Friday, February 1, 2008

CT Homeschool Pride And Lobby Day - February 6

Legislative Forum and Opening Day of the Connecticut General Assembly. Come meet your CT General Assembly Representatives!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008, at 9:00 am
(Official time of the initial Press Conference)

Legislative Office Building
Room 2E
Hartford, CT

We encourage every CT homeschooler to attend this important event!

Parents have this opportunity on opening day of the session to connect with their own legislators and speak to them about their successes and any other issues they have. A face-to-face meeting between a legislator and a homeschooling family gives the legislator the opportunity to see firsthand the positive benefits of homeschooling. Informed homeschooling constituents who meet with and demonstrate interest in their legislator's activities provide that legislator with reasons to vote in favor of maintaining homeschool freedom.

There will be no hearings or sitting around. This is a chance to attend a press conference - speak to your legislators, tour the building and it could be a great way to teach civics to the kids. In addition to protecting your freedom, this provides a great opportunity to your children for a field trip to learn about state government and how laws are made in Connecticut.

There will tables in the indoor Concourse area (that's the underground walkway between the LOB and the capitol Building near where the flat escalator is) available to display homeschoolers’ projects.

State Representative Arthur O'Neill has arranged for tours of the Capitol Building. Contact Jake Bookwalter 1-800-842-1423 or email


Anonymous said...

Homeschooling is good when there are standards. Not so good when no metrics are enforced opening the door for abuse where kids end up with less than a desirable education. Not a single test is required to make sure the teacher is capable and that the student is in the correct environment.

Homeschool Parent said...

anonymous you really don't know what you are talking about at all. Do you even know any homeschoolers?

Homeschooling parents have much higher standards than government schools do. usually kids leave government schools because their needs are not being adequately met.

Our public education system has tons of standards, metrics and measurements and "credentialed teachers" yet it is a system that has been proven to be failing and in a total mess. Kids graduate with few skills and little ability to think for themselves. In comparison with other countries we have fallen way behind. So much for your standards. You can keep them, thank you.

You want to talk about abuse? How about the daily humiliation and degradation kids experience in classrooms by their teachers and peers? How about the rampant bullying that takes place? Is that a superior place to be for your kid? You want to abuse your kids, then just send them to school. Countless children in school are on medication because of the stress and anxiety and depression caused by government school!

As far as teacher "capability" - the credentialing system in public education is a sham. I knew many "educators" in my lifetime who could not even spell or write a proper sentence.

Please don't rant on about how homeschoolers need standards and oversight - especially when they are out performing their public schooled peers and getting into colleges at an early age. There is nothing wrong with lack of standards and measurements and certainly parents with less then what you would probably deem as an adequate education have turned out some pretty damned equipped children.

I'd say that before you talk about what homeschoolers need - you take a good long look at what government schools need and additionally the very things that you claim homeschoolers need have contributed to what has made public education the failure that it is.

Anonymous said...

Great, I leave what I thought was a constructive comment and I get personally attacked. That alone speaks volumes for your post. I'm not sure I can see you up there on your high horse.

As for knowing homeschoolers, yes I do. My kids also are friends with some who were homeschooled. The kids were bright, well educated, nothing wrong there. However I also know of a situation where the kids are not better off, due to the educator in the family. Classes are seldom held, the reading/math skills are way under par, and obviously so.

As for your fear of testing, I would welcome the chance to know my fifth grader was at a sixth grade level. I would also want to know they were behind the norm, so I could take corrective action in my teaching processes. I do know these type of placement tests are available, and perhaps you even have used them, as you seem to know your kids are better equiped than those in public school, but these tests are not mandated. In the above negative case it becomes an issue.

In the State of CT a parent can just say they are homeschooling a child, and not. They can allow the child to be truant and "ruin" the child's educational opportunities. That was the reason for my post.

As for ranting, you try your best to state kids that attend public schools graduate with few skills and those who are homeschooled are outperforming their peers in public schools. Your head is in the ground if you believe this is the case 100% of the time. To portray it as such is propaganda and also known as being prejudiced. Public/private school turns out some bright kids and so does homeschooling. I am not saying get rid of either one.

I did not say I was against homeschooling, and was not making the argument that public/private school was better. Nothing is perfect. Everything: you, me, and the educational processes of both private/public/home schooling can improve as well. Why would you not want it to?

homeschool parent said...

anonymous 3:55 - And whose "standards" pray tell are we to follow? yours? the NEA's? the President's? Bill Bennett's? You see that is the problem. Standards are not perfect and you must understand that no child will learn everything there is to learn. I prefer not to leave the decision, of what is important for my children to learn, up to someone else. Part of parenting is guiding and determining what it is that you feel your child should know in life to be successful.

No education model is perfect. I never said homeschooling was perfect - but by many measures homeschooled kids ARE in fact doing better than their government schooled counterparts.

No one "fears" testing.. it's just that it has been proven that these tests measure little more than the time that teachers have spent teaching to the test. Many of these tests are meaningless.

As for parents in CT having the ability to homeschool their child and allow the child to be truant and "ruin" the child's educational opportunities, that is the biggest crock. We have mandated reporters everywhere my friend. What about all those kids in government school who aren't getting a decent education - those kids are ok by you because they are enrolled in a government program? Give it a rest already. Government schools are a failure by every measure and reports are in the paper on a daily basis that prove it.

I never said to get rid of public education.. and if you listen to your own rant of propaganda you might just see that your arguments make no sense whatsoever because you are comparing the poor results of a government school system that is regulated - measured and has standards up the ying yang, and then want to have homeschoolers adhere to the same lunatic standards that produce substandard results.

You may not have said you were against homeschooling - but anyone advocating that regulation and standards be set upon homeschooling doesn't understand that freedom to learn and freedom from government intervention is just what makes homeschooling by in large a more successful model.

In my opinion the things that you say should be applied to homeschooling are not the things that would provide any improvement. If anything, the government school model has lots to learn from the homeschool model.

Anonymous said...

Dear Homeschool Parent,

I believe that Anonymous A (I will call myself Anonymous B) has a valid point about some sort of testing. And yes, while I don't homeschool children myself, I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject.

I know of two homeschooling families.

Family A developed a well run program and successfully taught the children for several years.

Family B has long vacation breaks (like November - January), an erratic schedule when school is in 'session', no metrics for progress, ... Their children that are well beyond 3rd/4th grade don't know basic multiplication, aren't reading a variety of literature, etc...

If you would prefer not to use public testing, that is fine. I would be just as happy to see a Homeschooling Advocacy organization create their own metrics.

There ought to be some method available to confirm that our children are getting the education to work and make a living in the world. The children are our future - and the few Homeschooling parents who leverage the program to create a 365 day vacation risk not giving their children the tools and training to make it in the world.

Don't look this as an insult to the 99%+ of Home Schoolers that make a legitimate attempt at it. Look at this as something to weed out the few Home Schooling parents who don't commit the appropriate time and resources (which ultimately affects their children's future - not the Home teacher's future).

Our society is filled with inconveniences because a few made outrageous demands. Just look at the frivolous lawsuits, the "Don't try this at home" warning on stupid TV stunts, etc...

The bottom line is that some metrics, applied appropriately, would give Home Schooling a better reputation because you would be weeding out the bad apples.

Maybe the testing should be for the parents so that they can identify which subjects they are ready to teach? For those that they are not ready to teach, the parents would have to show enrollment in or purchase of a program to teach the subject. I am not suggesting that anyone create a mandated list of subjects -- I am well aware that some Homeschooling parents do it specifically to avoid their children learning viewpoints that go against their religious beliefs.

homeschool parent said...

Dear Anonymous B,
You know I am not so sure that you are taking great care of your kids.. maybe you aren't feeding them properly and let them stay up too late. You know, you might be exposing them to too much TV or video games and well I think the government should come in on a daily basis and keep an eye on how you are taking care of them because well... it just isn't a good thing if you aren't raising them the way everyone else thinks you should. I have seen some parents that are just rotten parents as well as some parents that are just terrific, but one can't be sure about everyone. You know even if you are doing an o.k. job, someone really ought to check up on you. While they are at it perhaps they should check your check register and bank account to see that you are managing your finances properly - wouldn't want to have you bankrupt and out in the street you know.. that would just be terrible - it could be that you have too high a balance on your credit cards and just need some someone ought to make sure that you are taking care of things properly. Some parents just don't take the adequate time and resources to be good parents. There ought to be some method available to make sure that people are taking care of their families properly.

Bottomline is those metrics applied to parenting just might weed out some of the bad apples too.

Don't you get the issue of government intrusion and setting standards that are none of anyone's business to set?? I honestly do not see thousands of ill equipped kids hittng the streets who have been inadequately homeschooled. Your argument while seemingly well intentioned to you, is really a statist's view which infers that people are incapable of taking care of themselves or their own families.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous A here...

Who decides testing? In the good ole US of A we, in theory, are supposed to. In reality we could get into a totally separate debate on that. There are lots of laws I sure wouldn't have chosen. should. You are involved in the community. Regardless if you believe me or not, there are cases of abuse and it gives "homeschooling" a black eye. It is not a crock and I am not making it up. Why would I? I've already said I know of kids better off for having been homeschooled. I choose you to pick the testing method because maybe someone else will. Ever hear of business installing self monitoring controls because they don't want them forced upon them? Once passed a law is hard to get rid of. (think CT income tax)

I like B's comment about testing the educators...and yes I am aware public school teachers aren't always up to snuff. If we test the public educators and bad apples sneak in, the same can occur with home school.

Lets do this: I know of a family member who home schools and it is plain it is not working out and its been made clear it is none of my business. Shy of calling DCYS what option is there to change the educational path? What would you do? The educator, if tested, would not pass. The kids, if tested, would be grades behind their public school peers...and much further behind their home schooled peers.

Please post a link of this "mandated reporters" process. Maybe peer pressure from within the home school environment is the solution...better than what's going on now.

I'm looking for solutions...not to stir things up. Convince me a parent can not just take a student out of school and then not teach them minimum standards by just saying they are home schooling. I'll restate I in no way think this occurs in a widespread manner.

Anonymous said...

Dear Homeschooled Parent,
Your posts are passionate, yet seem to lack statistics or actual facts to back them up. You stated homeschoolers out perform public school children. By whose standards? And how can this be measured w/out standardization? Would you agree that every child has a right to the traditional education of learning how to read, write, math and basic science and geography? If so, do you think it is acceptable for a 14 year old to not be able to list more than 10 of our states? Or a 17 year that doesn't understand fractions or Algebra 1? I personally know of this situation and chances are that Anon A and Anon B both know of a similar situation or they wouldn't be writing either. Personally I think Homeschooling is great! And you have some very valid points about stress and lack of respect in public schools, but on the flip side, not all parents have the commitment to be good teachers and Homeschooling isn't for everyone. Also, I disagree w/ your testing argument. Geometry, math, vocabulary and spelling are simple to test. Either you get it or you don't. If you don't, it is very easy to figure out what needs work. And you are wrong... The family I know does fear testing, and I'm afraid for these children. At this rate they will not make it in to college. Yes, we understand that no child learns everything, but we have concerns about some not learning enough. If your homeschooled children out perfom, then why would you protest?

Children that are failing in state schools are also a concern, but that's another can of worms. Your lack of respect to the opposing arguments leads me to believe that you live on the defense. Your comments "GIVE IT A REST" "RANTING, "HIGH HORSE" and "THAT IS THE BIGGEST CROCK" are not only disrespectful, but also demonstrate that you lack debating skills. Are these "debating" skills passed on to your homeschooled children?

-Anonymous C