Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – Homeschool Happily: Yes, You Can by Laura Kronen

Title: Homeschool Happily: Yes, You Can
Author: Laura Kronen
Print Length: 209 Pages
Publisher: Be You Only Better
Publication Date: July 4, 2020


I have been an advocate for Home School since 2009, when my husband and I moved to Louisiana from Chicago, and our friends moved with us. They had decided they would Homeschool their children, and we agreed to help. At this time, I had not started teaching professionally (that would happen later), so I had no idea what I was doing, and I was nervous about being in such an important position.

At 21 years old, I was not fully aware of the magnitude of what I had agreed to do. We were responsible now for shaping young minds. What we taught and did not teach could have a massive impact on how these children would understand the world. So began my journey of researching the American Educational System. First, to find resources for the various subjects and understand how lesson plans and curricula were to be done and then to understand the American Educational Institution as a whole.

The information I found, the connections to psychology, the racist roots, the outcome-based education, the truth about Common Core, the absence of life skills, and the dumbing down of our children, would forever leave an impression on me. From then on, I would do more research until my husband and I eventually put together a lecture presentation where we traveled from city to city teaching parents about the benefits of a Home Schooled Education. We also managed a community center in Shreveport’s inner-city (before moving to Georgia) for five years, where we tutored children of all ages.

Homeschool Happily is more than a guide that teaches parents and professionals about the many benefits of Homeschooling. The author’s down-to-earth persona made me feel like I was sitting at her kitchen table, listening to her talk about this journey. I could see her showing me the outlines for the skills and concepts for each subject. Usually, I am not a fan of forwards when it comes to non-fiction (get to the point already), but this was a good one. The author begins with a substantial breakdown of the difference between Quarantine Schooling Pandemic Crisis Schooling and Homeschooling, which are not the same things.

I found this exceptionally important because we are now amid a global pandemic where parents are forced to experience, at least in part, what it is like to Homeschool their children. Many parents think the day needs to mimic a traditional public school, but Homeschooling does not require six-eight hours a day. Parents can finish Pre-K – Kindergarten classes in an hour or two. Older grades (1st – 5th) can be done by lunch, depending on how early you start. (*1) Junior High and High School classes will take longer, but no study has to last all day.

Homeschool Happily made me happy to read it because it was easy to understand (no unnecessary five-dollar words to get the point across).  The author talks about why someone may choose to Homeschool, such as flexibility, travel, religious reasons, politics, vaccination exemption, avoiding racism, high-quality education, and more. She dismantles the stereotypes surrounding a Homeschooled education with common sense breakdowns and tips on structuring curriculum and managing a Homeschooled budget. (This was a great breakdown. Most people don’t think of a budget when it comes to Homeschool.)

As someone already on the Homeschool bandwagon, I enjoyed the resources and educational tools, tips on managing the subjects for your children, and the advice on standardized testing and AP exams the most. It provided not only a what but also how. I think staying on top of testing is so important. Because Homeschool is still looked at as taboo, parents might want to keep these kinds of records. (*2)

I did not need to be convinced that Homeschooling can provide high-quality education. Still, for someone who is not yet sure about Homeschooling and how it differs from traditional schooling, what it is, and how it is done, this is the perfect manual for that parent or professional. I would even recommend purchasing the paperback so you can highlight and take notes.

*1 – *Homeschool gives children the chance to get more sleep. Think about it: Why is it that small children who wake up early start their school day later, close to nap time? And why is it that teenagers with raging hormones, body changes, and hours of homework from the night previous and who sleep later start the school day earlier?

Homeschooling gives parents a chance to regulate things like this, so children aren’t sleep deprived. The author notes that Homeschooled children get 90 minutes more sleep per night than non-homeschooled children. (This doesn’t mean kids should be allowed to sleep all day). 

*2 – I am not saying that state testing is the model for measuring intelligence. I am saying it is a good idea to see how your children are progressing as Homeschoolers if you need to provide paperwork to prove your Homeschool program’s authenticity to state/government officials.

Additionally, to be prepared in case your child(ren) will want to pursue a college education, and finally, for your own peace of mind. Homeschooling provides a High-Quality Education. But if your child(ren) aren’t scoring at grade level compared to traditional public school students, then you will know to take a better look at your program or process to find out why or even to decide if Homeschooling is right for your family.

Strong Introduction: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Organization: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Solid Conclusion: 5/5

Overall: 5/5*

Homeschool Happily: Yes, You Can is Available Now on Amazon


My book review registry is CLOSED. Be sure to visit the Blog Book Review Policy page here to learn how to RSVP your book for 2021.

Let’s Talk Education

That’s right, Rachel is giving me the keys to the house (I hope she has coffee??!). My topic of discussion is on the education of blacks in America and how reading and literature came to be such an important part of the learning process in the transition from slavery to freedom.

When: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Where: Rachel Poli’s Blog @ http://www.rachelpoli.com

Reminder: You can find all my Guest Blog posts and upcoming features under the Media Page!

>> https://thepbsblog.com/author-interviews-guest-blog-posts/ <<

Learning Disabled: A Manmade Disease

One of the duties I perform almost daily, about 2-3 times a week (it used to be 5), is that I provide tutorial services to children, primarily in the area of literacy—reading, writing, and vocabulary. I have also Home Schooled children for three years prior to my tutorial services, who ranged anywhere from Kindergarten to 6th grade. Needless to say, I rather enjoy teaching children; it involves my two most favorite things: teaching and children (obviously). We even do a Lecture presentation on the Dumbing Down of the Educational System, primarily its relation to black youth. We’ve presented in Kentucky, Chicago (my home town…south side! < in my Chicago voice, if you ain’t from the Chi don’t worry, you won’t get the joke), Baltimore, and Houston to name a few. In my experience, I’ve learned so much about how children learn and some of the valuable methods needed to assist them in this endeavor. I still don’t consider myself an expert, but what I’ve come to research and to understand by way of hands on face to face experience has taught me a lot. And today I would like to speak briefly on learning disabilities because there is simply no such thing.

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Certainly, there are indeed children who have a much more difficult time reading and writing than others. As early as 1867, a German teacher of the deaf founded a school for slow learning children. Accordingly, these children’s memories were too weak to remember letters and due the poor motor coordination of their fingers they had difficulty learning how to write. So the teacher understood he must implement remedial reading methods. This did not mean however, that these children were mentally retarded. The moral of the story is that problems with learning have always been around, the question is, when did the idea of a “neurological dysfunction” called herein Learning Disabled, become the term to which we apply to children who learn at a slower pace than others? And does a Learning Disability actually have anything to do with how they learn in the first place?

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A disease is an illness caused by a virus that has attacked the immune system, and on April 6, 1963, a new disease was implemented in Chicago that had its roots in the south, that would very soon be given to millions of black schoolchildren before ballooning into a worldwide epidemic. It was said to have been hidden deep inside the neurological system according to psychologist. What we didn’t know however, was these were the same psychologist who had been studying the brain and central nervous system in search for man’s soul since the time of Wilhelm Wundt, founder of experimental psychology back in the 18th century. Wundt believed that man didn’t have a soul living inside of him, and as such he was no different than an animal whose actions are almost always reactions. That is, man’s behavior is only determined by his surroundings and can thus be altered by way of stimulus-response; provide the right stimuli, get the right response. In short, he can be programmed like an animal in a laboratory. So, fast forward to the 1960’s when scientist and psychologist began to back the promotion of one of the most deadly diseases now plaguing not just the so called African American community, but communities in general. The United States Government would spend billions of dollars on this new affliction over the next 20 years.

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In 1963,  nine years after the Brown vs. Board of Education verdict of 1954, that stated that racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (FYI, the decision did not fully desegregate public education in the United States, though galvanizing the Civil Rights Movement), The Learning Disabled Movement began taking root. The beliefs that people were a result of their environment had long since upheld the belief that wealthy children of well-to-do neighborhoods would flourish academically, while poor children of impoverished neighborhoods would not. Of course, we have to keep in mind that this was during the Civil Rights Era and that (even until this day) there are certain code words that are often used to represent a certain group of people so that the declarations remain politically correct, and are not cause for concern. What was meant by this is simply that rich white kids in the suburbs would do better than poor black kids in the ghettos academically. However, in the 1960s, parents of white children saw a drop in their children’s IQ’s and academic success. They saw that their children too, were not performing very well. And since psychologist had long since experimented with the brain and nervous system enough to provide the statistical data to “prove it”, these parents formed The Learning Disabilities Movement, in which there was allegedly a mental disorder associated with their children’s lack of academic success:

“For many of the parents of these children, accustomed as they were to success and acclimated to a pain-free educational scheme, these results seemed fluky. Since they felt themselves entitled to success, failure was an obvious aberration {oddness}. Educators faced a similar problem: They could not blame the low test scores on racism and poverty or even the lack of funding. Students from the most lavishly appointed schools in the nation were failing to make the grade. The impetus for change came from parents first. They could have blamed “systematic social influences on the schools” for the failures, or they could have blamed principals and teachers for ineptly handling neurologically normal children. Or they might have decided that their children were “slow learners, ecologically disabled, or just bored to death by school.” Instead, they gravitated toward the idea that their children suffered from learning disabilities.” – Charles Sykes, Dumbing Down Our Kids, pg. 189-190

There was, of course, no such thing as a learning disability, but the “professionals” sure did clear that up. Put together a hodgepodge of numbers and graphs and people would believe anything. And they did. “Learning Disabilities” appealed to many parents and helped to jump-start the birth of a nation. But this program would soon become something much greater. After Brown vs. Board of Education, this program would become the savior of separate but unequal. This is when we come back to Samuel Kirk, the Chicago Psychologist.

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In that same year, 1963, Kirk created The Learning Disability, except the LD movement had already begun in the south between white parents and the “professionals” who backed them. This Learning Disability he would create however, would flip the script: it would no longer be used as an excuse for prominent white parents; it would become a tool against black children. Now black children (especially black boys), can be separated from white children and it was not against the law. The Gifted program took off around this same time, the 1960s. It was a program to which school children’s IQ’s would be tested to separate those who were highly intelligent from those who were not. The concept of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which is used in the “diagnosing” of Special Education (a Federal Program), was started by Eugenicist (Eugenics is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population by killing off those “less desirable”, such as African Americans, as a form of birth control) from The American Eugenicist Society for the purpose of population extermination. Since students could no longer be judged by the colors of their skin, they were now judged by numbers and test scores. It wasn’t until after the Brown vs. Board of Education Verdict of 1954 that the “Gifted” program even took off because it was another way to keep the “races” separate without breaking the law.

 

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Now ALL children across ethnicity’s are infected with the disease of “Learning Disabled”. They have to walk around with the stigma that they are mentally sick for the rest of their lives although there is nothing to prove it. When you say you want your child tested, what does that mean? The test does not tell you whether or not your child has a learning disability. Tests produce numbers; it is not a diagnoses. It’s your signature on a piece of paper that gives the school psychologist permission to tell you what they think, and to make hypothesis or “Educated Guesses” on whether or not he or she thinks the child is reading disabled.

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What parents need to understand, is that there is no “study” that can determine or prove that someone is something called “Learning Disabled” because there’s no such thing. No physical symptoms, no known neurological deficits, no genetic traits, no consistent clinical descriptions, no diagnostic testing, no techniques of treatment based on actual real, factual evidence outside of medications intentionally designed to slow energized and happy kids down and make them depressed eight year olds…. there is absolutely nothing that proves a child has a mental disorder associated with learning. We’re not talking children who are slow learners and need that extra help,  or children who simply have trouble reading and writing, we’re talking about a medical deformity, a neurological retardation of the child’s ability to understand called Learning Disabled, it does not exist. When the teachers come to you with that question about testing your child, especially your boys, start asking questions and demanding results. And finally,  stop signing every piece of paper children bring home from school.