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Accountability Within Homeschooling
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janw1256
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Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Accountability Within Homeschooling Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone thinks that homeschoolers should have more accountability? Probably not from the government, but from another source? I mean we need the government, otherwise this country would go wild. The Bible talks about accountability many times. Is there anyone who homeschools that practices accountability to someone outside of their family?

Jan
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Calleigh
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jan,

I guess that depends on what you mean by "accountability." Most people are held accountable to notify the school district and to follow up in one way or another (testing, etc). Some states require more than others, but most states do require something.

If by "accountablility" you mean that the parents should be forced to use curriculum that the government chooses and teach a world view that the government decides is important and worthy, then absolutely not. There is no one on the face of this earth who cares more about what happens to my children than I do, and there is no one who wants them to "succeed" more than I do. I know without a doubt that what is best for them is my ultimate concern and priority. Can one say that is true with the government? No.

Our children are a gift from God and He has given us the weighty responsibility to raise them in the way that we know He wants us to. So my accountability is to God; which is why I am homeschooling in the first place. Smile I have to trust that He will lead us in the way we should go. Many of the views that are taught in public schools are in direct opposition of what I know God desires from us.

So there is a fine line between what one would term accountability and another would see as government trying to control. I think we have a decent balance in the US. I certainly don't think we need more than what we already have.

Calleigh
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Accountability Within Homeschooling Reply with quote

janw1256 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone thinks that homeschoolers should have more accountability? Probably not from the government, but from another source? I mean we need the government, otherwise this country would go wild. The Bible talks about accountability many times. Is there anyone who homeschools that practices accountability to someone outside of their family?

Jan

No.
No.
No--Well, maybe yes, although I consider my Lord to also be my Father, it would depend if you count Him as family or not.
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elliemaejune
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Accountability Within Homeschooling Reply with quote

janw1256 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone thinks that homeschoolers should have more accountability? Probably not from the government, but from another source? I mean we need the government, otherwise this country would go wild. The Bible talks about accountability many times. Is there anyone who homeschools that practices accountability to someone outside of their family?Jan


I absolutely do NOT believe that we need to be accountable to the government for how we educate our children at home. Nor do we need to be accountable to any other agency or person or group to be accountable to.

Teaching our children at home is an extension of how we rear our children, and we are accountable to God for that. I see no reason for being accountable to anyone else.

And I was wondering which Scriptures you're referring to when you say that the Bible talks about "accountability."
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Dolly-VA
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imo, it's fine and good when speaking about ourselves, none of us need someone telling us what to do! All here are concerned and motivated individuals with the best interests for our children in mind (if we weren't, we wouldn't be here. Wink) Unfortunately, while we may be the amongst the majority (I hope), we're not the total population. One percent of the US is illiterate. Is this okay? No one chooses to be illiterate, but there are those that choose it for their children. Should this be their right? In countries that do not have mandatory, free education, literacy levels are far lower. Is this what we want the US to become?

I'm for accountability, but I'm not certain what you mean by "more." If I say I'm homeschooling my children, taking a standardized test of my choice at the end of the year seems like very little to require. Or producing a portfolio (though, as one of the organizationally challenged, this is a bit of strain for me. Rolling Eyes) I have no problem proving that I am doing what I said I would do because I am doing it. I know some states don't even require this little amount and that, I think, is wrong. Now, as far as being accountable to someone outside the government, one could say they are, but when it comes down to it, there isn't anything anyone else can do if they decide you're slacking, be it parent, friend or clergyman.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dolly-VA wrote:
One percent of the US is illiterate. Is this okay? No one chooses to be illiterate, but there are those that choose it for their children. Should this be their right? In countries that do not have mandatory, free education, literacy levels are far lower. Is this what we want the US to become?

Hmmm, I think that a village girl in Nepal would wonder what good it is to read a book, when one does not know how to milk a yak, make cheese with yak milk, and prepare yak hide for clothing as needed for survival. I would prefer the US to protect the personal freedoms of people and not force any particular standard of living, including education, on people, because what is most needed to know in life varies according to lifestyle and career plans.

Since we are talking stats here, I wonder what percentage of those who are literate are they able to read English and how many of the illiterate have severe dyslexia.


Dolly-VA wrote:

I have no problem proving that I am doing what I said I would do because I am doing it. I know some states don't even require this little amount and that, I think, is wrong.

That is fine, if no one is disproving of what you are doing. Personally, if I wanted my child to be educated the way the state thinks my child should be educated, then my child would be in public school.

I have yet to see a study statistically proving that the states with more regulation have better success rates at homeschooling than the states with little to no regulation.
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ncmom
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that the state or federal government needs anymore control over me and my children than they already have. In fact, the little I have to do to homeschool my children, in my opinion is to much! Today there is to much "accountability" put on parents. Everyone expects us to be perfect, this is especially true of people without kids who are looking in, the government, and the extremely wealthy who probably don't even remember their kids birthdays unless it is on their todo list that day, oh and of course the all important Hollywood. No parent is perfect and to want to have more accountability for them is crazy, especially if it is education related! The ONLY people I am accountable to is myself, my husband, and God. Everyone else can find a way of dealing with it if they don't like the way I raise and educate my children.
Education has become an industry anyway. Starting in Kdg all the way through college. How many people do you know that really need a degree in waste disposal to pick up trash? I don't have one and I am pretty sure I could ride on the back of a truck and throw garbage in it. As long as my kids have basic knowledge and can read, write and do math they are good. They don't need to know what all the parts in the eye are called to be anything except an eye doctor and they would learn that in medical school.
As far as illiteracy, it is sad, but there are going to be illiterate people even if everyone went to PS. They pass kids through now no matter what because it might hurt their self esteem if they held them back. Hence, no child left behind act. Kids can't fail anymore. And YES it is a parents choice if they send a child to school or not! Even if it means that child won't be able to read and write. Not the governments choice and not some other parents choice. Furthermore, how many of these people in these stats are under 7 or severally retarded or even blind? Stats only tell you what you want to read into them or what the government wants you to get out of them.
For those who can't speak English, that is a real problem in the schools. They are not required to learn English with the other kids either (at least they aren't in the local schools here). They let them sit in the back of the class and do stuff in Spanish or send them to a class that has a bilingual teacher who teaches in their native language. The other problem you find with these people learning English is that the government does not regulate them the same way the regulate us so if they want to homeschool they can and they don't have to follow the same rules as us. So tell me again why I should have more regulations?
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my3boyshomeschool
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ncmom wrote:
I don't think that the state or federal government needs anymore control over me and my children than they already have. In fact, the little I have to do to homeschool my children, in my opinion is to much! Today there is to much "accountability" put on parents. Everyone expects us to be perfect, this is especially true of people without kids who are looking in, the government, and the extremely wealthy who probably don't even remember their kids birthdays unless it is on their todo list that day, oh and of course the all important Hollywood. No parent is perfect and to want to have more accountability for them is crazy, especially if it is education related! The ONLY people I am accountable to is myself, my husband, and God. Everyone else can find a way of dealing with it if they don't like the way I raise and educate my children.
Education has become an industry anyway. Starting in Kdg all the way through college. How many people do you know that really need a degree in waste disposal to pick up trash? I don't have one and I am pretty sure I could ride on the back of a truck and throw garbage in it. As long as my kids have basic knowledge and can read, write and do math they are good. They don't need to know what all the parts in the eye are called to be anything except an eye doctor and they would learn that in medical school.
As far as illiteracy, it is sad, but there are going to be illiterate people even if everyone went to PS. They pass kids through now no matter what because it might hurt their self esteem if they held them back. Hence, no child left behind act. Kids can't fail anymore. And YES it is a parents choice if they send a child to school or not! Even if it means that child won't be able to read and write. Not the governments choice and not some other parents choice. Furthermore, how many of these people in these stats are under 7 or severally retarded or even blind? Stats only tell you what you want to read into them or what the government wants you to get out of them.
For those who can't speak English, that is a real problem in the schools. They are not required to learn English with the other kids either (at least they aren't in the local schools here). They let them sit in the back of the class and do stuff in Spanish or send them to a class that has a bilingual teacher who teaches in their native language. The other problem you find with these people learning English is that the government does not regulate them the same way the regulate us so if they want to homeschool they can and they don't have to follow the same rules as us. So tell me again why I should have more regulations?


Hi ncmom, next time tell us how you really feel. LOL I fully agree with you. Truly there is no real accountability of public school teachers, so why should there be on homeschooling parents? Luckily, I live in a very easy state for homeschooling. If I had to go through what I hear others go through, I'd be upset.
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ncmom
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hi ncmom, next time tell us how you really feel. LOL I fully agree with you. Truly there is no real accountability of public school teachers, so why should there be on homeschooling parents? Luckily, I live in a very easy state for homeschooling. If I had to go through what I hear others go through, I'd be upset.


Next time I promise not to hold back. Laughing
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Dolly-VA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seekingmyLord wrote:
I would prefer the US to protect the personal freedoms of people and not force any particular standard of living, including education, on people, because what is most needed to know in life varies according to lifestyle and career plans.
Say your neighbor chooses to do no more than teach their child the basics of reading. Maybe they aren't well-educated themselves or maybe they come from a culture that feels girls really don't need to know more than that or they desperately need the child's help in running a family business. Should this be permissable? That child has now had his/her future lifestyle and career choice severely limited. That is fine? It's sad, but income and education are tied together. The better educated will earn more in all areas of the world. The poorly or uneducated will earn less. (Speaking not of individuals, of course, but as groups.)

Quote:
Since we are talking stats here, I wonder what percentage of those who are literate are they able to read English and how many of the illiterate have severe dyslexia.
In the US literacy is measured by the ability to read English. All people gaining US citizenship must be able to read, write, speak English (with a few exceptions.) And non-US citizens recorded in the statistics are listed under their native languages (so if they came here unable to read/write their native language and never learned to read/write English while here, they would be counted as illiterate.) I've no idea about severe dyslexia, but generally speaking, people with dyslexia are very bright and learn to fool the system. It's one of the reasons it's so hard to uncover.

Quote:
Personally, if I wanted my child to be educated the way the state thinks my child should be educated, then my child would be in public school.
I'm not sure in what manner your state is wanting you to educate your child. Of the ones I've look at regulations for (only about 6, so I'm not up on very many), most state such things as provide proof that they're keeping up by either a standardized test, a portfolio evaluation or both. I've not even come across anything saying I must teach my child to read. So, it may be that I've just not been exposed to what you have. Could you give me an example? (Just curious Smile )

Quote:
I have yet to see a study statistically proving that the states with more regulation have better success rates at homeschooling than the states with little to no regulation.
That would be a good statistic to see! But there would have to be an agreement on what "success" actually meant. Still, if a measure could be reached, I would love to know, too. Personally, I feel that homeschool parents are generally very dedicated. Unfortunately, I have met a few kids/people who were "homeschooled" but taught nothing. These are the cases that set people off and give all homeschoolers a bad name.
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Dolly-VA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ncmom, In general, I agree with you! We're having a terrible problem with non-English speaking students, but the schools where I am are doing it differently than where you are. All the kids are integrated. All have to pass the state standardized tests. What that means here is that all the kids are being taught to bring the least common denominator up well enough to pass these stupid tests. Everyone is suffering. The kids who could actually be learning something useful are suffering. The kids who don't speak English well enough yet are suffering. The schools with higher immigrant populations are suffering. On and on. Stupid stupid stupid! (Okay, I'm off that...one of my reasons for homeschooling, btw. Wink) But what this probably shows is how the various states are interpretting differently the No Child Left Behind laws. Gotta love interpretations. Shocked

Oh, about the literacy stats, they were for people 15+ (so no young kids.) Also, in testing for literacy, it takes into account physical ability (so a blind person wouldn't be expected to read regular print, nor would a mentally handicapped person be expected to perform to the same standards.) I'm sure there's a standard deviation (+/- .something) but I don't have it.

However, I do disagree with you about this:
ncmom wrote:
How many people do you know that really need a degree in waste disposal to pick up trash? I don't have one and I am pretty sure I could ride on the back of a truck and throw garbage in it. As long as my kids have basic knowledge and can read, write and do math they are good.
This seems to presuppose that kids make a decision very early on that they are going to be one thing over another. When, in reality, it's their decisions while in school that will limit them. Did they do well in math? Do calculas as a senior? Loved the sciences? Did decently on the SATs? Then they can decide to go to college or not. People become garbage men and janitors and day workers because of decisions they made or were made for them limiting their choices. (Otoh, having a teenage son myself, I realize that there's oftentimes very little reasoning going on in their heads at this time. As a parent, I had to keep my fingers crossed that the good choices would outweigh the stupid.)

Quote:
So tell me again why I should have more regulations?
Not knowing what's going on in your state, I can't comment on what new regulations are being proposed for you. Here in VA, I don't believe anything new is in the works. (Just the LOI and proof of progress. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones?)
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dolly-VA wrote:
Say your neighbor chooses to do no more than teach their child the basics of reading. Maybe they aren't well-educated themselves or maybe they come from a culture that feels girls really don't need to know more than that or they desperately need the child's help in running a family business. Should this be permissable?

Yes! My grandfather had to stop schooling in eighth grade to help the family, but he continued to educate himself. He loved history and had an extensive library. He never had much money, but he had a quick wit and integrity. He also had one of the largest funerals that city ever saw except for a mayor, even though he was nothing more than a railroad engineer.

He taught me this one important lesson: We all need to take responsibility for ourselves regardless of our upbringing.

Besides that, you are talking with someone who lived near Amish communities and they all seem to do well enough with their limited education in their dealings with "the English."


Dolly-VA wrote:

That child has now had his/her future lifestyle and career choice severely limited. That is fine? It's sad, but income and education are tied together. The better educated will earn more in all areas of the world. The poorly or uneducated will earn less. (Speaking not of individuals, of course, but as groups.)

If I judged success by a person's income and formal education, I suppose I would also believe that, but I believe it is sadder that it is by these standards that people are judged.

I believe that there is nothing more unstandarized than standardized education, it is an illusion.


Dolly-VA wrote:
In the US literacy is measured by the ability to read English. All people gaining US citizenship must be able to read, write, speak English (with a few exceptions.) And non-US citizens recorded in the statistics are listed under their native languages (so if they came here unable to read/write their native language and never learned to read/write English while here, they would be counted as illiterate.) I've no idea about severe dyslexia, but generally speaking, people with dyslexia are very bright and learn to fool the system. It's one of the reasons it's so hard to uncover.

I worked with dyslexic people for a short while and I don't agree that they "fool the system," rather they learn to cope within the system.

Dolly-VA wrote:
I'm not sure in what manner your state is wanting you to educate your child. Of the ones I've look at regulations for (only about 6, so I'm not up on very many), most state such things as provide proof that they're keeping up by either a standardized test, a portfolio evaluation or both. I've not even come across anything saying I must teach my child to read. So, it may be that I've just not been exposed to what you have. Could you give me an example? (Just curious Smile )

I currently live in Georgia, but its current laws are irrelevant. You stated, "I have no problem proving that I am doing what I said I would do because I am doing it." I realize now that you are framing that statement in regards to the laws currently in place where you reside. My point is that once someone is in authority to make you provide proof, there is also the risk that same someone may also be able to disapprove of what you are doing based on the proof you just gave him.

Dolly-VA wrote:

That would be a good statistic to see! But there would have to be an agreement on what "success" actually meant. Still, if a measure could be reached, I would love to know, too.


Since you asked:
Quote:
The research revealed that there was no positive correlation between state regulation of homeschools and the home-schooled students' performance. The study compared homeschoolers in three groups of states representing various levels of regulation. Group 1 represented the most restrictive states such as Michigan; Group 2 represented slightly less restrictive states including North Dakota; and Group 3 represented unregulated states such as Texas and California. The Institute concluded:


...no difference was found in the achievement scores of students between the three groups which represent various degrees of state regulation of home education.... It was found that students in all three regulation groups scored on the average at or above the 76th percentile in the three areas examined: total reading, total math, and total language. These findings in conjunction with others described in this section, do not support the idea that state regulation and compliance on the part of home education families assures successful student achievement.

Excerpt from Academic Statistics on Homeschooling

Dolly-VA wrote:
Personally, I feel that homeschool parents are generally very dedicated. Unfortunately, I have met a few kids/people who were "homeschooled" but taught nothing. These are the cases that set people off and give all homeschoolers a bad name.

How do you know their parents taught them nothing?


Last edited by seekingmyLord on Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dolly-VA wrote:
Here in VA, I don't believe anything new is in the works. (Just the LOI and proof of progress. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones?)

As I recall, Virginia refined its homeschooling laws just as recent as 2006 making it easier on homeschoolers...maybe you preferred them as they were?

There were people who fought this fight before you had this much freedom. Have you done any research on the history of homeschooling in Virgina?


Quote:
In today's political and cultural climate, legislators give wide berth to faith-based issues. Virginia law allows parents to remove their children from public school for religious reasons, with no further oversight from the state.

But Virginia didn't always protect families who felt they were following a divine mandate by educating their children at home.

It used to prosecute them.

Roscoe Lewis and Spurgeon "Sonny" Rice Jr. were just children when their fathers were convicted for not sending them to school. Both now 68 years old, the cousins reminisced about their childhood and their family's choices on a recent spring afternoon...

Read the entire article here...
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Dolly-VA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah... Cool I think on the first part we'll have to agree to disagree. When you spoke of Nepal, you brought in the world environment. Speaking of your grandfather (who sounds like he was a remarkable person) and the Amish, you are bringing it back to a domestic. Fortunately, living in the US does give us many more opportunities than would living in a third world country. We are lucky, indeed!
Quote:
If I judged success by a person's income and formal education, I suppose I would also believe that, but I believe it is sadder that it is by these standards that people are judged.
I wasn't judging anyone's success by their income or formal education. Just stating facts. People in Nepal, where more than half the people are illiterate, earn an average yearly income of about $1,900. It's a fact that the countries where more people have higher educations have higher standards of living.

Quote:
I believe that there is nothing more unstandarized than standardized education, it is an illusion.[/color]
I agree!

Quote:
I worked with dyslexic people for a short while and I don't agree that they "fool the system," rather they learn to cope within the system.
Okay. I'll agree with that. Though it could be we're thinking the same thing. (I have two dyslexic kids and am certified to teach/tutor people with dyslexia.)

Quote:
I currently live in Georgia, but its current laws are irrelevant. You stated, "I have no problem proving that I am doing what I said I would do because I am doing it." I realize now that you are framing that statement in regards to the laws currently in place where you reside. My point is that once someone is in authority to make you provide proof, there is also the risk that same someone may also be able to disapprove of what you are doing based on the proof you just gave him.
That's why the regulations (here anyway) say exactly what is required. I would have no problem confronting this possible someone. (You should hear my eldest repeat some of my parent/teacher conferences of days gone by... Cool

I just realized you edited your post as I was responding (lol) so, in response to the article excerpt, do you have something not put out by HSLDA? Not that I think badly of them, but they have an agenda and the excerpt comes from their own sources. Kind of like quoting a Exxon Corp. study on the effects of off shore drilling to native wildlife. (But, if what they say is true, good for us!)

Quote:
How do you know their parents taught them nothing?
One is a young woman who works at Starbucks. When I first met her she and I spoke for a while and I found out she can write her name and recognize some letters. Her parents are very religious and didn't want her to go to PS so kept her out on a religious exemption. Unfortunately, her mother became emotionally unable to deal with the day to day routine of teaching her anything and she said when she was in second grade, school became nothing but watching educational shows all day. Being on a religious exemption meant she was totally on her own. This young woman is a lovely, kind person who "knows" she's very stupid and that nothing she thinks is worth anything. Fortunately, her manager is a wonderful person and in the last year has taught her to read and write, drive a car, balance a checkbook, and I'm sure other things. The other two, I'm afraid, are the children of my step-neice's husband (I have a complicated family.) He and his previous wife decided to home school also for religious reasons. When the eldest was in fourth and the youngest in first, the parents seperated. The mother moved out of state and "never had the time" after that. AND she wouldn't let them go to PS. I met them when the eldest was 16 and terribly embarrassed by her lack of education (but with a MUCH higher self-esteem than the woman at Starbucks.) The younger was 12. The younger child asked to live with her father and my step-neice and go to school. It is very sad when a child has to make the decision for the parent, but like your grandfather, some of us are self-motivated and do make the best of what we have.
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Dolly-VA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seekingmyLord wrote:
Dolly-VA wrote:
Here in VA, I don't believe anything new is in the works. (Just the LOI and proof of progress. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones?)

As I recall, Virginia refined its homeschooling laws just as recent as 2006 making it easier on homeschoolers...maybe you preferred them as they were?

There were people who fought this fight before you had this much freedom. Have you done any research on the history of homeschooling in Virgina?


Quote:
In today's political and cultural climate, legislators give wide berth to faith-based issues. Virginia law allows parents to remove their children from public school for religious reasons, with no further oversight from the state.

But Virginia didn't always protect families who felt they were following a divine mandate by educating their children at home.

It used to prosecute them.

Roscoe Lewis and Spurgeon "Sonny" Rice Jr. were just children when their fathers were convicted for not sending them to school. Both now 68 years old, the cousins reminisced about their childhood and their family's choices on a recent spring afternoon...

Read the entire article here...
I didn't begin homeschooling until last year, so I really have no opinion about the former laws here in VA. I do know and have read how they have been changing, especially in the last decade. I am very grateful that this is true! Otherwise, I'm sure I would have had to find other options for my kids (and not have discovered how much I love homeschooling my kids!)

It is amazing how different everything is from half a century ago. Reforms have effected all aspects of education it seems, from the desegregation of public education to homeschooling. Both for the better!
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