Clarification

This is something I posted to a local Facebook group. It is a subject close to my heart and I want so badly to help people not be afraid, combative, or stressed about homeschooling.
First of all, if you are enrolled in a charter school, you are in the public school system. There are only public and private schools in California, no “homeschoolers.” That’s actually a very good thing and something that advocates of secular and religious homeschooling in the 80’s and 90’s worked hard to keep that way. It’s a way of protecting us from the “tyranny of the majority,” giving ALL public and private schooled “homeschoolers” the same protections as those that enroll in the corner school or pay out of pocket for the church’s private school.
 
Second, I think it might help a lot of people to think of the local school district, the charter school, the church private school, and all the other “school” options as individual businesses trying to get you to buy their services. Walmart doesn’t lose money if you shop at Target, but they do want you to shop at their store and will do what they can to entice you to shop there first. And in meetings, they do say, “We’re losing money to that other company! What can we do to stop them?!” Businesses use all kinds of tactics to get you to buy their products, including advertising, sales, surveys, etc. And (unfortunately) since the government is now involved with more and more every day, they also have government ways to force you to shop there, from stopping other stores from coming in the area to lobbying government to change laws in their favor.
 
Schools are very similar. They want you to buy their product (enroll your child) and they will do what is available to get you do just that. The role of government in our schools has added a bit of fear to all of this because they have the use of force on their side. They made laws (long ago) that will put you in jail if you don’t enroll your child somewhere. Kind of a bit of a monopoly, I’d say.
 
That fear of the use of force is what we are all reacting to, but I’m refusing to do so. We don’t have to worry what the school district is up to. We don’t need to get them to see our side. We can just use other options, ignore what they are doing, and do what’s best for our families right now. I’ve found over the years, while working with the legislation and legal teams at CHN, that interacting directly with the school district as a community only creates stress and solves very little. Bureaucracy is an infuriating slug when your child is growing up so fast! They just want to find ways to “help” and like a vampire you’ve invited into the house, they’ve found a way to get into the homeschool community. Most of us don’t want their help. We just want to be left alone. I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t interact with them, I’m just saying you don’t have to. Sometimes the best way to fix something is to let it sit on its own, walk away, “opt out.”
 
That being said, to stay on top of legal issues, I’d recommend joining and following a statewide advocacy group. CHN, HSC, HSLDA, CHEA of CA, all have people watching the legislation that comes in and out and they warn us when we need to “do something.” I love advocacy groups of all kinds! It lightens my load of citizenship and lets me focus on my family.

Town Council Meeting – Yucca Valley

What’s Jr. High or High School without civics, right?! And what’s a better way to take a look at local government than to attend a town council meeting? It may be far more interesting than a book or website! For those living in Yucca Vally, next week there will be a “State of the Town Address” at the regular Town Council meeting. Take the family and listen to what they have to say. Bring a notebook and take a few notes about what goes on and things you think about while you’re listening. It’d be great if the kids did as well! Then go out for dinner afterward and talk about it. What is the role of government in your town? Do you have a council or a board? Do you have a town constitution? These are things you can look up before the meeting. You can also do a bit of research about your town. When did it become a town or city? What is the procedure for doing that? When I moved to a small town from the city, I was amazed that there were still “unincorporated” areas of our county. I grew up in the city and just assumed the whole country operated the same way. Looking into your own town’s government and policies is a great way to start learning about civics!

From Yucca Valley’s website:

“Join Mayor Leone for the 2016 State of the Town Address being presented on Tuesday, November 15th at 6:00 p.m. in the Yucca Valley Community Center Yucca Room.

Mayor Leone and the Town Council will provide highlights of the past year, as well as a look ahead to upcoming opportunities and challenges.

The State of the Town Address is being held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Town Council meeting. Light refreshments will be served.”

The Education Secretary’s Comments

Have you seen the articles written in regards to the Education Secretary, John B. King’s comments about homeschooling in the U.S.?

Here are a couple of articles that I found interesting.

“U.S. Education Secretary Says He Is Concerned About Homeschooled Kids” from Caffeinated Thoughts

“What Obama’s Education Secretary Got Wrong About Homeschoolers” from The Daily Signal

I have some serious thoughts about it myself, but I’ll only comment on the one line that stood out to me most. This one, “King said he worries that ‘students who are homeschooled are not getting kind of the rapid instructional experience they would get in school’—unless parents are “very intentional about it”.”

I believe most of us have left the education system because we did not desire the “rapid instructional experience”. Real, whole-life learning and education is not rapid or instructional. Relating real education with school is holding so many citizens of this country back from greatness. Homeschool families are very intentional about giving their children all the advantages of a personalized education that no government school can create.

I highly recommend the two articles above and remind everyone that homeschooling remaining a legal option in the United States is not guaranteed. We all need to remain vigilant and support those groups that help us navigate the government waters and keep our rights secure.