Posts Tagged Child

5 Books Homeschool Parents Must Read

via: ActivistPost
by: Bohemian Mom
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making the decision to homeschool is not an easy one. Societal pressure, family interrogations, and our own insecurities and fears are things we have to wrestle with on a regular basis.

Having a good support system is vital, whether it is local homeschooling groups, your spouse, or simply some good friends to listen to you and encourage you.

But another important component to starting the journey or just battling through some of the tougher times along the way, is to have a good arsenal of books that you can read and continue to refer to.

These books brilliantly shape the philosophy of homeschooling and offer creative alternative ideas that are essential knowledge for all parents.  I’ve found the books on the list below to be invaluable for my homeschooling experience.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto

Dumbing Us Down is a truly eye opening book and comes full of harsh criticism of the public education system.  Gatto has a leg to stand on though, as he was a NYC school teacher for over 30 years, and actually a recipient of the New York Teacher of the Year award, which gave him great knowledge of the inner workings of the system.  He shows how children in school are being conditioned to conform rather than being taught to actually think and retain creativity.

It is a great book to read before starting your journey, but I have also referred to it several times when I have felt insecure about my decision, as a reminder of what I am pushing against by home schooling.  You will feel enlightened, captivated, and most of all inspired!

Learning All the Time by John Holt

Considered by many to be the forefather of the homeschooling or unschooling movement, John Holt’s Learning All the Time shows us how children learn the basics of life, at home, in every moment of their day. Through play, cooking, and interaction with parents they learn to read, write, do math, and figure out how the world works.  As he says, “Learning is as natural as breathing!”

Again, this is a seminal book to read both before and during the process of homeschooling, but it is also a good book to teach us to enjoy and encourage play in the lives of our children. When you read his common sense ideas about relating to children it is hard to dispute, or to go on living any other way. His joy and respect of children shines through the pages and makes you yearn to lead the same type of life with your children that he proposes in his writing because it’s a brilliant formula for happiness!

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‘Lead-free’ jewelry for children found to be loaded with lead

via: NaturalNews
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
By: Willow Tohi

[NaturalNews] Last week, 16 jewelry retailers and suppliers were sued by the state of California for selling jewelry with more than 1,000 times the allowable lead, as lead-free. Many of the defendants are repeat offenders, and include manufacturers, shippers, sellers, distributors, and traders that do business in California.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has publicized this issue a great deal, and despite the public’s concern, they have traced hundreds of styles of jewelry that violate the lead standards to these defendants over the last three years. All of the jewelry was labeled as lead-free, or in compliance with lead standards. Some of the jewelry was intended for small children, who are especially susceptible to adverse health effects from exposure to lead.

Without regard to public safety

California’s attorney general is concerned that the unlawful practices of the defendants can result in acute and chronic health effects for adults and children. Toxic metal exposure can cause headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, anemia, loss of appetite, constipation, muscle soreness, and neurological impairments such as loss of balance, loss of ability to concentrate, seizures, encephalopathy, coma, even death.

For children, who are especially sensitive to lead poisoning since their bodies and brains are still developing, even mild cases could cause behavior problems, inattention, and learning disabilities, as well as a host of physical health effects. Lead in children’s jewelry is even more dangerous if it is placed in the mouth, as children are prone to do, or even swallowed, which would result in higher lead absorption.

Lead is used in jewelry for several reasons:

• It makes the base metal easier to shape
• It makes the jewelry feel heavier
• It’s cheaper to use than other metals
• It is sometimes used as a stabilizer in some plastics such as PVC, which is used in costume or children’s jewelry.

In California, children’s jewelry cannot contain lead content exceeding 600 parts per million. The legal state limit for adult jewelry is 60,000 parts per million. Most of the tested pieces were several hundred times over those limits.

Attorney General Harris says the defendants are selling their stuff in pursuit of profit, without regard for public safety. She is seeking injunctions and civil penalties.

Not just lead  cadmium too

There are still a lot of products on the market with high levels of two neurotoxins: lead and cadmium, which can cause permanent brain damage. Cadmium in another metal to watch for in children’s jewelry. Cadmium is more often associated with cigarette smoke than jewelry. It is highly toxic and is a known human carcinogen. Earlier this year the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) chairwoman warned parents against buying cheap jewelry for their kids, such as that from dollar stores or gumball dispensers, and even places like Claire’s, Walmart, and other chain stores. A lot of the jewelry on the market that doesn’t meet the safety requirements of no more than 0.03 percent cadmium by weight was made in China. Most jewelry tested for cadmium exceeded the CPSC’s proposed limits by more than 100 times.

Several watchdog organizations are in the process of cracking down on cadmium as well as lead. Some states are cracking down too, such as California and Rhode Island. There are still no federal regulations on safe levels of these metals. Over the last decade, there have been approximately 5,000 emergency room visits each year by children who had swallowed inexpensive jewelry. Parents can check recall lists and the CPSC website for information on unsafe products, but it’s easier and safer to just take away any cheap metal jewelry.

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‘Nourishing our children’ documentary blows away illusions about processed food vs. traditional diets

via: NaturalNews
Friday, July 13, 2012
by: Health Ranger

[NaturalNews] A new two-hour video available on Premium NaturalNews TV blows away any remaining illusions about “healthy,” processed food.

“Nourishing Our Children” advocates traditional diets, and is radical in that it turns the food pyramid upside down. For example, it shows how unhealthy processed cereals are, despite decades of “food pyramids” having conditioned us into believing cereals and cooked grains were a foundation of good health.

Watch the preview at:

If you were outraged by our investigation last year that uncovered how cereal companies only mimic blueberries through artificial chemicals in their “blueberry” products like cereals, wait until you see what is said in “Nourishing Our Children.”

“Nourishing Our Children” is based on the work of Weston A. Price, a dentist who kept notes during his worldwide travels that correlated traditional diets with more robust and healthy people, from a young age onward. The genius of “Nourishing Our Children” is that it puts Dr. Price’s work into very understandable sections, and orients it for the modern parent and child.

One review of “Nourishing Our Children” by Amy Love says:

“A well-organized and thorough examination of the incredible work and life-changing teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price, ‘Nourishing Our Children’ is a most helpful resource for anyone looking for true guidance in the realm of nutrition. As a nutritional therapist, I see day in and day out how necessary education is, and ‘Nourishing Our Children’ is an invaluable resource in my practice.”

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Children’s Healthcare Costs Blazing Past Adults

via: NaturalSociety
by: Kelsey Coy
July 9, 2012

According to a report released last week by the non-partisan research organization Health Care Cost Institutehealthcare costs for Americans under the age of 18 have risen 18.6% since 2007, significantly more than costs for the rest of the population.

Healthcare Costs Blazing Past Adults, Much in the Form of ‘Regular’ Checkups

The data in the report is based on one of the largest collections of private health insurance claims data ever assembled, including over three billion claims from Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare – three of the country’s largest insurers. While the fees for adult outpatient visits increased a hefty 10%, the most dramatic increase in price in any healthcare sector was for childrens’ outpatient visits, the regular checkups that are most likely to ensure our children remain healthy and thus avoid the need for more expensive care later. The cost of these visits has increased by 34.4% in the past four years. This is nearly six times the rate of inflation, which stands at 5.2%.

This is particularly disturbing considered alongside the fact that during the same four year time period, the percentage of commercially-insured children dropped 5.7% from nearly 44 million in 2007 to 41.4 million in 2010. In 2011, 9.8% of children in the U.S. were completely uninsured. In the subsequent age bracket, 18-24 year olds, the percentage of those left to cover healthcare costs completely out of pocket climbed to 27.2%.

Spending on infants and toddlers, aged 0-3, whose per capita healthcare costs totaled $3,896 in 2010 accounted for nearly a third of spending, despite comprising only 17% of the child population. Those subject to the steepest increase, however, were those aged 14-18, among whom hospital based mental health and substance abuse services increased 24% and prescriptions for drugs affecting the central nervous system- anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications- rose 10%. On average, American teenagers took at least one prescription drug on a regular basis. While overall prescription drug use declined, the use of both cardiovascular drugs and hormones increased by more than 20%. It would seem unlikely that the conditions being addressed with these medications and services are likely to resolve by the time this population joins the 27.2% of 18-24 year olds without access to affordable care.

Interestingly, physician income is on the decline, and the general practitioners who conduct outpatient visits continue to be the lowest paid of all. However, health insurance companies are continuing to break new records for profit growth.

Those who can pay, pay, and the growing number of those who can’t are left on their own. Is this a system that can be reformed? Only time will tell.

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Millions of young, simply immature children being misdiagnosed with ADHD

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff

[NaturalNews] The criteria for diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become so broad and all-inclusive that millions of young children around the world who are simply just immature — they are kids, after all — are being branded as ill and in need of psychotropic medications. These are the conclusions that have been made in an 11-year study out of Canada that revealed a much higher rate of ADHD diagnoses among younger children compared to older children, which indicates a rampant epidemic of misdiagnoses.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia tracked ADHD diagnosis and medication rates among nearly one million students who were between the ages of six and 12 during the period of December 1, 1997, and November 30, 2008. With a cutoff date of December 31 for admission into school as a first-time kindergartner, children born before this date were compared to those born after it, who were required to wait an extra year to begin attending school.

The findings, which were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that those who were born in December before the cutoff date were 39 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and 48 percent more likely to be taking ADHD drugs like Ritalin, than children born after the December cutoff date. In other words, the youngest children in kindergarten were far more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the older kids, which points to a simple maturity disparity rather than a disease.

“The relative maturity of children is affecting the diagnosis, so in other words, the lack of maturity in younger children is making them more likely to get the diagnosis, and we can interpret that as the fact that sometimes a lack maturity is being misinterpreted as symptoms of a neurobehavioral disorder of ADHD,” said Richard Morrow, a health research analyst with UBC’s Therapeutics Initiative and lead researcher toCBC News.

Both the study’s large sample size and clearly disparate diagnosis rates between age groups indicates that potentially millions of perfectly normal kids are having their livelihoods, and their brains, robbed from them by being forced to take dangerous psychotropic and antipsychotic medications, many of which have been shown to cause cardiovascular problems, organ dysfunction, and brain damage (

In fact, the entire concept of ADHD appears to be a fraud to begin with, as the very existence of this so-called disease is based on a lot of pseudoscience and not much actual evidence (


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Parents not told of school quake risks

By: Marty Sharpe

Hundreds of Hastings school pupils are attending class in buildings deemed earthquake-prone up to three years ago.

Buildings on the grounds of Lindisfarne College, Iona College, Lucknow School, Mayfair School and St Mary’s School appear on Hastings District Council’s register of earthquake-prone buildings.

They were put on the register after council evaluations found they failed to meet 33 per cent of current design standard, meaning they would not withstand a moderate earthquake.

The buildings are among a “small proportion of school buildings” that the Education Ministry says have been identified by various councils across the country. The ministry says the buildings are not dangerous and are fine to be used.

The Dominion Post contacted all the schools on the register and asked if parents had been informed of the assessments. Only Iona College said they had.

A man whose children attended St Mary’s said he was astonished parents had not been told. The man, who did not want to be named, said “they’re probably right that the buildings are safe, but we should have been told of the assessment and their rationale for believing the buildings were safe so we could make up our own minds”.

“These are our kids. You send them to school to be safe.”

The Iona College Council said it acted as soon as it was notified in 2009. It engaged a structural engineer and has investigated and completed work on several of its buildings. Parents were fully informed and all strengthening would be completed within 10 years.

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Pediatrician’s refusal to treat unvaccinated kids: Legal and ethical ramifications

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
By: Alan Phillips, J.D.

It should be disconcerting how people that are vaccinated are worried about those that are not.  Aren’t vaccinations ‘supposed’ to protect you?  Why would someone vaccinated worry about someone that isn’t?  Unless of course, there is a hidden agenda taking place.

[NaturalNews] The following is a letter to U.S. Pediatricians who refuse to treat unvaccinated kids whose parents are exercising a legal exemption to immunizations. A copy of the letter itself is here:
Open Letter to Pediatricians

Attention: Pediatricians
United States of America

Re: Legal and Ethical Ramifications of Refusing to Treat Unvaccinated Children

Dear Pediatricians:

Physicians who refuse to treat unvaccinated children due to a parent’s exercise of a lawful exemption to immunizations may be violating the parent’s Constitutional rights and state ethical rules, and risking liability and/or sanctions accordingly.[1,2]

First, if you refuse to treat a child for the sole reason that a parent is exercising a vaccine religious exemption, you may be violating the parent’s Constitutional rights. State vaccine religious exemption laws are backed by the First Amendment’s “free exercise” Constitutional protection. Even private practices may be at risk, if they accept Medicaid and Medicare, as private entities with substantial ties to government may be considered “state actors” for purposes of application of the Constitution directly to those private entities.[3] State constitutional religious freedom rights may be violated as well.

Religious freedom is not a trivial matter. Federal courts in vaccine religious exemption cases have held that the “loss of First Amendment Freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury”[4] and have awarded money damages for the loss of First Amendment rights.[5] Thus, pediatricians should tread cautiously where vaccine religious exemptions are concerned.

Ethical concerns apply to the exercise of both religious and philosophical exemptions. For example, refusing to treat exempt children:

• Contradicts medical association recommendations;[6]
• Punishes innocent children for their parents’ decision, and potentially puts those innocent children at risk from the resulting loss of medical care; and
• Punishes law-abiding parents for exercising a legal right, and without good cause, as the lawful exercise of a vaccine exemption, by both legislative presumption and CDC statistics and accepted medical theory, does not create a significant health risk — e.g., non-immune vaccinated kids greatly outnumber exempt kids.[7]

Finally, this refusal policy raises serious professionalism concerns. A threat of refusal to treat is a discriminatory coercive act; refusing to treat an act of authoritarian punishment. In short, these behaviors amount to professional bullying. Worse, they are completely misplaced. State legislatures would not have enacted exemption laws if their exercise would cause a significant risk to anyone. If you disagree, the proper target for your concern is the state legislature — not parents exercising a right granted by lawmakers who have already determined that the exercise of exemptions poses no significant risks.

A related misunderstanding concerns the fact that state exemption laws generally allow one parent to exercise the exemption, without requiring the consent of the other parent. In contrast, vaccinating a child usually requires both parents’ consent, since parents generally share decision-making authority over their children equally unless a law or court order says otherwise. Again, those who object may address their concerns with their state representatives, since legislators — not parents — make the laws.

To be clear, an unvaccinated child whose parents are not exercising a lawful exemption may pose a legitimate liability risk, as those parents may not be in compliance with the law. In this case, you may be justified in requiring a waiver from the parents, or in temporarily refusing to treat a child until the parents vaccinate or a parent exercises an exemption. Of course, ethics would require that any child needing immediate medical attention be treated promptly, regardless of the child’s vaccination status.

For the above reasons, the policy of refusing to treat legally exempt, unvaccinated children is improper and should cease immediately. But this is also a matter of common sense. Bullying tactics will not change parents’ minds, but it will generate resentment that will add to the ongoing erosion of public confidence in the medical profession. Mature, intelligent discourse on vaccine concerns may create mutual respect and understanding of contrasting concerns. Alternative and complementary medicine has grown steadily for decades now. Medical doctors would serve themselves and others better by tolerating alternative vaccine views, as they are clearly here to stay.[8]

Alan Phillips, J.D. is a leading U.S. Vaccine Rights attorney who works with clients and legislative activists around the U.S. on vaccine exemption and waiver rights and legal issues.

For more information, see


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