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Do Homeschooled Children Have to Learn Anything?

Should parents get to decide what their children learn if they're homeschooled?  Should the state be able to test children and force them to attend school if they don't learn quite enough?  Could there be truancy charges filed against parents for not teaching their children adequately? 

A Texas court case may have a huge impact on homeschoolers nationwide.  To hear the Washington Post tell it, a couple of wackadoodle fundies just hung out in a vacant motorcycle dealership and didn't do a blessed thing to teach their kids because the rapture was gonna happen soon anyway.  The eldest kid eventually ran away at 17 and had to be placed in school as a freshman because her level of learning was so crapful that school officials didn't think she could handle senior classes.

"The El Paso school district eventually asked the McIntyres to provide proof that their children were being properly educated and even filed truancy charges that were later dropped. The family sued and had an appeals court rule against them, but now the case goes Monday to the all-Republican state Supreme Court.  In court filings, the McIntyres say the district is biased against Christians and accuse its officials of mounting a 'startling assertion of sweeping governmental power.'"

So far as I can tell, "proof that children are being properly educated" is not required under Texas homeschooling law, but parents are required to teach certain subjects in a "bona fide" manner and it doesn't sound like that's been done here. 


  1. Probably when the McIntyres noticed the 'rapture' not happening again and again, they should have done something about teaching their kids.
    If you're registered as a homeschooler, then of course you have to teach your kids, but I'm not sure the government has any right to slap anyone with truancy just because the kids aren't learning fast enough to suit them. It's a complicated can of worms.

    1. Exactly.

      There are already laws against murder, but that didn't stop a "homeschooler" in Michigan from killing her kids. Of course, lawmakers in the state jumped into action with crazy proposed bills regulating homeschooling to "fix" the problem.

      More laws are not going to prevent horrid crimes, but they sure will penalize the normal parents doing the best they can for their children! I'll be interested to see how this case turns out.


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