Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reflections on Homeschooling Part 1 ~ Getting Started

We never intended to be a homeschooling family. When our eldest reached school age we happily sent him off to Kindergarten. When my youngest started school I became a substitute teacher at their schools. Then some snobby woman with connections to the school board decided that her taste in clothing should be inflicted on all the students who were unfortunate enough to attend the same school as her child and the mandatory public school uniform policy was born. A policy we opposed, click here and here to see why.

After we lost the court case ( Brody v. The Jackson County School Board) we examined our options. The only private schools in our area are religious and mostly Catholic. We didn't feel comfortable sending our children to a school that had religious beliefs different then our own. So we researched homeschooling on the Internet. The most difficult part of getting started was finding secular textbooks. After we finally found textbooks we were happy with we started looking for Homeschooling Support Groups. At that time the only groups in our area were Christian Groups who required a statement of faith to join. Now thankfully there is an INCLUSIVE group called PEAK that we belong to.

So with our secular textbooks and our inclusive group we were ready to get started on our homeschooling journey.............

Part II

Monday, May 18, 2009

Homeschool Injustice, Homeschool Discrimination or Just Angry Women Getting A Divorce?

I am probably going to make a lot of enemies with this post, but I am very trouble by the way some bloggers are attempting to manipulate homeschoolers. We have the blogs Homeschool Injustice and Homeschool Discrimination, which given their names one would think dealt with homeschooling issues. But they don't they are both blogs about women who are in the midst of messy divorces. Both women are angry that the courts have ordered their children into public or private schools. Both feel that their parental rights are being violated and both feel the Father shouldn't have any rights, and in both instances the Father has requested that his children be sent to public or private school. I think it's a moot point that in the past the Father was OK with homeschooling, people including Father's are allowed to change their minds about what is in the best interest of their children.

Neither case is a homeschooling issue and as we are not privy to the personal details that may lead a judge to rule in favor of the Father's request to send the children to public school we should stay out of it.

Judges are ruling in favour of homeschooling in divorce cases, we do not need to march, protest, or rally the troops in those instances when judges decide public school is in the children's best interest.

From Court Monitor
Staub V Staub
This decision thereby recognized that home schooling is equivalent in merit to public schooling. While the Court left the ultimate power in the hands of family court to decide the educational fate of children after divorce, this ruling sets an important precedent by placing home schooling on footing equal to public schooling.
Staub v. Staub, 2008 PA Super 251 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2008).

The key to the judges ruling in Staub v. Staub seems to be the Mother's attitude toward the Father and his ability to participate in the homeschooling if he choose.

If homeschooling is on an equal footing with public schooling then homeschoolers aren't being discriminated against and there is no injustice involved. As they should the courts will look at the cases on an individual basis and make the decision they feel is best for the children. The children may not be thrilled with the decision (especially if the parent who loses bleats on and on about how awful the decision is), the parent who loses won't be happy but there is no injustice or discrimination involved.