Islets of Hope information for students with diabetes

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Diabetes-Friendly Schools


Dore Howell, Vienna, VA
Soprano Soloist and Singing Teacher for all levels, genres
and ages


The above business' ad qualified for free placement on our website as a business owner with PCOS, a pre-diabetic condition

USA:  General

National Home Education Network (NHEN)

What They're Reading at the Kitchen Table, a September 2005 article from the Wall Street Journal

A to Z Home's Cool A portal for homeschooling, with consumer information.

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum A California-based national association for families homeschooling gifted children.

National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance The largest and most comprehensive website and organization for African American homeschooling families

About Homeschooling An homeschool community with forums, free ecourses, curriculum reviews, unit studies, clubs for the kids, and information for beginners

One family's guide to "Christian homeschooling"

American Homeschool Association's Resource Guide

Radio Free School, a radio show devoted to homeschoolers, MP3 archive available


National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Links to homeschool research and reports

National Home Education Research Institute

Homeschooling Grows Up: The largest research survey to date of adults who were home-educated.

ERIC digests from US Dept. of Education:

Homeschooling, by Patricia M. Lines, 2001

Home Schooling and Socialization of Children

The Scholastic Achievement of Home School Students

Home Schooling

Annotated bibliography of research on homeschooling, hosted on a GeoCities website

Legal Information & Resource Links

Association of HomeSchool Attorneys (AHSA)

Home School Legal Defense Association - HSDLA is committed to the overall success and advancement of home education in the arenas of the courts, education, the media, Congress, state legislatures, churches, families, and neighborhoods.

National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD)

UK Home School Links

Home Education UK - Contains links to UK, US, European and Australian home education organizations

Diversity-Otherwise - UK multi-cultural home education

HSLDA UK Webpage - Legal information and links to UK home education organisations.

Home Education Diary - from a family in Scotland, with activities and links to resources.

Education Otherwise - a home education charity with around 16,000 members in the UK

France Home School Links

IndigoExtra - provides information and links on home education in Europe, with a focus on France

Home School Publications

Calvert School, which created the market in 1906

Home Education Magazine The oldest homeschool magazine in the US. Many articles online

K12, Inc., founded by William Bennett and popular with parents who want a heavy emphasis on values

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Large, diverse homeschooling magazines with international distribution.

Links to Home School Sites

Homeschooling Is For All Kinds Of Folks! The Family Oriented Learning Cooperative (F.O.L.C.) is a group of eclectic homeschooling families in eastern Prince William County, Virginia. Members utilize a wide spectrum of homeschooling methods, from pre-packaged curriculum to radical unschooling, and everything between. We have no rules, no dues, and no hierarchy. We meet informally to share ideas, information and outings. If you like the idea of a support group where all activities are purposely separate from any religious or spiritual function...WELCOME!

Adprima - Home schooling information

  • Buffaloha's Home Schooling Resources Online - Alternative Education, Homeschooling Network, Unschooling, and homeschooling resources

    The California Homeschool Network - General education information.

    A Charlotte Mason Education Charlotte Mason had a love for children and a concern that they develop a lifetime love of learning. She based her philosophy on the Latin word for education ~ "educare," which means "to feed and nourish."

    Core Knowledge Lesson Plans- Preschool - eighth grade  All writers of these units and lessons have voluntarily contributed their ideas for publication, which are made available by the Core Knowledge Foundation on a non-profit basis. The Core     Knowledge Foundation extends its thanks to all teachers who have contributed.

    Home School World - From the publishers of Practical Homeschooling, Homeschool PC, and Big Happy Family. Provide a Home Life Catalog, Articles about Homeschooling and Support groups by state or country.

    Home Schooling Daily - This site also features The Home Education Resource Center of Central Ohio.

    Louisiana Home Education Network  (LAHEN)  is a statewide home schooling network of families with no political, philosophical, or religious orientation.

    Popcorn and Peanuts - Home school book lists, Math and lesson Planning, Languages, Online colleges, Goals 2000 and more.

    School Is Dead, Learn in Freedom! by Karl Bunday. Check out his Home Schooling is Growing Worldwide links. He also has many resources on his Bibliographies  link.

      Elisa B. Hendel
    A Child in Your Care Has Diabetes::  A 60+ page book filled with crucial information about diabetes; designed for teachers, caretakers, baby sitters or any individual seeking simplified information about this complex condition.

    The pages inside this book, help to educate, organize and assist individuals in the care of an individual with diabetes. Information is presented in a straightforward manner. Each book should last forever. The charts and lists are left blank – to accommodate changes in treatment or other important information. It can be used by an entire school district, camp or organized group in the management of one child or several children with diabetes. This book is unique. There are presently no other books, concerning Children with Diabetes, quite like it.


    diabetes and education public schools and home school                                                                       

    Home school education

    Article disclaimer:  This article, courtesy of, has been edited by Lahle Wolfe and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinions of Islets of Hope, and is not intended as a recommendation either for, or against, home education of children.  Note:  Founder, Lahle Wolfe has homeschooled, at various times, three of her children.


    Homeschooling (or home schooling; also called home education) is the education of children at home and in the community, in contrast to education in an institution such as a public or parochial school. It is also in contrast to those who are self-taught.

    In the United States, homeschooling is the focus of a substantial movement among parents who wish to provide their children with a custom or more complete education, which they feel is unattainable in most private schools or the government's public schools. While millions of families in the U.S. are educating their children at home, tens of millions of families still prefer an institutional setting for their children

    As an alternative means of primary and secondary education, homeschooling has proven increasingly popular in the United States. Despite its popularity, or perhaps because of it, some people have concerns about the recent renaissance of this traditional method of educating children. The general historic foundations of homeschooling originate with the informal education systems that existed in the United States before the rise of public schools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, famous figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Jane Austen, Abraham Lincoln, Geronimo and Louisa May Alcott might be considered to have been homeschooled as they were self-educated or had mentors or tutors growing up, but received little formal schooling.

    In the United States, the "curriculum in a box" (or All-in-one curriculum) form of homeschooling dates back to 1906, when the Calvert Day School of Baltimore, Maryland made such materials available through a downtown Baltimore bookstore and a National Geographic advertisement. Within five years, nearly 300 children were making use of materials from Calvert's Home Instruction Department. In less than a century the materials had become the basis for lessons for more than 350,000 children annually in more than 90 countries.

    Although estimates vary, roughly one to two million children are homeschooled in the United States, about 90,000 in the UK, and about 26,000 in Australia/New Zealand. Individual motivations to homeschool, homeschooling methods, and results of homeschooling (both social and academic) are varied, and are the source of vibrant debate.

    As educational choices become abundant through a vast array of educational products and services available, computers, and the internet, the idea of homeschooling is expanding in popularity and acceptance. Some state governments (e.g. Alaska, California, Pennsylvania, Utah and Kansas) sponsor home education "virtual" charter schools and/or reimburse parents who purchase curricula approved by the state.


    Why Some Parents Choose to Homeschool

    Proponents of home education invoke parental responsibility and the classical liberal arguments for personal freedom from government intrusion. Some proponents advocate that homeschooling should be the dominant educational policy. Most homeschooling advocates are wary of the established educational institutions for various reasons. Some are religious conservatives who see non-religious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems. Others feel that they can more effectively tailor a curriculum to suit an individual student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, especially children who are gifted or have learning disabilities. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools (such as bullying, drugs, crime, and other school-related problems) are detrimental to a child’s proper development. Some parents simply like the idea of teaching their own children rather than letting someone else do so.

    In the United States, reasons for homeschooling vary; religious concerns are an important, though not overwhelming, factor. According to a U.S. Census survey, the parents of 33% of home-schoolers cited religion as a factor in their choice, 30% felt the regular school had a poor learning environment, 14% objected to what the school teaches, 11% felt their children weren't being challenged at school, and 9% cited "morality."

    Options which make homeschooling attractive to some families also include:

    • Allowing a longer exploratory play-oriented childhood, encouraging the development of rich imagination and pre-academic skills which can foster later academic success
    • Allowing the child to learn faster
    • The flexibility of the education schedule allows each student to work at his own pace, enjoy family vacations, and integrate outside activities or current events with subjects they are studying.
    • Religion, ethics, and character topics not included in public school curriculums can be freely taught.
    • Non-traditional curriculums (see "Methods" below) and unusual subjects such as Latin and Greek can be taught.
    • Geography, art and music curriculum can be enhanced
    • Money management and business topics may be taught and integrated with a family business.

    Homeschooling may have a financial impact on families. In addition to having to purchase school supplies and curriculum materials, a homeschooler’s parent(s) often cut back or refrain from employment outside the home in order to supervise the child’s education. This may have long-term career consequences as well. However, many homeschooling parents say that one unique benefit is the additional time they get to spend with their children.


    Public Opinion of Homeschooling

    Gallup polls of American voters have shown a significant change in attitude in the last twenty years, from 73% opposed in 1985 to 54% opposed in 2001

    Opposition to homeschooling comes from varied sources, including organizations of teachers and school districts. For example, the National Education Association, the largest teachers' union (in fact, the largest labor union) in the United States, is on record as opposing homeschooling outright, though in recent years they have not been outspoken in this opposition. Opponents' stated concerns fall into several broad categories, including: academic quality and completeness; reduced government money for the public schools; socialization of children with peers; and fear of religious or social extremism.

    Two recent studies by the Home School Legal Defense Association, a homeschooling advocacy group, dispute the claim that the academic quality of homeschooling programs is substandard.

    Opponents view homeschooling parents as sheltering their children and denying them opportunities that are their children's right, reducing the amount of government funds public schools would receive if more children were attending the publicly-funded school, and providing an unfair advantage to homeschooled children over students whose parents lack the time or money for homeschooling.

    Legality of Homeschooling

    In the U.S., homeschooling is generally legal, although in some states homeschool parents are occasionally threatened with prosecution under truancy laws. The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on homeschooling specifically, but in Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)[9] it supported the rights of Amish parents to keep their children out of public schools for religious reasons.

    Every state has some form of a compulsory attendance law that requires children in a certain age range to spend a specific amount of time being educated. The most common way for parents to meet these requirements is to have their children attend public school. However, since its 1925 ruling in Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), the US Supreme Court has held that there can be no presumption on the part of the state that this attendance requirement must be met through public schooling. Initially the impact of this ruling was to protect the rights of families to privately educate their children, particularly in parochial schools. But, since the 1970s, increasing numbers of families have opted to meet these legal attendance requirements through homeschooling.

    Every state regulates homeschooling differently. The biggest differences may be found in what the state requires of parents who opt to homeschool their children. Some states may require as little as the filing of notices of intent with local school officials; others may require that lesson plans be approved in advance by the local school board. More onerous requirements even include the need to have a credentialed teacher supervise the homeschooled child's education. Proponents of such regulations argue that such requirements are a necessity in order to achieve the societal goal of having an educated public who are prepared to participate in democratic society.

    In California, for example, homeschoolers must either (a) be part of a public homeschooling program through independent study or a charter school, (b) use a credentialed tutor, or (c) enroll their children in a qualified private school. (Such private schools may be formed by the parents in their own home, or parents may utilize a number of private schools which offer some kind of independent study or distance learning options.) All persons who operate private schools in California, including parents forming schools just for their own children, must file an annual affidavit with the Department of Education. They must offer certain courses of study (generally similar to the content required in public schools, but described in one page rather than the hundreds of pages of scope and sequence requirements that public schools must follow) and must keep attendance records, but are otherwise not subject to any state oversight. There is no requirement in California that any private school teachers, whether the school is large or small, must have state credentials, although all teachers must be "capable of teaching."

    States also differ in their requirements regarding testing and assessment. In some states, homeschoolers are required either to have their children take specified standardized tests or to have a narrative evaluation done by qualified teachers. Other states require no particular assessment. Again, using California as an example, students enrolled in a public program are encouraged to take the same year-end standardized tests that all public school students take, but students using tutors or enrolled in any private school, homeschool or not, are not required by the state to take any tests.

    There are also differences between the states in graduating children from homeschools. In states in which homeschools must be or can be operated as any other private school, graduation requirements for all private schools in that state generally also apply to the homeschools. Some state education laws have no graduation requirements for private schools, leaving it up to the private schools to determine which students have met the graduation requirements, and thusly allowing homeschoolers the same privilege. And in yet other states, homeschoolers receive no official recognition that is equivalent to graduation. Independent homeschoolers in Florida, for example, cannot truthfully claim to have "graduated", even after completing twelve years of homeschooling. (However, Florida does grant such students equal access to the state's system of community colleges and universities.)

    Homeschooling is increasingly becoming recognized as a legal, viable alternative to institutional education, and fewer families are being targeted for prosecution. In an unintended demonstration of the increasing acceptance of homeschooling, the outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of California, Delaine Eastin, caused a furor by telling the state legislature that homeschooling was illegal and that families could not form private schools themselves or teach their children without credentials. She called for a legislative "solution" to the growing "problem" of homeschooling. The legislature balked at taking any action. Then, Ms. Eastin's successor, Jack O'Connell, instructed his legal staff to review the state laws. Homeschooling advocates were informed by one of the Department of Education attorneys that the state was reversing the position it had taken under Ms. Eastin's tenure. Statements that parents could not teach their own children or form their own private schools were removed from the state Department of Education website. Although some officials still maintain traditional views, truancy prosecutions in California are much rarer now than they were under Ms. Eastin's leadership. Those prosecutions that are still pursued routinely fail, and district attorneys now usually refuse to file such cases.

    What curriculum materials homeschoolers are required to use varies from state to state. As stated before, in some states, homeschoolers are required to have their yearly lesson plans approved by a state official. Other states just require that certain subjects be covered, with the family to acquire or design the curriculum themselves. While many complete curricula are available from a wide variety of secular and religious sources, many families choose to use a variety of resources to cover the required subjects. There is at least one company offering a home-school curriculum which has also formed "virtual schools" under several states' charter school laws; in these schools, students are required to use that company's curriculum, although it is provided for free.

    Some states have statutes that specifically require that homeschooled students be given access to district resources, such as school libraries or computer labs. In some communities, homeschoolers meet with a teacher periodically for curriculum review and suggestions. Many other states, however, do not require that the public schools give this access to resources, although some districts choose to do so voluntarily.

    Homeschooling is far less common outside the United States, and in many countries the concept borders on the unthinkable. In every country, however, there are undoubtedly some families who have found a way around that country's compulsory attendance laws. The operator of a well known private distance learning school in the United States has helped families from many different countries around the world find a way to homeschool.


    Homeschooling Methods

    There is a wide variety of homeschooling methods and materials. Many homeschoolers base their work on a particular educational philosophy such as:

    Others use a broad combination of ideas or allow the child to develop his or her own motivation, through what is known as Unschooling.

    Because homeschool laws vary widely according to state statutes, official curriculum requirements vary.

    Unit studies

    Unit studies teach most subjects in the context of a central theme. For example, a unit study of Native Americans would combine age-appropriate lessons in social studies (how different tribes lived), art (making Native American clothing), history (the history of Native Americans in the U.S.), Reading (usually by a reading list), science (plants used by Native Americans). The following month, the unit-study subject could change to "Construction," or some other broad topic of study. Supporters say unit studies make excellent use of student time by combining several fields into one study time, and permit students to follow personal interests. Unit studies also permit children of different ages to study together. For example, in a Native American unit, a 10th-grade student might make a deer-skin coat for an art project, while a 1st-grade student might make construction-paper tipis. Homeschoolers often purchase unit-study guides that suggest materials, projects and shopping lists, and supplement them with specialized curricula for math, and sometimes reading and writing.

    Special materials

    Special materials focus on skill-building. Individual subject materials usually consist of workbooks, sometimes with textbooks and a teachers' guide. Many specialized subjects are only available in this form. Special materials are frequently used for math and primary reading. Critics say that some parents over-focus on skills while excluding social studies, Science, Art, History and other fields that help children learn their place in the world.

    All-in-one curricula

    All-in-one curricula are comprehensive packages covering many subjects, usually an entire year's worth. Some call them "school in a box." They contain all needed books and materials, including pencils and writing paper. Most such curricula were developed for isolated families who lack access to public schools, libraries and shops, or are overseas. These materials typically recreate the school environment in the home, and are typically based on the same subject-area expectations as public schools, allowing an easy re-transition into school if desired. They are among the most expensive options for homeschoolers, but are easy to use and require minimal preparation. The teacher's guides are usually extensive, with step-by-step instructions. These programs may include nationally-normed tests, and remote examinations to yield an accredited private-school diploma.

    Community Resources

    Homeschoolers take advantage of educational programs at museums, community centers, athletic clubs, after-school programs, churches, science preserves, parks, and other community resources. High-school level students often take classes at community colleges, which typically have open admission policies.

    Eclectic Curricula

    The majority of today's homeschoolers use an eclectic mix of materials. For instance, they might use a pre-designed program for language arts or math, and fill in history with reading and field trips, art with classes at a community center, science through a homeschool science club, PE with membership in local sports teams, and so on.


    Unschooling is an area within homeschooling in which students are not directly instructed but encouraged to learn through exploring their interests. Also known as interest-led or child-led learning, unschooling attempts to provide opportunities with games and real life problems where a child will learn without coercion. An unschooled child may choose to use texts or classroom instruction, but it is never considered central to education. Advocates for unschooling claim that children learn best by learning from doing. A child may learn reading and math skills from playing card games, better spelling and other writing skills because he's inspired to write a science fiction story for publication, or local history by following a zoning or historical-status dispute.


    Homeschooling results

    Academic results

    The academic effectiveness of homeschooling is largely a settled issue. Numerous studies have confirmed the academic integrity of home education programs, demonstrating that average homeschoolers outperform their public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. Moreover, the performance gaps between minorities and gender that plague public schools are virtually non-existent amongst homeschooled students.

    Some critics argue that while homeschooled students generally do extremely well on standardized tests, such students are a self-selected group whose parents care strongly about their education; such students would also do well in a conventional school environment. Increasingly, colleges are recruiting homeschooled students; many colleges accept a GED as well as parent statements and portfolios of students' work as admission criteria; others also require SATs or other standardized tests.

    Some opponents argue that parents with little training in education are less effective in teaching. However, some studies do indicate that parents' income and education level affect home educated students' performance on standardized tests very little.

    Homeschooled children's curricula often include many subjects not included in school curricula. Some colleges find this an advantage in creating a more academically diverse student body, and proponents argue this creates a more well-rounded and self-sufficient adult. Opponents argue that homeschoolers' eclectic curricula often exclude critical subjects and isolate them from the rest of society, or present them with ideological worldviews, especially religious ones.

    The results of homeschooling with gifted and learning-disabled children are not as thoroughly studied.

    Social development

    A common concern voiced about homeschooled children is they lack the social interaction with peers that a school environment provides. Many homeschooling families address these concerns by joining numerous organizations, including independent study programs and specialized enrichment groups for PE, Art, Music, and Debate. Most are also active in community groups. Homeschooled children generally socialize with other children the same way that school children do: outside of school, via personal visits and through sports teams, clubs and religious groups.

    Some homeschooling proponents have argued that homeschooling actually enhances the student's social development. Arguing that the school years are the only time in a person's life that he or she will be artificially segregated into chronologically-determined groups, these advocates assert that homeschoolers have a more normal interaction with persons across the age spectrum. This, in turn, results in more influence on the child from adults, and less from other children, leading to more mature youngsters.

    In 2003, the National Home Education Research Institute conducted a survey of over 7,300 adults who had been homeschooled (over 5,000 for more than seven years). Here are some of the study's findings:

    "Homeschool graduates are active and involved in their communities. Seventy-one percent participate in an ongoing community service activity (e.g., coaching a sports team, volunteering at a school, or working with a church or neighborhood association), compared with 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages."
    "Homeschoolers are more involved in civic affairs and vote in much higher percentages than their peers. For example, 76% of homeschool graduates surveyed between the ages of 18–24 voted within the last five years, compared with only 29% of the relevant U.S. population. The numbers of homeschool graduates who vote are even greater in the older age brackets, with voting levels not falling below 95%, compared with a high of 53% for the corresponding U.S. populace."
    "Of those adults who were homeschooled, 58.9% report that they are 'very happy' with life (compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. population). Moreover, 73.2% of homeschooled adults find life 'exciting', compared with 47.3% of the general population."

    ERIC, the Education Resources Information Center of the U.S. government, has published multiple articles on homeschooling. Here's an excerpt from one which examined several studies on homeschool socialization:

    "According to the findings, children who were schooled at home 'gained the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to function in a rate similar to that of conventionally schooled children.'
    "The researcher found no difference in the self concept of children in the two groups. Stough maintains that 'insofar as self concept is a reflector of socialization, it would appear that few home-schooled children are socially deprived, and that there may be sufficient evidence to indicate that some home-schooled children have a higher self concept than conventionally schooled children.'"

    Proponents argue further that the social environment of schools:

    • eradicates individuality and creativity.
    • sinks to the standards of the lowest common denominator
    • involves bullying, drug use, early sexuality, defiance, criminality, materialism, and eating disorders.

    and that socialization in the wider community:

    • leads them to see adults, rather than peers, as role models
    • better prepares them for real life
    • encourages them to be more involved in youth organizations, church organizations, and sports
    • helps them develop an independent understanding of themselves and their role in the world, with the freedom to reject or approve conventional values without the risk of ridicule.
    • children will still learn to deal with a variety of situations and people because they will still interact with others, including schooled children after school hours in their neighbourhood and in other after school activities.

    Opponents of homeschooling offer the following criticisms concerning socialization, pointing out that not all homeschooling families participate extensively in community activities:

    • Interaction with peers and different social groups is essential to learning to live in society.
    • Schools are a unique environment that provides students with necessary social networking skills that help them succeed in the workplace and in the politics of high-level business. Real life includes school as well.
    • Homeschoolers tend to live in an insulated world where they aren't exposed to a variety of ideas, which can prevent any personal growth and independence later on in life.
    • If children are insulated from unpleasant social situations, then they will be left unprepared when they are inevitably left to make their own way in the world. Children should be allowed to live and learn from their mistakes rather than sheltered from reality.

    Some people oppose homeschooling because they fear that children will be exposed to an extremely narrow set of view-points and will lack the broad range of experiences gained through interaction in a larger group setting.



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