Inquiring Minds Want to Know...
What is home education?
Home education is privately-funded, parent-directed education in the home. In Oklahoma, our Constitution allows for three distinctive types of education: Public (funded with government monies and requires enrollment in a public institution ); Private (privately funded but requires an enrollment in a private institution); and "other means" (aka home education and private tutoring). By law, any education that is funded with public monies is public education, therefore public school at home is not home education. The location is not what determines the type of education; what defines it is who is paying for it and what type of enrollment is required. It is for this reason we do not represent public school at home.
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 relationships, provide quality academics, provide alternative approaches to teaching and learning, and maintain safety (such as: 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. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
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 highly 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 parent is 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 holds the underlying idea that we are guilty until proven innocent.
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 parents 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, compared to 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.