Local and State Property Tax Racket in Florida

Many people flocked to Florida after 2020 to enjoy the freedom from muzzles and mandatory jabs. Some sold their homes of 25+ years that they raised their families in. Others moved to Florida prior to for health reasons. It’s the only continental state that offers a subtropical year round climate in the south. Now they are shocked as the read property tax notices that have double and tripled in some cases in less than two years.

The 2021, 2022, and 2023 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes and Proposed or Adopted Non-Ad Valorem Assessments all state in the upper right hand white box

The taxing authorities which levy taxes against your property, will soon hold PUBLIC HEARINGS to adopt budgets and tax rates for the next year. The purpose of these PUBLIC HEARINGS is to receive opinions from the general public and to answer questions on proposed tax change and budget PRIOR TO TAKING FINAL ACTION. Each taxing authority may AMEND or ALTER its proposals at the hearing.

In the far right hand column there is a white box listing several meeting dates. Last year I was very sick and unable to attend. This year, I attended two of these listed meetings.

The first one that I attended was a Palm Beach County School Board Meeting. I was terribly confused as to why a public hearing of proposed taxes would be held at the school board meeting so I asked for clarification with the police who interrogate your bag and wand your body down as if you’re a criminal. Not a single one of the 4 Palm Beach County School District, PBCSD, police knew. One was terribly defensive. Thankfully one was cool and placed a call for clarification. Time was passing while the officer was placed on hold, and the meeting started. So we heard through the loud speaker outside the meeting Chairman Barbieri announce that anyone who wanted to make a public comment about the budget should go to the microphone. My teenage daughter and I rushed in. She encouraged me to immediately go file in line.

The first person spoke. He went on about teacher pay and how they deserved better, blah, blah, blah right up to the 3 minute limit. The next woman who had her tax notice in hand was not permitted to speak. The chairmen berated her for being out of line for she didn’t submit a blue speaking card. Oh dear, I never got one to complete either because no one knew what was going on when I asked. So of course he did the same to me. But I got extra special treatment, a PBCSD police man came over to escort me away from the microphone.

I followed up with an email, photo of that below, to all the member of the school board. No one replied back.

The next meeting I was able to attend was at 2300 High Ridge Road, Boyton Beach on 9/11/23 at 5:01 PM. This meeting was the Children’s Services Council Pam Beach County, again strange that it certainly wasn’t advertised as such on the 2023 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes. At least, thankfully, this meeting was much more hospitable to the residents who were coming like I in response to their notices. Shana, The Public Information Officer, gave me her card, offered to make sure my comment card was given to the chairman of this meeting, and welcomed us in. What a relief not to have to get passed intimidating PBCSD police to get in and to have a comment card furnished first upon entrance.

The other consolation was that the board members at this meeting were seated at tables placed in a square of which we the people were invited to speak seated at a microphone with them. These board members were listening and not staring at their phones at posh desks 6 feet above and 10 feet away from the people at the microphone like we’ve witnessed others at the PBC Commissioners and School Board meetings. But this Children’s Services Council really isn’t the main problem with the increasing taxes. In fact, they have decreased their millage (tax) rate from 0.6497 in 2021 to 0.5508 in 2022 and proposing either 0.4908 or 0.5073 for 2023 (See columns 2 yellow & 3 green) line 5 under Taxing Authority Independent Special Districts.

Now they are one of those agencies that fosters more dependence on government that isn’t warranted by the constitution. We heard the pity comment on the salaries of the social workers just like the well intended speak up for teachers to make better incomes. But, then we heard a concerned citizen point out that the Children’s Services Council logo matches with the double pink heart pedophilia symbol according to the 2007 FBI documents. I looked at the card handed to me when I came in. She was spot on. Oh how absolutely creepy.

More upsetting was hearing one of the new Republican Palm Beach County Commissioners, Sarah Baxter, who obviously sits on this board too, who promised to lead differently than the same old same old proceeded to express concern that quality licensed social workers be paid better. Oh dear. Turn to the nanny state to solve your problems. Is she turning out to be just like any corrupted politician who thinks it is ok to threaten you of your property if you don’t hand over thousands upon thousands of dollars for them to dole out to be used the way they think it should be?

Folks, economics are the problem because taxes are too high. Rent is high because property tax is high. They keep talking you into allowing this because they put up some poor social worker, teacher, or police officer to play on your emotions. But the problem is public officers are funded by taxes which is money stolen from the people the way it is set up. Even worse is the administrators in all of these government places often make comfortable salaries at the cost of the people at the bottom who really are doing to hard work serving the public. It’s a cyclical problem that will only be solved by defunding public social services and jobs. No one wants to lose a job, but it’s life. It’s the best thing that happened to many. Go create a job instead of taking a job that is funded by taking taxes against people’s will to pay your salary. Government employees have becomes some of the most entitled workers in the nation.

Circling back to this particular meeting. Most who spoke were elderly retired folks or recent home buyers that have been completely caught of guard with the appraised values being determined by recent purchased prices that have gone sky high. Those running the meeting kept side stepping their comments and saying it wasn’t their role or responsibility to assess property value which is the real driver in the skyrocketing property taxes. Then why did the county post the meeting for them??? They clearly know it is wrong. That’s why the Public Information Officer handed me this slip of paper on my way out.

Funny that this wasn’t clarified in what was mailed out to all property owners. The county tax collector is clearly evading facing the public. Why wasn’t there a public hearing with her property assessment department?

It should be “We the People” consent to pay taxes, but it’s evolved into covert emotional manipulation of misinformation of meetings and policies, bully people into not coming to meetings or speaking up, and coercing the public to pay out of fear of having their property taken by the government from them.

Another point of grievance I want to make is misuse and means to intimidate the people with the law. When I immediately called the PBC Tax Collector upon receipt of the notice to questioned why my property taxes are triple to what the previous owner was billed in one years time, the agent arrogantly said that it is the law concerning property value that dictates the taxes. Then I heard a woman on the Children’s Service Council taut exactly the same thing. For a culture that is obsessed with justice isn’t it strange that one homeowner pays half or one third of what his/her neighbor next door pays? One isn’t allowed to express any injustice over it because the law gives them to right to rob us of our money?

And why is it that property values have gone up as they have? Could it be so they can hold this law over our heads? The real estate agents continue to advertise low property taxes that new owners are then saddled with double to triple costs. I received this flyer just a month ago.

The listed tax amount of $2,093 is very close to what the previous owner of the house I purchased around the corner paid in 2021. The only differences between these homes is one year younger construction, one lot faces a small canal, and the other has a pool which probably evens out value. But, I paid more than triple in 2022.

Oh but it’s the law. Thomas Jefferson said, “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” It’s clearly taxation without representation. The founding fathers did allow for taxation, but it was always to be with the consent of the people. This is why Dorothy Jacks, Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, and Joseph Abruzzo, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Controller, are elected officials in Palm Beach County. But, the general public is never taught this in public school. Probably less than 1% of the general public understand this. Why weren’t any public hearings scheduled with these two people?

Back to the Children’s services Council. I can just image how the licensed social workers are going to be told to push the political agenda and ideologies behind transgender, non-binary, pedophile grooming, and pharmaceutical anti-anxiety and anti-depressants drugs for life when they provide their counseling services through this agency. As one knowledgeable home owner said,

“They’re running a business and using our taxes as money to run their business. This was supposed to be a sunset meaning that they’re supposed to end this organization a long time ago, but it just kept appearing on the tax bill, so they just kept it on. They need to take it off and so with the other one as well with the healthcare. This is absurd and they are stealing from us. I want my money to give to the organizations that I want.”

Local government, just like the state, and federal governments act like they the experts know better than you. I wrote about this in my last blog, “Don’t be Fooled by the Experts.”

You owe them your money for them to allocate as they see fit. Leaders with attitudes like this are most probably taking their beliefs, cues, and directives from the World Economic Forum, an organization that plans by 2030 to make every common person own nothing because they are so far in debt, but oh so happy. Could it be the plan is to tax everyone out of owning their own property? It sure looks that way.

For further reading:






#PalmBeachCounty #Nannystate #FLPropertytax #Propertytax

Don’t Be Fooled by the “Experts”

By Hope Mucklow, Author, Blogger, Songwriter, Teacher, and Coach

Last week I received notice of a public meeting of the Boyton Beach Art Advisory Board regarding approval of a proposed contentious sculpture to be installed in front of The Cornelia T. Bailey Cultural Arts Center positioned next to the South Florida PBS studios. Tracey Caruso from the Florida Jolt wrote a good professional summary on the meeting. (Link below) Now, I’d like to chime in.

Running late, I walked into the meeting already underway. A board of individuals sat in luxurious swivel office chairs behind a monstrous u-shaped table positioned higher up with a 3 foot physical barrier to the seating part of the room. Next placed ten feet back were two neatly lined groups of chairs with a center aisle. There sat a few clusters of people in between many empty chairs. On the side aisles two microphones hosted a steady stream of people who voiced their plea to the board to vote for or vote against the strange statue.

One of those women broke the name of the proposed statue of “Harmony ” into “harm on me.” She proceeded to site many attributes of this sculpture that suggest repulsive sexual positioning. Another concerned citizen pointed out that much of the artists’ work is inappropriately sexually explicit. This was then mocked later by one of the PBS defendants by his saying that people see what is inside themselves when they interpret art.

Then one of the directors of PBS Education proceeded to shared her test results showing this awkwardly shaped figure with children 8-10 years of age who she reported responded wonderfully with curiosity. So how many children in this age group did she test? Where did she find these children? Who’s children were they? Did they sign waivers? Do you see the bias in her research? But she holds the job title at PBS and therefore is the expert, right? Well, I think that the boy who had the courage to say the emperor had no clothes on was missing from her test group.

Also, let’s further discuss children ages 8-10, especially in group settings. For the most part, they are still fairly respectful, innocent, trust, and want to please their teachers compared to tweens, teens, and adults. This is what they learn in Kindergarten and now Pre-school. Then consider developmental psychology. Concrete literal processing is how these children are thinking. They are not going to think in abstract figurative manner even though others from PBS who spoke claim that they do.

Several opposing citizens respectfully pointed out that art like this exists, but should be in the museum where people are choosing to visit, not be forced to see when they pass by on the street. I reflected on that and gave thanks for the lovely horse sculptures that I passed in a neighborhood in Parkland, FL . They lifted my spirits and cheered me on my way to locate my next client’s home as I circle around them driving by.

Returning back to the proponents of the image and its name, Harmony. Do you see the irony and play on words? Its creator Warashina is known for creations that are her statements on politically divisive topics. Funny she’s supposed to be from Washington, D.C. The last I checked that city’s nickname is the Swamp, not Vienna. Aren’t there plenty of fantastic artist right here in South Florida?

For me, I see several realities playing out. First, this is all evidence that The Communist Goals of 1958 for the United States of America is complete. Consider specifically goals #22 and #23:

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. (The) American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings; substitute shape-less, awkward, and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaning-less art.”

Number 23 was clearly displayed after public comments were closed. Members of the board proceeded to discuss with the city lawyer and advisors what criteria they were to follow before voting. It was an incredible bore to hear them site line items in paragraphs amidst volumes of pages getting clarification on what was considered a rule to be followed. Clearly some on the board lacked courage to vote outside the lines of minutia.

Meanwhile, allow me to tell you what I’ve witnessed as a public school teacher. I saw students produce amazing pieces of art at just 12, 13, and 14 years of age. I’d argue that their work surpasses the artist who is charging five hundred thousand dollars for her work. Now of course they don’t have the years of experience or the material to make a 15 foot outdoor idol that will weather the beating sun and fierce winds of tropical storms that this woman has. My point is, there is a plethora of good artists and work to choose from. Hers isn’t that special, but it is political and coming out of the capital of woke.

The citizens who found this proposed sculpture offensive, inappropriate, and upsetting out numbered the supporters 3 to 1, but the board instead listened to the “experts” and voted for it to be approved.

So what are good moral citizens to do? The showed up, they voiced their concerns and were ignored by three of the board members who voted in favor. Perhaps they helped the other two vote no. I say, job well done and press onto approach the members of the city commission who will vote next on whether this bizarre image is going to sore 15 feet high above all heads in a major public thorough way if installed.

If however it is approved and constructed, I suggest that the opponents ignore it like all other hideous modern art that has already been shoved down our throats. Focus on the birds who will inevitably poop on it, the beautiful blue sky, sunshine, and puffy clouds. Don’t visit much less pay to go to this new art center in your precious free time. If this is what is going to be outside what on earth is going to be on exhibit inside?

Relax, don’t let them upset you. This is their goal. Think about it, who is going to take the time to look up this artist and her work? Most are way too busy to do so. And the majority could care less to tune in much less listen to PBS.

Cherish, enjoy, and pass on to your children the love of good classic and worthy art. Not all modern art is trash. Teach your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Stop relying on the schools to do it for you. Read my blog for ideas on how to lead your loved young ones better. Heal your own emotional wounds so that you can improve on these relationships.

Instill the good, beautiful, and worthy. Model it by how you dress, decorate your home, and what you applaud out in public and especially on social media.

Support local and live artists who are producing beautiful art that uplifts and inspires. For visual art, Mira Lehr is of local interest to me in South Florida. But my top pick shifts toward performing artist Talon Smith of Fresno, California. Check out how amazingly this young man plays the piano! I’m so glad we got to not just hear him, but meet him and his mom when he performed for the Chopin Foundation in 2021 in Coral Gables.

While there is a time and place for the dark and ugly make sure your dollars are supporting people what you value. Notice that I did not feature any of Warahina’s work in this blog including the piece being considered. Why draw more attention to this artist?

Laugh back when mocked. Hold those who project accountable on the spot. Don’t allow them to bully you with these psychological tactics. They are the lowest of low. Don’t stoop to their levels.

Lastly and most importantly, for the Christian and Jewish people, stop being it in name only. Nurture your faith in the one true living God who created all things by speaking it into existence. Live righteous lives by the natural law spelled out in the 10 Commandments. Repent from your sins. Study this law in the Torah. Pray. It is the prayers of the righteous that YWHY hears not those of the self-serving worry wort.

For more information on the story visit https://floridajolt.com/boynton-beach-art-advisory-bd-approves-controversial-sculpture/.







Curriculum Has a Time and Place

by Hope Mucklow, Author Blogger, Coach, and Teacher

Anyone who follows my writing and/or presence know that I am an advocate for people, young and old, rich or poor, educated and non, little and big, black, white or somewhere in between. This means there is a major anti-bullying theme that runs through my work. This is why I view endorsed or state approved curriculum as one of the tools that the ruling elite uses to bully those they subdue.

Curriculum in the modern school setting has become the main means to reign in the classroom teacher from creatively implementing their gifts to motivate, encourage, and led their students to learn. Ask any good caring teacher. There’s no time for them to incorporate an engaging lesson they or their colleagues designed. Rather their calendar is overruled by the micro managing administration that is more concerned about raising standardized test scores to give the school better ratings for funding.

Shifting to homeschool, it’s the main question that homeschooling moms hurl at each other at church, the park, and co-op, “What curriculum do you use?” They have even taught the kids to ask this of each other. Then they judge each other and make their alliances based on the answers.

So what is curriculum and why is it important? Curriculum is like a road map or a guide with content that should include resources and means to achieve certain learning objectives. A world view or rather predominate philosophy on the approach to the content will run through its contents and resources. This is where culture and religion (which are very much entwined) comes in. This came up in dialog on social media yesterday.

A teacher had posted about the importance of getting together with other people to do anything and everything. I agreed to point, but went on to admonish her to encourage her lonely students that not all is lost when they are socially isolated.

I asked her to consider pointing her lonely pupils to a great historical figure, St. Patrick, in how he used his isolation as a kidnapped Britton teen taken to work as a slave in Ireland to develop his personal character. Her reply was, “I cannot bring religion into the classroom.” My heart sank because this woman is supposed to be a Bible believing Christian who is actively involved in holding the county school board accountable for their politically correct decisions at the cost of students/parents personal liberties.

But, looking back at myself at her age and situation, I didn’t know any differently either. For the 1958 Communist Agenda for the United States of America goals (see link below) were accomplished many years ago. I was born and educated into much of it as well.

Goal #17 states, “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in text-books.”

Clearly atheism is the religion and humanism is the philosophy behind all public and unfortunately much of the modern private schooling systems, even the religious ones. This too was one of the goals. # 27 states, “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with ‘social religion.’ Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a ‘religious crutch.'”

I too was that well intended public school teacher in the early 1990’s and then again in the early 2000’s who thought I would be an awesome teacher if students didn’t know where I stood on evolution even though the statistics I ran for a whole semester at WVU proved that it is as impossible if not more so than believing in creation by a higher being. After all, that professor gave quite a lecture at the last class that we dare not question evolution even in light of the statistics. But let’s get back to the point about curriculum and its purposes.

Viewing curriculum as a maps can be very helpful and useful. Just keep in mind that there are those who pave the way and those who follow.

Now keep in mind it is an awful lot of work to be the first person to plow through a wild forest to clear a path. For any who hike or cross-country ski there is much to be enjoyed following the tracks of someone who did the hard work to trudge through first. Then there are are also those who need help finding the way if they don’t know the terrain. Lastly, the path can be over trodden, ruined from erosion, or just not be the destination anymore. All of these metaphorically transfer to my points about academic curriculum.

If you choose to homeschool your child/children you need to honestly asses what you know and that which you do not. You also need to account for what you can and cannot afford with your time and money.

A comprehensive curriculum will sure make your life easier at first, but give it time and a smart child will bore with it and sometimes rebel from it. This is why some have found the option of unschooling to be of help to them. They ditch curriculum and release their child/children to explore and learn for themselves. I have found that this too has a time and place, but agree with C.S.Lewis’s point in The Abolition of Man that children need to be guided and taught what to think early on. The toddler will not share his/her toys with another without being taught to take turns.

Circling back, viewing curriculum as a tool, utensils have a time and place. Some are better than others. The master of any art never uses just one. They assess the situation and choose the best instrument needed to accomplish the goal. That is why I never purchased any one curriculum in a box for my daughter to learn from as a homeschooled student or completely unschooled her.

Instead, I paid a little bit more to buy certain parts of curriculums from Abeka, Apologia, and Bob Jones. Then I gave thanks for a friend giving me Saxon Math 5/6 and another for giving me the Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra courses. I then purchased at full price The Complete Algebra and The Complete Geometry Courses written by Tom Clark who has since become a major part of our homeschool experience. Some courses especially in high school work better with an established curriculum.

Lastly beware that some teachers, schools, and administrations whether they be average, not well educated themselves, tired, lazy, or underfunded rely too heavily on their chosen curriculum. The curriculum dictates and overrides inquisitive thoughtful children who are able to think beyond a prescribed lesson. This is why I pulled my daughter from a well respected private Christian school and resumed homeschooling when she was in 6th grade while we lived in Alabama.

So in summary, don’t allow anyone to academically bully you or your child with curriculum. It should serve you and your child not the other way around. Have a good school year. Sincerely, hopetheparentteacher.

*No advertising or promotional fees were received from any company, person, or product mentioned in the blog.

**Here’s a blog on wildflowers that exemplifies what teachers are no longer allowed to do and what students are missing out on because of it.

#Homeschool #Curriculum #blendedlearning #edpolicy #parentpower #learning #schoolreform #unschooling #microschool




Cultural Rage, Media, and Movies: Powerful influences on our Children

by Hope Mucklow, Author, Teacher, Blogger, and Coach

It started with my teen wanting to go to the local Barbie Premier. Not only did she want to go, she wanted to buy a pink dress and a blond wig. Thankfully, it was just a wig and not hair dye. Even better she wised up financially and gave that up. But she did succeed in the whole shopping endeavor. What’s a parent to do?

Option #1: Adamantly oppose which could create rebellion. See the blog listed below: Does every teen need to rebel?

Option #2: Let her be her and go do whatever she wants with her friends. After all we can’t control them forever and this is essentially what the peer pressure at school, society, and the Barbie movie is all about.

Option #3: Go with her and discuss the movie’s strengths and weaknesses following.

Of course I chose #3 deluding myself that I’m wonder mommy. (See blog on that.) The week started out well. Time at the ever so posh Boca Raton Mall turned out to be an amazing Mother/Daughter Day Out. (For those of you who know me, this is a big deal. I h-a-t-e shopping especially the malls. But the Boca Mall is a bit more tolerable for me with its sky light windows.)

Anyway, Nordstrom’s just started their Anniversary Sale so I took her. There was one perfect pink dress in her size on sale. And Grandma’s check for her birthday covered it and some needed undergarments to allow this dress to lay properly.

Now we had coordinated the week prior with a friend from the youth group and the wonderful female youth leader to join us for the movie and purchased the tickets. But then I saw Krista’s post:

Oh no, now what? Like I didn’t expect this with what Hollywood has produced over the years? Good grief, hadn’t I contemplated what Mattel’s Barbie had done to me as a child growing up in the 1970’s? This doll didn’t empower me at all, Rather it was the tool another child used during play to introduce me to stripping, being sexy, and going to bed with Ken much less the unrealistic plastic body image.

Funny how we’ve been told that Ruth Handler created Barbie as an alternative to baby dolls and to be a roll model to girls that “they can be whoever they want to be.” While some of this may sound great, it is not at all Biblical or mentally healthy. Yup, I’m going to claim its bad for mental health. Why? How?

First of all, people canNOT always become who they want to. Accepting what a person can and cannot do is essential to having a healthy relatively happy mental outlook. Life is full of unhappy individuals who don’t make enough money, are overlooked for promotions, denied access to xyz and/or have physical situations that prohibit. Limitations are part of the human experience that the scientific revolution, atheism, and feminism deny. Uptonian lies like these are one of the reasons why mental health illnesses are on the rise and fortitude is lacking.

The next problem with the Barbie Movie messages is the wisest literature of the world teach the virtues of courage, temperance, and prudence in collaborative cooperation to one another. When one practices courage without prudent self-regulation one usually engages in foolish risks and endeavors that often lead to disasters and life altering consequences, especially mentally.

For the not so big risk takers lack of modesty leads to disrespect of one’s body and incites further disrespect from others. The same is can be said for lack of self-control. All of this leads to poor life relating experiences that contribute to low self-esteem, anxiety, and/or depression.

Now the recent Barbie Movie and its fans are going to rush to blame the men Ken’s of the world. This is what the immature do. Yup. Name calling has a place and it’s time to do it. Those who blame others for their insecurities, weaknesses, and poor choices are usually immature. There are times when someone has been completely disrespected, violated, and a true victim, but the majority of the lingo on this topic in our culture is the former.

Watch me contradict myself now. The impressionable children are victims of entertainment like this. How are young girls going to treat boys at school after watching this movie? How are they going to treat their brothers?

Oh and Barbie resists Ken’s kiss in the movie, how great right? If only Hollywood was teaching sexual self-control here, but they’re not. Rather they are working to condemn sex and make us all compliant sexless robots. Consider the new genre of totalitarian novels that has emerged since the 19th Century Scientific Revolution specifically Orwell’s 1984. Sex is basically forbidden and allowed only to procreate once a year. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College articulates this precisely in the December 2020 publication of Imprimis (see below for the link).

Rapping up, parents, teachers, and youth leaders, it’s not just as easy as the three choices I started this blog out with. It’s not so “black and white.” While Option #3 may seem ideal, even this choice only works if you are a good role model and have cultivated a good relationship with the child/teen. So start with yourself. Heal those childhood and adult emotional wounds that fester and trigger easily. Be honest with your kids when you inappropriately lose it or make a poor choice. Stop the blame game. Take responsibility, be real, and embrace the realities of life. Stop being rigid and plastic yourself.

Lastly, check out Krista Kafer’s and Sharen Close Peterson’s further writing on this movie. I’m indebted to their inside connections, viewing, and comments as well as our wonderful youth director Mackenzie at Crossbridge Church who wound up taking the girls without me.


#Barbiemovie #TheBarbieMovie #Hollywoodinfluence #culturalimpacts #parenting

Private, Public, or Homeschool, The Answer Part II

Part 1 of this series focuses on the honest limitations of each schooling option with the conclusion that parents have been equipped by natural law to make this decision based on their personal situation and the learning needs of their child was discussed. This blog, Part 2, focuses on history of the public school.

First, one needs to look historically how all of the various schooling options came into existence in the United States of America. Up until the 1830’s parents were responsible not the state for educating their children.

Because of that how one child was taught compared to another varied extensively. Some went to church supported schools. Others to boarding schools. Many home schooled or hired private tutors. A few communities rallied together to organize a local school. Some teachers traveled from town to town to deliver services. Last and certainly not least there were work apprenticeships.

“In the early years of the nation, schooling was haphazard. Many children were excluded on the basis of income, race or ethnicity, gender, geographic location, and other reasons.” -Center of Education Policy, The Graduate School of Education & Human Development at George Washington University

This statement from GW sounds very modern to me. However the rational for public schools differed. Continuing with the information from GW:

“A strong dose of moral instruction would also be provided to instill civic virtues. Educating children of the poor and middle classes would prepare them to obtain good jobs, proponents argued, and there by strengthen the nation’s economic position. In addition to preparing students for citizenship and work, education was seen by some reformers as a means for people to achieve happiness and fulfillment.” Sounds like a sales pitch to convince the parents and communities into buying this concept of trusting the government to educate their children through this new idea of public school.

“Common school advocates emphasized the knowledge, civic, and economic benefits of public schooling. Common schools would teach the ‘three R’s’ (reading, writing, arithmetic), along with other subjects such as history, geography, grammar, and rhetoric.”

This is where the Three R’s came from. I never understood this given that only one of the core subjects, reading started with R. What a poor way to teach reading and spelling if this is the catch phrase for public education! It’s already confusing enough for students to differentiate between write and rite! Then it is just sloppy speaking to claim that R in arithmetic. But there you have it. The very founding of public school is not making it simple, logical, and straightforward for students to learn. So what is it they are doing?

Now, let’s look at one of its early founders, Horace Mann. Why is it, a man who chiefly taught himself such a proponent of universal public education? What was his motive?

Motive is difficult to judge. This is why certain court cases are judged by a jury of 12 people instead of the judge him/herself. In the situations where someone commits murder and then suicide, the emotional pain for the family is there is no closure as to what motivated the person to commit such horrible crime.

Back to what public school used to look like before Horace Mann became it’s greatest reformer in the 19th century. As I read over the list of 8 very different ways families schooled their children in GW’s article reference below in the End notes, it appears that in 2023 especially in the state of Florida that this is where education is headed again. Microschools, tutors, homeschool, and the like are the new “old” way of he future.

End notes








Teaching Through Museums and Zoos

Part One: Life Long Learning via Professional Development

Learning is life long journey which is why the parent or teacher gains more than the child when teaching. However, not everyone is interested in learning. The ancient Hebrew book of Proverbs calls this person a fool. Because the world if full of them, many professions and government agencies have set up requirements for their people to prove that they are still learning through professional development classes. If nothing else, it generates income through jobs to write curriculum, tests, and conduct the professional development trainings.

What I learned about professional development training over the years is that some of it is an insulting waste of time and some of it the best invigorating use of it. For example, when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, some of the speakers or trainers brought in were fantastic! I learned how to manage my own financial portfolio and nurture my emotional intelligence. But others were fodder for Dilbert comics.

The sales managers or corporate trainers were responsible for choosing the content and speakers of these growth opportunities. The educational world differs in that one selects on their own what to choose as long as they complete so many hours in a given time period in order to maintain the respective certifications.

I’ve held state teachers certification in Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia over the past 25+ years. I taught in the public classroom in two of these states of which Maryland was the longest in Montgomery County.

In that Northwest quadrant of the Washington, D.C. Beltway, public school instructors had the option of completing their professional development by paying exorbitant university tuition to work up to the next level of initials with sheep skins to hang in their wall. Or they could take outside classes from organizations like NASA, NOAA, and fantastic foundations who offered university credit with completion of a project at the end.

Initially, I pursued the advanced degree, but it was monotonous, expensive, and dull in comparison to the exciting material that was covered in the latter. Many of these classes included fabulous experiences in the real world or in well funded museums. Which brings me to

Part 2: How Museums Teach as a Multi-Media Venue

In order to instruct a person one must first gain their prospective learner’s attention. After securing it, they need to engage it long enough for the objective to be accomplished. Some choose to use deceptive tricks and techniques to manipulate people, others respectfully use other means to try to influence. It is of interest that both may use art in order to accomplish these means.

Artists and their work span a spectrum of variety and differences. When done well it can serve as the enticing sweet icing on the cake to persuade, or if it’s not, it can boomerang as a “red flag” by revealing a lie rather than truth is being spread. Several visits to museums and zoos come to mind as I contemplate further.

The first is when I ran around Zoo Miami in the early 2010’s playing the Flat Panda game with the Smithsonian National Zoo many years ago. This Dinosaur Exhibit is now showing at the


At this time my daughter was of the perfect elementary age for playing I Spy when spotting one of these very interesting models of dinosaurs scattered throughout when we visited Zoo Miami regularly as Family Members and for my author signing for Rojo, The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo . We were impressed and loved the exhibit.

Zoo Miami Author Signing for Rojo, The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo

However, 7+ years later, we weren’t as impressed with similar models visiting West Palm Beach until the end of April 2023.

The systematic spots on the white fur of this dinosaur screams, “Fake, computerized, not real!” Even the model snow leopards that I use to illustrate one of the predators of red pandas looks more realistic.

Then when one looks at the skull of the Tyrannosaurus Rex it clearly is NOT a fossil. It is a just a modeled cast.

I asked my daughter what she thought. Since she attends rock shows and has visited https://visitcreation.org/item/creation-discovery-museum-ft-lauderdale-fl/ where Tom showed recent fossil finds that had recently been excavated, she knows what a real is. While she enjoyed these dinosaurs to look at for entertainment, she questions the validity of the information.

Then one of her favorite destinations is https://arkencounter.com/ but due to the similar quality to the dinosaur exhibit she was not as impressed with the https://creationmuseum.org/about/. What do you think?

Does the quality of the art displaying the item in museums sway you to believe what the panel says or to question if its real?

#Dinosaurs #ZooMiami #CoxScienceMuseum #ProfessionalDevelopment

Qualified Vs. Certified

“Life is pain. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. ” -Wesley from The Princess Bride

21st century westerners need to remind themselves of this life truth as the marketing spin doctors bombard them 24/7 through their phones, culture and governments with promises of safety and a pain free life if only we buy this product or subscribe to this service. No one likes when a business deal goes badly so certifications are the cure, right? Probably not.

Education whether it be formal with a silver spoon, hard knocks in the street, or somewhere in between has been the case for sometime. Rather public funded education run by the government is actually one of the newer practices as a result of the Enlightenment. What’s even newer is government sanctioned certifications with the blessings of a ruling body who claims the expert rights to endow such certifications in given fields.

My first experience with this was through the Red Cross’s CPR, First Aid, and Lifesaving classes. Achieving these certifications was key for me to secure the coveted teen job of life guard. It enabled Peter me to hire me to teach swimming lessons at the local YMCA even though the Lifesaving class had nothing to do with teaching anyone how to swim. That had to come with on the job training watching and following my mentor.

I keep all the certifications up with CPR being the most annoying requiring updates every year. Later in the 1990’s emerged the Lifeguarding class who’s swimming requirements weeded out many who passed the Red Cross’s Lifesaving course. But then there weren’t enough who could pass so they dropped the requirements. Then the real question was who was swimming every day practicing the skills? They have the certificate, they don’t have to prove anything anymore do they? These are the questions that surround whether certification is a good idea or needed at all.

Talk to any good caring professional these days. Certification is NOT proof of quality training and execution thereof. It’s become a money making racket for government sanctioned organizations to decide who’s allowed in the profession and who’s not.

It’s produced an interesting conundrum. For the fields that we know well we understand what a joke certification and licensing has become, but then we are conditioned to look for sheepskins and push our children to pursue them. Don’t misunderstand me, I advocate and model life long learning if only certification and licensing rewarded this, but they don’t. Rather they might hinder it. They only accept what classes that are approved by them. They don’t take into consideration what really matters. They insult instead by wasting your time and demanding your money. I had to wait for an hour on the phone yesterday to speak to a representative on which form I should complete to re-activate my Florida State Professional Teacher’s Certificate. Then I am treated like a criminal who’s guilty and has to prove my innocence by submitting fingerprints yet again and paying $90.75 to do so.

I’ve come to view this all as academic and professional bullying. So what do you do? Of course you have to work within the system, but choose carefully who you hire and why. Most importantly don’t allow yourself or your children to be bullied that they have to be schooled by certified teachers.

Teacher certification is what really opened my eyes to the hypocrisy. I remember taking the National Teacher’s Certification Test at West Virginia University in 1990. The test did not really assess my understanding of biology, but it did test my political correctness. In fact, I recall feeling absolutely unprepared especially when it came to the vast array of scientific equipment, laboratory procedures, and assessment thereof. It wasn’t until I had worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry by walking the hallways of prestigious medical school, studied in their libraries, and engaged in discussions with professors of medicine at journal clubs and at the national medical meetings that I actually found some understanding that produce enough confidence in the world of biology and medicine.

Ironically this amazing academic medical experience was completely dismissed when I stepped back into the public classroom to teach middle school science. My pay level was reduced to credit only the half-day long term substitute teaching I had done in the early 1990’s. However, they managed to re-active a dormant teaching certificate provided I jumped through a few more of their hoops.

Being a bit naïve to how political certification really is, I challenged myself to work towards National Board Teacher Certification. I made note of all the requirements, worked very hard on my own, but skipped the “optional” Saturday morning “training” classes because I wasn’t going to leave my baby at home without me any more than I already did all week long to teach full time. I’m pretty sure that’s why I never passed. The final test was 4 essay questions. One I knocked out of the ball bark, two I answered well enough, and the last I completely bombed. Funny my score for all 4 was exactly the same, but added up low enough to ensure that I couldn’t easily try again. Now I could have paid another $125 to repeal and request that my test be graded again, but who needs to shell out more money to be rejected for not showing up for Saturday morning brainwashing?

These are the truths behind teacher certification. It’s been criticized by those in the know from the start. Education like science has always been full of politics, arguing, and debate. Yet it is what is held over parents and their children’s heads. States like Florida may allow parents to homeschool their children, but in order to do so they require an annual assessment to continue to be conducted by a Florida Certified Teacher.

If there is anything I’ve learned homeschooling my daughter for the past eight years is that the best trained teacher doesn’t guarantee a child will learn. The desire to understand is personal and comes from within. Each has a choice to be a fool or to learn to be wise. It’s every parents battle to persuade their children to listen, but ultimately each child is responsible for their decisions. The majority of the book of Proverbs addresses this very issue.

But we live in a culture that values otherwise. I wrote earlier about my observation as a classroom teacher that it was always my fault, never the students depending on the administrator’s goal. It’s funny how the buck stops somewhere, but usually isn’t really at the feet of the one responsible.

To make matters worse in regards to education, the public school model is designed to pull children away from their parents and to orient towards their peers instead. I just finished reading Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D. According to their work sending children out to be approved by their peers thwarts their ability to develop and contributes to life long immaturity. I’ve also heard it produces a propensity to life long peer pressure.

Nature gives parents the responsibility to raise their children. Ancient cultures and civilizations fill history with proof of this. But after World War II, industrialized countries were seduced to defer this position to “experts.” Who is an expert and why?

Another lesson I’ve learned through homeschooling my child is that I need to clean up my own bad public education even as a certified teacher in 5 different states. Rolling up my sleeves to learn along side my daughter has posed its challenges, but it has also brought the greatest joy and satisfaction.

Don’t allow others to intimidate you any further and especially your kids. Decide what you can and want to do with them and do it. Selectively hire out tutors and coaches as you need. Don’t let the state or the “experts” raise your kids and determine your or their worth. Look for qualified not just certified people to assist you in your life’s journey.

For more provocative thought: https://fee.org/articles/the-origins-of-the-public-school/


#Certification #parenting #education #schooling #homeschooling #publiceducation

Wonder Mommy

It happened again today. I felt the temptation to play Wonder Mommy. My daughter knew what happens when I attempt to take on the part and immediately supported the decision to choose less for we all know what happens when a mere mortal buys the lie and believes that they can do more than they can…disaster.

How do you respond? Do you scream, curse, yell, cry, hit, or blame others when the spinning plates in the juggling act come crashing down?

Why is it that we are so easily seduced into being that which we never can be?

If one considers the classic story of the fall of humans as described in Genesis Chapter 3 the serpent seduced Eve with the power that she could know good from evil on her own without having to rely on God, her Creator telling her what she could and couldn’t do. The fruit as food wasn’t the primary issue. Rather it was the vessel of much deeper issues and questions like, “Did God really say?” “Could, should He be solely trusted?” ” Don’t I know what’s best for me?” To be created like God poses the temptation to want to be god.

Moving onto Genesis Chapter 4 we have a choice just like the first two sons, Cain and Abel as to who we are going to listen to. Abel chose to submit to God and live according to his rule, but Cain thought he knew better and choose his own efforts instead. Ironically, Abel died and Cain lived on. In fact, Cain initiated the first of what has become known as civilization, but a new son, Seth is who was needed to create a lineage from where the Messiah Savior would come.

These classic stories from ancient Hebrew literature apply to each of us even in post modern western culture. I reiterate what I wrote in a blog last September. We keep thinking we can play god. This rugged individualism, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and DIY (Do It Yourself) American values are only setting people up for unrealistic expectations of self and others.

We are not gods. But too many people especially women happily volunteer and try to be it. Think about it. Every year a day is set aside to gather around and call your mother blessed. Books, gifts, cards, and other paraphernalia adorn slogans on how great mothers are and how they forever hold our hearts. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the Epilogue of Proverbs 31: The Wife of Noble Character but, if there is anything I’ve taught my daughter it is that I am not her perfect mother nor should I be. She has a perfect Heavenly Father, her Creator to parent her flawlessly instead.

But there is a major problem, many have been mislead, blame, and do not know who this perfect Heavenly Father is. They are angry and have exchanged His role for people led organizations whether it is the family, local church, school, or government. All of these organizations have their time and place, but cannot ever be perfect much less meet all of your needs.

For me, the answer lies in getting the roles straight. Let God be God and we his dependent creatures. A few challenges arise in this process. One is finding out who the God of the Holy Bible really is. He is not some cosmic kill joy, power hungry ogre, or distant clock maker. Nor is He an easy pushover who loves and accepts every ridiculous and childish attitude, belief, and behavior.

Jesus dished out harsh words for the religious leaders of the day who misrepresented YHWY time and time again. In addition they lorded their power over the little people. Reflecting back on the passage in Genesis chapter 2, to question the real character of God is one of the key strategies used to pull people away from enjoying a reliant relationship with our Creator.

Notice also a few chapters further back in Genesis 1:27 that man, male and female were created in God’s image. A reflection in the mirror or photo on social media captures some of the features of the real identity, but it’s not the same. Sharing the image of God should not be confused with being god, yet, it is time and time again.

Parenting and teaching our children is one of the greatest opportunities to be like God. Personally, I think that YHWY uses fatherly language in order to redeem those hurt by their earthly fathers. Wisdom in the book of Proverbs is described by feminine pronouns. Wisdom is God too. Jesus who was very much a man embodied wisdom. Stop letting your bad experience with a certain parent or gender give you the excuse to continue in ignorance as to who the real true living God really is.

It is your responsibility “to seek the LORD while He may be found.” Clean up your wrong impression of who He is. Repent from rebelling against His rule and laws. Pursue loving the LORD your God with all your heart soul, strength, and mind. Move onto to a healthier love of self not this self-serving perpetual victim type which is so popular today. A healthy godly love of self will automatically spill over into loving, respecting, and caring for your neighbor.

Stop trying to be that super hero and point your children, family, and friends to their perfect Heavenly Father when you inevitable fail them. Lastly, thank God for when He enables you to pull off something amazing through His power and grace like packing up a house and driving a 26 foot Penske truck out of state. Don’t take the glory yourself.

#Parenting #Mothering

Swimming Lessons: How many do you need?

Sign up for classes. Pay the experts. What are the results? What are the guarantees? Parents have yet more burden placed on them when their children aren’t swimming independently.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children should be in swim lessons until they have achieved at least basic water competency. This means they can get in and out of the water without assistance, “to tread water or hold resting float with the ability to transition into forward movement, to be able to swim 25 yards independently while taking breaths as needed, to have the emotional level to adapt to different water situations, to have the understanding of important water safety rules such as kids always swim with adult supervision, never swim alone and wear life jackets in and around open water” according to the USSSA. (See link below.)

Sound reasonable? Maybe and maybe not. Where do you live? Do you have access to classes? Can you afford them. If you live near Palm Beach Gardens, Florida there is a scholarship program at https://livelikejake.com/scholarship/ but that might not be where you are. Besides are you capable of being the one who teaches your child? That’s how it works in other parts of the world especially places like the Amazon or Pacific Islands.

Western modern culture in industrialized countries like the United States has dethroned parents of their natural role to teach and raise their children. This post industrial high tech culture questions parents and replaces them with “certified” or professional teachers to take their place. Certifications might be something to achieve, but they really don’t guarantee anything. If anything they can create a false sense of superiority in addition to increasing fees. Also certifications often fail to acknowledge experience, talent, and most importantly the character of the individual.

Classes can be great. They have a time and place, but sometimes parents are the best teachers to their own children. Yet, too many moms and dads relegate this natural gift to pay for the local classes that all the other parents are doing. They have been convinced that they are not good enough and that their children need to be around peers to advance. It’s what made schools and peers all the rage since World War II. But what often ensues is peer pressure, bullying, and disrespect of parents.

According to Neufeld and Mate in Hold on to Your Kids when children turn to their peers instead of their parents for identity the results dull the integrative mind, jeopardizes adaptive trial and error learning, attaches them to the wrong mentors, stunts their ability to articulate, makes studies irrelevant, makes them more susceptible to bullying, and impedes their ability to mature. Dropping your child off for peer based classes may not be producing the long-term results your really looking for.

Swimming offers a wonderful fun and relaxing time to bond with your toddler. Don’t farm this out to a stranger if you have access to a pool and the ability to swim well. If you need look for a class for parents and children, an instructor that will give you tips on how you might be able to lead your youngster, or pick up a book at the library. Recommended reading is offered below.

Another cultural trend in the West when it comes to swimming is the false need for more stuff. Parents show up with water wing, floats, rafts, and toys. But upon closer evaluation do all these swimming aid help or hinder your child’s ability to swim?

Type in a search about lifeguards and water wings. You’ll quickly find why we hate them and never put them on our own children. The last rescue I made was at my community pool when a parent who was busily talking allowed his toddler to drift too far away, the wing popped and down the child went. I swam to the child faster than the certified lifeguard on duty. I had heard about the potential of water wings deflating 25 years ago when my lifesaving instructor trained me. Ironically, years after those certifications lapsed is when I actually used the training and saved a child’s life.

The other reasons why water wings are counterproductive is they give a false sense of security while impeding proper body position and arm motion for swimming. Think about my story above. The father was overly confident that his son was fine. Now, I’m sure there are kids out there who were raised with water wings that did go onto learn how to swim, but why make the process harder and more unsafe?

In regards to all the floats, they pop easily, they obstruct viewing, and children can get caught underneath and panic. This is why many community pools outlaw them.

Sure they are fun, but evaluate what the product is, teach your kids so that if they do get caught under it they stay calm, swim out from under, and then come up for air. Teach them not to panic if it deflates. Most importantly, always keep an eye out. Put the phone down. Focus on your child even when they are good swimmers. Drowning does not discriminate. It happens to people of all ages, swimming abilities, and various situations. It only takes a few seconds for inhaled water to lead to damaging and possibly deadly results.

Lastly, every child is different. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on your youngster when they will be able to swim independently. There is no exact formula of how many lessons it takes, what age, or how long. Personality and perception of experience play a role as well. If the child shows displeasure at getting water in their face or during their first immersion experience respect it, validate, comfort immediately with a warm hug then try again later when they show signs that they are ready.

Keep in mind that the more frequently the child is given the opportunity to learn, practice, or play in the pool that will increase the learning. 30 minutes 3-5X/week is going to produce better results than once a week. A week long class while on vacation may do better than 5 lessons over 5 weeks. My advice is start as soon as you are able. Whether it is the bathtub when your baby is 4 weeks old*, in your backyard pool in sunny Florida, or local community pool, don’t wait until they are ready for school. Bond now through the wonderful joy of swimming.

**Beware of cute photos: The adorable dog photos above did come at a cost. She loved swimming so much that it was next to impossible for us to enjoy swimming anymore. She always had to jump in and swim to whoever was in the pool. Those claws didn’t feel good. Dog hair also clogs the filter. We kept the dog, but sold the house. No more pool in the backyard. Thank God my daughter knew how to swim well before we adopted this wonderful black lab rescue.




*Water Babies: Safe Starts in Swimming by Francoise Barbira Freedman

Learn to Swim: Step by step water confidence and safety skills for babies and young children by Rob &Kathy McKay

Teaching Swimming and Water Safety: Learning Aquatics the Australian Way. The Australian Council for the Teaching of Swimming and water Safety

#Swimminglessons #Parenting #Waterwings

St. Patrick’s Day

What St. Patrick and red pandas have in common: most know very little accurate information on both.

This might be a bit of a stretch to ask what St. Patrick and red pandas have in common, but I love the story behind St. Patrick’s teen life and calling to love the Irish.  My intent in writing Rojo was to give the world a unique (and educational about pandas) story to encourage loving self and others as God created and call us to do. Doesn’t St. Patrick demonstrate this in his forgiveness of the Irish pirates and those who forced him into slavery?  That plus most people know very little accurate information about both.

St. Patrick was Romano British, not Irish. He was kidnapped by Irish Pirates from his noble home in Brittan when he was a teenager and forced into Irish slavery.  He didn’t go by the name Patrick until he trained to be a Catholic Bishop many years later in France.  He returned to Ireland to share God’s love and knowledge with the Irish…the people who at one time kidnapped him. He most likely used the clover to explain God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Three distinct roles in the same one God.

Red pandas were named panda first.  Not the Giant panda.  They are not raccoons or foxes. But, rather very cute creatures that can teach us something about God and his creation too.  Check out how in Rojo, The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo by Hope Mucklow. https://www.amazon.com/Rojo-Baby-Red-Panda-Zoo/dp/1620865939/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1G01Y5Z4QV5BS&keywords=Rojo+the+baby+red+panda+at+the+zoo&qid=1647099123&sprefix=rojo+the+baby+red+panda+at+the+zoo%2Caps%2C109&sr=8-1

Read more about St. Patrick in St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons, Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola, and


Click here:

to download and print a blank copy of the illustrated coloring sheet.