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Homeschool impostors' rights -- what do you think?


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I was intrigued by the impostor thread. It got me thinking about what makes a decent education and who decides just what the government can require.

 

I wonder if some kids may be just fine with what many of us would call non-schooling.

 

Say that for whatever reason a family can't/won't bring kids to school, can't deal with homework, and don't have the wherewithal/interest to provide an education at home. Say that education (as many of us would define it) just isn't a priority/goal in their family. Say the family doesn't want to participate in schooling and doesn't believe it is essential. Isn't that their right?

 

For example, when I was teaching in Los Angeles I had several families who weren't overly concerned about their daughters' educations. They seemed to be loving, caring, family-oriented people who cherished their children. But, they smiled and came right out and said that reading, writing and 'rithmetic were not so important for their girls -- they would some day be married and cooking and caring for children. Isn't that a legitimate cultural choice?

 

I wouldn't choose that. But I'm not them. And I'd find it somewhat disturbing for the US government to swoop down on them and force them to change.

 

I suppose the problem (for us as homeschoolers) is when non-schooling folks call themselves homeschoolers? Or do some of you think that non-schooling is akin to abuse? Is a 'traditional' education a child's right in this country? Is it truly necessary? What would you say is essential?

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I don't have a problem with parents choosing to do that so long as they also leave their children a trust fund such that taxpayers won't have to support them as adults.

 

The reason that it's society's business whether or not children get a decent education is because we're the ones who have to pay for assistance programs, incarceration if they turn to crime, and so on. I realize that some people are disabled and legitimately unable to support themselves. Others may need a helping hand from time to time because of things like unemployment. But it makes me mad for my family's hard-earned dollars towards assistance for folks simply because nobody bothered to educate them properly (whether the neglect happened in a traditional school or at home).

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My gut reaction. Some quick thoughts.

 

To some degree I think it became necessary when we started government assistance programs. To purposely neglect to educate your children makes them a financial burden on all of us.

 

An education is a right in this country and educational neglect is a crime.

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An education is a right in this country and educational neglect is a crime.

 

The tricky part though - how do you (and who gets to) define "education"?

 

It's quite obvious just by looking at the variety of home educating methods, public & private school designs, etc, that people often define it differently.

 

Who gets to make the rules?

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I totally agree with both above posters. I understand people's right to do what they choose (obviously within reason) with their children's education/healthcare/discipline etc. I do not agree with letting them be ignorant, non productive drains on society. I do not want to support the children who are uneducated due to their parent's neglect. I like the trust fund idea!:001_smile:

 

Then again, to play devil's advocate, the cultures that only want their females to grow up and be housewives have that right too. Who am I to tell them that their girls should be college grads? But, on the other hand...those girls will be supported by their husbands. I live in Montana and we have a large Hutterite populatioin and their members only go to the 8th grade, then they are taught a specific job ie, farming, hog raising, carpenter etc for men and cooking, baking, sewing for the women. They are neither ignorant nor non productive. They sell much of their harvest to our local grocery stores and each one plays a part in their society.

 

Education is free and readily available in the country to everyone...legal or not. It might not be the best education but something is better than nothing. Children should be given every opportunity to be as successful as they can be. Without education a mind is wasted.

 

ETA: I am not sure of my stance on standardized tests since it has been a long time since I have dealth with them. I do plan on getting my DD tested with our local school just for my own satisfaction/curiosity. To answer the post by Gwen...I am not sure of that answer and I don't agree with the government being "spies" in our lives but I do think children should at least be schooled (home or institution) until at least an 8th grade level. How do you make sure every kid gets that is the big question. Your questions gives us food for thought.

Edited by misidawnrn
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I suppose the problem (for us as homeschoolers) is when non-schooling folks call themselves homeschoolers? Or do some of you think that non-schooling is akin to abuse? Is a 'traditional' education a child's right in this country? Is it truly necessary? What would you say is essential?

 

I think that basic reading, writing, and mathematics ARE essential and that parents who do not teach their children the basics are hurting them. They may plan one path for their child, but it doesn't mean that child is going to stay the path. You used the example of families you met who didn't feel their daughter's educations were that important because they're just going to get married and have babies. What happens if the husband leaves her, dies, or becomes injured and is unable to work? The wife who may not be able to read, write, and do basic math will then have to go out and find a job where she makes enough money to support her family. What perspective employer is going to take her seriously if she can't even fill out a job application? So yes, I think not teaching the basics is akin to abuse. I'm not saying everyone has to teach those basics in a traditional way, but they should be taught and I do consider them essential.

 

People can throw tomatoes at me, I'm ducking. I do not agree with people calling themselves homeschoolers who are actually non-schoolers. If the government left everyone alone and didn't interfere in child-rearing I wouldn't care what they called themselves. The government DOES interfere though, and every year there are states where regulations on homeschoolers get tougher and tougher. Politicians and school boards latch onto these non-homeschooler stories and use those to institute harsher regulations instead of looking at all the people who actually do school with their kids every day and make them work hard. It aggravates me that because these people don't school their children, more hoops are created for me to jump through. I'm schooling my kids -- I don't have time to jump through extra hoops!!!!!

 

And yes -- I have met people like this. I know on the other thread the majority of people said they had never met families like this, but I have.

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It's wrong and never acceptable, IMO, to fail to provide at least a minimal education for a child. They have no choice in the matter. It's a handicap for a young adult to enter life without basic academic skills-by this I mean, reading, writing, basic arithmetic. This is not so difficult for a kid to acquire with minimal assistance from a parent.

 

As for failing to educate girls selectively, I think parents who do this should be sentenced to live amongst their peers, the Taliban. It's absolutely inexcusable in the USA in 2010.

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It's a handicap for a young adult to enter life without basic academic skills-by this I mean, reading, writing, basic arithmetic.

 

 

 

 

Then I suggest you make an effort to revamp the public school system because there are hundreds of thousands of kids who have "graduated" yet cannot perform basic reading, writing and arithmetic. They are so poor in these skills that employers must provide remedial training in order to bring them up to a minimal standard.

 

This is a severe problem. I work for a department that provides basic skills training to these companies. You would be appalled at the level of skills that far too many recent high school graduate have. They are not only incompetent for most jobs, they pose an unacceptable safety risk for themselves and others because they cannot read or comprehend the most basic safety guidelines.

 

If unschooling is "abuse" then I posit that graduating incompetents from public schools is "abuse" in equal measure.

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The tricky part though - how do you (and who gets to) define "education"?

 

It's quite obvious just by looking at the variety of home educating methods, public & private school designs, etc, that people often define it differently.

 

Who gets to make the rules?

 

That is the tricky part, because everyone has a different educational growth potential. So we have compulsory attendance laws. The state ensures the education of children by creating laws that state all children must attend school (public, private, homeschool, tutor). Criminal educational neglect is usually evidenced by truancy and rarely by a lack of knowledge on the part of the student.

 

But ultimately why does the state care? Because in may cases they (ultimately the taxpayers) are footing the bill for those who don't receive an adequate education.

 

Now whether or not any of that NEEDS to be in place is highly debatable and very political.

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The reason that it's society's business whether or not children get a decent education is because we're the ones who have to pay for assistance programs, incarceration if they turn to crime, and so on.

 

So, does this mean that society in the US is failing considering the high percentage of drop outs in PS?

 

I suspect that the vast majority of people on assistance programs or incarcerated were state educated.

 

Gatto (and others) make a compelling argument to stop compulsory school.

 

In the US, our PS system is actually a contributing factor to failure.

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It's wrong and never acceptable, IMO, to fail to provide at least a minimal education for a child. They have no choice in the matter. It's a handicap for a young adult to enter life without basic academic skills-by this I mean, reading, writing, basic arithmetic. This is not so difficult for a kid to acquire with minimal assistance from a parent.

 

As for failing to educate girls selectively, I think parents who do this should be sentenced to live amongst their peers, the Taliban. It's absolutely inexcusable in the USA in 2010.

 

Well, I agree with you. But, these are our values -- not, perhaps the values of others. So, who decides the nation's values?

 

Is educational freedom anything like religious freedom? My sense is that it may be.

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I don't have a problem with parents choosing to do that so long as they also leave their children a trust fund such that taxpayers won't have to support them as adults.

 

The reason that it's society's business whether or not children get a decent education is because we're the ones who have to pay for assistance programs, incarceration if they turn to crime, and so on. I realize that some people are disabled and legitimately unable to support themselves. Others may need a helping hand from time to time because of things like unemployment. But it makes me mad for my family's hard-earned dollars towards assistance for folks simply because nobody bothered to educate them properly (whether the neglect happened in a traditional school or at home).

 

I see your point. But, do we require compulsory education just so we don't have to pay for society's potential losers? That is a pretty grim rationale for public education -- would you agree?

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Guest Dulcimeramy
Then I suggest you make an effort to revamp the public school system because there are hundreds of thousands of kids who have "graduated" yet cannot perform basic reading, writing and arithmetic. They are so poor in these skills that employers must provide remedial training in order to bring them up to a minimal standard.

 

This is a severe problem. I work for a department that provides basic skills training to these companies. You would be appalled at the level of skills that far too many recent high school graduate have. They are not only incompetent for most jobs, they pose an unacceptable safety risk for themselves and others because they cannot read or comprehend the most basic safety guidelines.

 

If unschooling is "abuse" then I posit that graduating incompetents from public schools is "abuse" in equal measure.

 

:iagree:

 

I edited what I typed here because I let my political passion run away with me. I jumped on my soapbox and splintered it to bits. Decided to sweep up instead of leaving the mess.

 

There's an admonition to Christians in the Bible to encourage one another toward love and good works. I think most religions have similar ideals. Are we doing that? I'm not. I'm too afraid of offending longtime friends. What kind of a friend am I, then?

 

Maybe we should watch out for each other better. Find the courage to talk "to" neglectful parents and see if there's anything we can do to help instead of talking "about" them so much. Maybe they are following strange leaders and need somebody to bring up the fact that it is OK to use a curriculum, or hire a tutor...or put the kid in school if that seems helpful.

 

Supporting the gov't public school system in all its glorious failure and validating its wrong-headed goals by turning in our fellow homeschoolers could not possibly be the right course of action. We shouldn't even consider it.

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Then I suggest you make an effort to revamp the public school system because there are hundreds of thousands of kids who have "graduated" yet cannot perform basic reading, writing and arithmetic. They are so poor in these skills that employers must provide remedial training in order to bring them up to a minimal standard.

 

This is a severe problem. I work for a department that provides basic skills training to these companies. You would be appalled at the level of skills that far too many recent high school graduate have. They are not only incompetent for most jobs, they pose an unacceptable safety risk for themselves and others because they cannot read or comprehend the most basic safety guidelines.

 

If unschooling is "abuse" then I posit that graduating incompetents from public schools is "abuse" in equal measure.

:iagree:

 

Well, I agree with you. But, these are our values -- not, perhaps the values of others. So, who decides the nation's values?

 

Is educational freedom anything like religious freedom? My sense is that it may be.

 

I think it should be, but I doubt it is.

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Is educational freedom anything like religious freedom? My sense is that it may be.

 

Weeeell, is denying a child basic information necessary to function in our society educational freedom for the CHILD? I think this is another situation where is depends on a person's understanding of parental rights versus children's rights. Not "does the parent have the right to do this," but "what basic needs does a child have the right to expect?"

 

Just my two cents. :)

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Nope, no way, not at all the parent's right to neglect their child. It is every child's right to a basic education (i.e., on par with public education though high school).

 

There are many ways to achieve that goal. Nonschooling for the early years could be perfectly reasonable. Unschooling done well could work through high school. Creative, eclectic, messy schooling is OK. But that schooling must result, one way or another, in a child who is prepared to both be a contributing, self-supporting, participatory citizen of the U.S. and to go to college at 18 if they wish. (Obviously, a child who is intellectually incapable of a standard education is a special case.)

 

If at 18, the child chooses a non-college profession, so be it. However, the child deserves the choice.

 

A parent who is too lazy to get their child(ren) an education is negligent, and the state should intervene to protect the child. Parents do not have the right to neglect their children's education any more than they have the right to neglect their medical, nutritional, or other basic needs.

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Nope, no way, not at all the parent's right to neglect their child. It is every child's right to a basic education (i.e., on par with public education though high school).

 

There are many ways to achieve that goal. Nonschooling for the early years could be perfectly reasonable. Unschooling done well could work through high school. Creative, eclectic, messy schooling is OK. But that schooling must result, one way or another, in a child who is prepared to both be a contributing, self-supporting, participatory citizen of the U.S. and to go to college at 18 if they wish. (Obviously, a child who is intellectually incapable of a standard education is a special case.)

 

If at 18, the child chooses a non-college profession, so be it. However, the child deserves the choice.

 

A parent who is too lazy to get their child(ren) an education is negligent, and the state should intervene to protect the child. Parents do not have the right to neglect their children's education any more than they have the right to neglect their medical, nutritional, or other basic needs.

 

The problem is that the system to which oversight of this would be relinquished (i.e. the public schools) cannot even guarantee this result themselves. Not all of those who exit public school are prepared to be contributing, self-supporting, participatory citizens and/or go to college.

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The problem is that the system to which oversight of this would be relinquished (i.e. the public schools) cannot even guarantee this result themselves. Not all of those who exit public school are prepared to be contributing, self-supporting, participatory citizens and/or go to college.

 

Absolutely true and also unacceptable. Gov't schools should be excellent. I am happy to pay taxes to help ensure that and I support reforming failing systems such as teacher tenure and seniority-based staffing decisions. I love pay-for-performance. Raise my taxes and give me a better educated citizenry. I'll vote for the tax increases every time, no problem.

 

However, I believe that the ultimate responsibility to obtain an appropriate education for the child always rests with the parent. The parent can use public school, private school, homeschool, or any combination or flavor of schooling. . . But, it is the parent's God-given duty and ethical/moral responsbility to raise the child.

 

We all know that any school can fail a child. Placing a child in a gov't school does not absolve the parent of responsibility for ensuring an adequate education for their child. Every responsible parent I know works hard to get their child properly educated, whether by doing it themselves or providing the support the child needs to succeed in a public or private school.

 

I am no fan of gov't schooling for *my* kids, but frankly, it did just fine by me. I went to great public schools. I had some amazing teachers and obtained a very good education. I was well prepared for success in college and career and to be a responsible citizen. Many kids today are getting just as good or better an education in gov't schools.

 

However, my mom worked very hard to make all that happenm for me. She picked a community with good schools & a healthy lifestyle for children to flourish. She coordinated all the extras (lessons, sports, travel, etc.) She drove me to school when I missed the bus. She busted my butt when I cut school. She kept me away from drugs and on a healthy path. She gave me reinforcement for success and discipline for failures. She fought the system to get me whatever she thought I needed. She had a house full of books and took me to cultural events. Etc. Etc.

 

If she'd have let me stay home and watch TV and read novels and play with my guinea pigs all day. . . I surely would have. . . and I'm not confident I'd have ever picked up a math book for fun after the age of 10. I hated school! I hated the mean kids and the mean teachers and the busy work.

 

She didn't take the easy way out. She did whatever she had to do to make sure I got the education I needed. That is what every parent should do, IMHO.

 

There is plenty of responsibility to go around. It's easy to blame the schools. However, a good parent can work around a bad school system. For instance, President Obama's mom. . . who before-schooled him rigorously for several hours every day when they lived overseas with an inadequate school system. Great parents just make it happen one way or another. Every child deserves great parents.

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Non-schooling should not be called homeschooling.

 

PARENTS are the ones responsible for making sure their kids are prepared for life (whether they use school or not!). Claiming a child was sent to school or given workbooks or whatever is not an excuse for neglect.

 

I do not think the education has to go so far as to make it where a child could go to college. There are options for those people should they not be prepared and choose to go later. However, I do think there should be a minimum level of education that is the goal for all people. I think that under a certain level, you're talking about neglect.

 

I think it matters to the rest of us because we don't want to pay for the issues associated with this choice. Additionally, there could be safety, health, and emotional concerns that would effect more of us. It also has a huge potential to cause generational issues.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I agree with a lot of StephanieZ's points brought up in the earlier posts, especially about the need to leave the choice up to each child.

 

While I vehemently disagree with unschooling past certain age (say double-digits, that's IMO the latest a child's education should become structured more than chaotic and child-led), I support the right of others to unschool their children as long as such an education is going to bring children to the point in which they can freely decide about their future. Parents' educational choices should be such that they don't limit their children. For that reason, non-schooling is something that I really have an issue with, because doing nothing limits your child's life options.

 

I don't think parents have the right to decide in the name of their children what they're going to do with their lives and thus limit them by stopping their formal education prematurely, forcing them into work, making them stay at home, etc. Keeping the options open - yes, and one of the ways to ensure it is to make sure children go through formal primary and secondary education (some sort of), and have the option of continuing with their education.

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I don't think parents have the right to decide in the name of their children what they're going to do with their lives and thus limit them by stopping their formal education prematurely, forcing them into work, making them stay at home, etc.

 

Sometimes it's not as explicit as the parent forcing their children to limit their education, but more of a pervasive provincial attitude towards academics. ETA: I mean as in the case with the OP's experience:

For example, when I was teaching in Los Angeles I had several families who weren't overly concerned about their daughters' educations.
Edited by Snickerdoodle
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Sometimes it's not as explicit as the parent forcing their children to limit their education, but more of a pervasive provincial attitude towards academics. ETA: I mean as in the case with the OP's experience:

You're right, but that's only one more reason why I think it shouldn't be legally allowed (and isn't) until certain age: because such attitudes do limit children, even if they're an expression of genuine provincial lack of academic aspirations.

I tend to view a child's right on basic education to prevail over parents' right to lead a certain lifestyle or adhere to certain philosophy / attitude towards academics.

 

In the cases where we're talking about something more subtle than deciding that your children are going to finish 8th grade and that's it, an attitude more than an act, I think it's less of a problem, as long as those people regularly enroll their kids into the system and thus allow them to make a choice for education later.

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I think policing the issue is a large part of the ps system's problems.

 

Taking these things out to their logical conclusions means that we, as HSers, will have to be evaluated by some sort of meter stick. This would inevitably lead to HSers "teaching to the test." No thanks! This would inevitably mean that some bureaucrat decides what is taught in our homes...nationally normed curricula will be filled with nonsense that has nothing to do with the 3R's and everything to do with indoctrinating the next generation towards (liberal or conservative) political leanings. No thanks! This would mean giving the "homeschool police" teeth...I'm imagining parents being arrested for "abuse" over a child not getting algebra or being a late reader or going through a defiant phase or the family having a baby and taking a light year or taking a year to travel and just not jumping over the red tape that has killed our ps. No thanks!

 

When we, as taxpayers, can fire failing ps teachers....I'll reconsider.

 

I think it's really sad that some parents say they homeschool when in reality they are just keeping their kids home. *I* think all children should have the opportunity to read, write and know enough math to get along in life as an adult. I don't think policing HSers will have the desired result.

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I don't think we should have HS police by any stretch. I really don't have an answer to the problem. But I think that if we keep having nonschoolers becoming more and more common we ARE going to end up with HS police.

 

:iagree:

 

So...how do we practically influence and inspire the nonschooler (I'm guessing most have good intentions.)? More books? More HS groups (I've avoided joining these b/c they require so much FROM me.)?

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Question: Does one lose the ability to learn? Is it harder for someone who is a teen or younger adult to learn than a five or six year old? It has been my experience that the answer is no. In fact, an adult can learn faster than a child. The only exception I can think of is foreign language. Even then, an adult can learn the language faster (with application), but will probably not speak like a native. If you want to say that illiterate adults have more trouble learning than youth, you are most likely correct for today's society. But, those adults have most likely had instruction as a child and have some sort of learning disability. What about long ago when there were untaught? The stumbling block to learning as an adult during that time was most likely time. They were having to fit in learning during off times from work and family. Overall, an adult is going to learn faster and more efficiently than a child.

 

So, why is it assumed that schooling must be done in the early years of life? A family that does not educate their children is not stopping that person from learning if they desire. The one argument that I see that could be made is that they have created an attitude of non-learning. But, they have not stopped the ability to learn.

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Am I a fan of neglect? No. Abuse? No. Stupidity? No.

 

But there are a gazillion parents out there who really do not really think or care about what is best for their kids. They send their kids to the neighborhood public school. They don't even attempt to find a better school for them. In our city, if your neighborhood school is on academic watch or emergency you can get a voucher to attend any number of better PS schools or a catholic school. All you have to do is read the paperwork they send and fill it out. Not that many do it. That's sad. It is just too much trouble I guess. :confused:

 

I don't think it matters what form of schooling you choose to adopt, you will have over-achievers and slackers, people who really care and those who don't. You will have kids who excel despite the horribleness of the school, and those who fail at a stellar one. Home education is no different.

 

But, as most kids in the country go to the state run school system that admits daily how many kids they fail to educate well, has gobs of $$ and a ton of oversight.... THAT is where the government should stick it's nose in. Not into HSers lives.

 

I am not a fan of radical unschooling or that weird "school at home extreme". But do parents have the right to choose that form of education? Begrudgingly, yes. I personally feel that you have to have all or nothing. You either have the freedom or you don't. I do not think that my HS freedom should be affected and regulated because of a few nutjobs. It is assuming a negative. Sorry. Can't go there.

 

I refuse to start the slippery slope, and part of the freedom in the country has that double edge... the ability to really screw up.

 

I don't think I have ever met any HS "imposters". I would think that they wouldn't bother to go to any HS outings. I know plenty of unschoolers. There are a few of them who are definitely outside my comfort zone, and I feel are making mistakes, but they are not "imposters". I think they have different values and ideas. Who the heck am I to judge? That only gives someone else the right to judge me.

 

Educational abuse is real, and unacceptable. As is any abuse. There are enough rules and regulations out there to address it when discovered, and I am not a fan of intruding unless there is a foundational reason. Think of that poor girl who was kidnapped and kept in a tent in the backyard for years... that was totally wrong, illegal etc. Should we allow the government into everyone's house and backyard because of that?

 

Need to get more coffee and stop this ramble... :tongue_smilie:

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So, why is it assumed that schooling must be done in the early years of life? A family that does not educate their children is not stopping that person from learning if they desire. The one argument that I see that could be made is that they have created an attitude of non-learning. But, they have not stopped the ability to learn.

No, but they hand their child a hurdle that may be very difficult to overcome.

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I think there are windows of opportunity as well as skills, characteristics, traits, etc that are easier to pick up at certain ages. Not to mention, it is a whole lot easier to spend your teen years learning when you have less responsibility than when you're a homeschooling mom with a chronic illness who sometimes works also.

 

I also think that the attitude and never having to spend the effort to learn will inhibit later learning. They'd have to have some catalyst to encourage them and it still would probably be difficult to follow through. I know that has been the case for me on some things and I had a decent education and opportunities to excel.

 

HOWEVER, I most certainly believe people continue to have the ability to learn. In fact, the scriptures say that a person could live forever and not learn all the works of God. I don't think he was saying we'd be unable to learn, but just that there is plenty to keep people busy for all eternity.

 

Like I mentioned in another thread. No one should assume they have more than the 16-21 years most of us have to educate our children; and by the time they move on, they should have at least basic skills and knowledge to function well in this world.

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I think a parent has the right to educate their child in whichever way they feel best suited for their family.....whether it be unschooling, public school, online schooling, etc. However, I think that failing to provide any sort of education is infringing on the child's right to an education.

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For example, when I was teaching in Los Angeles I had several families who weren't overly concerned about their daughters' educations. They seemed to be loving, caring, family-oriented people who cherished their children. But, they smiled and came right out and said that reading, writing and 'rithmetic were not so important for their girls -- they would some day be married and cooking and caring for children. Isn't that a legitimate cultural choice?

 

Is a 'traditional' education a child's right in this country? Is it truly necessary? What would you say is essential?

 

I think that 150 years ago, an adult could function and contribute towards society and her family in spite of illiteracy. Most of the skills that were essential to survival could not be taught in schools.

 

It's no longer possible to function in our society without at least a basic education. I think failing to teach your children basic skills like reading and math would be akin to a person in the 19th century failing to teach their children basic farming or hunting skills. If you have the resources to see that your children are educated, why would you withhold those skills?

 

I really don't understand not giving your children an education. Even if it's not going to be useful, in an everyday sense of the word, education is always valuable. Even if you will "just" be caring for your children, who will those children go to when they have questions? Shouldn't a mother be able to help a child with homework and answer the endless "why" questions? There are days when I am grateful for my degree in chemistry (which I've never actually used in the workforce) because that foundation has been a great help with some of the crazy questions my kids ask.

 

Now, as far as what government should require...I don't know. I'm one of those people that tends to think the government ruins a lot of things it sticks it's fingers into. I don't think we can effectively compel someone to gain an education if they don't want to, but maybe a poor education is better than no education at all?

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I think there is a basic level of shared cultural values which we accept if we live in a certain country. Since I'm from the US, I'll write from that perspective. Here, I think access to a decent education is a right. I believe a nonschooling family should be subject to truancy laws: if the child has not been schooled at home, that's the same as if they haven't been schooled at a traditional school.

 

I tsupport established law in our country that groups with different cultures, such as the Amish, school until 8th grade and then have an established nontraditional educational program that prepares their children to be productive citizens.

 

I think 8th grade is a decent cut-off. The child has had time to get the fundamentals of education and to have begun to think for him/herself. They have some ability to participate in the choice of the thing at that point. Communities such as the Amish do allow their youth a period of choice as to whether to remain in the community as adults or not. I think that is critical in whether we support a subculture within our larger culture. There are groups in which to cross the cultural norms can be a death sentence. In the US, our shared value is freedom to choose as adults. A subculture that doesn't allow that cannot be supported by the US government. So while I would personally be in favor of respecting subcultures as much as possible, that is where I would draw the line: does the child, on becoming an adult, have freedom to leave? If not, that subculture is not entitled to their own educational exemptions.

 

I think it is very sad when families discriminate against their daughters in terms of education. I'm not sure how that is different than giving the best food to the boys because they need to be stronger to support their families. I understand if there is a different track for the girls in which they, too, are educated, but toward different ends (homemaking rather than workplace), but I guess (thinking out loud here) that I do think a girl's education should include a way for her to earn money on her own should the need ever arise. (How many women are stuck in abusive situations because they and their children are financially dependent on the man?) I suppose that childcare and house-cleaning would do for earning money.

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Absolutely. Or at least we should be able to sue for educational "malpractice".

 

The problem is it truly may not be the teachers/educational system's fault. My SIL teaches remedial math at the hs level. She is an excellent teacher. She loves her job and is passionate about it, but she has no say in whether the kids make any attempt to learn the materials. If the families don't make education a priority then it doesn't matter what she does, the kids won't learn, their families move to where the jobs are and don't think twice about not enrolling their jr/sr in school when they move and they show up on her roster as drop-outs.

 

I'm not even sure you can look back and blame a particular teacher/school system. When my mom taught ps she would have students come in at the preK level who had no functional language skills because Spanish was spoken some, English some and no one made the effort to teach the child either. When educational neglect begins in toddlerhood it's hard to blame the system that tries to do the best they can (for the most part).

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Is access and the "right to" the same as obligation?

 

I don't think so, but I bet most do.

 

I have the right to access and read any material I want, to ask questions and have conversations with anyone who is will to participate. To seek knowledge from any legal available source that I have the funds to access.

 

That does not obligate anyone to give me those things.

 

As for shared cultural values, for the most part public schooling denies shared cultural values. In fact, I will go so far as to say govt school are flat out hostile to anyone who does not conform to the culture of the govt the school - a politicly correct culture, not a familial, ethnic, or geographical one. That's not even going into religious culture.

 

From my personal perspective, education opens doors rather than closes them. I educate my children with an eye towards college bc to do otherwise would make the college door either difficult to open or barred entirely.

 

However, more than once I have questioned that wisdom. Because the truth is we do spend a lot of time that could be spent on other things. I am trying to find the balance between well rounded and focused, bc I'm not sure one can do both. I'm fond of saying one of the problems with modern education is kids come out so well rounded they can't point in any direction and seem to kind of wander in confused circles.

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I'm not even sure you can look back and blame a particular teacher/school system. When my mom taught ps she would have students come in at the preK level who had no functional language skills because Spanish was spoken some, English some and no one made the effort to teach the child either. When educational neglect begins in toddlerhood it's hard to blame the system that tries to do the best they can (for the most part).

 

Prime example of no shared culture to be found in govt schools. I would not say that a family speaking a different language than me is toddler neglect.:glare:

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I think that 150 years ago, an adult could function and contribute towards society and her family in spite of illiteracy. Most of the skills that were essential to survival could not be taught in schools.

 

It's no longer possible to function in our society without at least a basic education.

 

But I thought people were way more literate 150 years ago than they are today. I thought that things have gotten increasingly dumbed down and people have become increasingly illiterate since we've had compulsory schooling (and yes, I am a fan of Gatto and this is probably where I got this info). And aren't there quite a few highly successful people who have very little formal education? Success has more to do with drive and desire IMO, not whether you were taught your math facts and phonics and received a basic education as a child.

 

Also, it's all well and good to say a child has a right to a wonderful basic education. We all have a right to all kinds of lovely things that we simply never get. And we have to accept at some point that we have to take charge of our lives and not let our pasts or our parents' failings define us forever. Some people overcome their childhoods and some don't. But we still hold adult criminals accountable for their actions when they choose to do illegal things as adults in spite of the fact that they may have had very sad deplorable childhoods.

 

Of course I care about children (deeply and passionately) and from my experience the most important thing for a child is to be loved. That can overcome most anything. My biggest concern for children is that they are in a loving home, that they are not physically hurt, sexually abused, verbally assaulted. That they do not go to sleep at night feeling there is no one in the world that cares about them or afraid of what may happen to them the next day. And there are more than just a few children like this who live in our country and it is heartbreaking. I'm just not feeling so heartbroken about nonschoolers or kids glued to the TV during the day. I just can't get worked up about it when there are so many bigger problems facing our precious children, problems from which there really may not be any way for them to recover from in the long-term.

 

I'd also venture to say most folks pushing homeschool regulations really aren't concerned about making sure every child in America is getting a solid basic education. I'd say they're more concerned with undermining all homeschooling for everyone and getting rid of it all together. If you don't give your kids the standard, then that's an issue for them. If you give your kids a classical education, generally only available to children in top private prep schools, well, then you are an elitist and that's unacceptable as well.

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First and foremost I respect the rights of the parents to decide what is educationally right for their own children. There will be those that abuse the system, but in a free country, that is a hazard we have to accept if we all want the same level of freedom.

Second- I think the HS community needs a more concrete definition of HS-ing, nonschooling, and unschooling.

Thrid - There are many young people out there that we either non or un schooled who are doing extremely well - and what their education looked like might have sent shivers down our spines!

I think what I have a problem with most is anytime the state decides they know better than I do. Take the spanking issue. I believe spanking in moderation was a good thing with my children, and yet I was constantly worried someone would call CPS on me, and couldn't smakc their behinds in the grocery store because I was afraid of the cameras....

Education should not go down that road.....

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But I thought people were way more literate 150 years ago than they are today.

 

I'm just not feeling so heartbroken about nonschoolers or kids glued to the TV during the day. I just can't get worked up about it when there are so many bigger problems facing our precious children, problems from which there really may not be any way for them to recover from in the long-term.

 

I'd also venture to say most folks pushing homeschool regulations really aren't concerned about making sure every child in America is getting a solid basic education. I'd say they're more concerned with undermining all homeschooling for everyone and getting rid of it all together. If you don't give your kids the standard, then that's an issue for them. If you give your kids a classical education, generally only available to children in top private prep schools, well, then you are an elitist and that's unacceptable as well.

 

I think it's a myth that people with only a basic education or even illiterate can't function in our society. They do every day. If nothing else, many severely LD people manage to work even when they can only have the educational equal of a third grader.

 

I agree with the rest too. Bigger fish to fry and I don't tank anyone pro homeschooling regulations is all that altruistic about it either.

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The problem is that the system to which oversight of this would be relinquished (i.e. the public schools) cannot even guarantee this result themselves. Not all of those who exit public school are prepared to be contributing, self-supporting, participatory citizens and/or go to college.

 

Yes! Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

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I think it's a myth that people with only a basic education or even illiterate can't function in our society.

 

Many of them are well-worshipped celebrities and elected officials! :tongue_smilie:

 

We were better off as a culture w/o compulsory state controlled education in the United States. I believe there should be NO laws in this area, and we would have fewer problems than we do now...it wouldn't be perfect but it would be better.

 

I also do not believe education is a right...we throw that word around too much and it embodies a sense of entitlement.

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Many of them are well-worshipped celebrities and elected officials! :tongue_smilie:

 

We were better off as a culture w/o compulsory state controlled education in the United States. I believe there should be NO laws in this area, and we would have fewer problems than we do now...it wouldn't be perfect but it would be better.

 

I also do not believe education is a right...we throw that word around too much and it embodies a sense of entitlement.

 

:iagree:

 

The fact that they have to make it a criminal offense to get people to use it says a lot about it's worth imnsho.

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Oh my goodness! I cannot believe I read that in the post you were responding to! I'm almost speechless (which is a HUGE deal if you know how long my posts usually are!).

 

 

I know. I'm more inclined to suggest that the teacher who does not know at least two other languages than English is the one whose education was neglected. I would expect a toddler-kindergartner to know his ethic/culture, not mine. I would expect, and be disappointed nearly every time, that no teacher should attain her degree without knowing at least Spanish and one other language. I personally think it is a national embarrassment that our country does not insist it's citizens learn the language of a neighboring country from an early age. I do think English should be our national language and be the main language used of govt, but that does not mean that our citizens should expect the entire known universe to learn English. If our citizens are to function in a global world, they need to know at least the language of our neighboring countries!

 

End of rant.

 

ETA: no I do not know any other languages. And it is a source of perpetual frustration to me trying to find a means to get this objective for my kids. Maybe that's why it bothers me so much.

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The problem is it truly may not be the teachers/educational system's fault. My SIL teaches remedial math at the hs level. She is an excellent teacher. She loves her job and is passionate about it, but she has no say in whether the kids make any attempt to learn the materials. If the families don't make education a priority then it doesn't matter what she does, the kids won't learn, their families move to where the jobs are and don't think twice about not enrolling their jr/sr in school when they move and they show up on her roster as drop-outs.

 

 

 

I agree that parent's bare the ultimate responsibility for education even in a public school situation. Someone needs to enforce a bedtime so that the child is awake for class. Someone needs to enforce the importance of homework and study habits. Someone needs to make sure that the child actually makes it to the bus or school int he morning. Obviously that job is the parent's and not the teacher's. I think some parents become complacent because they have turned over the job of educating to someone else.

 

However, it is the schools' responsibility (if the children are entrusted to them) to not look the other way and pass them down the line, hoping the next teacher will have better luck etc. Students who can not read well enough or write well enough or lack in math skills should not just be handed a diploma that they did not earn. When this happens, it is the schools' fault! The schools do not have to pass failing students. Some may argue about the imposing regulations that prevent a child from being held back too many times. But these are government schools and those are government rules and I still see that as one entity in charge. In actuality when I blame the school system, I am blaming the government and their rules that govern the school. So be it. The government does not have to hand over a diploma to a student who has failed.

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Is access and the "right to" the same as obligation?

 

Yes, I meant there is a right, an obligation, that children have access to education. The "access to" means that they can't be compelled to learn; some kids won't take advantage of it. But, I believe every child deserves the chance.

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I think there is a basic level of shared cultural values which we accept if we live in a certain country. Since I'm from the US, I'll write from that perspective. Here, I think access to a decent education is a right. I believe a nonschooling family should be subject to truancy laws: if the child has not been schooled at home, that's the same as if they haven't been schooled at a traditional school.

 

 

 

To the bolded: this happens ALL THE TIME!!! When we enforce truancy laws against schools that house kids without teaching them how to read and write, ....pigs might fly...:tongue_smilie: This line of thinking assumes that ps's actually teach, or "provide access" to an education. Check the afterschooling board for fodder for my thoughts...kids who excell in ps, generally have parents teaching them at home. An anecdotal example: an irl friend had her dc do 4th grade this summer, in preparation for going into the 4th grade at ps.:confused:(I bit my tongue, but wanted to ask why she didn't just continue on with 5th grade at home...) Still, this dc's test scores make the school look like it's teaching, when it may or may not be.

 

You are asking HSers to be held to an ideal that the ps system doesn't maintain itself. I don't see how forcing children into a ps system where learning is lacking is better than allowing the children to remain in a loving home where learning is lacking. ...better of 2 evils kind of thing...

 

Yes, I meant there is a right, an obligation, that children have access to education. The "access to" means that they can't be compelled to learn; some kids won't take advantage of it. But, I believe every child deserves the chance.

 

I could argue that I bought a math book. My child has access to it...he just can't be compelled to learn...just sayin'.

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