Josh Brage

Why Some Kids Aren’t Heading to School Today

It is not often that I talk about homeschooling on here. I do not know why, I probably need to change that. I was homeschooled and I am far better off because of it. This article from Pajamas Media’s Tony Woodlief lays out some pretty decent reasons why he and his wife homeschool their families. I wanted to share this today to showcase an article that I think displays the beliefs of many, many homeschool families. This is extremely relevant in helping us all better understand what “Middle America” thinks, feels and believes. Their vote is what will win this political election for John McCain/Sarah Palin this fall. Plus, it will just help you understand homeschoolers in a little bit better way! Here are a couple of my favorite paragraphs.

We believe everything you need to know about parenting can be gleaned from Little House on the Prairie. Growing up in wildly dysfunctional households, we both learned that you can do much worse than the Ingalls family. We decided when we got married that our home would be better than what we knew as children. The foundation is love, order, and relentless application of rules like: Eat all your vegetables, and Mind your manners, and Don’t push your brother’s head into the toilet.

So we frown on radicalism. Yet we have embarked on one of the most radical endeavors families can undertake: home-schooling. Given preconceptions about this practice, I should note that we are not anti-government wingnuts living on a compound. We like literature, and nice wines, and Celeste would stab me in the heart with a spoon if I gave her one of those head bonnets the Amish women wear….

The secret of home-schooling, however, is that you don’t have to be a master teacher to do it well. Energy, dedication, and good materials are what you need. Your competition, meanwhile, is a system that by design and necessity seeks the median. Public (and many private) school students have to move along in all subjects at a similar pace, and in the same order. Outliers — the talkative, the energetic, the gifted, the struggling — are labeled and interventions (counseling, special classrooms, tutoring, medication) prescribed. The goal is not a full realization of the child’s potential, but rather the system’s smooth functioning.

While it’s nice to imagine ourselves living a counter-cultural lifestyle, the reality is that in Wichita, Kansas, home-schooling is widespread. Home-schoolers have baseball teams and soccer leagues. Teaching support groups. There’s even a Boy-Scout troop. Local private schools, meanwhile, offer science and other equipment-intensive courses. Churches provide facilities for home-school association meetings, and even study halls so home-school parents can join Bible studies. If a home-schooling mother falls ill or dies, there is often another home-schooling family who takes on responsibility for teaching her children.


Party of Change, Its a Change Party!
August 30, 2008, 11:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today, I am extremely proud to be a Republican! McCain/Palin is the ticket of change. When you think about everything that we, as a country, need solved – Iraq situation, our energy situation, our economy, etc. . . you have to realize that this ticket is THE TICKET that has the answers. We have the experience, we have the ideas, we have the strategies that are needed for the success of our country. Hands down.

Read what Mark Steyn thinks. . .

First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, “all-American”, but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I’m not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin’ Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who’s done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of “community organizer” and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.

Third, real people don’t define “experience” as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong. (On the first point, at the Gun Owners of New Hampshire dinner in the 2000 campaign, I remember Orrin Hatch telling me sadly that he was stunned to discover how few Granite State voters knew who he was.) Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain’t run nothin’ but his mouth. She’s done the stuff he’s merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party’s corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol (see his campaign’s thuggish attempt to throttle Stanley Kurtz and Milt Rosenberg on WGN the other night).

Energized to Say the Least
August 29, 2008, 10:13 pm
Filed under: High-Five, Politics | Tags: , , ,

McCain is my boy! Want to talk about change? Want to talk about leadership? Unite the Republican Party! I am fired up! When I got home today, I immediately got onto and pledged my support. With his decision today he completely demonstrated that he is ready to lead. I am on his team, wholeheartedly. Before today, I would have voted for him. After today, I am ready to work for him.

This was brilliant. She is exciting to say the least. Quote of the week from Rush:

“Babies. Guns. Jesus. Hot Damn!.”

Get excited. Get involved. Get interested. Participate in this election!