Homeschool Rights

Why homeschooling is an issue that affects every conservative whether they do it or not

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Why homeschooling is an issue that affects every conservative whether they do it or not

There’s a vot­ing block that has received nearly zero atten­tion this elec­tion year from the Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates. Hillary Clin­ton doesn’t have to say much because her pro­gres­sive per­spec­tives are nat­ural and assumed. Don­ald Trump has men­tioned it one time in a sin­gle sen­tence in 16 months. Gary John­son has oddly avoided it alto­gether. Home­school­ing fam­i­lies, who often vote specif­i­cally based upon a candidate’s posi­tion on the issue, have been left in the dark with innu­endo and assump­tions as the only ways for them to for­mu­late an opin­ion. Even the Home School Legal Defense Asso­ci­a­tion, which almost always endorses some­one in elec­tions at every level, is going into the final month unsure of where any­body stands. They haven’t endorsed.

It’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect many Amer­i­cans because such a small per­cent­age in this coun­try take advan­tage of this cru­cial edu­ca­tional option. What peo­ple need to real­ize is that it’s a core issue that indi­rectly affects all Amer­i­cans, con­ser­v­a­tives in par­tic­u­lar. It’s one of the last bas­tions of defense for those of us who believe that the gov­ern­ment should watch our backs and essen­tially leave us alone oth­er­wise. When the gov­ern­ment tells us how we’re allowed to edu­cate our chil­dren, the domi­noes start falling.

This year marks the first in nearly twenty that my fam­ily isn’t home­school­ing one of our chil­dren. Our youngest is ready to make the tran­si­tion to a Chris­t­ian mid­dle school just as her sib­lings did before her. It’s impor­tant to know this because it means I no longer have skin in the game. Unless God grants us another child (we’re not young, but we’re younger than Abra­ham and Sarah), our home­school­ing days are behind us. I no longer have a per­sonal rea­son to fight for school choice, home­school­ing rights, or any other K-​12 ini­tia­tives. How­ever, I’m a con­ser­v­a­tive who sees the big pic­ture. Parental rights are right up there with reli­gious lib­er­ties and gun own­er­ship as core issues that act as a foun­da­tion for every­thing else.

Is Don­ald Trump for home­school­ing rights? Prob­a­bly, though his lack of atten­tion has made many home­school­ers won­der if he is even aware of the issue. Is Gary John­son? Pos­si­bly, though his pro­gres­sive brand of lib­er­tar­i­an­ism as it per­tains to reli­gious lib­er­ties should make us won­der where he really stands on edu­ca­tion. Is Hillary Clin­ton? Cer­tainly not, though as with every­one else she hasn’t dis­cussed the issue. This is an issue for which every can­di­date must make their per­spec­tives clear. Noth­ing implicit; we need an explicit stance that defin­i­tively declares where each can­di­date stands. Why? Because any­one –Repub­li­can, Demo­c­rat, Lib­er­tar­ian, or Inde­pen­dent — who will fail at pro­tect­ing our Con­sti­tu­tional rights will first fail to pro­tect home­school­ing. It’s a har­bin­ger issue. If they let this fall, they can’t be trusted with big­ger problems.

It’s a small issue near the bot­tom of most con­ser­v­a­tives’ check­list, but with such things it’s impor­tant to remem­ber the words of Luke 16:10. He that is faith­ful in that which is least is faith­ful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

There’s a voting block that has received nearly zero attention this election year from the Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to say much because her progressive perspectives are natural and assumed. Donald Trump has mentioned it one time in a single sentence in 16 months. Gary Johnson has oddly avoided it altogether. Homeschooling families, who often vote specifically based upon a candidate’s position on the issue, have been left in the dark with innuendo and assumptions as the only ways for them to formulate an opinion. Even the Home School Legal Defense Association, which almost always endorses someone in elections at every level, is going into the final month unsure of where anybody stands. They haven’t endorsed.

It’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect many Americans because such a small percentage in this country take advantage of this crucial educational option. What people need to realize is that it’s a core issue that indirectly affects all Americans, conservatives in particular. It’s one of the last bastions of defense for those of us who believe that the government should watch our backs and essentially leave us alone otherwise. When the government tells us how we’re allowed to educate our children, the dominoes start falling.

This year marks the first in nearly twenty that my family isn’t homeschooling one of our children. Our youngest is ready to make the transition to a Christian middle school just as her siblings did before her. It’s important to know this because it means I no longer have skin in the game. Unless God grants us another child (we’re not young, but we’re younger than Abraham and Sarah), our homeschooling days are behind us. I no longer have a personal reason to fight for school choice, homeschooling rights, or any other K-12 initiatives. However, I’m a conservative who sees the big picture. Parental rights are right up there with religious liberties and gun ownership as core issues that act as a foundation for everything else.

Is Donald Trump for homeschooling rights? Probably, though his lack of attention has made many homeschoolers wonder if he is even aware of the issue. Is Gary Johnson? Possibly, though his progressive brand of libertarianism as it pertains to religious liberties should make us wonder where he really stands on education. Is Hillary Clinton? Certainly not, though as with everyone else she hasn’t discussed the issue. This is an issue for which every candidate must make their perspectives clear. Nothing implicit; we need an explicit stance that definitively declares where each candidate stands. Why? Because anyone -Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent – who will fail at protecting our Constitutional rights will first fail to protect homeschooling. It’s a harbinger issue. If they let this fall, they can’t be trusted with bigger problems.

It’s a small issue near the bottom of most conservatives’ checklist, but with such things it’s important to remember the words of Luke 16:10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.