Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Weird, Lonely, Unsocialized Homeschooler

Last week I was sitting with a group of other homeschooling moms, watching our kids play at a park and chatting casually about all things homeschooling. My own mom joined me there, which launched us all into a conversation about what has changed in homeschooling in these two generations. Turns out I wasn't the only 2nd generation homeschooler in the group, although the two other moms who had been homeschooled had only been homeschooled for a portion of their education, and had also attended both public and private schools.

So what has changed? This is only from my perspective and from this conversation .... I have no statistics or data to back this up. But what I see has changed is:

Social Acceptance

When I was a kid being homeschooled, it was still perceived as a really weird, fringe thing to do. When I saw homeschooling represented in the media or discussed in the news, it was always in a negative way or framed as something for super over-achiever kids like Olympic athletes or geniuses.

Now homeschooling seems to be much more accepted as another possible choice ... a minority choice but not just for the super fringe of our society.

And that might have something to do with ...

Greater Diversity

The homeschooling population is getting more diverse. People are homeschooling for many different reasons, with different philosophies and methods, and in all sorts of communities (rural, military, urban). But there is also increasing racial and religious diversity.

Networking and the Internet

New ways of communicating are making it easier for homeschoolers to find each other, as well. When I was a kid, my parents were part of the state homeschool organization and had some support groups they could be part of, and we did know other homeschoolers ... but only a handful. At one point my parents organized a "science scouts" type of group for about 6 kids. And that was it. It was OK .... I made friends through dance classes or theater productions, so I wasn't completely alone or "unsocialized" (that whole issue is a whole other post!), but I also didn't have a homeschool community.

Now, there are many homeschool communities. We are part of a Meet Up group online that has almost 300 families in it, and they organize all sorts of events, ranging from a casual gathering at a park to a structured workshop or field trip.

My kids are growing up with other homeschoolers, and in a more diverse community than I did. They are being accepted in ways I was not. Things have changed, in a good way.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

High School Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism Syllabus

Here's what I've put together for another of my High Schooler's social studies:

High School Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism Syllabus:

Research the following:

1.       Define the following terms: prejudice, bias, discrimination, oppression, racism, privilege, systemic/institutional racism, intersectionality, environmental racism, and white supremacy.

2.       Define the following: ageism, ableism, anti-racism, classism, feminism, heterosexism, homophobia, reverse racism, sexism, tokenism, transphobia

3.       Social Darwinism and eugenics

4.       United States history from the point of view of the oppressed (see books below)

In your research use:

1.       At least four of these books (you can search for others as well):

a.       A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King Jr., for Students

b.       A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen

c.       A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski

d.       An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

e.       A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

2.       Watch and use the discussion guides for at least two of these movies:

3.       Watch and discuss these documentaries:

c. I Am Not Your Negro

4.       Read from at least 3 of the following books as well:

a.       Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

b.       Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

c.       We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

d.       Waist High in the World by Nancy Mairs

e.       Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Final Paper:

The final paper should present your research findings and your thesis about oppression and racism in the United States and what is needed for us to become an anti-oppression/anti-racism society.

Minimum length: 4 pages, single spaced, 12 point font

Include an annotated bibliography

Due Date: November 1, 2017, See Rubric for further expectations for grading