Child Welfare and State Supervision of Homeschools

In discussion online recently, the topic of child welfare came up.  Question of the day was, "How do we provide adequate state supervision in order to ensure parents aren't using homeschooling to cover up abuse or neglect?"  My answer: State supervision doesn't work.It does not work in foster care.  Here we are speaking of the most extensively state-supervised family population in the nation: Sally Schofield, the foster mother of Logan Marr, was found guilty June 25 of wrapping the 5- … [Read more...]

On the Forming of Young Christians

The plan, if all my paperworking comes to fruition, is for 4/4ths of my children to undertake radically different modes of education next year.  Said plan involves one parochial school, one public school, and one homeschool (mine).This is by no means the first time my husband and I have changed tack in our children's formation.  One would hope that my 15-year-old is not receiving the same sort of formal education we started with when he was five (though there are fascinating similarities).   … [Read more...]

Why God Made the University

I didn't fully understand Catholic education until this semester.  Those who follow the blog know I'm one of the instructors for a weekly high school economics and debate class.  It's a small class, eight students: One Orthodox, two Anglicans, the remainder Catholic.The program hosting us is unapologetically Catholic, but it's not a program "about" the Catholic faith.  Sometimes there are classes specifically featuring religious content, sometimes there aren't.  Usually the instructors are Ca … [Read more...]

Teaching Teenagers Logic is Practically Cheating

I received a very flattering compliment about my recent post on teaching logic to teens, and I don't wish to quibble with the kind soul who bestowed it on me.  But there's a secret I must reveal:Teaching teenagers is easier.What we are studying is the art of identifying bad arguments and replacing them with good ones.  One of the tricks used in the book, and that I use in the class as well, is to assert things that are true, but which are asserted poorly.  In other words, I might be ri … [Read more...]

How to Teach Kids about the “Straw Man” Fallacy

Point them to the internet.In class this morning, the kids got their formal introduction to Mr. Straw.  We're working through The Fallacy Detective, and the way we do most chapters is that the kids read the text at home, we discuss the definition of the fallacy, and then the kids each contribute an example they've either invented or endured.  We do assorted exercises to practice identifying the various fallacies we've studied and to distinguish them from legitimate arguments.Because of th … [Read more...]

Time Management and the Kinds of Time

I've fallen off the internet lately, and that's because I've been sleeping.  More on that in a bit, but I thought you might be curious.Way back when the SuperHusband first started working in junior-level management, the company sent him to a training day for junior managers.  There was one of these professional presenters whose job was to tell the fresh-faced victims all the bad news about their new life, and how to get through it all without being fired or divorced.It was a pretty u … [Read more...]

Why Kolbe Academy for My Boy, In One Picture

The boy is headed out to spend the weekend with some family friends (adults, not teenagers).  His dad, not much of a reader so if he says a book is entertaining it probably is, hands him a recent work of adventure-sci-fi to fill the downtime.What the boy digs out of the new school books box instead:The boy does not have perfect grades.  He is a normal teenager with the usual spread of strengths and weaknesses.  But if he's going to pass notes in class and scrape together papers at th … [Read more...]