Yes, and it probably should. The bill requires that the home schooled students receive instruction from qualified individuals, and that the students be registered with the state. Both are reasonable requirements for any educational program, home schooling or otherwise.

But this is considered unacceptable by many homeschooling proponents (but not all). I found an interesting commentary from Michigan that demonstrates what I think is a widespread viewpoint among home schoolers. (Home schoolers by the way often insist that they are a diverse group, but I have seen very little dissent from the perspective shown here).

To wit:

On its face, [Michigan] House Bill 5912 may seem harmless enough to the average observer. The legislation… requires parents to register their home-schooled children with local public school authorities. …

…In late February, a California court ruled that all California home-school students must be taught by certified instructors. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, representatives of the California Teachers Association went on record praising the decision. Fortunately, the Second District Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the case; pending the outcome of the appeal, the previous ruling is not binding. Nonetheless, this case may have relevance for Michigan.

Requiring home-school students to have certified teachers and mandating registration are part of a slippery slope of state regulatory interference in home education….

Now, we are about to head down the slippery slope… read the following carefully …

First, state officials may force home schooling parents to register their children. Next, officials may mandate that home schools use certified teachers. Then, home-schoolers may be required to report the number of days and hours spent on each subject, then adopt a required curriculum and so on. The possible areas for state regulation of home-schoolers are endless.

Such misguided policies would affect an increasing number of Michigan families….

Where is the ‘slippery slope’? I thought slippery slopes were all about the bait and switch … first we make a rule that seems reasonable, then follows a set of outcomes that are clearly unreasonable. But here we seem to have a reasonable legislative/regulatory approach and that’s about it.

The problem here is that many homeschooling parents are nothing other than libertarians who are bringing their children along on the libertarian bandwagon. That may be a bad thing, it may be a good thing, but I do wish that such parents would admit that when confronted with the possibility. But here in this commentary we see that this is clearly the case. Much home schooling is not about safety or quality of education (as home schoolers insist). It is about being a good libertarian.

Not convinced?

The reason that home-school instructors do not need to be certified is at the heart of the choice to home-school: Parents are seeking an alternative educational environment for their children. Of course, the strongest argument against the requirement that home-school instructors be certified is that parents, not the state, have the fundamental right to look after the welfare and rearing of their own children.

Not convinced?

Requiring home schooling parents to register their children with local districts may seem harmless even to those amenable to home schooling, but anyone interested in preserving parental rights should be vigilant. Though registering home-schooled students may seem like merely a hassle to many Michigan residents, it may well be the first step down the wrong path.

Not convinced? Oh, sorry, you must be one of them….

[source]

Comments

  1. #1 FutureMD
    April 10, 2008

    It has been my experience here in Texas that home schooled kids are generally homeschooled because their parents are religious nutbars and want to protect them from the corrupting influences of knowing things.

  2. #2 randy
    April 10, 2008

    I am not against registering and testing homeschooled kids the same way non-homeschooled kids are assessed (mandatory state testing I mean), but I would fight toothe and nail against requirement “certified” teachers. Certification has gone nuts thanks to the perfect storm of COnservative, Liberal and Union collisions.

    I college towns, many homeschoolers are not religious nutjobs, but liberal nutjobs with strong education backgrounds. So we do need to be careful not to through the baby out with the bathwater

  3. #3 Jim RL
    April 10, 2008

    I am somewhat leary of the need for parental certification to home school. Receiving teaching certification requires a non-trivial amount of time, effort, and money. Usually it is done to further one’s career and a lot of parents can teach effectively without it. I am totally for registering the students and requiring some level of accountability. Perhaps, some sort of streamlined certification or accreditation for home school teachers would be useful. Testing for basic knowledge in the subjects being taught makes sense. I guess it all depends on the certification requirements in the state.

  4. #4 Jim RL
    April 10, 2008

    randy,

    I agreed completely with your sentiment. I live in the Research Triangle in North Carolina and I used to tutor elementary school children. There are a lot of highly intelligent home schooled children whose parents do not have any certification. Any legislation should allow for those parents to continue their excellent education of their children.

  5. #5 Cherish
    April 10, 2008

    Home schoolers by the way often insist that they are a diverse group, but I have seen very little dissent from the perspective shown here.

    That’s because, while homeschoolers are often diverse in their political, social and religious views, pretty much all of us agree that the state has no business sticking their nose into how we raise our kids! That’s like saying athiests claim to be a diverse group, but they all don’t believe in God, so obviously they aren’t.

    But here we seem to have a reasonable legislative/regulatory approach and that’s about it.

    How is mandating how much time a child spends on each subject reasonable? If my son excels in English but needs help on Math, why should I make him spend equal amounts of time on each. Obviously he needs extra time on math. (I don’t know about you, but I spent a good amount of that “math hour” or “English hour” in school doodling because I would get done with assignments quickly and wasn’t allowed to do anything else. How is that a good use of my time? I wasted half my life in public school waiting for the slow pokes!)

    And how is it reasonable to dictate what my child is learning? If he learns better using Singapore math (which is better suited for visual learners) than Saxon (which is rote practice and memorization…much more suited to sequential learners), why should I be forced to use a text that will not teach my child what he needs to learn?

    The unreasonable thing is for the politicians to assume that the local school district can use a “one size fits all” mentality to teach every child, no matter how different that child may be.

    You know, I really hate this mentality of parents not knowing what is best for their child. Why don’t we just extend this to adults as well? Let’s let the government tell us what jobs we should be doing, how much time we should spend with our kids, what church to go to (or not go to), how much money we should make, etc.

    If you apply this reasoning toward adults, it seems completely insane and very undemocratic. But some people think is perfectly acceptable to do it to kids…and their parents where the kids are concerned. Go communism!

  6. #6 NJ
    April 10, 2008

    You know, I really hate this mentality of parents not knowing what is best for their child.

    Because we all know that never happens.

  7. #7 Becca
    April 10, 2008

    I’m mostly ok with registration requirements, but they have been ocassionally abused by states in the past. I think you need to understand the history to understand homeschooler reluctance. Try *listening* to the horror stories without writing them off as overreacting.

    Plus, painting homeschoolers with the broad brush of “libertarians” is both 1) not particularly true, as far as the homeschoolers I’ve met and 2) seemingly a bit of ‘trash talking’ to my Marxist-loving-hippie-homeschooling ears. Now call me a pinko-commie-loving-liberal, and we’re all a-ok.
    ;-)

    But making sure parents have teaching credentials isn’t something that strikes many homeschoolers as very reasonable. To give a clear example- I’ve known homeschooling parents who are certified teachers, and have been teaching public school for over twenty years, to move to another state, and not be allowed to homeschool until they pass that state’s teaching credential hurdles. This doesn’t serve anyone (except perhaps testing centers or teaching colleges).
    But more than that, given that much teaching training is aimed at ‘classroom management’- something that is completely different in most homeschooling contexts- most homeschoolers question the relevancy. And frankly, I can’t blame them. I think you can educate a child perfectly effectively without ever being trained to do so.
    Teaching does not make learning, and all that.

    I can also see a lot of potentially unreasonable ways relatively reasonable laws can be used.
    For example, Pa (the state in which I now live) requires that the homeschooling parent have a high school diploma. Seems fairly reasonable right? Yet, because I myself was homeschooled during highschool (in Il, a state with virtually no requirements), I could (at least in theory) be prevented from homeschooling my kids… despite the fact that (by the time I have kids) I’ll have a PhD in molecular medicine.

  8. #8 Tom
    April 10, 2008

    The certification requirement seems obvious at first glance — but are these the same certifications required of public school teachers, who are failing our students by the classload, while homeschoolers routinely outscore them?

    Sounds like a solution in search of a problem to me.

    Or, far more likely, a way to regulate homeschooling out of existence. This is even more obvious when you start saying that regulation of curriculum is perfectly reasonable. When a parent has to go through an expensive and time-consuming certification just to be allowed to perform the state-mandated curriculum using the state-mandated materials within the state-mandated time periods, she might as well just send her kid to the public school, where he can get the exact same state-mandated cookie-cutter education.

    I do wish that such [advocates of regulation] would admit that when confronted with the possibility.

  9. #9 the real cmf
    April 10, 2008

    “state officials may force home schooling parents to register their children”
    OH NOOOO!!! Then the people who put the pyramid on the dollar bill wil want to stamp the mark of the beeeEEEst on their foreheads next….!!!!!!!!

    “anyone interested in preserving parental rights should be vigilant”..

    I think this phrase means “vigilant that the state does not next examine the ‘sleep patterns’ of the ‘family bed’…!!!!!
    OH NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!You mean the state might think it weird that I breast feed my six year old????

    “but are these the same certifications required of public school teachers?”

    No, actually public school teachers asked to be certified at a much higher level than what is being asked of homeschoolers.For instance, some of the tests that PS teachers take for certification/recert, not to mention mere job interviews at schools, require them to get out of bed before noon…

    Failure in the PS is not only about bad teachers(sure, there are a few, maybe, in Florida and Texas…)it is about systemic flaws and social problems that cannot be solved with schools alone( poverty, for example, and the accompanying issues).

  10. #10 Tom (again)
    April 10, 2008

    “Much home schooling is not about safety or quality of education (as home schoolers insist). It is about being a good libertarian.”

    Greg, surely you of all people don’t have such obvious difficulty over the difference between correlation and causation?

    Homeschool parents want the best possible education for their children (however that happens to be defined within the particular family). To the extent that government regulation prevents them from pursuing the educational course that they wish to set, they will resist the regulation. The resistance to regulation stems from the desire for the best education for their children, not the other way around.

  11. #11 Yvonne
    April 10, 2008

    Certification: There is no link between certification, credentials, and test scores, which seem to be the way we judge how well a student is doing. Also, many teachers in public schools are not certified. Many teachers in private schools are not certified. So what exactly is the point of certification? And which certification are you going to use?

    Testing: so, what are you going to test, exactly? In my state, we must test yearly, using a nationally normed test, such as the CAT or IOWA or WRAT. My choice. The public school test, however, is not a nationally normed test, and is related directly to what is being taught in the classroom. So in science, for example, their test may be full of questions relating to the geology they studied this year, while we did chemistry instead. So taking the local test will not give an accurate picture of how well the student is doing. Even in math, the curriculum can be very different.

    Also, so what if the student does poorly on the test? In public school, they get sent to summer classes, get held back, or get put into special ed. Some kids just aren’t as smart–hence 50% of kids being below average. In a homeschool setting, one can customize curriculum to an incredible degree and really play to the individuals learning style, strengths, and interests. That’s difficult, if not impossible, in a public school. Which is why many kids with LD do so much better in a homeschool environment.

    As for reporting hours and using required curriculum: The amount of time required to teach something varies. Does it matter if we spent 15 minutes on math or 2 hours? As long as the material is understood? And as for curriculum—please. I can choose a curriculum based on my child’s needs and interests. And, I am able to teach my son about religion: all religions, in a historical context. And we can question them using the logic we learned in math and the scientific method.

    Those who oppose homeschooling generally fall into two categories: those with a vested interest in public schools (teacher’s unions) and those who feel the need to control, and think the state is somehow capable of knowing what is best for a child, when it still can’t decide if phonics or sight-words are the best way to teach reading.

    Are there some homeschoolers who abuse the system, and their kids? I’m sure there are. But there are also plenty in public schools. In fact, there are kids who are abused IN school. By those certified teachers.

    Yes, a bad parent can really mess up their kids. But a bad teacher can impact hundreds, even thousands of kids.

  12. #12 the real cmf
    April 10, 2008

    “Are there some homeschoolers who abuse the system, and their kids? I’m sure there are.”

    Yvonne, thank you for that rare, and exceptional acknowledgement of this portion of the topic.It is a diamond of wisdom in the usual discussion. Have you known/do you know of these situations? What observations/actions have you been part of in response to those situations? How do hs’ers in your community look at neglect and abuse of HS kids? I.E., any anedotes?

    “But there are also plenty in public schools.”

    This is one of those unfortunate and recurrent observations that many HS’ers make, but it is not valid, in that when researching apples, we do not compare them to walnuts, even though they go great together–especially in my homestyle apple crunch.

    It is very hard to maintain a discussion that does not fall into a comparison. HS by description is NOT like PS, but HS’ers always compare.

    Sure, a bad teacher can screw up a lot of kids, but at least at very least, thatteacher is eventually held accountable, if only because they are found out BECAUSE of the public aspect of their lives–HS does not necessarily include that extra layer of options for kids.

  13. #13 JuliaL
    April 10, 2008

    In my state, parents must register their intention to homeschool their children. I think all states should require that so that the existence of these children is known, and their parents have made a public statement of responsibility for the children’s education. Fortunately, however, my state does not make the mistake of requiring parents to have teaching credentials as California apparently requires.

    Suppose my state required similar credentials for homeschooling:

    After forty years of teaching grammar and writing skills to adults of all ages who are taking college classes, high-schoolers taking a college-level class, and employees in a number of different businesses, I would not be considered qualified to teach my kindergarten-age grandson how to put periods at the ends of his sentences. My daughter who worked as a college tutor for calculus and advanced algebra would not be considered qualified to teach her son how to add and subtract. Despite having numerous personal friends with PhD degrees in a variety of fields, neither my daughter nor I would be considered qualified to manage the children’s education by providing them with tutoring from any of those people (who are also considered by the state to be unqualified to teach their subject matter to public school students).

    State certification for teaching elementary-age children very often requires very, very little subject matter knowledge, and instead many classes in group management and standardized testing techniques. I’ve taught grammar classes to numerous elementary school teachers and high school English teachers who started the class knowing far less about grammar than I did when I was twelve years old. It was painful to find some of these public school teachers cheating on my exams because they found that easier than learning the basic grammar they were already certified to teach.

  14. #14 Anonymous
    April 10, 2008

    I don’t homeschool my son but he would probably be better off if I did. Out of the six teachers he has during the day, one is really good, one is ok, the rest are worse than useless. The PE coaches sit in the office and let the kids goof off. When one kid mentioned they never did anything in PE, the students were made to run until they threw up. The Spanish teacher made him say “I am stupid” in Spanish. The science teacher teaches them nothing and yells at them constantly.

    The math and English teachers, on the other hand, think that he is capable of doing well (he has the highest grade in math) and well behaved.

    What is the difference in those classes? The teachers. Two out of six being decent isn’t anything to brag about in my opinion.

    Personally, I think wanting to force the kids to go to public schools is more about money for the schools and less about the welfare of the children. The public schools here are dangerous, chaotic, and definitely not a learning environment.

  15. #15 the real cmf
    April 10, 2008

    Where are those schools at Anonymous?

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    April 10, 2008

    Anon: That sounds bad, I have not personally ever seen a situation that bad. Are you in the South?

  17. #17 Badger3k
    April 11, 2008

    I have to look up the requirements here in Texas, but I do know there are some. I also remember that in some states you have to meet certain requirements, give the state a listing of the courses/subjects being taught, and are still responsible for the same tests (well, the state tests that is). I am being certified through an alternative certification class, and yeah, our courses focus on teaching, management, and the rest – because we already have degrees and passed the state test for “highly qualified”. We know the material, we just need help on how to teach it.

    Of the four homeschooled kids I know, two are pregnancies, and two are discipline problems (the last one was moved suddenly to home schooling after the cops brought him in on felony drug charges – on school property). So not a lot of religion involved here. But….on my way to school, there is a Christian bookstore that has a lot of homeschooling material. After checking out the “science” section, I wanted to rip my eyes out. The stupid burned that much. If this is what some home “teachers” use to attempt to educate their kids, then no wonder our country is so ignorant (I think we’ve all seen the various studies here on SciBlogs so I won’t go further).

    I fully support the idea that people should be knowledgeable in a subject area before they try to teach it. Unless you know enough about the subject to answer questions, then that’s not teaching, that’s dogmatically asserting something (for example of a scary homeschool thought – Sherri “Flat Earth” Sheperd from the View, or Jenny “Indigo Mom/Mercury Warrior” McCarthy – Gah!). I frequently try to get my students to challenge what I say and do some research on their own. I think that the development of critical thinking skills (one of the goals stressed in all our classes and professional development) is the greatest thing we can do. I try to get them to ask “Why?” in everything they do and believe. Given the religious and political nature of many homeschool advocates, I am doubtful that this is a primary concern). I know others that don’t, but they are few in comparison to the ones who try. I agree with some foreign views of American education that we are “A mile wide and an inch deep”. On the global level, we (as a country) are failing our kids (personally, I like Iceland’s model – from what I hear, free education up to and including your doctorate).

    I also think that anyone who complains about the public school system needs to come and teach in one for a while, especially one in which there are a lot of at-risk kids. It will be an eye-opener.

    Other than that, a lot of our problems trace back to both our cultural goals, where education is given a pariah status (look at the “C-student” who is glorified while working scientists are vilified), where argumentation and discourse are relegated to the trash and sound-bites and hack-radio-jocks are held in esteem, where – ah, you can fill in your own ones after that. I also think that our young children need to be taught more responsibility and be encouraged to think that an education is positive and beneficial, since by the time I have gotten them, it’s hard to try to correct that disregard (this is in general, there are many who think of learning as positive). If we can’t correct their attitudes, we try to plant the seeds in them that may someday germinate into, to use the jargon, “lifetime learners”. (As an aside, remember when scientists were people to be respected, where an education was something to aspire to, rather than something to be laughed at and sneered at as “elitist” and “ivory tower”?)

    I also think that the people who want to pull their kids out of public school to “save them” from whatever their cause is do more harm than good. The public school system did a great job bringing education to the poor when it was created, and who will suffer the most if the system is destroyed? Surely it will be the rich kid, right? Not the undereducated adult working two jobs to keep her kids in the latest kicks (or is it kix?), who has no idea what DNA is, or why it’s important to know. Maybe they’ll be the same people who spend their paycheck on lottery tickets since that is their only hope, or the ones who uncritically use crap like “Airborne” – since if it is made by a teacher than it must prevent colds! Ahh – sorry, gone on a rant – I prefer reforming the system (and there are flaws that I see even in my first year teaching) rather than destroying it and letting the “alternative/charter/sectarian” schools (which in recent studies performed as well as, or worse off than, public schools in many criteria) try to feed off the remains. In many areas, the free market model sucks.

    Sorry, long day, even if I got a good review and compliments (and more work as they want me to tutor more students). I’m ending this here, thanks.

  18. #18 Yvonne
    April 11, 2008

    the real cmf said:
    Sure, a bad teacher can screw up a lot of kids, but at least at very least, thatteacher is eventually held accountable, if only because they are found out BECAUSE of the public aspect of their lives–HS does not necessarily include that extra layer of options for kids.
    —–
    No, actually, they may not be held accountable. Firing a teacher can be almost impossible. And that’s assuming the teacher is abusive. What about those who cheat on those end-of-year tests? Or are just ineffective? Or mean? And they can still touch (figuratively and literally) way more lives before they are caught.

    HS kids still go the doctor, still get their vaccinations, still play with other kids in group activities, usually as part of a local HSing group. My group has spelling bees, science fairs, talent shows, and group field trips. Plus, we do volunteer work at the SPCA, a local assisted living home, and a organization that provides help to abused women and children.

    You asked for anecdotal tales, but I have none to share about mistreated children. I do have plenty about kids who are comfortable dealing with people of all ages and circumstances; kids who aren’t ashamed to play with their younger siblings; kids who are able to have an interesting conversation with an adult; and kids (like mine) who are active within their community.

    Abusing your child is illegal. That does not change if one is in a private, public, or home school. Even a PS parent can keep their kid home until bruises fade. And even kids who are known to social services can continue to suffer and die. PS is not a protection against abuse, although it can lead to bulling and abuse by teachers and other students.

    Private schools fall into the middle ground, but I can assure you that many private schools DO NOT teach evolution in science class. A parent that wants to “protect” their kid will find a way to do so, even if it’s by sending them to a private school that advocates corporal punishment and creationism. Which would, most likely, offer even less protection than a HS situation, because the parents would be encouraged and validated by the group.

    The last few cases in which HSing has come up, relating to abuse–the one in DC and the one in CA–neither parent was actually homeschooling. The mother in DC pulled her kids out of school and never filed any paperwork, and social services came by several times and weren’t able to save the kids. And the parents in CA had their kids registered in a charter school–not as homeschoolers–and then weren’t having them do their school work.

    There will always be parents who hurt their children. You will find them in all situations, with kids in all kinds of schools.
    —–
    You said: It is very hard to maintain a discussion that does not fall into a comparison. HS by description is NOT like PS, but HS’ers always compare.
    —–
    No, the comparison comes when someone states that kids would be better off in a public school. That leaves it to HSers to explain why–by comparison–HSing is a better option for them.

  19. #19 Sharon
    April 11, 2008

    I think Yvonne made many good points.
    I live in Northern Ireland, and home-educate my 3 children in line with UK law. We are not required to register our children with the education authorities, nor do we have to be qualified teachers. We are obliged to follow the law requiring that our children receive an education that is “efficient, full-time and suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs they may have.”

    In UK law, the authorities have a duty to take action if it appears that a child is not receiving an appropriate education. Society also has a duty to intervene when it is apparent, or even suspected, that a child is suffering from neglect or abuse. As far as monitoring of a child’s health and welfare, there already are laws which apply to all children, schooled or not. In the most recent publicised cases of child abuse by carers in the UK, the children were already known to the health and social services departments.

    I’m neither libertarian nor religious. I do agree with some other HS/HE proponents in that I am opposed to increased government interference of my educational choices. It is a shame that many children are having such a lousy science education from their parents or private schools. (I can’t resist saying that many state schools provide terrible science education too.) Denialism of evolution or the promotion of bigoted attitudes must be tackled in wider society. I do not think that parents are experts in all things relevant to their children. We benefit from the advice of experts; e.g. laying babies on their backs is safer, vaccinations prevent infectious diseases, etc. I get very pissed off at a misapplication of “mother-knowledge” when it comes to denying evidence.

    But parents do know their children’s individual learning styles best and what form of education works best for them and their family, be that school or home-based. My autistic son learns in ways that would never be accommodated in a school setting, but I know him well enough to see that he is making tremendous progress in a setting optimised to meet his needs.

    There is an important discussion to be had about the rights of parents to teach their children (whether schooled or not) lies or bigotry. I don’t know who else but the parents should make the decisions about the ethos/belief system in which to raise their children. I want to retain my right to raise my children to be free-thinking, liberal, secular and rational. Others will use that freedom to indoctrinate with whatever flavour of belief they prefer.

    I don’t claim that I will provide my children with a perfect education. My aim, is to teach my children how to learn and think for themselves. Then anything they need to know at any stage in their lives, they should be able to find out. The technology we have today should, I think, change the focus of education from acquiring knowledge and remembering the accumulated wisdom of the ages, to being constantly able to learn.

    I don’t see why home-educators shouldn’t make comparisons between home and school based settings. These are the only options available to parents, so to decide which one of best for each of us, we need to compare the two. So far, for us, there are more advantages to home-education.

  20. #20 the real cmf
    April 11, 2008

    Yvonne: “neither parent was actually homeschooling”; aside from the potentially loaded implications of that, I will just say that the mantra when an HSer screws up is *always* to say exactly what you said. Maybe it could be called the *scapegoat effect*.

    And as for abuse you said that PS teachers can “still touch (figuratively and literally) way more lives before they are caught.” Yes this is true.

    It is MORE true of homeschoolers for two reasons: Homeschoolers, as you are aware, often do activities that include sleep-overs, group play supervised by one parent, and a host of other activities that leave them, as a PS teacher, with kids, yet ‘unsupervised’ by peers (other teachers), which is in contrats to PS teachers. This leaves the kids in a situation (hypothetical here) where they are left at the whims of a) an insular community with a shared interest in maintaining similar dialogue that affects the kids b) a more closely handled dialogue with other parents should they be caught in wrongful activity ( one trusted parent to another : ” well you know, kids say the strangest things”)

    and 2) the HS kids may see a doctor, but likely with the same hypothetical abuser right there in the room with them, and no other dialogue to describe injury or malfeasance than the one provided by that abuser, who is right there in the doctors office with them!

    So this is a vastly different scenario. PS kids have the ability to completely break away from parental mind=control for several hours per day as well as to learn other languages that describe sexual/physical abuse, and other peers who are not from within an insular community that shares similar outlookm, and language; HS kids NEVER do have these distinct freedoms, or advantages as per availing themselves to descriptors of abuse.

  21. #21 Yvonne
    April 12, 2008

    cmf said: This leaves the kids in a situation (hypothetical here) where they are left at the whims of a) an insular community with a shared interest in maintaining similar dialogue that affects the kids b) a more closely handled dialogue with other parents should they be caught in wrongful activity ( one trusted parent to another : ” well you know, kids say the strangest things”)
    —–
    What insular community is that? I really think you are trying to push an idea that just doesn’t hold any water. There is nothing to show that HS are more likely to abuse their kids. I do think it is likely that there is a percentage of HS who do, and I would guess it is the same or less than the percentage of parents across the board. The type of schooling does not have a correlation to type of parent–religiosity, views on corporal punishment, etc will be as diverse within a sub-group as in the larger group.
    —–
    cmf said: So this is a vastly different scenario. PS kids have the ability to completely break away from parental mind=control for several hours per day as well as to learn other languages that describe sexual/physical abuse, and other peers who are not from within an insular community that shares similar outlookm, and language; HS kids NEVER do have these distinct freedoms, or advantages as per availing themselves to descriptors of abuse.

    Instead, they are subjected to state mind-control for several hours a day, potentially with abusive and bullying fellow students, mean, cruel, or unqualified teachers, and a curriculum that may or may not be accurate or even taught properly.

    HS kids–in general–meet a much broader section of society than a typical PS kid. HS kids meet people of all ages, all types…they get out and are much more exposed to actual life. They are not sheltered, at least not in my experience.
    —–
    cmf said: “neither parent was actually homeschooling”; aside from the potentially loaded implications of that, I will just say that the mantra when an HSer screws up is *always* to say exactly what you said. Maybe it could be called the *scapegoat effect*.

    No, I am being quite truthful–the parents in CA were not homeschooling. They had their kids enrolled in a charter school, and never did the paperwork to have their kids enrolled as homeschoolers. That they then claimed to be homeschooling is one thing, but they were not, under any legal definition, engaged in homeschooling.

    Homeschooling does–in every state–have laws surrounding it. I had to register my school and prove I have a high school diploma. I must maintain attendance records and yearly test scores–and those tests must be a nationally normed test, instead of the school-created tests the public schools use.
    —–
    cmf said: It is MORE true of homeschoolers for two reasons: Homeschoolers, as you are aware, often do activities that include sleep-overs, group play supervised by one parent, and a host of other activities that leave them, as a PS teacher, with kids, yet ‘unsupervised’ by peers (other teachers), which is in contrats to PS teachers.

    I am not aware of EVER leaving my kid with unknown people, especially for an overnight visit! I don’t know what you are talking about, but all the HS groups I belong to have a strict no drop-off policy, so you have to stay with you kids. Parents may take turns teaching in a co-op, but the vast majority of activities involve all the parents with their kids.

    The only parents I trust with my child are those who are personally known to me, and who are friends of mine–and if my child were public school, these would still be his friends for sleepovers and such.

    Any parent who would leave their kid with a group of adults unknown to them is crazy!…oh, but that’s what happens at PS everyday. Did you check the janitors background? Do you know if your school does criminal background checks on all it’s teachers? I do know that every parent in my co-op gets fingerprinted and has a background check done on them.

    It requires a tremendous amount of effort and commitment to homeschool. It requires sacrifice and dedication. Most HSers have only one income–it’s hard to teach and work. I gave up my lucrative job to homeschool. It’s not something to go into likely, and it’s much, much easier to send the kid off to school, and keep them in after-school programs, as well.

    My tax dollars still go to the local public schools, who now have one less student to worry about. I, however, have to purchase all my own textbooks, and I get no tax-breaks for doing this. It isn’t easy. The parents I know–either personally or through message boards–who make this choice do so out of love and concern for their child.

    All the studies done so far indicate that homeschoolers do as well or better than public schooled kids. They also score higher on personality tests, and are more involved in their communities, more socially and politically active, and more likely to vote as an adult! http://www.nheri.org/content/view/199/

    It is not for everyone, but I am always amazed at how forcefully people speak out against it. Again I say–those who speak out against it generally fall into one of two categories. Either they have an interest in kids being in public schools (i.e… teacher unions) or they feel that all parents are dangerous to their kids and public school offers the state a way to control the children and their parents. Oh, and a small third group is made up of people who feel that choosing to homeschool somehow reflects on their choice not to–and so they attack it as a means to defend their own choices.

    To these I say: teaching credentials have not been correlated to higher test scores or better teaching. Parents and children do not need to be controlled by the state. Abuse is already illegal, and abusive parents should be prosecuted. But neither social services nor public schools are doing a tremendously good job of protecting their wards from harm. Considering the drop-out rates, low scores, and general failures of public schools, I don’t think blind faith in the state is a smart option.

    And to those who scream “But you should be working to reform the system! Don’t turn your backs on public schools.” I say: you aren’t going to damage my child in the process! I can reform from here, and still give my child an excellent education. I saw a study which showed that 25% of public school teachers send their kids to private schools…I think that says it all.

    And homeschooling is not the right choice for everyone, or every student. I have one friend who has three kids: one is homeschooled, one is in public school, one is in a private school. Each child had a different need, and she was able to meet those needs. How wonderful to have choices regarding the education and upbringing of one’s child!

Current ye@r *