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Rarebear's avatar

Should parents be allowed to teach their children whatever they want in a homeschooled curriculum?

Asked by Rarebear (25154points) March 8th, 2010

For example, take this report: Top Home-school text dismiss Darwin, evolution

So my question, what does the collective think about unregulated homeschooling? Do parents rights and individual liberties trump teaching of science?

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35 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m sure that each state (in the US) makes its own laws on what is and is not permitted / required in homeschooling curricula. If we’re trying to be as “inclusive” as we say we are regarding “diversity”, then there should be broad latitude. Even latitude for people to be deliberately ignorant and stupid.

TexasDude's avatar

I’m an evolutionist, but I personally don’t care what people teach their kids. I don’t really think it is any of my business how other people raise their kids, even if they raise their kids to be morons. I’m a bit torn on the issue, however, because I am aware of potential repercussions and implications of this, so I will withold any declarations of my opinion for later.

MrItty's avatar

Sure they can. But colleges are under absolutely no obligation to accept a student who received an education that doesn’t meet with their own standards.

lilikoi's avatar

Yes they do. No one is going to tell me what to teach my kids and get away alive.

Rarebear's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Okay, you’re an evolutionist. Are you okay with people graduating from their home school program ignorant of science?

Rarebear's avatar

@MrItty I’m guessing, on no data of course, that most of the homeschoolers in a program like that would go to a college that is sympathetic to their point of view (i.e. a Christian schooll)

Rarebear's avatar

@lilikoi Okay, let’s take a couple of extreme ridiculous examples. Do you think your children should be allowed to learn that the world is flat, and the moon is made of cheese? Or should you, as a parent educator, be held somewhat accountable to what you teach?

Jeruba's avatar

Each U.S. state has “frameworks” that define what learning a student must achieve in the basic subject areas at each grade level. Do homeschoolers have to follow the frameworks? Just asking; I don’t know.

thriftymaid's avatar

Sure, as long as the state mandated curriculum is taught as well.

marinelife's avatar

I think that the state has the right to set minimums and to outline acceptable curriculum and to test for it.

Arisztid's avatar

I read the article and, frankly, find it frightening.

To answer your question, of course they can. Just because the education they are providing their child does not mirror what public school education provides and is going to automatically separate them from the public schooled majority, they do not care. Just as long as their religion is shoved down the throats is taught to their children is all that matters. So what if the kid is behind the 8 ball? That does not mind as long as the children are thoroughly brainwashed taught about God.

This religion based curriculum is setting these children up for a fall when they hit the real world, especially college. One person in the article said that her child was going to pursue a career in marine biology despite not believing in science evolution. I would think that her child is not the norm here.

I can easily see colleges rejecting certain homeschool curriculum eventually.

Arisztid's avatar

I meant “That does not matter as long as the children…”

talljasperman's avatar

What if the parents only want to teach their children how to shine shoes really good? I would love to be able to teach my (don’t have any yet) children stuff from my perspective but I would want them to be able to handle a job with other adults in the future….I guess schooling should be an agreement, or social contract, beforehand… so that the parents can move to another place that agrees with their beliefs…indstead of having to fight everone all the way every day.

Rarebear's avatar

Okay, just to rephrase the question—should homeshool teachers (parents, whomever) have a teaching credential? Not that a teaching credential guarantees anything. (My nephew was just shown an Intelligent Design movie in his biology class)

keobooks's avatar

I don’t think most of the parents who teach their kids creationism worry about their kids not getting accepted into a prestigious college. Most of them end up sending their kids to Christian colleges where this is more than acceptable. I went to a Baptist middle school (grr my parents.. cheapest private school .. so that’s where I went) I look at the facebook pages of my classmates. Almost all of them went to a Christian High School, then a Christian College and the men mostly work in Chistian businesses and the women mostly homeschool their numerous children.

They will likely never be in a situation where they need to know evolution or actually come face to face with anyone who believes in it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

They do have to realize that teaching nonstandard information will handicap their children in later life (like getting into a decent college). Unless you are preparing them for a theological seminary, they’d better get the standard science education as well.

Rarebear's avatar

@marinelife So each state has their own guidelines? Let’s say a hypothetical state elects a fundamentalist Christian governor and is dominated by a legislature that is the same. They pass a law saying that it’s okay that Creationism is taught in the classroom. You are okay with that?

laureth's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land – I think perhaps that what you see as a handicap, they see as a feature. They haven’t let their child become misled by the liberal elites and their faith massacred by the teaching of anti-God science. That their child might not be accepted into a secular school might be seen as a blessing. Just sayin’.

talljasperman's avatar

@Rarebear no I don’t think that they should have a credential… unless they are getting public funding…but at least they should be held accountable some way.

Rarebear's avatar

@talljasperman Okay, what do you mean by “held accountable in some way”? That’s the problem—the “some way”.

keobooks's avatar

Here are all of the State homeschooling laws. The homeschoolers are held accountable and have to keep lots of paperwork to prove that they are doing whatever their State requires.

Rarebear's avatar

@keobooks Are you familiar with them or did you just find the link? I went to a couple of random states and there were a lot of regulations in terms of attendence and the like, but nothing on curriculum. But I only looked at Alabama (the first one), and Mississipi, which I picked at random.

keobooks's avatar

Somewhat familiar with them. I can look deeper. I am an educator and also a librarian. I had a curriculum site for Indiana somewhere at home but not on this machine.

I have the school standards handy, but not the homeschool ones.

TexasDude's avatar

@Rarebear, I wouldn’t be happy with it, but it’s not my place to make the rules to what they should and shouldn’t believe. Like @Mrltty said, colleges will weed out the kids who are substandard.

talljasperman's avatar

@Rarebear Diploma Exams and social workers…two parents in canada lost their kids for leting them wear swastikas to school…personaly I would want to teach my children everything that I know but unfortunatly that would include the bad stuff too….Children should not be treated like potted plants…at the mercy of the gardener.

Rarebear's avatar

@keobooks Don’t knock yourself out. I’m just curious, thanks.

liminal's avatar

As a homeschooling parent, I rankle at the idea of being told what is best for my home and the children I love more than any legislation ever will.

Poor curriculum choices can be found in the home, private, and public school. One only needs to stick around fluther for a week to understand that people learn crazy stuff.

What most disturbs me about the article you linked is the mom who taught her son about creationism as a way to disprove environmentalism. The pedagogy of “learn this so you can disprove that” seems like brainwashing rather than education.

Any system of education (whether in the home or in an institution) has the potentiality to mislead the student and I don’t think dictating what should be taught can change that reality.

If only we could figure out how to dictate that all educational environments hold critical reason over data gorging and blind acceptance, then, I may be willing to put some of my ‘rankle’ aside.

TexasDude's avatar

@liminal, GA, thanks for your perspective. Alot of people jump to the conclusion that all homeschool parents and children are dark ages Christians who don’t believe in dinosaurs, but that’s really just a stupid stereotype. The public school system is pretty “durr” nowadays, so I don’t blame alot of parents for wanting to homeschool, and many, many homeschooled kids are very bright and well-adjusted.


Rarebear's avatar

@liminal Terrific answer, thanks. I’m not opposed to homeschooling at all, mind you, I’m opposed to homeschooling that teaches mythology as fact. A good friend of mine homeschools his daughter because she just wasn’t adjusting to public school.

So my question to you is did you need to pass any sort of certification or get inspected or anything? To whom are you accountable, if anybody?

liminal's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I agree.

@Rarebear I live in one of the most lax state in the US, they treat the homeschool as a private school charter. I haven’t had to go through any sort of certification. Technically, I am not accountable to anybody unless DCFS comes knocking on my door and if that happens I only need to show that I am offering reading, writing, and math. We purposefully involve ourselves in cooperatives and yearly evaluate if we can still meet our children’s needs.

I think California mandates that homeschool teachers be certified, I hope for their sake that also means they get some tax money back.

Rarebear's avatar

@liminal Tax money back? Not likely!

Thanks for your answer.

liminal's avatar

@Rarebear I know!

Here is a simple and easy chart for each state: (Looks like I was wrong about california.)

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
ruth4532's avatar

I think that home school is bad for the children

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