Home Schooling Just Got Tougher

If you home school your kids, check this out. According to a new state appellate court ruling, if you’re gonna home school your kids in California, you better have some teacher credentials. It’s highly unlikely that it will be enforceable, but for the approximately 166,000 home schooled students in the state, it has big repercussions.

A couple of my friends who are now adults were home schooled. One, by her mother who was a teacher and an amazing educator. She’s a great example of the freedom and awareness a person can get when exposed to a wide variety of options in getting educated. She got the usual stuff, but also was able to follow her own individual interests. She now has an amazing career and is one of the most finely tuned and conscious individuals I know. She has an awareness way beyond her years and is world class in her field.

Another friend didn’t have such a great experience and has huge gaps of awareness in his education. He has struggled with getting a higher education and feels he isn’t as adept in social situations…. but that could just be his nature.

Me, I’m torn. One one hand, our school system here in LA seems pretty cookie cutter and not aimed at helping students discover their true callings. Not to mention scary as hell with all the violent undertones. I know when I had to pick a school for my son, I visited the LA schools and quickly decided to put him in a private school, even though it meant working my ass off to pay for it.

I wasn’t the home school type of mom, but for parents who opt for it, it seems they should have a choice. I do believe parents should be able to decide what kind of environment to expose their kids to, and current laws allow home schooling as long as the parents follow set guidelines following independent study programs. Hard choice, no matter what.

4 thoughts on “Home Schooling Just Got Tougher”

  1. I know some great home schooled kids, so I don’t think home schooling is inherently bad, but these kids have responsible parents, and the kids are freakin’ smart.

    However, not having some standards for home schooling leads to an environment that is ripe for abuse.

    Whether or not a teaching cred is the solution is another matter (there are plenty of people smarter and better suited to teach who don’t have college degress, which, I believe, a teaching cred requires at minimum).

  2. The insane thing about this ruling (which I am sure will be overturned – it cited a 1950 case as precedent!) is that in California any family can register as a private school and is not required to follow set curriculum! The Home School Legal Defense is looking into the decision. More here and a brief outline of California law here.

  3. Interesting quote “pretty cookie cutter and not aimed at helping students discover their true callings.” My take on it for what it is worth is that our schools in recent years have been focused on getting great test scores not teaching them to think. Regurgitation only goes so far in real life.

    Standards for the Home School kids is one thing. Requiring teaching creds is interesting and not sure how far that will go to fix a perceived problem.

    The home school kids I’ve met over the years are those that didn’t fit traditional schools at the most basic of social levels so that was the education of last resort for those kids. Home schooling is a viable option for those kids. I don’t think the teaching creds needs to be a requirement for the reasons Markland so aptly notes.

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