Tuesday, March 18, 2008


There has been a California appellate ruling that bans homeschooling by uncredentialed parents. I think that this is very sad.

I have home schooled my kids, both when we were in Toronto, and obviously, when we were on the boat. They have also gone to public schools in Canada, and a semi-private Catholic school here in Catalonia.

I truly and strongly believe that homeschooling can be a great educational opportunity for kids. It depends on the kids, on the parents and on the situation. On the boat, we had few options. Home school or no school. The children were always at or above grade level and have a broader spectrum of knowledge than most kids we know.

As I am a teacher anyway, this does beg the question of qualification, but while living on the boat we also met several other homeschooling families and every single one of those kids were well grounded in the basics and had an impressive breadth of knowledge.

Inevitably there are going to be situations where homeschooling is not the best, and inevitably there are going to be nuts who are creating problems, but I honestly believe that for the most part parents that are willing to make this frankly enormous commitment to their children's education are going to make a good job of it. The commitment is financial..one person cannot work a regular schedule, as well as an enormous time commitment and an emotional one.

The judge in California stated that a primary purpose of education is to: train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.

*breathing deeply over here*


I am not sure I am willing to speak to that, because this will fast turn into a rant. A nasty one.

*fingers tapping*

No I am not going to go there.

Let's leave it that I think that this is a sad state of affairs.

I think an education should be aimed at a well grounded knowledgeable population with the skills for investigation and the willingness to question and debate. Blind loyalty to the artifice that is the nation state doesn't fall into this package.

Oooooh, now I'm all riled up. I'm going to sleep badly tonight.

*deep breaths in through the nose, and release them slowly out through the mouth*

I think I will post more tomorrow on my thoughts on choice. Not on the state of the nation though.


Beth said...

No rant from me but I will say this: I find that judge's statement both disconcerting and somewhat frightening.

Michele said...

Ooh. I better not tell you what the laws are in Germany.

We're homeschooling next year! Wish us luck!

Michele said...

And agree about the judge's statement. Creepy. How about creating life long learners?

Peter H said...

lots of home schooling here.........when you live a long way from town you must home school, even with help from distance school - with radio and internet too now. Most of the NT in remote areas uses "home schooling" at least for primary school. And the system is well set up too.
I think the venerable old geezer needs to realise the rest of the world can home school and do it WELL.

elPadawan said...

The only reason I would *recommend* schooling in schools rather than at home would be because school is actually where you learn to live with other people than just your family, you socialize, and everything. Of course, sometimes, homeschooling can't be helped, but I wouldn't want my children to miss the "making friends" part of school. I'll just ignore the judge statement, though.

dawn said...

I will not comment on any comments, or I might start a rant. I am guessing you are sleeping by the time I am writing or maybe getting up. I must say, back before world war 2 there was the same philosophy concerning teaching children to be good citizens, patriotic and loyal to the state and nation. A similar quote can be found attributed to Adolf Hitler in the early 1930's or perhaps the late 20's. Sirdar had it, and may have put it on his blog last year, but I can't be sure where I read it exactly in his computer stuff. A scary prospect to be sure. I have also seen a quote from somewhere in the states where home schoolers were referred to as terrorists.

I have heard Germany is against home schooling. I hope Michelle does well. Good luck to her.

I will just go now, tapping my fingers. My son is on facebook and my daughter wouldn't mind using this computer to go on facebook with all there friends from all over, but I think I need a diversion so I can sleep tonight;-).

Anonymous said...

That sure is one scary mind set and makes me despair if the most supposedly open and progressive state in USA has a judge coming up with those statements. GM

hulagirlatheart said...

Don't get me started on the state of the nation.....

oreneta said...

Beth, I'm with you, he's kind of scary. Have you heard Obama's latest speech? Google Obama perfect union. It's long and he doesn't get really good till the end, but it's worth it.

Michele, good luck indeed, it's fun though. Sometimes. Well mostly. Sometimes it isn't.

Peter H, BC in Canada has a lot of homeschooling as well, though they almost fall under the distance education label rather than the pure home school...what the heck...I hate labels.

elPadawan, unless you live somewhere really remote, homeschooled kids don't spend all their time at home, they too join scouts, and guides, soccer teams and hockey teams, they even get together with other homeschooling groups on a regular basis, and play on the street after school like all the other kids in the neighbourhood. They really just miss recess. Well, they usually get a longer one.

Dawn, I'm sorry, I KNEW I was going to raise your blood pressure. Sorry.

GM, there are freaks everywhere. You too may want to listen to Obama's latest speech...love him or hate him, he's talking about important stuff.

Hula, I don't want to go there...nor for any of us, especially as there is the question of WHICH nation to discuss.

Beth said...

I read that speech - only watched part of it. I was so impressed. I wish we had someone so inspirational to vote for.

dawn said...

I had already read about it in the last week, so that didn't get my goat as much as comments (I am not referring to your comments). Obviously it is upsetting that judges are so uneducated about home schooling because they are making the judgements. It is upsetting when anyone who is uneducated about something has a strong uneducated opinion. Some things we think are old miss-givings and they still crop up. You responded well.

Henry Cate said...

I'm still a bit surprised that the judge seems to think the public school system is doing a good job.

Has he seen how many graduating high school seniors go off to college to take remedial courses?

Anonymous said...

I think that is one of the reasons we DO homeschool. To much brainwashing. Oh well.

I appreciate your response to elPadawan and I know Dawn "really" appreciates it. Thanks for setting the record straight :-)