Some of you may be aware already that in California there has been a ruling against one family that essentially makes homeschooling illegal for all. It would seen from what the papers are reporting that in fact homeschooling has been considered illegal to some extent in California since the 1950s but presumably no one has had much trouble with this as HSLDA have 13,500 members in that state alone.
It is interestin to note that the case began as a child welfare case when one of the children in this particular family put in a complaint about they way her father was treating her. Instead of dealing with the case of whether the father was or was not abusing his children, it all became about whether the children were homeschooled. Why? Finally it seems that problems that may or may not exist in this one family are supposed to effect everyone. For once I agree with Govenor Schwarzenegger who sees that parents do have a right to home educate if they so choose.
I do not doubt for one minute that this case will have ramifications here in the UK. Ed Balls and the ever wise Barry Sheerman are already casting their Great Eye towards those of us who homeschool. While ignoring the appalling standards of education in state schools; the bullying, violence, disruptive classroom situations and the sheer boredom and ignorance among so many children-they are looking at us and saying our children are at risk!
It will not be long, I fear, before legislation that tries to make homeschooling as difficult as possible is brought in.
Partly, I blame homeschoolers for this.
We have to get off our high horse sometimes really we do. If there are things we are not coping with in teaching our children there is no shame in asking for professional help. I have a Maths tutor come in. I have also had a friend who is an English teacher come in. Her methods, knowledge and skills have been a great help with my children.
If we don't teach our children properly, if we allow poor behaviour and poor social skills we not only hurt our own children- we will lead to other people's children being hurt.
The Govt are looking for excuses to curb home ed in the UK. Education Otherwise is already in a dance of swords trying to protect our rights.
As a homeschooling mum I am not homeschooling because I like it (frequently I don't) I do it because as things stand it is the best for my children. There are no good schools around here.
I am acutely aware that what I do as a mum and how I educate my children can effect them for the rest of their lives and for eternity. I am not only preparing my children with the hope I can help make them fit for heaven-but fit for the journey towards heaven.
They need to be able to be around other people of all ages, to be reliable, honest and committed to the tasks ahead. It's up to me to ensure they have a broad, well rounded education that also ensures they are socially adept and have some thought for other people.
I am horrified when I see homeschool kids who are rude, unkempt, dishonest, aggressive and uncaring of others. Okay, so I see this with kids who go to school too-but somehow I always expected that homeschooler parents would take more care in child rearing. And whether we like it or not the powers that be don't mind seeing this behaviour in school kids-but homeschool kids will be noticed.
School children who haven't learned to read, write or learn are common and everyone groans and shrugs. But if homeschooled children can't read, write or sit and learn something then it will be said it is because they are homeschooled.
This might come across as just a rant-and I guess it is. I just have a lot on my mind about the homeschooling at the moment.