published on or around the 15th of the month

from the author of
October, 2006  volume 1- Issue 2
Homeschooling Teens

  Rights of Young People The Website That Brings Attention to the Rights of Young People -- Not many web pages actually tell kids about their rights. This is a page for young people who wish to learn more about their human rights, and how to get involved with youth-led efforts for democracy and freedom.

From the website:

"If you live in the United States, Canada and some European countries, you live in a democracy. That means that people are supposed to be guaranteed freedom and certain rights as human beings. BUT! There is a catch! Often that freedom and democracy is not given to kids under the age of 18. Why? Because kids have no political or voting power, and they are under the control of parents and schools...

  • Articles for Young People
  • Corporal Punishment is Legalized Assault Against Kids!
  • Sexual Assault Can Happen to ANYONE!
  • Do You Feel Like a Prisoner in Public School?
  • The School Student?s Bill of Rights
  • Using The Bathroom In School Is Your Right Not A Privilege
  • Is Homework a Waste of YOUR Time?
  • Peer Harassment: What You Need to Know
    [read on]

By the author of the website:

Detrimental Schooling:: How Traditional Education Harms Children & Society
by Laurie A. Couture, M.Ed, LMHC

from the article...
On the contrary, spirited, exuberant children who buck the system are first punished into compliance, or next, are referred for testing to earn a label of "learning disabled", "special needs", or "behaviorally disordered". A remedy of stimulant medication to slow down or focus the bored, under stimulated or energetic, passionate child often accompanies these testing results. Some of these children simply learn in a different manner than is being taught, or at a slower pace....[read on]

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn

Boundaries and Relationships by Charles Whitfield

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond
by Patricia Evans

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You

Public School Violence: Since When is Violence Entertainment?
Amy Cortez - Editor Eclectic Telegraph

"You aren’t compelled to loan your car to anyone who wants it, but you are compelled to surrender your school-age child to strangers who process children for a livelihood, even though one in every nine schoolchildren is terrified of physical harm happening to them in school, terrified with good cause; about thirty-three are murdered there every year. From 1992 through 1999, 262 children were murdered in school in the United States. Your great-great-grandmother didn’t have to surrender her children. What happened?" from The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto

Bush plans conference on school violence
POSTED: 9:33 a.m. EDT, October 3, 2006 at

..."Three schools have been hit by deadly attacks in the past week. A gunman killed himself and five girls Monday at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania; on Friday a 15-year-old Wisconsin student shot and killed his principal; and last Wednesday a man took six girls hostage in Colorado, sexually assaulting them before fatally shooting one girl and killing himself...[read on]

The interesting thing to me about all of the recent press about ending school violence, is that there is no mention of the ease in which a teen can get a gun, or other item of violence, nor did anyone utter anything about the idea of how teens are inundated with violence in our society.

Since when is violence entertainment?

I am not opposed to guns. Some are beautiful items and in the hands of a responsible person an item that is OK to possess. Part of our history. It is when we permit violent images such as what is found today on TV, in movies, in video games, in music, in our headlines, in our magazines, online, into our lives, as a society we are condoning the resulting violence in the community. Then we scratch our heads and wonder how to end the violence in our schools. This idea is about as silly as No Child Left Behind dictating how our children ought to be evaluated.

Many homeschool families have pulled their children out of school because of the violence in the schools. Though I can't relate to that reason to homeschool, I can understand it.

Should You Worry About School Violence?
From the website: (KidsHealth is a project of, )

Why Does It Happen?
School violence isn't easy to understand. There is no single reason why students become violent. Some are just copying behavior they've seen at home, on the streets, or in video games, movies, or television. Sometimes, people who turn violent are victims of teasing who've hit a limit and feel like they would do anything to make it stop. They may feel isolated and rejected by their peers. These are only a couple of the reasons why a person may become violent.

What Can I Do?

Someone on the verge of violence usually displays warning signs, which can include:

  • playing with weapons of any kind
  • bragging about acts of violence he or she would like to commit
  • showing an obsession with violent movies or playing violent games
  • bullying or threatening other people
  • cruelty to pets or other animals

[read on]

At our house we do not have toys guns or real guns. My teen wants a paintball gun right now and that topic is up for discussion at our house. We also do not invest our time in viewing violent TV programs or movies. We don't have violent video games in our home. One my most responses to my teen when he begs to have one of these violent games in our home is "since when has violence become entertainment?". Stumps him every time, though it astounds me that he begs to have it in our home.

You can't avoid it, our culture condones violence and then is shocked when violent acts occur among our young people.

Video Game Violence and Public Policy
David Walsh, Ph.D.
National Institute on Media and the Family
From the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago

From the article:
" Prominent organizations like the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association have all concluded that the scientific evidence shows a cause-effect relationship between television violence and aggression among the children and youth who watch it. Based on this research, many social scientists have hypothesized that we should expect video games to have an even greater impact for the following four reasons.

  1. Children are more likely to imitate the actions of a character with whom they identify. In violent video games the player is often required to take the point of view of the shooter or perpetrator.
  2. Video games by their very nature require active participation rather than passive observation.
  3. Repetition increases learning. Video games involve a great deal of repetition. If the games are violent, then the effect is a behavioral rehearsal for violent activity.
  4. Rewards increase learning, and video games are based on a reward system.

A meta-analysis is a type of study in which researchers analyze the results of other studies to see if there are similar patterns of results; Anderson and Bushman showed that there is a consistent pattern of results in five areas.

  1. Exposure to violent games increases physiological arousal.
  2. Exposure to violent games increases aggressive thoughts.
  3. Exposure to violent games increases aggressive emotions.
  4. Exposure to violent games increases aggressive actions.
  5. Exposure to violent games decreases positive prosocial (i.e., helping) actions. "

[read on]

If you going to turn it on, TV worth watching:

SciFi Channel: EUReKA

As World War II came to a close with mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the impact that science and technology would have on the continued security of our world became catastrophically apparent. America nearly lost the race to build the atomic bomb; it could not risk such a close call again.
With the help of Albert Einstein and other trusted advisors, President Harry S. Truman commissioned a top-secret residential development in a remote area of the Pacific Northwest, one that would serve to protect and nurture America's most valuable intellectual resources. There our nation's greatest thinkers, the über-geniuses working on the next era of scientific achievement, would be able to live and work in a supportive environment. The best architects and planners were commissioned to design a welcoming place for these superlative geniuses to reside, an area that would offer the best education for their children, the best healthcare, the best amenities and quality of life. A community was created to rival the most idyllic of America's small towns — with one major difference: this town would never appear on any maps. At least, none that haven't been classified "eyes only" by the Pentagon.

Thus, the town of Eureka was born. But for all its familiar, small-town trappings, things in this secret hamlet are anything but ordinary. The stereotype of the absent-minded professor exists for a reason, and most of the quantum leaps in science and technology during the past 50 years were produced by Eureka's elite researchers. Unfortunately, scientific exploration is rarely what one expects, and years of experiments gone awry have yielded some peculiar by-products.

I was raised in an era when we had three TV Channels, movies got as violent as Star Wars (the original ones) and the neighborhood gang got together to play kickball in the circle of our cul-de-sac. So, why do parents raised in that kind of environment allow the next generations to continue to be exposed to such violent things?

Who's Teaching Values to Your Kids?
Sample Chapter from Selling Out America's Children: How America Puts Profits Before Values and What Parents Can Do, by David Walsh, Ph.D., 1994, Fairview Press: Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"The good news is that since America’s adults largely agree on the healthy values our children should learn, we can not only take responsibility for teaching them to our children, but can do so in practical and effective ways. We can exert our right to influence the voices of our larger society so that profit is unseated as the great motivator and the welfare of our children becomes the primary concern once again

The growing awareness of violence in our society, especially among children, seems to be finally waking us up. However, it would be a mistake to think that violence is the only problem. It isn’t. It is a tragic symptom of an underlying crisis that involves an entire set of values being taught to our children. We will only begin to make progress when we see the whole problem for what it is. Violence grabs the headlines, but violence itself is a result of a society that promotes selfishness, greed, and instant gratification..."[read on]

I guess it has a lot to do with the general dumbing down of Americans. Much of the popular media that is directed at adults today, in my opinion, assumes we are stupid. Much of the popular media today makes us stupid.

A Book: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail

Violence carries over into all realms of teen life. Take dating for instance. How many instances have read about girls being assaulted and boys being falsely accused? Violence and abuse go hand-in-hand. Our children, exposed to the violence we allow in our society, could potentially end up in abusive relationships.

Abusive Relationships
From the website: (KidsHealth is a project of, )

Emotional abuse, like teasing, bullying, and humiliating others, can be difficult to recognize because it doesn't leave any visible scars. Threats, intimidation, putdowns, and betrayal are all harmful forms of emotional abuse that can really hurt — not just during the time it's happening, but long after too.

Important warning signs that you may be involved in an abusive relationship include when someone:

  • harms you physically in any way, including slapping, pushing, grabbing, shaking, smacking, kicking, and punching
  • tries to control different aspects of your life, such as how you dress, who you hang out with, and what you say
  • frequently humiliates you or making you feel unworthy (for example, if a partner puts you down but tells you that he or she loves you)
  • coerces or threatens to harm you if you leave the relationship
  • twists the truth to make you feel you are to blame for your partner's action
  • demands to know where you are at all times
  • constantly becomes jealous or angry when you want to spend time with your friends

Signs That a Friend Is Being Abused
In addition to the signs listed above, here are some signs of abuse to look for in a friend:

  • unexplained bruises, broken bones, sprains, or marks
  • excessive guilt or shame for no apparent reason
  • secrecy or withdrawal from friends and family
  • avoidance of school or social events with excuses that don't seem to make any sense

As Parents What Can We Do About Controlling the Level of Violence Our families Are Exposed To?

  1. We can show our children who we are, what our values are and tell them why we have adopted these ideals.
  2. We can demonstrate our values daily.
  3. We can demonstrate acts of humanity daily.
  4. We can teach our teens how to honor who they are.
  5. We can teach our teens that being an individual is important.
  6. We can show our teens that we accept them for the who they are.
  7. We can teach our children how to think.
  8. We can require our teens to think.
  9. We can tell our children violence is not OK in any form.
  10. We can show our teens good examples about controlling the level of violence in our homes.
  11. We can turn off the TV at least half the week.
  12. We can have dinner all together at least twice a week. No exceptions.
  13. We can get violent video and computer games out of our homes. .
  14. We can demand that schools have zero tolerance policies on violence and bullying behaviors.
  15. We can say "NO" to violent videos, video games, violent music.
  16. We can listen to the lyrics of the music our children listen to.
  17. We can say "NO" to inappropriate lyrics.
  18. We can read good literature.
  19. We can read good newspapers.
  20. We can tune into world events and discuss with our teens what they mean to humanity.
  21. We can take our kids to a third world country. We can take our kids camping.
  22. We can get our kids to think globally and act locally through worthwhile community service.
Worthwhile Community Service
Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program
Ten Thousand Villages

Boaters for Books, Inc.

Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds--for Better and Worse by Jane M. Healy

Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It by Jane M. Healy

Selling Out America's Children: How America Puts Profits Before Values and What Parents Can Do by David Walsh, Ph.D

WHY Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen by David Walsh, Ph.D

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond by Patricia Evans


When Should Your Teen Take the PSAT/NMSQT® ?

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.4 million entrants each year.
Student Entry Requirements

They must take the PSAT/NMSQT® no later than the third year in grades 9 through 12.

They must be enrolled full time as a high school student, progressing normally toward graduation or completion of high school, and planning to enroll full time in college no later than the fall following completion of high school.

They must be a citizen of the United States; or be a U.S. lawful permanent resident (or have applied for permanent residence, the application for which has not been denied) and intend to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law.

Sophomores can take the PSAT for practice, but in order for it to count for National Merit Scholarship, students have to be Juniors.

Taking the PSAT if you are a homeschooled student

If you are a home-schooled student, contact a principal or counselor at a local public or independent high school to make arrangements to take the PSAT/NMSQT at their school. Be sure to contact them, by phone or letter well in advance of the mid-October test dates. The recommended timeframe to do this is during the June prior to the school year your wants to take the test. If you're a home-schooled student, your PSAT/NMSQT score report is sent directly to your home address. You will need to have your state's home school code in the "school code" to complete the basic information section on the answer sheet.

How Score Reports Are Delivered
If you are in a Public or Private School, score reports are mailed to your high school principal in December. Each school decides how and when to distribute the scores to students. PSAT/NMSQT scores are not available by phone or online.

If you're a homeschooled student, your PSAT/NMSQT score report is sent directly to your home address.

If you are a Finalist
Of the 1.4 million entrants who take the test, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified by mail at their home addresses that they have advanced to Finalist standing. High school principals are also notified and provided with a certificate to present to each Finalist.

In April, following the fall test administration, high-scoring participants from every state are invited to name two colleges or universities to which they would like to be referred by NMSC. In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist.

If you're a homeschooled student, you are notified, by letter sent directly to your home address.

Read more information about preparing for college [here]


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Updated: October 18, 2006