Tag Archives: Homeschooling

Settling Conflicts: Guns and Homeschooling

There was a time when I blogged regularly about homeschooling, though I have not done so in a long time. A while back I started to blog about gun ownership. I engaged in each of these topics for similar reasons. I have a political and professional interest in homeschooling (as a science educator) and a complex culinario-political interested in guns (as a political progressive who likes to eat wild animal but does not like people shooting each other). But the reason I blogged about these issues was more narrowly defined. I wanted to see if it was possible to achieve détente among people with dramatically different perspectives on a specific issue.
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The Manga Guide to Relativity


The The Manga Guide to Relativity might come in especially handy these days, what with faster than light neutrinos, Republican candidates and other science-defying entities zooming around. And, it is one of those Japanese anime things, which makes it cool. This is a story set in Tagai Academy summer’s school session, where the “plucky” Miss Uraga teaches the kids relativity.

When you have finished reading this book you will be able to calculate the effects of time dilation, explain the Twin Paradox, understand Einsteinium famous E=mc2 and get a job at CERN.

Hideo Nitta, is in the Department of Physics at Tokyo Gakugei University, and an expert in physics and physics education. Masafumi Yamamoto is an applied physicist from Hokkaido University, and I’m pretty sure Keita Takatsu is the artist. This is a little like Pokemon except only things that are possible happen in the book.

There is a small difference between Har Mar and Har Har

Har Mar is a funny little shopping mall in Roseville Minnesota. It is the home of the annual Twin Cities Creation Science Science Fair. Sometimes we visit the science fair, but it is not to laugh at the students….
Continue reading There is a small difference between Har Mar and Har Har

Courts allow University of California to reject credit for Creationist High School courses

A federal appellate court has ruled against a Christian school in Murrieta which had sued the University of California over its refusal to accept high school courses that rely on the Bible as the unerring source of truth.

Details here.

Next step: Homeschoolers!

(Hat tip: August Berkshire)

The Irony of Henry Adams: The most misunderstood quote evah!

I just received a mass emailing from Julia’s high school, in the name of the principal. Routine business. At the end of the missive was this quote:

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

What does this quote mean to you? If you don’t know its context, you may be in for a surprise.


Continue reading The Irony of Henry Adams: The most misunderstood quote evah!

What is Wrong with the American System of Education?

Roughly half of the people in the United States reject one or more fundamental tenets of science (most commonly evolution), while a larger percent, perhaps more than 80 percent depending on how we measure, would fail a basic science test. A strong majority of those American citizens who would claim to have strong feelings about one or more science policy issues such as climate change, stem cell research, or nuclear power either know very little about the relevant science or are so badly informed regarding the science that their knowledge is not merely insufficient, but is actually opposite what is generally accepted by experts in the area. Most Americans would prefer to make science related decisions on the basis of political affiliations (while at the same time often claiming to not be affiliated with a particular party, and to be ‘independent’ ‘thinkers’) than on the basis of scientifically demonstrable realities. This is true even to the extent that it is possible to predict a person’s likely stance on a scientific issue on the basis of their politics than on the basis of their own economic self-interest or concern about personal or family health and safety. Hmmmm.
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An open letter to the Roseville School District

Dear Dr. Thein,

I am a parent of a child in the Roseville, MN School District. I am very concerned about news reports I’ve been hearing from elsewhere in Minnesota indicating that there are parents upset about The President of the United States addressing the students in some classrooms next week.

I am primarily concerned with the responses by the school districts to the parents. The responses I’ve heard have been rather appeasing to these parents. I do not think this is appropriate.

The parents in question are insane.

Continue reading An open letter to the Roseville School District

Back to school: Books on Creationism

If you are a teacher or a parent you may find some of these books especially useful to: a) prepare yourself; b) give to your child’s teacher or a colleague; or c) give to a school administrator. Seriously.

Each link is to a review of the book to help you decide if you are interested.

Continue reading Back to school: Books on Creationism

Home Chemistry: A New Guide for Hobbyists and Home Schoolers

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) is a new book by Robert Thompson. The premise is simple. The coolest thing in the world is a home chemistry set like this one from Gilbert, which combined both chemistry and microscopy:

Chemistry Set Combine the sciences of Chemistry and Microscopy in one big laboratory set! Microscope has a magnification of 60 power, plus unique Polaroid device that shows the brilliant colors of specimens under the lens. Set includes “Fun With Gilbert Chemistry”, “Gilbert Microscope”, “Glass Blowing” manuals and dissecting stand. From the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop

Continue reading Home Chemistry: A New Guide for Hobbyists and Home Schoolers

Homeschooling + cult = NC ruling

Regarding home schooling mom Vanessa Mills, of Wake County, NC, USA:

…Mills … grew alienated from her husband and parents after joining a religious group that some former members call a cult, the judge in the case said Tuesday…

…Judge Ned Mangum ruled March 6 that it would be in the best interests of Venessa Mills’ three children to go to public school this fall.

That ruling, in an ongoing divorce case between Venessa and husband Thomas Mills, sparked national attention from conservatives who maintain that Mangum overstepped his bounds.

“Based on all of the evidence, the court finds that Ms. Mills engaged in behavior that alienates the minor children from their maternal grandparents, their aunt, and most importantly their father,” Mangum wrote.

Among other provisions, the written order said the parents will have joint custody of the children — who are 12, 11 and 10 — and that both parents can “practice their own religion and expose children to same.”

The ruling amplified Mangum’s reasons for ordering the change in schooling, noting that he recognizes the benefits of home schooling. It goes into significant detail about the Washington state-based Sound Doctrine Church to which Venessa Mills belongs. “It is in the best interest of these minor children based on all of the evidence presented that Mr. Mills, a father with equal rights, should be allowed to expose the children to more than just the experiences that Venessa Mills desires,” Mangum wrote.

Magnum’s ruling quotes people named as former members of Sound Doctrine who describe the institution as abusive. They say Sound Doctrine practiced brainwashing and was run by fear and manipulation.


This is a bit old, but I just came across it. (Hat tip: DOC)

Homeschooled child snatched from the jaws of life by religious mother

I really have nothing against homeschooling, but it must be admitted that among the homeschoolers, there is a disproportionate share of crazy people that should not be allowed near children. And, the way homeschooling operates politically, the children of homeschooling families are less likely to be rescued from their abusing parents (when there are abusing parents) than other kids. That is a simple fact, and all the homeschoolers who are not abusing their own children but who maintain that society must simply turn away are part of the problem, not the solution.

In this context it is not surprising that homeschooling mother Collen Hauser is trying to murder her illiterate and possibly somewhat crazy 13 year old son by refusing to allow him the necessary life saving medical treatments ordered by a court.

SLEEPY EYE, MINN. — The father of Daniel Hauser said today he believes his son and his wife have left the country, but won’t say where he thinks they have gone to keep out of reach of authorities.

“I have an opinion where they are, but I can’t say I know,” said Anthony Hauser, adding that he has placed a call to a telephone where he believes he can reach them.


I find it fascinating and disturbing that this situation has not been deemed appropriate for an Amber Alert. Why?

PZ has a long post about this, and another similar case.