Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Homeschooling and Government Control

Recently I had a customer ask me (who knew I homeschooled) how it was going for us. When I replied, "Well." She asked if the government comes into my home to make sure everything is to standard, as if home school has some correlations with DYFS. I would like to think the best, and that she was only curious. Since other homeschoolers will probably at some point face this question, I though I would give the points I quickly rattled off, as well as a few more I did not have time to give. As an ambassador of home schooling, it helps to have answers ready. Besides, having answers will make you feel more confident in your choice because you WILL have days where you question your choice to school your children at home.

  • If the government is going to spend the people's money, they should do a great deal of scholastic research on the effects of homeschooling regulations. Some studies have already shown that the IOWA test scores show there is no difference in performance of children under strict home schooling laws verses students under more relaxed laws. There has also been studies done on the effects of the parent's education. However, the most eye-opening statics I have heard about is on race. Can you tell me why there is no race racking apparent in homeschooling, while there is in public schools? HSLDA has a 2009 Homeschool Progress Report with lots of statistics.
  • If you wanted to be a smart mouth, you could verbally rejoice in the fact we do not live in a socialized or communist country where the government has to take care of you because they think you are too stupid to do it yourself. I love America's freedom, it is what makes this country great! Why in the world do people think the government should tell how to raise your own children is bizarre to me (with exception of abuse of course). What America needs to do is improve the character training in their schools, so we create good parents of the future. An involved PARENT is what makes the difference in a child's education.
  • You can point out that there are kids that graduate from public school, who cannot read. What was no child left behind for in the first place? Right, for those kids whom the school system failed, even with their certified teachers and regulations. This one really stumps them.
  • What about the tenured teacher that comes to school everyday and just talks about their personal life? Sure, there are only a few of them, but we have all had them. My parents were both teachers, so this is not a hit against all teachers. Teachers desire more respect than they get in America. My point is there is always a bad apple, despite tons of regulations. Most public, private and home schooling teachers do a good job. The bad ones can easily fake it for a day or a portfolio.
  • Why should homeschoolers need to be certified if private school teachers are not, as in my state. This point depends on your states laws for private schools, they vary from state to state.
  • Here is one I just learned. Finnish schools do not give standardized testing, nor do they give grades/marks until 13 years of age. Yet their students make Finland one of the top ranking countries in the world. So, I am not sure what good it would do to have all homeschoolers forced into IOWA testing, as it has not made American students top of the class by world standards.
Generally, as more and more is being known of the outcome on homeschooled children, these sorts of questions give way to more positive comments. However, there will always be a group of individuals that seek government control over the population. It is a philosophy, a way of thinking. Homeschooling and private schools both bypass complete government control, thus becoming a target to be controlled. Perhaps when homeschoolers prove what good citizens they become, people will realize the senselessness.

The points I made above are given a little more flippant than I would normally speak. Just because someone lacks knowledge about homeschooling is in no way enough of an offense to bite their head off. I am opinionated, but I mean all I say in a friendly form of debate, which can be hard to detect over cyberspace. Also,we have CHOSE to have our children take the IOWA once in second grade, but we use it as a tool, not a master. HSLDA has many more points I am sure, they are experts at defending homschoolers' rights.

What point could you add to the list?

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