Save the Planet: Skip School

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I propose all children should be skipping school until our government follows the green example of Bali.

Really, it’s time to get serious. My daughter took a carbon footprint green survey at school (to avoid learning about math or literature, I suppose. Oh… she just told me this was a replacement for learning some real science….) and after devulging much personal information about our family lifestyle and habits, it was determiend that if EVERYONE lived like we do (on a farm with methane producing animals and only 5 CFL light bulbs) we would need … WAIT FOR IT! … 44 earths to sustain all of us. (SOB Planet Killers, that is!!!)

This is my solution:

I propose that all publicly schooled (taxpayer supported) children skip school until each and every government school building is made of 100% sustainable materials, all children are not bussed and all textbooks are banned.

I thought of possibly replacing textbooks with Kindle Wireless Reading Devices but that means you’d need electricity to charge them. Bummer.

Think about it, each public school must have the carbon footprint of a small factory! Add in all those breathing children (exhaling literally TONS of toxic greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year) and you have a monumental carbon footprint! At least factories produce something of value.


It’s obvious that anything public schools do to “save the planet” are only going to scratch the surface until they address the masive waste and pollution they produce every day. Bali is taking the lead here. Once again, making America a laughing stock in the advancement of environmental earth security. Bali cares not only about the planet, but they care about education as well.

A school with its own farm, a bicycling program, solar power, and an organic chocolate factory? Attendance must be through the (sustainable, bamboo) roof.


Funnies: Critical Thinking?


When people criticize homeschoolers for not being able to really “teach” (because they lack the requisite training) their own children I now laugh and ignore them. I used to try to come up with research, articles and anecdotes to defend the idea that a one-on-one learning experience led by anyone — whether trained as a teacher or not — is always going to be better than mass instruction.

Quote: Homeschoolers are Breeders

Sometimes people write things that are just too good not to share.

I participated on a newspaper’s comment forum this month, taking them to task for suggesting that Home-school transfer students must be held accountable (and regulated.)

There were a couple of the usual trolls (people who make wild claims but refuse to put their own names to them) that make these kinds of forums fun, but rather unpleasant for people who are sincerely trying to understand a situation.

The topic was — to my mind — about how a school was encouraging parents to transfer their children out as homeschoolers, rather than dropping out. In then end, everyone is happy, since the school’s dropout record improves while they also get rid of trouble-making youths that are too young to legally drop out anyway.

As for the parents and kids? They get out of a school that was at best, a lose-lose situation. They couldn’t do any worse if they sat in front of the TV watching PBS and Discovery Channel all day. In fact… they would probably do better.

Now the school officials are looking like miracle workers with their new awesome-low dropout record, when it’s more than likely several of those transfers were encouraged by the administrators to leave. I call them Ex-schoolers.

Meanwhile, posters to the comments section of this particular op-ed article have these nice things to share about homeschoolers:

[Richmond Community Schools] is clearly using the phony, but legal, loophole created by the very powerful home-school industry lobbyists that allow the garden variety breeder to “home-school” their child in order to avoid prosecution for, among other behaviors, educational neglect.

I know of two or three educated adults who do a clearly commendable job providing a great education for their children, but they do so while supporting, tacitly or otherwise, the much more prevalent practice by negligent, uneducated breeders who simply wish for their child to get knocked up, or moved out, while protected by the unaccountable practice of designating one’s self as home-schooled.

Knocked it out of the park!!

We can keep laughing only as long as people like this aren’t taken seriously. I suppose once they start using their real names, watch out.

Cooperative Learning – The New 1,001 Room Schoolhouse

Okay, let’s dispatch the ‘dinosaur’ jokes right off the bat: Yes, I’ve been a homeschooler for over fifteen years and counting. Yes, that’s when there were dinosaurs and we all wrote with sticks (called pencils) on pieces of wood (called paper) and counted on our toes (called calculators.)

There, feel better? Let’s move on, shall we?

The kids have been cracking a lot of ‘dinosaur’ jokes on me lately. I’ll grant the fact their jabs are prompted by my grumbling about how things used to be, and how “things — like education and schooling” aren’t that way now, and, “It’s just not right that you kids don’t have to do the same school junk I used to have to do when I was a kid.”

“Back when there were dinosaurs and you were a Caveman, Daddy?”

Uh… yeah. Now where did I put that club?

“No, no, no!” I say. (Because I’m apparently getting old enough to keep forgetting where I put my club.) “There weren’t even one-room school houses anymore when I was a kid. We had one-building schools — factories actually — still have ’em. We schooled in one big building where many children from many grades go to learn many things. I was just thinking that you kids, being homeschooled by a Caveman, don’t even have a building for schooling.”

I start getting the glassy-eyed stare. Quiet clicking of keypads. ‘KWIM? Doz ur DD do ths 2 U 2?‘ ‘Ugh yes!’ ‘LOL!

I understand it’s hard for ignorant texting tots to imagine something they’ve never experienced, but I guess that’s the way life is for us Cavemen. It’s our job, nay, our duty, to explain it to them. Paint it on the walls with our fingers if we have to.

[MEMO from the Observation Deck] The cycle of life: old people spend most of their lives explaining how hard, or easy, or more important things were in the past, while the young people patiently pretend to listen while plugged-in to their iPods and texting their friends on FaceBook about how clueless Cavemen are about how MORE hard or easy or important their little teen lives are.

Anyway… because I’m apparently a Caveman, my smallish brain keeps tapping me on the shoulder and telling me I should be lecturing my children on how we used to learn things in “the old days” and that, maybe, they should, oh… I don’t know… crack a book or two and fill out a worksheet or three and think about grades or something. For heaven’s sake! Watch a filmstrip about the Magna Carta!

“Well kids,” I begin, as they fire up their phones, preparing to act like they’re taking notes. (I may be a Caveman, but I know darn well they’re getting ready to make live observations to their FaceBookBuddies. ‘The Caveman’s going to lecture! KWIM?LOL!‘)

I lecture nonetheless: “Back when I was a kid, we went to a school building called … uh… The School … and we went from room to room learning different things every day for twelve years.”

“How many different rooms, Caveman… uh, Dad?” said the smartypants on the living-room couch tapping on his phone.

“I don’t know. Five. Six. Depended on how many subjects I was studying. Math, Science, Literature, Band, Shop, Gym, Elective Something, ummm… Lunch.” I realized I was running out of schoolish classes.

“OH!” An epiphany from the child laying on the floor caused her to bounce. “So you had a special room for lunch, like in Oliver Twist? Did they feed you gruel every day? Did you ever say, ‘PLEASE SIR, MAY I HAVE SOME MORE?‘”

“Well, to tell the truth, the food wasn’t that… HEY! That’s not the point. And when did you read Oliver Twist? Dickens’ books aren’t until you are in a higher grade. See? This is what I mean. If you kids were in a The School, you wouldn’t be disrespectful to your Cavedad. Mind your manners. (The ones their mother taught them.) You’ll be eating your lunch in the barn if you keep it up.”

One of my other sweet orphans-in-progress, speaking out of turn, said, “One thousand and one….”

Huh? I asked her to explain herself.

“Well, when you went to “The School” with the dinosaurs and wrote with sticks, you only had five or six rooms where you could learn stuff — much of which, by your own admission, wasn’t too important. You even had one room for your meals that was apparently fraught with danger, pain and torture if you asked for more.”

“That was from a book!” I interrupted. “And I was only punched once when I refused to take a Senior’s tray back to the kitchen…. Okay… twice.”

“Still,” continued the varlet who reads too much, “There were relatively few learning rooms in your The School Factory of the past. What we homeschooled kids have now, in the present-tense real world (where we don’t count on our toes, is what she was getting at) are thousands of ‘rooms’ where we can learn thousands of things, any time, all the time.”


Lecture over. Shut down by a lightning bolt of the obvious. I should have named her Thor, or Zeus. That would have showed her!

She was right: What we call homeschooling, is really the organized chaos of scheduling and orchestrating 1,001 Educational Opportunities for our children. We visit places: Libraries, live events, reenactments, plays, historical landmarks, museums of all kinds — “Look, Dad! There’s a caveman display! Go up and see if they found one of your pencil thingies.”

We take ‘field trips’ of all kinds, large and small, every week. We don’t homechool… we car-school!

Most important, we participate in cooperative learning classes with other homeschoolers. It’s a phenomena that’s happening all over the state, and I’m sure, all over the country. Parents who are taking back the responsibility of educating their children, are networking with other parents, and forming all kinds of free-form cooperative learning sessions, or classes.

Our family is participating in a High School Chemistry Co-op in Anderson. [MEMO: Check out our “Homeschooling 101 Workshop” coming up next week at Minnetrista Center. If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you won’t want to miss this — if anything, come see what a homeschooling caveman looks like. <G>]

We have another co-op we go to for the younger kids. This session includes math, PE, speech, composition and even lunch that’s so good EVERYONE wants “some more!”

Homeschoolers are networking fools, in spite of the fact that our kids think we’re Luddites. We network on statewide discussion lists like IndianaHomeschoolers, managed by the Indiana Home Educators’ Network, all the way down to local lists, like HomeschoolCOCO in Delaware County. Every day, thousands of homeschooling parents all across the state are helping fellow Hoosiers learn about the free-range learning opportunities homeschooling provides for our families and our children; and not a single government approved The School Room is necessary.

Come to think of it, my Orphan-in-Training was probably a little low in her estimation. 1,001 probably only scratches the surface. Still don’t you hate it when the kids are right? Cavemen have feelings too.