Wednesday

Article Boasts SERIOUS Misconceptions About Homeschooling!

Ms. Peggy Boyce did it for you! I'm back to blogging! You can thank her, but only if you also help set her straight with the TRUTH about homeschooling and its regulations throughout the nation.

There are so many misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flat out lies about homeschooling and its regulations in this article posted today in the Holland Sentinel.

She also proposes regulations be put into place in Michigan including required home visits, standardized curriculum, and required conferences between the child and a teacher or social worker WITHOUT the parent present.

I figured I'd bring it to your attention in case you'd like to help set the record straight. I'm personally sending a letter to Ms. Boyce to (kindly) let her know about the benefits of homeschooling including the fact that homeschoolers are SOUGHT OUT by Ivy League colleges such as Harvard, Yale, and MIT; all of which have specific sections within their admissions departments for the express purpose of recruiting homeschoolers. And in case you're not familiar with those colleges, they don't typically accept "ignorant" people; no matter how blissful that may be.

And may I ask, Ms. Boyce who it is that ensures that public and private school students are getting the education THEY have a right to? Who's there to ensure THEY are not neglected when there are 45 students in a class who share 20 books and have only 1 teacher? Who's going to make sure that the student who doesn't get a concept the first time isn't left behind because everyone else is ready to move on? Or that the student who got the concept long ago isn't held back simply because everyone else isn't ready to move on yet? Yet BOTH of these scenarios are VERY common in both public and private schools. Because they have to be. They must be in order for everything to be "covered" for the greatest majority of the children.

Ms. Boyce, in the event that my child is the one who needs more time or is ready to move on more quickly I want to ensure that they get that. And I can. Because I homeschool them. If a particular math program isn't working for them or their learning style, I want the freedom to try something different so that they actually "get" the material; instead of just "covering" it. And I can. Because I homeschool them.

You see, Ms. Boyce, in homeschooling there are no failing grades. We don't move on until our child has learned the concept we are trying to teach them. They aren't just having a bunch of facts thrown at them, they're learning. They're also learning HOW to learn, how to be independent thinkers, and how to find the answer if it isn't right in front of them. They're learning to LOVE learning. And they do.

I can't imagine that being the case if my 10yr old who devours science had to keep going in a book that she had long ago finished. I can't imagine that being the case if she wasn't allowed to move forward because she was ready, because she loves science, and because she has a such a thirst for knowledge that she can't get enough. (She's read my college-level nursing textbooks, by the way. She started reading them at 8. Hope that's not too detrimental to her long-term success at college.)

I can't imagine that being the case if my child who struggled with division and learning math in one textbook was forced to stay in that same textbook even though she'd probably NEVER "get it" by trying to learn it that way. She'd be frustrated, and would learn to hate math. Instead, we found what works. She loves math. She's learning again. She's "getting it".

These are the joys of homeschooling, Ms. Boyce. Learning is life for us. We'll do school on Saturday or Sunday just because we want to, or we happen upon an educational experience. We school through the summer. Why stop, when you can school on the beach and swim when you're done?

What a better way to learn than to have a hand in choosing your curriculum?

You say homeschoolers have "no formal teaching at all"? Have you ever MET a homeschooler? Even the unschoolers I know have untold educational opportunities for their children. The thing with homeschoolers is that learning is not a chore for them. It's something they've always done. It's fun. It's something they thrive on. I know that's hard to understand unless you've seen it. I'd invite you into my home to see my children schooling, but I'm afraid there'd be a problem when I turned away the social workers and police you'd inevitibly bring with you.

I would encourage you, before you write your next article, to confirm your facts first. The homeschooling regulations in every state in the nation are very easy to find. There are only 6 states with what is called "high regulation". There are 23 states with "moderate regulation" meaning parents must send intent-to-homeschool notices, submit test scores, &/or have a teacher evalution at the end of the year. There are 15 states with "low regulation" which means parents must send notification of intent-to-homeschool only. There are 12 states with no regulation which means they are not required to notify anyone of their intent to homeschool unless they are pulling children out of public school or private school to homeschool them.

That means there are 27 states (or over 1/2 of them) that require either no notice at all, or only notice of intent-to-homeschool with no furthur regulation. You are insinuating that "most states" are like the 6 that have high regulation when, in fact, "most states" have little to no regulation.

You'll also notice that NO state requires illegal, unconstitutional home visits simply because one has chosen to homeschool. NO state requires an illegal, unconstitutional consult WITHOUT THE PARENT PRESENT with a SOCIAL WORKER or teacher!!!!

I have lived in one of the 23 states with "moderate regulation". I sent in my notification to homeschool, and had my child tested at year's end. We were unable to find a 2nd grade competency test. Instead, she took one for 3rd graders...in MARCH of her SECOND (2nd) grade year. She scored an 83% on the language portion, and 64% on the math portion...as a 2ND grader taking a standardized test for 3rd graders...in MARCH of her 2nd grade year...

What was considered passing for the 3rd graders who took this test in public or private schools? 33%!!!! That's right!!! Public and private school students in APRIL or MAY of their THIRD grade year only had to score 33% or higher in order to have PASSED this test!!! My SECOND grade homeschooler did FAR BETTER than THIRD graders are EXPECTED to do in public and private schools.

Really, after that, I don't think there's much else I can say. Other than I'm glad I homeschool my children as I EXPECT excellence...and my children happily deliver!

12 comments:

Melody said...

APPLAUSE!!!
APPLAUSE!!!
APPLAUSE!!!
...and I'm not even a homeschooler, but I COMPLETELY agree with your post!!!
SOOOOO well put!!!
Ms. Boyce sounds much like the ignorant uninformed person who wrote the article in the Grand Rapids Press last year regarding state daycare licensing rules... presenting complete lies and misconstruing every "fact" that she wanted to warp. NOTHING irks me more than people who fail to get the facts straight before shooting their mouth off!
Bravo Amy!!!

Amy said...

Thanks, Melody!

You're exactly spot on! If you're going to write an article at the VERY least get your FACTS straight! NO ONE will take you seriously if you don't.

And you know I mean NO disrespect towards families who choose private or public school; especially with excellent parental involvement. I just believe all parents should retain the right to choose what THEY feel is best for THEIR child!

Kelby said...

Wrote a response, got too wordy, and it wouldn't let me post it. lol So instead, I'll just say that as a homeschooling mom, I support you 100%. I am so tired of uninformed, ignorant people taking it upon themselves to critique the parenting decisions of families they do not even know. I get very passionate when it comes to this issue because like you and Gary, my husband and I take the homeschooling process very seriously and work at it very hard. I would love to sit face to face with your naysayer and give her all of the MANY reasons why homeschooling is right for our family. And, I'd like to assure her that I'll put the education that my children are getting up against the education that ANY public school child is receiving. My husband and I are certified teachers so there is no social worker qualified to critique the way in which we are handling our children's education. However, the process is not working because we're educators. It's working because our children get the one-on-one focus and attention that a public school teacher simply does not have the luxury of opportunity to provide. I could write a book on this subject and someday I just might! lol In the meantime, I wanted to send our unyielding support your way.

Scrapingirl said...

I'm opening my applause box for you. I totally agree with you. Why spend tax dollars on those who don't want to use the system. We're actually saving them $$, but yet they want to butt in. Stay away!! I love the fact that we can find what works, not have one set curriculum for all kids.

Southern Belle said...

What a DUFUS this woman is! She OBVIOUSLY has NOT met the successful homeschoolers and interacted with them. She obviously ONLY reads ONLY the BAD stories about homeschooling and doesn't see the 99% GOOD stories about homeschooling!!!!! I think this needs to go out on blogs and HSLDA needs to be "informed" of this woman's views! Terrible, just terrible! I agree Amy! (of course!)

Crimson Wife said...

Excellent response. I can't believe that the newspaper published a piece from an elected official calling for the gross intrusion of privacy into millions of American homes based on no other grounds for suspicion than the simple act of homeschooling.

Luke said...

Where's the Reality Check for all the bad information about homeschooling?

...wait... it's right here [smile]. Great post!

~Luke

Anonymous said...

Amy, maybe you can help me out. I'm just beginning this year to homeschool my kindergarten son. I taught first grade before having my second child. I have been emailing my brains out to people at the Holland Homeschool Network (or something like this). I've gotten no response. I'm just looking for weekly activities/play groups, get together, chapel type of things. Since he's in K, I cannot register for the homeschool stuff at Holland Christian. He needs friends, help! Thanks, I feel better now ;-0

Amy said...

Anonymous: I'd love to help! Shoot me an e-mail at amy@thoughtsofTHATmom.com & I'll send you the info for a couple of different groups in the area. There's one in particular that has a lot of kids in that age bracket that I think would be perfect for you.

(I'd post the info here, but it includes an e-mail address that I'm not sure the owner would want in a public forum.)

Everyone else, thanks for your support!

Laura K. said...

I agree with the above posts! Applause, Applause!!

Heather said...

I work in a college admissions office and have noticed home-schooled children usually have higher GPAs and ACT/SAT scores. Of course I don't have the statistics to back this up-it's just something I've observed in doing the job, but home-schooled students seem to be excelling rather than suffering.

I commend any parent who takes on the job of providing their children s' education. We will be sending my daughter to public school because that's what we want for her, but I would never disparage any parent for wanting to teach their kids at home. I wish I had it in me to do the same!

Amy said...

Exactly, Heather! You're doing what you feel is best for your child and your family. Everyone should have the choice to do just that.

Likewise, none of us should lose our rights just because of the choice we make regarding our children's education. It would be ludicrious to demand social workers visit the home of every public school or private school student "just because". No one would stand for that! In the same way, it shouldn't be required of a homeschooling family.

 
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