A top priority for any parent (or grandparent for that matter) is ensuring their child has all the tools necessary, beginning with a quality education, to become a successful, productive adult.
In the past, education in our country provided for each student the basic knowledge and essential skill sets necessary to succeed as a person, a family member, a citizen, and a worker. In the one-room school houses of the Wild West or the formal classrooms of the eastern cities, students learned reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with fundamental moral principles.
To our founders, the Natural Law Rights, secured by our Constitution, were acknowledged to be the foundation of individual freedom based on an equality of opportunity. Limited government, private property rights, unlimited natural resources, and no tax on income created an environment in which innovation and hard work could easily lead to financial success for anyone. Education, although not a requirement, did provide the tools for better access to opportunity and upward mobility through the free market economy.
Unfortunately, in current times, the teaching of that basic set of skills and values has been watered down to include areas of study that are designed to undermine individuality and competition in order to promote the progressive agenda of collectivism. The individual achiever is a threat to those who desire to force everyone down toward the lowest common denominator of accomplishment regardless of individual ability.
For too many students, public education, at its best, has become a taxpayer funded babysitting service. Students too young to be legally “on their own” sit in class in order to obtain a piece of paper that pretends legitimacy but in reality is only an empty promise. Fewer and fewer high school graduates can write a coherent essay with accurate spelling and grammar or perform the basic math functions that were once necessary to hold a job and conduct one’s home finances.
At worst, public education, both high school and college, is being used to indoctrinate our children with collectivist ideology and moral relativity. Zero tolerance and political correctness prevent the use of facts to achieve logical conclusions, and the teaching of redacted American History removes any foundation or appreciation for individual freedom based on the rule of law and our Constitution.
Of course, it’s all about substituting dependency for achievement and replacing individual choice with the common good.
Homeschooling offers families the opportunity to rectify the glaring defects in the public education system. Today, more parents are refusing to accept the idea that government knows best how to raise and educate our children.
Crystal Sparks is one of the original “homeschoolers” in our the Cherokee County area. She taught three children at home, at one time having a child in elementary school, one in middle school, and one in high school. Her oldest is now in college. When Crystal began homeschooling her children, she was a true pioneer. Very little help and guidance was available in terms of teaching materials, course study guidelines, and professionally-formulated curricula.
As more parents choose to homeschool their children, these gaps are rapidly being filled by enterprising businesses that have seized the opportunity to fill the needs of the growing homeschool community.
Most important for parents like Crystal Sparks, however, has been the formation of local homeschooling groups in which parents assist each other with course planning and teaching duties. You may not be great in math, but another homeschooled child’s parent may be willing to teach that subject in return for a similar favor.
Crystal was instrumental in forming a larger parent-teacher group for the entire local area in which parents and students get together one day each week. Students attend classes together in subjects not easily taught by a single parent. Parents also go to classes of their own to learn techniques and strategies to improve their ability to educate their children. People living in the community with experience and the desire to help also participate by teaching classes, helping parents, and fundraising.
The weekly get together also serves as a means for support, socializing, and information sharing in all age groups – children and parents alike.
Join Dr. Dan Eichenbaum and homeschooling mom Crystal Sparks as as they discuss what steps she took to prepare to become her children’s teacher, why she and her husband chose to homeschool, how much homeschooling costs, state regulations and testing requirements, and other related issues. Part one airs this weekend, March 14-15, on WJRB 95.1 FM and streamed live over the Internet. Part two airs March 21-22, and part three airs March 28-29. All programs are available by podcast following air time here.