The Upside Down World

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Newest Homeschooling Critic's Meme

When people first started homeschooling, critics often said that simple parents couldn't possibly do as good a job educating their children as trained professionals. Of course, that argument has fallen apart as homeschool kids began getting higher scores on standardized tests than their institutionalized peers and began making strong showings in spelling bees, geography bees and science contests.
So they moved on to socialization. Anyone who has homeschooled in the last 10 years has heard this one so often it's become it's own punchline. Now that homeschooled kids are growing up and studies have found that they're well adjusted, happy, successful and involved in their communities, that one's dying down. I don't hear it as often today as I did just 3 years ago when we began homeschooling.
Not to be defeated, homeschool's critics have hit on a new meme; children need to be exposed to something other than just their parent's point of view. This argument is ludicrous on its face, of course. The fact that a parent has the right to raise their own child as they see fit, short of abuse, is even open to questioning simply shows how unbelievably screwed up our society is. And of course, the assumption that homeschool parents never allow their kids to know what other people think about things is farcical at best. If this was actually what was happening, we wouldn't even allow books into our homes!
However, my biggest laugh over this particular line of attack is the assumption that public schools are places where children are exposed to a wide variety of ideas rather than places where they are hostage to, at best, one teacher and one textbook per subject, learning a pre-approved curriculum designed to meet the approval of politicians and special interest groups. Now we have evidence that schools, far from being interested in exposing kids to a wide variety of ideas, are actively trying to insure that they will be indoctrinated with the "right" ideas: "evaluations of dispositions" for education majors in order to be allowed to teach. Not content with strangling curriculums and the freedom of teachers to meet the needs of their students, the education police are now targeting teaching candidates to make sure they subscribe to the right ideas before they are allowed to teach our kids. So if you send your kids to school, you can rest assured that your child's teacher will have sworn fealty to a politically correct worldview, thereby ensuring that rather than a wide range of ideas, your child will only be exposed to ideas you probably don't agree with! And we're worried about homeschool kids not getting enough exposure to different points of view? Now, there's a punchline in need of a joke!

2 Comments:

  • Oh, you are so right on the money. I homeschooled one of my sons for 2 years. During that time, we dealt with all of the usual bantering about his social life (he had friends on the street, and there are lot's of homeschooling groups to get involved in)and needing other views (I tried to always show him that there were 2 sides to every story and that different people believe different things), among others.

    Eventually I put him back in school, not because I wanted to, but because he wanted to go back to school because his brothers went there (I couldn't homeschool the older children because my ex-husband would not allow it). I gave in and sent him back to school against my better judgement.

    During the time he was homeschooled he was perfectly adjusted, and even handled stress well. Since he's been back in the school system his has been in a constant state of frustration and they want to put a label on him - ODD Or Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I won't stand for it. I don't see that behavior at home - he is a sweetheart at home, and I can't help but feel they are doing something to trigger this behaviour from him. And what pyschiatrist came up with label for children like ODD. We spend our entire lives trying to make our children feel loved and like they belong, and someone out there comes out with a label that's spelled like odd.

    By Blogger Undercover Angel, at 10:16 PM  

  • I think that many of the problems kids have in school comes from the fact that they really expect kids to bend to meet their needs rather than thinking that they would every need to adjust to meet the needs of the kids. Some times you get a kids who just won't or can't bend to meet the needs of the school setting and of course it's the child who's the problem. This is one of the reasons I took my oldest son out of government kindergarten to begin with - the school wasn't meeting his needs in anyway and simply refused to bend at all to work with him. He was just supposed to sit nicely while they told him things he already knew and made him do things he wasn't at all interested in. There certainly wasn't room for more than one narrow way to see or do things in that classroom!
    Good luck with your son - I hope you can get that all worked out.

    By Blogger Rebecca T, at 7:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


 
Unschooling Blogs
Previous | Next