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Have you ever wondered what it is about home schooling the government, whether American or otherwise, finds so objectionable? It seems to me that teachers who are often overwhelmed by large class sizes would welcome having a few less students in the classroom. And for states that don’t have voucher or tax credits for home schooling, it’s not as if unions or teachers are losing out on money. I still have to pay taxes for a school system I am not using in any way.
So what is it that is such a problem that our government would actually declare that there is no constitutional right to home school?
Is the government afraid that students won’t learn and end up academically inferior to their public school counter parts? They obviously have never read a single study, survey, or analysis showing that home schoolers end up much farther ahead of their public school counter parts. My son has just started Kindergarten but he currently reads and writes at a 2nd grade level after my wife spent just 9 months working with him. So I guess he isn’t behind anyone.
Why are so many so hostile to the idea of home schooling?
It’s not just hostility to home schooling, it’s a downright vehement opposition bordering on ludicrous to the idea that parents have the right and should be allowed to educate their children. Proving this point is the actions of one German prosecutor who is seeking 6-month jail terms for home schooling parents. A recent article reports:
“We are gravely concerned about the case of Thomas and Marit Schaum, a family who face criminal charges over homeschooling. The prosecutor is demanding the parents each go to jail for six months. Germany’s national policy of persecuting homeschooling families must stop and we plan to continue the fight for freedom and for the rights of thousands of others in Germany and around the world to homeschool their children.”
Another article reports the beginnings of a nationwide crack down in the Netherlands:
“According to a petition being promoted by a group of homeschooling parents there, the Dutch Parliament as recently as 2011 ‘agreed with home education’ and the Dutch Education Council advised only that home education should be regulated. Nevertheless, Sander Dekker, secretary of state for education in the country, told the Dutch House of Representatives that he plans to make it illegal nationwide.”
In the case of the German family, the Wunderlich’s, their kids were removed in a SWAT-style raid because they chose to home school rather than send their kids to a state school. Only when the Wunderllich’s agreed to send their kids to a state school did the government agree to return their children.
And yet despite such opposition, even from our own government, home schooling remains a growing trend in the U.S. A report of the number of home schooling students in America, not conducted since 2007 reveals the trend continues to grow:
“…in 1999, it found that 850,000 American children were homeschooled. In 2003, this number had grown to 1.1 million children and, in 2007, that number was up to 1.5 million. This year, the first year the study has been conducted since 2007, that number has risen to 1.77 million. That means that the number of children homeschooled in America has more than doubled since 1999.”
More importantly is the reasons parents are opting for home schooling, even over private school enrollment. The report goes on to show the top responses to the question of why parents choose home schooling:
91% said it was a concern over the environment of other schools.
77% said they wanted to provide moral instruction to their children.
74% cited dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools.
So, to simplify these results, most parents choose to home school because they believe it is the safest, academically superior, and morally superior choice. Perhaps the problem here is that the government and public school advocates feel offended by these conclusions. Perhaps. But I think it is more likely that government and public school advocates desire to “teach and train” all kids into a worldview that includes homosexuality, abortion, casual sex, blurred sexual and gender lines, and how to spit back rhetoric rather than think critically.
That might be a harsh assessment, but please offer an explanation that adequately explains the vehement opposition to home schooling by governments and lawmakers. I am willing to listen.
The bottom line is that many in government and public education don’t believe parents have the right to educate their own kids. They believe it is the right of the government to educate and they are threatened by anyone who recognizes the God-given responsibility of parents to educate. This thought from HSLDA founder Michael Farris is both a sobering comment and a call to action for parents:
“Do parents have the right to direct the education of their children? The Germans say no—and the attorney general of the United States thinks that a law that bans homeschooling entirely violates no fundamental liberties. It’s important that Americans stand up for the rights of German homeschooling families. In so doing, we stand up for our own.”
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