Some things you definitely learn the hard way; some are anticipated, some totally take you off guard. Some come by way of surprise attack. In the end, I guess you learn what you are really made of.
Recently, I was very humbled to be very humiliated by someone who really is a total stranger to me, who doesn’t know me whatsoever, but very personally attacked me for my educational beliefs and convictions of upholding traditional homeschooling as defined by law in this country. This came about after they publicly reprimanded me in a rather cutting and rude way on a Facebook forum, and I later removed my posting, and wrote them privately – apologizing – for apparently not reading their regulations better. I was cordial, I did not make commentary, and I left it at that. I received a private email back asking several questions, and I felt this group administrator seemed sincere, so I answered them. That was my second mistake. To make a long story short, they basically creamed me not only in their private mail as well as on their Facebook page (a mutual friend told me). No, last I had heard they hadn’t mentioned by name; that may have changed. If they did, shame on them. Much of it was exaggerated even to the point of adding words I never used in reference to particulars. I’m getting over it, although rather shocked by the whole thing. One thing I learned, is that it isn’t okay to really have convictions and uphold them, or at least be honest about them. Nobody really wants to hear the truth. They ask for it, but when you speak it, they become completely defensive, because it isn’t really a truth they want to believe in. Why? Because really hearing the truth might cause them to have to re-evaluate what they are doing and change and people also don’t really like to change for many reasons. That part is certainly their own business.
I was persecuted for my Christian beliefs firstly, and next in regard to home education. I know people don’t like to believe that a freedom that was already fought for and laws written for will go away. They like to think things will remain the same forever. Well, we can hide our heads in the sand. The truth is: homeschooling is a freedom that many heroic families before us fought long and hard for, passing laws in this country to allow families to fully choose the kind of education – the very curriculum – they wish to educate their children with. It is no light matter when a) school is mandatory, and b) it must persist from ages 6 through 18 in most states. That is a lot of formative years.
People didn’t think abortion would ever be made “legal”, and it was. I was a witness to the year it happened. Now people fight with great conviction to get Roe vs. Wade overturned. FREEDOMS can be won and can be lost. It is no different with homeschooling. The political scene is hot with wanting to strip away anything autonomous and bring all and everyone into and under public formation only. Home schooling is more widely accepted, yes, to a point. If you are a traditional homeschooler, that for which special laws were written, you are still looked at sideways. If you say you are doing school on line, you are by far more acceptable. And there are divisions among the two as well. Yes, we wish everyone could just be buddies…but asking some of these factions of home educators to join forces happily is like asking protestants and Catholics to get more together on some things…and well, you know there are definite distinctions as well as some common ground.
I’m not here to make anyone feel bad about doing on line school, it is another school choice and it’s likely a very wise one. After Columbine, many families around the country were looking for other ways to school that eliminated the school building, and they were looking for better academic standards overall. William Bennett did a fine job developing K-12 and many states use this program in their cyber school options. It would likely be the first choice in cyber school I would opt for if going a public on line route.
Someday, I may have to. Our public tracking system indeed knows how many school on line in districts and how many outside the box still participate in traditional home schooling. Make no mistakes, they are counting heads. I see in the future, where on line will be the only option as laws governing homeschooling with be overrode by only public “home” options. The majority rules in most cases. And with a precarious government mix of wishy washy Republicans and Liberals axing programs left and right, and even dictating health care reforms and imposing or rather stripping away religious freedoms in conjunction with heath care coverage….believe me, anything is bound to happen…little ole’ homeschooling rights will be a thing of the past in no time.
I know, I don’t sound optimistic. But when the family is key first, the family fighting the rights to “parent and educate” without public intervention or mandates is paramount. Parents need more than just on line options –they are wonderful options, don’t get me wrong, but….. what happens when on line options include body biology (sex education) or reformation history that isn’t showing your church in a truthful light, or a little heavy on the Darwinism or pro-environmentalism…..maybe your curriculum isn’t integrated with all the Christian beliefs you would prefer to build upon year after year to form your children in both God and academic standards. Then, you need the freedom and law that upholds traditional home education. And what if it’s not there? When families don’t stand up and fight, and make use of those rights, exercising them, then there will be no need for them.
There are a few solid voices still out there …voices crying out in the wilderness….for the family, for traditional homeschooling laws to remain upheld….I pray those voices are strong enough to awaken people that this one remaining educational freedom will continue to be available for future generations.
To learn more about traditional home schooling, visit here:
To formulate a grade level plan that spells it out: