In the aftermath of the incomprehensible school shooting tragedy that unfolded in Sandy Hook, CT almost 2 years ago, officials in Connecticut have been trying to conclude why it happened and what could have been done to avoid it. One of their initial reactions was to blame homeschooling for the shooting. Even Time Magazine found that to be an unsupportable stretch as noted in their editorial “Homeschooled Kids Shouldn’t Be Scapegoats for Sandy Hook.”
The commission’s latest findings as released in a new 141-page report are centering on “Homebound Education.” Early this morning, the CT Post reported, “The report promotes early insurance-eligible examinations and screening for children as young as infants; better programming for developmentally disabled schoolchildren; more support and expertise for school-based programming; and better oversight of education and treatment plans for children who are homebound after being found unsuitable for classroom instruction.”
Homebound education is now coming into focus, and that could be a very dangerous turn for home educating families if we aren’t informed and aware of it. “Homebound education” as defined by the Connecticut Board of Education is as follows:
Provision of homebound instruction for verified medical reason:
Boards of education shall provide “instruction to a child in public schools”…”when such child is unable to attend school due to a verified medical reason which may include mental health issues”
Homebound instruction does not need to be provided to a private school student, unless the child is withdrawn from the private school and enrolled in public schools.
Homebound education is by definition NOT home education. Homebound education is a decision that is made through the public schools when the child is physically or mentally unable to attend on-site classes. Home education is a decision that is made by parents who are seeking the best possible education and environment for growth and creativity for their child. Home educators do not perceive what they do for their children day in and day out as a partnership with the public schools, which is a massive distinction between home education and homebound education.
Why is the distinction between Homebound and Home education important?
I believe this report will cause confusion among many who do not understand home education. They will make the assumption that the report is still targeting home educators, when in truth, it doesn’t appear that they are.
The Sandy Hook Homebound Education report is, however, another wake-up call for home educators. We MUST be informed. We MUST be alert, and we MUST be grounded in the foundational reasons we home educate. Progressives in public school administration and government may seize this opportunity to make the leap from regulating homebound education to regulating home educators.
Homebound education is thrust upon families due to circumstances, whether they be health-related, mental-health related or otherwise. Conversely, home education is a decision that families make for themselves. There are as many reasons families choose to home educate as there are families who do it, but the underlying reason is generally the same. Home educating families are willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to ensure their children receive the best quality education in the best environment possible for them to flourish and grow into the men and ladies they were created to be.
Now is a great time to get grounded in why you do what you do and how you can be an even better home educator. Teach Them Diligently Conventions are the ideal place to get better equipped and encouraged in your journey- we hope you will join us in Nashville, Atlanta, Sandusky or Dallas in 2015.