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Here's the text of a press release from Senator Toomey's office:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants to make it easier for all parents to save for their children’s education.
He is supporting the 401(Kids) Education Savings Account Act, which increases the annual contribution a person can make to a Coverdell Education Savings Account to $14,000 each year. Currently, the Coverdell ESA can be used to cover K-12 education expenses as well as college costs. Sen. Toomey’s legislation would permit parents who homeschool a child to use these accounts to offset the cost of books, supplies, and equipment. Further, this measure permits an account holder to roll unused funds into a Roth IRA or to be used to purchase a first home....
German Homeschool Family Can Stay!
On March 4, Homeland Security reversed course. After spending years reversing the asylum that had been granted by an immigration judge to a German Homeschooling family, they suddenly decided to let that family stay in the U.S. where they can homeschool legally.
If Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children were deported to Germany and they continued to homeschool, the German government would have broken up the family. The Obama administration might have been worried about the adverse publicity that would have resulted. More than 125,000 people signed the online White House petition that I told you about in my April 2013 blog posting about this case....
Seeing all the announcements of 'Black Friday' sales coming up, we've decided to put some items on special sales for the next MONTH. Check out our online store (just click on each title!) for full details. Might make fun gifts for your kids!
Hope you find something fun for the children on your 'list' this year!! Check out the other 'close-out' items in our Online Store (link above), too!! Hope you all have a very happy holiday season!
Susan Richman, Editor, PA Homeschoolers
Hearing on Tuesday -- Homeland Security Prosecutes German Homeschooling Family
In November 2008, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike sold their grand piano (Uwe is a piano teacher) and fled to the United States with their five children. In Germany they were paying fines and being threatened with having their children taken away from them. The facts of the case are not in dispute:
After fleeing to the United States, they requested asylum, which was granted to them by an immigration judge on January 24, 2010. According to the The Christian Post:
The Department of Homeland Security appealed the immigration judge's decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and on May 4, 2012, the BIA accepted their argument that since German law prevented everyone from homeschooling, the Romeike family did not have a legitimate case that they were being persecuted. Specifically, the BIA held:...
New Online Store wth 21 products at 25% off at PA Homeschoolers
We just updated our Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Online Store in order to simplify the store in order to make your buying experience easier.
We are phasing out most of our books, games and CD's. All of the following products are on 25% sale in our new Closeouts section:
We continue to have a flat $3.95 shipping/handling fee, no matter what the size of your order. So order as many of these closeouts as you want. After the first item, shipping is free!...
March 10th-- Greater Pittsburgh Homeschool Workshop in South Hills of PGH
Editor's note from Susan: Howard and I are really looking forward to seeing many of you at this year's Greater PGH Homeschool Workshop-- it's always a terrific event, full of good fellowship, true learning, great vendors, and many opportunities to connect and learn with other homeschooling families. Howard will be giving a workshop on the PHAA high school diploma program, and I'll be doing a workshop for both parents and evaluators called Making Evaluations Matter, which will focus on how to make evaluations meaningful and helpful for all involved, and to serve as ways to encourage both parents and children in their homeschooling and to forge positive relationships that can really make a difference over time.
Hey everyone this Saturday March 10th is the The Greater Pittsburgh Homeschool Workshop.
Spread the word through your e-mail contacts.
There is plenty of room to register at the door on the day of the workshop.
"I'm looking forward to seeing you there!" Sue Means
Registration fee:$15 per adult, $25 a couple, $8 per teen.
Doors open at 8am to register - keynote begins at 8:55 am
Where: The Bible Chapel 300 Gallery Drive, McMurray, PA 15317
Who: Homeschoolers and those who are considering homeschooling
We are blessed to have Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing as this year's keynote speaker.
For more information see the conference website
Santorum tells Ohio audience that he intends to homeschool in the White House
An article in the Los Angeles Times reports that Senator Santorum told a Columbus Ohio audience that he would homeschool in the White House. Here is a selection:
The article ends with Santorum's supposed homeschool scandal:...
Our website store is now back and 'open for business'!!! hooray!!!
I'm very happy to announce that our online store, which down for needed updates and repairs from yesterday through right now, is now all fixed and 'open for business' once again. Thanks for your patience!
Final tuition payments for AP Online classes can now be made online-- and registration for Fall Testing.
Many families new to homeschooling in PA may want to order our popular and helpful Guide to the Homeschool Lawor Guide to the PA Homeschoolers Diploma.
We wish everyone a wonderful start to this new homeschool year!
Susan & Howard Richman
4th Annual Back to School Fair-- Harrisburg Area Homeschoolers Association
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: The HAHA group definitely has the best acronym of any homeschool organization! And they put on a wonderful summer event to help area homeschooling families get geared up for the new school year-- hope you can attend!
Below is information about the Fourth Annual Back to School Fair that is sponsored by the Harrisburg Area Homeschoolers Association. As we consider this event a great opportunity to provide area homeschoolers with lots of helpful information and encouragement, we hope you will share this invite with the homeschooling families you know.
Additionally, if you were interested in setting up a table for your homeschool organization, we would be glad to have you participate. Pre-registration for that is required an can be done by visiting the HAHA website and clicking on the link that says "Business Registration."
Join us for our 4th Annual Back to School Fair
Saturday, July 30, 2011
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Christian Life Assembly
2645 Lisburn Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Activities include: a curriculum sale, a workshop about homeschooling through high school, and the opportunity to gather information from local businesses that provide services and products for homeschoolers.
Invited businesses include....
Perks for Parents! Surprise blessings of the homeschool journey
[Reprinted from Issue 107, Winter 2010, of the PA Homeschoolers newsletter.]
I’m getting set now to chant a new Torah portion in our synagogue in a few days—in Hebrew, reading from an actual parchment scroll. This is exceptionally challenging to do—especially as I didn’t start learning Hebrew till the year 2000, at age 49. And why did I have the courage to take on this daunting task at that point in my life, a time when some adults would think studying a whole new language would be totally out of the question? I had the guts to do this because I’d already helped all of our four kids learn French during our homeschooling years.
And I was one of the worst French students in my high school class, too.
This is what dedicated homeschooling can do for you—it can truly open up whole new learning adventures not only for our kids, but for us as parents....
Appeals Court Upholds PA Home Education Law
[Reprinted from Issue 104, Winter 2008-2009, issue of PA Homeschoolers]
In the Spring of 2004, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) began filing suits in Pennsylvania state courts on the behalf of homeschooling families under Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Protection Act (RFPA) of 2002. The idea of the initial suits was to open up an alternative to the compulsory education law that would apply just to religious homeschoolers.
However, when writing up the court case, HSLDA decided to try to get the entire home education law declared to be unconstitutional, holding that the PA Home Education Law (Act 169 of 1988) violated people’s Civil Rights, especially their right to Freedom of Religion....
Using the WWW to connect, create, to learn...
[Reprinted from Issue 103, Summer 2008, of the PA Homeschoolers newsletter]
I still remember the summer when my boys were just 6 and 3—and Molly was soon to arrive, back in 1983. My husband Howard had proudly brought home a computer for the summer on loan from the public school where he worked then as a reading specialist, and he was planning on learning how to program learning games and more on it. At that time I saw computers as basically being ‘pacman’ games that cost $1000, and I couldn’t see any reason why I would ever want to use one....
"But What About the Prom?" ... and those other socialization questions
[Reprinted from Issue 102 of PA Homeschoolers magazine]
Ok, I’ll admit it: I myself asked this question. It was one of the very first times that I’d ever heard about homeschooling, back when our now 30-year-old son Jesse was just a 2-year-old. I was visiting my mom’s home, and saw John Holt, an early homeschool advocate, on the old Phil Donohue TV show talking about homeschooling. Almost involuntarily, one of the first questions that popped into my mind was, "But what about things like… high school proms?" (One of my second thoughts, of course, was "Hmm, now this sounds very interesting," and the rest is history.) Now, mind you, my ‘prom question’ was an especially foolish one coming from me, as I hadn’t had particularly meaningful ‘prom memories’ from my own high school years—but teens and dancing just seem like one of the necessary types of socializing. And how would homeschoolers find those types of opportunities? Would homeschoolers be missing out on a lot, especially as teens?
And so we began homeschooling and those questions about socialization opportunities were always there. They’d come from worried grandparents, from checkout ladies at grocery stores, from new friends who weren’t homeschooling-- and they came from us. Most homeschooling families do worry about this question, more than they probably like to admit-- and this can be especially so at transition ages, when kids now need something different. Most homeschoolers would probably agree that positive socialization options usually don’t just pop up on their own-- you have to plan for them, be ready to drive for them, and take the time to make them happen. In our kids’ early years, the best friendship and socialization times were probably through family friendships with other homeschoolers-- this works well, as then the parents are equally invested in making sure there are regular get-togethers and playtimes, because the parents like to spend time together too....
Homeschoolers Guide to the Recession
[This article originally appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of the PA Homeschoolers magazine]
My wife and I sponsor online classes that prepare homeschooled high school students to take Advanced Placement exams so that they can earn college credit. I teach AP Macroeconomics, but we have teachers working with us that teach many other subjects.
At the beginning of this school year I was talking on the phone with Rachel Califf, the teacher of our AP U.S. Government course. I remarked that the registrations for her course were coming in heavier than ever. She pointed out that there was a presidential election coming up and interest in politics was higher than ever.
Economists don’t like to be upstaged, so this year they produced a worldwide recession. It certainly has increased interest in economics, hasn’t it?
Economists haven’t blown it this badly since 1929 when the Federal Reserve let credit almost disappear from the American economy. Since then, economists have learned how important it is to keep credit supplied to the economy. But they still haven’t learned how important it is to keep debt from growing, and that’s what caused the current worldwide recession....
Peace of Mind for You and Your Spouse: Appoint Guardians for Your Children
Jake LaForet is a PHAA (PA Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) graduate from 1996, now working as a lawyer in Pennsylvania-- and married to another PHAA graduate, too! I first knew Jake when he was a first-year homeschooler and I had the honor to serve as his end-of-year evaluator-- I could see right away that he was a very gifted young writer and encouraged him to submit several works for my early book Writing from Home: a Portfolio of Homeschooled Student Writing. I was delighted to hear of his new work reaching out to homeschooling families in PA with his specialized services, and I knew these perspectives would be very useful for all homeschooling parents to hear-- Susan Richman, Editor
“LaForet, Jake!” the Master Sergeant barked after a brief consultation with his clipboard. His eyes swept the seated assembly of weary troops before locking onto me as I stood and laboriously made my way through the tangled thicket of plastic chairs, bodies, equipment, and rucksacks. With a satisfied grunt, his eyes dropped back to his clipboard in search of the next name on the combat deployment list.
With a stagger, I disengaged myself from the last row of chairs and walked briskly across the hangar floor towards the first station in the Air Force mobility processing line. Each station checked to ensure I was ready to deploy: Finances checked my pay status, the Military Personal Flight checked my orders, security clearance, and dog tags, while Medical checked my shot record and medical clearances. The Wing Chaplain pressed a pocket-sized camouflage Bible into my hand and offered a few words of encouragement.
“Do you have a will?” one of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers asked....
Valentine's Day Special... "Adventure by the Sea" ... part 2
Cassandra Frear continues her thoughts on her 25th anniversary trip with her husband. We hope you can take a special moment today with your spouse-- a mini-vacation of a time of togetherness right at home (cozy inside, with the snow falling down on all of us tonight!).
Adventure by the Sea: Cold Feet....
There is a point in the preparations for any trip where I get cold feet. It happens after my first excitement cools and before we pull out of the driveway. Getting ready is always more work than I thought it would be. And it makes me tired. That's when the trouble starts.
"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea," crept into my thoughts two days later. I felt too old and saggy for an adventure. My clothes didn't quite fit. I didn't like the way I looked. I didn't have anything suitable to wear. How did my wardrobe get in this condition?
Valentine's Day Special... "Adventure by the Sea" ... part 1
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Welcome to our first installment in our "Valentine's Day Special", our way of reminding all homeschooling couples to remember to value their relationship. In the midst of math manipulatives (all over the diningroom table), co-op classes (taking lots of evening planning time from mom), and science experiments (that fuzzy stuff at the back of the fridge??), we still need to also make special time for our life partner and spouse. We'll have a variety of postings-- one a day 'extra' in addition to our other regular article of the day. This opening entry is from Cassandra Frear, (see link to her uplifting blogsite http://www.applepieforhomeschools.com ) about a very special 25th anniversary trip she recently took with her husband. There are ideas for you to respond to at the end, too-- we look forward to your thoughts! Cassandra's story will continue throughout this time leading up to Valentine's Day-- so check back each day to get the next 'installment'! We'll also have some pieces from homeschooling parents about ways to nourish our relationship with our husband or wife. Happy Valentine's Day!
The sky is battleship gray. The wind thrashes the trees. I am watching the trees bend over on their sides and spring back, all the time trembling and flapping their arms. It's hard to believe that it's been a full week since we left for our anniversary trip. There, all was sun and sparkling sea and birdsong and gardens being prepared for spring. Since we've been back, the mountains have been wrapped in low clouds and steely sheets of rain.
Last night, driving home after buying groceries, I almost missed two turns. I was traveling at 10 mph. That's how thick the fog has been.
It was a bold move for me to take the trip, given our situation. I almost didn't....
New Research on Homeschoolers and Socialization
Gary Welton is both a homeschool father, the teacher of one of our AP Psychology classes online, and a professor of psychology at Grove City College. He's been doing research into aspects of socialization and the homeschooling experience, and shares some of his team's findings in this article.
Socialization as a Religious Phenomenon
Gary L. Welton
Every home schooling parent has been asked the S-Question: “What about socialization?” The implications (real or imagined) of the question are less than flattering:
I would like to put the S-Question to rest by summarizing research I conducted along with my colleagues....
Welcome to our new online PA Homeschoolers magazine!
Welcome to the opening of our newly expanded online PA Homeschoolers magazine! This is a new adventure for us, growing out of our over 25 years of publishing our quarterly print magazine Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. We’re grateful to have you as a reader—and hope you’ll come back daily to read more. And we hope you’ll email your friends to check us out here, too!
Why are we transitioning to a fully online magazine? Many reasons—first, we can offer this service for free, as we will no longer have the always escalating printing and mailing and time costs involved with a 32-page print magazine. We all know that most of us are now much more likely to browse about on a website or favorite blog than subscribe to a print magazine—it’s the special...