published on or around the 15th of the month

from the author of
January, 2007 volume 1- Issue 5
Welcome to Java House - radical opinions about whatever from, OldSage

Writer's Name: OldSage
Everything in particular, and nothing in general.

There are a few rules I live by:

Good judgment comes from the experiences gained when exercising bad judgment.
The biggest trouble-maker you will ever to deal with watches you brush your hair in the mirror every morning.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Here's who I am:

I believe that today's public school system is failing for the most part, though I continue to support it through taxes and buying magazine subscriptions from 8 year olds.

I believe that you can be whatever you want to be.

I firmly believe that you can gain an incredible education by studying at home.

But what about socialization?

Well the Holidays are over and that question that involves the "S" word, has finally died down in the circles I travel in. But I thought I'd post about a tidbit I found recently just so I'd have it the next time the topic comes up....

Homeschooling Family Finds Ways to Adapt to a Public School “Socialization” Program:
From Kolbe Little Home Journal, Fall 2005

When my wife and I mention we are strongly considering homeschooling our children, we are without fail asked, “But what about socialization?” Fortunately, we found a way our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide.

  • On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie and take his lunch money.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the “in” crowd, taking special care to poke fun of any physical abnormalities.
  • Fridays will be “Fad and Peer Pressure Day.” We will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, most expensive clothes and the loudest, fastest and most dangerous car.
  • Every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hall and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality.
  • If our kids attempt to use the bathroom without permission, we will punish them immediately.
  • And we have asked them to report us to the authorities in the event we mention faith, religion or try to bring up morals and values

and they left out exposing them to sex, guns and drugs. Might be an interesting casual Friday.....

Excerpts From a Cat's Daily Diary

Day 683 of my captivity:

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fedhash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat some in order to keep u pmy strength. The only thing that keeps me from going mad is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomited on the floor.Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrated what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. The audacity!!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of "allergies". I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released -- and he seems more than willing to return! He is obviously maladjusted.

The bird has got to be an informant -- I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. The captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe -- for now. But I can wait.... It's only a matter of time.


Kids, You Don’t Have to Go to College
An interesting blog I ran across.....

Dear Kids, You Don’t Have to Go to College

Dear Tess and Tucker,
For most of your young lives, you’ve heard your mom and I occasionally talk about your futures by saying that someday you’ll travel off to college and get this thing called a degree that will show everyone that you are an expert in something and that will lead you to getting a good job that will make you happy and make you able to raise a family of your own someday. At least, that’s what your mom and I have in our heads when we talk about it. But, and I haven’t told your mom this yet, I’ve changed my mind. I want you to know that you don’t have to go to college if you don’t want to, and that there are other avenues to achieving that future that may be more instructive, more meaningful, and more relevant than getting a degree.[read on]

Food for thought I suppose....but then there's always someone who will rain on the parade:

A Surprising Secret to a Long Life: Stay in School
By Gina Kolata, New York Times, January 3, 2007
...The one social factor that researchers agree is consistently linked to longer lives in every country where it has been studied is education. It is more important than race; it obliterates any effects of income....[read on]

and then there's that amazing kid who got into Princeton

You have to trust that the child will learn
ROSALIND ROSSI, Chicago Sun Times, December 24, 2006
'Unschooling' movement leaves education choices up to kids'
Eighteen-year-old Abby Stewart got word this month that she won early admission to elite Princeton University, even though she has never set foot in a high school classroom...

Five years ago, frustrated with the pace and depth of a Chicago Public School gifted program, Abby withdrew from eighth grade and entered uncharted territory -- a branch of home schooling often called "unschooling."...[read on]

Not A Religious Fundamentalist or Neo-hippie?

Then you can homeschool too.

Many of us are homeschooling our kids these days for plenty of other reasons than religion and to "do our own thing". There is still some good stuff going on the schools, but there are so many better things going on outside a school. Does your kid really need to travel daily in a pack 20, 30 or even 40 other kids his age? Does he need to be forced to learn the same things at the same time as these other kids? What if he is interested in something other than what school is force feeding him? What if he learns things at a different pace?

Meet My Teachers: Mom And Dad
A growing number of affluent parents think they can do better than any school

No longer the bailiwick of religious fundamentalists or neo-hippies looking to go off the cultural grid, homeschooling is a growing trend among the educated elite. More parents believe that even the best-endowed schools are in an Old Economy death grip in which kids are learning passively when they should be learning actively, especially if they want an edge in the global knowledge economy. "A lot of families are looking at what's happening in public or private school and saying, 'You know what? I could do better, and I'd like to be a bigger part of my kid's life,"' says University of Illinois education professor Christopher Lubienski.


Homeschoolers at Harvard? Colleges Seek Homeschoolers.
by Kathy Wells
Auburn, Clemson, even Harvard are just a few of the schools that gladly accept homeschool students. Most instituions of higher learning are impressed by the homeschoolers level of maturity, diversified education, and their ability to be independent learners. The following is a quote taken from Jon Reider, a Stanford University admissions officer, "Homeschoolers bring certain skills - motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education - that high schools don't induce very well." [read on]


Food for thought.....


See you in March-- OldSage

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Updated: January 17, 2007