4 Reasons to Let Your Kids Eat Junk this Halloween

We’ve certainly seen at our house time and time again that if we don’t make a big “no” deal out of things, our daughter has a lot less interest in them. She’s 11 now and every year without fail, we put her candy in the cupboard right away. She knows she can ask for it, and sometimes she does, but more often than not, she forgets about it and a couple weeks later I dump it.

For a health practitioner’s take on this topic (and lots of heated discussion in the comments below the post), head over to holisticsquid.com.

Home School Enters The Mainstream

When he was a toddler, Joseph Biner of Westchester was shy and withdrawn. And yet he couldn’t sit still in a chair for any length of time.

His mother, Patty Biner, began to dread the prospect of sending him off to kindergarten.

“I wanted to find a more constructive way to teach him,” she said. “I didn’t want to just throw him to the wolves.”

Kids might bully him. Counselors might label him.

“I’m sure they would want to say he has ADHD and put him on medication,” she said. “I think most ADHDs are just boys being boys.”

Patty and her husband, George, decided to home-school their child. In doing so, they joined a rapidly expanding movement.

For the full story, head over to The Daily Breeze.

Do you somebody who’s homeschooling? What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

School is a prison — and damaging our kids

Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions, believing that’s what they need to become productive and happy adults. Many have qualms about how well schools are performing, but the conventional wisdom is that these issues can be resolved with more money, better teachers, more challenging curricula and/or more rigorous tests.

But what if the real problem is school itself? The unfortunate fact is that one of our most cherished institutions is, by its very nature, failing our children and our society.

A very fascinating (and profoundly sad) read.

For the full story, head over to www.salon.com. It’s a wonder this country still finds any innovation to contribute to our increasingly global economy. 😦

What are your thoughts on this article?

Virtual Public Schools Versus Homeschools

On Friday, Tavia Fuller Armstrong posted an article on Yahoo! Voices titled “Why Virtual Public School Is Not Really Homeschool.”

From the post:

There has been much debate in homeschool circles over the past couple of years about whether families using virtual programs like K12 or the Connections Academy, offered through the public schools, are truly homeschoolers. Some of these discussions result in hard feelings, and leave many parents asking, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

As a homeschooler who works hard to get along with other parents regardless of their educational choices, I don’t like to see virtual schoolers offended or feeling left out. Online public school is a great option for many families, but it is important, especially for parents who are leaving conventional public school for the first time, to know all you can about your educational options, and to know where you stand in the eyes of the law.

I agree with Tavia to the extent that understanding the legal distinctions are important for having informed conversations about policy, but I completely disagree that the distinction makes any difference beyond that specific discussion.

I’m hoping that every family realizes that we are all homeschoolers. Every minute our kids are with us is an opportunity to make their book learning relevant to their lives, no matter where they’re getting that book learning.

My family has tried several different alternative education scenarios and I passionately believe the right decision comes down to what works for the student. I know families that have multiple kids, with each in a different style program.

That’s more work than I can even imagine. For us, we’ve settled into a hybrid homeschooling/classroom program. It’s been an adjustment, but it works on several levels for us.

Which way do you lean on the homeschooling versus traditional schooling conversation?

Incubator School awarded national grant

From the Argonaut:

A Los Angeles Unified School District pilot school has been selected to receive a $100,000 “Next Generation Learning Challenges Breakthrough Schools Grant.”

The Incubator School, which will be colocating on the campus of Playa Vista Elementary School this fall, is one of 30 schools nationwide to receive the national grant.

I’m rooting for this little school, but I’m skeptical. They are a “pilot” school within LAUSD. Pilot schools are public LAUSD schools which are supposed to have autonomy over budget, staffing, governance, curriculum & assessment and the school calendar. If it works, I’ll be the first to sing the praises of LAUSD (and anybody who knows me knows this is a big offer :-)).

For more about the Incubator School, go to www.incubatorschool.org.

I’m a huge fan of the total concept for this little school. I’m completely hoping that it will be the little school that can! Good luck, families! We’ll be rooting for you!

We’re Back, Westchester!

we're backAfter a prolonged absence, Living90045.com is back, reporting on what matters to families in Westchester 90045.

It’s going to take more than a %@&$’ing hacker to keep us down!