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Kevin Anthony Stoda
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I say “mostly” because for the Hobsons (and for many other children and parents in America these days), the decision to home-school or to have children attend other forms of schooling has been a question of choice for several decades. Now, up to 1.5 million Americans are choosing homeschooling over private and public school education. In the case of the Hobson kids, both the boy and the girl chose on their own to enter the public school arena full-time during their high school years—and were encouraged in their choice by their parents. In short, homeschooling can be part of an education program for children. [It need not be a permanent state of affairs for children or family.]

Only one political party in Germany, the Free Democrats (FDP), supports home schooling. The FDP are currently in opposition to the German national government, but the FDP has done twice as well as usual in recent local- and European elections, so the FDP may be on the governing coalition by autumn 2009.

Patrick Meinhardt, education speaker for the FDP notes, “I don’t want to start writing up a lot of new rules for homeschooling. I imagine that as long as some state control over the curriculum and teacher training remains, home schooling should not be restricted any more.” In short, the FDP advocates using the laws on the books for private schools, in order to finally open the door to home-schooling in Germany.

The other German parties, however, generally oppose homeschooling more out of tradition and fear that the teachers and their materials will be substandard. However, another valid worry is the fear that Christian-, Muslim-, fascist-, or other fundamentalist groups will repress the children, especially female children. One Christian Democratic Union (one of the parties of the current German government) notes, “Imagine what Islamic fundamentalists could do here in German! The parents would run the home schools and the girls would never even learn to speak a word of German.”

In some ways, such an argument is a red herring as many of Germany’s youth and parents are not all that happy with the German education system, which has not been keeping up with the times in changes in demographics and work place needs. Home schooling could certainly be a free market means of forcing reforms in the system that Germany has yet to undergo in this millennium in terms of raising youth for the future.

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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