“Confessions of a Home-schooler”: Salon

28 09 2009

Cock of the snook for this to COD:

. . .Some people seem genuinely disturbed by our decision, on philosophical or political grounds, as if by keeping a couple of 5-year-olds out of kindergarten we have violated the social contract. Specifically, we have rejected the mainstream consensus that since education is a good thing, more of it — more formal, more “academic,” reaching ever deeper into early childhood and filling up more of the day and more of the year — is better for society and better for all children. This is almost an article of faith in contemporary America, but it’s also one that’s debatable at best and remains largely unsupported by research data.

In a related vein, some people suspect we have a hidden ideological or religious agenda we’re not telling them about. We may look like your standard-issue Brooklyn creative-class family — two 40-something parents, two kids, two pet rabbits and a battered Chrysler minivan — but who are we really? Home schooling has become a lot more mainstream and diverse in recent years, but familiar stereotypes endure. . .

In order to avoid one or more of these discomfort zones, we try to answer all well-meaning interlocutors with bland, diplomatic and totally unspecific generalities. Not quite lies, but well short of what you’d call the truth. This is a phenomenon known to almost all home-schoolers, from Mormon separatists to off-the-grid hippie anarchists, and a frequent discussion starter in online home-school groups. . .

Advertisements