"Quick! Here comes the school bus!" The cry sent five little children dashing for cover. They were walking to get the mail from the letterbox.
It was always fun hiding from traffic that passed by the family property. But there was an aspect of fear to it too.
Why were they hiding? The parents followed their convictions to home school. However, the state which they lived in said it was illegal. Said that the government should educate the children.
Australia now recognizes home schooling as a legitimate and legal choice for parents. The research is there, which shows that children can be educated at home -- and thrive. At the recent Global Home Education Conference in Berlin, Dr. Gordon Neufeld stated that learning happens in the context of relationship, or "in the village of attachment" as he referred to it. The home is the most obvious environment for such relationship.
He even stated that the child's measured IQ goes down by 21 points when learning is attempted outside of this village of attachment.
Yes, there are parents who don't feel the conviction to home school or are not able to. Yet, they and the government are beginning to recognize the far-reaching benefits of home schooling -- in some places. What are they exactly? You can read more about Dr. Brian's research on the topic at: http://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html
I and my siblings, personally have greatly enjoyed the benefits and freedom of home education. Yet, in the past, it wasn't legal.
It's wonderful not having to worry about such things. A huge relief.
But, there is another family who can't feel at ease about home schooling. In fact, right now, they're fighting to be able to keep their own children. I know what it feels like to have to fear. Yet, I don't know it to their extent.
The parents' choice of the education of their children is an undeniable, international right. Most parents enjoy this freedom. When these freedoms are challenged and trampled upon though, we who have it easy, we have a duty. To be the voice for the oppressed.
The Wunderlichs are one such family that need our support. Mum personally met them in Germany at the Global Home Education Conference in October. A quiet, unassuming, conscientious family, they sought to follow their convictions. The government claims they have no right to though.
What can we do to help? Dr. Michael Farris of the Homeschool Legal Defence Association asks that we send a statement to the German officials involved in this case. To let them know that the world is watching Germany and that the Wunderlichs are not alone.
You can read more here and get the address for the officials here: http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/201211270.asp
A few years ago in Australia, the courts were arguing over the custody of a young girl with cancer. When the public were alerted to the situation, the support was enormous. Two thousand letters came into the department's office in a day. The public opinion and support was so outstanding that the case turned for the family. The department had little other choice.
Will taking 10 minutes to write and post a letter really count? Yes. Each letter adds up.
Let us take this opportunity to be Jesus' heart and voice for this family. In letting them know that the Christian world cares. Let us fight for religious freedom. Parents' rights to choose the education of their children is an extension of this. ...and let us pray for them too.
If I was about to be separated from my family, it would mean the world to me.....