June 27, 2017

Cuban Parents Sentenced, Judge Denounces “Capitalist” Homeschooling

April 26, 2017

Sign the petition to support the Rigals

Mike Donnellyby Mike DonnellyHSLDA Director of Global Outreach

HELP THE RIGAL FAMILY

Ramón and Adya Rigal have been sentenced, but are appealing their conviction. We are asking our members and friends to join us by signing a petition to the Cuban government to respect the rights of parents to homeschool their children and to cease its prosecution of the Rigal family.

SIGN THE PETITION »

Yesterday, a Cuban court sentenced pastor Ramón Rigal to a year in prison for homeschooling his children. Ramón’s wife, Adya, was ordered to spend a year under house arrest.

According to Ramón, authorities used the three-hour trial more as a platform for denouncing alternatives to state education than as a venue for delivering justice.

“They would not let me speak in my defense,” Ramón told me after the Tuesday trial. “I brought evidence that my children were learning—notebooks and materials—[but] they didn’t care.”

No justice in this court

The Rigals decided to homeschool their children earlier this year in order to remove them from an environment where they were being bullied and indoctrinated in the state school system.

In February, the couple were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors for failing to send their children to state schools.

Ramón said he had intended to present a defense at the trial based on Cuba’s constitution and various international human rights treaties the nation has ratified. But his efforts were curtailed as authorities focused on defending the state system.

“When I tried to tell the judge about my evidence or to say that the government was acting unfairly, the judge told me that if I continued to speak she would have me removed from the courtroom,” Ramón said.

The judge also refused to hear testimony from a dozen witnesses Ramón had assembled to speak on his behalf. “Whenever I tried to bring up one of my witnesses,” Ramón said, “the judge would tell them to ‘get out of here.’”

The court relied instead on what appeared to be scripted presentations from state employees drafted as witnesses: a school director, school psychologist, teachers and a juvenile probation officer. The prosecutor asked them all the same basic questions and received the same answers: that only trained teachers are qualified to inculcate socialist values.

In closing remarks, the government prosecutor summarized the case this way: Homeschooling “is not allowed in Cuba because it has a capitalist foundation.”

Ramón’s account of the trial was distressing, but not surprising. It was just about what one expects from the communist courts of Cuba—anything but justice. Their jurisprudence reflects a disregard for accepted principles of due process and the rule of law, as well as Cuba’s international human rights obligations.

The outcome could have been worse; the Rigals faced up to eight years in prison and risked the state taking custody of their children. They were also given three days to appeal. However, finding attorneys willing to help them challenge a legal system overseen by the ruling Communist Party presents a major difficulty.

Communist governments do not appreciate lawyers who are willing to defend people whose human rights have been violated. Officials in communist China recently arrested hundreds of lawyers who were then accused of disloyalty for denouncing abuses by the government.

A courageous example

“This is a great injustice,” said Ramón. “They are trying to force us to send our children only to state schools—not having the option for the children to be taught at home. They should respect the right that parents have based on the human right to teach their children and to respect their faith and the right to homeschool.”

His wife added that she fears not only for the future of their family but for the congregation Ramón pastors.

“I am worried for my children and my husband,” Adya said. “We are only trying to do what is best for our children. I do not want to be separated from my husband. Our children need him. Our church needs our pastor. My children are very sad and worried.”

Although Ramón would prefer to remain in Cuba, he hopes that the United States may offer refuge to his family since the Cuban authorities are determined to jail him rather than allow him to homeschool his children.

Home School Legal Defense Association will continue to support the Rigals, and we encourage the global homeschooling community to affirm the parents’ right to teach their children at home.

The Rigal family are a courageous example to all of us who enjoy the freedom to homeschool our children. They are standing up to a totalitarian government that—no surprise—represses home education despite having signed international agreements urging respect for freedom of conscience and parental rights. Democratic countries like Germany and Sweden that similarly repress home education should question their policies, which are as draconian as communist Cuba.

Freedom is a precious gift that must be protected and passed on to future generations. It is a privilege to serve families like the Rigals and others whose courage and example inspire all of us to reflect on the blessings of liberty that we enjoy.

You can send a message to the Cuban government by signing this petition calling on them to respect the Rigal family’s right to homeschool their children.

HELP THE RIGAL FAMILY

Ramón and Adya Rigal have been sentenced, but are appealing their conviction. We are asking our members and friends to join us by signing a petition to the Cuban government to respect the rights of parents to homeschool their children and to cease its prosecution of the Rigal family.

SIGN THE PETITION »

Read more here: https://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Cuba/201704260.asp

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Why did you choose to home-school?

Stuff is asking the question:

Why did you choose to home-school?

education

Do you home school your children?

Seven per cent of New Zealand’s school population are taught at home. Last year, 5558 children from nearly 3000 families were home-schooled.

Canterbury has the third largest home-school community of 764, after Auckland’s 1214, and Waikato’s 818.

Home-school parents need approval and regular checks from the Ministry of Education, and must educate their children to the standard they would receive at a registered school.

So what is it about home schooling that attracts parents? Quality time, better managed health needs, freedom to individualise learning?

Or is it a perceived failing of the public education system? What does home schooling offer that public school cannot?

Do you home school your family? What was the reason behind your decision? What challenges have you faced since home schooling your children? Share your story with us in 300 words or more.
View all contributions:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/why-did-you-choose-to-home-school

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

 

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Home schooling: 818 Waikato children learn at home

They’ve been to kindy and one tried school, but the Morrison kids like learning at home.

And there’s a school roll’s worth of kids learning like them in the Waikato.

Nationally, there were about 5600 home schoolers in 2015 – including 818 in the Waikato and 1214 in Auckland.

STUFF is asking the question:

Why did you choose to home school?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Home schooling Hamilton mum Loral Morrison doesn’t know where to start on stereotypes.

“There’s an assumption you drive a mini bus and have 17 children… Your kids all wear three-quarter pants and jerseys that are too small and have no social skills.”

Hamilton woman Loral Morrison home schools her three kids. She's pictured in 'the library' with Jacob, 4, (left) and Zeke, 8.

GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

Hamilton woman Loral Morrison home schools her three kids. She’s pictured in ‘the library’ with Jacob, 4, (left) and Zeke, 8.

 Many assume all home schoolers are Christian – the Morrisons are.

Loral says balancing three kids’ learning needs is like solving a Rubik’s cube, but it’s still a low child-to-teacher ratio.

All her children spent time at kindy and started home education about age four.

Kayla Morrison's school desk is in her bedroom. The 12-year-old tried school for a year when she was eight but prefers ...

GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

Kayla Morrison’s school desk is in her bedroom. The 12-year-old tried school for a year when she was eight but prefers learning at home.

 Kayla, now 12, went to school for about a year when youngest brother Jacob was born.

“Kayla was reading around the age of three, speaking very early, just a bright kid,” Loral said.

“The reason we pulled her out of school again, we saw a drastic decline.”

Kayla, then eight, said she wasn’t challenged.

“Sometimes [at school] we would have really easy subjects and books that I might have been reading when I was six.”

There are as many reasons for home schooling as there are families and kids in them: quality time, better managed health needs, freedom to individualise the learning.

The Morrisons use a curriculum bought from the US.

“We try and have all of our books done by lunchtime, which is getting a bit more challenging now that there’s three [kids],” Loral said.

“It’s a little bit like a Rubik’s cube, changing around and making it work.”

They don’t have set hours during the week but include regular extracurricular activities and break for school holidays.

Parents or guardians who want to home school need Ministry of Education approval for each child, who must be taught “at least as regularly and as well as they would be in a registered school”.

Once granted, the parent or guardian is legally responsible for the child’s education.

Financial support for a single child is $743 a year.

Waikato’s The Home Educators Network (THEN) liaises with the ministry through Sheena Harris.

It has about 100 members with a rural – urban spread.

Harris has noticed a slight increase in people who choose to teach their kids after diagnoses of special needs such as ADHD and autism.

And while she knows of a couple of dads, it’s mostly mums who are the main teacher for their kids.

For more information on home schooling in the Waikato, contact Sheena Harris on sheenaharris.cm@btinternet.com

– Stuff

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

Please like & share:

Arthur Family Orchestra

The Arthur family from left: Shantae, Marie, Brontie, Kayla, Hayley Smith, (Nick's fiancée) Nick, Caleb, Brianna, Josiah and Sophia. Missing is dad Blair and eldest daughter Caitlin. PHOTO/LIN FERGUSON
The Arthur family from left: Shantae, Marie, Brontie, Kayla, Hayley Smith, (Nick’s fiancée) Nick, Caleb, Brianna, Josiah and Sophia. Missing is dad Blair and eldest daughter Caitlin. PHOTO/LIN FERGUSON

In a long dining room the windows and french doors open onto farm land and an orchard where labrador escapee Jack is snuffling against the fence.

Pigs shuffle round a paddock and sheep wander under the trees; the Arthur family’s day is underway.

Marie and Blair Arthur’s nine children range from 25 to 6 years-old, they all live at home, are all home schooled and are passionate about their home, their parents and each other.

Three go off to work, so that leaves six at home on the farm in Marton, situated in the Manawatu-Wanganui region.

Described in the Marton community as a “musical prodigy”, eldest Caitlin is a violin and piano tutor and also teaches at Nga Tawa Diocesan School. She also instructs her younger brothers and sisters in music.

Read a lot more about the Arthur family here: https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://nchenz.us3.list-manage2.com/track/click?u%3Db416e2b4275353dcb9a29c8c0%26id%3D5503ac4d06%26e%3Dc730ed307e&source=gmail&ust=1492046746561000&usg=AFQjCNFJVjV3indVuADqrFrfW-aNgqorNQ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

 

Please like & share:

Growing Knowledge pays

Alex Dixon’s passion for gardening has paid off in spades.

The 7-year-old Hampden boy recently won the best garden in the child category of the Yates Spring Veggie Growing Challenge, receiving $500 plus a hamper of Yates products.

Educated at home and a first-time entrant, Alex was keen to learn more about gardening as part of his science projects and spent hours researching in order to create the optimum growing conditions for his vegetables.

“I learned about different soil conditions, micro and macro nutrients, pH testing of soil and climate effects on germination so that when I planted my seeds they would all grow really well,”said Alex.

He successfully grew a range of vegetables including lettuce, Chinese cabbage, spinach, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, spring onions, red onions and his favourite, courgettes.

Alex’s mother, Kirsten, said the competition had been wonderful for his learning and just for having fun.

“Alex got so much encouragement from the other gardeners in the competition through the online blogging and he also connected with another boy his age in Northland and they did a seed swap. The sharing of knowledge from the more experienced gardeners really helped Alex sort out a couple of problems he had along the way.”

One of those problems was every gardener’s nemesis – aphids.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.oamarumail.co.nz/community/growing-knowledge-pays/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

Please like & share:

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