Moving Along. . .

We’re moving! Not in the physical sense; rather, we are establishing a new “home” in the outskirts of the World Wide Web. It has taken some time to get set up and I’m sure more changes will be coming about as we make our “new” site our “home”. If you want to check it out, click on over to the new domain and follow it! Life in the Last Frontier

Part 2 of “Knowledge is Power”

Part 2 of my post for North Star Independent Homeschoolers has been published. It is now live on their site!

Click here to read about the first 3 myths of independently homeschooling high school and click here for the other 3 myths of independently homeschooling high school.

Be sure to check out the rest of the NSIH blog as well. Happy reading!

Return to the Blog

Summer in Alaska is officially over and fall/winter is here. Our summers are so brief and jam-packed full of activity that winter is often a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle. As summer concludes, I am returning to the blog-sphere.

My first, post-hiatus blog post is actually for the North Star Independent Homeschoolers blog! You can read part 1 of my post “Knowledge is Power” by clicking here. Enjoy!

 

College & Career Ready Standards: A catch phrase intended to goad the public into believing a lie.

The goal behind College & Career Ready standards is to prepare children to be global citizens in the new global economy. Global citizenship implies a global community, known as a One World Order. To have citizens of One World, what will be the governing structure? Will it be a Democracy? A Republic? Communist? Socialist? Will the new global economy consist of Capitalism and the Free Market or will it be controlled by the One World government in terms of socialism and/or communism?

The United States is still the freest nation in the world. No other country, before or since, has stepped forth with a similar Constitution or governing structure grounded in the beliefs that individuals are both unique and important. While it would almost be fantastic if the global community adopted the same foundations as our own nation, we all subconsciously know that will NOT happen. The United States was founded as a Christian nation: grounded in Biblical principles. These principles alone are contrary to the majority of other country’s religions.

So what will the One World Order look like? It won’t resemble anything that American’s hold dear. Most likely, we will be subjects of a form of socialism or communism. The individual will be sacrificed for the good of the collective whole. Children of the Common Core, the College and Career Ready “standards,” will be pigeon-holed into the lines of work that the “state” determines from very young ages through data collection. The “state” will dictate a child’s education to promote what the “state” has determined to be that child’s career path. STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) careers will be reserved for those that the “state” determines are worthy to work in such fields: worthiness is determined through academic performance, ability to follow directions with no opposition, and ability to conform to current thoughts and ideas without questioning validity. The class system will be magnified.

The elite class that also has its hand in the governing structure will likely control the global economy. Forget about IRAs and 401-Ks because retirement is NOT an option in the global economy. With the eminent risks of doomsday events, there is no need for “retirement.” What will happen when you can no longer work to benefit the global society? Don’t worry – individuals are of no value; you can easily be replaced by the next college graduate.

I’m not merely creating a scary scenario in regards to the global community. Similar agendas are documented throughout history. The idea of the One World Order is nothing new, either. It is found in the writings of H.G. Wells. What most do not know is that his last book, Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945), he stated that the One World Order is optimistic humanism and it isn’t going to work!

John Dewey is considered the father of modern education; he was a Humanist and co-author of the Humanist Manifesto (1933). Dewey followed the teachings of German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt; both men viewed children as animals requiring guidance, control and molding. After he visited the Soviet Union, Dewey wrote six articles on the “wonders” of Soviet education. Dewey’s writings preclude and greatly influence College and Career Ready Standards. Both have the same objective.

“Our major concern that the school should provide a purified environment for the child
… this means stacking the cards in favor of the particular systems of value we possess. We must
move to make certain every Progressive School will use whatever power it may possess in
opposing and checking the forces of social conservatism.”

“Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective
society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

“You can’t make socialists out of individualists.”

School curricula have been altered to purport the ideas presented in the Humanist Manifesto. This continues today in the form of College and Career Ready Standards. Here is an abbreviated version of the Humanist Manifesto #1 (http://eagleforumu.org/EAGLEFORUMU/STUDENT/page/view.cfm?int_page_id=46&ClassID=59&int_course_id=16):

1. Man gradually emerged by chance from lower forms of life over millions of years.
2. Man creates god out of his own experiences.
3. Man is his own authority and is not accountable to any higher power.
4. There are no absolute rules to live by.
5. All men should be exposed to diverse ‘realistic’ viewpoints, including profanity, immorality, and
perversions as acceptable modes of self-expression.
6. All forms of sexual expression are acceptable.
7. Government ownership or control of the economy should replace private ownership of property
and the free market economy.
8. ‘Global Citizenship’ should replace national self-determination.
9. There is no hope of existence beyond the grave – no heaven or hell.

People and corporations such as Partnership for Assessing Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), Next Generation, Planned Parenthood, inBloom, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Weather Underground, Bill Ayers, Linda Darling Hammond, Tides Foundation, and UNESCO all have ties in one form or another to the proliferation of global citizens through education system control under the auspices of College and Career Ready standards.

Patriots, lovers of freedom, anyone who believes in and values America and our American way of life should be opposed to EVERY FACET of the College and Career Ready standards known as Common Core State Standards. It is high time that Americans come together to take back control of our educational system and re-instill the values that America has held dear for over 237 years. Our freedom and continuation as a great nation depend upon it.

“Why Should I Be Concerned? It Doesn’t Affect ME!”

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative has been around since 2009. I’ve been keeping my eyes on it and following it for quite some time now, all the while warning and informing our local homeschooling community. Even though we are “independent” homeschoolers, the spread of CCSS doesn’t directly affect us. I create my own curriculum so we don’t need to worry about which publishers are and are not aligned. While it does not directly affect US, it does have an effect on education in our nation as a whole.

In my efforts to warn and inform the homeschooling community in my area, I learned yet another invaluable lesson: people in general WILL NOT make a concerted effort for or against something until it personally affects them. The average response: Oh, well, that’s the Lower 48.  Alaska hasn’t adopted Common Core, we’ve actually rejected it, so we’re not too overly concerned about it.  Even when presented with the information that Alaska had NOT “rejected” Common Core, the stance was still indifference.  It seemed that everyone was under the assumption that such a thing could not possibly happen here. I failed to be able to make them realize that if it is affecting the nation, it is affecting Alaskans and we all need to care about it!

On April 19th, 2013, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development announced that Alaska joined the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC). You can see the press release here. What is the SBAC? In short, the SBAC develops the electronic assessments, aligned to CCSS, so that students and teachers can better evaluate how students measure up to the Common Core State Standards. That far off idea that could never happen here just got real. No, Alaska hasn’t adopted Common Core, yet, but Alaska has gotten on board with the CCSS testing. All indifference has left all those people who couldn’t be bothered about it!  It’s now personally affecting them! A majority of the homeschool community utilizes programs offered through various public school districts. SBAC testing and Common Core does directly affect them — they’re enrolled in a public school district! When they “enroll”, they trade their homeschooling freedom for money. This same group gets upset when the state is looking to do the exact same thing. Pot… Kettle… I digress.

This issue needs to be on the minds of ALL citizens in this country for several reasons. First, when states adopt CCSS, they hand away their autonomy. In essence, the federal government is buying each state’s 10th Amendment right when it comes to education. Second, the scope and sequence of the Common Core is uncharted territory; none of it has been tried and tested thereby proving that it does or does not work. These states are agreeing to let the federal government experiment with children’s futures! The third reason that everyone needs to be involved is because these generations of experiments are OUR future! In reality, we are allowing experiments on all ages, races, and creeds of EVERY generation! The public education system has been in trouble for decades; Common Core is just the emperor’s new clothes. Public education was never meant to be the be-all-end-all of education. It’s high time We The People take back what is rightfully our responsibility.

Cashing In on Homeschool’s Success

Alaska is an interesting environment: culturally, geographically, and politically. Perhaps because I am still waiting for springtime to get here I am getting anxious and turning my attentions to home education. I can’t get out and garden or build a barn and chicken coup with my children, so here we sit longing for the snow to disappear, the ground to thaw, and the summer sun to shine. It’s cabin fever at its highest in a long, long time.

Until recently, Alaska was one of the only states that offered homeschool programs through enrollments in public school districts. These programs aren’t correspondence programs. Parents are free to use whatever curriculum best fits each child. Parents educate their children at home using whatever education method or methods that fit their family. Parents receive support from certified teachers and the programs arrange a variety of educational classes and clubs.

Alaska’s law about homeschooling can be found in the Compulsory Attendance statute, AS 14.30.010(b). Many parents are unaware that this law even exists. Parents that choose to educate their children according to this statute are free to use whatever curriculum best fits their child. Parents are free to educate their children using whatever educational method or philosophy best fits their family. Parents have the option of receiving support through several different networks of other independent homeschool families. Some of these groups also arrange a variety of classes or have clubs for their membership base. The families are considered “Independent” homeschool families.

So what’s the difference? Enrollment in programs provides funding for curriculum, supplies, and activities. Independent parents provide their own funding, usually through the family budget. This is always a big persuader because we are a very money driven society. I heard it explained by a family that moved here from California, “Alaska is the only state that PAYS YOU to homeschool!” While I don’t agree with that statement, many do indeed feel this way.

There is a trade off. Enrollment brings with it state and district regulations and requirements. There are required courses to teach, hours to track, work sample submissions, quarterly reports, monthly contacts, and mandatory testing, just to name a few. It can be stressful enough to homeschool, yet many choose to succumb to these extra rules, regulations, and requirements. In other states, homeschool parents have similar regulations; the amount depends upon the individual states. In Alaska, parents are choosing to have this regulation.

I have to pause here and give kudos to the public school district that first implemented a program of this type in Alaska: the Galena City School District. They had the vision and foresight to see the increase in popularity of homeschooling and devised a way to tap into it. We don’t see a lot of ingenuity coming from public school districts; yet their IDEA program was visionary and managed, as they intended, to capture a multitude of homeschool families.

Regulation aside, the further I step back and look at Alaska’s homeschool culture, the more realizations I am able to make. As the popularity of the IDEA program spread, other districts developed their own homeschool programs to compete with the IDEA program. We have, in essence, the “voucher” system where students are able to enroll in whichever school they feel will best benefit them to encourage competition. The only difference is that these students don’t receive a “voucher” to take to a rival school program. Enrollment is open to any family living anywhere in the state.

Parents that have enrolled their children in these programs do so because they ultimately believe that homeschool is the best option for their children’s education. These parents are actively involved in their children’s education; these parents are striving to turn their children into productive, upstanding citizens that will, one day, be influential people in our communities. These children are homeschooled in every sense of the word. Their transcripts, academic records, and test scores, however, reflect “public school students.” None of the statistics are included in homeschool statistics; rather, their scores and successes are reflected in the public school statistics.

I don’t know about you, but I get angry when someone else takes the credit for MY hard work. It’s not right! It’s unjust! And, as much as I don’t like to use this phrase, it is not fair! Wasn’t one of the reasons that you decided to homeschool because you believe it is far superior to the public school systems? It appears that Alaska public schools have found a way to “cash in” on homeschool success and take the credit for parents’ hard work.

Societal Burdens

We are trying to raise our children to be productive members of society. We are hoping to raise the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs on the heels of the current “entitlement” generation. There is no such thing as a free lunch and we want our children, especially, to know that there is a world out there in desperate need of accountability in the form of responsible adults.

EVERYONE that is not a productive and responsible member of society is a burden on society. It’s not about just providing for yourself or your family’s basic needs. It’s about a moral obligation to not be a burden on someone else and to leave behind a better place; something for your great-grandchildren.

So how does one not become a burden? One obvious answer is to avoid all forms of public assistance and pay your taxes. Another, not so obvious, answer is to search out ways to lessen the tax burden imposed by you. In an effort to explain what I mean, I will give three examples.

roads

Automobile Registration

 You pay your biennial registration for your mode of transportation: car, truck, SUV, van, etc. You have paid for your use of public roads and bridges, including the maintenance and upkeep, for the duration of the registration period. The wear and tear your automobile puts on the roads and bridges is figured into that registration fee. By avoiding those registration fees and driving with expired tags, you’re burdening society with wear and tear on those roads and bridges that you haven’t paid for. It’s stealing. It’s dishonest.

Public-Safety-Police-Fire-EMS

Ownership & property taxes

Property taxes, while they may be outrageous, pay for EMS, police, and fire service. Many fire departments used to have a list of those who were current on their taxes and those who were not. If your house caught fire and the trucks showed up, but you hadn’t paid your taxes, they would watch it burn. That’s not the case anymore. If you don’t pay your property taxes, you are increasing other property owners’ tax burdens to provide your residence, and theirs, with these invaluable services. While you hope you won’t ever need to rely on these services, they are paid for when you pay your property taxes.

Education_cap1

Education

Communities have an obligation to insure that its members have access to an education so that they can get jobs for its own sustainability. This is the public education system. Obligation does not mean responsibility. It is not the community’s responsibility to see that every child attends a public school. It is the parents’ responsibility to see that their children are educated. Public education is paid for, in part, by property taxes.

For the 2012-2013 school year, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District enrolled 14,264 students at a whopping cost of $18,091.92 per student! When it comes to property taxes, each student cost the borough taxpayers $3,709.53. The remaining $14,382.39 is from federal, state, and “other.” (Information obtained from http://www.k12northstar.org/sites/default/files/2012-13fingertipfacts.pdf) I know that not everyone pays almost $5000 in property taxes every year, so if you are a property owner with only ONE school age child AND your property taxes are less than or equal to $3709.53, you’re already “upside down” and your child’s public education is a burden!

What can a parent do to lessen their children’s education burden? You can opt to send your children to a private school. Private school tuition is far less than the $18,091.92 that the FNSBSD spends per student. Far North Christian School charges tuition at most, $3850 to educate Pre-K and K, and $2800 per Grade 1 -12 student. They also offer discounts when enrolling multiple students. By choosing to enroll your child or children in a private school, you erase your children’s public education burden.

What if you can’t afford or don’t like private school? The other option is to independently homeschool. By taking full responsibility for your children’s education, whether you have one child or many, independently homeschooling means that you also take 100% of the financial burden. Our family chose this option. For our six children, we relieved $22,257.18 from our neighbors’ property taxes. ($3709.53 x 6) We erased their overall public education burden (federal, state, local, and “other”) in the amount of $108,551.52 for the 2012-2013 school year! ($18,091.92 x 6)

A society cannot bloom and prosper with thieving and dishonest ideologies. Every choice we make has an impact. Everything we do has both an immediate and a long-term effect. In choosing the moral high ground, you are leading by example. By choosing to be a responsible and productive member of society, you are not only relieving a burden, but also planting the seeds of prosperity for the next generations.