Saturday, September 15, 2007

Turning the Tables on the NEA's Homeschooling Statement

On the Home Education Magazine's News and Commentary page today, Valerie Bonham Moon has a great rewrite of the NEA's statement about homeschooling. It's so great, I'm not just linking to it, but I'm also reproducing it here in full.

2007 - 2008 NEA Resolutions
PDF-page 45

B-75. Home Schooling The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are
licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not
participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)

And, since the NEA has had their shot at us, I thought I’d try one in return:

B-75. Public Schooling The (fictitious) National Homeschool Parent
Association believes that public schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide children with a nurturing childhood. When public schooling occurs, all small children attending must all have a lap to sit on, and a stuffed animal to hug. Older children should have comfy armchairs. The children must be able to go to the bathroom when they need to, and have cups of cocoa, animal crackers, and a good book
nearby. When public schooling occurs, children must not be subjected to boring textbooks, tests that have confusing answers, or have their square corners sanded off to fit into someone else’s round holes. Instruction should be by persons who care about the children, and know their middle names without peeking at a list to find out. An interesting curriculum should be used.

The Association also believes that publicly schooled children should not have their free time monopolized by extracurricular activities in the public schools that restrict full student-body participation because of grade point averages or talent tryouts. French Club doesn’t have a French test for members, why should the football team?

The Association further believes that parents should have the authority to take their children out of class or gorgeous sunny days to go for walks, on rainy days to splash in puddles, and on snowy days to ride on sleds.

What great points she makes here! And honestly, aren't the things she describes also a significant part of a child's education? When the NEA talks about "a comprehensive education experience," they are missing this very important aspect. I may make a stab at rewriting this myself; don't you want to try one too? :)

8 comments:

Shawna said...

That was really great! And what an wonderful points she illustrates!

Kimmer said...

There is too much here for me to think about at this moment, but I'd like to come back to it. However, it does ignite me to do some really kick-butt lessons this week, so thanks!

Melinda S. said...

Here's my idea:

B-75. Public Schooling: The (fictitious)National Home Education Association believes that public schooling programs based on BUREAUCRATIC choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When public schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including LEARNING TO READ FUNCTIONALLY, MAKE CORRECT CHANGE, AND LOGICAL EVALUATION OF PROPAGANDA. Public schooling should be limited to the children of FAMILIES IN IMMEDIATE DISTRESS, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are PROVEN TO BE BOTH CAPABLE AND COMPASSIONATE and a curriculum approved by the PARENTS should be used.

The Association also believes that public-schooled students should not
participate in any HOMEWORK IMPEDING extracurricular activities OUTSIDE the public schools. (THAT'S WHAT SCHOOL TIME IS FOR.)

The Association further believes that local PARENTS should have the authority to determine grade placement, ESPECIALLY FOR ADVANCED OR STRUGGLING STUDENTS, and credits SHOULD BE GIVEN toward graduation for students' EDUCATIONAL LIFE EXPERIENCES.

Marcy Muser said...

Shawna,

Thanks! I agree.

Marcy Muser said...

Kimmer,

Yeah - I found myself thinking that I don't actually do what she's talking about as often as I'd like. Gotta work on that one!

Marcy Muser said...

Melinda,

Wow! That was excellent, and was exactly the direction I was thinking of taking my rewrite as well. I feel like the NEA is setting up standards for homeschoolers that they don't require the public schools to live up to. I agree with every change you've made.

I hope you'll submit your rewrite to Valerie over at Home Education Magazine (the link is in my post above). I'll bet she'll publish it at least in her comments.

Great writing, Sis!

Jean said...

Absolutely beautiful! The hubris of the NEA galls me, and this article puts it into perspective. They've strained at gnats, and missed the weightier matters of preparing children to lead full, productive lives.

Marcy Muser said...

Jean,

Yes, I agree. Little kids need their parents and their homes, and older kids need a stable life, but one that encourages them to explore life to its fullest.