Before I start venting about a newspaper article I read this morning, I need to say... I really don't care how other people educate their children. I am not out to convince the world that home school is the best option for everyone. I have friends whose children attend local public schools and I have friends whose children attend our local private schools. All of my nieces and nephews all go to public school. I am not anti-traditional school... I am pro-parent choice. Though I don't care how other people educate their children, I do care when others want to tell me how to educate my own kids.
I feel like that parents should be allowed to make the best choice for each of their children. When I say that to others, most of them nod their head and agree with me. I hear "oh yes! We are the parents after all!" However, when I say that I home school our three children, the nodding tends to cease. Instead, often, I hear "Is that legal?" or "You can't be serious! What about your children? They won't be SOCIALIZED!" One of my favorite quotes (seriously, this was said to me!)... "You are doing irreparable damage to your kids! You're not EDUCATED to do this! You are making a huge mistake!" More often than not, those statements are followed by a long dissertation of a story that this person once heard about an abused child who was allegedly home schooled and because of that, all home schooling is wrong.
So, after almost 8 years of home schooling, I tend to be a bit defensive. Hence, the reason for this post this morning. I just read an article that appeared the end of November in a local newspaper. Apparently 2 mothers were arrested for a Class D Felony of education neglect. My beef, today, isn't about these mothers' arrest. If the article only focused on this arrest, I would have read it and wondered if the allegations were true but probably would have forgotten the entire thing in a few days.
Instead, the author of the article apparently decided that it was in the reader's best interest to dredge up an old home school case where neglect did indeed happen. After quoting this case, the rest of the article was skewed that home schooling is wrong because one child at one time was neglected. Arrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!!! Therein lies my issue!!!! I can't do anything about the abusive parent or the neglecting parent. I can only take responsibility for my own actions with my children and yet I am judged based on what someone else reads in the newspaper.
Yes, I am defensive. I used to think that eventually my children's education would speak for itself and I wouldn't have to defend myself anymore. I hope it does but I think the issue is much greater than that. So, for 2010, I would like to propose the idea of educating the general populace on educational choices and allow each parent to make the best choice for each of their own children without judgment or without dredging up the ancient cases of abuse, neglect or poor socialization (what is that exactly, anyway...).
On a lighter note...after about 5 years of home schooling my kids and hearing people say, "but you aren't trained as an educator, you aren't trained to educate children and prepare them for the real world", I finally came up with an answer for them....
You see, I do have a college degree from a pretty impressive private college. My degree is in criminal justice. So, I ask you...who is better trained to discipline your children and keep them out of trouble, you or me?
If that answer doesn't work, I can always pull out Chad's nursing degree.... who is better trained to medicate your child and keep them healthy? hmmmmm.... maybe I'll use that one next!