KIRO reported on a Washington homeschooling convention in Puyallup: Stigma has faded for home schooling as gathering gets underway in Puyallup. The article’s focus seemed to largely revolve on how to work with the school district as you homeschool. But if you look at the conference’s speaker roster, the convention’s motivations appear more independently based.
Heading east across the country, The Oklahoman punched out an editorial laying out the double standards of an Oklahoma Representative’s misguided concerns a couple years back.
In 2011, then state Sen. Jim Wilson said there was “no way to verify that even minimum standards are being met” for homeschooled students. He called for truant officers to investigate those families and wanted homeschooling parents to submit routine reports on their children’s academic progress. Wilson, D-Tahlequah, claimed it “just makes sense to have standards that make sure homeschooled students are getting the instruction they need to succeed …”
At the time, some joked there was greater need to verify learning was occurring in many public schools. Homeschooling’s successes are notable.
The Oklahoman referred to a Tulsa World editorial fixed on the need for school interventions to “catch those kids who are behind coming in”, because parents don’t read to the children, passing along a love of books. I have to wonder where the parents were educated that convey this apathy. From The Oklahoman:
The Tulsa World editorialized (emphasis added), “The prevention, however, ought not start as late as kindergarten. It must start well before that and in the home.”
That suggests even staunch defenders of public schools no longer hold the Wilsonian view of homeschooling as a strange education phenomenon — but now consider it a prerequisite for even public school success.
I wonder if The Oklahoman‘s assumptions are true, as home visits from authorities seems to be more on the par in shaping up family life at home. Homeschooling is growing and the movement is gaining notice from various interests. No sense in passing along the failing status quo. Maintaining family autonomy to live and learn seems to be at the root of home education successes. We need to be cautious of interventionists.