by Craig Smith
In the past, when issues of national importance to home schoolers have arisen, such as when the Ministry of Education wanted to saddle us all with individual home school charters, Peter Butler, David Worboys of NZ Christian Academy, Michael Drake of Carey College Correspondence Programme, Glenys Jackson of Keystone and Craig Smith of CHomeS would advise each other of possible responses. From there we would each fire off a notice though our individual networks suggesting a course of action.
This strategy seems to work and also maintains the individual indepedence of all parties concerned. It depends upon most home schoolers having some contact with these various organisations, either directly or though some other home schooler or support group. It depends upon home schoolers taking the responsibility of keeping themselves informed as to the issues involved and the developments taking place. It depends upon home schoolers seeking the Lord’s wisdom as to what stance or conviction they should have regarding the issues.
It depends upon home schoolers being ready and willing to act when the time comes.
It is a strategy that does not look for every opportunity to wade into a public debate, but instead reserves its ammunition and energies for fighting the battles that really count. It is a strategy that sees our strength in our diversity, unified through a loose yet effective network. This strength can manifest itself in the form of hundreds of individual responses to the politicians and powers that be from individual home schooling families and local support groups as well as from a few national organisations.
This strategy does not see it as an advantage to have one large body which endeavours to speak for all home schoolers. This would be very convenient for the bureaucrats, but would it serve the best interests and accurately reflect the mind of each and every very unique home schooling family? And let’s be practical here: wouldn’t HUNDREDS of letters and faxes from every home school and support group in the country piled on the Minister’s desk be far more intimiit … I mean, far more effective than one single letter from a single home schooling group, no matter how representative it may be?
This is a strateg which relies upon both unity and diversity, just as the Body of Christ and the Holy Trinity each reflect a close unity yet an amazing diversity. We believe the essential unity of all home schoolers is reflected in the diversity
of responses which, though many, still express the desk that home schooling’s integrity be maintained with a minimum of necesary government involvement.
In the present case, let every support group and every family study the issues involved and keep itself informed. Perhaps appoint a political watchdog committee within your support group. Develop friendly working relations with local MoE and ERO people. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. ”
(Your comments upon this strategy are warmly invited.)