Push Back Against Unnecessary Government Regulation of Home Education
By Judy Arnall
Like UBER, Amazon and AirBnB, home education is a billion dollar industry disruptor. The advancement of the internet enables students to be borderless and no longer constrained to their particular government’s provision of education. Classes can be taken from other countries and knowledge is everywhere. Many children self teach. Education looks much different today than it did when public schools began 150 years ago. The days of the teacher being the smartest person in the village and the sole source of knowledge is over. Today, anyone can learn anything, anywhere and anytime. Every child has a right to an education, and with the internet, every child is automatically guaranteed one.
Governments are panicking with their lack of control, by increasing regulation, because they listen to powerful and well-funded unions that will re-elect them. When parents home educate, jobs are lost in an industry that is funded with billions of taxpayer dollars.
Yet, worldwide, home education is growing fast, and most of it is not funded. It doesn’t create jobs for anyone. Parents are acting in their child’s best interests and although many don’t wish to home educate, they attempt it in the desperate attempt to protect their child from bullying, sub-par curriculum, and mediocre instruction in a one-size-fits-all system. Who can blame them wanting the best for their child’s needs?
Increased government regulation comes in the form of wanting control over a segment of reality that the government should have no business controlling. The government doesn’t regulate the education of a baby, toddler or preschooler when brain architecture is developing the most in the first six years of life. Governments trust parents to do a good job and leave them alone. This is how education should be for the remaining 12 years of childhood.
Forcing families to register their home educated child is unnecessary as each child is already registered with a birth certificate. Forcing families to follow a government or school prescribed curriculum insinuates that the parent can’t do better at home, when research shows that home educated children perform much higher academically and socially than even private school children. Forcing teachers to do mandatory visits insinuates that children are being abused or neglected when 99.9999..% of parents are doing an excellent job. Most child abuse occurs in the early years of ages 0-4 in the form of Shaken Baby Syndrome. School aged abuse is extremely rare and can be investigated under child welfare laws already in place.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 26, states that parents have a prior right to choose the education of their children. This includes content and methodology. Governments must honor it. Children belong to their parents who know best, not the state.
How can one push back against government regulation?
- Join, form or support a legal registered home education organization that lobbies and advocates for parental rights first and foremost in their child’s education. Numbers matter so spread the awareness of the organization through social media. Network with other countries’ home education organizations to find out how they handle regulation. Be aware of upcoming laws and be noisy protesting them. Write letters, newspaper articles, sign petitions, attend stakeholder meetings and get in front of the news media.
- Make home education an election issue. Home educators and their children vote more than the average person. Home education is growing so much, that at some point in a child’s school life, a parent will consider doing it.
- Document research. Home education has been around and legal in most of North America for the past 40 years. There is good research on the effectiveness of it.
In Canada, there is the Fraser Institute’s two research reports and much more research here:
In the US, there is the National Home Education Research Institute
- Be visible. If your family home educates, tell people, answer questions and get out during the day. Dispel the common myths – it’s so much work, the kids won’t get socialized…it’s creating a 3 tier system….all not true.
- Challenge the effectiveness of existing regulation. Once regulation is in place, it is very hard to get rid of it, but try. Court challenges are useful in setting precedence.
Enjoy your children and enjoy home education. It is your family’s right!
Guest Blog Author Details
Judy Arnall BA, DTM, Canadian Certified Family Life Educator (CCFE)
Judy Arnall, BA, CCFE, DTM is a certified child development specialist and master of non-punitive parenting and education practices. She is the bestselling author of Unschooling To University; Relationships matter most in a world crammed with content, available at your nearest bookstore.
Best-selling author of 5 print books on non-punitive parenting and education