THE ECONOMIST: Homeschooling at the Kitchen Table, Seriously, Still?

14 08 2009

Sarah Palin must be not just reading the Economist now, but maybe writing for it?? Frisky cock of the snook to Meg, for this HSLDA-heavy homeschooling story she says will gag you:

economist homeschool art august 2009

ECONOMIST: Kitchen-classroom conservatives — Home-schooling on the rise

Moreover, having Barack Obama in the White House may cause more people to pull their children out of public schools, predicts Mr Farris. Views of the government are coloured by views of the president, he says, even though the president has little control over education. And Mr Obama is far too liberal for most of America’s home-schoolers.

Sounds like they didn’t know to call Laura Derrick of NHEN?! Meg is right. Gag me.

At least there’s a “response” online that might settle our secular stomachs:

While the effect of Mr. Obama’s education policies, either real or perceived, has yet to be seen, a real effect on the world of homeschooling can be traced back to Former-President George W. Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy’s No Child Left Behind Act, which tied federal funding to school performance. . . Since many families believed education was about learning, not about taking tests, they chose to homeschool.

The Economist is a wonderful magazine, exploring an entire world of events and information every week. It should be read by every American on occasion, as a way to learn about the world at large, as well as the far-reaching effects of economic policies throughout the globe. Unfortunately, The Economist came up far short in its attempt to understand homeschooling and Americans.

We can only hope that future homeschooling articles will be treated with the same care and respect other articles within its pages receive.

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18 responses

14 08 2009
JJ

Notice how creepy it is, that the three matched little boys have three matched old men in the portraits right behind their heads! Are these suited patriarchs watching their every move, or maybe this is their self-portrait gallery, their whole lives already locked in old age and projected above their heads, their inner souls in outer form like Philip Pullman daemons?

We should submit this photo to The Bag for professional hidden meaning graphic analysis . . .

14 08 2009
NanceConfer

The picture reminds me of the old school desk we saw in the thrift shop a few days ago. Maybe others remember this kind? The seat is on the front and lines up behind a desk of the same kind with the desk part at the back. Clear as mud? Anyway, it was old and cute. Not creepy like this “modern” ultra-groomed version. 🙂

Nance

14 08 2009
boremetotears

Oh, my. Are those boys writing in Sonlight workbooks? 😉

14 08 2009
JJ

You are BAD! 😀

14 08 2009
boremetotears

Re: “As with so many similar writings, this article chooses to focus on an increasingly small slice of the homeschool community…”

Don’t the most recent numbers show the opposite trend? I’m no where close to certain; I just remember reading Homeschool Research Notes recently (http://littleurl.net/2f81e): “… another NCES 2007 find–that more parents report religious motivations for homeschooling (83% in 2007 vs. 72% in 2003). In my own writing on recent trends in homeschooling I have stressed the widening appeal of homeschooling to groups of people outside of the traditional homeschool demographic. The 2007 NCES data caused me to re-think that stress, and in its small way this survey of state data confirms in me the need to re-think… Meanwhile, Conservative Christians continue to turn to homeschooling in large numbers. So while I think I’m right to say that there are now more kinds of people choosing homeschooling than ever before, nevertheless the movement as a whole looks more conservative and more Christian than it ever has…”

14 08 2009
boremetotears

“You are BAD! ”

Yeah, if there is a Christian God, I am so in trouble :O

14 08 2009
JJ

Isn’t it possible both things are true, that it’s growing fast among both groups but there are even more “religious motives” than the other kind proportionately (and remember that’s not necessarily all “conservative Christian” either, so don’t automatically conflate them or let the reporters do it, just because there’s a religious motive noted — I saw a nice article about Muslim homeschooling last year for example.)

14 08 2009
COD

Am I a bad HSing parent for absolutely not caring at all about this crap anymore?

14 08 2009
JJ

Depends — can you prove you were born in this country??

14 08 2009
boremetotears

Good points, JJ. Generally, would liberal Christian homeschoolers answer that they are motivated to homeschool “for religious reasons” though? I don’t know and, like Chris, I’ve also grown too tired to care… Hey, Chris, how about designing a wiki for homeschoolers who don’t care anymore! Dawn can make us a logo!

re: “Muslim homeschooling”
When I read that girls are more likely to be homeschooled than boys (in the research review ), I remembered this 2008 article about muslim girls and homeschooling:

Of more than 90 Pakistani or other South Asian girls of high school age who are enrolled in the Lodi (California) district, 38 are being home-schooled. By contrast, just 7 of the 107 boys are being home-schooled, and usually the reason is that they were falling behind academically…

As soon as they finish their schooling, the girls are married off, often to cousins brought in from their families’ old villages…

Eeesh, this stuff makes the quiverfull movement look downright progressive.

14 08 2009
JJ

Good points on your part too. Overall then, authoritarian-conservative seems to be the key problem, not necessarily religious or particularly Christian.

15 08 2009
Nance Confer

No, Chris, you are evolved. 🙂

Nance

15 08 2009
JJ

That makes sense algebraically too, Nance!
We have seen it proven that “evolved” equals “bad” in this sort of homeschool story . . .

So the values for E[volved] and B[ad] must be the same and interchangeable in any equation.

15 08 2009
Nance Confer

Must be. 🙂

Nance

16 08 2009
Audrey

Sonlight is way too liberal for those kids. I’ll be dollars to (Tim Horton’s) donuts that it’s BJU or Abeka all the way! :O

20 08 2009
Crimson Wife

The NCES sample was tiny, only something like 311 families. Because of that, there’s good reason to take any reported shifts with a big grain of salt. Henry Cate over at the “Why Homeschool” blog had an excellent post on the subject here.

And the NCES question doesn’t actually ask about religion, but rather about “values”. Those could be religious, secular, or a combination. I know a number of secular families who are very concerned about the values in the area’s government-run schools. Things like consumerism, unhealthy competition, an overemphasis on external markers of achievement (standardized test scores, grades, admission to the “right” schools”, etc), and so on.

20 08 2009
JJ

That can’t be right CW. We’re always being told we HAVE no values, without the Invisible Hand (in the sky, not the market) to define those values and threaten to burn us in hell if we don’t obey. Literally to put the FEAR OF GOD in us.

22 08 2009
boremetotears

Thanks CW. Cate linked the report, which I hadn’t been able to find.

http://tiny.cc/UcT1q

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