I know of a few families that raise chickens for fun and profit. Kids have to feed the chickens, change their water, gather eggs, stuff like that. Still others make foo-foo scented soaps, wrap 'em up with raffia, and help package orders for shipment.
Some say their parents are selfish people for making them work all day, and that we should regulate homeschooling more strictly. Because really, how are we going to be sure children are learning properly if they are gainfully employed? We all know they need to be in public school so that they can get gainful employment as adults.
Ok. I guess The Kansas City Star just prints what people want to buy ...
While I recognize that there are some abusive situations out there, I think we need to put this whole "homeschooling children at the dining room table and making them work all day" into some sort of historical perspective:
|Chimney sweep. Source: wikipedia.|
They didn't go to school and rarely learnt to read, and certainly no one ensured that they were fed every day. It was a travesty and an injustice, and it's part of the reason we have labour laws and compulsory education today.
But here's the thing: there are places you can turn to if you suspect abuse in any family, homeschooling or otherwise. There are child abuse hotlines in every state. Additionally, in Missouri, the school will investigate when the abuse case only involves educational neglect. So here? There are two agencies protecting the interests of the children.
Things are not hopeless for these children and if you're worried, make the call!
I "get" why some people might be a little hesitant to endorse moms and dads raising their children a little differently than they remember as being the "right" way. But personally? I'm far more worried about the fate of the kids in the more awful school districts than I am about almost all homeschoolers. Just trying to put it in perspective.