It has been far too long since my last post. We traveled up to Michigan last Thursday night after work. Since it was in the midst of the busy time of the month at work, I had to work long hours so we could take off on Thursday. I’m still trying to get caught up on everything. So for the second straight week, I bring you The Monday Muse on Tuesday. How about this:

Should parents have the right to choose how they want to educate their children (homeschool, private, public)?

Before you answer, I would encourage you to check out some of the articles that Denny Burk has posted addressing the California appeals court controversy.

6 Replies to “The Monday Muse: Educational Rights

  1. Well, I’ll start by saying, I’m very suspicious of anything coming out of the 9th District as they have a knack for getting everything they do reversed by the Supreme Court.

    That’s a ridiculous ruling, and to answer the Muse question, absolutely, yes, parents have the right to choose how they want to educate their children. I’m not saying that the state is therefore responsible for covering 100% of the costs for educating them, but the simple ability to choose is the parent’s right.

  2. If the majority of your court decisions get reversed, isn’t that saying something? That’s a pretty open ended rhetorical question, but I’ll just leave it there.

    There is no doubt that this ruling is ridiculous. I think the idea is to protect children from parental negligence thus protecting the rights of each child to a proper education. However, if a parent decides to teach their child from home, is that negligence? In many (if not most) cases, parents choose to homeschool their children because they find the schools in their area deficient. In that case, the parent believes the local school system(s) do not provide a proper education for their child. Doesn’t a parent, the one holding responsibility for the life of their own child, have the right to choose (possibly based on worldview) how their child is educated? Absolutely. If I don’t want to expose my child to secular humanism or whatever else, that should be my choice. Voddie Baucham has spoken extensively on the issue of the public educational system. I think he presents a compelling argument. In the end, I think this ruling was made because homeschooling is a threat to public institutions in multiple ways (enrollment, revenue, funding, etc).

  3. I agree with most of what you said, Jeff. However, even though I do not speak for “most” or even “many” homeschooling parents, I can say that my husband and I have chosen to continue to homeschool for the past 12 years not only out of a negative reaction against the schools, but in positive response to a calling from the Lord to take responsibility for the raising of the children with whom He has blessed us. It has been a learning experience for us all. God is so faithful!

  4. You are right to point out that I should be careful not to overgeneralize with my “many” and “most.” “Many” might not be a far stretch but maybe it would be better to say some. In any case, I think you make an excellent point. Though I think it is certainly appropriate to respond to the negative aspects of the public educational system (of which I am a product), it may serve us better to take note of the decisions made by parents to homeschool based on the conviction to take hold of the responsibility for training their children. It is counter to the culture but gives us a beautiful picture of parenting.

    God is so faithful. And I must say that you all have been a great encouragement to Annie and I in what a godly family should look like. It is a blessing to know you all.

  5. “Many” (that word again) homeschooling parents I know who are reacting negatively (often, although not always, out of fear) to the schools are frequently guilty of trying to recreate them with a “Christian” bent. They are reproducing little copies of the system with mini “schools” called “tutorials” and all the trappings that go along with it. The parents I really admire (and wish I was more like) are those who genuinely seek the Lord in raising up each child in the way he should go. Spending time with, really looking at and knowing their child(ren). Helping to identify the gifts God has placed in each one and encouraging them to pursue goals that match their giftings.

    But back to the courts (where this discussion began), that kind of individualized education cannot be done by following a government established set of standards. Our state recently had a scare with a bill being introduced that would require all students to take subject matter tests in order to graduate. The same tests required of public school students. That would require private and homeschool teachers to teach the same curriculum as the public schools. I believe it has recently been withdrawn due to negative response to it from private and home schools.

What Do You Think?