published on or around the 15th of the month
from the author of
September, 2006     volume 1

Why this Newsletter?
As a homeschool mom, who once had a career that involved management and travel, I recognize that even though my current job is a daunting one, there is still more I can fit into a day. [read on]

Is My Child Gifted?
Homeschooling can be the most rewarding and most challenging task you will ever undertake. Homeschooling the gifted child presents its own special set of challenges. [read on]

The Java House... radical opinions about whatever, from OldSage

Items at The Java House:

  • Who is OldSage?
  • Are you Kidding Me
  • Glad We're Not Going Back to School
  • Why Our Teens Don't Have an Interest in Our Government
  • Demanding Your Privacy: An Ongoing Saga of Passing the Buck

Go to The Java House

Are Your School Records Private?
by Amy Cortez - Editor The Eclectic Telegraph

If you are a student at a private school or a public school you probably ought to know that your records are not really yours. This holds true for homeschooled students in most states in less you take care of this little detail. A little item called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows a school to release personal informational items such as: your name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance to pretty much anybody, including the military....
From the US Department of Education (Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans) website:

"Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31).....

Read more about FERPA

.....Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA."

Read more about FERPA

If you are in a state where you notify your local school system of your right to homeschool, you might think about including text similar to the following (you'll need to replace the Ohio code with your own, or quote FERPA):

...Enclosed is a brief outline of our intended curriculum for informational purposes. This outline and list are for informational purposes only, and remain the private property of our family, not public records subject to Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3319.321(B)(1). If any third party requests access to this information, please return these documents to us rather than violate our privacy.

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.321(B)(2)(a), I hereby inform the school board that no personally identifiable information, including directory information, should be released without our prior written consent. We also request that the local school district refrain from sending us information concerning their digital academies, community schools or other offerings....

You might also need to include requests like this if you are taking online courses in other states. We encountered this situation over the about OldSage's experience...

Homeschooling Teens
  • What is the difference between Regular Honors classes, AP classes and the International Baccalaureate (IB)?
  • Are You a Helicopter Parent?
    [From the College Board]

    Helicopter parents hover.
  • How Does One Decide Which Colleges to Apply to? From the Kaplan Test prep website
NOT Homeschooling Teens?
  • Does This School Have Windows?
    Microsoft-Designed School Opens
  • Academy for Profoundly Opens in Las Vegas

Go to Homeschooling Teens

The Relaxed Homeschool

Consider it your bloggy homestead. You feed the llamas and I'll build the windmill, okay?
A sample of the writing
I sorry I fight with you

Are you sick of your PDA running out of batteries and erasing your entire yearly schedule because you are simply too busy to hot sync it, or whatever they call it nowadays? Are you saddened by the ruining of your cell phone and iPod and PDA through the repeated dropping of them in to puddles and toilets? Do you feel like a big dork wielding too many electronic toys in public? Well, if so, then welcome to my world...[read on]

Matt McGann’s Factors

Matt McGabb’s Blog about Admissions, MIT and MIT Admission
Matt McGann - Associate Director of Admissions

A sample of the writing
Homeschooled applicants
....MIT has a long history of admitting homeschooled students, and these students are successful and vibrant members of our community...[read on]

Travelin' With The Kid

Read about our adventures in our own back yard and on the road! From a mom who has been homeschooling and traveling with a highly gifted student for more than 5 years.

A sample of the writing
Not Back to School

Every homeschooling family celebrates a “Not Back to School Day”, at least that is what I like to believe. Our day to celebrate was Monday this week. The plan was to go to our local coffee house to catch up on the latest news with the coffee-house-posse, to go to Staples to not-buy back to school supplies, to go to Morgan’s Livery one last time to kayak our favorite river and then to Eat at Joe’s (Joe’s Crab Shack) on the river for dinner.

A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling Web Site

From the website:
WARNING: Before entering this homeschool site, be sure small children are safely occupied, you have gone to the bathroom, and have plenty of snacks on hand. This is a large education site with lots to read and do!

World Science

“Long before it’s in the papers”
Sign up for their free Science newsletter

Bright Kids at Home
A practical website geared towards homeschooling and traveling with gifted and talented students.
From a mom who has been homeschooling a highly gifted student for 5 years. Here you will find ideas about how you might homeschool your gifted student. Ideas about how to homeschool and travel.

what's a podcast?

NPR: The Diane Rehm Show for Tuesday August 29, 2006
11:00Alissa Quart: "Hothouse Kids"
(Penguin Press)
Guest host: Laura Knoy
Many parents believe they must do everything possible to nurture the talents of their children. But sometimes they push too hard at too early an age. A former child prodigy talks about the dilemma of raising a gifted child.
Alissa Quart, author of Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child

Listen to this segment in Real Audio or Windows Media

Buzz Out Loud
Buzz Out Loud is CNET's "podcast of indeterminate length," featuring Tom, Molly, and producer Veronica's entertaining, sometimes caustic, and always skeptical take on technology news.

Read on


Your weekly tech-news.

Read on


Try something new!

Join or form a Leago League team.
FIRST LEGO® League International

An international program for children ages 9-14 (9-16 in Europe) that combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program with a sports-like atmosphere. Teams consist of up to 10 players with the focus on such things as team building, problem solving, creativity, and analytical thinking.

Each September, a new Challenge is unveiled to FLL International teams across the world. Over the course of 8 weeks, they stragegize, design, build, program, test and refine a fully autonomous robot capable of completing the various missions of the FLL International "Robot Game" Using the LEGO MINDSTORMS™ technology. They also search the web, talk to scientists, visit the library and develop compelling presentations based on the FLL International "Research Assignment", which relates to a problem or opportunity facing the world today.

In Ohio:

Ohio Renaissance Festival
Queen Elizabeth I welcomes you to 16th Century England where you can experience a full day of family entertainment & amusement in a permanent 30-acre English village.

The 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth REMBRANDT AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF DUTCH ART
Treasures from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Opening September 24, 2006, The Dayton Art Institute is one of only three U.S. museums to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see rare Dutch masterpieces while the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam undergoes an extensive renovation and expansion project.


They discovered a 23 million year old carnivorous kangaroo? Check out the October 2006 issue of  Discover magazine.

Global Warming is threatening the world’s best vineyards [read on] Checkout What Al Gore has to say in “An Inconvenient Truth”.

Homeschoolers do well on the PSAT.
Of the 220 Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana National Merit semifinalists, 4 were homeschooled students. these students are among 16,000 semifinalists in the 52nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. It might be interesting to total how many in all are homeschooled.

The Best Homeschool Laws in the USA are the ones in Utah.

Utah is no longer one of the three "approval" states. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are now the only states remaining which "approve" homeschools. The discretionary approval authority of the school district over homeschoolers has finally been eliminated in Utah. Senate Bill 59, Senate Bill 59: Homeschool Freedom Bill, passed both houses of the Utah legislature unanimously early in 2005. and the governor signed it into law on March 18, 2005.

The bill provides that a school-age minor shall be excused from attendance upon the filing of an affidavit by the parent stating that the child will be homeschooled. This bill makes it clear that a parent is in charge of the child's education. It states that

  • The parent is solely responsible for the selection of instructional materials and textbooks, though the required subjects must be taught.
  • The parent is solely responsible for the time, place, and method of instruction, though a child must be taught "for the same length of time as minors are required to receive instruction in public schools."
  • A school board may not require a parent to keep records of instruction or attendance.
  • A school board may not require credentials for individuals homeschooling their children.
  • A school board may not inspect homeschool facilities.
  • A school board may not require standardized or other testing of homeschool students.

Past Editions
  • September 2006



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Updated: September 3, 2007