Is Homeschooling Unfair to Other Children?

The Context
Do parents unfairly advantage their children by paying for private schooling, reading aloud to them at bedtime, or homeschooling them? Just when you thought you (as a parent) were doing something good, philosophers construe it to be bad.
Professors Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift got themselves into a heap of trouble – with some observers – with their book Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships and articles like the following:
We wrote Family Values because we had both worked on justice in education and argued for strict limits on what parents could legitimately do to purchase advantages for their children (e.g. paying for elite schooling). But we did not object to parents reading bedtime stories or spending time with their children, even though that also creates unfair inequalities. To explain the difference, we needed a general account of parents’ rights, of what parents should and shouldn’t be free to do to, with and for their children. That led us to the fundamental question of why children should be raised in families at all. Why not in communes or state-run childrearing institutions?

Read more here.

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Do You Want the Government to Partner with Your Family?

The Government believes that raising the next generation is a “shared” responsibility between it and a child’s family.  They will even provide home visits.  They are seeking your comments on their latest policy proposal.

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are requesting comments on a draft policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices from the early years to the early grades.

Comments are requested on the draft statement to inform the final document through JANUARY 4, 2016 by emailing your comments to: ECD@acf.hhs.gov.

Background

ED and HHS have established the Early Learning Interagency Policy Board (IPB) to develop policy recommendations and improve program coordination and quality across federally funded early learning and development programs serving children from birth through age eight. Previously, ED and HHS have released policy statements on Expulsion and Suspension Polices in Early Childhood Settings and Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs based on public comments received.  SMALL 300 Join Action E-List

It is the Departments’ position that strong family engagement* is central in promoting children’s healthy development and wellness, including:

social-emotional and behavioral development;

preparing children for school;

seamlessly transitioning them to kindergarten; and

supporting academic achievement in elementary school and beyond.

When families and the institutions where children learn partner in meaningful ways, children have more positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success. To further this position, the Departments will release a policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices in early childhood and learning programs.

Read more here.

*family engagement:  the systematic inclusion of families as partners in children’s development, learning, and wellness.  Engagement is enabled by positive relationships between families and staff in the institutions where children learn. The goal of family engagement is to support family wellness and children’s learning and development.