Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
The right to homeschool in the United States has been a long, hard fought battle. In many countries, it is still illegal. The public perception of homschooling is rather two-faced: People know homeschoolers on average outscore private and government school children on standardized testing*, but they still view the parents and students with skepticism.
This negativity was evidenced last week when Joy Behar from The View characterized homeschool children as "demented!"
Joy's slam did not escape Michelle Malkin's attention:
Joy Behar... [declared]...“a lot” of homeschooled children are “demented.”
We also find out, ..."She [Joy] was a…public school teacher."
At the end of Michelle's post, she lists some great links:
...they’re so much better off in public schools where “proper socialization” takes the form of ideological child abuse. Eh, Joy? [This was the case where public school teacher intimidates child for being pro McCain.]
Homeschool parents know they are bucking the system. They really epitomize the American spirit that says, I don't want anything from you, government, just stay out of my way and leave me alone! Their stellar achievement record illustrate that American spirit is alive and well.
Even in Brookfield, some homeschoolers are looked at with skepticism. Last week I read on Dick Brunner's blog some comments about the library. (For some reason that blog was not posted today.)
One hinted that somehow there was something wrong with homeschoolers
using the library: that Brookfield's circulation numbers were so high because of homeschoolers, and that some of the users might not be Brookfield residents. I wondered if that same concern would apply to St. John students hanging out at
the library after school too? Or what about the Central students who
pour in or parents bringing their toddlers there? What about senior citizens? Bottom line: anyone in Waukesha county can use libraries in our system.
astutely pointed out that homeschoolers are helping taxpayers because
like private schooled children, they don't cost taxpayers money. (Thanks for that one.)
I did use the library a lot when I homeschooled; so did my other Brookfield homeschool friends. We were city residents! (I only mention the comments to illustrate there is a level of discomfort for some people when it comes to homeschooling.)
I was privileged to homeschool in an era where homeschooling was legal in every state, but that has not always been the case. In the early years, parents bucked the system in order to exercise their God given rights. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is a great organization, helping homeschoolers ward off overzealous social worker's harassment as well as keeping an eye on legislation that would threaten homeschool rights. (They have been working to ensure homeschooling remains legal in California.)
Often homeschoolers are bucking their families too. I was privileged to have family support for our decision to homeschool. Considering some of them were educators, their support was appreciated. Some homeschoolers are not so fortunate; often immediate family are their worst critics.
I would wager that most homeschooled adults would score better on that Civics test than public (government) schooled adults. This is not to say that they are smarter, just that homeschoolers usually devote more time to history, civics, and economics than public school students who must spend a lot of class time studying tolerance, diversity, HGD, DARE, and ACT preparation. Obviously, when mom is the teacher, she can reinforce school day concepts as they arise during the remaining parts of the day.
If you are interested in the subject of homeschooling, listen to McKenna Show Thursday Hour 2 Part 1 November 20th. She discusses the "demented" comment but also discusses homeschool test scores and achievement numbers.
It is a shame the pendulum is swinging more to the negative side again when it comes to homeschooling. I guess it shows you can never rest when it comes to defending your rights. If you are thinking of homeschooling, contact me. If I had to do it again, I would...in a heartbeat. It may have been my greatest life work.
*I never did any standardized testing with my son, but these are available if a parent deems them important.Please, comment content should relate to the subject of the post. Although I try to respond to many, do not interpret my lack of a response as agreement.
Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Vicki Mckenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Mark Levin, CNS News