Monthly Archives: September 2010

Education Bug Site Upgrade

If you have been on the site recently, you may have noticed that educationbug.org has undergone a major upgrade. We took a look at all the categories and organization that had slowly evolved from the site’s early days in the first half of 2006, and rethought everything. When we were done, we had created a new hierarchy and organization that we hope will make our education articles easier to locate.
There are two main parts to the hierarchy. In the first section, all articles of every type are sorted by topic. This section is called “Article Topics,” and it has 11 top-level categories.

In the second section, articles related to specific types of schools and written for specific audiences are categorized by the schools and the audiences. This section is called “Finding Articles for Special Interests, and it has two top-level categories.

Each top-level category has two or more subcategories. Each article is placed in every sub-category in which it fits. For example, the article “Public School Uniform Debate” is filed under Other Education Issues and also in Public Schools, while the article “What Is Peer Pressure?” is filed under Safety and Parents.

The new hierarchy is shown below, to help you get the gist of the site’s new organization.

ARTICLE TOPICS

Career Education
Career Training
Education Careers
Education Choices
Adult Education Choices
Post-Secondary Choices
PreK–12 Choices
Education Costs
Financial Aid
Other Financial Topics
Education History & General Information
General Information
History
Education Issues
Safety
Other Education Issues
Education Resources
Community Resources
In-School Resources
Online Resources
Family Involvement in Education
Applying to a School
College-Age Children
Preparing Your Child for School
School Involvement/PTA
Students w Special Needs
Gifted and Talented
Learning Disabilities
Special Education
Subject Information & Homework Help
Language Arts
Easily Confused Words
Grammar and Mechanics
Other Language Arts
Math
Other Learning Areas
Science
Social Studies/History
Teaching and Learning
Classroom Approaches & Issues
Homeschool Setup
Homeschool Curriculum
Testing
Admissions Tests
Testing in the Schools

FINDING ARTICLES FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS

Articles About Specific Types of Schools

Homeschools
Public Schools
Private Schools
Preschools
Kindergartens
Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools
Colleges and Universities
Vocational/Technical Schools
Charter Schools
Christian Schools
Online Schools/Distance Education

Articles For Specific Audiences

Elementary Students
Secondary Students
College Students
Parents
Homeschoolers
Adult Learners

Comments on our new system are welcome!

Recommended Education Websites for Homeschooling

Homeschooling, also called home education or home learning, is when a parent/guardian chooses to educate their child/children at home. Most often the homeschool curriculum is taught by the parent but on some occasions the family may choose to hire a tutor or participate in some type of homeschool co-op, where a number of families pool their resources to provide additional learning opportunities for their children. Homeschooling can be provided for children ranging in age from prek thru high school.

There are a number of great homeschooling resources online. Some of the best sites we have found that provide a lot of useful articles, material, and other information about homeschooling include the following:

Let’s Homeschool - is a great website that was created by homeschooling parents to help fellow homeschoolers. The Let’s Homeschool site features articles on: Homeschooling Resources, Starting a Homeschool, K12 Homeschool, Homeschool Organization, Homeschool Curriculum, Homeschooling Subjects, Types of Homeschools, Comparing Homeschools, Homeschool Support Groups, Special Needs Homeschooling, and Curriculum Reviews. This is a very comprehensive databases of homeschooling information and the simple site navigation makes it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. Click HERE to visit Let’s Homeschool now.

Homeschool.com - is another great resource for a huge variety of homeschool resources. They offer everything from a “Getting Started eKit” to advanced homeschooling lessons for kids who need a little more than the basic curriculum. They also offer some great free stuff, including printables that you can use for your homeschool lessons. Another great feature of the Homeschool.com site is their forum, this allows homeschoolers to communicate and share ideas and information with each other.

Homeschoolingis a blog that features Homeschool articles, Homeschool Curriculum information, Issues & Debates about homeschooling, a specific section on Preschool/Kindergarten, and a Resources section. This is a great site because it is real information from real people that have been involved in homeschooling for a number of years and know what works and what doesn’t. Get more info here.

Homeschool Worldis a fun homeschool site that features a lot of homeschool events in TN, SC, OH, and PA. They also have contests that homeschoolers can participate in and a community forum where you can discuss everything homeschool related.

These are just a few of the education websites we recommend for some great homeschooling education resources. Whether you are just considering homeschooling as an option and want more information or if you have been a homeschooler for years and just want to see what is new, these sites offer a ton of great information and resources.

Obama Administration’s Handling of Education Survey Results

First, I want to thank those of you who participated in the survey. The response was up 65% from last month.

The EducationBug survey question this month is:

Do you think the Obama administration and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are doing a good job of leading the country in the right direction with education?

The answer choices are:

• Yes: they really “get it.”

• Yes, national standards and the reform funded by Race to the Top are really needed, but we still need an overhaul of No Child Left Behind.

• Yes, the oversight of the for-profit schools is critical, and the other things I can live with.

• No, they’re off-track in just about every possible way.

• No, some things are okay, but Race to the Top and the national standards are a major step in the wrong direction in terms of educational quality and giving up local control.

• No, the federal government should be moving towards less involvement in education, rather than more.

Other (please specify)

We have more than twice as many votes cast as we did when I prepared the halfway report on August 16.

Here are the results:

170 people voted. One ‘Other’ response was deleted for being offensive, but definitely counted in the ‘No.” category, however, it is not counted in the results. One ‘Other’ response was deleted for not being germane to the question. It did not express an opinion on the topic, so could not be counted. One criticized the Obama administrations economic policy, but did not mention schools. Therefore, 167 votes.

Overall, there were 42 ‘Yes’ votes, 112 ‘No’ votes, and 13 ‘Other’ votes, of which 12 were fairly negative and one was reserved positive. The percentages then are:

No—74%
Yes—26%

Compare this to the halfway point, when we had 81 votes with 6 fairly negative ‘Other’ votes and one reserved positive, and the percents were:

No—75%
Yes—25%

So almost identical percentages, even when the number of participants more than doubled.

The answer that received absolutely the most votes was:

• No, the federal government should be moving towards less involvement in education, rather than more.

with 46 votes (27.5%).

A close second was:

• No, they’re off-track in just about every possible way.

with 42 votes (25.1%).

The least chosen answer was:

• “Yes, the oversight of the for-profit schools is critical, and the other things I can live with.”

with 5 votes (3%).

There are differences in the percentages, but these were the identical leaders and losers as at the halfway point.

The positive answer that received the most responses was

• Yes, national standards and the reform funded by Race to the Top are really needed, but we still need an overhaul of No Child Left Behind.

with 21 votes (12.6%).

The ‘Other’ responses were as follows. They have been lightly edited for typos and clarity.

1. No, as an educator the No Child Left Behind Act is just another mandate that makes new rules for the administration enforce on its staff. It needs to be rewritten. if you need help in that – give me a call

2. No. Obama asked all Americans to return to school for a better education. Education tuition increased almost 7% for our state. He removed Educational tax credits and reductions.

Additionally, struggling families with children (like mine) who are trying to do the right thing and return to school are now losing the child tax credits (my family loses $2,000. in 2011 – that is my college tution). Americans are drowning in debt, losing their homes and their jobs and we can’t get a break. A “promise” of not having a dime increase for families that make under 200,000.” was broken a long time ago. America is asleep as the country is being run aground. Check out the new tax laws taking affect in 6 months. Taxes on soda, tanning, PIZZA and even bottled water. America is dying quickly due to this administration. Throw us a line on educational credits and tax exemptions!

3. I can’t wait for the next election

4. Let the people who are doing the job, do their job and make the necessary changes in the system. The government should respect that.

5. need funding to hire the staff for inclusion -and for some a child with an IQ of 60 may never learn like a child with an IQ of 90 -and home environment -kids go to school with toothaches, sick, worried about home, yelling in the morning that upsets them by the time they arrive, hungry because the only food they get is at school -but heaven forbid they comprise more then 3%

6. While there should be *some* overarching accountability and assessment federally, local areas are probably better able to determine the needs of their own students. The money put into administering ought to be moved to educating, and then I imagine we would find that the budget crunch would largely disappear. It is amazing to me when schools cut three teachers or four staff, but leave all the high cost administrative bloat in place.

7. After 10 years in education I have left the classroom and taken my 3 children with me, we will be homeshooling from now on. Until NCLB is recognized as the “Every Child Held Back” program that it is and we stop punishing teachers for going into the most illiterate schools in the country by touting Pay for Performance as a means of rewarding teachers that take the easy way out, it really isn’t that hard to teach children who can read and write BEFORE coming to school and who have parental support; well until that time my children and I will not set foot in a public school again.

8. not so rigid on certification for international teachers who are already certified and brilliant on their country.And no discrimination on application.They are employing a lot of international teachers not knowing they are victimized by private agencies hiring them back home charging them their whole salary upon employment and leaving them destitute and not to be renewed for the next school year because of the probationary certificate for the expensive visa they have paid from hard work. May the government have pity on the poor but bright international teachers that they are hiring for lack of teachers in science, math and sped in the USA.

9. Education is one of the small things in these bad economical times. Obama needs to get the economy better before he tries anything big like education.

10. NCLB needs a major over-haul, less emphasis on AYP and less testing requirements. Students should not be tested every year, every other is plenty. National standards are already in place and working well. Merit pay could work if done right: it should be based on teacher performance and training, not student performance. Race to the Top as it stands will harm students. The biggest change that needs to happen is FUNDING REFORM. School funding should not be linked to property tax. At least half of school funding should come from the federal government. Our schools are not equitable and no amount of reform will help our students until school funding is equitable.

11. I’M HOMESCHOOLING AND NOT LEAVING IT UP TO ANYBODY BUT ME AND GOD.

12. Get rid of the Unions and schools might have a chance!

13. more vouchers and school choice, they are good on charter schools