Talking Points

Foundations for Home Education
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit a home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children.  Our cases have consistently followed that course; our constitutional system long ago rejected any notion that a child is “the mere creature of the State” and, on the contrary, asserted that parents generally “have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare {their children} for additional obligations.  U. S. Supreme Court, PARHAM v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)

Under our form of government . . . the home is considered the keystone of the governmental structure.  In this empire, parents rule supreme during the minority of their children . . . they may . . . withdraw them entirely from public schools and send them to private schools or provide for them other means of education.  Oklahoma Supreme Court, School Brd. Dist. No. 18 v. Thompson, 103 P. 578, 24 Okla. (1909)

Any law or regulation that limits the freedom and flexibility of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children is an intrusion by the state into a jurisdiction that is not theirs to control.


Talking About Home Education


Why do parents chose to home educate?
There are many reasons to home educate.  Some of the key reasons are:  to effectively pass on their beliefs and values to their children, improve close family relationships, have controlled and positive peer social interactions, provide quality academics, provide alternative approaches to teaching and learning, and address the safety (physical, drug-related, psychological, emotional, and sexual) of their children.

How do we know that home education works?
Research has shown conclusively that home educated students, as a whole, score in the 70th to 80th percentile when compared to public school students.  Specific data on academic achievement will be made available on request.

What should be the government's view of home education?
Home education is an expression of both parental rights and religious freedom rights.  The right to home educate is guaranteed by the state constitution.  These rights have been upheld by both the U. S. and Oklahoma Supreme Courts.  In particular, the Oklahoma Supreme Court in one of its rulings stated, “Under our form of government… the home is considered the keystone of the governmental structure.  In this empire, parents rule supreme during the minority of their children…they may…withdraw them entirely from public schools and send them to private schools, or provide for them other means of education.”  This view is appropriate.

What do home educators want from the government?
Home educators and their families are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for the education of their children.  Neither do they, in general, have a strong desire for access to tax-funded resources.  Their children are learning well, they do not need or want state regulation and will strongly oppose it.  They want to be understood and treated as people and educators of integrity.  In general, home educators are a unique constituency. They don’t want more. They want to be left alone. 

How many home educators are there in Oklahoma?
It is not known how many home educators there are in Oklahoma, but it is known that they are politically active and willing to vote.

We don’t know who is home educating.
Shouldn’t the state have home educators register with the state?
Registering home educators does not accomplish anything on its own.  Research studies have shown no correlation between regulation and student performance.  More specific research information is available on request.

How do we know that the parents are qualified to teach their children?
Research studies have shown that there is no correlation between a parent's educational level or certification and student performance. Further, there is no correlation between family income, money spent on home education, or the legal status of the family.  More specific research information is available on request.

What if a parent only claims to be home educating?
If there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is not being home educated, current law regarding truancy and educational neglect are sufficient to deal with the problem.  In America, we are innocent until proven guilty.  Any regulation of home education presupposes that we are guilty.
 
Shouldn’t we test home educated students to verify they are being taught adequately?
Research studies have shown that there is no correlation between testing of home educated students and academic achievement.  More specific research information is available on request.  Further, being forced to teach to a test infringes on a parent's academic freedom.

Shouldn’t home educators be required to report their progress to the state?
Home educators do not consume tax dollars, therefore the reporting of their progress is not a concern of government.  Home education has proven to be a success.  One would think, therefore, that the government should look to home education as a success model rather than seeking to restrict it.

Won’t home education limit a student's ability to gain a college education?
Research studies have shown that there is no correlation between time spent and formal educational activities or the age at which formal education began.  Research studies have shown that college age students showed no difference in critical thinking skills among student groups, including home educated students.  Research studies have shown that, as regards their college academic preparedness and college academic achievement, home educated students performed as well or better than others.  More specific research information is available on request.  Further, colleges and universities in Oklahoma and nationally actively seek out home educated students for enrollment.

Why shouldn’t the state be concerned that home educated adults will be a detriment to society?
A research study shows that among home educated students surveyed none were unemployed and none were on welfare. 94% said home education helped them to be independent persons, 79% said it helped them interact with individuals from different levels of society, and they strongly supported the home education method.

Don't know the answer to a question?
"That’s a good question. I’ll need to get back to you with more information. When would be a good time to do that?"

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