Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why Secretary King is Wrong About Homeschoolers

Secretary John B. King, Jr. of the U.S. Department of Education has made some comments recently regarding homeschoolers.

And it looks like the Secretary of Education needs to be educated!

If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading Secretary King's ridiculous remarks, take a look at what he said here.

The man is wrong. On so many levels, he is just wrong.

1.  He claims homeschooled students aren’t “getting the range of options that are good for all kids.”

Has this man been living under a rock?!

Homeschoolers are presented with so many amazing opportunities that the amount of choices and the number of options can be dizzying! Having so many unique educational and extracurricular options is one of the beauties of home education. We get to choose the curriculum and activities that are best for each individual student.

And now like never before we have so much to choose from!

My boys are involved in many valuable and enriching activities that they would not have time for if we did public school!

Homeschoolers actually have time for practicing musical instruments; taking field trips at less crowded times so they can actually enjoy and learn something from the experience; and participating in extra clubs, classes, projects, and volunteer work.

Homeschoolers have time to play, explore, and develop their creativity in a safe and secure environment.

Homeschoolers are not only accepted into every major college, but they are being actively recruited by them! Trust me. I was a homeschooled student myself once upon a time, and when I was in high school there were colleges all over the country daily bombarding me with so many letters and phone calls I was tempted to change my name and move away! You see colleges have long ago figured out that homeschoolers have developed the skills it takes to be successful (both in college and in life). Homeschooled students not only consistently out-score their public schooled counterparts on college entrance exams, but they are independent learners who take responsibility for their own education.

Sorry, Secretary King, but just who are you saying has limited opportunities?!

And who is he to say what is "good for all kids" anyway? He's never even met mine (and probably not yours either), so how dare he claim to know what is best for them!

2. Secretary King says that “students who are homeschooled are not getting kind of the rapid instructional experience they would get in school”—unless parents are “very intentional about it.”

Rapid instructional experience?


He's got me there.

Because my children are learning, growing, and developing according to their own unique God-ordained time-tables. My boys are not being force-fed standards-based "education" in an attempt to get higher test scores and more school funding then passed along with the rest of the herd to the next grade level year after year without ever truly mastering the material that has been thrown at them.

Wow. I had no idea my children were missing out on getting a "rapid instructional experience." (I am being sarcastic, in case you weren't sure.)

And as for homeschooling parents being "intentional" about it:

Homeschooling is an intentional act! I do not know of anyone who is homeschooling by accident, do you?

We know that in order to educate our own children we are going to have to actually do it. Homeschooling parents are some of the most intentional when it comes to making curriculum choices, seeking opportunities to socialize, or picking out extracurricular activities.

Sorry Mr. Secretary, but the parents who you should worry are not being "very intentional" about their child's education are the ones who blindly send their child to be babysat by your flawed system all day everyday.

3. According to HSLDA, "King said the school experience includes building relationships with peers, teachers and mentors—elements which are difficult to achieve in homeschooling, he said, unless parents focus on it."

Again and again I see public schooled children who have no idea how to interact with anyone outside of their narrow age group. One way homeschooled children are often quickly identified is by the way they are comfortable conversing and interacting with people of all ages.

Big Brother has good friends who are anywhere from age 2 to 82. And he can relate just as easily to one as the other!

He has meaningful relationships with his sibling, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.

He has good relationships with his piano and horseback riding teachers, our local librarians, 4H leaders and club members, and the other students and families in our local homeschool group.

Most importantly, my son does NOT have the "adults are our enemies" or "school is bad" or "little kids are not cool" mentality that is so common among public schooled students who have so much of their lives dictated by their age and their rank in the "system."

Sorry again Mr. Secretary, but homeschoolers are way ahead of your students when it comes to developing healthy and meaningful relationships.

And please don't just take my word for it!

Grab a copy of The Well-Adjusted Child and see just how homeschooling really is best for a child's social development.

Take a look at all the studies that have been done by the National Home Education Research Institute that show homeschooled students out-scoring and out-succeeding public schooled students every.single.time.

Take the time to read just a few of the host of amazing homeschool blogs out there written by some of the most intentional parents you will ever meet.

Visit some of the many homeschool conferences held all over the country each year and be totally overwhelmed by all the options that are presented.

Pick almost any town in America and find a homeschool support group or co-op (or several) full of families who are involved in all sorts of activities and have meaningful relationships with each other and their community.

Walk up to almost any homeschooled student and immediately see the difference in how they respond to you in conversation. And listen to what they say. You could learn a lot from a homeschooler!

Yes, I truly hope Secretary King gets a clue about what he's talking about before he ever mentions homeschoolers again!

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