Skip to main content

Death by Homeschooling

A child has died.  A disabled child, unable to walk or speak, has been murdered.

Don't let the fluff-fluff story HSLDA is touting fool you.  Makayla Norman might have been under the care of several different physicians.  Maybe.  But it's been proven she was abused.  It's been proven in court what happened was murder.  Her mother recently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

So let's not pretend that when the local paper squawks about how it's concerned kids are slipping through the cracks, that there are somehow not kids slipping through the cracks.  Let's not just go right to our talking points without pausing for a minute to remember that somehow, somehow, a whole bunch of people have failed Makayla Norman.  She is dead today because she received bad care from her mom and from her nurses, and because no one outside that small group of people checked up on her.

"School officials admitted they violated their own policies, failing to follow up on Makayla’s progress during her final seven years," the Dayton Daily News reported in December.  

And what consequence did the school district face for its neglect?  None.  Again, the Dayton Daily News is right in there swinging in a recent article. The article almost directly links homeschooling with abuse and it's pretty biased.  But then again, the paper is not gonna come out all pro-homeschool in an article discussing the aftermath of a stinkin' murder, people.  It wasn't easy on the schools, either.  But Makayla Norman's death has to do with homeschooling... how?

Remember, this child couldn't walk or speak.  What grade level would YOU put her in if you had a student like this tomorrow?  Right.  There isn't one.  This is about murder.  There are so many people who have failed her, and it isn't even a homeschooling issue.  Why are we even talking about homeschooling?

Can we just forget homeschooling a second here?  The way funding is being cut all over the place, who is looking out for disabled children?  Do we even care if they die?  I don't know if you know much about it, but states are cutting back in-home helps and they're cutting back on the very people who could be a good influence or be a good lookout, a watchdog against abuse. 

I think this mom is an awful example of humanity.  Was she public-schooled?  Does it matter?


  1. This dear child was failed by everyone. Period. The idea of Ohio needing stricter homeschool laws is laughable when you consider that nobody upheld the current laws---what good would more regulations do if the current regulations are not being followed? They forgot she even existed! You're right, this is not at all about homeschooling, but about a parent not taking care of her child. If she wasn't willing to care for her daughter, why oh why did she not give her to someone who would?

    I was particularly annoyed by HSLDA's piece on what if paper tries to blame homeschooling for this death? Don't compound the horror of what was done to this child by getting all defensive, guys! Don't wring your hands and say, "Not me, I didn't do it." Do they have hearts?

  2. You should be a journalist. So what do you think about chicken pox deaths? My opinion is that they often happen due to dehydration and such and basically nobody paying attention and treating the kid's symptoms. I'm sure there are horrible cases where I child just dies in his sleep at night and the parents are horrified and shocked, but I wonder if sometimes it could be prevented and instead we are being scared into giving the chicken pox vaccine (which I don't give) ... maybe I watched that movie with Bruce Willis too much where he sees dead people ...

  3. Ganeida, if you wanted, you could follow on networked blogs and "like" the post right on facebook! :)

    Susan, you and I are on the exact same page. This has zero to do with homeschooling and people on both sides of this non "issue" need to get a clue!

    Kerrie, I was a journalist for a time. I am not a scientist, but I know that chicken pox can kill children with compromised immune systems and even rarely a healthy child with actual good parents. That being said, the vaccine hasn't been around for 50 or 60 years, so there is no telling if its immunity wears off just as contracting chicken pox gets truly dangerous, in the adult years.

    Short answer: I dunno. :)

  4. EXCELLENT, and ON POINT about disability funding. Whether that help is occurring in the public schools, or trough respite care funded by social services, the funding is drying up, so the time is drying up, and everyone is over extended and over whelmed.... COMMUNITIES are NOT coming together and supporting those who face challenges, or tragedies...

    well said.

  5. Devastating that a child lost their life and the adults are left to wring their hands and point fingers in all directions except ones that would really help. Homeschooling isn't here or there when it comes to a child dying. Plenty of children who go to public school die every year, too. The world failed this child, and that is heart breaking.

  6. It is just so sad.

    Thank-you for joining my blog hop. I was so afraid that no one would. Weird, as I'm usually optimistic.

  7. Thank you, Andrea.

    BigDragonMama, I appreciate the kind words. I'd like to see more and better funding/help for people with disabled children. It does not mean all murders would be prevented but so what? It's as if people are saying that parents should be responsible for their children, so when an extreme situation comes up, tough crap. And don't ask for help. Another post, maybe...

    Blondee, I agree. The problem is with the mom and the nurses. And this kid SHOULD have been one of the lucky ones, actually. A lot of people would like in-home help and don't get it.

    Susan, your blog hop is a great idea! :)


Post a Comment

Non-troll comments always welcome! :)

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK. 

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series. 

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

 All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap! 

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.  

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D! 

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics:

Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…