An unschoolers reply to the NEA
In Response to NEA Resolution B68 2000/2001, which read:
B-68. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state requirements. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public school
The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a homeschool setting. (1988, 2000).
FUN 2000-2001 Resolutions RU-40 Public Schooling
The Family Unschoolers Network believes that public schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When public schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all parental requirements. Public schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family who choose to attend public school. As long as the expenses of public schooling are borne by the taxpayers, those funds must also be made available to parents/guardians for use in the educational program of their choice whether that be public schools, charter schools, private schools, or homeschools. Instruction should be by persons who are approved by the appropriate parent or guardian, and a curriculum approved by the parent or guardian should be used.
The Network also believes that public-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities that are not open to all students. Extracurricular programs paid for by the taxpayers must be open to all residents.
The Network further believes that local homeschool parents should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering a homeschool setting from a public school setting. (1988, 2000)
1) Public school programs artificially segregate children by age and require seating at desks set in rows. This does not permit a normal social interaction with other children or adults such as may occur in everyday life outside of a school setting. The low number of adults encountered in the public school setting provides little opportunity for children to see the modeling of appropriate social behaviors and they are thus more likely to see only the behaviors of other children their own age without an appropriate social context.
In addition, public schools cannot provide the customized, extensive and flexible curriculum available to the homeschool. The public school setting artificially schedules learning and segregates it into separate subjects with a limited amount of allocated time per day. This limits activities to what can fit the allocated time slot and to what can easily be classified as related to a particular subject. The predetermined schedule also means that many children will either not have enough time to master the material before moving on, or will have to waste time on material they have already mastered before moving on.
3) Test scores and evaluations from public schools may not be accurate indicators of knowledge or proficiency and are often of little value in determining grade placement or credits for a homeschool setting. The scores often reflect only the ability to memorize material long enough to complete a test, and the skill set being evaluated is often limited. Therefore, the Network recommends that the initial months of homeschooling a former public school student be used primarily to explore the interests and abilities of the student while allowing the family to adapt to the challenges of the independence and integration of the flexible and multi-disciplinary environment of homeschooling which can provide hands-on, “real world” activities not available in public school settings.
Copyright 2000, The Family Unschoolers Network www.unschooling.org
The above may be reprinted freely as long as it is used in its entirety and includes this note.