by Amy Tjaden

Here I was thinking that as homeschoolers we were making great strides in being understood and accepted. After all, our numbers are rising. That says something doesn’t it?

I am feeling rather discouraged by a recent news story out of New Hampshire.  It seems that lawmakers in that state feel like they need to have more control over homeschoolers. There is currently a proposal that would require homeschoolers to submit annual portfolios and submit to standardized testing. All of this would be done under the watchful eye of a certified educator.

Why the need for such strict rules? Surely it can’t be they’re worried that homeschooled children are receiving paltry education. After all, statistic after statistic shows that homeschoolers generally out perform their public schooled counterparts in all areas.

Why they feel that any child, homeschooled or not, should be forced to participate in standardized testing is beyond my comprehension.  After all, children are not robots on an assembly line that learn in the same manner or at the same rate. There is no logic behind standardized testing, except that it helps public schools bring in bucks.

Ah! There it is. Could that be the truth behind New Hampshire’s desire to increase its role in the lives of homeschoolers? I’d bet money on it. It isn’t that lawmakers are worried about the welfare and education of homeschoolers. No. Public schools are worried about their bottom line.

Make laws that require homeschoolers to be accountable for all their actions. Require them to participate in standardized testing and, by doing so, school districts can count them as part of their numbers.

Maybe I’m wrong but what else makes sense? Why else would the government need to stick their noses where they aren’t needed. It ain’t broke. We don’t need you to fix it.

Thankfully homeschoolers are an outspoken bunch and they’re not letting this happen without a fight. Homeschooling families from across the state jammed the Statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire on Thursday.

They spoke not only for their state but for all of us across the country who homeschool. We should all be able to teach our children in the way we find suitable and we don’t need government telling us how it is done.

I’d love to hear what you have to say on this issue.

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