The title of this post *should* be a link, but in case it's not, here's the link to the story again: http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/local/local_story_020175840.html
I am irritated. I'm not even actually homeschooling yet, and I'm irritated.
I had heard about the proposition of these bills a few days before this story was published and researched them.
I seriously dislike Jim Wilson. The words 'unqualified boob' come to mind.
First of all... I'd love to know where he's finding these homeschoolers who plunk their kids in front of TV. Do you think this guy is aware that homeschooling doesn't necessarily take 7-8 hours a day, every single day, like a regular school does?? Does that mean they might watch the odd video as part of their education? M1 once went to a Mom's Day Out program where I found out much later that he was watching a movie every single day. I remember watching many, many videos throughout school. Does it mean that these kids might get a few breaks during the day? *gasp* Not a break! I bet this guy would also take away recess. Every single homeschooler I have been in contact with so far is very, very involved in their child's education. I'm not saying there aren't some complete incompetents out there, because I'm sure there are, but it seems to me that the vaaaaaaast majority of them care! And act on that! And care!
Plus, if he calls ignoring a child's education child abuse, what does he consider leaving a child in a school where the child is failing and watching that child's self-esteem go down the toilet? What about latchkey kids who come home and sit in front of the TV all afternoon or go off with their friends doing Lord-only-knows-what while the parents are clueless? Is that also child abuse? Where exactly is the line?
AAAAAND the kicker. The icing on the cake, so to speak. "...homeschooled students who go into public schools are two years behind students their age..."
Again, I plead for evidence. Prove this to me. Show me that homeschooling my son is going to put him two years behind his peers. I'll happily keep him enrolled somewhere. We're not asking every child to become a Jeopardy champion; we're just asking them to keep up. That's my real goal, anyway. If we do more than that, I'll be thrilled, but do I expect that? No.
So I dug deeper. Apparently Mr. Wilson (maybe my name should be Denice the Menace?) proposed these bills, almost word for word, the last time he was elected to his seat. One homeschooling mom on the Well-Trained Mind forum (http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/index.php) said that she's seen similar bills come out almost every year she's been homeschooling - 14 years total. So far, none of them have passed. Homeschooling is a wonderful constitutional right in Oklahoma, and we fight for it!
I do have to say that I don't have any humongous objections to Senate Bill 472. If I had to call up our school district and inform them that their school test scores are so low that there's no way in Hades I'm sending my kids there and that I will be homeschooling them... I could do that. If I then had to prove that my kids were making academic progress... I could do that.
But to yank a kid off the streets because there's a truancy problem, not a homeschooling one?
Get your facts straight. Get over yourself.
Thank you. Rant over. Carry on. :)