It seems that every few months, New Jersey newspapers are destined to churn-out same old, same old articles on home schooling. Very few of the reporters take the time to dig deeply. I think I know why.
A week ago I was contacted by a reporter who wanted to talk to someone about home education for an article he was writing. I responded with a long and detailed email of at least 300 words. Buried in the email were these words ...."For the record, I think that home educators should not be regulated. Ever." Of course, these are the only words that made it into the article. I had no idea I was being quoted in the article, until a friend emailed me about my name appearing in it. Imagine my surprise. Here's a link:
Why do we continue to have the same discussion over and over again? When people ask if home schooling works or if it is good for kids or not, they might as well be asking if we are sure the Earth is spherical and not flat. Lord, it really is time to move on.
This is the article that should have been written.....
When you see the Scripps Spelling Bee and the Math Counts Competitions trying to finagle ways to limit participation by home school students, you know we have succeeded. Yes, home educated kids have to sign a special form developed by Scripps in which they promise not to study too hard or too long. I am not kidding. Also, a home school parent may not start or run a county level bee. Burlington County has not had a sponsor for several years, hence NO student in Burlington County can participate in the Scripps Bee because there is no feeder bee. I could have fixed this and offered to do the work, but was barred from doing so because my kids do not attend the local state conditioning centers. Huh? Translation: Parents and Hollywood got angry when so many home schoolers began winning at Scripps.
Math Counts has also demonstrated their respect for home educated kids by barring them from forming teams. Why? Well, because they would then have all the smart math kids on their team. But, when the local school puts together a team, do they choose the football players? I think not. They choose their best math students. And they are permitted to do this and, of course, would be fools if they did not. Not home school kids. No teams permitted there.
These examples of discrimination could be viewed (by those of us who do this hard job of managing our own kid's educations) with bat-crap crazy rage, but are better viewed as an institutional bow of respect. We win. Lots of people do not like this.
Everything the government does to interfere with parental rights leads America to greater mediocrity.
Fact: Home education is the ONLY educational outpost of progress on this blue planet.
Fact: The media and the political spin doctors will never stop looking for ways to maintain their tragic fiction.
Fact: Home educated kids, regardless of their religious beliefs, are independent thinkers who will never be walking in lockstep with the masses. They have not drunk the Kool-Aide and thus are still original thinkers.
That, my friends, is why the trite ,hackneyed, fluff articles continue to circulate. For, as long as those who remain in the US Dept of Education trance can cast a shadow of doubt on the stunning success of the home education movement, they can continue to feel good about their own choices.