Homeschooling is a priority in our home is because our children are precious gifts from God. They are my responsibility; not anyone else's, especially not the government. Yet the government would like to think that children are just pieces of property to be farmed out to the highest bidder. Bob Allen, writer for EthicsDaily.com, quotes a Stanford professor's criticism of the homeschooling endeavor in this January 16th article:
Stanford Professor Robert Reich said he is skeptical of studies showing homeschooling to be superior, because most are based on research done by homeschool advocacy groups. He also argued the state has an interest in knowing its children grow up to be well-rounded citizens [emphasis mine].Say what, Dr. Reich? Where did I ever get the funny idea that my children belong to me? And besides, if well-rounded citizens is the best the state can do, I think I'll just keep them, thank you very much. And if you think pro-government educators like Dr. Reich do not feel threatened by homeschooling, think again:
"If parents can control every aspect of the kids' education, shield them from exposure to things that the parents deem sinful or objectionable, screen in only things which accord with their convictions, and not allow them exposure to the world of democracy, well the children grow up then basically in the own image of their parents, servile to their own parents' beliefs," he said.It is very naive of Dr. Reich to make a statement like this, because I, a stalwart homeschooler, agree with him. Really, this is not a criticism of homeschooling, but simply a straw man Dr. Reich has constructed. Are not the government schools' agendas mirror images of what he criticizes homeschoolers of doing? Do they not intend to shelter "their" kids from what they deem objectionable, a firm faith in God? Do they not intend to have "their" kids grow up in "their" own image, servile to the efforts of the state?
Could I get a little clarity in here?
My wife and I have been criticized by well-meaning public school teachers on numerous occasions. My response has always been a trite maxim, "The proof is in the pudding." If homeschooling was turning out weak-minded, blathering brats unable to articulate a coherent, complete sentence, I could understand his hypersensitivity. Nevertheless, homeschooled children typically outperform their public schooled neighbors in every area.
And are not state standardized tests tailored so as to get the best possible results, yet government schooled children still do undeniably worse on standardized tests than homeschooled children? If there is a testing bias, it is certainly on behalf of government schooled children. This is the marked difference between homeschooled and government schooled children and why homeschooled kids out perform their government schooled friends: homeschooled kids learn; government school kids are educated.
Dr. Reich, I love my children, enough to give them my very best. That I intend to do, until I no longer have breath. And no, neither you nor the state can have them.