Home Schooling: Reasons For Home Schooling

Home Schooling: Reasons For Home Schooling

September 11, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


[MUSIC PLAYING] Any parent who makes the
decision to homeschool their child may be having all sorts
of reasons that have nothing to do with special education. It may be for religious
reasons. You may be unhappy with the
climate of the public schools. There are any number of reasons
that a family might make that decision. But we’re here to talk a little
bit about some of the reasons that a family with a
child or with children who have disabilities might
make that decision. And you know the one that
I hear, I think most prevalently, is the fact that
parents are sometimes very dissatisfied with the services
that they’re getting for their child with special needs in
the public school system. So they may not like the speech
and language services they’re getting. Or they perhaps don’t like the
special education services, the related services. And so they’re just so fed up
that they just decide that they’re going to do
this on their own. Well, and that’s a reason that
I find so upsetting, because as somebody who advocates for
children to be receiving what they’re entitled to under
federal and state law in terms of special education services
that are appropriate to meet their needs. Because if you choose to
homeschool your child, that’s a very personal and individual
choice based, as I said, on many reasons. But if it’s simply because
you’re not able to get for your child in the public school
what your child needs and is entitled to, as a civil
libertarian, as a special education attorney, that really
is so upsetting to me because it means something
about our system is really not working. That doesn’t mean that I am
judging parents who make that decision, but I hear a lot from
families who say, I made the decision to homeschool
because I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take arguing
with them anymore. Or I made the decision that the
services available in my district, while probably legally
appropriate, were not the way I wanted to
educate my child. And some people just feel that
they could do a better job. And again, it’s a very personal,
personal decision. But I really think that’s the
biggest one, Jen, when it comes to kids who have a
disability or special needs. Do you find that
to be the case? I do. There are the other are examples
of situations where, for some reason
disability-related, the family doesn’t feel that the
environment– and that could be allergies, it
could be asthma, it could be any number of medical
reasons– that the family doesn’t feel
that the physical environment of a school or that school is
appropriate for their child. And they don’t want them
educated in that environment. That is sometimes a reason
that a family will use. Or those situations in which a
child cannot attend school. But even that situation,
I would argue, is not necessarily a homeschooling
situation. Because the IDEA, which
provides the funds and services and the mandates and
the procedures, that statute contemplates educating children
even in hospitals, when necessary. So that’s not the kind of thing
that I would typically refer to as homeschooling. But there may be a medical
reason or a disability-related reason that a family says I
don’t want to send my child to that school. Then we may be getting into a
different area of the law, where you’re talking about
accommodations for certain disabilities. And there are certain kinds
of allergies and kinds of environmental issues that
schools are very reluctant to acknowledge. Because of course if they
acknowledge a mold problem, for example, they have to
acknowledge that it may be a problem for all the kids
in the school. And so those kinds of
environmental issues can lead to real disputes. And often it does push some
families to make the decision to homeschool. Another reason that I see is
the fact that sometimes parents and school districts
may be in dispute about a methodology that they
think is appropriate for the child’s education. And so oftentimes, if a team
agrees to methodology A and the parents want methodology B,
instead of challenging the dispute, they may opt
out all together and say, you know what? I don’t even want to
dispute about this. I’m just going to take my
child out of the public school, because I don’t agree
with the philosophy. And I’m going to provide my own services in the home setting. [MUSIC PLAYING]