Good morning blogathon

Here we go. The miniature blogathon begins.

Brianne did hers yesterday, except hers wasn’t miniature: she did the whole 24 hour thing. I encouraged her by reminding her that the second half was going to be much longer than the first. I’m kind that way.

You were supposed to suggest things for me to post about. Seriously: any suggestions? But then it’s Sunday, when nobody reads this. People read this exclusively during working hours, so that they’ll know for sure they’re not wasting their time.

Not to worry. It’s not as if the world is empty of things to talk about.

Donate to the SSA!


  1. ewanmacdonald says

    I’m at work today so you have at least one reader!

    I’m not convinced by the SSA’s mission statement. I prefer to donate to individual groups instead of umbrella groups. So, if you’d like a suggestion, it’s why you think the SSA is worth donating to. Maybe you already posted on that, I’ve not been keeping up.

  2. says

    Sili – trouble is, that would require finding comments of Sastra’s, which is time-consuming because comments are hard to search. There’s also the fact that I’ve suggested it to her and she’s explained why she doesn’t want to, so it might seem obnoxious…

    ewan, yes ok, I was planning to do that anyway. I did a semaphore version the other day when I said about the blogathon. Good that you’re at work!

  3. EcksLibris says

    Not at work but was drawn to your blog through your Twitter post! I would love to hear more about you, how you came to your beliefs/lack thereof, and how you became an activist (in the best possible sense of the word)!

  4. Uncle Glenny says

    One of the thing mentioned during Briane’s ‘thon was expanding SSA towards younger students or even into something for homeschooled students. (Nothing more specific was mentioned.)

    I didn’t give it much thought; I’m a 55-year-old, non-working, single old fart. I do know secular homeschooled students exist, but have no idea how many there are. I presume in this day and age the parents are pretty much networked.together already, but maybe SSA can be some kind of resource for them.

    Textbook and supplemental reading recommendations and reviews? (Used book exchange of same?) Design field trips the parents could get together and take the kids on? (They probably already get together for play dates, right?) SSA (regional) staff probably wouldn’t want to be too involved in things like field trips or activities because of time and liability but some could probably arrange to give presentations on science, history, etc., and SSA could act more as a central or regional repository of information.

  5. says

    Woo-hoo! And I’m awake again! You know I’ll be check in and giving some retweet love to you today. As for topics…

    How can we get Americans more interested in world politics? Do we need to get Americans more interested? Does that kind of interest and knowledge set have to start being rolled out in the younger school years?

    What work/speech/writing of Christopher Hitchens do you find most inspiring? What do you most disagree with?

    Any updates on Hamza Kashgari?

  6. SherryH says

    Hey, Uncle Glenny! Yes, secular homeschooling students are out here. People homeschool for all kinds of reasons, and many of them are not religious.

    Parents do get together for “play dates” (play dates? really? How about physical education, socializing, cross-pollination?) as well as classes, labs, workshops, co-operative learning groups, educational field trips, sports, and any number of other things.

    It’s easy to assume homeschooling parents are networked, but it can be hard to find a group that fits, especially when a family is starting out. A close friend of mine started a local secular homeschooling group, though she herself is religious, because the groups she found tended to be very religious, fundamentally religious, and she was snubbed because hers was not the “right” religion.

    I’m not sure how… helpful a homeschooling branch of the SSA would be or how it would operate. Close-minded religious homeschoolers might be difficult to reach, if they could be reached at all. Secular and open-minded religious homeschoolers probably already have at least some resources, or the means to find them for themselves.

    Presentations could be good, as well as tables or booths at homeschool book fairs and conferences. I wouldn’t discourage the SSA from approaching homeschoolers, but I do think they’d probably be able to help a lot more students by concentrating on schools, where students are concentrated and administrations are more easily influenced, and making it known that they are available as a resource for homeschooling families.

    And now that I think about conferences and book fairs, I realize that there are already any number of organizations, curriculum sellers, and so on, as well as an existing culture around homeschooling. I’d recommend the SSA or any organization that wants to work with homeschoolers go to some events, sign up for some homeschool email lists, and think long and hard about exactly what they want to offer before jumping in.

    Eep, sorry, Ophelia. I think I’ve just about written an entire blog post of my own!

  7. SherryH says

    Okay, I just realized it may not have been clear when I said school administrations are more easily influenced.

    What I meant that to say is that it’s easier to bring separation of church and state and legal pressures on a school or school board, or even an individual teacher, than on a homeschool. At least in North Carolina, where I live, homeschools are considered private schools, which (if I understand correctly) means they are not restricted from promoting or requiring any religious beliefs they’d like.

    I don’t think legal pressure can be brought to bear to tell Ms. Mary Ann that she can’t begin her children’s homeschool day with Bible verses or readings from the Koran or any other religious practice she might choose.

  8. says

    That’s a good thing, Sherry! (The blog post-length comment.)

    And showing up at homeschooling events seems like a brilliant idea. I’m sure SSA have thought of it, but I hadn’t. Do it!

  9. Uncle Glenny says

    Sherry –

    For homeschoolers, which was pretty much all I was speculating on, I was thinking centralized and regionalized internet resources; yeah, booths at events or some other way to get some information out (do they ever have contact with the school district?). Maybe some kind of localized speakers bureau.

    I wasn’t thinking so much “proselytizing” the religious, but having it be opt-in.

    It’s a shame the word secular has been demonized now. I learned it in the late 1960s when I was a choirboy (at a private secular school). It just meant the music wasn’t “church music”


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