Readers’ Forum Nov. 21

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585
(Maddi Dayton)

Homeschooling

For most students on campus, the only form of school they know is sitting in a classroom for several hours a day being instructed by a teacher with several other students. I had an extremely different experience. My days were considerably less structured and school generally meant sitting on the couch with my siblings cracking jokes and working on assignments for the day. If this was all someone knew about homeschooling, it’s easy to see how they might conclude homeschooled children don’t get socialization. While it’s true homeschoolers aren’t exposed to others as much as their traditionally schooled counterparts, it doesn’t mean homeschooled kids don’t get any socialization. Rather, it means they must go more out of their way for social experiences. Due to the increasing popularity of home education, there are more opportunities than ever for homeschooled kids to interact with their peers through homeschool groups that have frequent activities, co-ops and other organized events. Between these opportunities, associating with neighborhood kids and homeschool extracurriculars such as plays and sports, homeschoolers have plenty of chances to interact with peers. Some would say that despite the possibilities for socialization, children need to have experiences with bullying and peer-pressure. But I would argue that the lack of bullying is one of the best things about homeschooling. I’m not saying that homeschooling is better than traditional schooling, but that people should be more open-minded when thinking about homeschooling.

Kaisa Burnett
Columbia, Missouri

Fundamental finances

The majority of states in America don’t require their students to take personal finance for graduation, which leaves their students unprepared after high school. In order to better prepare students, we should make personal finance education a priority in high school curriculum. After graduation, students are catapulted into adulthood. They have to pay bills, sign up for insurance and take out loans. As of 2014, only 17 states in the U.S. require high school students to take a finance class, and only 20 states require high school students to take an economics class. During my senior year of high school, I worked an office job. I will have to file taxes soon. However, I never learned how to file taxes at school, so I have to use less credible sources for that information. Some argue that we are lacking qualified teachers for personal finance courses. However, there are programs, like National Endowment for Financial Education, that provide curriculum to schools to assist teachers in teaching personal finance. Others dispute that parents are responsible for teaching their children how to work with money. Yet, not all children are fortunate enough to have economically stable homes. In summary, high school students should be obligated to take a personal finance course in order to better prepare them for an economically successful life.

Loren Hunter
Santa Clarita, California

Marriage and dating

BYU students have a phobia of listening to marriage and dating themes in a devotional. The moment either is mentioned at the Marriott, uncomfortable giggles spread among an audience otherwise thought to be asleep. For an undergrad in the dating scene, marriage advice from a professor can feel geriatric and clichéd. However, marriage-themed devotionals deserve serious attention. Brigham Young University already draws a distinctly marriage-oriented undergraduate body, so why address eternal family in devotionals? Apostles remind us that “the median age for first marriage is now at its highest level in history” and that “the traditional family… is coming to be the exception.” Little wonder, then, that a church whose primary purpose is to see that “a man and a woman with their children are happy at home” may gently prod the prospective BYU marriage pool. As our precious cougar culture becomes increasingly uncommon, outspoken advocates of marriage become ever more vital. So next time a devotional speaker centers their comments on the basic unit of society, go ahead and chuckle, even rib your neighbor playfully—but then listen up!

Nathan Poston
Peoria, Arizona

Homelessness

Homelessness is often misjudged as the result of negative actions such as drug abuse and criminal activity. Therefore, we should be more active in what we do to help those in innocent situations, such as natural disasters, domestic violence or low wages that cause many to be homeless. Natural disasters come with little warning and destroy everything. It is critical that emphasis is made on regular citizens helping rebuild lives to prevent the long-term effect of homelessness. Moreover, the prevalence of domestic violence pressures individuals to leave the abusive home and essentially become homeless. Additionally, low wages and increased cost of living puts hard-working people and families on the streets. Our priority should be to do as Christ would do. Homelessness is still attributed as negative despite innocent situations that can lead to it. Hard-working citizens are not comfortable with the idea of people receiving welfare from the government if they do not work for it. A common misconception is that homeless people do drugs or are lazy and survive off the government. Overall, it is human nature is to show mercy and compassion no matter the situation. Christ has commanded us to give regardless if the person on the receiving end deserves it. Everything given to humans in this life is given by God. Therefore, let us make the sacrifices to help those less fortunate build their lives again and make life a little easier for everyone.

Sofia Ayala
Fort Worth, Texas