "improve" and continue to do work that offers little to know challenge. That was me in the resource classes sitting their with the other "slow learning" or lazy kids who just wanted to get by and get out! I loved to score low on tests, and I loved the easy classes, there were less kids and the classroom was open for free conversation with the teacher as well as more art time. Yet that didn't change my self esteem, I always thought I was one of the dumb ones or at least that is what I was led to believe.

Deep down inside I knew I could do it if I really wanted to but why? so I can keep up with the other kids labeled "smart" and "good students" I didn't want to keep up I wanted to just learn and find my own way. I finally got out of school early thanks to independent study, finally I was allowed to learn at my own pace and surprise surprise I had the time to learn even more and of all the things I found that I have always wanted to learn! I finally felt like an individual. Anyway, this is about standardized testing and home school not me. Like most parents I want to do all I can for my children without doing to much damage lol! We are using a public Charter for our home school needs and he is in 2nd grade and will be required to do standardized testing in May. I have my reservations however and I am sorting it all out hence my post. He has already been tested on reading and was not allowed to participate in the program two years ago for Kindergarten until he had the assessment test. A passing score meant he was ready for Kindergarten curriculum, he passed but what did this really prove? It proved he was in line or even ahead of other students his age and was capable of doing the State mandated curriculum. Possible useful information for a cookie cutter life in a school that wants all the kids to learn, think and act in a certain way. I am not trying to say anything bad about the home based Charter school we use, but I have realized that it is still a public school with minds sets much the same. You need to take this into consideration before using a Public Charter Program. Learn more about home based Charter School Programs.

When I began this home school journey I wanted freedom to teach my kids in a way that was all them not every other kid. I am learning now about real education and how my own kids learn. Do I really want them to learn in a way that makes them better capable to score high on a test or learn in a way that speaks to them and actually allows them to learn and use their God given minds as an individual who they are made to be! Fortunately the program we are in offers much freedom and control on my part and we are happy with it so far (still way better than a regular public school).     

About standardized testing, I did try to see it the other way and have for many years. I said why not Standardized testing after all kids must have a basic knowledge so that they at least know what people are talking about in general conversations as well as do basic math and write a book report. We must know how kids stack up to other kids in the nation and we must track their education with tests made up with information they probably memorized anyway! When you spell it all out it really sound ridiculous, I am realizing that as I write this lol!

Standardized Testing: What Can It Hurt Anyway? I will explore this on another post in the mean time please comment and tell me your side. I want to hear the opinions of many people so please share.

Thanks for reading, to your families success!

Joanne Utke

Oct 1, 2010

How To Raise a Healthy child in Spite of Your Doctor.

I am currently reading for the second time, How To Raise a Healthy child in Spite of Your Doctor

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and author advises parents on home treatment and diagnosis of colds and flus, childhood illnesses, vision and hearing problems, allergies, and more. PLUS, a complete section on picking the right doctor for your child, step-by-step instructions for knowing when to call a doctor, and much more. I heard about this book a few years ago while doing research about vaccinations. This book is not all about vaccines but it has a chapter in it on the subject. This book helped me to understand more about how the medical establishments work especially pediatricians and how to protect my children from them.

Some of the best chapters in this book are as followed.

Most things get better by morning
Parents and Grandparents are wiser than Doctors
How Doctors make healthy kids sick
Immunizations against Disease: A medical time bomb?

And more...

I feel this in one of those books that everyone should have.

How To Raise a Healthy child in Spite of Your Doctor.