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Homeschooling: should it be legal or illegal in California?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 25th, 2008, 1:59 am
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Homeschooling: should it be legal or illegal in California?

As you all probally know the state of California has banned homeschooling. If you are not a liscened teacher you are not allowed to teach your child at home. Do you think that this is apropriate? Do you think that this should be made a law throughout the Nation? As a homeschooler myself I don't think so. My mother is not a liscened teacher, but she is a pretty good teacher and I'm doing well in my tests and everything. Also let me remind you all too that about 75% of all homeschoolers are higher test scores then students in public and also I think private schools as well.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 5:29 am
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

I am also homeschooled, but I am going to be placed in a charter school soon .

IMO I don't think that homeschooling should be made illegal. Although I have to admit that some people may be taking advantage of homeschooling, I think it is the parent's choice whether they homeschool their children or not. There are a lot of bad influences in public schools including drugs and swearing that parents may not want their child to be around. And sometimes children are homeschooled because the parents don't feel that their children are getting the education that they need. I think these are both good reasons that parents have for homschooling their children.

I also think that if a parent decides to homeschool their children, they should do everything they can to make sure that their children are actually taught what they need to be taught so i that they can progress.

JMHO


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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:20 am
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

I definitely don't think that it should be banned, but I do think that it should be closely monitored. Perhaps a social worker could be sent to assess the students' progress to make sure that they're getting the right level of education.
I have heard of families that have homeschooled their older children so that they (the children) can stay at home and be full-time babysitters for the younger children. I cannot even begin to say how wrong that is.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 11:37 am
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

As there was no link I did a bit of searching and to say it will be illegal is somewhat misleading just that there will be standards applied.

All education (homeschooling included) should be monitored to ensure that kids are being taught to a minimum standard and curriculum.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 12:33 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

To those who say that unlicensed parents can do an adequate job, and that home-schooled children test better than average traditionally schooled children, that may be. But I believe it's faulty causation to say that it's the direct result of being instructed outside of a classroom. More likely, if you ask me, is that it's just smarter kids who get home-schooled, and they'd excel in either situation.

My point is I really think there needs to be some sort of standard, even if it isn't quite the same as that for teachers who teach in a public school. Even if I have a degree and I'm a good teacher, a public school student has access to dozens of licensed teachers presumably who have degrees in their respective subjects. If you ask me home-schooled kids may do well on average in spite of their teachers, who, while probably smart themselves, and certainly dedicated, are probably not ever going to do as well alone as a panel trained educator who are similarly motivated. While I understand that having a one-to-one (or usually very favorable) student-to-teacher ratio is a big advantage, the fact remains that if we're going have compulsory education, we need to have standards for teachers no matter how many students they have and who they are. Maybe it's none of the government's business, but I guess while the government is already in our business, it might as well try to do something beneficial. Try, anyway.



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Old March 25th, 2008, 1:23 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Decent article. The only part I don't like is the reporter insinuated that only fringe groups used to homeschool before the advent of the internet .

In the case in question the ruling was unexpected even by the agency which originally pressed charges. Mild oversight might be fine, but requiring teaching credentials seems a bit much to me.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 1:50 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

I don't know... There have to be some kind of standards in place. I understand why someone would want to homeschool his/her kids, but you have to be up to the task. I could homoeschool for the earlier ages, but I'm certain I couldn't teach grade 11 or 12 math. I barely remember trinomials and polynomials, and I have no grasp of logarithms whatsoever. English, on the other hand, I could teach blindfolded. lol.

But there have to be some standards in place. It needs to be monitored, at the very least, and I think parents should be made to prove that they have the skills to teach at each level. Elementary school subjects are much easier to teach than Junior High and High school subjects. How else would we know that the students are getting an adequate education?


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Old March 25th, 2008, 4:03 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chparadise View Post
In the case in question the ruling was unexpected even by the agency which originally pressed charges. Mild oversight might be fine, but requiring teaching credentials seems a bit much to me.
It depends what they mean by teaching credentials. I think it would be too much to expect a 3-4 year bachelor degree in teaching, but I think it would be perfectly reasonable expect parents to complete a one year (maybe even part time) teaching course. You don't learn teaching skills at school.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 4:47 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

I agree that homeschooling should be legal. While some parents choose to home-school for religious reasons, many more choose to do so because they believe the public schools aren't meeting their child's educational needs.

My public school system just adopted a really crummy math program which I believe won't provide my kids with a sufficient foundation in math to succeed in whatever field they choose. The county also have a language arts program which I believe places insufficient emphasis on phonics and don't even get me started on Science and History or Music. I've been forced to take over where I've found the counties curriculum lacking. As a result my kids have to do about a hour of school each night after they get home from school and that's just for math and language arts.

I was just flipping through the materials we use at home and contrasting them with the schools pacing guides and I realized that I've pretty much taken over teaching the majority of what my child learns in school. Considering how difficult it is to stuff all of what I think my kids need into the few hours we have after school (not to mention how tired they are after a full day of school), I've begun wondering just why I keep my kids in the public schools.

I guess my point is that parents need to have options available to them for educating their children which include homeschooling. From what I understand, in the US each state has different laws regulating homeschooling.

My state is classified as having a moderate level of regulation of homeschooling. From what I can tell from the home school legal defense association web site (see link below), in VA parents can choose to home-school under one of three different options and each option has different regulatory requirements. If you are homeschooling for non-religious reasons you have to either:
1) possess a high school diploma, or
2) be a certified teacher, or
3) use an approved correspondence course, or
4) submit evidence parent can teach or
5) submit a curriculum that includes state objectives for language arts and math.

You also have to administer a standardized test or have your child otherwise evaluated every year and submit those results to local superintendent by August 1. From what I understand there are substantial penalties for home-school parents who fail to meet state standards.

http://www.hslda.org/laws/


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Old March 25th, 2008, 5:01 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

I'm not a big fan of homeschooling, if only because it generally doesn't allow a child to pursue points of view that run contra to the teaching parent's cultural and religious views. Thus, at best, you end up with an 18yo who knows the "three R's" and an ingrained social and religious POV, but who has no clue as to what's going on the rest of the world.

I haven't been much impressed with the homeschooled kids I've met.


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  #11  
Old March 25th, 2008, 6:52 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I'm not a big fan of homeschooling, if only because it generally doesn't allow a child to pursue points of view that run contra to the teaching parent's cultural and religious views. Thus, at best, you end up with an 18yo who knows the "three R's" and an ingrained social and religious POV, but who has no clue as to what's going on the rest of the world.

I haven't been much impressed with the homeschooled kids I've met.
But that isn't always the case.
Two of my roommates at college were homeschooled; they are both doing exceedingly well in college, and I wouldn't say that either of them is biased because of the way they were raised.
They are both Catholic, one was born in Ohio, the other in Germany, and their parents believed that the school systems into which they had settled were not exhaustive or good enough to meet their educational needs (one of the mom's chose to homeschool because the town they moved to was so small - the graduating class that her daughter would have been in would have had 37 people in it, and the biology and physics classes she was enrolled in while in that public school were downright laughable). That girl, whose mom had no teaching credentials, but instead just a strong recognition of the fact that her daughter deserved better, is now an about-to-be graduate with a ** in Bio-Chem. Did I mention that she is also a leader in several study groups for incoming bio students, extremely popular, and has a standing GPA of 3.4.
The other girl is just as talented, an incredible artist, very sweet and friendly, a writer, and she's going to graduate with a BA in English. She is also the most ardent feminist I've ever met in my entire life. A wonderful thing, I think.
Their public school education probably would not have produced the same results that their homeschooling did, and they are both successful.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 7:12 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

No way should homeschooling be illegal. Each person learns in a different way and some people learn better by finding out for themselves and being allowed to go as far as they want to go with their studying rather than being given strict lessons. Some very intelligent people may suffer from going to schoool because it's not the way that they learn. But then there are the parents who do it to have complete control over thier kids which isn't so good at all.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 7:20 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I'm not a big fan of homeschooling, if only because it generally doesn't allow a child to pursue points of view that run contra to the teaching parent's cultural and religious views. Thus, at best, you end up with an 18yo who knows the "three R's" and an ingrained social and religious POV, but who has no clue as to what's going on the rest of the world.
I share that concern, which is at least partially why my kids are still enrolled in our local public school. If your kids are home schooled you have to work to find social contacts for them and many of those groups (at least in my area) tend to be really religious which makes it harder to become a part of that group if your reasons for homeschooling are secular. The internet has made it easier to find like minded groups in your area, but it's still harder than just hanging out with your friends during recess.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 7:43 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Wasn't there a thread about homeschooling not too long ago? Regardless, I am not here to defend homeschooling. Some people agree with it some people do not. For those who don't believe in it they are not forced to do it. That isn't going to change.

The issue here is whether or not it should be legal. And the answer is of course it should be. This isn't just an issue about education. It is an issue about parental rights and parental responsibilty. It also covers exactly how much of a role the government should play in raising our children.

When it comes to law there has to be legal precedent i.e. the judge (s) in question can't just arbitrarily hand down verdicts based on their feelings. How I choose to raise my child, and how my next door neighbor chooses to raise his child, may be totally opposite. How a judge may raise his child may be totally different than how anyone else raises their child. Other than extreme cases of abuse or neglect what standard can be applied that defines how a person should contribute to society? What standard can be universally applied that would determine who is a detriment to society? The answer, of course, is that there isn't a universal standard of what is acceptable and what is not. Much less a legal definition.

There is nothing specific to the Constitution that says homeschooling is legal. However, by the same token there is nothing in the constitution that says it is not. The Constitution does, though, cover any number of civil liberties which would be infringed upon if homeschooling were to be outlawed.

In fact, the whole issue of homeschooling in the courts is primarily based upon the idea of neglect. If homeschooling were outlawed it basically makes the burden of proof go to the parents (i.e that they weren't neglectful), versus the burden of proof go to the state. I'm fairly certain that such a thing is unconstitutional. If the courts can decide, to that extent, what is neglectful or not, what's to keep the courts from intruding even further on divorce proceeding and taking the child away from both parents and placing the child in foster care? (As of course it could be seen as emotionally abusive to put the child through a divorce proceeding.)

Legally it is treading on dangerous waters. The ruling in California is being appealed but my gut feeling (which makes me cringe) is that this is going all the way to the Supreme Court.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 9:54 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Here's a link for something that talked about it that I just found San Fransisco Chronical

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I'm not a big fan of homeschooling, if only because it generally doesn't allow a child to pursue points of view that run contra to the teaching parent's cultural and religious views. Thus, at best, you end up with an 18yo who knows the "three R's" and an ingrained social and religious POV, but who has no clue as to what's going on the rest of the world.

I haven't been much impressed with the homeschooled kids I've met.
Oh, you'd be impressed with me that's for sure. Not trying to be rude, but me and my cousins are very smart and we diffinitly know what's going on in the world. Yes some parents arn't capable of teaching their children. So if the parents know that they can't teach their children properly then they shouldn't and just leave them in school. I chose to leave when I was in 1st grade cause my school was horrible and I got picked on a lot. My mom agreed and decided that she would teach me. Of course she got advice from my aunt who used to homeschool her children. Sometimes homeschoolers arn't that smart. I agree with you there, but when you look at the test scores from the public schools and then you look at the test scores from homeschoolers. Well the majority of the homeschoolers have gotten the better grades. I'm not saying that public schools are bad, but some teachers are not propper teachers and with the bringing guns and knives to school. Well we might was well make some schools jail.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:05 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
Legally it is treading on dangerous waters. The ruling in California is being appealed but my gut feeling (which makes me cringe) is that this is going all the way to the Supreme Court.
I keep wondering what will happen if the courts rule that failing to provide a child with an adequate education is a crime. Can parents, who believe that their local school districts aren't doing an adequate job, then sue their school districts demanding payment for private tutoring or private schools?


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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:21 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
To those who say that unlicensed parents can do an adequate job, and that home-schooled children test better than average traditionally schooled children, that may be. But I believe it's faulty causation to say that it's the direct result of being instructed outside of a classroom. More likely, if you ask me, is that it's just smarter kids who get home-schooled, and they'd excel in either situation.
I think that really depends on the circumstances. Some children cannot learn well in a public school environment, for one reason or another, and do do better learning at home. For example, my cousin is physically disabled. Growing up, being homeschooled made it easier for her and her family because they would travel to take her to doctors and physical therapists to help her. She was also very bright, and her parents got in hot water with the school board because she didn't study what she was supposed to study when she was nine--because she'd studied it a few years earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I'm not a big fan of homeschooling, if only because it generally doesn't allow a child to pursue points of view that run contra to the teaching parent's cultural and religious views. Thus, at best, you end up with an 18yo who knows the "three R's" and an ingrained social and religious POV, but who has no clue as to what's going on the rest of the world.

I haven't been much impressed with the homeschooled kids I've met.
Some parents will try to raise their children like this regardless of their children's education. Considering I developed different political and religious beliefs from my parents at the age of 13, I don't think I was overly sheltered.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:23 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
I keep wondering what will happen if the courts rule that failing to provide a child with an adequate education is a crime.
Well, that's really the issue, isn't it? So much goes into that question that it just boggles the mind. (Mine anyway.) What is considered "adequate education"? And then, at what point does it become "neglect" or "abuse"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
Can parents, who believe that their local school districts aren't doing an adequate job, then sue their school districts demanding payment for private tutoring or private schools?
Again, by whose standards? The federal government? Also the case you are describing is more a civil suit. Usually just a fine is levied if the school is not performing. And maybe continued surveillence of the school. Rarely, if ever (and to my knowledge there has never been) will a school actually be closed due to lack of performance. Homeschoolers are faced with a criminal charges. In some cases a fine in conjunction with enrolling the child in school, or the worse having their children stripped away from them. So if you choose to enroll your child in a public school that is not performing to standards could you be held responsible? The implications are pretty far reaching.

Good questions, Mom.

ETA: I should ammend that to say that schools aren't required to close due SOLELY to poor performance. Closures to lack of funding, yes, but not solely due to lack of performance. Nor are parents forced to remove their children from these schools until the school improves.


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Last edited by flimseycauldron; March 25th, 2008 at 10:48 pm.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:48 pm
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
What is considered "adequate education"?
Well I wouldn't have considered some of the teacher's I had in school as being adequate educators

Personally though, while I wouldn't really consider homeschooling as an option for me if I had kids, I really don't see why it should be made illegal. There are parents who feel that they can do a better job for their own kids, by giving them the attention that a teacher in a classroom of 30+ kids could (i'm going by Irish class sizes here...don't know what the average class size is in America). These parents probably feel that they will be doing a better job for their kids, by giving them attention and the time to study things at their own pace and/or level, rather than letting them get caught up in a system that their kids might get lost in.

I do think that there should be some restrictions imposed, just to make sure that the kids are being adequately educated and cared for. Maybe there should be an agency set up for homeschooling which would support parents, and give parents training on how to educate their kids at home as well as checking up on parents & the kids to see that the kids are doing well and are being taught, not just allowed to sit and play video games all day long?


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Old March 26th, 2008, 12:36 am
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Re: Should homeschooling be illegal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
Well, that's really the issue, isn't it? So much goes into that question that it just boggles the mind. (Mine anyway.) What is considered "adequate education"? And then, at what point does it become "neglect" or "abuse"?
Exactly! My oldest child is in first grade. Both his kindergarten and first grade teachers were new teachers. His kindergarten teacher told me he was performing at or above grade level and so she didn't worry about him. But I'd noticed that his reading wasn't what I'd expect of him at that level. So I began quizzing him on words I thought he should be able to read without the picture books they use in school, and he just wasn't where I thought he should be. I asked his teacher about this and she said don't worry, he's fine. So I started doing Hooked On Phonics with him at home and I was amazed by how much he didn't know.

The same thing happened this year. My son's teacher said he was at or above grade level in reading and math - she said he was so good at math that she had him team with kids who aren't so strong so he could teach them (which is one of the philosophies that underlies the approach my county has chosen for math education). I wasn't concerned with reading because I was doing HOP and supplemental reading at home with books at the 2nd and 3rd grade level, but I was concerned with math because I kept seeing his work come home with no evidence of review and totally wrong answers (like 5 + 6 = 7). So I started doing math at home as well and, yet again, I was amazed with what he didn't know.

I can't help but wonder whether that would that be classified as neglect.

Quote:
Again, by whose standards? The federal government? Also the case you are describing is more a civil suit. Usually just a fine is levied if the school is not performing. And maybe continued surveillence of the school. Rarely, if ever (and to my knowledge there has never been) will a school actually be closed due to lack of performance. Homeschoolers are faced with a criminal charges. In some cases a fine in conjunction with enrolling the child in school, or the worse having their children stripped away from them. So if you choose to enroll your child in a public school that is not performing to standards could you be held responsible? The implications are pretty far reaching.
Absolutely! I read an article this weekend that was published in the Washington Post's Outlook section (less factual reporting than personal stories) about a family which had chosen to home-school because they couldn't afford to live in an area with better schools, couldn't afford private schools, and their local schools were under-performing and prone to violence. I wonder what I'd do if I was in the same position.


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