Classic HEM: Schooling

Mar-Apr/04An editorial from the March-April, 2004 issue of Home Education Magazine:

Over the last twenty years we’ve written many editorials which have explained the virtues of homeschooling with enthusiasm while describing the problems with public schooling somewhat gingerly. We’ve found ourselves in the unenviable position of homeschool advocates who don’t want to alienate readers who may have children (or other interests) in their local schools. We haven’t adhered to this ideal in the strictest sense; anyone who’s read our writing for several issues might remember passages like “…Schooling easily consumes the bulk of childhood: Five to six hours per day or more, five days a week, for three-quarters of each year, for twelve long years. So much of a child’s time; so much of a parent’s rightful joy.” (March/April, 2003)

We’ve certainly let our heartfelt preferences slip, but we’ve tried to keep our harshest criticisms in check. In truth, we’ve mostly contented ourselves with the knowledge that public schools are so bad, and are such a terrible way to treat children, that most people with an interest in homeschooling will already be aware of the problem. For the most part, people come to this magazine because they and their children are unhappy with school and are seeking something different. We started this magazine because we believed those who felt as we did, that school was no place for children to spend their formative years, needed support and encouragement to step away from the norm, the conventional, the system.

Even so, we’ve tried to be fair and respectful in our writing about schooling, even when a persistent doubt kept us struggling with the concept. Because we have very strong personal views about the inherent rightness of homeschooling as an approach to living with children, it hasn’t been easy to maintain a balanced perspective or to turn a more-or-less blind eye to its greatest threat, but we’ve generally felt it was in the best interests of our readership to do so. In spite of everything we’ve felt to the contrary, we’ve thought for twenty years that maintaining a “live and let live” attitude was a valid editorial approach.

We’re not so sure of that any more.

Continue reading this editorial – free onine – from the March-April, 2004 issue of Home Education Magazine.

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