COH and thoughts on homeschool regulation
For once, I'm going to get this up at a reasonable time. The Carnival of Homeschooling is up with some January Musings in the midst of January doldrums. And The Thinking Mother shares her own somewhat controversial entry on policing the homeschool community.

My short answer would have to be that we don't need to be "policed" by anyone, because the education of the child is the parent's natural right and responsibility. For those who turn this responsibility over to the state, it is only natural that the state would then have some oversight in the matter via the public schools. But education is not the responsibility of the state, and thus they have no responsibility to oversee that anyone is educating their own children according to any standards. And if the parents do not fulfill that responsibility, it will fall upon the children when they are of an age to take responsibility for themselves.

Just like it fell on me to fill in the gaps my public education left me.

On the other hand, however, we must realize that we are a definite minority. The vast majority of Americans believe that there should be more regulations on homeschooling. These statistics are old and trends have shown a successive increase in the acceptance of homeschooling, but they clearly show why it is there are continual bills introduced to further regulate homeschools.
Eighty-two percent of respondents in 1988 agreed that those providing instruction at home should "be required to meet the same teacher certification standards as the public schools." In 1997, 88 percent agreed that homeschools should "be required to guarantee a minimum level of educational quality." And in 1999, 92 percent said that children educated at home should take all the state and national assessments required of public-school students (Rose and Gallup 1999). ERIC
So far, we have been fortunate in that the two to four percent of the population that homeschools is more vocal than the majority of Americans who believe we should be further regulated. But the anti-homeschooling lobby seems to be growing, and it is backed by unions and organizations with a lot more money and contacts than any state homeschooling association, or even the HSLDA.

I think some of these discussions are important to have within the homeschooling community for the same reasons Christine shares. While we are fortunate to have a long history of respecting the rights of the individual over the interests of the state, that is not a guarantee of future interpretation and it will not protect us from further regulation if we are not successful in communicating these basic ideas to a broader audience than our fellow homeschoolers.

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