November 28, 2014


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Return Domenic Johansson to His Parents – putting pressure in Sweden

To create some more pressure in Sweden…

It say’s something like,

If the CPS didn’t exist, I would still be able to smile for real, and be able to say mom and dad for real, and I would live in a real family.

I am one of thousand children in Sweden who are living in a state of emotional torture, because of severe corruption within the CPS system.

The last thing I said to my father was, “What I fear the most is to go back to the foster family”, that was November 2010, now the connection between us is totally broken..

Plz share, and if possible, translate and copy, perhaps fix the grammar a bit.

All the best and so much more!

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

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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Growing Movement Hit by Statist Backlash – except NZ

Michael Donnelly
HSLDA Director for Global Outreach

The Wunderlich family

MIKE DONNELLY PHOTO

The Wunderlich family is determined to stay in Germany and continue fighting for homeschool freedom. Their case exemplifies the way many foreign governments are attempting to restrict a growing movement.

HSLDA’s director for global outreach reflects on the tragic stories of families bearing the brunt of government hostility towards homeschooling. He argues that such repression cannot be tolerated in free societies and cannot solve what some authorities view as the “problem” of parents seeking educational freedom. Such hostility only reveals a dangerous totalitarian philosophy whereas new research shows that home education produces an important social benefit that critics argue is impossible—greater tolerance.

• • •

As the homeschool movement continues to grow rapidly in the United States, and even more rapidly abroad, some families who choose this non-traditional path of education have sometimes faced overwhelming resistance from state power. In Europe particularly, but not exclusively, statist forces are exerting greater control over families—and not just in education.

For homeschooling families however, the effects of state interference can be intense. Some have been forced into exile; children have been taken. A few parents have even been jailed over conscientious objection to government control over the education of their children. In free societies such a forceful reaction to home education reveals a totalitarian desire to control society and disdain for basic freedoms.

However, brave families facing such consequences have shown that force will not prevent them from doing what they think is best for their children. Their example and experience is a lesson for all parents—whether or not they homeschool.

Families Under Fire

Read more about these families in this link…

In Germany, the Wunderlich family – click here

Finland…Jonas Himmelstrand – click here

In Northern Ireland…Monica O’Connor – click here

New South Wales, Australia - click here

In the United States - click here

Meanwhile in New Zealand (not included in the link above) we have had the Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings with Support Groups and the Problem Solving Survey which all home educators have been invited to fill in (deadline closed at 9:00am today). It would seem that the MoE is interested in home education in New Zealand in a good way. They have been asking us what is working well between the MoE and home educators, what is not working and how can they change in the future.

Home Education Foundation’s Problem Scoping Survey

Barbara Smith’s Problem Scoping Survey

From the MoE: “After 3 October 2014, we will be collating all the feedback from the home schooling sector and organisations involved in home schooling.  We will summarise what is working well and anything that people would like to see changed. A copy of all the feedback and the summary of this collated feedback will be provided to the home schooling sector by the end of November 2014.  We will seek feedback from the sector on this document to ensure we have accurately captured what is working well and what people would like to see changed.  The feedback we receive from the home schooling sector will inform us of the next steps.  Any proposed next steps will be provided to the home schooling sector for comment also by the end of November 2014.”

We look forward to seeing feedback and the summary of the collated feedback and the next steps at the end of November 2014. We are anticipating having an even better environment for home educating in New Zealand as opposed to the Countries mentioned above.

Does Democracy Demand Standardization?

Although the vast majority of research continues to show that homeschooling is an effective means of educating children and yields positive academic, social and civic results, some of the most vocal critics of home education still assert that children can only be socialized in government-controlled education systems. These critics, which includes the German Supreme Court, argue that more control over home and private education is necessary to force the general population into exposure with others, ostensibly so that children can be taught to get along with those who may look, talk, act or think differently. Somehow, apparently, if we can make everyone get together we can make everyone get along.

Some suggest that pluralism and democracy require total state control over education in order to ensure democracy’s survival. Such a view embraces the idea that children are the mere creature of the state, an idea the United States Supreme Court rejected nearly a century ago. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter, parental rights remain threatened by overreaching bureaucracies motivated by the desire for more control.

But, looking at it from another angle, what if minorities do not want to “integrate” (the Amish, for example)? And what exactly is meant by “integration?” Is it the state’s role to force people to relinquish distinctive attributes like language, culture, religion, or philosophy that are important to them? That is not to say that a democracy should have to sacrifice equal protection of the laws (such as in requiring the equal treatment of women) or that a common language be used (like English) or even a common culture (whatever that may look like). As our American experience with pluralism unfolds, it is not without great controversy in some areas.

Nevertheless, in a free and democratic society the state oversteps its legitimate boundaries when it commandeers the education system as a means of “integrating minorities” into the “mainstream” and only allows for the teaching of state-approved standards, values or curriculum, e.g. the Common Core.

Private education is an important check on the development of totalitarian tendencies, and democracies should foster private education, not repress it. In the United States an innovative form of private education is home education, which has grown dramatically from virtually zero children in the 1970s to over 2 million in 2014.

As it has grown, proponents of public education bemoan the growing population of children who are not “integrated.” They argue that such a trend is a foreboding portent of the demise of our pluralistic democracy. But if there is any evidence to support the claim, they don’t point to any.

Homeschooling Promotes Tolerance

On the contrary, thanks to the work of educational doctoral student (and public school graduate) Albert Cheng, there is now important evidence that counters these claims. In fact, Cheng’s study, “Does Homeschooling or Private Schooling Promote Political Intolerance? Evidence from a Christian University,” suggests that home education is actually a force that yields more, not less tolerance.

It appears that the impact of parental involvement in education also plays a role in contributing to a healthy view of pluralism that our Founders envisioned.

Cheng evaluated hundreds of students at an evangelical Christian university and grouped students by their exposure to home education. Using an accepted definition of political tolerance, which is the willingness to extend civil liberties to those with whom you disagree, Cheng found that the more exposure a student had to homeschooling, the more politically tolerant he was likely to be. The study was small, but significant, and is the first scientific research showing that not only are the critics wrong, but that the reverse may be true.

Cheng’s research points to a potential connection between a child’s educational environment and his or her likelihood to exhibit tolerance for difference. Educational research has long shown the important role parents play in their children’s education. It appears that the impact of parental involvement in education also plays a role in contributing to a healthy view of pluralism that our Founders envisioned. Read a review by Dr. Brian Ray, a leading home education researcher.

Cheng’s small study will undoubtedly be subject to more scrutiny, but these early results show what many intuitively know: the family is a safe and nurturing place where children can learn and grow with confidence. When children learn and grow with confidence they are more likely to be sure of themselves and comfortable in tolerating difference. At the end of the day, no society founded on pluralism and self-government should tolerate hostility to private education or home education. Especially when common sense, now proven, even if in a small study, reveals homeschooling delivers a foundational element required for peaceful self-governance—true political tolerance.

Pluralism worth protecting appreciates that different people have different views but can still live together and self-govern peacefully. A system that represses educational freedom and denies that parents, not the government, know and act on a child’s best interest is a far graver threat to republican form of self-government. Policies in countries like Germany, Sweden and others that do not tolerate home education reveal a statist mindset that undermines their status as truly free societies; such policies should be changed. And those who criticize home education as creating intolerant, narrow-minded graduates should look at the evidence and re-evaluate their own narrow, and often overly politically motivated perspectives.

• • •

Protect Your Family

We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

To read the whole article click here…

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

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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Please sign this petition is support of Monica who is in jail for “failing to cause her kids to attend school”.

As many of you know Monica O’Connor was arrested by the Gardai and taken to Mountjoy Prison for “failing to cause her kids to attend school”. For background read an earlier article here…  and from her home educated daughter here...

Now there is a change.org petition that we can sign in support of Monica here…

Petitioning Jan O’ Sullivan

This petition will be delivered to:

Minister For Education;
Jan O’ Sullivan
Child and Family Agency
Pat McSitric
J O’Sullivan(Irish Education Minister),Child and Family Agency: Protect Constitutional right to home educate without having to apply

On 6th June 2013, Monica O’Connor and Eddie O’Neill were fined 2000 Euro for failing to cause their children to attend school. They are home schooling and as they are foster parents and home schooled a foster child, they were assessed in respect of that child. It was agreed that they met the undefined ‘certain minimum education’. Despite this they were issued with a School Attendance Notice regarding some of their own children. They had informed the Education Board (at the time) that they were home schooling.Under Article 42 of Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Irish Constitution) the State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children.
What this means is that we have the given right to home educate. However, the Child and family Agency under the Education (Welfare Act) 2000 deems that parents have to ‘apply’ for their children to be placed on the national register of home educators. We argue that this is unconstitutional and families should not have to ‘apply’ for a ‘right’. Registration should not be an application. The Constitution must be upheld and protected. Home education does not need permission.

So please sign the petition here…

https://www.change.org/p/j-o-sullivan-irish-education-minister-child-and-family-agency-protect-constitutional-right-to-home-educate-without-having-to-apply?utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

For background read an earlier article here… 

and from her home educated daughter here..

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

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 22 April 2014:  Two years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

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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Monica arrested today and sent to prison for “failing to cause her kids to attend school”

Monica O’Connor  was arrested this morning by the Gardai and taken to Mountjoy Prison for “failing to cause her kids to attend school”. For background read an earlier story here…

Today Monica’s daughter Emmet has written about this. We don’t often hear from children in this situation.  With Emmet’s permission this is what she as written:

As most of you will be aware by now, my Mam was arrested this morning by the Gardai, and brought to Mountjoy Prison for ‘Failing to cause her kids to attend school’. If any of you have met any of my siblings, or my parents in fact, I’m sure you would agree that there is no education issue present there. I boast to have had the best experience, regarding my education, that I could possibly have had. That is not to say my education was, or is, better than anyone else’s, but for me it was perfect!
To me, I think we were scapegoats for the NEWB, (or what is now the Child and Family Agency,) to frighten any potential Home-Edders into automatically assessing with the board rather than going through the same lengthy, draining, court proceedings that we were subject to.

The crux of the problem is this: Home Educators in this country are currently treated as though their kids are truants, hence the assessment process.

What we would like to see is a change in governmental policy, whereby some from of liaising body is set up between the CFA and Home Educators. This would comprise people who are experienced with regard to Home Ed. and some Home Educators themselves. There would be no registration involved. All Home Educators would notify this body that they were home educating. Then this board could provide support, and possibly: funding for field trips, museum cards, or even scholarships to Home Educating kids, and treat them as a separate educational entity.

In this way, if there were some issue with child welfare or educational requirements, the agency would be in be better informed than the governing bodies currently are, and then be able to take it to the CFA, who might then see the need intervene.
Because the system we have in place not only wastes its, already, limited resources persecuting people like my mother (who they have actually assessed, and approved, for the education of a foster-child we had living with us,) but they also don’t get to see any genuine truancy or welfare/education issues that are present in this country.

The assessors don’s have to meet the kids; they don’t have to come into the home.
They can meet either parent in a Library, a Hotel Reception, a Cafe, etc.

This means that the kids who are in danger, and who do require the actions of the government, and possibly the intervention of the Gardai, could be sitting at home hungry while their mother/father signs the papers.

I think most will agree: this does not make sense!

In our case I am fully confident that the persecuting body did not suspect their to be any welfare or educational issue in our family. And yet they subjected us, (and themselves,) to over a year of court proceedings, which has done nothing but drain our resources, time, and energy, not to mention create worry, uncertainty, and fear, (in our family at any rate,) and that’s not to mention the whole ‘sentencing my Ma to jail’ thing.

I wrote this in the hope that those of you who were not aware of this case, might hear of it and spread the word, and those who already were aware, might gain some insight and understanding, as it is not a very black and white.

I feel I must say that I don’t believe for a second that the governmental bodies at work in this situation, those who worked in the NEWB, or CFA, are inherently bad, or nasty people. They are people: they get up everyday, have their ups and downs, most probably do their best to help out who they can when they can, but they are operating within a system that is inherently flawed in it’s design and management and is wasting it’s resources, not to mention those of the lawyers, judges, and Gardai, persecuting the wrong people.

I’d also just like to make a big shout to Mum and my Dad, for being so brave and standing up for what they believe in.

And also to all who have given/offered support be it a text message a call, a prayer, I can’t adequately express how thankful we all are for the amazing kindness people have shown us over the past few months. From our closest friends, to people half the world away who we have never met it really means so much.

Peace and Love!

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 22 April 2014:  Two years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

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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A Shift in the Homeschooling Movement

This is an excellent article about Home schooling in the USA.  A little has rubbed off on us here in New Zealand. I think Israel has some wise comments about the future of the home schooling movement worldwide – particularly for Christians. It is a long article but definitely worth reading.

 

 By Israel Wayne

a-shift-in-the-homeschooling-movement

Advise at the end of the article:

A Final Word to the Old Guard and the New Arrivals
To the old guard, in the years to come, you are going to see a lot of changes in the homeschooling movement that you won’t like. These new homeschooling families do not resemble The Waltons (from 1970?s TV), and they may dress, act, and believe quite differently than you do. The fact is, they are going to be the new majority. Increasingly, you will find your lifestyle and values becoming more rare and less tolerated culturally. You are going to have to find a way to deal with that. My suggestion is to live well, proselytize less on lifestyle distinctives, and learn to love these new, younger families.

On a personal level, the more that I hang out with these “Millennial Hipsters” (if I may be so bold as to affectionately label them that!), I really like most of them. I think they are sincere, love their children, and want to follow God. They are just REALLY averse to following a list of rules that they don’t find outlined clearly in Scripture. And I don’t blame them for that.

As a side note, please consider this article on some guidelines for navigating issues of Christian liberty and lifestyle preference with those who don’t share your values.

To the Millennial Hipsters, welcome to homeschooling! I’d like to say that we want to hear from you and we welcome your input. You are making (in my personal opinion) the best possible choice for the future of your children. I would encourage you to be kind and gracious to these conservative families who may look more to you like something off Little House on the Prairie than a family living in the new Millennium. You may not get their decisions or motives, and that’s okay. Ask them to tell you about their journey. I think you’ll be blessed and will be given a lot to think about. You may find that you have a lot of commonality with their motives, if not their actual lifestyle preferences and decisions.

I would also encourage you Hipsters to do yourself a favor and research the history of the homeschooling movement (and for Kiwis A Brief History of Home Education in New Zealand by Craig Smith) Find out how we got here, and why. Learn about the hundreds of families who sacrificed and risked much to pave the way for you to legally home educate your children. Be willing to give the gray heads in this movement a listen. You may not end up agreeing with them, but I think you’ll be the wiser for having done so.

For the foreseeable future, there is no place for homeschooling to go but straight up in terms of numeric growth. I hope that we can learn how to learn from the mistakes of our past, without running headlong into mistakes in the opposite direction. We HAVE made a lot of progress in this movement. It’s not all been bad. We have needed a correction, and we’ve gotten it. Now it’s time to walk humbly and mercifully into the future. Keep Christ the center. Love each other. That’s my plea.

Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker. He is the Director of Family Renewal, LLC, and the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****
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