If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Monday, March 26, 2007

This is one of the reasons we homeschool!

Y'all are going to get tired of hearing about WorldNet Daily! This is in today's news; it's about an Army dad coming home from Iraq on leave, and the school won't give the kids excused absences or let them make up work to spend time with him.

I'm not sure if it's because I homeschool, or I'm older, or both, but I'm thinking:

A. The kids don't belong to the school. Yes, there are compulsory education laws, and yes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Common sense needs to play a part, too, but ultimately the parents are in charge of the kids, not the principal.

B. The kids are 11 and 8. I assume they have access to school books. They can go over the next part of each book at home in two hours a day or less so they don't fall behind. If the teachers won't give them assignments and they get zero's on a week's worth of work, so what? Yeah, the grades will fall, but so what? Grades are a means of quantifying learning and they mean exactly nothing before high school. Personally, I'd keep my kids home, and I'd put the report cards in the scrap book with the pictures of dad's leave. I mean, really, people let's think about priorities for a minute. Dad is only home for two weeks, and half of that is spring break. If dad goes back to Iraq and the unthinkable happens, do you think anyone is going to care about a report card? For that matter, will the kids be able to get out of school for the funeral?

Compulsory education laws serve a purpose. They were started in the early 1900's for two main reasons: To teach immigrants to speak English, and to keep kids out of sweat shops. You thought the Three R's had something to do with it? Not primarily. We did all right for more than 200 years in this country with the basics. Like all good things that started a hundred years ago, it's evolved into something of a monster. It seems that the mere act of turning education over to 'elected officials' has made school the bureaucracy that it is today. The more 'absolutes' they enact, the more convoluted the problem becomes.

We're blessed in this nation to have the option to homeschool or send our kids to private school. I'm not saying that public school is evil; if it was, my kids wouldn't go. I am, however, grateful that their exposure is less than most kids'. I'm very grateful to have spared them the middle school drama, and I'm better, too, for having had them at home. For one thing I can think through this family's dilemma. School or zero? Keep 'em home. In fact, keep 'em home for good.



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