I'm sure that on the one hand, no state wants a bunch of children growing up to be adults who cannot read, write, or hold down a job. On the other, the idea of the STATE telling ME as a parent what is best for my child to learn and when is a little tyrannical. Where does it stop?
It *might* (and even this is debatable) be a good idea to have every seven-year-old know his addition and subtraction facts up to, say, 10 minus 10. Maybe. Is it also a good idea to require me to teach the kid about Islam, or Black History Month, or "gender equity" over my objections? (These things are in our public local school curriculum.) And at what point would you say a homeschool parent is "failing" their children? I'm seeing entire public school districts providing a *supremely* crappy education for its children.
So should I be held to THEIR standards? Or the Richie Rich district down the highway? Because I have different standards than either, I think a comparison would be unfair to all concerned. Nevermind that each child has differing abilities and that six-year-old "Seth" may be able to write and read well but have no idea about numbers regardless of the amount of tutoring.
I have very mixed feelings about statistical evidence that homeschool students score well on standardized tests in general. Comparing isn't fair to the public school district that has several families who couldn't give a rip about their child's education, and has to deal with all kinds of federal and state standards. I spend about five hours each day tutoring the Elf. And I make up lessons or plan curriculum etc. on top of that. There is almost *no way* for a public school parent to become that involved short of working for the district themselves.
On the other hand, I think homeschoolers are just being defensive when they quote statistics like this. I tire of reading about legislators trying to make homeschool families "accountable" to the state. As if these are THEIR CHILDREN to begin with!! Worse, most people seem to accept that it's a good idea in the "best interests" of the children. I know there are some bad parents out there. But give me a break. Most of the truly bad parents probably send their kids to public school for the free childcare eight hours a day! (No, I don't have statistical evidence to back that up LOL! There aren't too many studies on "good" and "bad" parents for me to quote anyway...)
What I want most of all for my children to be able to do as adults is to know and follow God. So I teach my public AND homeschool children to read the Bible for themselves. (Let's not forget I have three kids in p.s!) I pray with them each morning. I pray *for* them as well.
My second goal is to have each child able to live independently and productively in his adult years, sharing the good news of God's word with others. To me, it's a very secondary goal because persecution could come at any time, job markets can change drastically, and each child's innate ability is going to be different. Patrick and G would be ill-suited to work at the same job. And let's face it, different jobs pay at different rates.
I know you're chomping at the bit to comment, Erin! :] When are you going to make your own blog so I can come see your pics and articles too?? I want a "Frogger" photo of you moving your sofa across the street!