These statistics, along with the accompanying Wall Street Journal article, show that home-schooled students do exceptionally well. “They excel in (and win) spelling bees, score high on tests like the SAT, and go on to be accepted into many colleges.” Now, the National Educational Association in their 2007-2008 Resolutions has adopted a rigid stand against homeschooling with sad and punitive consequences for the kids should their local school districts fall in line. Please take a moment to tell the NEA that homeschooling is a real option that does produce wonderfully rounded and productive members of society… Read their unbelievable resolution below, which even goes so far as to restrict teaching by adults other than parents, presumably outlawing the social centers within homeschooling known as co-ops!
The resolution reads, “The National Education Association believes that homeschooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting.”
Our three children left public schools when we all realized that the arbitrary forcing of facts down the throats of third graders in an effort to score higher on state achievement tests (Thanks in part to the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind policy), does nothing but pummel the love of learning right out of children — and the love of teaching right out of teachers.
In our fifth year at home we couldn’t be happier. And, when I go to the local elementary school to work at the polling place every November, I use the teachers’ bathrooms and still see the heartbreaking cartoons taped to the inside of the stalls — revealing the saddest development in education today: Children, as square pegs, being asked to fit themselves into round holes.
Our kids are involved in unschooling, also known as natural learning. We do not believe that forcing kids into round holes at arbitrary ages is the best path to a productive and happy life. Humans were born-learners, and, if left to our own devices — especially given the rich resources found in our homes today, will find our passions and strengths while turning into self-motivated livelong learners.
Child-led learning is gaining momentum. Approximately 100,000 kids in the U.S. are in families that practice this philosophy.