Courts Put Homeschooling in Peril

Recent news out of California may threaten all homeschooling parents. The appellate court recently ruled that parents aren’t the appropriate teachers for their own children. Apparently, the court wants a teaching certificate before a parent is allowed to teach. I find this not only unacceptable, but also ironic.

I actually looked into adding a teaching degree to my own education back when I was in college. After talking with the Colledge of Education at the University, I decided against it. It seemed ridiculous to me then (and even more-so now) that a major (or even a minor) was not required to teach a subject.

Thus, I could get an “education” degree to teach math without actually having a major or minor in math. After looking over the teaching requirements, I discerned that the degree was all about the how and none about the what — nothing really about the subject to be taught.

Personally, I think that’s inane. I also think it explains a considerable amount about our current state of education in this country and why I believe, more than ever, that homeschooling is a viable, if not preferable, option.

I’m thrilled with my own decision to homeschool Alex. The completed a rough draft yesterday on her assignment to write a report comparing and contrasting the fictional characters of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer to the actual character of Abe Lincoln, based on three books she read (one on each) was charming.

I didn’t know how she would tackle the problem and the only suggestion I gave her before the first draft was to outline the high points before she started writing. The rest, she did solo and I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m sure some of the “charm” of the work will disappear as she learns to quote from the texts to support her opinions and to write her first bibliography — but it’s still a great thing.

We have also started beginning geometry, and she seems to really enjoy it (this from a child who said she didn’t like math). She’s going to be dissecting a chicken heart tomorrow and is currently working on 8th grade spelling words every week (and making a perfect score on her test at the end of last week!)

Is my material and are my methods less preferable because I don’t have a teaching degree? No, I don’t think so.

I think the fact that every opportunity is an educational opportunity at our house right now is an amazing thing. Yesterday, while visiting my parents, my mother taught Alex a geography lesson on the four largest islands in the world and branched out to talk about hemispheres, directions, navigation and the continents.

Alex then gave an impromptu presentation to my father and me after the lesson was over. Did she know this was a homeschooling thing? Probably not. Silly girl probably just thought she was having fun with Mamaw. I’m sure a “school setting” would have made her more likely to learn, right?

Nah, I didn’t think so either.