July 21, 2024

letter to the editor

I would like to present some actual facts about homeschooling. Our U.S. Congress established the Commision to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). CECANF worked for 2 years before producing a 168 page document: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cecanf_final_report.pdf Homeschooling is not listed as a risk factor in this document.

Homeschooling comes with many sacrifices, but I want the people of our community to know that we homeschool because we enjoy being with our kids. We love the time, conversation, interaction, and impromtu dance parties when a great song comes on the radio. Why are we being lumped in with convicted child abusers and criminalized because of this?

Of the many bills introduced attacking homeschoolers one calls for home visits to families who choose to homeschool. Many people think this makes sense, after all how do we even know a homeschool child exists? But how do we know that any child under or over mandatory attendence age exisits? Would all parents like a government official to enter their house, examine every room, and interrogate their children without them present? Public school employees spend many hours with children, perhaps every employee be punished because of the few who’ve been accused and convicted of abuse? Perhaps every citizen of Iowa should be subjected to home visits by state officials. If these suggestions are outrageous than let me tell you that as a homeschooling mother I am outraged at being criminalized simply because I enjoy being with my children. I fear for my children’s safety at the possiblity that a stranger could enter our home and do exactly what I suggested above.

I urge anyone reading this, if you have questions please seek out a homeschooler. We are not hiding in our homes abusing our children, nor are we hiding in our homes attempting to 'protect' our children from the outside world. We are at the same local sporting events, grocery stores, doctor's offices, libraries, churches, playgrounds, and often times the same school buildings that you are. If you are a parent reading this, ask yourself if you believe there is anyone who loves your child more than you do. Do you think we homeschoolers are different? For general information about homeschooling in Iowa visit the website https://homeschooliowa.org/. You can find our regional representative, Krista Woodard, at the library. Please, before you judge us, find us and ask...