A few years ago the ‘national homeschooling discussion’ expanded from being mostly about academics or socialization, to that of ‘ethical servility,’ and the civic responsibility of homeschooling parents. The main proponents of the view that homeschooled children are not able to differentiate themselves from their parents’ viewpoints were two academics, Rob Reich, and Michael Apple. Their philosophical positions generated various responses:
- 22 pages from the NHEN Legal and Legislative Forum: 2004 American Educational Research Association thread
- Through the Lens of Homeschooling by Nicky Hardenbergh
- Parental Rights vs. Social and State Concern at The Military Homeschooler
- Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader edited by Bruce S. Cooper
- A Must Read at H.E.&O.S.
Since 2004, that part of the ‘national homeschooling discussion’ has muted somewhat, but hasn’t disappeared entirely. Daryl, of H.E.&O.S. picked up on a blog entry, and his promotion of that URL has generated some interesting discussion.
- The Myth of Parental Rights at the Democracy Lover blog
[note: in searching for information for this post, I came across a paper whose topic is home education in relation to the European Commission on Human Rights; Rob Reich is quoted near the end. I have to laugh at one portion: “Reich argues that this interest is the minimal necessary ‘to surpass the threshold of ethical servility’. … Kymlicka similarly emphasises (sic) the importance of civic education enabling people to question authority. However, he goes further and suggests that public schooling is essential and that we can never rely on the family and parents, or religious bodies or the market as ‘people will not automatically learn to engage in public discourse, or to question authority, in any of these spheres, since these spheres are often held together by private discourse and respect for authority'” (my emphasis added)
I don’t know about other homeschooled kids, but mine — now 24 and 26 — are quite adept at reasonably ‘questioning authority’ and being themselves. Some of their publicly-schooled peers still jokingly call them ‘weird homeschoolers’ because of their independence of thought and behavior. I was recently informed, in a pleasant manner, that they should have gone to high school to have their rough edges knocked off so they would conform more. I prefer the Mr. Rogers school of thought; I like them ‘just the way they are.’]