Breakin' The Law

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Washington state law says I am required, if I wish to homeschool my children, to, by the time they are eight years old:
  • Fulfill one of the following:
    • Earn 45 units of college credit
    • Attend and pass a "parent qualifying course"
    • Be "supervised" by a certified teacher who meets with my child an average of an hour per week
    • Be "deemed sufficiently qualified" by the local public school superintendent
  • Perform all of the following:
    • Annually register with the local public school district
    • Teach each of 11 require subjects (reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation), each for the amount of time required for that grade level
    • Participate in annual testing, either by a certified teacher, or through the state testing program

None of these are bad things. But that they are required certainly is bad. For example, if I had not attended college, I'd still undoubtedly be far more qualified than most college grads; why give them a free pass, but require me to do something additional?

And screw annual tests by a "certified teacher," let alone the state government. I am far more qualified to assess my children than anyone else is. This becomes, they say, part of the child's "permanent record." As if by rejecting the public school system I would want a government or government-licensed official to place something in my child's "permanent record" (whatever that is) that I cannot control?

Of course, all of this is based on the idea that the state has a right to make education compulsory in the first place.

I don't know if we will register as required. If I had not gone to college, I likely would not fulfill the required qualifications; but unfortunately, I have to follow that part of the law, because I cannot undo my college credit. But it is extremely unlikely that anyone outside of my wife and I will assess my children, annually or otherwise.

As to the curriculum: I'll make them a deal. I'll teach my children "occupational education" (whatever that is) if they start teaching their kids history. I won't hold my breath. And I certainly won't keep track of how many hours we teach any of it. Heck, I probably won't keep any records at all, about anything.

I couldn't find any specific consequences for failing to follow the law. But I'm willing to accept them, to assert my civil rights.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on February 27, 2006 4:45 PM.

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