Should the state require teacher certification for parents who homeschool their children?

Yes. Regardless of the setting, students should always have professional, certified teachers educating them.
36% (329 votes)
No. Parents have the right to educate their own children without the unnecessary burden of earning teacher certification.
61% (569 votes)
None of the above. (Comment below.)
3% (28 votes)
Total votes: 926

Comments (172)

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Melissa (not verified)

RE: Homeschoolers

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I am a certified public middle school teacher who who did in fact vote "NO" to the question of whether or not home school parents should be certified. I believe that if parents wish to take this route for their children I applaud them, especially for having and taking the time to do it.
On the other hand, I would like to correct you in saying that public school students do learn to become positive contributors to society. Yes, there are some teachers out there who are only concerned with themselves. Please, however, do not fail to mention the many many many other teachers who spend countless hours outside of their regular paid schedule to ensure that the youth of our nation are ready for society.
Public school, homeschool, private school, we're all in this together, all in this to raise adults who as you state can become positive contributors to society.
I'm also a mom. I've taught my son to use the potty, to walk, to talk, and now I'm working on teaching my daughter. My children will go to a public school and they are loved and know how to love.

patience (not verified)

Home School

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Well said ,thumbs up!

John Traxler (not verified)


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You see, ladies & gentlemen, homeschoolers (Parents & children) know that the single most important life skill is love. These parents teach their children because they care about them as individuals with a desire to make sure that they learn to be positive contributors to society. I not so sure that the same can be said for children attending a public school. There are teachers out there that are only concerned about doing their time and going home; No more, No Less. Oh, and by the way, Pay your Union Dues too!
Teaching a child to walk and even use the 'potty' is just as important as learning to read and do math problems. Bravo! Homeschool parents, Bravo!


Heather (not verified)

For Homeschooling

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I have read almost every comment on here and I just wonder, for those who think a parent can not educate their children at home without certification, I would like to list things that parents do that a certified teacher does not do unless they are a parent....
1. Teach your child to sit up
2. Teach your child to crawl
3. Teach your child to walk'
4. Teach your child to climb stairs
5. Teach your child how to talk
6. Teach your child how to use a spoon and fork
7. Teach your child how to use a sippy cup
8. Teach your child how to color
9. Teach your child their name
10. Potty training!!!!

I could go on forever of the things a parent teaches their child. And they do it all with no prior knowledge on how to show their children these things. Parents lay the ground work. Yes there are great teachers out there who can do wonders with the typical child, but there are others who let things go by if they have trouble.

I know some children who are very slow learners and yet instead of taking more time with them so they can be just as educated, they are thrown in a class that says they are slow and lets them pass each grade so they can get rid of them in a few years. I have seen this in several states so I know it is not just one school.

I have a 9 month old, my first child, and she already knows the difference between a cat and dog, crawled early, walked early, sat up early, and already says 8 to 10 words and at least 2 phrases, plus is learning sign language and understands no.

I did not know how to show my child these things when she was first born, but learning how she learns, I can adapt to show her things to teach her. I am well educated and will adapt our learning as she gets older and give everything she needs to be a well educated little girl that can make good decisions.

For those that don't think parents can do this, please email me so that we can make plans so you can come and potty train my daughter, because obviously I can not teach my child how to use the potty without state certification.

Heather (not verified)

actually in most states and

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actually in most states and cities the education is payed for by school and property taxes. not many homeschool parents are asking for their money back for the terrible job done by many schools. i plan to homeschool my daughter not for religious reasons or to shelter her from bad kids, but so that she can get the best education possible.

Heather (not verified)

Classroom Expenses

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What is the point in sending your child to school, only to have them come home after a long day, to have to sit longer for the parents to teach them what they didn't have time for in school? They might as well stay home and have their parent teach them one on one and then have the rest of the day to play or do extra curricular activities.

Being a certified teacher doesn't mean squat. I have seen my brother and my brother in law struggle in school. They both were on the younger side and struggled with reading. I have seen them both come home, in different grades, with papers given as homework with no instruction on how to do the assignment and the teachers not teaching them how to do it while in school. They are both from different schools in DIFFERENT STATES!!!

I have been in a school to watch my youngest brother, when in first grade, read a story he was being taught. When he got to a word he couldn't "remember" (kangaroo) the teacher told him, "remember it's the 'k' word". I was appalled. I was only in high school at the time and yet I could teach him better how to read. The teacher who has been teaching for a long time, simply had them memorize the story. Learning to read is not memorizing what the first letter of a word is to read the word.

I have a 9 month old daughter who has been advanced for her age since the day she was born. I plan on homeschooling her because I know I can do a better job than most of these teachers. Yes there are some really good teachers that I had as a student, most who will still say hi to you when they see you on the street and remember your name nearly 20 years later. However, I will not risk my daughter's education on the chances that every year she gets the best teacher.

No one knows a child better than their parent! Yes some parents do homeschooling for the wrong reasons. I child does not need to sheltered from other kids, though I agree that children now are not taught morals, respect, or discipline. I have been around children that at age 9 will say something inappropriate right in front of an adult with no regard to getting trouble. I do not want my daughter exposed to that. As for sex education, I had the sex class in 8th grade and yet waited till I was 20 with my baby's father. That was the way I was raised, and parents now are too scared of spanking their kids or yelling, that they do nothing and hope their kids will grow up right. Yet when they are bigger and hit them, they just push them away and rather not be around their own children because of how they grew up!

Parents who want to homeschool their children shouldn't need to pay to become a teacher, when we are already paying to educate our children. We simply want the best for them and mommy knows best.

Sarah Carpenter (not verified)

A Product of Homeschooling

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My parents were one of the first families in Northwest Alabama to begin homeschooling (one of the first ten to fifteen families, I believe). We entered into this educational project shortly after my sixth birthday, so now almost exactly nineteen years ago, with no teacher training, incomplete college degrees, and a limited budget (my father was a blue-collar worker who subsequently became disabled, while my mother had quit her "pink-collar" job concurrent with my birth). Neither my sister (younger) nor I ever attended a public or private school until I began my freshman year at a state college in the fall of 2001.

Both my sister and I earned academic scholarships. She is still in college, earning excellent grades. I graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Alabama just over two years ago, with bachelor's degrees in English and Spanish. I received my Master of Arts in Spanish from the University of Alabama this spring, and became employed as a teacher at a private high school within three months of graduating. I don't know the national statistics, but based on the evidence around me, I'd say the two of us have done pretty well.

After a few weeks of teaching high school, even in the relative freedom of non-public schooling, I can say with deep conviction that I would unhesitatingly homeschool my children: not because I believe the school for which I work does anything less than what is humanly possible to provide an excellent education background for the students who attend it, but because every day I teach I am frustrated. I can't give these kids what I had.

What did I have? The ability to develop as an individual, without pressure to conform. We teach to the "norm." We can't help it: not even the best teacher can take a room full of 20+ students and tailor each lesson to each of them, timing the progress, following their personal interests. Even in a Spanish class, like mine, where the freedom to express oneself is important, keeping order is a priority. When I was being homeschooled, we would frequently throw out the day's lessons plans for two or three hours at a time to investigate some topic that had come up and seemed interesting. One day we were too excited about reading Plato's Dialogue's to do anything else; another day we just couldn't stop researching black hole theory. That sort of unrestricted love of learning was going on all the time, when I was growing up. My mother set us free to fall in love with knowledge, and to get carried away by it. It was chaotic and hectic and passionate and wonderful, and it just wouldn't be feasible to do that in a school classroom.

I said all of that to say this: court mandates and societal debates about whether parents should be trained as teachers miss the point. Parents aren't going to be anything like schoolteachers, and I see no reason why they should be. Most of the teachers I have known are proof positive that you don't have to be an expert in a subject to teach it. My sister and I both surpassed my mother in certain fields long before we earned our high school diplomas, and we never suffered from it. Most of what is taught in teaching programs relates to how to present material while managing a classroom full of students, which, unless you have more than a dozen children, is irrelevant for homeschooling, because you don't have a classroom full of students anyway. What the state wants and teacher training programs instruct you to create is a "product" that is as conformist as possible, the "good," quiet child who thinks inside the box, colors inside the lines, and doesn't ask the difficult questions. Parents have a truer focus on helping the individual to achieve his or her fullest potential, and the state has no business interfering with that. If the state is concerned with educational quality among homeschool families, I believe the facts speak for themselves. The real question to ask is: What is your educational goal, a enactment of 1984 or a generation of free-thinking, responsible human beings who are well-equipped to deal with the challenges of contemporary society?

John T. (not verified)

Admissions Test

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If your assertion that college admissions testing be the metric for evaluating success of a homeschool child, we should then eliminate all public education since not every child gains entrance to college. Admissions testing is not a valid evaluation method.

John Traxler (not verified)


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The local Educrats have no business sticking their noses any farther than they do now. The extent of their 'oversight' ends at the property line. The real, underlying issue is homeschoolers are performing above the NCLB standards in the absence of 'Qualified' educators. That indicates there may be a problem with the status quo school systems. I believe Heismann Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, debunks the myth that homeschooled children cannot socialize or compete in the 'real world.'

katy (not verified)

Should Parents Be Certified To Teach?

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I totally agree with what Kaya has to say. Why is it that my sister has to go through years of schooling to become a teacher when if she only had kids she'd instantly be a teacher? I am not saying that parents should have to do through years of schooling but they at least should be held accountable for what they are teaching theyre kids. I believe that some, not all, kids being homeschooled are socially deprived. Some stay home all day and arent even able to be around kids their own age. I know someone who does just this. She even gives reasons why you should homeschool and most included sheltering her children from everything. What does she think is going to happen when they grow up and get a brain and start thinking for themselves? I had a cousin whose parents never let her watch tv, she wasnt allowed to do anything outside of church and they kept such a tight reign on her that when she turned 18 the first thing she did was move in with her boyfriend. A lot of good all that sheltering did.

I am disgusted with the way people portray the public school system. I am very lucky to have my son in a school which has a very involved PTA, which I am a member, and GREAT teachers. In fact I kept my son home tuesday and his teacher actually called my cell to make sure that he was alright. I said yes we just wanted to have a day with his grandmother. Just the fact that she called made me feel like I am right in my pursuit of being a public school advocate. It is so important for us as parents to get and stay involved with whats going on at our kids' schools and legislature in our states.

We owe ir to our kids to know what we are doing. Whether thats homeschooling or not.

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