Homeschooling and politics…

We homeschool.
I love it, most days.
Like today, the kids zoomed through school, we learned, we laughed, we researched, we learned some more.
Lessons were done with smiles.
Attitudes were excellent.

I always wish people would just pop over on days like this, so the person could be impressed with my organization and amazingly well behaved children. But, we all know that life just doesn’t work that way.

Sadly, people pop over when I haven’t showered or dressed. My house is a mess, laundry is everywhere. Visitors seem to find just the right time to come over when at least two kids are hysterically crying about school, two others are fighting, and the other two are upstairs doing lessons in their room to avoid the chaos. These wild, hairy days are usually Monday.

But, lucky for me…it is Thursday.

So for all days except some Mondays, I love it.

I love watching the kids chase after something that sparked their interest and then report back on the subject. Right now Judsen and Joseph are on a WWII kick. They have researched, read, taken notes on, watched movies about, youtubed and written reports on WWII. They are now WWII experts. I have heard so many WWII facts I am becoming an expert myself.

Anyway, I am getting off track.

My point is, I love homeschooling. I love the flexibility it gives our family. I love that my children can get stuck on something that is difficult for them and not feel embarrassed. I love that they can speed through concepts that are easy for them. I love that they assist one another when they struggle. I love that our school year runs on our schedule. I am sounding like a hippie with all this loooove.

I really do appreciate living in a state that generally handles homeschooling in a logical manner.

Now bring on the political madness.

On Tuesday of this week (February 5, 2013) in South Carolina, Representatives Brannan, Anthony, Horne and Jefferson introduced H3478 in the SC House of Representatives. This is a rather frightening bill to homeschooling families. It would require that we submit to standardized state testing of the state’s choosing. It also would eliminate our Option 3 accountability groups.
(Option 3 groups are the organizations that homeschooling families can report to instead of reporting directly to the state)

I take issue with this for a few reasons. Here are a couple:

1. Homeschoolers (including my family) do not usually use public school curricula, but some legislators feel that homeschoolers and public school students should be tested on the same material and in the same manner. In all honesty, I have NO problem with the state requiring testing of some kind…even if it is standardized. My problem is that these legislators are trying to take away our ability to choose what test our children should take. 

2. My right to choose how I educate my children is now in jeopardy. Our family chooses to use Option 3. It has worked out rather well. We are required to keep portfolios, grades, and attendance records. We are held accountable for educating our children. I must be able to prove that schooling is occurring in my home. And I can. But Option 3 will be eliminated if this bill passes.

I have somewhere around 42,678 questions I want answered about this bill. So, like a good citizen, I have emailed the entire House Committee of Education and Public Works, which is where this bill is currently sitting.

    I have not gotten one single response.

    So really, my point is:
    Today…the kids were wonderful! 
    SC State Government…not so happy with them.

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