June 02, 2008

Should Homeschooling Be Illegal? - Poll

PARADE Magazine has a poll they are running under the title above (Should Homeschooling Be Illegal). The poll's question is this:

Should parents need teaching credentials to home-school their kids?

When I took the poll, it was 88% in favor of no credentials. That is a good sign. Since when did the state become the guardian of children? People don't have to take parenting classes or childbirth classes if they don't want to. Those things are offered to people and many loving parents DO take them... but should the government be able to FORCE you to take classes before you can have kids, or even after you have kids?

In a perfect world all parents would be perfect. There wouldn't be any control freaks, rude jerks, mean moms who only served whole wheat and cooked spinach... but in reality, we have to take the good with the bad. People aren't perfect... but we all deserve to be FREE until we prove to society by our actions that we have committed a crime.

It isn't a crime to teach a child at home. It is a blessing. Homeschooled children in general have proven that homeschooling works. The test scores and social skills of homeschoolers are in - just ask the many ivory league colleges that are recruiting homeschoolers. Just because there are a few fringe parents (in public, private and home schools) that defy reasoning and mistreat their kids does not mean the entire system (public, private, or home schools) needs more regulation. It only means that there are still jerks in the world. More government control and regulation won't get rid of bad parents.

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Christy said...

I just looked and it was at 92 percent.

No idea what to post said...

"People don't have to parenting classes...if they don't want to."

Sadly some people are required to take parenting classes before they can bring their children home from the hospital. Every parent whose child was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was required to take the parenting class before they could bring their children home. This class went beyond teaching parents how to handle the extra burdens that may be placed on the parents when bringing home a sick child.

Outside of the parenting classes the nurses made it abundantly that clear that if I did not do all the tasks on my own on most of the visits I would not be able to bring my daughter him. The would allow no exception for my chronic pain and did not place the same exacting requirements on my husband. Every night I went home angry and feeling helpless as my child was held hostage.

I brought her home and she is healthy with no problems. All the plans we had in place to help me take of her worked out. However despite my very happy ending there still remains an intense fear of others in authority yanking her away. It's a fear that is amplified by our religion and our intent to homeschool, as well as other more minor factors.

It is illegal for a midwife to attend a homebith vbac in my state and there are no doctors will to do one and currently no birthing centers. This means should I choose to have another child I will either need to do an unassisted homebirth or I will have to go into a hospital and trust my life and that of my daughters to the same type of people who caused so me misery and trauma to me.

The government continues to creep in to control the lives of children and usurp the parents. We, as parents, need to speak up even when it is people outside of our faith, such as the FLDS case or with our friends and family Pagans.

Kelli said...

You know, you would think that if someone in control would look at stats of homeschool vs public school test scores, behavior, social skills(as opposed to just saying how homeschoolers "get no socialization") etc.. they would begin to think that maybe it is the public schools that need to be declared illegal.

Dana said...

More government control and regulation won't get rid of bad parents.

It can't even seem to get rid of bad teachers.

Michellel said...

Well Texas is one of the most friendly homeschool states around.

Here in Tennessee we have fought legislation repeatedly this year to try to stop the government from taking control of homeschools.

In my opinion since the government does not fund it-it does not require governmental oversight.

sunniemom said...

Your post outlines an underlying principle- are we truly free- as in free not only to realize our dreams but also to make mistakes?

Until a citizen has engaged in truly irresponsible or criminal activity, we must recognize our inherent freedoms as individuals to live free of gov't intrusion and oversight.

MrsD/Jacque said...

I loved the post, and I especially love the comments.
I have known parents whose children would be better off had they taken some time to learn how to properly parent. However, I do not in any way condone the state mandating it.

I appreciate Dana's comment about the bad state teachers that the government already can't control. It is ridiculous for them or the NEA to think they need more under their belt to be in charge of.

In regards to the poll and people's idea of homeschooling in general:
Considering the fact that homeschool teachers are less likely to be the bad influence in a child's life, it is no wonder they don't think it should be regulated.

Or perhaps American people are just tired of our own government taking away the few freedoms we have left.

Katimum said...

I am going to be the odd one out here, but I do think it is a good idea for homeschooling parents to have a solid education as well as some knowledge of educational methods and standards etc. I am an ESL teacher, and a mother of a 1 year old. I live overseas, so I don't know yet what my education plan for my daughter will be, but I'm considering all options. I have seen some families who homeschool extremely well and produce well-rounded, exceptionally talented, and well educated children. One family in my church back home is an example of this with 6 children that have all done exceptionally well on standardized tests and have a wonderful circle of friends. The mother of this family has an excellent college education and graduated with a 4.0 in a double major in romance and classic languages. She has also done her own crash-course in education techniques by reading books on early childhood developement, psychology, assessment etc. On the other hand, I know another family in which the mother homeschooled and it was a disaster. Maybe the kids were ok socially, but they were not getting a sound education. This woman was a good mother, but she only had a high school diploma. She asked me to edit her daughter's senior research paper, and I was really shocked! It was very poorly done and not at all up to 12th grade level work. So, in my experience, homeschooling can be a wonderful option for parents who are qualified to do it. I think people should remember that teaching is a skill that must be learned. It would be silly for a parent to decide they wanted to "home dentist" their children and start drilling cavities and pulling teeth at home. In my opinion teaching is no different.
Now, I'm not necessarily saying that the state should require it. But I do think a college education and some background knowledge of teaching methods should be strongly encouraged! As a parent, don't we all want to give our children the best possible education? In my opinion that includes a qualified teacher who has the proper training needed to teach well.

Sprittibee said...

Katimum: I agree that parents should be as educated as possible before they embark on homeschooling. I think that most parents, if they are weak in one area, would seek out a qualified tutor for that area WHILE homescholing their child. I know of plenty who send their kids off to a'la cart classes for training in certain areas (we have a piano teacher and a choir teacher because I don't know how to do voice lessons or know how to play the piano). The point of this post is - "should the government mandate or regulate children's education". I don't think they should. I think that the government should take a back seat to parents and their parental rights. It is my God-given right to raise my child and educate my child as I see fit. Yes, that means that some uneducated parents might mess up with their kids... but then, I've seen quite a few highly educated people with looser kids, too. Money and education aren't everything. A strong character built on positive and loving bonds at home is just as important as learning a foreign language (another class that many homeschoolers farm out).

Hope you have success with whatever education plan you choose for your child. Nice to be the one who is in the driver's seat when you are the one who loves your child the most, is it not? ;)



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