Secular Homeschool Blogging at “Parenting Beyond Belief”

21 11 2008

Here it is, cool! Today evolved and thinking homeschool parents get our own 15 minutes of blogos-phame. Who do you know already in this guest column, who will you find tomorrow, how will you use this to show that homeschooling adds up to much more than the sum of its hardworking helpmeets?

Go see. Link. Evangelize! 😉

We’re just starting to find ourselves and each other in the blogosphere, a search made more challenging by the fact we don’t know what to call ourselves. (Homeschoolers Beyond Belief?) Secular, inclusive, rational, atheist, freethinking? The online homeschooling community fights over the word “homeschool” itself, never mind the weight of all those adjectives hung around it like baggage on a skycap’s cart.

Some of us are trying Thinking Homeschoolers and Evolved Homeschoolers on for size. The main lesson I’ve taught myself so far is that it takes real thinking — knowledge work if you will — with plenty of detours through link farms and those insipid generic “about homeschooling” blurbs, to discover solid secular homeschooling resources that endure.



11 responses

21 11 2008
O’DonnellWeb - I’m not one of “those” homeschoolers. » Blog Archive » JJ’s guest post at Parenting Beyond Belief

[…] regular JJ wrote a guest post at Parenting Beyond Belief. The subject, not surprisingly, is secular […]

21 11 2008
Not June Cleaver

This is my favorite quote: “Then there’s an elaborate online con game in which an individual (with many names) sets up a fake but believable show of influence as homeschool leader and authority …”


21 11 2008

You spent too much time being suffocated in the sock drawer, NotJC. 🙂

21 11 2008
Not June Cleaver

Haven’t seen the sock puppets in awhile.

21 11 2008

Shoot, I forgot to include my Culture Kitchen thinking parent blog, which predated the birth of Snook and in which I first endeavored to explain smart, secular homeschooling to liberal and feminist bloggers who weren’t exactly, ah, receptive — either because they’d only ever met the patriarchal bible story version of homeschoolers and/or they were still too young and idealistic to have personally agonized over parent education decisions themselves yet.

I still love those essays and comments. They’re all about education as a matter of ultimate individual and social concern, to us all whether parents or not.

21 11 2008

Btw NotJC, I’ve secretly been enjoying your posts about how the boys are starting to find their more academically inspired side and their own creative rhythms, discovering reading and writing are FUN. Look what you did for them, just by not forcing it on them as a chore they’d probably learn to avoid forever after.

22 11 2008

Remember, oogedy-boogedy right-wing evangelicals are only half our battle.

Christine Escobar as “urban left” Huffposter makes sure we secular homeschoolers keep balance in our push-back so that “liberals” and “feminists” don’t box us in from the opposite end:

. . .I think it’s healthy for people to see the flip side once in a while. It seems the problem with some folks who consider themselves open-minded, liberal and left-leaning, is that they think you aren’t for the people unless you are 100% behind public schooling. That’s utter nonsense.

Left-leaning people support the right for men and women to choose marriage, whether they are gay or straight. I support that too. They often support the idea that women’s bodies are theirs only and that the government must not make laws dictating their choice to have or not have children. I support that too. So, what’s wrong with having the freedom to choose your child’s best educational environment?

My kids, though we don’t spend much time at home, can be classified as homeschooled, since they don’t attend school for their education and never have. So would that make me some right wing, seclusionist nutjob whose only ideal it is to isolate my children and family from the evils of public school?

. . .Progressives, liberals, those who claim to rally against intolerance based on religion, economic status, gender, education, race, get over it already!

Go out and get to know some other families who homeschool, home-educate, unschool, whatever you’d like to call it, read up on it. There are plenty of varying methods and views, far beyond your mainstream stereotypes.

22 11 2008
22 11 2008

Example: remember Judith Warner’s oogedy-boogedy LEFT-wing argument, that schools must get parents even further out of their kids’ daily lives?

See “Visiting Day”

I blogged it the day her argument appeared, in 2007:
I say . . . it’s worth helping families even if we have to change the whole culture to integrate learning with daily life, rather than isolating learning and working away from families and homes.

So that what she’s arguing for, right?

HA! No, this prominent supposedly-thinking mom says our whole culture needs to change indeed, but in the opposite direction, to further isolate kids away from their parents, to systematically keep even the best, most dedicated and productively present proud parents OUT of their own kids’ daytime learning and activities.

. . . if you can’t bring enough parent involvement for the whole class, don’t allow any for anyone. Level the playing field by taking all the kids away from all the parents, all day long. Parents can see ’em after homework at night and have weekend visitation, otherwise they are creatures of the State and that’s the only fair thing to do.

Let’s get parents out of their school-aged kids’ 9-to-3 lives. It’s a cost-free solution to one of the major sources of family angst today.

No worries for my kids of course, or yours — experienced Thinking Parents schooling or not, can afford to laugh at society’s urge to dictate our family time, much less our family values or level of involvement with our own children. We already refused to be part of sacrificing our own on these perverse policy pyres.

What does worry me though, is that this can be proposed as serious commentary to solve our serious social problems. It’s a bad sign imo, if credible liberal thought from our nation’s cultural and journalistic capital is this fatally misguided on family and education policy. The schools have been thoroughly socialized (how’s that working for ya? as Dr. Phil would say) so noblesse oblige now dictates that the next step is to socialize parenting itself, turn it over to community controls both legal and cultural?

It’s like reading Julia Steiny. You finish and think, well, we’re down the rabbit hole for sure now . . .no use even trying to talk sense until I get back HOME.

22 11 2008

And since we’re on a roll about liberal critics of homeschooling, see also:

Unschooling the Public in 25 Words or Less
17 08 2007

You could call NHEN’s Laura Derrick a dedicated public educator — she educates reporters and editors about home education, so they can help educate the public.

Like the Chinese kids translating Harry Potter, it’s a true labor of love and she does it beautifully.

This time her challenge was to respond in 25 words or less, to a personal attack on home education from the founder of USA Today. . .

22 11 2008

Thinking cock of the Snook to Daryl, for PZ’s reminder that while liberals may stereotype and even mock us, it’s less harmful considering they haven’t been in charge of actually governing us from that View:

Wait, what? The country has been run for the last eight years by a gang of amoral atheists? Bankers are atheists? All those people who borrowed money unwisely are atheists? Christians don’t default on loans, don’t exploit lax banking rules, don’t start wars, don’t torture?

I would like to visit Mr Henninger’s alternate dimension.

Here on my planet, of course, this country has been run by the evangelical wing of the Republican party, the vast majority of the population are Christians, it’s almost impossible to get elected to positions of any power without being a professing theist, and the religious right has been deeply tangled in political decisions, while atheists do little more than write books.

p.s. check out comment #226, a letter to Bill O’Reilly about the war of Christmas.

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