April 29, 2020

Is Homeschooling A Danger?

Homeschooling today is an approach that much of the country is looking at with a new appreciation as over 50 million public school students are at home due to the closures of schools during the pandemic. In fact, our organization has been helping these families with our new website, CoronavirusHomeschooling.com.

We have done almost 100 media interviews in the last few weeks in response.

Families who are now working with their children at home and are looking for tips, lesson plans and curricula now have somewhere to turn. In fact, we’ve had many tell us they believe that there will be an increase in the number of families who homeschool in the fall as a result of this “trial run” that many families are now doing.

It is not an overstatement to say that homeschooling has more acceptance today than at any time in the modern era of home education. However, the left in this country continues its attack homeschooling even in this time of public acceptance.

I’ve written several times over the last few years about a group who was working very hard to promote the idea that families could not be trusted and every state in the country was woefully inadequate in the regulation of families who choose to teach their children at home.

These same people are now coming together at Harvard University for a summit on homeschooling. As the Daily Caller reports, “The invite-only ‘Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform’ is scheduled to take place June 18-19 and will host speakers from education and child welfare policy backgrounds, as well as academics, policy advocates, and legislators to discuss the ‘problems of educational deprivation and child maltreatment that too often occur under the guise of homeschooling, in a legal environment of minimal or no oversight.”

Harvard Magazine posted an article recently calling homeschooling a “risk” and pushing for a ban on homeschooling unless parents were approved to do so by the state. These people are the usual collection of leftist academics, child welfare policy advocates, and legislators. One has even referred to homeschooling as a “threat to children and society.”

The fact that the Harvard event is an invitation-only event shows that these people cannot win their argument against freedom for families to direct their children’s education free from government interference.

Another far left publication lamented the fact that homeschoolers are promoting the educational approach to families during the pandemic. They say, “…experts warn that any growing popularity of homeschooling as a result of the pandemic will likely worsen education for students and pose serious problems to the economy and the nation’s social well-being.”

Did you get that? They believe that if homeschooling increases it will worsen education and pose serious problems to the economy and the nation’s social well-being. The exact opposite is the truth.

Millions of homeschoolers have proven that it works and that is exactly why it is the fastest-growing educational alternative in the country and homeschool graduates in colleges and the workplace have demonstrated that it is turning out bright, mature, well-adjusted young people who are a benefit and blessing to the economy and the nation’s social well-being.

The efforts of the leftist authoritarians will be met with political and policy resistance. They will not be successful in taking away our freedom to homeschool.

Read the rest of The Family Freedom Caller, including Tim’s Weekly Tweets
April 15, 2020

Fit Father Battles for His Daughter at the Texas Supreme Court

Last year I wrote about a father who is battling in the Texas courts for his four-year-old daughter. A Republican judge in Denton gave joint custody to a man who is not related to this little girl by blood or marriage against the wishes of her biological father, whom everyone acknowledges is an entirely fit parent.

What happened?

The parents were divorced and had joint custody of the daughter when the mother was killed in a car accident. The mother’s parents sued for joint custody, which the Denton judge granted but was overturned by the Dallas Court of Appeals.

At that point, the boyfriend of the deceased mother, who had lived with her for more than a year, filed for joint custody at the urging of the grandparents in what appeared to be a blatant end-run around the law.

The Texas Supreme Court issued a stay and has set a date for oral arguments  in what some believe could be the most significant parental rights case in Texas history. 

Early last fall, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Texas Home School Coalition each submitted briefs to the Texas Supreme Court defending the father’s constitutional right to make decisions for his daughter. THSC’s brief was joined by 14 legislators and two other pro-family organizations.

What makes this case so disturbing is that a non-parent was not just simply given custody of another man’s daughter. He was given custody on the grounds that the biological father had no greater right to custody of his own daughter than did a completely unrelated man.

What’s next?

Most disturbing is that the Texas State Bar has weighed in against the fit father in this case.

This is not surprising, however, considering the efforts of its lobbying arm. For the last three legislative sessions, it has pushed for a radical change in the law to allow virtually unfettered lawsuits against fit parents to have their children taken from them even without abuse or neglect.

What can we do?

Please pray for the judges on the Texas Supreme Court as they hear the oral arguments in this case and that they would issue an opinion to support the God-given, fundamental rights of parents. Thank you for your support in Keeping Texas Families Free!

Read the rest of The Family Freedom Caller, including Tim’s Weekly Tweets
April 1, 2020

Coronavirus Homeschooling

In the last couple of weeks, during this time of uncertainty and in the aftermath of many school closures, I’ve been doing a number of media interviews with sources that want to inform parents as to how they can teach their kids at home.

Here’s How You Can do It

First: relax! Teaching your own children at home is very different from teaching a classroom of 20 to 30 students. With low teacher to student ratios, children get a lot more individual attention and a lot more answers to their questions. The result is more effective learning. A small group can accomplish in just a couple of hours the same work that might take a classroom all day to complete.

Younger Kids?

Elementary-age children often view reading aloud with a parent or older sibling to be as much fun as playing games together, but these activities are really educational. A couple of those activities and a craft or two and your educational time with the younger children can be done for the day.

Older Kids?

Older children can be given direction for work to be done and often motivated by the idea that when they finish assigned tasks they can use the rest of their time for their favorite activities. As many of you know, a motivated teen can accomplish a lot to get to that free time!

What If I’m Working From Home?

Lots of people raise the question about how to homeschool when you are working from home and the answer to that is related to time management and scheduling. Working parents can schedule time with individual students to accomplish the day’s tasks and even have older children help younger ones.

Some educational elements can actually be done with mixed age groups. For example, have a good historical video or movie for all to watch together and then different age-related follow-up assignments like a report from older kids and craft-related from the younger students.

We Are Here For You

THSC has been working to provide ways for those new to the homeschool approach to education to find support and we’ve done that in several ways. First THSC.org has a page “How to Homeschool” that is Texas specific.

We have also launched a Facebook group called “Coronavirus Homeschool Support,” where people with questions can go to find input, help and recommendations from veteran homeschoolers. In addition, we have launched a website, CoronavirusHomeschooling.com, which is another resource for families at home to find the needed support to help their children in this time of uncertainty. Both of these latter resources are not Texas specific. Please help us share this helpful information with the public.

Read the rest of The Family Freedom Caller, including Tim’s Weekly Tweets