Friday, March 14

Freedom Friday

One of the freedoms we have in this nation is to send our kids to the school of our choice. My husband and I have chosen to send our kids to a private, Christian school while many of my friends home school.

I was stunned to read this week about a judge in California who ruled that all children must be taught only by credentialed teachers. You can imagine the outcry from the home schooling community but I was thrilled to see the California Department of Education and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speak out against this ruling. Hopefully, the decision will be overturned on appeal and this precious freedom to teach our own kids will be safeguarded.

Do you have a picture, newsy tidbit, factoid or just a personal commentary you want to make about this post or anything else on your mind about Freedom Friday? Link your post here!


Anonymous said...

This technically isn't about homeschooling BUT after reading that article, I see the judge's point.

It isn't about a parent not being able to home school his/her child.

It is about ensuring that a child is receiving a quality education.

Being a parent does NOT automatically equal the ability to properly teach a child academic subjects.

I don't believe that parents necessarily need to be a fully credentialed teacher. However, I think that they should receive some sort of training on how to teach and plan a curriculum. I also believe they should have certain guidelines they need to follow.

Parents should have to file paperwork explaining how they are providing an education for their child. A parent saying they are homeschooling their children doesn't necessarily mean the child is receiving an education.

I actually have a lot more to say about this but I think I will create my own blog post and link back to here.

Ainsley said...

It seems everyday that our rights are more and more infringed upon... it's good for me to remember how blessed we are to live in America and have freedom many others will never experience.

Thanks for the reminder each Friday =)

Jessi said...

I understand the concern that Mary Kate expressed, and as a homeschooler in Pennsylvania, I am required to put together a portfolio of samples of what we have done during our school year, meet with an evaluator, who fills out paperwork on our progress, and all that gets turned in to our local school district. This is in addition to the standardized testing that is required in all the same grades as public schools; these results also get turned in to my school district.

However, my concern lies with the idea of getting more and more involved in personal freedoms. I feel that part of the freedom I enjoy in this country includes deciding what is best for my child (as long it does not involve physical harm, which is infringing on their freedom as a human being). If the government decides what education is acceptable, and more and more, what medical treatments need to be mandatory, how far away are we from them deciding that certain religious beliefs might not be in the 'best interest' of my child? Carried out, the concepts can quickly start moving away from the very principles our great country was founded on and fought for.

I really appreciate this blog, and especially like Freedom Friday.

For anyone interested in getting involved, there is a petition that can be signed to support the right to homeschool...I will post the link on my own blog.

Thanks for providing this forum!

The Gang's All Here! said...

Here, here Jessi! Well said. I'm all for making sure our kids are protected and given the chance to pursue the freedoms that this government affords them. But it's my responsibility and my privilege to determine how that plays out in my family. Not. the. gov't. Whether this bill is "actually" about homeschooling or not, it's going to negatively impact a parent's right to determine what is best for his/her child if it continues without being checked and balanced.

Melissa said...

Doesn't anyone else find it odd that the government tries to control so much of what we do with our children after they are born, but they allow mothers to abort unborn babies? Is THAT in the best interest of baby and mom?

I know I probably just rattled a few cages, but, I hate double standards.

As for the home schooling thing....parents do have to be held accountable, but having to get a teaching degree is a bit extreme! If you've ever met a home school family....most of the kids are brilliant!

Kate of All Trades said...

I don't think anyone needs to be worried about homeschooling becoming illegal. That's just too ridiculous.

Quality control should be a concern for everyone but a teaching credential requirement is a bit much. I'd be very surprised if something like this stood.

Anyway, new to your blog, looking forward to joining in the fun!

Six in the Mix said...

I have chosen to teach my children at home, but do not have a teaching degree. I have a B.A. in public relations, but would choose this route regardless of personal academic achievement.

The director of our home school group took her GED and dropped out of high school her senior year (behavior problems). She grew up, however, and now challenges the rest of us home schoolers to keep up with her aggressively academic pace.

People who love to learn and can impart that to their children can home school. You can not get an accredited degree in inspiration or a stamp on your teaching degree that guarantees that you'll be a good teacher.

Most home school parents take the job of educating their children very seriously. The very few who don't, fuel the fears of nay-sayers.

My mother did not like the idea of me home schooling (accredited teacher). It took her one year to warm up to the idea. She had to see the results before she relaxed. Now she fully supports me.

I think that home schoolers also have a responsibility to the public--to relieve fears and stop turning a self-righteous shoulder to educators who are doing their best to provide quality education in the public sector.

I think that early on, many public educators who were trying to get used to the idea of home education as a viable alternative questioned home schoolers. By their questioning, many home schoolers chose to be offended, thinking the questions were accusations (admittedly, some were accusations). In so doing, the home schoolers squandered a wonderful opportunity to ensure their freedom.

Like it or not, home schooling is a freedom that only remains because we have proven our worth so far. Though it has gained some significant legal footing, it is not so established that it cannot be dismissed. Addressing the fears of people like my mother is the way to firmly root our freedom to home educate.

Anonymous said...

I would need to know more about the California decision before decrying it as an afront to personal freedom. What is meant by the term "credentialed?" The law requires that our kids receive an education, so why wouldn't we require that a homeschool teacher meet minimum requirements? As longg as the credentialing process is reasonable and doesn't place an undue burden on parents, I think it could be a reasonable safeguard. Again, though, the devil is in the details so more context of the California situation would be helpful.

Bethany said...

I actually live in Los Angeles and home school. If you want more info on what is going on from a legal standpoint I would go and read HSLDA's site. It does a good job of explaining the legal ramifications of the ruling and how it could be used against home school families in future trials.

I have a college degree in Exercise Physiology and a Minor in Business. However, I do not have money to go back to school and get credentials just to teach my kids. Plus the credentials would work for elementary but as our kids move into junior high and high school they are subject specific. That would be both cost and time prohibitive to most parents. Part of the reason I am teaching them at home is that I cannot afford private school and our public schools are some of the worst in the nation. We home school via ISP with a Private school. I turn in forms, curriculum, attendance, report cards, and samples. I attend a monthly meeting where I am informed, educated and supported and held accountable through the whole process. My son goes to weekly classes in choir, physical education and science. He goes to quarterly history meetings where he gives speeches and displays his projects. We attend field trips that are specific to what we are studying with this group. The school even does a graduation and promotion night. There are families with high school children that are being taught physics by fathers that are scientist at JPL. There are language and other classes offered too. Our group administers SAT tests each year and these are submitted to the state for certain age groups. I think that if you looked at home schooled kids as a whole most of them test very high.

I am the product of a mostly public school education. So if the public schools did their job I should have the knowledge required to teach my children the same information. This is the United States, I should also have the freedom to decide what is best for my children not be told by the State (who are failing educating here in the first place) what is best for my kids. I have nothing against those that want to send their kids to public school or private school. I just believe we all deserve the CHOICE. What is happening to our freedoms?

Bethany said...

Anonymous said...

The California case may be inappropriate, but I do think it's a reasonable state interest to make sure that home school teachers meet minimum standards of competency. I'm not talking about a teaching certification from a college--just a screening process to make sure the parent has basic skills.

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