Homeschooling: Old Argument, New Spin

Written by Scott

Topics: Uncategorized

Was having a bit of discussion on Facebook about homeschooling, and another friend posted this link: Why Public School is the Bomb.

First of all, the opening is so incredibly over-the-top that the article lost me on credibility right there. In all my discussions about homeschooling, whether online or in real life, it’s never been a fateful bomb-ticking event. The opening is simply a set up. Secondly, the use of the phrase “the bomb” loses my interest, even if it is just an attempt to connect with the otherwise lame analogy that the article uses in its opening.

And set up it does:

Choosing to involve my kids in the public school system has a.) taught valuable life/character lessons, b.) promoted social justice, awareness of the marginalized, and community building, and c.) encouraged our family’s faith and that of the Christian teachers working missionally within that environment. Public school is a viable option for conscientious Christian parents. So please bear with me as I push this ominous red button while gripping a grenade tightly between my teeth.

And this is exactly where the old argument comes in: used to be stated as “homeschoolers are inept socially, because they don’t get out, don’t associate with other people”, which is absolute bunk. Most homeschoolers are involved in activities outside the home, and for many, more than public school students. We happen to think that developing social skills does not happen only within a child’s age group, but with all age groups.

But let’s delve into the particulars of the paragraph:
Choosing to involve my kids in the public school system has
a.) taught valuable life/character lessons (Attempted contrast here: homeschoolers are missing out on “valuable life/character lessons” because of their isolation.)
b.) promoted social justice, awareness of the marginalized, and community building, and (I’m sorry, but the phrase “social justice” is one that has been overused so much that it has lost its meaning. And frankly the public school system, last I looked, does not constitute the entirety of society. So it begs the argument that kids involved in more activities outside of school have a greater sphere of influence to understand and help promote “social justice”. And as for the marginalized, that’s the very thing that this article and so many people have attempted to do to homeschoolers for decades…we are the minority.)
c.) encouraged our family’s faith and that of the Christian teachers working missionally within that environment. (I have friends that are teachers, and I support the work they do wholeheartedly. What I do not support is what the public schools have become, which is a monstrous bureaucracy focused less and less on teaching the basics and increasingly on social engineering. And that is what I cannot and will not support. And I have no need to argue the point, since test scores and studies have shown time and time again that homeschoolers outperform public school students. And yet, public school administrators do not engage homeschoolers to attempt to see why that is, or how they can improve, because their aim isn’t to improve, but to consolidate their power. But as for the mission field mentioned, those teachers are unaffected by the choice of some to homeschool; further, as in the previous social justice argument, having a larger sphere of influence gives more opportunity…)

Most homeschoolers do not choose to homeschool on a whim–it is a carefully considered decision, and not one we take lightly. It is a lot of work, and does require sacrifice in some areas, particularly having to normally be or become a single-income family.

And yet, homeschooling is a growing trend, especially among minorities. During our time homeschooling, I’ve come to realize in some of our get-togethers with other homeschooling families, that the movement is an incredibly diverse one racially, politically, and socially. Frankly, we embrace that diversity.