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Three Homeschooling Issues to Consider This Midterm Election

Three Homeschooling Issues to Consider This Midterm Election

Surprising as it may seem, election time is upon us.  Midterm elections are just weeks away, scheduled for November 4th.  That means now is the time to start researching your candidates and issues, if you haven’t already.

Here are the three key homeschool-related voting issues you’ll want to consider when choosing whose bubble to fill in on the mid-term ballot.

Common Core

Does a candidate in your state support this federal takeover of math and language arts standards?  43 states have adopted Common Core, so it’s likely to have already impacted your state.  But some states are backing off implementation of CC.

What are your candidates saying about the standards?  Are they advocating giving more and more money to the public school establishment, or are they championing diversity in educational approaches? Find a candidate that will take a serious look at the statistics which prove homeschoolers, on the whole, educate their students better, spend less money per student, and don’t need Common Core to accomplish this.

I wrote here about how, regarding SATs and ACTs the standards don’t really change anything for homeschoolers, but the Common Core is poised to have a big impact on legislative and regulatory efforts to standardize the curricula of all students, including homeschoolers. One New Jersey school district has already misinterpreted the law, ordering a homeschooling family to use NJ’s Common Core standards.

Homeschool Regulation

This issue is now tied with Common Core, but deserves its own attention.  Here in the state of Washington, for example, there is a push to lower the age of compulsory school attendance, despite research showing that a later start to school is actually better for kids.  Right now, Washington parents have the freedom to choose not to enroll their students in any kind of school until their child is 8-years-old.  If that law changes, the state is wresting control over this decision from parents.

In what ways are there forces at work in your state to steal control from parents, leaving your homeschool micromanaged by bureaucrats?  You still have plenty of time to ask the candidates about their stances on compulsory attendance age, reporting requirements, curriculum regulations, parental education levels, standardized testing, and any number of other issues your state legislature may be facing.

Parental Rights in General

The rights of parents to choose what is best for their children in general, and the culture in your state regarding parental rights, have a big impact on how homeschooling is regulated and viewed by lawmakers and the public.

The Justina Pellietier case, for example, was about a medical situation, but has implications for all parental rights in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The overbearing state asks, “Can parents really be trusted to choose their child’s doctor?  And if not, why on earth would we allow parents to singlehandedly carryout the educations of their children?”  The freedom-loving state asks, “Where is there a compelling state interest in these cases, and where can the state back off to give parents more freedom to choose what’s best for their children?”

 

 

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

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Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

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  • Morning Time Details! E. (12), S. (almost 8), and L. (6). Our Morning Time morphs as the kids grow and change. It usually includes a combination of memory work and reading aloud. We try to cover a WHOLE LOT of things: Shakespeare, Bible, poetry, catechism, hymns, timeline, art study, composer study, and Ambleside selections for nature study, tales, and church history. This term I’m adding Plutarch.
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The hard part is figuring out where I want to aim, with the 5-year gap between E. and S., and then L. being a newbie to full-on school. Having moved twice in 2019, I nixed MT and just focused on individual work. That came with costs. Shakespeare, Plutarch, art study, and composer study suffered. Memory work barely happened at all. I was BUSY. We missed out on discussing things together. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to restart MT.
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This term I’ve decided to aim Shakespeare and Plutarch at the oldest, while the girls listen in and do handwriting/drawing/fine motor. I won’t ask them for much narration. Our reading schedule for these is AMBITIOUS. Maybe crazy. Then we’ll do all the memory & read aloud stuff that suits everyone. These lessons are SHORT. Then E. will go do his individual work while I read aloud w/ just the girls.
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Also, “Morning Time” is a misnomer, considering we break it up throughout the day. It should really be called Morning/Lunch/Nap Time. I need a new name. Circle Time? Except we don’t sit in a circle. Together school? Except we’re together doing school all day. I don’t think English has the word I’m looking for. Maybe Tertulia or Salon?
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Our actual coursework is: the Scottish Play, Plutarch is Alexander the Great’s life, our artist is Gustave Courbet, composer is Paganini, Bible memory is Psalm 46, Hymn is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, read alouds will rotate from Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, Blue Fairy Book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Vanderbeekers, & picture books. Timeline is from Classical Conversations. Poems are Charge of the Light Brigade, Winter Night by Teasdale, and The Land of Nod.
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Whew! It’s gonna be a fun term! What do you guys do for Morning Time?
  • #homeschool #family #weekend projects. Oldest got through a CPR course, curtains are hung, first batch ever of hard apple cider is bottled (a big learning experience!), and Morning Time for the next term is planned. 👊🏻 Time to call Dominos so these people can get fed 😂
  • Oh Halloween. That day when I pull costumes out of thin air at T-minus one hour ‘till trick-or-treating. Then one kid melts down in the middle of the fun, and is carried screaming to the car, with me hoping all the while that no one thinks I’m abducting a child. And, my favorite non-PC thought: one kid suggests we should have dressed as hobos, since we’re going around asking people to give us free candy. Phoned it in this year, Kutzers. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ #gladitsover For the record, we had a soccer player, an archer, Spider Girl, a princess, a tiny farmer, a witchy mom (Is that even a costume or just a Thursday?), and Bat Dad.
  • We may not get school started until 8 or 9, but we eat well while we read. “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” I think the house smelling like bacon counts as atmosphere. 😂🥰
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#homeschool #charlottemasonirl #homecookedmeals #livingbooks
  • A husband out to sea. A solo drive to and from MT. A freak snowstorm in September. Unpacking, appointments, and homeschooling, cooking and cleaning, laundry and loneliness without my better half and my biggest helper. All so that a grandson can learn from and adventure with his grandpa. I call it a RAGING SUCCESS.💛🥰 #family #navywifelife #homeschool #worldschool #bravewriterlifestyle
  • #pcs day 5 = #HOME (hallelujah!) 😊 and delicious homemade chili from the amazing @mythirdacrelife It was a long 3000 miles, but everyone made it here alive, if a little less sane than when we drove out of CT. #navyfamily #navywife #roadschooling #homeschool

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