Father’s Day WEEKEND Open Thread

That’s right, we celebrate the whole weekend at our house.  But then we celebrate our birthdays for at least a week (sometimes longer) and Christmas for at least two.  And since this place is heavily populated by men I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all of you Dad’s a Happy Father’s Day.

I lost my dad when I was 56 and I miss him every day.  I think I’ve mentioned before that we had a pretty rocky relationship while I was in my 20’s but we found our way back to each other  and a big part of the reason we were able to do so is because he was my best friend when I was a child.  He worked really hard and very long hours but nearly every free moment he had was spent with his girls and we loved it.  He always knew I was a little sponge and so he filled me up with values and lessons that are still a huge part of me to this day.

And luckily for me I’m also blessed with a terrific husband who could easily win a “Best Father of the Year” award.  So I appreciate fatherhood and hope y’all have a great weekend with your kids if they’re around or at least that you are acknowledged gratefully by them if you’re separated by some miles.


And a few links for those of you who check in……………….feel free to add your own.

Income inequality in the United States—already well above that experienced in other advanced economies—has surpassed Gilded Age levels, and the Great Recession and ongoing jobs crisis will exacerbate this trend until full employment is restored. While market forces are the primary driver of rising inequality, recent economic research suggests that tax policy has contributed as well, both by exacerbating after-tax income inequality since the late 1970s and by spurring a shift of pretax income toward high-income households.

Facebook became the first to release aggregate numbers of requests, saying in a blog post that it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data in the second half of 2012, covering 18,000 to 19,000 of its users’ accounts.

Warningdon’t read this if you’re eating, prone to sudden bouts of queasiness or unable to even think about Un Chien Andalou without simultaneously bursting into tears and dry-heaving. Believe me, I’m speaking from experience here.

And last but not least:


56 Responses

  1. Is the IRS scandal worse if it turns out there is no White House involvement?


  2. I love millennials and so thought this was an interesting perspective. I know we helped our girls a lot, and I mean a lot, but they seem to have turned out alright.



  3. My son-in-law’s second novel, about a woman terrorist, comes out in July.

    Here is a video “trailer” for it.



  4. The easy answer is no, Troll, but I recognize you’re looking for a heads I win, tails you lose kind of situation.

    Agent in Cincinnati flags a particular tea party application for 501c(4) status. Asks for similar applications, which leads to the screening criteria being developed. Love to know what followed.

    Issa is a Democrat’s dream of the grand inquisitor. Selective release of proceedings along with over the top screeds. Absolutely guaranteed to poison the view of the committee’s workings. Well done.



  5. I’ll look forward to it Mark. I really liked “I, Judas” and enjoyed his writing style.

    I’m reading a really good book that I think your daughters or wife might enjoy btw, not that men couldn’t enjoy it as well. It’s called “The Sisterhood” by Helen Bryan. It jumps back in time to the 1500’s and a convent facing censure and most likely death of the nuns and children from the Spanish Inquisition. A few of the orphans manage to escape and take with them a chronicle detailing a time when Jews, Muslims and Christians all shared a more common bond. It’s fiction but really interesting and intriguing.


  6. Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there.

    This is my first FD without my dad, so I’m a little blue this weekend, but I’m glad you put this post up Lulu.


  7. I’m sorry about your father Michi.


  8. My suegro (father-in-law) died shortly after our twins were born. He was the last person I who truly intimidated me. Not an intimidating guy, but I wanted to do right by his daughter.

    We first met when Keen and I were dating. He flew up from Costa Rica (was an American ex-pat) to spend a week or so with her. Keen mentioned that he wanted to go out one night for a steak, so I naturally picked the best steak house my Zagat’s guide mentioned (Grill 23). Turns out the place has a dress code, but they’re happy to loan you a jacket and tie. I’d recommend the steaks, not so much the risotto.

    I remember a few moments the year after we were married. At the reception, I promised him that we’d visit for Christmas that year. I hadn’t realized what an iron clad contract I’d made as my new wife told me that he’d lit up after hearing that. Keen flew down a bit earlier than I did. My flight had me going up to JFK, then to San Jose (Costa Rica, not California). They were overbooked and the offer was pretty good. They had me flying through Miami and then on to Costa Rica. I’d get in several hours later. I figured no problem. They were home and so I’d call to tell them I’d be on the next flight. Except I couldn’t get through. I left a message at the house and also called my parents and promised them to pay for any international charges.

    Turns out they’d left for the day early. I arrived at the airport a couple of hours after my originally scheduled flight. Keen and M. (my mother-in-law) were at the exit point for immigration, jumping and shouting. Keen took off running. Pops had gone to the car and decided to drive back to the beach. I arrived just as he was driving the car in the parking lot to leave. Had I gotten through immigration five minutes later, he would have been gone. When he asked what happened, I was too chicken to give the full details and said I got bumped. I later fessed up.



  9. That’s a great story, Paul!


  10. Interesting for this thread:

    It turns out that fathers get many of the same rushes that mothers do from parenthood — but the payoff depends on proximity and interaction. For example, researchers see the effect if the child sleeps with the parents, if the father recognizes and responds to the baby’s cries, if Dad plays with the kids. When that proximity isn’t present, the fatherhood effect isn’t as strong.

    “There seems to be some kind of fundamental social-neurobiological framework that comes into play when fathers interact with their kids,” said Lee Gettler, an anthropologist at Notre Dame who worked on the prolactin study.
    Why is it that the mothers and fathers come to the same hormonal response through different paths? “It may be that the most parsimonious way to engineer a paternal brain would be to take the circuitry that was already in place for maternal care, and maybe tweak that,” Rilling said. “That might be the reason why there’s some overlap there.”

    Or it may merely be that when it comes to parenting, familiarity breeds fatherhood. University of Michigan psychiatrist James Swain has been analyzing a huge data set of MRI snapshots to see how maternal and paternal brains respond to the cries of their own babies and the children of strangers. He and his colleagues have found that brain activity patterns don’t change as quickly for fathers as they do for mothers.

    “I joke that this may be the physiological basis for why a father can roll over in bed when the baby’s crying at 3 weeks,” Swain told NBC News.

    However, by the 4-month mark, “the fathers seem to catch up,” Swain said. And there’s some indication that the brain patterns for stay-at-home dads are more similar to the changes that moms go through. Swain and his colleagues are still trying to figure out exactly how the parenthood effect works on the neurological level — and how moms and dads get to the same place by different hormonal paths.


  11. I read somewhere that there was a big open dialogue type committee meeting for the entire Senate with top brass from the CIA, FBI, NSA etc. etc. and less than half of the Senators showed up. That pretty much tells us all we need to know IMO.

    Harvard professor Laurence Lessig told Bill Moyers on Friday that former defense contractor Edward Snowden’s concerns about popular apathy regarding his revelations of government data gathering are well-founded.

    “I think the thing he most fears is the most likely outcome,” Lessig said on Moyers & Company, citing the relative lack of attention given to matters like the Wall Street bailout or Occupy Wall Street.

    “I think ordinary people have lost the sense that there’s a reason to try to engage politically because in the end they know how the cards will be dealt,” Lessig continued. “And the cards will be dealt not according to what makes sense or what people actually believe, but where the power is. And here the power is both the literal power of the most powerful security state in the history of the world and also the power of enormous interests to support and continue that state.”



    • lms (from the article):

      …citing the relative lack of attention given to matters like the Wall Street bailout or Occupy Wall Street.”

      So much for his credibility.


  12. Scott, do you think there was really that much attention from the general public paid to either of those? I don’t. I don’t believe blogs are very representative of the public. Most people don’t really care IMO or even know that much about it.

    Off to first FD dinner.


    • lms:

      Yes, I think a huge amount of attention was paid to the bailouts, and a significant amount (certainly more than I think it merited) was paid to the as-far-as-I-could-tell pointless OWS.


  13. Mark,
    That book sounds very interesting. I get a bit of a Monkey Wrench Vibe from it. The review blurbs are impressive.

    Was he also in this band?


  14. As both a father and a son, fatherhood is a confusing often overlooked role. Mostly I remember taking my son to the playground Sunday mornings so my wife could sleep in and the endless prepping for Cub Scout meetings. I spent four years as an Assistant Den Leader, the lowest adult rank where you can still wear the spiffy uniform.


  15. Scott, let’s say we disagree on those points what do you think America’s reaction will really be to the NSA stuff? Most of the polling seems to suggests it’s basically a “nothing burger”.


  16. Yello, I always thought scouts was a great father son activity. Our son wasn’t interested and my husband wasn’t the scout leader type but he taught all the kids to surf and fish………………..same things my dad taught me……………hahaha. And Little League…………….wow we did so much baseball it was crazy. He coached and I was league score keeper.

    And swimming, that was the girls’ sport, but they also surfed and fished. We were always busy doing something. I was in charge of homework though. We always treated fatherhood as just as much hands on as motherhood and it worked out great. Our son is the same with his kids.


  17. lms:

    Scott, let’s say we disagree on those points what do you think America’s reaction will really be to the NSA stuff? Most of the polling seems to suggests it’s basically a “nothing burger”.

    I think the left has been trying to convince Americans for a century to trust the government to take care them, and I think it has been largely successful…Americans increasingly vote…and are treated…like children to the government’s parental oversight. So it won’t be surprising if this ends up being a “nothing burger”.


  18. I think it’s too bad that conservative libertarians who voted for Republicans don’t recognize that they’ve done as much harm to our civil liberties as Democrats have, if not more, and don’t join forces with the faction of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to show some outrage over what the general population on both sides of the political divide view as a “nothing burger”. Conservatives who embraced the bank bailout, George “Homeland Security” Bush, and Mitt “Romneycare” Romney shouldn’t cast too many stones.


  19. YJ, Venus Bogardus is their band, still active in SFe and Albuquerque. They began in Bath, England, around 2004.

    Last night Rosanne and I saw an extraordinary movie for Father’s Day.

    Stories We Tell

    Rotten Tomatoes score and review here –

    I have loved being a father and a grandfather more than anything else in my adult life, truth be told.


  20. There are a lot of people on the left, who believe the real slippery slope was created by the right and now embraced by the left. Republicans blame Democrats for programs that have helped average, hard working Americans such as Medicare and SS or prevent our children from starving in an astonishingly wealthy country, but ignore the much larger issues of the day because they’re the ones who helped create the problem. We never left the duct tape and plastic behind us.

    The scathing opinion below is from someone on the left not the right. The right distracts us with outrage over well established, well loved and necessary programs while essentially ignoring the National Security State they helped create because they want it. Less than half the Senate showed up to a National Security briefing because they want the status quo and they couldn’t wait to get home for the weekend. It was Democrats like Ron Wyden and Russ Feingold who warned us and the right has given us Rand Paul? He’s your standard bearer? This should be where the minority on the left and the minority on the right come together but we can’t seem to get past our disagreements over Medicare and SS, which aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, in order to address our real problems.

    I think it’s really up for grabs who turned the American people into sheep.

    Does anyone here think Mitt Romney would have reversed any of this? I voted for Obama because of health care, pure and simple. Other wise there is essentially no difference between the right and the left anymore in the things that really should matter.

    No one in that hall in Boston in 2004 could have imagined that the young, eloquent and inspiring politician would have transformed so dramatically less than a decade later. Yet the Age of Obama is not one of hope and change; it is the era of the National Security President. Obama has overseen increasing use of drones, in a targeted killing programme across the globe. No doubt they wipe out legitimate targets. But the drones also murder American citizens – such as Anwar al-Awlaki and his son Abdulraman in 2011 – with no trial amid a legal framework that – again – is kept largely secret. They wipe out wedding parties by accident. Any “military-aged male” in a drone strike zone is called a legitimate target, turning the innocent into the guilty to justify death from above. Then there is Guantánamo Bay, that bleeding sore on the face of American civil liberties. It is a tropical gulag of 166 men – more than half cleared for release but still kept behind bars – who are starving themselves out of desperation. Obama promised to close it down in 2008. He failed. He promised again last month. But nothing has happened. Meanwhile, the regime inside the camp is growing more savage.

    Obama has cracked down aggressively on whistleblowers, using the Espionage Act – a hangover from the first world war – more times than all his predecessors combined. He has presided over an explosion of over-classification, as millions of government documents are shuttered away from public eyes. His Department of Justice has collected the phone records of AP journalists and accessed the emails of a Fox News reporter.

    It’s the stuff of conspiracy theorist fantasies. But these abuses of power are real and are playing out the front pages of America’s papers every day. When the IRS searched for conservative groups to target for special treatment, it confirmed the worst fears of every rightwinger in America.

    How on earth did we get here from Boston, 2004? Bush – a cipher of a politician whose only belief was in his right to rule – surrounded himself with Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and an army of whispering neocons. Obama does not have that excuse. When his staff meets to mull over the latest names in their killing programme – an event dubbed “Terror Tuesdays” – Obama himself is often present.



    • lms:

      There are a lot of people on the left, who believe the real slippery slope was created by the right and now embraced by the left.

      I’m sure there are. All I know is that government in general presents us with a paradox. It’s primary function is to protect the rights of citizens, which means protection from coercion. But in order to fulfill that function, the government needs to be granted a legal monopoly on the use of coercion. This in turn makes the government not only the protector of rights, but also the biggest threat to those rights. Which is why I think 1) a certain degree of suspicion and distrust of government institutions is healthy and 2) government should be extremely limited in the areas over which it exercises power.

      As a class, politicians will naturally seek to accrue power, especially in a culture in which being a politician for life is a viable and accepted profession. So it is probably true that politicians of the left and the right are equally guilty of both encouraging people to trust them and expanding the areas of life over which government exercises its power. But progressivism as an ideology both requires and desires an increasing sphere of power for the federal government. Therefore it is, I think, far more guilty than any other ideology in presenting the government as a benign and even beneficent institution, and is thus far more responsible for the infantilization of citizens and the rise of the nanny government, which will force you to buy insurance and will read your e-mails, both for the exact same (ostensible) reason…for your own good.

      (FYI I am probably out the rest of today and most of tomorrow.)


  21. Mark

    I have loved being a father and a grandfather more than anything else in my adult life, truth be told.

    My husband would agree 100% and now I need to go and fix the man a FD breakfast worthy of his efforts.


  22. This is nice from Booman after he read the same research that Michi linked above.

    When my son was born three and a half years ago, he looked like he had just gone 15 rounds with Joe Frazier. He was beat up. He had red welts on his face. But I couldn’t see it. Every time I took a picture of him, I was amazed at how the picture had all these imperfections that I hadn’t seen when looking through the lens. I hated the pictures but it made me realize that my perception was being powerfully altered by some kind of hormones that had been released when he arrived. I could look at him in real life and literally not see what the digital record had just recorded. It was weird.

    So, this research doesn’t surprise me at all. Fathers become more attached to their offspring the more they are around them. Only five percent of mammalian fathers have any role in the upbringing of their children. In most cases, hormones are insufficient to make us care. But not so for humans. Human dads are wired to love and take care of their offspring.

    On Father’s Day, thank god for that.


    • lms:

      Human dads are wired to love and take care of their offspring.

      If that is true, what then explains the fact that one third of all children in the US are being raised without a father? Or that 54% of African American children are being raised in fatherless households?

      I suspect that whatever the biology of the situation is, culture plays a far, far more significant role.


      • For human males, the instant gratification of sexual intercourse leads to no personal physical commitment, and if the pregnancy was unwanted by the male partner chances are good he will walk away from it. We are not wired to love the concept. But I suspect from my own experience we are wired to fall in love with the actual baby in our arms. Apparently they have measured this pleasure electronically in labs.

        The failure of dads to pay child support is mirrored by the statistically greater failure of moms to pay support. Whether deadbeat or broke, they are not a measure of the instinct, either.

        So I think Scott’s criticism can be squared with the original assertion. Both nature and culture are at play. And both must work for good parenting. Merely falling in love with a newborn won’t cut it for 18 years. Never having met the newborn kills the instinctive part, because the sex act is emotionally unrelated to the bonding with baby event. And never having learned how to give food, clothing, shelter, guidance and affection to another person kills the cultural part.


  23. Most mammalian fathers have little to do with their offspring. Today’s WaPo has an interesting article on research with rodents.

    Rat mothers are not the only ones whose brains become sharper, making them more efficient foragers and more courageous and level-headed than females without offspring. Lambert has found that the same is true of fathers’ brains. Fatherhood makes the male California deer mouse smarter, too.

    Perhaps her most astonishing finding is that the mere presence of a pup is so powerful that it restructures even the brain of a virgin male common deer mouse, a member of what she calls a “sperm donor” species.

    Unlike the monogamous, naturally nurturing male California deer mouse, the male common deer mouse typically goes his merry way after copulation, leaving all the caregiving to the female. But the longer the “sperm donor” common deer mouse is exposed to a pup, Lambert’s most recent studies show, the more his brain becomes wired to nurture.

    “It’s time that matters: face time, pup time,” Lambert said. “That’s what’s so fascinating. We can take a male animal not predisposed to nurture and, with more time with pups, start seeing changes to the landscape of the brain.”

    Could those brain changes turn a “naturally deadbeat dad,” as she calls them, into a nurturing, caregiving father?

    “It’s certainly a possibility,” Lambert said.

    Being around babies literally modifies your brain.


  24. Shorter yello: kids make you crazy.

    Sorry, just couldn’t resist! 🙂


  25. McWing, since many (if not most) of your links seem to be “gotcha” ones, I’m not sure that I get your point.

    Nor do I get the point of that little blurb in NR.


  26. It’s funny, like an ardent Democrat, who is been accused by Republicans of corruption, influence peddling and soliciting underage prostitutes would sincerely care about the Republican’s viability and ability to recapture the WhiteHouse. Why would any rational person take seriously what he had to say in regards to a Republican Party viability. It’s absurd.

    Thank you for noticing! One toils so often in anonymity, it’s nice to be occasionally be noticed.


  27. The market economy with its dynamic flexibility was key to those changes. Anti-discrimination legislation undoubtedly played a role in opening more doors to women; but one rarely recognized fact is that systematic sex discrimination in the workplace had also been partly the work of government. Historian Allan Carlson, a strong social conservative, has noted that the sole-breadwinner family of the 1950s was enabled by the efforts of progressive reformers and government-backed labor unions to institutionalize the idea that the male head of household should be paid enough to support a stay-at-home wife and children. The “family wage” rested on built-in, intentional discrimination against women; its decline, along with the loss of union power, partly accounts for the decline of high-paying traditionally male jobs where pay had been artificially inflated. This is a fact liberals fail to understand when they lament that the narrowing of the gender gap in pay is due partly to the drop in male earnings.



  28. The causal relationship between women in the workforce and the decline of the ‘family wage’ is a chicken and egg downward spiral. Most women who entered the workforce did so out of economic necessity either because of the low wages of their spouse or to support themselves after a divorce. And according to supply and demand, an increased labor force will depress wages further.

    Part of the calculus driving women into the workforce was the declining utility of unpaid domestic labor. My mother used to sew clothes for herself and the family. Nowadays when compared to the cost of fabric and the opportunity cost it takes to sew, taking a job outside the home and using the earnings to buy a Bangladeshi made outfit at Wal-Mart is the more economically rational decision.

    A stay at home wife is now a luxury good and chores they used to do to add value to the household such as baking, canning, sewing, and other low-or-no-wage tasks are now hobbies rather than economic necessities.

    I associate the rise of home-schooling in part to the need for stay-at-home mothers to justify their lack of financial contribution to the family but that is an entire other rant.


  29. It’s funny, like an ardent Democrat… would sincerely care about the Republican’s viability and ability to recapture the WhiteHouse.

    The Washington Post regularly publishes Karl Rove’s advice to the Obama Administration. For what reason, except for comedic value, I have no idea.


  30. A presciently on-topic web cartoon:



  31. I associate the rise of home-schooling in part to the need for stay-at-home mothers to justify their lack of financial contribution to the family but that is an entire other rant.

    Gotta admit, I’m fascinated you have this opinion.


    • Essentially a parent who homeschools has hired themselves as a private tutor for their children. The ‘cost’ of this is either the fair market value of a tutor or the opportunity cost the parent incurs by not working outside the home. I have annoyed more than one home schooler by asking what qualifications, credentials, experience, and references they would demand of someone they were hiring to teach their kids full time and then whether they themselves would meet that criteria.


  32. Do you ask this unsolicited and if so, why?


    • Do you ask this unsolicited and if so, why?

      I don’t hunt-down and harangue people homeschooling their kids. Even when I run across home school families in social situations I won’t go on a tirade unbidden. It usually only comes up if it is part of a broader discussion on the differences between public school (which is ostensibly ‘free’ and makes the economic valuation even more complicated) and homeschooling. I have gotten interesting answers including some people who are very capable of defending their education choices for their children.

      My wife is a public school teacher who has earned a master degree in education as well as additional certification in her specialty. I’m fairly defensive against attacks on the professionalism of teachers which is often a subtext used by homeschoolers to justify their decision.


  33. who is been accused by Republicans of corruption, influence peddling and soliciting underage prostitutes

    Ah, the “Breitbart Attack.”

    I don’t think an answer is even justified.


  34. I actually think that the Daily Caller was more of a leader on the underage prostitute angle.

    And I’m positive you do not.


  35. YJ – thanx for the cartoon. Spot on.

    Menendez’ tie-in with that doctor should have been enough to discredit his “honor.” The idea that he is telling Rs how to save themselves is funny, and is comparable to Rove’s “help” to BHO, as YJ wrote.

    Still, we must applaud partisans who reach out to others, through our laughter. Otherwise we would accuse them of only preaching to the choir.


  36. Did Menendez expect anybody to take him seriously?


  37. “I associate the rise of home-schooling in part to the need for stay-at-home mothers to justify their lack of financial contribution to the family but that is an entire other rant.”

    Or of course a reflection of the perceived lack of worth/negative effects of public schooling.

    “My wife is a public school teacher who has earned a master degree in education as well as additional certification in her specialty. I’m fairly defensive against attacks on the professionalism of teachers which is often a subtext used by homeschoolers to justify their decision.”

    So you argue that the homeschoolers are the ones getting defensive instead. Nevermind that the threshold to replace a “free” public good with the level of effort needed to home school means that they have to be pretty invested in it and have significant problems with public education as it’s currently structured.

    When public education is “free” and people are still voting with their feet to abandon it, then the problem is with the system, not the people.


    • they have to be pretty invested in it and have significant problems with public education as it’s currently structured.

      Religious and philosophical differences are probably the primary drivers of the home-school phenomenon. Parochial schools have always existed in parallel with public schools.

      When public education is “free” and people are still voting with their feet to abandon it, then the problem is with the system, not the people.

      “Abandon” is a pretty strong word. The public school system will never be able to adequately meet the requirements of everyone, particularly those opposed to secular education.

      I know several families who home school some children but send their special needs kids to public schools because public schools are mandated to provide services which would be prohibitively expensive for an individual family.


      • JNC, this is from the Austin Home Schoolers’ organization.

        AAH Newcomers Guide update

        Why We Homeschool
        Homeschooling is just one of many ways for parents to meet the educational needs of their children. Some Austin Area Homeschoolers families have always taught their children at home, while others tried public and/or private schools first. Other parents have one or more children learning at home at the same time another child attends a public school or institutional private school. Our diverse AAH families cite the following as some of the advantages of homeschooling.

        Freedom from a School Schedule. Families with a parent whose job requires travel appreciate the flexibility that homeschooling offers. The entire family can travel together without worrying about the affect of missed school days. They can use their travels as part of their schooling. Other homeschoolers enjoy scheduling field trips or family vacations for the off-season to avoid the crowds.

        More Efficient Use of Time. Many homeschooling parents find that they can cover more material in less time than a traditional school, because one-on-one tutoring is more efficient. They can focus their time on the areas where the student really needs help, and they can accelerate studies when the material is easy for the student.

        Ability to Build an Individualized Curriculum. Children with special needs and interests can have a custom-tailored curriculum. If a student has a time-consuming hobby, sport, or job, that activity can be built into their program of study. Parents can choose the type of curriculum that best fits their children’s needs and the parents’ educational philosophy.

        Improved Socialization. Most homeschoolers interact with a variety of adults and children by participating in Sports groups, Scout groups, Campfire groups, homeschooling support groups, churches, and community service opportunities. Since homeschoolers spend a great deal of time with their parents and other adults, they can learn social skills from persons who are more mature than they are, rather than exclusively from their peers.

        Better Family Relationships. Many parents find their relationships with their children improve once the children have been withdrawn from school. Perhaps it is because they spend more time together, or maybe it is because the children have less stress now that they are out of school. Many parents say that the best thing about homeschooling is that you get to spend a lot of time with your children.

        About Support Groups
        You don’t have to join an organization in order to school your children at home; however, homeschool support groups can be very helpful, especially for beginners. There are several different groups in the Austin, Texas area. Some families choose to be associated with only one group, while others join several groups. Some support groups have membership requirements, while others are open to all homeschoolers. Inquire about all groups if you are unsure which is best for your family.

        Austin Area Homeschoolers is an inclusive group that is open to all homeschoolers. AAH is a secular group. The organization is comprised of families with children of all ages. We have social activities for children, field trips, co-op classes, park days, graduation, dances, etc. Detailed information about AAH is found in the next section of this guide. While the most up to date info can be found on the Subscribers Website on the AAH-Announce list.

        We are are a support group and just want to help you homeschool. That is why other support groups are listed here even though we may not be listed on their site. For example there are many homeschoolers on the Austin Area Homeschoolers list who are Christian, but they choose to associate with homeschoolers who may not be Christians. But if you’re more comfortable with only associating with other Christians, this may not be the list for you.

        CHEACT. If you are homeschooling primarily for fundamentalist Christian religious reasons, or if you want a support group that requires members to sign a Christian statement of faith, you might want to look into Christian Home Education Association of Central Texas (CHEACT). This organization is very large, so there are many smaller support groups and coops that are affiliated with CHEACT. CHEACT charges $25 per year dues, which entitles you to the monthly newsletter. https://www.homeschool-life.com/tx/cheact/

        Holy Family Homeschoolers is a support group that serves Catholic homeschoolers, although non-Catholics are also welcome to join. They offer a monthly newsletter, field trips, play days, and religious celebrations. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hfhlist/

        Home schoolers around here are diverse. However, they do not reach 5% of the school age kids here so while I respect those who do it there is little to suggest that they do it because the public schools failed in some general sense.

        I run into home schooled kids by the dozens as they have set up organized gym classes at the YMCA where I work out. The group has hired current school district PE teachers to teach basketball and soccer at 5:30 AM. Really.


  38. Mark,
    That is a very eloquent mission statement and says nothing to contradict what I’ve said. In fact, in many ways it reinforces it. That group is distinctive in that it is avowedly secular. The vast majority of homeschooling is done explicitly or implicitly for religious reasons.

    I am all in favor of homeschoolers being involved in social organizations and activities.


    • Agreed, YJ, on home schooling in general.

      JNC – I looked at PL for a moment out of curiosity and it is weirder than ever. That you and banned are still there speaks well to your perseverance and to his. Shrink just adds snark now and doesn’t bother to link good stuff, is that right?

      I got to PL through Sargent’s twitter, hoping it will not count against something I actually want to read at the WaPo.


  39. This is your problematic statement due to the idea that those embracing home schooling have an ulterior motive in justifying something (staying at home and not working) that they want to do anyway.

    “I associate the rise of home-schooling in part to the need for stay-at-home mothers to justify their lack of financial contribution to the family but that is an entire other rant.”


  40. FWIW… My 2 cents.

    I know of 2 families who home school. Neither have reasons that are associated with religion or the quality of our public schools.

    The first family: Unmarried woman with 5 children, all from different fathers. Not a single one of her children (youngest is now 21) would ever be accepted at any University (maybe a local tech school). IMO she definitely did not do any of her children right by home schooling. And IMO, based on how much I know about this family (which is a lot), the only reason she home schooled her children was so she wouldn’t have to get up early for a regular 8-5 job (she liked working nights bartending). And what will surprise you the most is that she is the daughter of the man who invented the reach toothbrush, had a masters degree and even had an executive position with Johnson & Johnson…. but she liked to party way too much.

    The second family. Lives right behind us. They (including the parents) behave like heathens. When the children, ages 2, 5 & 7 (with a baby that is only about 3 months old)… when those 3 children go outside to play, not a single one ever speaks a word. All they do is scream. Not screaming words, just screaming. I will never know when to react to an emergency since they scream as if they are in horrible pain. They have a dog and when the children go out, they do not try to play with the dog, they kick at him and throw sticks at him, etc. They do the same with each other as well. They definitely are going to have issues when in social situations.

    So, based on my immediate/personal knowledge of 2 families who chose to home school their children, I certainly have no knowledge as to why anyone would want to home school their children. And just because someone has a masters degree doesn’t even qualify them to be appropriate teachers for anyone, let alone their own children.

    I, on the other hand, would have made a fantastic teacher to home school my children :D. However, I was unable to do so, I had to work out of the home. I have, however, tutored many children and college students and have been told I have a knack for explaining things to children in a way they understand, and retain. Such a shame so many who home school their kids have not even an iota of qualifications to do so.


    • Geanie, that is a tragic pair of stories that might script for a lowbrow comedy.

      Are you in Bartlesville?


      • Mark… No, I live in Broken Arrow. The lady from Johnson & Johnson is actually an ex-daughter-in-law of mine… she was in Tulsa at the time. The other family lives right behind us.. we just love hearing the children scream all the time while we try to enjoy fresh air in our home or sitting on our deck. And we live in a very nice (otherwise quiet) neighborhood.


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