Sunday, December 31, 2006

Black chant

This is my attempt to translate a poem by José Regio. I hope you enjoy!

"Come this way" - some tell me with sweet eyes
Extending their arms, certain
that it would be good if only I'd listen
When they tell me: "Come this way!"
I look at them with weary eyes,
(filled with scorn and tiredness)
Cross my arms,
And simply don't go there...

My glory is this:
To create outrage!
And never follow anyone.
- Because I live with the same lack of will
With which I ripped my mother's womb

No, I won't follow your path!
I'll only go where my own steps
will lead me...

If what I seek to know
none of you can answer
Why do you repeat: "Come this way!"?

I'd rather slip in muddy alleys,
Follow the winds,
Wear rags, drag my bleeding feet,
than follow your path...

If I came to this world, it was
to explore virgin forests,
And draw my own feet in unexplored sand!
Anything else is worth nothing.

How? Could you ever give me the drive, tools and courage
I need to knock down my own obstacles?...
It runs, in your veins, your grandparents' old blood,
And you love what is easy!
I love what is distant and mirages,
I love abysses, torrents, deserts...

Go! You have your roads,
Your gardens, your flowerbeds,
You have your homeland, your roofs,
And you have your rules, thesis, philosophers, and wisemen...
I have my Insanity!
I raise it, like a beam, burning in the dark night,
And I feel saliva, blood, and poems in my lips...

God and the Devil are my guides, nobody else.
You've all had fathers, you've all had mothers;
But I, who never start or finish,
I was born of the love that there is between God and Devil.

Oh, don't come to me with your pious intentions!
Don't come asking for definitions!
Don't come tell me: "Come this way!"
My life is a storm that got loose,
A wave that rose.
It's an extra atom that became animated...
I don't know which path to follow,
I don't know where I'm going
- I Know I'm not following your path!

NVC Links

Nonviolent Communication Part 1 Marshall Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication Part 2 Marshall Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication Part 3 Marshall Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication and Corporations pt 1

Yummy!

John Holt

"Education...now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and 'fans,' driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve 'education' but to do away with it, to end the ugly and anti-human business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves."

Tom Wheeler

"When we go to school we are taught that school will teach us what we need to survive in society by giving us the necessary skills to get a job and “take care” of ourselves, but the system is not interested in our well-being. It is only interested in what we could do for them. The process of public education is a combination of rudimentary knowledge which we need to be able to serve the rich and powerful plus “norming” behavioural indoctrination intended to keep us from questioning the status quo when we become servants to the capitalists or the government by persuading us that the system which exploits us somehow exists solely for our benefit (a blatant contradiction and a lie)." from Why Not to Trust Your School, an article by Tom Wheeler.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Games


















DJ has been busy with his forum and some new games he got at Xmas. He has recently discovered Deicide, another free multiplayer online game, and is getting into it.
Today's Links
Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo: Portrait of a Woman

Frida's Quotes
They are so damn 'intellectual' and rotten that I can't stand them anymore....I [would] rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those 'artistic' bitches of Paris. [on Andre Breton and the European surrealists](...) I never knew I was a surrealist till Andre Breton came to Mexico and told me I was.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Music & RE Links

Metareligion
A War on Science
History of Religion The geography of faith and its wars across history: see 5,000 years of religion in 90 sec.

Leek spin
Bebo & Cigala - Veinte Años
A Cello Rondo video of Ethan Winer

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nothing much...

News: ID card call to 'stop bullying' "Green MSP Patrick Harvie said the suggestion was troubling. "We should be preparing young people for the reality of defending their privacy and civil liberties against ever-more intrusive government systems."
Online: Education and Inspections Bill - Briefing on School Expansion from Human Scale Education (thanks Fiona!)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day



Today's Inspiration
Edison was a great believer in failure as a natural part of the path to success. When attempting to develop a better battery, Edison performed around 50,000 tests without success. Edison never became discouraged: "At least we know 50,000 things that won't work!" The battery he developed is still used today. He also did more than 2,000 experiments to find the right filament for the light bulb!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Xmas!



"Let us celebrate Christmas.
Let us celebrate
New Year.
Let us celebrate
every day,
every hour
And every minute
of our life.
Let us rekindle love, friendship,
gratitude,
joy and enthusiasm
in us today.
Let us live today a purposeful and
harmonious day,
And tomorrow will be another day of
celebration.
Let us live each day as a
New Celebration."
Ringu Tulku, Gangtok

Link from Fiona (thanks!)
Is home-schooling right for your child?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Xmas Frenzy





Have a great evening everyone!
Thanks to the EO list for these links:
Home-educated girl wins award
Famous Home educators
This sounds interesting too:
A Simple Approach to Organizing a Learning Co-Op by Laddie Lushin, Esq

Friday, December 22, 2006

Chess


E-Petitions We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Grant home educators the right to sit exams in local schools as independent students.

Link Education Revolution

News Degree classification: Have the Desmond and Vorderman had their day?

Today's Quote
"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do." by Helen Keller

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Family

Exciting day today... collecting my parents from Bristol airport this afternoon, just hope I find my way there!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blogthings

You Are 12% Capitalist, 88% Socialist

You see a lot of injustice in the world, and you'd like to see it fixed. As far as you're concerned, all the wrong people have the power. You're strongly in favor of the redistribution of wealth - and more protection for the average person.

"To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest."
Gandhi

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blogthings

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

How can


so many of us happily buy into this 'Xmas' consumerist scam when right now so many others are without a home? If you're not aware of what's going on you can always watch evicted or check no home.
I accidently came across Say no to Christmas and thought it was right up my street... Anyway, DJ & F are playing and I just overheard them talking about "What Would Buddha Do?" and having a good laugh - kids are great!

Xmas stuff 4 kids
Xmas Quiz
"Merry Christmas" in different languages
Christmas carols - sheet music

Monday, December 18, 2006

Books

I wanna read:
Baker, Joy (1964) Children in chancery
Thanks Gill!

Krishnamurti, Jiddu (1975) Beginnings of learning

Llewellyn, Grace (1997) The teenage liberation Handbook:
How to quit school and get a real life and education

Science & ICT

Yesterday DJ got us to watch Most of Our Universe is Missing
You can watch it online. I've finally got on with the EO Questionnaire and we managed to finish watching the History of Hacking (parts 2-6)- with Steve Wozniak, Kevin Mitnick and others.

More Fun Stuff
Catherine Tate - Lauren's French Oral
Catherine Tate - What are you wearing?
Catherine Tate - Lauren - Farmer?
Catherine Tate - Lauren - Are you gay, sir?
14 Days of Homeschooling To the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas."

News: Patients win right to keep records off NHS computer
Check This: Ross Anderson
Free E-book: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Privacy

On the The Big Opt Out website, which is 'running a campaign to protect your privacy and campaign to preserve medical confidentiality', I found the following:

"This is a copy of the letter that you will need to send to your GP if you want him or her to put a "stop" on your records being uploaded to the NHS "spine" automatically.

Exercising right to opt out

Dear Doctor,

As you are probably aware, the Government is intending to ask you to transfer the electronic medical records of your patients onto a national database called the “spine”. They intend you to do this without first seeking the consent of your patients. It is BMA policy that patients should give their individual consent prior to their information being transferred on to the national database.

There are substantial concerns about the privacy and confidentiality of information transferred onto the national database, not least because promised software security safeguards called “sealed envelopes” will not be in place and because the patient’s instructions with regard to who may access the records can be overridden. I do not believe that such a large database, with so many staff users, can be regarded as secure.

I would be grateful if you would ensure that none of my records held by you are entered onto the national system. Would you please also file or scan a copy of this letter in my records and also record my dissent by entering the “Read code” - ‘93C3. - Refused consent for upload to national shared electronic record.’ into my computer record. I am aware of the implications of this request and will notify you should I change my mind.

This request is itself confidential. Please do not divulge my decision, in an identifiable manner, to anyone other than to clinicians who are providing care to me and who might otherwise place information about me on the national care records service.

Further information for GPs is available online at www.TheBigOptOut.org/for_GPs

Yours sincerely,..."

Watch This: Suspect Nation

Today's Links
NO2ID
foundation for information policy research
UK Debt Statistics

Friday, December 15, 2006

Remember this?

Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall

Art - DJ had some fun with linerider.

History: I just went to his room and he said: "It's the year 1086. I'm attacking a castle of the Byzantine Empire. I am the Turks, I'm on the way to the Holy Land and I'm going to attack and capture it. Then I'm going to get a massive army to defend it, in case the Pope calls a cruzade on Jerusalem." DJ also reminded me that the empire's capital was Constantinople, which used to be called Byzantium. Now it's Istanbul, in Turkey.

Tech/ICT - watched part 1 & 2 of The History of Hacking

On the news: The children's list that will do more harm than good

Take Action: Urge UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Appoint a Special Envoy for Darfur here

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Forums

Well, DJ spent the day finding out how to start his very own online forum. He was so excited when he got it together! I felt so happy to see him enjoying the cheer pleasure and excitement of learning! He actually noticed that he was on a high - on that natural high that comes about from achieving what you yourself set out to achieve. He set himself his own target, knew what he wanted to do, got on with it and became aware of just how rewarding this whole process can be. Isn't that just great? So if you read this, we'd love it if you joined this new forum!

Other than that, this morning I visited a local secondary school and spent an hour chatting with the school's SENCO. It was a good meeting - I felt listened to and understood - and I appreciated the openness and honesty - including the recognition that schools are, first and foremost, institutions and that they are NOT the right place for some children - neurotypicals or otherwise... I also enjoyed hearing break times being described as 'yes, it's a real jungle out there!' So, we're keeping our options open but will definitely not rush into anything... especially after today's breakthrough. The most important thing for me was to enable DJ to rediscover the pleasure and love of learning - maybe because I'm so passionate about it - and that's what happened today. Unfortunately schools can take that away...

Take Action
The Big Opt Out Protect your privacy and campaign to preserve medical confidentiality
E-petitions We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the DFES provide guidelines for the use of biometric technologies in schools.

Today's Links
Millions may resist database, says poll
Children’s Databases – Safety and Privacy, A Report for the Information Commissioner by the Foundation for Information Policy Research
On the news:
Home Office expert who helped set up a national database admits child porn charge

Listen

When I ask you to listen to me,
And you start giving me advice,
You have not done what I asked.

When I ask that you listen to me,
And you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way.
You are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me,
And you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
You have failed me, strange as it may seem.

Listen: All that I ask is that you listen,
Not talk or do anything, just hear me.
When you do something for me
That I need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and feelings of inadequacy.

But, when you accept as a simple fact
That I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational,
Then I can quit trying to convince you
And go about the business
Of understanding what's behind my feelings.

So, please listen and just hear me
And, if you want to talk,
Wait a minute for your turn and I'll listen to you.

Anonymous

Learning

"Good judgment comes from experience,
And experience, well, that comes
from making bad judgments."
Anonymous

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Online Stuff

DJ listened to Steven Levitt, an economics professor, talking about economic principles at work in the real world of an inner-city gang. 22mns

We enjoyed Captain Capitalism Flash Animation Series
Nightmare Red Christmas
Piggy Bank Pinko
Heroes
Bleep

We also watched Pirates & Emperors and What Makes Us Tick Part 1 & Part 2, a 1950s cartoon on the workings of the stock market; the basics on what a stock market is and why we should choose to have one. Promotes the stock market as the engine of America's prosperity.

You can find more capitalist propaganda animations here.

Climate Change
DJ also watched parts 1 & 2 of An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

Today's Links
Abbie's Blog - Autonomously educating a 10 y.o. on the autistic spectrum

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reading
















DJ read these while at Monkton Wyld Court.

Geography
Yakko's World - The Nations of the World

Citizenship
Rules of Capitalism

Today's Links
Get Body Smart

Monday, December 11, 2006

Leaving early

















DJ was desperate to return to the familiarity of his cocoon; although I encouraged him to stay I decided to keep my word as I had said I'd be prepared to leave early if he felt the need to go back home. I'm gonna miss this place, people I met, eating together, making music, chanting, chatting, etc. The plan is to be back in March for the Home Educators Development Week!

More Holt
"To live well with other human beings, adults or children, is a subtle art. Rules for doing it are not much help. But if I had to make a general rule for living and working with children it ought be this: be very wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult, whose good opinion and affection you valued. 'Mind your own business' is not a bad minor rule in human affairs."

"(Children need)
To be free of the constant pressure of adults, rules, regulations; to be left alone, to not be harassed all the time about hair, clothes, homework, exams, college; things to do; a society to grow in and into, a society that makes sense, has reasonable purposes, that they can trust and respect."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

More Holt

DJ joined us for supper today and played scrabble with J and E. We also got to use the internet for a while in the office - isn't that just great?!

I've been flicking through The Underachieving School by John Holt. The 1st chapter starts with: "True learning - learning that is permanent and useful, that leads to intelligent action and further learning - can arise only out of the experience, interests, and concerns of the learner."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Still here















Monkton Wyld Court will be hosting a Home Educators Development Week in March and I'm thinking about booking while I'm here.

After 2 days of playing and socialising DJ is having a 'hermit' day, which gives me another opportunity to be aware of my thoughts and feelings around his need for solitude. I've found some John Holt's books in the library, and started to read Freedom and Beyond - lots of food for thought, like:

"Schools do not have the power of life and death over children. But they do have the power to cause them mental and physical pain, to threaten, frighten, and humiliate them, and to destroy their future lives."

"Every time we try to manage the lives of young people, we give up the chance to see how they might have managed their own lives, and to learn what we might have learned from their doing it."

Today's Links
Essential Education
Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Monkton Wyld



We're here and having a great time. It took me 2hrs to persuade DJ to come along - what did it in the end was to grab the PC and put it in the back of the car! He has now made a new friend and is enjoying himself. I'm loving the experience of community living. And guess what? I milked a cow yesterday, for the 1st time ever! What a wonderful experience! And met lots of interesting people, including 2 home-educating families.

Today's Sites
Buy Nothing Christmas
An Inconvenient Truth

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Off We Go!

We're almost on our way! See you all in a week!

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." Thornton Wilder

Today's Site Edutopia

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Plans

Well, the plan is to spend a week at Monkton Wyld Court - I'm hoping DJ will be OK about it tomorrow morning because I'm really looking forward to go, so... fingers crossed!

Today's Inspiration
"Our best learning is ignited and fueled by a need to know - a natural urge or movement from within to know something pertinent, something particular that helps bring us more fully into being and into the world. This includes both knowledge of self and knowledge of the world, which from this view are interconnected and interdependent." Aaron Stern

“At the heart of every age is a unique impulse out of which, through the course of events and under favorable conditions, emerges a new cultural body. It is as if each age had its own DNA, which lives first in the consciousness of a few individuals who, like artists, create out of their irrational imaginations the planetary mystical perceptions that begin as heresy and end up as heritage.” Milenko Mitanovic

Today's Site
Academy for the Love of Learning

Watch Online
Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk
Independent media in a time of war
Hacking Democracy
Chomsky

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Be The Change

Unfortunately DJ kicked up a fuss and refused to go. I had a great day, met lovely people and was left with all sorts of new ideas buzzing in my brain e.g.
One Earth
Pachamama Alliance
Thomas Berry
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Brian Swimme
Matthew Fox
Drew Dellinger
Awakening Universe
Desmond Tutu
Your Planet Needs You
Foundation Global Community
Earth Charter
Wombat
Global Mindshift
Great Turning
Paul Hawken
Van Jones
Bioneers
One World
One World Radio
Dream Change

Engage With the Dream
Consumers or global citizens?
From dominion to stewardship
Hospicing the old, midwiving the new
You are the people you are waiting for!
There's nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come
What did you do when you knew?
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Be The Change

Hyperlink button has disappeared! Anyway, we're planning to go to Bristol tomorrow, to the Be The Change Symposium. I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fascism & Oil

We watched America Freedom to Fascism, Aaron Russo's documentary.
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
Benito Mussolini(Italian dictator, 1883-1945)

Hear an interview with Jan Lundberg on peak oil and cultural change (audio) After musical introduction, oil analyst and activist Jan Lundberg introduces the Peak Oil issue and the need for a deep level cultural shift to respond.

Watch Online

Dan Akroyd, Soul Man and Autistic, member of hidden horde
Talking Heads' David Byrne, Autistic, member of hidden horde
Did you know Gary Numan is Autistic?
Beautiful Minds: A Voyage Into the Brain
Autism Harmony and Humour
Vernon Smith, Nobel Prize Winner & Autistic, "Accept Us"
2002 Nobel Prize winner in economics and Aspie, in an interview with CNBC.
The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow
"The amazing story of Dr. Temple Grandin" - BBC
Animal School

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Music Links

Mozart Miracle Of Nature
Documentary on the life and music of Mozart
Glen Gould - On And Off the Record
Documentary about Glenn Gould
Heartbeat of Ghana
Documentary on the history of drumming in Ghana, its impact on its culture and the danger of it being lost with todays new music influences - 9mns

Scrabble & Boggle


















An afternoon of Scrabble & Boggle! Plus playing Runescape and chatting on Messenger with Gustavo in Portugal...

Links
Free Eds
Classics for kids

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chatting

Science Monster of the Milky Way - the nature of black holes; supermassive black hole at the center of galaxies; how a black hole forms; the nature of space surrounding and inside a black hole; event horizon that surrounds the black hole; Andromeda galaxy; etc, etc
Communication We talked about education, lifestyles, society, health, friendships, induhviduals (proper spelling, meaning neurotypicals) etc
Food Tech DJ helped chopping vegetables

Ed. Resources
geosense wind power food tech english
school history alien language curriculum bits statistics maths guru

Also Online
They Work For You: you can comment on what has been said in parliament re. "provisions being made in the Every Child Matters initiative for families who opt for education at home."
Why aren't you in school, Mr Tompkins?
Greenpeace - Tony Blair is building a new nuclear weapon

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Milky Way

Our friend M has been staying at ours over the past few days, which was great! Our routine changed a bit - but might get back to normal tomorrow! It was another relaxing day, with a bit of science - Monster Of The Milky Way - and history - Hitler's private World

We got an email from Laura Jackson, who works for a TV company called RDF Television. Laura is currently researching families who choose to educate their children from home and looking for contacts. If you're home-educating your child you can call Laura on 020 7013 4362 or email laura.jackson@rdfmedia.com

We also got a phone call from the Family Information Service Development Worker wanting to know if info about the Aspies' Parents Group could be included on their newsletter...

Today's Quote - Socrates
“No study pursued under compulsion remains rooted in the memory.”

Monday, November 27, 2006

Game Cams

ICT "I have a game camera and I'm learning how to use it - basically I can record games I play. I found out using google (I typed game cam and went to the first site and downloaded it for free)."

On The Media
Dr Phil
Great School Debate
New York Times Home Schoolers Content to Take Children’s Lead

Sunday, November 26, 2006

John Holt

"Education, with its supporting system of compulsory and competitive schooling, all its carrots and sticks, its grades, diplomas, and credentials, now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern and worldwide slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and "fans," driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve "education" but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and let people shape themselves.

This does not mean that no one should ever influence or try to influence what others think and feel. We all touch and change (and are changed by) those we live and work with. We are by instinct talkative and social creatures, and naturally share with those around us our view of reality. Both in my work as writer and lecturer, and among my friends, I do this all the time. But I refuse to put these others in a position where they feel they have no choice but to agree with me, or seem to agree. This is why, except as an occasional visitor, I will no longer do my teaching in compulsory and competitive schools..."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bits & Bobs

Citizenship Power & Control How to keep the "SHEEP" in check....
Science Dr Quantum - Flatland - Dimensions 2D & 3D
On The News 'Bullied because I was different'
Online Fun Click on the Singing Horses

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Britons

History What the Ancients Did for Us - The Britons
Stone Age sophisticated tools; construction of Stonehenge and Woodhenge; 1st British currency; Iron Age houses and early chariots.
Science
Einstein: Shedding Light On The Universe
The Elegant Universe
String's the Thing and Welcome to the 11th Dimension
PSHE Citizenship: Political Literacy
Hank Hill Speaks Up About Bush Terrorism and Iraq War
Terrorism

On The News
Child database 'will ruin family privacy' "Parents will be devalued and family privacy shattered by the mass surveillance of all 12 million children in England and Wales."
Warning over data on children “There has been a substantial growth in the information held about children and this is something we need to look at carefully.”
Database details 'harm children "Serious dangers exists from the growth of government databases on children (...) This raises serious data protection concerns relating to the appropriateness of collecting, processing and retaining the data"

Join the Ceasefire Campaign: Stop the War
Today's Quote - George Orwell 1984 -"The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. (...) In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not (...) victory (...), but to keep the very structure of society intact."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Learning Styles

You are very intuitive and ingenious. You're attracted to any field of study that lets you break the rules.
You Should Study:
Art - Art History - Architecture - Comparative religions - Eastern Religion -
Education - Music - Philosophy

Learning Style: Unconventional & Insightful

Knowledge Is Power

This leaflet has been circulating in several Home-Education online groups. I'm passing it on.
What you need to know about
the government’s plans to regulate home education

Who are we dealing with?
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is the government department that is responsible for developing strategies in education. They see part of their remit as aiming to achieve excellence for all and their functions will accord with the Every Child Matters agenda.
You can read more about the DfES
What are they going to do?
Last year, the DfES carried out a consultation on draft local authority Home Education guidelines. They consulted lots of Local Authorities and a handful of home education organisations, but would not accept contributions from individual home educators. Many home educators felt this meant that the consultation did not adequately or fairly represent the views of a large portion of the HE community.
Following this consultation, the DfES have not produced new guidelines. Instead, they now intend to conduct another consultation on Elective Home Education. They describe the proposed consultation as being "a full one, conducted via the Department's consultation website."..where they hope to ensure that the documents are accessible to as many people as possible.
The consultation website is here.
What will they be consulting about?
From emails that have been sent to some home educators by officials at the DfES, it appears that the DfES is considering using the Every Child Matters Agenda to insist that home educators conform to standards as decided by the state. We don’t know exactly how they are planning to do this, but it is likely to involve them trying to tell us what our children’s education should ‘cover’ and checking we are delivering the education they want through a system of monitoring visits.
DfES officials have said that:
“The state cannot currently prescribe what form of education parents should provide, whilst all maintained and independent school provision is prescribed in legislation and subject to inspection. This anomaly is at odds with Every Child Matters reforms, supported by the Children Act 2004, which set out the Government's aim to improve educational outcomes for all children, regardless of where they are educated, and to narrow the gap between those who are doing well and those who are not.”
and that:
"whilst s437 of the Education Act 1996 provides a remedy for LAs which have concerns that there may be no suitable provision, this is unwieldy, time consuming and expensive and in some cases will be nugatory where home educators are making good provision but are resistant to LA enquiries."

What you can do to keep Home Education as we know and love it

1. Keep an eye on them

Write to Elaine Haste of the Elective Home Education Department (DfES) at info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk and ask to be included on a list of those who receive information about the consultation.
NB: This does NOT mean that you have taken part in the consultation and the DfES cannot honestly claim that you have. Until we see the consultation document and have more information about how the responses will be used, we can’t be sure that taking part in the consultation process will help our case.
So why bother signing up now if we don't plan to actually take part in the consultation? Signing up is important because the DfES needs to know just how many of us they are going to have to deal with. It means they know we are watching them, and we are getting organised.
2. Spread awareness.
Tell at least 4 other home educators what is going on and get them to sign up, as above. Get them to tell at least 4 others. Blog the story if you have an HE or any other kind of blog.
Refer people to the explanation at dare to know - what to do if you want a quick way to let them know what is happening. This leaflet is based on that text.
3. Spread the positive word about home education
Follow up on any stories in the local paper or on TV with letters and comments. Talk about personalised learning, healthy happy children etc - possibly using the recent media stuff about "toxic childhood".
4. Join forces
If you are a member of Education Otherwise you might want to communicate your feelings to the EO Government Policy Group about what you would ideally like EO to be doing about all this. You could also speak to your Local Contact. If you are a member of any other home education support organisation (or you know anyone who is) please pass on general information about the forthcoming DFES consultation.
5. Get political
If you have any energy left, write to your MP and ask them to pass on your concerns to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
· Tell them about why it’s important to you to be allowed to determine what is a suitable education for your child(ren).
· Remind them that Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act gives parents the responsibility to provide an education that is suitable to the age, aptitude and ability and any special educational needs of their child(ren).
· Explain how HE enables you to do that for your children and how external standards and monitoring would make it harder to provide such an education.
6. Keep yourself informed
Find out more about Every Child Matters. Keep up with the discussion about how to campaign to preserve our current freedoms by joining the UK-HOME-ED email list. November 2006
Download Knowledge is power.pdf

Science Vs Religion

A War on Science: theory of intelligent design versus Darwinism; replacing science with religion? You can watch it online.
The Virus of Faith Richard Dawkins & Religion as the root of all evil

ICT DJ has been clearing his old PC before passing it on through the Freecycle network (that's reusing and recycling plus environmental awareness - which would come under environmental and resource issues in KS3 Geography!) He has also installed Norton Internet Security on his new PC.

PSHE Rain In My Heart Documentary exploring the daily lives of people battling with alcoholism and the impact on those around them.

On The News Small room, big issue "School toilets are often dirty and smelly, a haven for bullies and a no-go area for teachers."

I liked these
Dare to Know - Letter to Alan Johnson
Sometimes It's Peaceful - Government's threats to HE freedoms
Beat Bullying

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fresh Air




















Science: Physics
Atoms and Their Electrons 35mns Animation
The Elements Song by Tom Lehrer - version 2 here
Periodic Table - Catherine Tate's Sketch
Molecule

On The News The nursery rhyme police
"The call for state intervention in the minute details of family life... "This is the micro-management of family life."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

E.G. West

"Protection of a child against starvation or malnutrition is in the same category of importance as protection against ignorance. It is difficult to envisage, however, that any government, in its anxiety to see that children have minimum standards of food and clothing, would pass laws for compulsory and universal eating, or that it should entertain measures which lead to increased taxes in order to provide children's food "free" at local government kitchens or stores. It is still more difficult to imagine that most people would unquestioningly accept this system, especially where it had developed to the stage that for 'administrative reasons' parents were allocated those stores which happened to be nearest their homes; or that any complaint or special desire to change their pre-selected stores should be dealt with by special and quasi-judicial inquiry after a formal appointment with the local 'Child Food Officer' or, failing this, by pressure upon their respective representatives on the local 'Child Food Board' or upon their Congressman. Yet strange as such hypothetical measures may appear when applied to the provision of food and clothing, they are nevertheless typical of English and American state education as it has evolved by historical accident or administrative expediency. Presumably it is recognized that the ability in a free market to change one's food market when it threatens to become, or has become, inefficient is an effective instrument whereby parents can protect their children from inferior service in a prompt and effective manner. If this is so, then one should expect that the same arguments of protection would in this respect point in the direction not of a state school system where it is normally difficult to change one's 'supplier' but in the direction of a free market where it is not." from The Uneasy Case for State Education by Edwin G. West

Online
Animations
BBC Learning

On The News
Bullies 'target disabled pupils'
39% rise in home education

Friday, November 17, 2006

Chemistry

Chemistry - Dad came over, we all had lunch together and then did some experiments with Chemistry In Action: we heated copper sulphate, magnesium sulphate, di sodium di sulphate and sodium thiosulphate and observed the changes.

Psychology - Last night we ended up watching Middle Child Syndrome and immediately DJ said "Of course there's no such thing as Middle Child Syndrome!" The latest one I came across was Japan's "Retired Husband Syndrome". Maybe soon someone will come up with "Lets-Make-Up-Some-More-Syndromes Syndrome"!

Communication - We talked about judgments, criticism, put downs; how they affect us and our relationships; how they are linked with notions of good and evil, right or wrong; and how we perceive other people negatively everytime their behaviour doesn't match our values and/or our needs. We came up with examples of unskilful speech and of alternative ways of expressing what we observe, feel and need.

Act Now! Sign the HE Rights e-petition, download Home Education File and distribute it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Slowly

Slow start today, taking it easy... Still managed to do some PE, Sc and socialising. JC came over to see DJ and they went out for a walk up Church Street. Meanwhile I had a much needed break, which was just great! I went off to the library and stopped at Harvest. When I arrived back home they were playing checkers and DJ told me they'd also used the Magnet Kit. A while later we watched hour 1 of The Elegant Universe, Einstein Dream: Newton's law of gravity, Einstein's explanation of gravity as warps and curves in the fabric of space and time, his quest to unify gravity with electricity and magnetism, how bits of matter interact inside the atom, the quantum world of atoms and subatomic particles, and string theory. Loved it!

On The Net
Dare To Know - What To Do
EyeWitness To History

Education Website

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Outdoors


















Hi, Sc & DT What the Ancients Did for Us - The Greeks
Democracy, science, mathematics, codes of ethics and justice, music, theatre, weapons, astronomy, Pythagoras and Archimedes
PE Went out for another walk
Cooking, Sc & Hi While preparing and having tea (inc. 1st attempts at potato peeling and making chips from scratch) we continued to follow The Journey Of Man (parts 7 - 11).

On The News Sharp increase in home education
Today's Site NOVA

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Out Walking



















Science The Journey Of Man (parts 1 to 6) Evolution; Y chromosome, and marker mutations to map our ancestors' journey: so far from Africa through India to Australia.
We Are The Aliens Panspermia, the idea that life on Earth came from another planet
History When The Moors Ruled In Europe DJ watched about a 3rd of it, enough to learn that from the 8th to the 15th century Spain was ruled by Islamic Moors, who where passionate about learning and rational thought and laid down the foundations for the Renaissance.
PSHE DJ looked at life stuff: politics and egg and sperm race

On The Net Some perspectives on home educated children

Monday, November 13, 2006

Why We Fight

History of American conflict from the Revolutionary War to Iraq.
History of the Middle East Flash animation showing who has controlled the Middle East
Why We Fight, a film about the American war machine (you can watch it here) and discussed issues like democracy, imperialism, propaganda, corporate interests, etc

Today's Quote - Hermann Goering
Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

PSHE Health & Safety Stay healthy on your PC! Deskercises
Citizenship 100% English we watched part of this and got talking about DNA tests, history and racism
Communication - we talked about
quantum physics, paralel universes, dimensions, time travel,
buddhism, origings of the 1st and 2nd turnings of the Wheel of Dharma
the link betwen patriotism, war and racism,
Medieval II Total War, the moors, castles, motte & Bailey
DJ explained the difference between fortresses and citadels, etc etc

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Chatting

Reading & History - Last night DJ read most of Cut-Throat Celts

Today's Site: Digg More Educational Videos, not as good as QoolsQool

Saturday, November 11, 2006

QoolsQool



















ICT: I forgot to mention DJ continues to update his sites regularly and his typing is quite amazing!

PSHE: He has been experimenting with the power of intention - deciding what he wants - with positive results.

Today we went to Wellow (horse riding as usual), bought some more Horrible History books, and stopped in town to get Medieval II Total War, so DJ is very happy today...

Science: In the evening we watched Horizon Time Trip (read about it here), an interesting documentary about the possibilities of time travel.

On the News School leaving age may be raised

Today's Site QoolsQool
WOW! What an amazing site! Ideal for us visual learners!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sc RE Games

Science: World's First Time Machine 2003 BBC documentary featuring some of Dr. Ronald Mallett's current time travel research.
RE: Life of Buddha
History of Video Games DJ enjoyed this documentory about the history of video Games from Atari to Nintendo - a lot of creativity and entrepreneuship from young teenagers!
We also discussed stupidity: what is it and how intelligent and educated people can act in stupid ways and make stupid choices such as using knowledge for destruction e.g. Einstein's discoveries used to make and use atomic bombs

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Today

English Let's Write Non-Fiction - advice on writing Non-Chronological Report Writing plus some new stuff on DJ's blog
Sex Education Disney - VD Attack Plan (Venereal Disease Education)
Chess & Comedy - DJ has been playing chess with JC and watching Monty Python
The Secret - Documentary film

Check This Out
Do schools today kill creativity? Great stuff! Watch it now. 20mns

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Huns & Bangs

History: watched Terry Jones: Barbarians part 4, The Huns
Science: Paralel Universes

PSHE: Introduction to the concept of Social Intelligence
and to the attitude that whatever happens it is for the best

I've been finding out interesting stuff on YouTube and Video.Google and decided to make a collection of educational videos

Check These Out
Animal School
BBC Home-Education Debate

BBC Home-Education Debate 2

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hi Gg Sc

History The Romans in Britain: how the Romans invaded and settled in Britain; their effect on the Celts already living here, and their legacy today. Important cities in Roman times.
Geography Coastal Landscapes - How the caves and arches of the Pembrokeshire coast were created.
Science
Horizon Bye Bye Planet Pluto - Pluto demoted to asteroid; an exploration of exactly how many planets the solar system contains. International Astronomical Union members speak up.
Horizon Pandemic Predicting the next flu pandemic e.g. 750,000 deaths in Britain.
Drugs Education: we read What would you do? a booklet that can be read online at addaction exploring different choices made in drug-using situations and their consequences.

On The News
Home schooling has doubled in four years
(link from By other Means)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another day

Cooking: We had a nice time cooking lunch & tea together. DJ took the rubbish out and checked the post.
Art & ICT: Flash MX animation
PSHE Citizenship
School of Hard Knocks: rising numbers of violent incidents in British schools; e.g. a teenage girl stabbed in the face during playground.
Iraq - The Lost Generation - life under American military occupation.
Lock Them Up or Let Them Out - learned about Parole Boards and the role of prisons and probation services in the decision process.

On The News School Bullies

Today's Quotes
The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime. ~Max Stirner

So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private citizens will occasionally kill theirs. ~Elbert Hubbard

It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence... and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect. ~Manitonquat

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Goethe

I have come to the frightening conclusion that
I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.

Saturday, November 04, 2006