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Coalition for Responsible Home Education


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#1 ColleenInWis

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:00 PM

Homeschool graduates have started a new non-profit, complete with a web site that covers a wide range of topics related to problems within homeschool families:  The Coalition for Responsible Home Education.  If you have seen the Homeschoolers Anonymous blog, or if you caught the article, Homeschool Apostates, you may recognize some of the names and ideas.

 

The problems they are addressing can be summed up in 2 words:  neglect and abuse.  I've read enough of their stories to be convinced that the problems are real and serious.  However, I'm not sure which of their policy recommendations I agree with at this point.  Like most U. S. homeschool parents I know, I cherish my liberty to raise my children the way I believe is best.  

 

From their Mission & Vision page:  

  • OUR MISSION is to raise awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, provide public policy guidance, and advocate for responsible home education practices.
  • OUR VISION is for homeschooling to be a child-centered educational option, used only to lovingly prepare young people for an open future. 

 

Just wanting to inform you about this and find out what you think.  (Maybe this belongs on the Chat Board...  ?  If so, can a moderator move it?)

 

ColleenInWis



#2 a27mom

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 04:42 PM

The homeschool apostate article was interesting. The problem I see is this. They are identifying the problem as homeschooling, that just isn't the case. Homeschooling just happens to be a tool that cult like religious groups use. It is not the cause of the problem. The religious cult is.

My parents grew up in a religious cult. They attended public school. The whole exile/exodus story rings true to my experience as second generation "shunned" But I wouldn't say my grandparents were abusive, even though my paternal grandparents went to their graves shunning us. Teaching your kids faulty theology/philosophy and then rejecting them if they reject it is not abuse. It is heartbreaking and it is awful, as I said I have experience with it, but it is not abusive. Also, regulations aren't helpful. The cult my parents grew up in did switch to homeschooling to increase their control. From what I understand many of my cousins had a poor education, one of them reached out to my parents when considering escaping, I am so thankful that my parents had the courage to leave when I was a toddler. But my cousins were homeschooled in NY state, hardly a low regulation state. The laws didn't make a difference. Now as I said, though I find the whole thing heartbreaking, it simply is not illegal.

I realize there are some legitimate cases of abuse, and they are easier to conceal with homeschooling, there are plenty of concealed cases in public school as well though. But it seems they are speaking out against the tools used and not the cause.

The one article stated that 2/3 of homeschoolers were religious fundamentalists. That seems to be a gross exaggeration if they are meaning fundamentalist as in the uber control patriarchal isolationist types. That certainly isn't my experience. They also lump a lot of more mainstream religious leaders, like Dobson, who although I don't agree with him on everything, is not at all the type of patriarchal fundamentalist that they are describing. There are a lot of misleading correlations and inferences in the article.

I really do feel for these people. I am totally in a "there but for the grace of God, would have been I" position. And I am all for raising awareness about the dangers of the patriarchal fundamentalist movement. And I think that raising awareness among homeschoolers is important, since homeschoolers are more likely to come in contact with or be influenced by these groups. But, I don't believe regulating homeschooling or identifying the problem as homeschooling is the solution.
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#3 Crimson Wife

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 04:54 PM

Why don't they just call themselves "Coalition Against Abuse & Neglect Cloaked in the Name of Religion"? Homeschooling is a red herring.
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#4 albeto.

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:00 PM

Why don't they just call themselves "Coalition Against Abuse & Neglect Cloaked in the Name of Religion"? Homeschooling is a red herring.

 

 

Home education is the system they are addressing. Religion is just one tool being used in the system. 


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#5 Crimson Wife

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:20 PM

Show me where a single one of their board members were homeschooled secularly and I'll grant you that this isn't about religion.
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#6 La Texican

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:21 PM

I think the cases of actual abuse can press charges on their parents as adults. That's where they should start. If there's enough successful prosecution then they have proved their point.
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#7 Ellie

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:26 PM

Frankly, this group looks a little scarey. Thankfully, they are not likely to get far.

 

Medical Care
We recommend requiring every child, including homeschooled students, to have a yearly health assessment by a qualified medical professional. We recommend requiring homeschool families to comply with the state’s immunization standards, filing either vaccination records or exemptions with their notice of intent.

 

 

This isn't even required in all states. Why should homeschooled children be singled out?

 

 
Assessment

We recommend that homeschooled students be assessed annually. We believe that these assessment mechanisms should reflect the flexible and innovative nature of homeschooling and should focus on whether learning is taking place rather than on whether students are at grade level in each subject. We recommend giving parents choice in the type of assessment by allowing them to choose between standardized testing and portfolio reviews, which involve creating portfolios that showcase students’ learning. In order to make the process as transparent, effective, and fair as possible, we recommend that standardized tests be administered by qualified individuals and that certified teachers conduct portfolio reviews and meet personally with each student. We recommend creating a remediation process to serve the interests of homeschooled students in need of academic intervention. We believe this remediation process should be positive and child-centered and should include providing committed homeschool families with additional support and resources in an effort to help them succeed.

 

 

 Public schooled children are assessed all over the place. This has not resulted in American children being actually well educated. Many states do not require private schools to test their students. Why should homeschooled children be singled out?

 

 

 
Bookkeeping

We recommend that each student’s annual assessment, whether that be a portfolio review or a standardized test, be maintained and kept on file by either the local school district or the state department of education. We see this as a service to homeschool families, as it will ensure that these records are kept safe and available to homeschool parents and homeschool graduates in coming years.

 

 

 

This is a "service"...how? "Safe" from whom? Public school records are not "available" to the parents or to their graduates. Why should homeschooled children's records be "safe and available" to...whom? Are there no privacy issues here?
 

 

 

At-Risk Children

We recommend barring parents convicted of child abuse, sexual offenses, or other crimes that would disqualify them from employment as a school teacher from homeschooling unless given approval by a judge. We recommend putting in place a process for flagging at-risk children, such as those with child abuse or neglect investigations in the previous ten years, for additional oversight.

 

 

While I abhor child abuse, the process for protecting children in public and private schools has not proven to actually protect children, and seems largely to be unenforceable. How will be successful with homeschoolers?
 

 

Notification

We recommend that each state require parents to provide annual notification of their intent to homeschool. This notice should include children’s names, ages, and grade levels and copies of student’s birth certificates and may be filed at the local level or at the state level. We recommend that homeschool enrollment information be shared between state and local education officials.

 

Seriously? Every year parents will send in photocopies of their children's birth certificates? and "grade level"? That should be a fun discussion, considering how many times it has been hashed over here. And this will help...how?

 

 

Parent Qualifications

We recommend that the parent providing instruction be required to have at least a high school diploma or GED. In cases where a parent does not have this qualification, homeschooling may be permitted under the supervision of a certified teacher or other similarly qualified individual.

 

 

Since there is no data proving that homeschooling parents without high school diplomas teach their children less well than those who have them, why would this be required? Not to mention the fact that public schools have teachers with a minimum of four years of college, and yet public schools in the U.S. have proven *not* to turn out well-educated young adults in spite of their teachers' own education, this certainly seems like yet another how-does-this-actually-help issue.

 

That's all for a minute...


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#8 La Texican

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:38 PM

They can't get far because they're assuming that education is an American right. Our country refuses to make it a right, except in some States. I made a whole thread on the chat forum when I learned that. The reason the United States will not make education a right (even though it's mandatory) is that then poor or minority, underfunded or underperforming school districts, could sue in court for their equal rights. If homeschool children want rights to an education they have to get in line behind failing schooldistricts, because if the lawmakers give in to this homeschooled group, then they have to make sure poor kids have a right to education too. Which they can't because they'll be sued.
http://forums.welltr...cation-a-right/
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#9 Sassenach

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:22 PM

The government can't give anyone a happy childhood, nor can it prevent anyone from having an unhappy childhood. Their parents saw the government as the devil, they see it as the savior.
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#10 albeto.

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:23 PM

Frankly, this group looks a little scarey. Thankfully, they are not likely to get far.


Scary in what way? What threat do you think they pose?
 

This isn't even required in all states. Why should homeschooled children be singled out?


This is one of the strong counter points you offer (which is why I wonder why you think this organization looks scary). This point isn't about education even, and would include a more extensive government health overhaul than we're trying to work out now, so the most this little group could do is recommend it.
 
 

While I abhor child abuse, the process for protecting children in public and private schools has not proven to actually protect children, and seems largely to be unenforceable. How will be successful with homeschoolers?


This is an idea I think is worthy of more discussion (which is what I see as the primary function of this group). Children's needs left to the sole discretion of their convicted abusers is a troubling issue, and one worthy of further national dialog. I get the impression their idea is to provide at lease some hours of alternative mentoring and influence for children identified as being abused and manipulated. I don't think the argument that just because a public school can't be trusted to do something in enough cases, we should't bother increasing accountability elsewhere. To me that argument wouldn't be accepted if we used it elsewhere [the justice system can't be trusted in enough cases, the legislative system can't be trusted in enough cases, the ATF can't be trusted in enough cases, kwim?]. In any case, there are a number of children who do suffer under a particular kind of abuse, and I think if we can address it, we owe it to the kids of our society to try to do that. 



#11 albeto.

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:33 PM

Show me where a single one of their board members were homeschooled secularly and I'll grant you that this isn't about religion.

 

Personal histories, like personalities, shouldn't be the basis for accepting or rejecting an argument. The arguments this organization supports should stand or fall based on the merits of the evidence and logic of the argument, not qualities unique to the people offering the arguments. In my opinion, this organization is addressing the educational claims of parents, calling for an accountability of these claims when there is a direct correlation with educational abuse and neglect (which is a clumsy expectation if educational abuse and neglect aren't even defined). I was also thinking of La Texican's past thread about the lack of educational rights for children in the US, so this accountability really has no basis of appeal. Nevertheless, I suspect this organization isn't motivated by removing religion from families, but exposing and reducing the abuse of children when this abuse is supported by this complete lack of oversight. When oversight affects physical, mental, and emotional development of children, it should concern us as a society, and providing an appropriate education is one way in which we can address this. 



#12 Crimson Wife

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

Their last question on the FAQ makes it clear that they have a special grudge against Christian homeschooling:

Due to the Wisconsin v. Yoder court decision allowing Amish families to homeschool their children and have them work the farms after 8th grade, not only were the open futures of the children not taken into account, but it was a decision that included both parental rights and religious belief. This means that Christian homeschooling parents currently have a stronger legal claim to rights than secular homeschooling parents do.


Homeschooling is a red herring- this is about a bunch of former HSers with an axe to grind about the type of patriarchal, super-fundamentalist Christianity that they were raised within. They are looking for an excuse to get the government involved in families similar to their parents' and are capitalizing on the general public's mistrust of HSing in order to do so.
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#13 54879525

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:59 PM

Good for them.

 

 


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#14 albeto.

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 08:30 PM

Their last question on the FAQ makes it clear that they have a special grudge against Christian homeschooling:


I don't see this as a grudge, but a legitimate concern. Although we don't currently have a right to an education in the US, I would agree with the argument that includes raising girls to be dependent upon the men in their lives (fathers then husbands), and raising boys to be laborers dependent upon a small community is abusive in and of itself. That's not because it's practiced and protected in some religious communities, but because it purposefully and systematically denies the future liberty of children, something all adults are guaranteed under the Constitution. There is a growing concern that the perceived rights of a religion should not trump the rights of an individual, and this is an example of this crossroad. 
 

Homeschooling is a red herring- this is about a bunch of former HSers with an axe to grind about the type of patriarchal, super-fundamentalist Christianity that they were raised within. They are looking for an excuse to get the government involved in families similar to their parents' and are capitalizing on the general public's mistrust of HSing in order to do so.


I suspect if this particular scenario were to play out in religious schools, others could (and should) make the case for neglect and abuse of power. However, this organization focuses on home education, not all private education, and so I don't see that as a red herring but a matter of educational focus.

 

But I'm curious, do you believe a problem exists here? And if so, how do you think it should be addressed?



#15 La Texican

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:29 PM

What a bizarre women's lib movement. It's legal to work, vote, own property without a man. It's a free country. They're only anchored by pavlovian training, lack of funding, maybe even stockholm syndrome. That's what the ones who leave the cult feel. Yet some never leave. Is that a valid choice?
Many parents leave their children stuck for life somewhere, just because of what they were born into. The apple often doesn't fall far from the tree.


In June, the HSLDA–authored Parental Rights Amendment was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with 64 co-sponsors. The amendment would enshrine in the Constitution parents’ “fundamental right” to direct their child’s upbringing however they see fit, free of state interference.

^^^ this part interested me from the article.

I wonder what this means?

#16 ColleenInWis

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:40 PM

Thanks, everyone, for discussing.  Very thoughtful replies.

 

I really do feel for these people. I am totally in a "there but for the grace of God, would have been I" position. And I am all for raising awareness about the dangers of the patriarchal fundamentalist movement. And I think that raising awareness among homeschoolers is important, since homeschoolers are more likely to come in contact with or be influenced by these groups. But, I don't believe regulating homeschooling or identifying the problem as homeschooling is the solution.

 

I agree that raising awareness can do a world of good.  If we are in contact with other homeschool families, we can help them be responsible parents.  Peer pressure among parents is a strong force--I firmly believe peer pressure has influenced many to jump on the patriarchal/fundamentalist bandwagon.  Let's provide a better model of what a homeschool family should be.  

 

I think the freedom we've been given here in the States is a little scary.  If parents want to treat their children as if they own them, they can.  We can get away with almost anything as long as no one reports or there is no physical evidence.  Is that ethical?  Don't children in a free society have some basic rights that those outside their family should attempt to protect?  HSLDA scoffs at that idea, from what I've seen, because "of course parents will do what's best for their children."  Unfortunately, not all parents will.

 

Going to check out La Texican's thread about rights before I comment further.  Thanks!


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#17 WishboneDawn

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:41 PM

Their last question on the FAQ makes it clear that they have a special grudge against Christian homeschooling:


Homeschooling is a red herring- this is about a bunch of former HSers with an axe to grind about the type of patriarchal, super-fundamentalist Christianity that they were raised within. They are looking for an excuse to get the government involved in families similar to their parents' and are capitalizing on the general public's mistrust of HSing in order to do so.


These are people who were homeschooled as children, people who were a part of the larger homeschooling community we are a part of. They are not outsiders and they have legitimate concerns.

I may not agree with them in everything but they do not deserve to be dismissed in any way. These are exactly the people we should be paying attention to and engaging with.

And I'm really not buying the, "it's not a homeschooling issue, it's a ****** issue," thing anymore. Homeschooling was one of the tools those parents could use to isolate and abuse their kids. Perhaps it's not the central cause but it played a part in what happened to those people as children.

I don't necessarily think they have the right answers but we should be considering experiences and outcomes like theirs when we're considering what our rights and responsibilities should be.

They are not the enemy, they're us.
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#18 La Texican

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:46 PM

Thanks, everyone, for discussing. Very thoughtful replies.




Going to check out La Texican's thread about rights before I comment further. Thanks!


Prepare to be shocked! I certainly was.

#19 ColleenInWis

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:48 PM

In June, the HSLDA–authored Parental Rights Amendment was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with 64 co-sponsors. The amendment would enshrine in the Constitution parents’ “fundamental right” to direct their child’s upbringing however they see fit, free of state interference.

^^^ this part interested me from the article.

I wonder what this means?

 

http://www.parentalrights.org/  HSLDA is behind this parental rights movement.  I don't know a lot about it except that it's a reaction to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which they oppose. http://www.hslda.org...ws/20091120.asp



#20 Crimson Wife

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:53 PM

But I'm curious, do you believe a problem exists here? And if so, how do you think it should be addressed?


Absolutely I have a problem with dreadful parenting. And if there is actual abuse and/or neglect going on, then CPS should get involved. But just because I disagree with how these patriarchal super-fundamentalist parents are choosing to raise their children does not mean that government should interfere unless there is evidence of actual abuse and/or neglect. There are plenty of lousy parents out there making bad decisions about how to raise their children. It breaks my heart to see but that is the price of living in a free country.

What we can do is to increase support for adult education to make sure that a lousy K-12 education (whether at home or in PS) isn't a permanent barrier to a better future.
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#21 ColleenInWis

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:56 PM

 

But I'm curious, do you believe a problem exists here? And if so, how do you think it should be addressed?

 

These are the questions we have to ask ourselves.  The tendency has been, in my experience, to look the other way or minimize any problems we see in homeschool families.  The tendency has been to keep up appearances--"we must preserve homeschooling's good reputation."  Admitting that there are problems is the first step, imho.

 

If there are problems and if we don't agree with the policy ideas of these very bright homeschool graduates, what solutions can we offer?


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#22 WishboneDawn

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:59 PM

These are the questions we have to ask ourselves. The tendency has been, in my experience, to look the other way or minimize any problems we see in homeschool families. The tendency has been to keep up appearances--"we must preserve homeschooling's good reputation." Admitting that there are problems is the first step, imho.

If there are problems and if we don't agree with the policy ideas of these very bright homeschool graduates, what solutions can we offer?


Exactly.
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#23 La Texican

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:05 PM

Useless, because of Section 2.
The HLSDA even says on their website that Texas homeschoolers need to resist any legislation that defines the term "homeschoolers". As it is there is no regulation on homeschoolers (here) because we are treated as micro-private schools, and private schools are unregulated (here). If any legislation is passsed for homeschoolers that will make us a separate legal class from private schools, so we can then be heavily regulated while the privafe schoos are not.
Section 2
"The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one's child."

#24 ColleenInWis

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:11 PM

While we're on the topic of HSLDA:  they added a section to their site about child abuse, supposedly in reaction to cries from the Homeschool Anonymous group.  That's a step toward awareness, assuming any homeschool parents read it.  http://www.hslda.org...ges/ChildAbuse/

 

  



#25 La Texican

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:13 PM

These are the questions we have to ask ourselves. The tendency has been, in my experience, to look the other way or minimize any problems we see in homeschool families. The tendency has been to keep up appearances--"we must preserve homeschooling's good reputation." Admitting that there are problems is the first step, imho.

If there are problems and if we don't agree with the policy ideas of these very bright homeschool graduates, what solutions can we offer?


Just remember that homeschoolers are a non-orginization of non-members, even though we tend to build community.
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#26 goldberry

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:51 PM

I don't necessarily agree with all their answers (the coalition that is), but I respect that for them, homeschooling was used as part of a system that was destructive.  They are looking for ways to prevent that from happening to other kids.  That's a legitimate goal, and they are pursuing the best way they see to accomplish it.

 

I don't see that it's a grudge against homeschooling, or Christianity.  It's a valid issue, and while I don't know if their answers will work, I don't have any of my own either. 


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#27 lea_lpz

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:41 AM

These are people who were homeschooled as children, people who were a part of the larger homeschooling community we are a part of. They are not outsiders and they have legitimate concerns.

I may not agree with them in everything but they do not deserve to be dismissed in any way. These are exactly the people we should be paying attention to and engaging with.

And I'm really not buying the, "it's not a homeschooling issue, it's a ****** issue," thing anymore. Homeschooling was one of the tools those parents could use to isolate and abuse their kids. Perhaps it's not the central cause but it played a part in what happened to those people as children.

I don't necessarily think they have the right answers but we should be considering experiences and outcomes like theirs when we're considering what our rights and responsibilities should be.

They are not the enemy, they're us.


I have to agree.

Homeschooling is an awesome responsibility. If parents are abusive or neglected, iit's a lot easier to hide if the kids are not going to school or having an opportunity to be away from their parents it's really difficult for them to let someone know what's going on or even know that the way they are being treated us wrong. Yes abuse happens to kids who go to school and yes obviously not all parents are homeschooling because they are part of a weird cult.

A bit of oversight to assure that homeschooling isn't being used as a tool to hide abuse or used to isolate kids isn't too much trouble for me.
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#28 Catherine

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 01:34 AM

I wish I had time to write more. 

 

The former homeshooled students are a very powerful voice-they got the ear of HSLDA and changes in their public message were forthcoming.  I think they (HSLDA) rightly perceive these students as a huge threat to their fear-mongering tactics, with constant scary messages about Big Brother.  Personally, it really upsets me to think of what these kids, and others who've had it much worse, have been through.  I honestly think HSDLA shares a part of the blame for encouraging these radical parents.  I know of a case a number of years ago of a 16 yo girl who sued her parents, who she contended were not educating her,  for the right to go to school.  HSLDA defended them against her in court and she lost.  That kind of thing is absolutely wrong IMO.  I don't know how they (HSLDA) sleep at night.

 

Given that I am a feminist, and cherish my freedom, I can't help but admire their efforts and I hope they are successful.  It's an outrage, IMO, that families are permitted to hide behind homeschooling while they systematically neglect their kids, their education, and their future in the 2013 USA.  If the rest of us have to accept a bit more oversight to prevent this kind of neglect, I have no problem with that. 


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#29 Catherine

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:54 AM

  There's no data because...there's no data.  HSLDA and some homeschoolers have worked hard to prevent collecting data on homeschooling.  I'm not sure why that is.  But I agree that data would help a lot-we don't really even know how many homeschooled kids there are out there.  If people are actually educating their kids, they should be fine.  The fact that schooled kids are abused and neglected is not the issue.  If anything, that strengthens their case, because schooled kids are in regular contact with mandatory reporters. 

 

I have zero problem with data collecting.  I think the vast, vast majority of homeschoolers have nothing to fear, and everything to gain, when data is collected about what we do.  I believe that in general, our kids are well-educated and go on to do well. 

 

Ellie, what do you mean when you say that the process that is in place to protect public schooled children has not proven to actually protect children?  Because it certainly has protected them, in some cases. Is there any data you can point to?  What do you propose is the best way to reach and protect children who are abused and neglected and do not attend school? 

 

I find it interesting that there are enough "escapees" out there, who are willing to talk publicly about this problem.  It suggests the numbers are significant.  I can only hope that their message gets out soon enough to save some of the kids who are suffering right now, particularly the girls. 


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#30 RoundAbout

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:38 AM

Thanks, everyone, for discussing. Very thoughtful replies.

I think the freedom we've been given here in the States is a little scary.
!


I think this is a frightening statement, and I'm coming from the view point of an atheist, academic, liberal, pro-government homeschooler.

Freedom (or liberty in the words of the founders) is not something that is given by the government, but rather a fundamental unalienable right.
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#31 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:05 AM

I think this is a frightening statement, and I'm coming from the view point of an atheist, academic, liberal, pro-government homeschooler.

Freedom (or liberty in the words of the founders) is not something that is given by the government, but rather a fundamental unalienable right.

 

I know.  I've held to libertarian views and hate the thought of gov't involvement in my parenting.  Gov't control is scary.

 

BUT, I'm questioning some of my assumptions in the face of what people can do to make life miserable for the weak ones who have been put in their care...  Isn't the power parents hold over children scary, too?  Power corrupts, and parents have power.  Shouldn't a nation work together for the good of the weak who are abused and manipulated and scarred for life?


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#32 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:07 AM

Oversight of home education wouldn't have to be by the gov't.  What about homeschool families keeping each other accountable?  Helping each other be responsible?  

 

 

 



#33 WishboneDawn

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:16 AM

I wish I had time to write more.

The former homeshooled students are a very powerful voice-they got the ear of HSLDA and changes in their public message were forthcoming. I think they (HSLDA) rightly perceive these students as a huge threat to their fear-mongering tactics, with constant scary messages about Big Brother. Personally, it really upsets me to think of what these kids, and others who've had it much worse, have been through. I honestly think HSDLA shares a part of the blame for encouraging these radical parents. I know of a case a number of years ago of a 16 yo girl who sued her parents, who she contended were not educating her, for the right to go to school. HSLDA defended them against her in court and she lost. That kind of thing is absolutely wrong IMO. I don't know how they (HSLDA) sleep at night.


The idea of parental rights over riding the rights of children doesn't sit right with me. I'd need some discussion to sort out exactly why though I think.
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#34 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:16 AM

I live in Wisconsin, where we only have to file a form once a year in order to homeschool.  The state simply accepts that we will educate our children according to the simple guidelines in the law--875 hours per year, sequential instruction in 6 subjects, no record-keeping required.   Our grassroots organization, WPA, has done a great job of keeping us free in this area since 1980-something.    

 

What measures are in place in other States or countries to provide some accountability for home-educating parents?  Are these measures effective in preventing or uncovering at least some cases of abuse or neglect in homeschools?  Are they overly-intrusive?  

 

 



#35 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:25 AM

The idea of parental rights over riding the rights of children doesn't sit right with me. I'd need some discussion to sort out exactly why though I think.

 

Dawn, this is similar to where I am.  I used to see things the way HSLDA did, but after realizing how some parents bulldoze over their children's lives, I concede that kids should have rights.  How to balance the two, when they come into conflict, is what I'm struggling with.  


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#36 MotherOfBoys

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:37 AM

If they collect data they will feel the need to improve it. I feel that's just human nature. You will always have unemployment and unschooling preschoolers. You will always have abuse. We don't live in a perfect world. I like being unregulated and off the grid. It's my child's choice if they want to be in the data pool, not mine. Till they are old enough to make that decision I will keep them out of data collection. For the most part, parents homeschool because they love their children and want what's best. It's easy to send them to ps and not interact with them. It's a lot harder to have the buck stop with you, the parent. Yes, there are exceptions to everything but the exceptions shouldn't hurt the mass population. 

 

We are unregulated Michigan preschoolers and plan to do everything to stay that way. I see on here in other states that one requirement to the government seems to lead to more. Leave me out of it entirely. 


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#37 snowbeltmom

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:43 AM

 

Oversight of home education wouldn't have to be by the gov't.  What about homeschool families keeping each other accountable?  Helping each other be responsible?  

 

 

 

 

I just don't understand the mindset that as a homeschooler I should feel some responsibility to hold other homeschoolers accountable and responsible.  What would give me the right to impose my educational beliefs and family/religious values onto another family? 

 

Now if a child were being abused based on criteria defined by state law, I would (and have) report the abuse to the government agency that deals with child abuse.  But child abuse is a parenting issue, not a homeschooling issue - an idea that some of our elected officials in Ohio are now beginning to grasp.

 

 


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#38 Crimson Wife

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:46 AM

If the rest of us have to accept a bit more oversight to prevent this kind of neglect, I have no problem with that.


The same kind of argument could be made for parents to have to submit food logs to the government of what their children eat because some lousy parents feed their kids absolute [email protected] and as a result those children wind up obese and unhealthy as adults.

Freedom means that some kids wind up harmed by their parents' poor decision making. Yes, it's a downright shame when that happens but having a nanny state micromanaging our lives because of a few "bad apples" is not the solution.
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#39 Berta

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:50 AM

I think this is a frightening statement, and I'm coming from the view point of an atheist, academic, liberal, pro-government homeschooler.

Freedom (or liberty in the words of the founders) is not something that is given by the government, but rather a fundamental unalienable right.

 

Very frightening indeed, coming from a Christian, libertarian/ somewhat right wing, non-govt-trusting homeschooler.

 

People that abuse/neglect children will do so regardless of the law. We see this every day when it comes to drugs, firearms and other regulated issues. I'm pretty sure child abuse is already illegal. Adding more laws and oversight isn't going to thwart someone intent on NOT educating their children, they will find a way to circumvent the laws.

 

I don't have an answer, I just believe that adding more gov't into our daily lives isn't the answer.
 


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#40 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:59 AM

Bookkeeping

We recommend that each student’s annual assessment, whether that be a portfolio review or a standardized test, be maintained and kept on file by either the local school district or the state department of education. We see this as a service to homeschool families, as it will ensure that these records are kept safe and available to homeschool parents and homeschool graduates in coming years.

 

 

 

This is a "service"...how? "Safe" from whom? Public school records are not "available" to the parents or to their graduates. Why should homeschooled children's records be "safe and available" to...whom? Are there no privacy issues here?

 

 

Ellie, I found an answer to this on the group's facebook page:  We support keeping files on record because of cases we have found where homeschool parents use their control of their children's records to harm their children upon adulthood. We believe that children who are homeschooled by abusive parents should have access to their educational records as adults, and that having those records on file at the local school like other students' records would allow them to have that access.


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#41 snowbeltmom

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:13 AM

Ellie, I found an answer to this on the group's facebook page:  We support keeping files on record because of cases we have found where homeschool parents use their control of their children's records to harm their children upon adulthood. We believe that children who are homeschooled by abusive parents should have access to their educational records as adults, and that having those records on file at the local school like other students' records would allow them to have that access.

 

I don't understand that statement at all.  Why, as an adult, would my kids ever need to access their homeschooling records?  How can the parents "use their control of their children's records to harm their children upon adulthood?"  :confused:

 

What do homeschooling records even look like?  I am just not getting this. :confused: :confused: :confused:
 



#42 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:16 AM

I don't understand that statement at all.  Why, as an adult, would my kids ever need to access their homeschooling records?  How can the parents "use their control of their children's records to harm their children upon adulthood?"  :confused:

 

What do homeschooling records even look like?  I am just not getting this. :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

I had to think about this a minute, too, as I was reading the thread just now.

Is it possible that they're referring to lack of access to transcript, test scores, proof of courses, etc. that a graduating hs student might need to apply to college?


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#43 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:41 AM

I had to think about this a minute, too, as I was reading the thread just now.

Is it possible that they're referring to lack of access to transcript, test scores, proof of courses, etc. that a graduating hs student might need to apply to college?

 

Exactly.  The parents control those records.


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#44 WishboneDawn

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:42 AM

I had to think about this a minute, too, as I was reading the thread just now.

Is it possible that they're referring to lack of access to transcript, test scores, proof of courses, etc. that a graduating hs student might need to apply to college?


I think that's exactly the scenario some of the people at HA have experienced, especially the women.

There are archives with the stories of formally homeschooling people on that site. That should be mandatory reading for those in this thread.
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#45 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:55 AM

HA = http://homeschoolers....wordpress.com/



#46 snowbeltmom

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:56 AM

Exactly.  The parents control those records.

The parents don't control those records. 

 

The high school student is in control of his testing records with the College Board and the ACT folks.  Those records are in the student's name, not the parents' names.  Those records are password protected by a password set by the student.  The student decides what to do with those records, not the parent.

 

As far as transcripts go, there is absolutely nothing preventing a high school student from creating his own transcript and applying to colleges.

 

 


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#47 ColleenInWis

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

,,,If the student was allowed to take the ACT or SAT.


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#48 RootAnn

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:29 PM

 

Oversight of home education wouldn't have to be by the gov't.  What about homeschool families keeping each other accountable?  Helping each other be responsible?  

 

So in those areas where unschooling or 'delight-directed' home schooling is the norm, would the minority classical or school-at-home homeschooling families be formally pressured into backing off because they were 'abusing' their children? What about those Creationist-believing parents who feel the secular homeschooler is leading their children to the devil because their science includes evolution? Or that a family is abusing their kids by only teaching Intelligent Design? 

 

There are bad parents out there and that includes people who shouldn't ever homeschool their kids. More regulations aren't going to change those people. Pressure from other families isn't going to change the situation. They will simply become more secretive & more isolationist. 


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#49 snowbeltmom

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:35 PM

,,,If the student was allowed to take the ACT or SAT.

 

How does creating a law to require homeschoolers to keep records on file with a government agency address this issue?

 

Also, a student does not need parental permission to register for any of these tests. 
 



#50 WishboneDawn

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:37 PM

The parents don't control those records.

The high school student is in control of his testing records with the College Board and the ACT folks. Those records are in the student's name, not the parents' names. Those records are password protected by a password set by the student. The student decides what to do with those records, not the parent.

As far as transcripts go, there is absolutely nothing preventing a high school student from creating his own transcript and applying to colleges.

I think the whole point of HA Ida that there absolutely is stuff that's preventing the high school student from doing those things: isolation, abuse, conditioning, naive kids who haven't a clue how world beyond their and church work, a controlling religious community that supports the parents...

Their proposals may not be the right answer but I think before anyone decide there are simple answers to their problems or, as someone suggested, that they simply have a grudge, their experiences should considered.

How is the ACT info helpful if your parents won't let you take the ACT because they intend for you to be married with kids the time you're 18?

How is the transcript info helpful if you're dealing with a kid who, as one of the writers put it, is not only recovering from abuse but essentially a cultural immigrant in their own country with idea how society large works?
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