Homeschooling & Private Schooling
This article is part of a series of answers to questions submitted to by the Nashua, NH community leading to the up to the November 5, 2019 municipal election.
I believe in parent rights.
We know what is best for our family. If you want to embrace opportunities for travel outside the typical school year break schedule; if your child has an academic need that cannot be met through the traditional education model; if you want to incorporate religious beliefs into your school day – homeschool or parochial school may be right for your family. However, that choice comes with a new level of responsibility to ensure that both families and schools are in compliance with New Hampshire State Code 193.1, et seq., 193-A, et seq., which says that students between the ages of 6 and 16 must have:
“Planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities including curriculum and instruction in science, math, language, government, history, health, reading, writing and spelling, history of U.S. and New Hampshire constitution and exposure to and appreciation of art and music; notification and evaluation…” (emphasis added)
That is A LOT of material to cover! Not to mention the necessity of whole child-centered education in this modern age when both parents are working more and kids are under so much competitive pressure to excel. In addition to learning information, they need an environment that supports: working with other people, time-management and organization, following directions, and developing the self-control needed to function in a civilized society. Teachers, parents, and law-makers have a massive responsibility to prepare our kids not only for global market success, but to follow us as the next generation of leadership here in Nashua.
As a member of the Nashua Board of Education, I will never act to take away a parent’s choice to homeschool or right to access information on student curriculum. As part of New Hampshire State Law, all children in every education model should be evaluated by developmentally appropriate standards to ensure that their wide breadth-of-study needs are being met. If they are falling behind in an area within their parental chosen path or if that environment is unequipped to meet learning needs, families may need to seek an alternative model. If there is a part of their curriculum that cannot be accommodated through home or private school program (for example: Band or Science Labs) those Nashua students should have access programs through their neighborhood school to help balance their education. Additionally, I think that is important to note that if the majority of their coursework comes from outside the neighborhood school – those students should not be eligible for school-wide commendations or awards.
Being a parent is not always easy. We have to make important choices on behalf of our growing children every day. This is why we need more parents of school-aged children represented on the Nashua School Board. People who have a current perspective on educational needs through regular involvement with the administration and staff, and people who are fully vested in our children. Let me represent your family in the upcoming election November 5, 2019.