Homeschool debate continues….

And I think it will continue as more and more families decide against sending their children into public schools – there will be more outspoken debate regarding the valdity of homeschooling.

Here is an article from my local paper and then a home-schooler’s response. Be warned it is kind of long – but interesting.

From 12/05/06 Cincinnati Enquirer:

“IF YOU HOMESCHOOL, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN

The Enquirer article ” ‘Unschooling’ rejects class, curriculum” talks
about results from parents basically not schooling their children.

How do some parents believe that child-led learning is best for our
children?

I don’t understand how a grown adult believes that another child can
teach a child everything they need to know in life. Parents need to
teach their children if they home school them. I think it is very
irresponsible to let siblings teach other siblings and to let their
children learn on their own. Parents are the models that teach
children the importance of learning; children should not have to do
that by themselves. If parents choose to home school their children,
then they should be responsible and teach their children all subjects,
whether their children like the subject or not.

Shannon Croxson
Walton”

Dear Editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer,

I recognize that as a community it is a public service to continue to
promote the public school system and I commend the Enquirer for doing
that – consistently. The one thing I never really see the Enquirer do
is ask the public school system the really hard questions, like, if
you are going to be building less of these fancy school buildings we
see popping up all over the city, are you going to give back the tax
money you’ve already taken? As a member of the Cincinnati community, I
have never participated in CPS. I went to Catholic schools. I
homeschool my own. I pay some of the highest taxes in the United
states and I really fail to see why we don’t ask the public school
system harder questions to verify that as a community we are getting
value for the dollars we spend on public education. I think instead of
continuing to promote the public school system as it is, we ought to
look at making it better by getting government out of the business of
schooling all together. A local paper, like the Enquirer could take a
stand like that and instead of continuing to promote status quo,
assist in making public education better. 10 years ago a member of the
homeschool community in Connecticut wrote to the local paper with a
very simple idea: What if parents controlled the schools…

The Education Liberator <http://sepschool.org/edlib/index.php, Vol.
2, No. 4, May 1996

If parents controlled the schools

by Ned Vare

/Editor’s Note: Ned Vare has become a one-man publicity machine for
Separation in his town of Guilford, Conn. “I include the idea of
Separation in every letter and TV program now,” he says. The latter
refers to programs he does on Guilford’s community access channel,
which have made him something of a local celebrity. “Community access
TV is a great way to get the word out about Separation. You should
tell all of your readers to look into it.” Ned originally wrote the
following as a letter to the editor which appeared on March 13, 1996,
in the/ Shore Line Times /of Guilford./

*IF PARENTS CONTROLLED* the schools, would we…

* Insist children learn the same things at the same time?

* Create a bleak artificial environment and lock our kids in it for
years, knowing that most of what they learn is irrelevant or wrong?

* Allow them to have no standards, no goals, and to dumb down the kids?

* Allow our property to be confiscated if we didn’t pay their bigger
bill each year?

* Hire unionized teachers with binding arbitration who could vote
for their raises?

* Let them give our kids mind-altering drugs (Ritalin) to control
behavior as insane asylums do?

* Suspend the band and sports for a year to coerce ourselves to vote
for a tax increase?

* Believe that 10 to 15 percent of our kids are “learning disabled”
when figures show only a 1 percent likelihood?

* Allow our children’s and our lives to be so dominated by school’s
synthetic experience that there’s no time left for real experiences?

* Use standardized tests that have no education value and can damage
kids?

* Use only “certified” staff when private schools have no such
restriction and avoid hiring them?

* Assign 60 percent of every day to non-academic indoctrination like
“social values?”

* Allow the state to dictate who can run our schools?

* Let teachers use our children as shills for their pay raises?

* Pay twice what private schools charge and get half the learning?

The answers are either /no/ or /hell no./

Parents are encouraged to relinquish our natural roles as educators.
Feeling guilty about that, we are easy prey for schools that demand
more taxes to raise our children badly. Educationists have learned to
hustle us, shake us down in a shell game for control of money and our
children’s lives.

What’s wrong here in my city is what is wrong everywhere — school is a
state monopoly that can neither educate effectively nor inform the
public honestly. To become responsive and accountable, education needs
to be separated from government. Otherwise, it will continue to serve
only itself and we will remain its slaves.

————————————————————————

/This article is copyrighted by the Alliance for the Separation of
School & State. Permission is granted to freely distribute this
article as long as this copyright notice is included in its entirety./

Perhaps The Enquirer could print this article and get a better
dialogue going regarding the sorry state of our public school system
here in Cincinnati…


Best Regards,

-Amy Cortez
Columbia Tusculum