I'm starting homeschooling with my three little ones. So I'll be sharing lots of stories about that in the coming days. But just for some giggles, I just had to share this letter to the editor that Fr. Erik posted on his site from a local newspaper. It's a pretty awesome diatribe against homeschooling that shows outrage about the very idea that parents are raising children without government oversight.
Check it out.
It's that time again. Football teams are practicing. Bands are warming up, and the stores are full of school stuff. Are your children feeling that excitement? Or are you as parents taking away that wonderful feeling of anticipation because you are keeping your children at home? No new experiences. No new teachers. No new friends.It's moronic so I just figured we could point and laugh.
Are your own fears and hang-ups continuing to steal away that uniting childhood experience of attending school? School is how a democracy is built. Children from all walks of life learning together prevents the birth of little groups that pronounce various youngsters as "others" to be feared of disrespected.
The Michigan Constitution states that "All children from 6 to 16 years of age shall attend school.” The one sentence at the end of the school paragraph that allows for home school states that a certain curriculum must be followed, and a variety of subjects are listed. The big problem in Michigan is that there is no oversight. No one makes sure that these children are learning anything at all. The opportunity for abuse or neglect is rampant.
Some of these children don't stand a chance. Help them out! Insist that there must at least be home visits, testing and opportunities for interviews without the parents present. This could be handled through intermediate school districts. Each child should know the name and number of an advocate in case of problems. We do that much for our exchange students, why not our own citizens?
Parents, let go of your youngsters. Give them a chance to grow up as self-sufficient, independent citizens with their own peer group, They need a break from you, and you, too need a break from your children. There are a variety of excellent, award-winning schools in this area, from huge public schools to smaller charters,. private and parochial schools. Lansing watches carefully over the public schools, and now the charters are being brought up to good standards. Why are home schoolers being ignored?
I have written about this topic in the past, and whenever one of my letters appear, I am congratulated and cheered on by many folks. However, no one has the courage to write their opinions in the paper, or to contact their legislators to require oversight of home school children. Michigan is one of the very few states that has abandoned these children to the whims of their parents. Now is the time!
Margaret W. Boyce