Here are some questions I’ve received lately. Let’s just get to the brass tacks and get them answered:
I would like to know who monitors children that are homeschooled?
A: Their parents, of course. Is there a problem with that?
Are [homeschoolers] tested yearly/quarterly to make sure that the children are getting an adequate education? If not, how is the state sure that homeschooled children are just not ‘dropouts’?
A: I suppose you would have to ask the parents of the children in question. Really… if you are truly concerned about any specific child that appears to be in the process of educating differently, you should just get brave and ask the parent(s) yourself. Most homeschoolers I know would be glad to answer sincere questions about the education of their children. However, homeschooling parents are not interested in going through an inquisition over why they choose to not have the State monitor their children.
Think about it: You’re buying some toys for your kids for Christmas. Someone walks up to you and says, “Do you think you should be getting those particular video games for your children?”
You say, “I think I know what my children are able to handle, and at what level they’re at, thank you.”
“But…” interrupts the inquisitor, with an apparent PhD in childhood development, “It’s in our best interests (as a society) to know that your children are receiving the proper games for their level of development. Have you had your children tested?”
The point is that the only people responsible for making sure their children are getting an “adequate education” (whatever that means) are parents. The only responsibility of the State is to make it easy for parents to acquire those learning experiences for their children.
We also need to ask: What is the state doing about the dropouts THEY KNOW ABOUT? What are “we” to do? Seriously!! If someone is so worried about homeschoolers that might also be “dropouts” then any solution that comes to mind should also be applied to those publicly schooled children that are already dropped out or dropping out. 40% dropout rates aren’t uncommon in the Government School realm. What are we doing about THEM?
[I know a child that was withdrawn from school to homeschool.] All the adults in this child’s immediate family would definitely qualify as ‘marginal’ in intelligence and may even qualify as disabled mentally. However, the child, while lacking in social skills, is a very intelligent child.
A: I really don’t know where to go with this question. First, I would probably have to point out that there are millions of parents in the world who are unfit for raising their own children for an infinite number of reasons. Are we willing to even GO THERE? Who decides whom is able to raise their own children or not? Who is doing it right, and according to the standards of whom?
And finally… would you have been HALF as worried about this child, had he been kept in a public school, possibly getting beat up, ignored (educationally) and saddled with the statistical chance he would graduate unable to read his own diploma? What makes you care all of a sudden? The child isn’t where he is supposed to be? That he’s being influenced by his parents more than his school? Do you want to go there?
You say this child is intelligent. How do you know? Do you interact with publicly socialized children much? I do; and I can tell you with almost 95% accuracy when a child is homeschooled, or socialized by the State. I’ll bet you can tell too. Why would anyone want to tell a parent that their children are too polite and well socialized, and they need to go back into a school building to stop that nonsense?
I cannot understand how this child will obtain any sort of education with really no one in the home who can help educate. I feel like the child will fall through the cracks. Is there any system that will follow up to make sure that this child is actually being educated?
A: To understand how this child will get an education outside the influences of the State, you will have to simply spend some more time with his family. That’s really the only way anyone can understand what homeschooling is all about. You have to essentially, homeschool yourself. Homeschoolers learn by asking questions and following their interests in the pursuit of answers. People who can’t think outside of the box tend to believe that something that’s different, is bad or wrong. Unfortunately, there are too many of those types of people who believe that the State is responsible for the upbringing of our children.
Sorry to burst the bubble, but they aren’t.
Enjoy your neighbors and maybe this would be a great time to get to know your little learning neighbor boy. You’ll have a great chance now, since he won’t be cooped up in a State Institution for most of his childhood.