Should parents have complete control over home schooling?

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  • ladybuglover MONITOR, WA
    Aug. 2, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    My first thought was that josh got into georgetown and he's complaining he wasn't well taught?!?!

  • Harpjay Corydon, IN
    Aug. 1, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    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.

  • indi ,
    Aug. 1, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    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 teaching it?

  • indi ,
    Aug. 1, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    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, Homeschooling."

  • mattwend IDAHO FALLS, ID
    July 31, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    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 accountability.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 31, 2013 8:30 p.m.

    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.

  • MemoFromA Demo SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 31, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    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!

  • MemoFromA Demo SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 31, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    "..., 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!

  • mattwend IDAHO FALLS, ID
    July 31, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    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.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    July 31, 2013 4:35 p.m.


    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 available.

  • lqqk pocatello, ID
    July 31, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    "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 "professional".

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 31, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    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.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    July 31, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    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.

  • The Jimmer Okemos, MI
    July 31, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    ‘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.