I was talking to another homeschooling mother yesterday about year end assessments. This is my first year homeschooling and I am slightly stressed about passing the state’s test of my ability to educate my own children.
Interesting side note: how come when a homeschool parent has a child who does not progress to the state’s liking, that homeschool parent cannot homeschool for two years, or some such nonsense, but when a public school child fails to progress, the teacher is not held accountable?
I’m not really worried about the quality of my homeschool program because I have been blessed with extremely bright children, but it is always stressful to be under the scrutiny of a government agency that essentially has me by the balls (metaphorically speaking, of course) and has the power to jerk me around and mess with my life to what ever degree they so choose if I do not jump through any hoop they place in my path and smile while doing it.
And people wonder why I am leaning very anti-government lately.
Anyway (man, that was a long tangent), this mother was talking about the “health” requirement in the homeschool curriculum and how stupid (my word, not hers) it is because she does not do an actual “health” lesson plan, or what have you, but to think we are home with our kids like 24-7 and are not teaching them hygiene and good eating habits is totally ludicrous. So, why do we have to prove that we are? (Rhetorical question.)
The point of this seemingly unfocused rant is that there are just some things that we really don’t need the Dept. of Ed. to make us teach our kids. Likewise there are things that we don’t need the schools to teach our kids either. (I would argue that “health” is one of those things, too.)
Apparently, there are those who think the schools are not teaching enough things that are really outside their jurisdiction. Today’s criticism of the “Spiritual Covenant with America” is with this:
We will reshape our education system to teach the values of love, caring, generosity, intellectual curiosity, tolerance, gratitude, democratic participation and environmental responsibility. We will emphasize education for values without abandoning necessary reading and writing skills—and focus on learning respect, thanksgiving and awe for the wonders of the universe, and celebration of all the goodness that has passed on the cultural and scientific wisdom of the human race.
This picture would not be complete with out this quote:
They [conservatives] correctly critique the values that are actually being taught in our schools (materialism, competitiveness) but then fail to note that these values reflect the values of the marketplace that conservatives champion.
In other words, the schools should not only “emphasize education for values,” but should also teach kids that capitalism is the source of all evil.
Values education – otherwise known as, “Gee, sorry that you can’t get a job because you don’t know how to read or make change, but isn’t “tolerance” and “love” what really matters.” This is the fluff that is already keeping American kids below other countries in the areas of math and science. The last thing they need is more of it.
Let me sum it up for you: schools should teach academics, parents should teach values, and capitalism rocks.
Good luck with that already failing school system if these guys ever get a hold of it. I think I’ll stick to homeschooling, even if I have to deal with the DOE once a year.
Oh, and for those of you who were wondering whether or not I actually can educate my children and blog all day too, I thought I would take this opportunity to brag about my son Escher’s honorable mention in the Reading Rainbow young writers and illustrator’s contest. You can read his story here.