Ok, here's the promised post.
Yesterday Shawn had his class participate in a "What would you do?" discussion. It started off with this scenario:
The Smith family lives across the street from you. You notice that the Smith's children are often outside during times when most children are in school. One day you ask Mrs. Smith about this. She replies that they homeschool the children. You are aware that your state has strict homeschool regulations. When you mention this, Mrs. Smith tells you that they don't believe the government should be involved in their homeschooling so they don't comply with those regulations. Would you advise the appropriate authorities of this?
The vast majority of students started off by vehemently agreeing that authorities should be notified that the children are being homeschooled. However, as the students were giving their opinions, it became evident that they weren't bothered by the fact that Mrs. Smith wasn't complying with the state's regulations. The students were deeply troubled by the simple fact that the Smiths were homeschooling instead of putting their children into the school system.
They argued that parents aren't trained to teach their children the way they need to be taught. I'm sorry, if your public school education is so lousy that you are incapable of teaching a 2nd grader what they need to know, then that's just further evidence to me that homeschooling is necessary.
One student said that allowing children to be homeschooled is like allowing parents to molest their children. At this point, Shawn had to point blank ask him, "So are you comparing homeschooling to molesting your child?" The student responded that molesting a child is harmful just like homeschooling your child is harmful. Either way, both things need to be illegal for the protection of the child. (This is where I have trouble picking my jaw up off the floor.)
They argued that it was the government's JOB to teach our children. So Shawn asked, "Should parents be allowed to teach their children?" He worded it this way fully expecting some student to come back with..."Yeah, they should be able to teach them some things, but not everything, you know, like the harder stuff." However, Shawn never heard anything similar to that response. Instead, when he asked that question, he received an emphatic, "NO!" from the majority of the students.
Not only did these students support making homeschool illegal, they also supported removing the children from the parents' custody if the parents refused to quit homeschooling.
When I asked Shawn what percentage of students seemed to be opposed to homeschooling, he responded that easily 75% of the class was vehemently opposed. He had this same discussion with two classes and the response was similar in both.
I guess this distresses me so much because I never really encountered such HATRED towards homeschooling. I've witnessed disapproval and indifference, but never personally known of anyone that wanted to take my kids away from me because I choose to teach them. While I will admit that there are individuals that shouldn't homeschool, I don't think it's beneficial to remove homeschooling as an option for everyone.
These students are decision-making adults and this is what they believe. If these two classes are any indication of the general population's beliefs, then what does that mean for my children and our family? What does the future of homeschooling look like?
I have more thoughts on this topic, but I think I'll save those for a future post. I'm riled up enough as it is.