Monday, February 27, 2012

The nose into the tent

The story is told of a man out in the dessert with his camel.  It was cold and windy.  The man was safe and warm in his tent.  The camel ask the man if he could put his nose into the tent, out from the wind and sand.  The man said sure.  A few minutes went by and then the camel asked if he could put his head into the tent.  The man said yes.  Then a little while later the camel asked if he could put his neck into the tent, soon the whole camel was in the tent, and the man was pushed into the wind and cold.

Many parents homeschool because it gives them greater freedom in what, how and when they teach their children.  One of the very attractive features of homeschooling is the ability to make decisions about what we think is best for our children without other people trying to run our lives.

A recent article Gov't intrusion in homeschooling: Alberta bill to outlaw Bible teaching on gays worries me about a government's attitude that it thinks it should be able to control what parents teach their own children, in their own home. 

The article starts:

The Alberta Province of Canada is moving forward with an education bill that will redefine acceptable instruction regarding homosexuality. The Alberta Education Act passed through the Second Hearing on February 22, and mandates that the diverse nature of the province be reflected in all curriculum, including that of homeschoolers. Each school entity is called to "honor and respect" the Alberta Human Rights Act that protects gays from discrimination.

"Whatever the nature of schooling - homeschool, private school, Catholic school - we do not tolerate disrespect for differences," stated Donna McColl, assistant director of communications for the Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

McColl went on to clarify that homeschoolers could use the Bible's teaching in personal, family time, but not as part of the curriculum. The difficulty is that many homeschoolers are in teaching mode all day long, informally and formally, and teaching foundational beliefs is part of their lifestyle.

There are two issues here.  One is how people feel about gays.  The second issue is just how much should the government be able to control our lives? 

There are too many areas in society in which governments dictate what we should do.  I hope this is not the start of a trend where the government tries to control what we teach our children.


abba12 said...

As far as I'm concerned, bible teaching will never be part of our official curriculum as reported to state, all biblical teaching will be 'personal, family time'. There's no need to risk issues by making it an officially recognised part of schooling when it is not a required subject.

Jackie said...

I agree there are two issues. As a homeschooling Mom, I do not shelter my daughter at all, but I do shepherd her. As far as the govt. and intrusions, I don't want them telling me what I can and can't teach my child. I love my rights as a homeschooling family.

Mom who enjoys
blogging and living on a farm.

Henry Cate said...

abba12 - There may be wisdom in not including bible study as part of the official curriculum, but I don't think the government should take any kind of stance on the value of studying the bible.

Jackie - I think I would phrase it that we shelter our children at the start and then slowly let them face the world, when they are ready.

And I agree, I love our rights as a homeschooling family.