Servile, was one of the adjectives thrown out, among several others in a diatribe by a homeschooling freedom opponent. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a PBS program that I’ve enjoyed in the past, has a cover story this week called Homeschooling Movement.
As I’m listening, I’m not as optimistic as I’d like to be when the opener starts with the tiresome ‘S’ word along with thoughts from ‘Home School Researcher’, Robert Reich. (I thought I was an authentic homeschool researcher when I was checking it out for our family and living and breathing it since. AND I wasn’t paid to support homeschooling as those who ‘believe’ in public school are paid to not support anything else.)
Being from Illinois with similiar regs (not many, thank goodness), my ears prick up with statistics stating that there “are about 300,000 home schoolers just in Texas”. (They don’t know that, as I understand Texas homeschooling regs do NOT require notification.) Following that, I would say that Lucky Severson was fooled/didn’t do his homework with this quote: “Still the bulk of parents pull their kids out of public schools for reasons having very much to do with religion“.
Fortunately, across the nation, when families choose to leave the public schools to homeschool, they don’t have to fill out a survey documenting why they are homeschooling. Religion might be part of the picture, but it’s not all of the picture. Mr. Reich made his point here, whether it’s an accurate assessment or not:
Whereas 10 years ago I think there were basically two kinds of home schoolers: the liberal wing of the home schooling populations and then the more conservative or religiously motivated group of the home school movement. But nowadays you’ve got your average sort of suburbanite who thinks they can do a better job with their kid in the home through a home school.
Some of the real meat as to why many different sorts of families across the religious (or not) spectrum, choose homeschooling might have more to do with giving their children a completely customized education geared to their precious and unique child(ren). AND we like being with our kids, which makes for a wonderful homeschooling lifestyle. Apparently that basic reason why families homeschool is scary stuff to people like Professor Reich. He’s sure that he’s onto our true agenda as quoted below.
Rob Reich again:
If parents can control every aspect of a kid’s education, shield them from exposure to the things that the parents deem sinful or objectionable, screen in only the things which accord to their convictions, and not allow them exposure to the world of a democracy, will the children group up then basically in the own image of their parents, servile to their own parents’ beliefs?
Bruce Shortt, who supports an Exodus Mandate from the public schools responded and it’s quoted below. (Valerie covered Mr. Shortt’s Mandate a bit here with her post: School exodus movement composed of political activists, not just homeschoolers’.)
From Mr. Shortt concerning Rob Reich’s concerns:
I think it’s ironic that someone with an obviously authoritarian agenda is attempting to lecture others, and unfortunately education seems to be one of those areas in which the failures astonishingly insist upon trying to regulate the successful.
It was said in the piece that socialization isn’t Reich’s concern anymore. It appears to be those darn parents that are his concern. It’s very tempting to throw in what public schools do concerning “servile“, “in the own image” or what “the world of a democracy” really means to a child in the public schools. I’ll leave it to the readers’ imagination (or their own or their children’s public school experiences).
posted by Susan