Tuesday, January 26, 2010

All Homeschoolers Are Not Christians & All Christians Are Not Homeschoolers

My post Mislabeling of Public School at Home Causes Confusion sparked heartburn among a few readers, and lead to an email dialogue with one reader. Here are some of the comments she made.

I've been actively involved in education for over 30 years. I support limited gov't involvement in education no matter where it takes place.
Most of the abuse of homeschool has come from unchurched families (not all, most) and someone needs to help these children without a voice.
Your position on this makes me think--your children are more important than the little one I am speaking of--in fact they are so important you are willing to sacrifice these little ones so you can do what you want with your children.

The government has no reason to be involved in homeschooling. Those who do not feed at the public trough (public schools) should be free of government involvement. Apparently this woman assumes that only Christians are fit to homeschool. I also find it troubling that she believes that without government intervention parents would abuse their children, and uses this to justify her belief that the government should be involved in homeschooling. Considering the government can't even protect public school students from abuse by public school teachers, bullying by other students and school shootings, she has a lot of nerve insisting that ALL homeschoolers should allow government intervention in homeschools to "protect the children". It's not my duty to protect "all the children of the world", it is my duty and responsibility to protect my own children and to see that they get the best education possible. No parent should be expected to do things for the greater good at their children's expense. 

all of us that parent as Christians homeschool. I would consider any parent that is the primary teacher for their children is homeschooling. That would include private school, public schools--any parent that is doing what God has called them to do.

Really!!!! I respectfully disagree, if you are a Christian and send your child to a public school you do not homeschool. Also all homeschoolers are not Christians. There are many Atheist, Deist, Wicca, etc that homeschool. Christians do not have a monopoly on homeschooling. Non-Christians even have their own homeschool support groups, since the majority of the Christian Groups discriminate against Non-Christians or Christians who do not measure up to their standards.
Homeschool Support Groups for Non-Christians & Free Thinking Christian's
Free Thinking Home Educators (you can be a Christian and a Free Thinker)
Jewish Homeschoolers
Islam/Muslim Homeschoolers
Resources for Pagan Homeschoolers
Of course there are parents who belong to other religions/philosophies then those listed here who homeschool, my apologies for leaving your specific religion/philosophy out - but this post is already long.

As to why I don't accept the legal definitions-- (of homeschooling) I don't consider them Biblical. I also would not accept the legal definition of gay marriage if it was allowed in my state--because I believe that also is against scripture. I only accept legal defintions when they do not contradict the Bible.

Well at least this explains why she has so much trouble comprehending that Dan isn't a homeschooler. She refuses to accept legal definitions & Dan's a Christian parent therefore according to her reasoning he is a homeschooler, even though he sends his son to a PUBLIC School. Here is one of the legal definitions which makes it pretty clear that homeschoolers are nonpublic school students (all the legal definitions I found specified non-public school student).

Home school - A non-public school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. http://www.nche.com/law.html

You simply can't send your child to public school and claim to be a homeschooler because you are a Christian. That is the most illogical thing I have ever heard. And excuse me, but I have never read a definition of homeschooling in the Bible, so how prey tell can the legal definition of homeschooling contradict the Bible? Also since she is so dogmatic about only using scriptual definitions, I wonder if she realizes that the words of the New Testament were changed in the process of copying them (Whose Version of Luke?)

As to my question

What would you call a parent whose child does not attend a PUBLIC SCHOOL, is educated at the parents expense, and the parent is the one solely responsible for deciding what curriculum and textbooks to use?
Anyone that falls into this category can call themselves whatever they wish. They can call themselves homeschoolers

Since the legal definition of homeschool was created to describe non-public school students, whose parents bear the burden of their education, it makes sense that they call themselves homeschoolers. It does not make sense that parents that send their children to public or private school would mislabel themselves homeschoolers. As for people calling themselves whatever they wish, it would make communication impossible if everyone decided on their own meaning for words. What's next if you don't like the way something is spelt you decide on your own spelling? The fact that no one would know what the heck the word is suppose to be would be beside the point apparently. Just as it is necessary for us to spell words in a standard way so people know what word is being used, it's necessary for us to use standard definitions so the meaning of the word is clear. Homeschooling is an educational choice, not a religious calling!

Carnival of Homeschooling

This weeks CoH theme is for Those Considering Homeschooling.

This Stinks

Senate Bill 2221: Prohibiting Homeschool Students from Receiving Particular College Grants


Senator Bill Stone


This bill would require that homeschool students receiving a Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant or a Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant be graduates of an “accredited” home instruction program. Home instruction programs in Mississippi are not accredited, nor is there any procedure for them to become accredited. This bill would effectively prohibit homeschoolers from receiving these grants for college expenses.