Annual Paperwork Rant...

We're starting school soon. And have we ever really stopped? "School" is a funny word. Do we really mean to say learning... or do we just want to know when it's time to open up specific books to a specific schedule? When's the last time you ever heard anyone say It's time to get back to Learning? And who is it made the official distinction between learning that is just vacation and learning that has academic value?

What if one of my little kids develops cancer this year and has only one year to live... should I still prioritize formal education? And if their life extends to five years? Or 10? Or 60? What should I focus on as a parent? And why? Is it possible to get into a good college and still spend a large portion of childhood not imprisoned behind a little desk? Who gets to decide?

The longer I do this the more the school schedule, dictated by the government schools, irritates me. And can we stop saying "public" as if educational bureaucracy is a democratic process? When schools were first mandated, they were indeed called government schools until some marketing genius switched the term to "public." Because who in their right minds would want government raising their children?

American culture turns around the school schedule. I just had a baby... and that's pretty earth shattering. But they still want us to start school right now. Because somehow that's better than a little earlier or later for whatever reason.

Let me just illuminate those of you who don't understand the purpose of this post or why I'm ranting at this particular moment. I am getting my paperwork ready to send in to the superintendent of our school district that let's him know that we're choosing to home educate. If you know me, you know that every year, this makes me grumpy. This is my official rant post. My annual paperwork rant.

These forms are supposed to be "notification" NOT "permission" and yet all the hoops make it feel like I'm groveling for the latter. I'm asking the government for permission to raise and educate my own children. I'm giving them my curriculum outline so that they can make sure I'm not screwing it up. The GOVERNMENT wants to make sure that I'm not messing something up. Let that sink in and maybe it will start to bother you as well.

My annual rant. I have been doing this for 10 years and have not yet managed to get through this process without a frown and a grumble. You will never convince me that a professional education administrator knows more than I do about raising and educating my own children. And yet... there's that letter that I wait for every year telling me that they've approved us. We're good to go. Somebody with a special degree looked at our paperwork and they've excused our compulsory attendance.

It's not the paperwork itself that annoys me, it's the principle behind the paperwork. If I'm a little silent on the blog this week, you know why. I'll be busy frowning at my papers.

I'd better stop typing now. I'm feeling a little... negative.

On the plus side....

I am incredibly grateful to live in a country that supports my right to home educate. There are many countries where parents do not have this freedom. Our current administration is hostile to this God-given right and is actively working to subvert it. Please join me in praying that Americans will continue to enjoy this freedom for a long time to come.
Posted on August 20, 2013 and filed under "home education", "homeschooling".