Good Citizenship?

I responded to an e-mail yesterday asking the question of why we interpret “Good Citizenship” as related to politics instead of some type of community service like volunteering in a food bank or picking up trash. That’s a good question. My response was that the Texas Education Code (25.086) allows a student who is attending a private school, which teaches a study of good citizenship, to be exempt from the compulsory attendance law. The question then arises, “What is good citizenship?” The courts have said that term means a study of civics or government.

That is the legal reasoning, but for home schoolers who lived through the 1980s, we know that our freedom to homeschool as we wish without the government’s interference is based on the will of the legislature. At one time a Texas Attorney General said that he did not believe parents were qualified to raise their children – much less teach them at home. Texas home school parents fought a spiritual, political, and legal battle to force the state to recognize our rights as parents.

This week three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Iowa spoke to a group of home schoolers, seeking their support. They each touted their support of home schooling and promised to ease the legal restrictions against home schooling in Iowa if elected. Home schoolers have become recognized as a group of activists who are dedicated to electing those who support their rights and freedoms.

I think its a great thing for home schoolers to help in community activities like food banks and beautification projects, but with the current environment of professors making the case for why home schooling needs to be regulated by the government and media outlets making the case that home schoolers should not be allowed to teach creationism in our home schools we cannot afford to avoid the political process.

The candidates that are elected this year to represent us at the local, state, and national level may one day make decisions that directly affect our parental rights to direct the upbringing and education of our children.


  1. Anonymous says

    If you want to talk about parental rights -homeschooling as a whole is a good thing. I know of parents that teach their children at home what ever beliefs they want their children to know. Then there are parents involved in a Joint Custody situation and the mother withdraws the child from public school and claims to homeschool. The mother does not teach the child anything. The father asks for test results, examples of the the child's work and reading lists by way of certified letter. Since there is no schooling going on, there is no reply to the father.

    A child needs to know how to read and write. The mother is not teaching the child. Because the mother has the right to withdraw the child from public school, the mother should be accountable to the father (and the child)for the child's education. We do need an accountability system set up for homeschooling in Texas for Custody Cases.

  2. timthsc says

    There IS an accountability system in Texas for children in custody cases. THSC hears from home school moms who are in joint custody situations where they are being required by a judge to show that education is happening.

    That is the recourse that a father has in that situation or if he has evidence that education is not ongoing he may contact the school district which is responsible for enforcing the compulsory attendance laws.

  3. Anonymous says

    As I read this it seems that logic should follow and ask, "What about accountability for the inneffective institution of public education?" The teachers unions are absolutely despotic. That the current indoctrination of future citizens into a monotonous role of consumer defined existence through the public "education" system is doomed to frustrate truly reasoning citizens and patriots lies at the very heart of the matter. A good citizen must think and reason beyond isolated cases of alleged misconduct. "Homeschooling as a whole is a good thing." Prayerfully consider James 4:17 vis a vis parental rights and your joint custody scenario.

  4. Anonymous says

    I am a TX certified teacher who has taught in public, private, and homeschool. My son is working on his principalship. His textbooks are filled with Marxist/community ideas of common good, community, it takes a village, globalism, and Saul Alinsky/social justice propaganda in promoting the Transformational Effective Schools Movement (OBE) in TX and other states.

  5. Anonymous says

    I am a former public school teacher who would not be allowed by most administrations to use teaching method that have been demonstrated over and over to be successful for the student. Why? Simply stated, because my teaching methods and materials would require me to test each classroom when they are ready and not give all my students the same test as every other teacher of the subject is giving their students on an assigned day. I am old enough to remember when the rule was "test when they are ready", That is still true but public school does not want to subscribe in practice to such a simple rule. So who is unaccountable? Parents who teach to and test to their students' ability and needs level or the public school with their arbitrary schedules?

  6. KAS says

    In most custody cases it is the mother who has been home schooling for some years who loses her right as a parent to home school, generally because the ex husband uses it as a lever against her and the STATE represented by the judges will give precedence to whichever parent's demands gives the STATE the most power–hence in most cases the mother loses her ability to home school her children.

    The courts should not have the power to take from a parent the right to home school–just require a standardized test and if the child is average then the home school parent should retain the right to continue to home school. But in practice that is not how it works.

    A parent who fears their children are not being educated has the right to some verification of education. Sending weekly or monthly packets of copies of the home school work is reasonable IF the other parent is footing the bill for making copies. ONCE a year testing is reasonable, again with the parent who demands proofs footing the bill. And it NOT coming out of child support which usually doesn't cover the food bills.

  7. Anonymous says

    I think that the public schools are a scam you really need to look @ what is really being taught. they are industrializing our children so that we have plenty of 7-11 and McDonald's employees. every time I tried to get involved I was shot down by the administrators. I can say this, that after 12 years of school your child should know how to take a test. because trays all they teach . well that and walking in a straight line. so can I do any worse as god mother with god and his best interests at heart. I don't think so. If all you public school teachers have so much faith in the schools then why aare there 6 teachers in my area. that I am aware of that homeschool their own children?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>