We who choose to homeschool

Shay Seaborne’s Synergy Field

A homeschool mom I know says, “the problem with support groups is they’re made up of people who need support.”

I’d only planned on quoting the short snippet above. But this second paragraph is just too delicious to let go unquoted:

I used to expect that parents who choose to homeschool are naturally more akin to each other, but this is not necessarily true. My friend Elizabeth suggests that “the truth is probably closer to, we’re harder to get along with than other people, because we’re not committed to conforming with a group.” Indeed, one sometimes hears pained stories about attempted coups, betrayed friendships, and friends-turned-enemies. The problem is that, while many of us have high expectations of the homeschooling community, it is not superior to the rest of the country. While homeschooling itself offers hope for a better world, our community is essentially a microcosm of the greater society, with all the goodness, badness, beauty and ugliness humans possess. There are homeschooling bigots, zealots, religious exclusionists, pedophiles and thieves, just as there are free thinkers, the kind hearted, and those who would never imagine harming a child or stealing a pen from the office. There are homeschoolers who want to help create an array of learning opportunities for many, and others who simply want to place their children in “programs” that substitute for public school-to, as a friend put it, “keep their life as much as possible as it was ‘before homeschooling.’”

For the rest of this thoughtfully telling piece, click over to Shay’s new “Synergy Field” site: Confessions of a Homeschool Exclusionist

2 Responses to We who choose to homeschool

  1. Jeanne on August 4, 2005 at 9:37 pm

    I love this article of Shay’s and share a lot of her views. When starting a new homeschool group here in Mississippi, I used an old HEM article, Our Non-directed Support Organization by Earl Gary Stevens, to explain how a group can work in a way that allows for interplay between homeschool families without an unhealthy blurring of boundaries. This article is from 1995 but still available on HEM at http://www.homeedmag.com/INF/NET/n.ol_ndspg.html . This set-up allows members to organize events without feeling like everything must please everyone — because after all, others are free to organize a similar event according to their own desires. No hard feelings!

    Thanks for keeping the past articles on line. It’s a treasure trove!

  2. Shay on August 5, 2005 at 3:14 am

    Thanks for the kind words!

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