My first thought was that josh got into georgetown and he's complaining he
wasn't well taught?!?!
Indiana has an online K - 12 public School, called Connections Academy. Home
schooled kids can get the same education material as the public school kids do
and parents can be their learning coaches. There are also community social
networks for kids who are being home schooled, where they can enjoy the
companionship of other kids and work together on school related projects. There
are certified teachers on line and they can be contacted via chat rooms and
visual technology. The online public school and all of the educational materials
are free. Parents have to be involved in order for the kids to succeed in the
online public school. It's a pretty neat program. Home schoolers in
Indiana can create their own curriculum or they can opt for the free online
public school. There are other states with the same types of programs.
Parents do no have to be an expert to homeschool their children. There is a
plethora of curriculum, coops, and other resources available to homeschool
families. Just as there are outside resources for public school students who
need help in addition to teaching that is being provided in public school. The
availability of additional resources to either homeschool or public students
does not ensure use nor success. In either case homeschool students who have
gaps, or failing public school students who have gaps, the responsibility is in
the hands of of the family to correct--and should be. Government
oversight is nothing more than statism which upholds that individuals cannot be
responsible for their own lives. The old adage, 'Give em an inch and
they'll take a mile" still holds true today. Who determines what
standards are to be met? Where does the line begin and end? Should the
government be able to force parents to teach their children viewpoints that are
antithesis to their own personal values? Some would say yes, others an absolute
no. However, once the Pandora's box is open who is to say what
skills/values/philosophies will become 'necessary' to be taught.
Look at parents around your neighborhood, look in your church, look at families
in the grocery store. Can you honestly say that all of them are competent to
home-school their children without supervision or guidance? Some can't even
balance their checkbook or make a budget, but they're ready to teach higher
math to children? Others know little of geography, history, literature or
chemistry, yet we're ready to make them the primary source of knowledge for
their kids with no checks on what they're teach or how well they're
I do not want to see government oversight. For decades there has been a
documented decline in American education. So why should any parent be held to a
standard created by a system that is failing? Many students coming out of public
school are unprepared for college and take remedial classes. So this should be
our standard of assessment?This young man is entitled to his own
opinion, it is based on his own experience; however, he should not become the
poster-child for government oversight of homeschooling. Too many homeschoolers
are proving through their test scores the exact opposite. And too many public
school students come through the system unprepared to succeed in college, or
fail to even graduate high school.There is an interesting response
to the original news article in the Washington Post at the Homeschool Legal
Defense website titled, "Washington Post Gets it Wrong on Freedom,
Memo, the children I am referring to are those who had never had experience
outside of their own families and church and were poorly prepared to handle
temptations and dealing with people from varied backgrounds. You urge me to
consider the facts. Precisely where are those facts? And you haven't
responded to my reference to parents who "homeschool" just so they have
an easy babysitter. I know of specific situations where this has happened and I
have seen children really struggle when they started public school in later
years. I certainly believe some families do an excellent job homeschooling. I
know others who do a lousy job of it. And I know others who believe they are
doing well with homeschooling, but they aren't, as they discover when they
enter public schools or college. I believe parents should be able to choose to
educate their own children, but I don't believe they should get to choose
to not educate their children. Ulvegaard states it well: there needs to be some
I think that there needs to be some accountability for parents who home school.
There are education benchmarks which can be determined through simple testing.
Such testing can be done without government interference. There needs only to
be some intervention when such bench marks are not realized in a timely
manner.The concern is for some homeschooling groups is that
government will invade their curriculum and force the very thing they were
trying to avoid by withdrawing from the public school system.There
should also be options for parents to have their children participate in some
public sponsored courses, like physical education or maybe another specialized
subject which parents might not have the skills to instruct. But for those
things which parents wish to teach in the home, they should be allowed to do.
We have seen too much evidence of what potential results come when Government
outlaws attention to morals and ethics.
To mattwend: Based upon what you write, I take it that you teach or
have taught school professionally. You write that you "have have taught
children (that have been homeschooled) ... who had serious gaps in their
learning, ... some who really went wild and made bad social decisions ..."
So what? Does that mean public school is the answer? Consider the
facts! The facts show that children who are homeschooled are by far better
prepared to face life, as a whole, than children who come through public
schools. Go outside and walk around your malls, hang out at low rent apartment
complexes, and go online and connect with the gamesters who waste away their
life playing video games. Then tell us that there are no public educated
children who "went wild and made bad social decisions." Our country is
filled with inept publicly uneducated children, now adults. All of
my children went through public education. Even so, I have the highest regard
for parents who home school their children. The proof is in the pudding. They
produce outstanding children!
"..., but when they (parents) are failing to provide even the most basic
elementary skills and knowledge, they are depriving their kids of a chance to
succeed in life.”So, stay on point? Powell did not accuse his
parents of not providing "even the most basic elementary skills and
knowledge." His concern is that he felt his education was inferior. Thats
a whole lot different than if his parents had not provided the most basic
elementary skills and knowledge. Lets not make a mountain out of a mole hill.
And as for government oversight: Stay on track, people! Who
believes government is omniscient? Many of the problems we're having to
deal with in life today have been caused by BIG BROTHER government oversight!
Lets not relegate our right to parent!
I have known parents who kept kids home and they did nothing but babysit younger
children. How can a balance be achieved to make sure children are actually
educated? I have known a few great homeschool parents, but I have also taught
children in middle school and high school who were homeschooled and had serious
gaps in their learning. Some of those children really went wild and made bad
social decisions, too, because they didn't have the gradual social growth
that comes around through day by day contact with children of different
personalities and backgrounds.
junkgeek,We may not be "better" (and I'm curious as to
what your criteria are) than professional teachers, but we are "better"
than the overly beurocratic system that ties professional teachers' hands
behind their backs in terms of curriculum and discipline.That being
said, I do believe some oversight is needed. Every American child has the right
to an adequate education. "Adequate" needs to be defined, for one thing.
If the parent (or the school) cannot meet that bar, then alternatives need to be
"junkgeek" really? "professional teachers"? You mean no one
can learn anything without a "professional teacher"?We
homeschooled our children many years ago. I certainly didn't need to be a
professional teacher to do that. And I certainly didn't need the
government run education system dictating to me what to teach or keeping track
of what we were spending our time doing. I could accomplish a lot more
teaching and learning in about 1/3 the time than it takes the public schools all
day and a whole bunch of ridiculus nonsense to accomplish. They spend so much
time in public schools with movies, dress up like this for this day, out for
this game or that assembly, etc. etc. etc. So much wasted time in government
run schools. No wonder children come home with so much homework. I firmly
believe anyone can learn anything they put their mind to, without a
For a few of the home school parents I have known, this might be fine. For some
of the others, not at all.Not all are capable or willing to do what
is necessary. There needs to be some oversight.
What makes (insert random parent) think that they are better than the
professional teachers?At a minimum, make them pass whatever
state-level tests are available in that state.
‘Should parents have complete control over home schooling?’ Yes,
there's a reason home-school parents choose to do their own thing -- they
want to do things differently than public schools, and that's their right.