I'd like to answer a question Georgia state Rep. Charlie Smith, D-St. Marys, asked in a Dec. 1 article about home-schooling.
Rep. Smith asked where the line should be drawn for home-schooled children's involvement in public school activities. It should be drawn in the place that gives the children the biggest advantage. If this includes home-schooling parents choosing to allow their child to play sports or music, or be in a play at a public school, then that's where you draw the line.
Why should this be allowed? All home-schooling parents pay for their children's education. The cost includes books, small fees for local home-schooling support groups, "field trips," and for some, membership in a legal defense group. There are also costs that you can't calculate, such as one parent remaining unemployed.
In addition to paying for this, we pay our share of the federal, state and local taxes. At least a portion of this money goes to the public schools, yet our children don't. Why shouldn't we be able to use a small amount of the money we pay in taxes to give our children the few things they miss by being educated at home?
If this is "cherry picking," why not? Is Rep. Smith suggesting our children should only receive the good from public school if they are subjected to the bad? That is ridiculous. We don't go to the store and grab just any apple out of the bin. We look each one over carefully and take only the best. I exercise the same sound judgment with my children. I pick and choose, after careful inspection, all the ingredients in their education so they'll wind up with the best.
Rebecca J. Sommer, Hephzibah