The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Fined for Homeschooling: The German Way

Posted by brightcoast on March 2, 2010

This takes the concept of federalism and personal autonomy in an interesting direction. I’ve long voiced my opinion that parents should have the right to opt out of the mandatory public education system. This is especially important in a country like ours where our Constitution is founded on freedom of speech, religion, etc.–and from what I can remember, education is a fundamental right.

Is it sad that I’m not shocked this case happened in Germany?


2 Responses to “Fined for Homeschooling: The German Way”

  1. Legally Blonde said

    I agree, to an extent. I don’t like the idea of the government making decisions like that (or many other decisions, like Prop 8, but that’s another story :D), but I also don’t think it’s fair to the kids in a lot of families where home schooling happens. For example, my uncle and his wife homeschool their kids. She does all of the teaching. My aunt barely passed high school and only did so because her mother did all of her homework, papers, etc. It’s really frightening how little education the kids have. Plus, again, totally her choice, but they are born again Christians, so they don’t teach their kids anything about science, evolution, etc. My grandma was there for a week and they spent the entire time talking about what kids of food the pilgrims may or may not have eaten during Thanksgiving. The kids have zero social skills and are uncomfortable to be around because they get no interaction outside of their home. I think I’d be more supportive of the idea of home schooling if there were mandatory standards that people had to follow, or maybe even testing the parents to make sure they have enough education and/or smarts to do the teaching. It just seems like kids get lost in the shuffle sometimes when their parents try to make decisions they believe are correct. Of course there are the extremes too, where they find ten foster kids that are “home schooled” and really living in cages or some other squalor. This is an interesting subject to me, because I strongly believe in the idea that the government shouldn’t regulate this stuff, but at the same time, I know a few adults who were home schooled and it’s obvious – in a painful way.

  2. brightcoast said

    I think there was an issue recently regarding the fact that homeschooled children are not immune to statewide standardized testing. There was also some element of having to teach children certain lessons. Religious parents raised concerns that the state was interfering with their ability to practice freedom of religion. Perhaps one of these days I will stumble back across the article…

    There has also been some chatter that CA does not or at one point did not allow homeschooling. I read the regs, and it then seemed you had to have some one affiliated with a district or with some sort of credential for oversight…

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