Thursday, Jan 29th

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Homeschoolers Granted Amnesty

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A German family, the Romeike, are granted political asylum in the US due to persecution for homeschooling their 5 children in Germany.

 A US Immigration judge has granted political asylum for a family from Germany due to persecution resulting from their choice to home school their kids.

It seems that the German government has an issue with parents who don't send their children to "state" schools, even going to far as to fine or jail those who do home school.  (via the Washington Times...)

The Romeikes home-schooled their children in Germany and received fines totaling $10,000. On one occasion, Mr. Donnelly said,
police hauled their children off to school. In 2006, the Romeikes emigrated to Tennessee and continued home schooling their children. Mr.
Donnelly said the family applied for political asylum within three months of arriving in the U.S.

This is the kind of thing that stems from a mentality that government should have a monopoly on educating children.  It's a mentality that is threatened by a loss of control over messages.  When a government wants to control what children are (and are NOT) taught, there's a motive...and it's a sure thing it's not in your best interest. Link

This is interesting news - Homeschooling in Germany is illegal. Why is homeschooling a threat to German society? 
It is also illegal in Brazil.
I'm somewhat ambivalent towards homeschooling. I believe every parent have the inherent right to see what is best for their children's education, especially if they feel the schools are providing poor learning environment or negative peer-pressure that impacts on their child's safety. But yet, I wonder sometimes if the parents are even qualified or remotely prepared to teach their children all the comprehensive subjects they need to compete in the adult world (especially to enter college). I cannot imagine my parents (both without a high school education) homeschooling me and succeeding.

My one opposition to homeschooling is the social development of education.
Children need to learn to interact with their peers, learn to play, converse, debate, public speak with social diversity and with children from ethnic backgrounds. 
Diversity cannot be learned from a textbook.and especially cannot be learned in the confines and shelter of their home and family.
Homeschooling can potentially give the child a one-sided point of view (mainly from their parents religious or political belief) and block or diminish all points of view. 
It can also reduce a child's sense of social engagement with their community as they get older.

If parents can incorporate some social aspect and diversity interactions into their curriculum, more power to ya!

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