Saturday, January 17, 2009

One third more homeschoolers

The homeschool population in the US grew by a third from 2003 to 2007 says the US Dept of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.  The data shows that the homeschool population increased from 1.1 million in 2003 to 1.5 million in 2007. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scarf Creativity - a point to launch from - - -

If the truth be known, there is a big part of me that is a slightly reformed hippy. For instance, I'd love to live with about 80% less stuff. I know of what I speak since I spent years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and frankly, I didn't miss much of the stuff. I've lived at times for years with no television and thought it was fine. In many ways, I think life without so much stuff is more interesting.

I have a half finished idea for a book which explores how much education a family can squeeze out of deck of 52 cards (any serious low cost volunteers to help write such a book would be appreciated).

So I read Diane's post about scarfs with enthusiasm. It's about squeezing the most entertainment and fun out of the least, a simple scarf. She cites a friend, MaryAnna, a homeschool mom of three children, who helped compile the ideas for using scarves (and I quote a small number of her list)...

Play Peek-A-Boo! (of course!)
Scarf Parachute - Make a scarf toy parachute following these directions.
Scarf Knapsack - Make a carry your stuff by tying all four corners of the scarf together.
Scarf Blindfold – Use a scarf as a blindfold and play "Blind Man's Bluff."
Scarf Blankie - Use the scarf as a comforting "blankie" at home or on the road.

Now, Diane is one of the best writers on homeschooling that I know. She might be the best.

But looking at things as I do from a blogging/marketing perspective, her post triggers some thoughts in me (Note, these are not ideas from my hippy side).

For instance, the scarves post could be a great kick-off for a meme? I think audience participation and creative discussion can be fun. Perhaps the audience might have some good ideas of what to with scarves? Perhaps it would be fun to challenge others to add to the list and then pass it on to someone else? Could we get this list to twenty-five? Are there fifty good ideas? Where could the wisdom and creativity of the group take that list?

If a meme is too involved, another idea would be to end the post in a way that encourages comments and onsite discussion. She ended with "Have fun". But how about, "What ideas do you have? Lets see who can come up with the best idea? Please add your ideas."

She could even have added that the following week, the readers will vote on the best idea suggested....."

I tend to think this way since I'm into blogging and have helped create the Blog Writing Course, which raises awareness about the possibility of taking these ideas into a new realm of audience involvement.