I attended a meeting last night for the leaders of homeschool Co-Ops in northeast Oklahoma. It was a good opportunity to network with other leaders and to get the latest "scoop" on homeschooling opportunities, as well as learn of disturbing things we should be aware of in the homeschool community.
We watched a short film, called Exposing a Trojan Horse, which warns homeschool families of the latest "tactics" the government is trying to entice us with in order for us to follow it's "agenda". They are attempting to get homeschool families to buy into a government-funded program that provides free materials, services and experiences. These "free" materials include free curriculum and possibly even a free laptop computer for your family. And what's better than "free", right?! Purchasing curriculum can get rather expensive; however, why would we want to forfeit our freedom to school the way we feel is best for our families for a few free textbooks?
As one becomes more informed, you can see there are huge dangers with these government-funded programs. They might be enticing and sound good at first glimpse, but after doing a little research, you can tell it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. The curriculum might be "free" but it still comes at some cost, not necessarily in a monetary value. The biggest issue I have with government-funded programs is that you are not allowed to bring "Jesus Christ" into your homeschool. You may not mention His name or do any type of religious training centered around Jesus. (Separation of church & state.) You might teach about Jesus outside of "school", but that is teaching your children that God and education don't mix. It teaches them to keep Jesus in His own little box and we're not supposed to pull Him out until the appropriate time.
Secondly, they provide you with so much material that many homeschool parents feel overwhelmed and end up putting their children back into public school (which I feel is part of the goal of this program). For example, if you participate in this program for 2nd grade math, you are given over 900 worksheets to complete within the year. Ridiculous!
Thirdly, you are given curriculum that does not consider your child's learning preferences or learning styles, which is supposed to be one of the benefits of homeschooling - being able to choose your own curriculum that best suits your child. So, if your child learns best with hands-on projects but is given 900 worksheets to complete - sorry, good luck with that! In addition, you must teach your children what the government feels is important for your child to learn - the culturally dominant values or common beliefs of our time. So, you might be "forced" to teach your child about sex ed in the first grade instead of when you feel they are ready to learn about it. Or you might have to teach your children about same sex marriage and how that is an "appropriate" choice for some couples.
Fourthly, once you "sign up" for this program, it is very hard to get out and you are basically signing away your freedoms. You become an "agent" of the State and you must follow their rules no matter what your religious beliefs are. Control follows money and as an "agent" of the State, they now have access to what you do in your home.
So what must homeschool families do when encouraged to participate in such government-funded programs? The dangers are real and I only touched on a few. Unfortunately, this movement will probably take over our nation soon and we must refuse to participate. We must contact our Senators and let them know that we do not want regulations put on homeschooling. According to the leader of last night's meeting, "We must not respond out of fear. Our platform is that the government is infringing on our beliefs. We must respond firmly, diligently and don't give up." Our kid's education and spiritual growth and well-being are worth it!
For more information on these programs, go to http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/HSatSchool.htm
Also, be sure to check out...
Advantages of homeschooling vs. Public or Private Schooling
Homeschooling: The Solution to our Education Problem
by Dr. Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.
The Bible: A Great Source of Modern Science
by Dr. Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.
Reasonable Faith: The Scientific Case for Christianity
Dr. Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.