I was going to answer this in the comments section at the original blog post, but I need to make a new post today.
The Other Blog Post: Arguments against homeschooling
That’s a fairly accurate list of the issues I bring up in my post, but you have badly misunderstood the context. Go back and read the post more closely!
My intention wast to lay out, and generate discussion about, what the typical person who is unhappy with home schooling thinks. That post did in fact generate a fair amount of excellent discussion. A lot of other people, mostly home schooling supporters, misinterpreted my post just as you have.
I am not a blind, jingoistic supporter of home schooling, and I am not against home schooling. I have raised (in other posts) a number of concerns. The reaction by much (but not all) of the home schooling community is actually somewhat embarrassing. The degree to which home schoolers sanctify each other is NOT even closely met to the degree to which they believe themselves vilified by others. The only commentary in this area that is as strident as self- and mutual-stroking by many home schoolers is the the (sic) degree of vile hatred these folks have regarding the public education.
[I’ll address the comment, rather than revisit the blog post even though I ran the post through Read Please, just so I didn’t skim over whatever I didn’t like.]
Update: In listening to the post, I think there is an inaccuracy-of-terms in what we’re discussing. There are many references to homechoolers using public funds in the original blog post that makes me think that those portions are not a national homeschooling discussion, but a state-specific discussion. For those concerns, only citizens of the state can have opinions because it’s their money. My opinion is that homeschooling is an independent activity, and if you remove yourself from the school system, then you stay away from it (see links to the right on this blog to the subjects Genericization, Public-school-at-home and Public school participation). However, if the citizens of a state decide that they want to allow unenrolled Jimmy, Jane and Joe Blow to attend classes, that’s for them to say because their money pays for those classes.
Given the concern the author has for the well-being of homeschooled children, perhaps the children showing up for a class or two so a teacher can look at them is an acceptable trade-off for not enrolling. I assume that, for the author’s purposes, the cost of the classes is less than the cost of an agency to oversee homeschooling families.
I still heartily disagree with the position that it is a civic duty to attend public school. The end point of that logic is that it is a civic duty to bear children for the state because without children, the reason for schools is eliminated.
#1: “The typical person who is unhappy about homeschooling”
In most cases, this would be a non-homeschooler because if a homeschooler is unhappy with the process, he or she will cease homeschooling and no longer be a homeschooler. No one’s forced to stay.
So (if I’m reading you correctly), you base the differences of opinion between homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers on the presumption that the non-homeschool majority should rule: “You homeschoolers are doing something I don’t like, and because of this, I think there oughta be a law stopping you from doing so.”
In your model, all citizens and their children must participate in public activities because conscription is part of citizenship: the public system ‘owns’ the citizenry. In your view (as it appears to me), the System deserves not only the sweat of our brows, but the minds behind the brows.
I don’t see your model conforming to the independence inherent in the American outlook.
#2 “A lot of other people, mostly home schooling supporters, misinterpreted my post just as you have.”
- Home schooling is a way of cheating the system.
- Home schooling, on average, provides children with fewer resources of lower quality.
- Home Schooling provides children with lower quality teaching.
- Home schooling is ideologically driven.
- Oversight and testing.
So, which point did I misinterpret? Or am I not supposed to address points but intent? “… what the typical person who is unhappy with home schooling thinks.”
OK, so you’re unhappy with homeschooling. And? Your unhappiness either about homeschooling or about homeschool replies to your desire to constrain our liberty does not amount to misinterpretation. You presented some subjects to talk about (which I thought I did), but you’re unhappy because (apparently) we exist and talk back?
#3: “A number of concerns.”
I replied to those concerns. That’s what discussion is, isn’t it?
#4: “The reaction by much (but not all) of the home schooling community is actually somewhat embarrassing.”
OK, on some points I agree with you (which is probably why I’m not the Miss Universe of the homeschooling blogosphere). The solution is to go tell them your complaints at their blogs. I’m not responsible for them, and they aren’t for me. You talk to them there, and talk to me about what you disagree with at this blog.
#5: “The degree to which home schoolers sanctify each other is NOT even closely met to the degree to which they believe themselves vilified by others.”
If I get your meaning, you’re saying first off that we’re too chummy and we pat each other on the back saying “good job.” The second part of the sentence seems to mean that we pat ourselves at a greater rate than the rate that others try to put sticks in our spokes. So you find it distasteful that our rate of back-patting is higher than your rate of spoke-sticking?
A problem with this viewpoint is that making you happy isn’t the job we’re working on. The job we’re working on in our discussions is helping others find their method of doing the best they can for their children — and this includes defending ourselves.
I realize that what you see as best for our children and what we see as best for our children aren’t the same things, but if we lose the right to make this choice, everyone loses except our Camazotzian Overlords, whose jobs would then be secure for life. If The System is the arbiter, then The System is The Arbiter for everyone … regardless of who is Arbiting. If the creationist majority in this country (60% by some reckonings) have their way, then your public schools will be teaching their view of our beginnings. That sixty percent of Americans are not all homeschoolers — we’re usually pegged at 2% to 4% — so your public schools have not successfully passed along the information you seem to want them to (which makes me question the effectiveness of the teaching).
Your children being taught creationism against your will is where a lack of intellectual liberty could wind up if the majority rules. Fortunately, for both of us, the majority controlling the schooling of all children isn’t Constitutional. Unless there is the freedom to choose methods that may include mistakes, ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’ is just a typing exercise.
#6: “The only commentary in this area that is as strident as self- and mutual-stroking by many home schoolers is the the (sic) degree of vile hatred these folks have regarding the public education.”
Translation: The conceit-factor expressed by homeschoolers is only exceeded by their hate for public schools. Did I get that right?
Now, if I’m following your logic, I’m not supposed to answer each of your charges against homeschooling based on what you wrote because:
- you’re unhappy with homeschooling
- and I (representing homeschoolers) am conceited and hateful
Sorry, that doesn’t track. Those are ad hominem reasons, and neither supports your objections, unless those reasons are what your objections rest on and not an objective viewpoint.
posted by Valerie