The new anti-homeschooling buzz word! The old one was socialization. Home schoolers around the world have proven that our children are better socialized than those in school. Now the "fear" that outsiders have to homeschool is the accountability of the parents. That "fear" seams to mirror the latest arguments from the teachers unions, which I am not a fan of either.
As this argument was being presented to me the other day I couldn't help but wonder about society as a whole. We are so motivated by what others think, say, and how they judge us. What methods are used for judging. We might be judged by appearance of weight, clothes choice, hair color, hair cut, and now piercings and tattoos. The next level of judgment goes to income, how much do you make. Another level is your education level, and while in school your grade point average. I have spent years trying to avoid that sort of training for my children.
The states have very different rules and regulations on homeschooling all across our country. The entire world is so divided over parents rights vs. the governments involvement. It is a scary line in some cases. Yes there are parents out there that do a bad job of parenting. Yes there are parents our there that abuse their children. I must tell you though that I am fed up with being compared to that type of parent. The numbers are so small in comparison to the number of wonderful, engaging parents and yet we are now given all kinds of laws because of the few bad parents.
To the point that homeschool parents are not being held accountable I must respond.
To whom should homeschooling parents be held accountable to?
"You should have to answer at least to the school district." I was told. I have to laugh. We, most homeschoolers, find that the local school is inadequate for the education of our child. It isn't a matter of money but motivation. No problem goes away with more money. In the world of learning issues it takes very hard work and motivation from the student. This is best inspired by the family. The family, the mom and dad, have the most at stake here, not a paid employee of the school. I am not saying the the resource teachers do not care. They must to do the work that they do. BUT the parent cares much more about the outcome than that teacher. I know that my child will need to succeed in life. I can't just pass them off to another teacher or another program, I must get the child to succeed.
"Your kids need a report card to prove that they are learning." I can make a report card if you really want one. We have made several. In fact most homeschoolers do. We keep records of what we have done for the year and how each child has progressed. Now many of these records are the bare minimum to full fill the legal requirements of the state. Some require so many hours per subject, some require so many days in the classroom, and some states ask for the results of yearly testing. sometimes the children like to see their own progression, which is the biggest motivator to many parents. If your child wants to see a record then you as the parent provide it.
"I have not seen any testing done on your children." Yeah, so. Even when I was in school those tests and their results were a private matter between the child and the parent. I love using those test when the time has come to see where we are. I have used the California Aptitude tests in the pasts. I have purchased them from Seton Home Study. I like using them because they are a little cheaper and I can administer them myself. As the children get older I have uses the SAT tests when administered to the local homeschool group. These results have always been for my benefit. They tell me where my child's strengths are and where their weaknesses are. This is not a something that is used by my husband to "fire" me as the child's teacher. The benefit is that I don't teach the test.
If given the time and an open mind listening I would have taken the time to explain. I am very accountable. I answer to the highest of authorities and through that to my own children. When my children were baptised I promised God that I would all that I could to teach my children about Him and lead them on the path to heaven. I can't force my children to behave but I can teach them the consequences if they do not. I must show them right from wrong and in that provide for their development and education. I vowed to GOD here people. I don't take that lightly. During my confessions I reveal how accountable I am to my Lord.
Let me point out how important I take my children's education. They must succeed in life. If they do not then I am stuck with them into adulthood. I love my children but I do not want to keep them around in a perpetual immature state. Why would I ever want that. I need them to mature and grow up. Now if an accident or event were to alter that and they were incapable of independence then I would deal with that but I assure you that is not our goal.
I owe it to the 9 beautiful faces that look to me for guidance to teach them their boundaries so that they can leave the home and become productive members of society. When I have a bad day or fail to do some parenting I let them down. I love them too much to continue to let them down and not expect the best from them. I push them harder than any teacher and with more vested in the outcome than anyone else.
I buckle my children in the car when we drive around town. There are laws that state when I should buckle them in, how I should buckle them, and in some cases at what ages. I know the laws exist but that isn't why I buckle. If we were to be in an accident it isn't a ticket I fear. I am accountable to my children. I owe it to them to use every means necessary to keep them safe while on the road. I know that their are some individuals that see no purpose in seat belts and probably strap in just because they are accountable to the law. NOT US. We really feel that we are accountable to the children.
When you are asked about accountablity just smile and remember that you answer to God and to your children. Here in the United States we are not forced into false accountabilty to the government or a state run organization. Thank God!
Now I really must get back to work so I don't let Him down, or my children.