I was a teenager and we were traveling throughout the awesome prairie and beautiful Rocky Mountains of Canada working with homeschoolers and Christian schools, when I was first introduced to the idea of vouchers. At first, many deemed it a blessing from God as the government freely and easily doled out hundreds and many times thousands of dollars to homeschool families each year to purchase curriculum, technology, or any other supplies for their school year. The money was so great initially and the regulations so few, that many families were actually burdened to find enough educational material for their children to use up all the funds given. As we observed, it became the set-up for the perfect
storm! As time progressed, funds decreased and government control increased to the extent that “facilitators” were assigned to visit each families’ home to inspect their homeschool, “help” them choose material to purchase, and to deny them the option of purchasing material that didn’t meet government standards, etc. Of course, many of us sitting where we are today would simply say, “Well, I wouldn’t have that! I would just refuse the money!” But once you are in the habit of someone else lining your pockets and meeting expenses, it’s easier said than done to refuse the green stuff and accept the financial responsibility for your homeschool.
Now, today, in our own America, H.R. 610 is before Congress with what seems a wonderful idea of funneling federal education monies into the hands of parents under the “School Choice” ideal. Already, we have seen families meeting income qualifications accepting school vouchers and private, Christian schools accepting those funds. Included in H.R. 610 are many concerning implications for homeschool families, however. One specifically being making homeschooling a “federal right” under the constitution. In a recent email, HSLDA accurately warns that what could be created by a favorable Congress could be regulated by a future, hostile Congress. It is far better (and far more constitutionally sound) for education decisions — and homeschool freedom — to be protected at the state level. We ask our friends at the federal level to simply leave homeschooling families alone. The Constitution protects the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in its seminal cases of Meyer, Pierce, and Yoder. Federal legislation to “protect” homeschooling is unnecessary. (More can be read here and information for contacting the sponsors of the bill is also given.)
H.R.610 gives us reminder to stay vigilant, involved, and informed. As a family, we have taken many opportunities to visit with our representatives and to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with them in their office. Our American freedoms, already established by the founders and declared in the Constitution are precious and worthy of our time to defend. Training and teaching our children is our duty, as parents, given by God and a wonderful blessing.
Our recent blessings have been rich with so much learning going on with Mrs. Reese in our K5 A Beka DVD program. Wow! AbiNoelle is reading so well now – submitting our oral reading recordings to A Beka Academy has been a breeze. She has even learned up to the seven addition family in Numbers Time. The entire Social Studies book has been completed (what an accomplishment as she “traveled” learning about various countries around the world!) and a new book was introduced -SCIENCE- that has brought much anticipation and excitement.
Of course, everyday, holds lots of excitement with Mrs. Reese….
…just like the “burning hot day” where the students were being so smart that they were “on fire.” Mrs. Reese was constantly calling 911 to put the fires out! AbiNoelle even got spritzed a few times for all her smart thinking!
SO thankful for fun homeschooling!