Homeschooling and the Democratic Party
Many successful homeschool families are Democrats including myself!
By Ann Zeise
I’ve been getting questions via email asking if liberals and Democrats homeschool, too. It is time for the Democrat Party to realize that, yes, many of their faithful have decided to homeschool their children.
Homeschooling is also a liberal reaction when one’s child just isn’t thriving in public school. In our district it seemed like the conservatives were holding sway: banning books, outlawing a successful spelling program because it had a “wizard” theme, insisting on school uniforms, and the last straw, considering contraband-sniffing dogs!
Many Democrat moms are very much into the nurturing movement, finding it rather absurd to spend all that time in Le Leche League only to turn one’s babes over to daycare as soon as they are potty trained. While a goal for “early childhood education for all children under 5” is a worthy one, perhaps it can best be achieved by helping mothers to have the confidence and skills to work with their little ones rather than making them think that handing their children over to someone else is somehow better. This is part of what I try to do as a “liberated woman,” and find no contradiction. Empowering the individual: that is what the Democrat Party has always stood for.
Another tenet of the Democrat Party is “public school choice.” How about broadening that to include homeschooling? It is a choice, after all, and many school districts do offer homeschooling programs, and some states offer charter schools for homeschoolers.
Union members homeschool their kids! I often hear from truckers who take their families along with them on the road. Families of public school teachers homeschool.
Obama hedged his bets on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a refundable credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of a college education is free for most Americans.
One of Obama’s education goals was to create a voluntary, universal preschool program to help close the achievement gap before it starts.
Many, many inclusive homeschooling support groups are popping up all over the country. These groups are attended by all sorts of families: from yuppy moms, stay-at-home dads, people of all races, creeds and sexual orientations, even a few grandparents homeschooling their grandchildren! You could hardly tell the difference between such a group and a Democrat Party rally!
Now I am well aware of the Republican faction of the homeschool movement. They can be extremely annoying to the Democrat homeschoolers. We wish they would have never co-opted our movement. Makes it seem like we’re all a bunch of right wingers. Believe me, many of us are liberals! Normal mothers and fathers, and sometimes other relatives, who just love being with their kids. Such a radical idea!
On the liberal side, we are striving to make it easier for parents with disabled or “slow” children to homeschool. Often the public schools fail these children, and parents just feel they can do a better job. But state laws sometimes require that a homeschooled child must pass a annual test at or above grade level. These children couldn’t do that if they were in school!
WebMD Town Hall with Michelle Obama: Simple Tips for Healthy Families
WebMD holds a town hall event with first lady Michelle Obama and a panel of experts to answer questions about how to make healthy changes for your family.
Children benefit a great deal from ObamaCare
More children can get preventive care. This is because their parents now have no out-of-pocket charges for preventive care. These include well-child exams, vaccines, hearing and vision tests, and developmental screenings.
Please, I beg of you: listen to the Democrats in the homeschool movement. Realize that helping women to be confident mothers is just as liberating as teaching them to be confident workers. We just need some help juggling our roles at times. A stronger economy and good health care would help tremendously. Flexible education opportunities both for the kids and the parents would also be great.
With a little imagination, this CAN be done!
Correcting Misconceptions About Home Schooling
Four years ago, Alicia Knight would have been the last person you could ever imagine home-schooling her kids. She was a legislative aide to then Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for education issues. She was a card-carrying liberal. By Jay Mathews, Washington Post.
Homeschoolers for Bernie Sanders
For those of us homeschooling and supporting Democrat Bernie Sanders and the public education system.
Other Liberal Voices
Home schooling no longer just for the deeply religious
Every five years, the Department of Education asks respondents to cite the most important reason driving their decision to home-school. In 2007, the one cited by the highest proportion of parents — more than a third — was “a desire to provide religious or moral instruction.” But the share of those parents has shrunk since then, from 36 percent to 21 percent. Now, the plurality belongs to the 25 percent who say their chief reason for home schooling is a concern about the traditional school environment, specifically as it relates to “safety, drugs and negative peer pressure.”
Homeschooling as the Practice of a Liberal Democratic Faith
First a little corrective history: The home education movement was NOT started by religious conservatives, who often claim the practice as their own, but by liberal education reformers with a very different philosophy at the heart of their efforts.
Homeschooling Group – Democratic Underground
Groups often serve as safe havens for members who share similar interests and viewpoints. Individuals who post messages contrary to a particular group’s stated purpose can be excluded from posting in that group.
Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids
Could such a go-it-alone ideology ever be truly progressive—by which I mean, does homeschooling serve the interests not just of those who are doing it, but of society as a whole?
One-third of U.S. Adults Know Someone Who Homeschools Their Child
Apr 14, 2006. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to know someone who currently homeschools their child (40% vs. 29%). Party identification also distinguishes adults’ views on parents’ motivations for homeschooling their children. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to cite religious or moral instruction (69% vs. 56%) and student behavior problems (50% vs. 43%) as main reasons behind homeschooling. In contrast, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to cite schools being too crowded to provide individual attention (44% vs. 35%) and educating children with special needs (42% vs. 33%) as main reasons for homeschooling.
Thoughts on (some) Liberals Homeschooling our Kids
We progressives acknowledge that we live in a diverse society and that we should celebrate and encourage, rather than squelch, that diversity. So following that same logic, Democrats should not promote one approach to education and human development to the detriment of all others.
Q: True or False: Homeschooling legislation always falls along party lines
Do Republican lawmakers always support and vote for legislation that is favorable to homeschoolers, while Democratic lawmakers always support and vote for legislation which is unfriendly to homeschoolers?