Saturday, June 21, 2008

Don't worry, this won't turn into a homeschooling blog. I'm just researching a lot to try to prepare for the fall and I came across this article. No opinions from me, just thought I'd post it and you can draw your own conclusions! :)


SONNY SCOTT:Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort

6/8/2008 9:39:01 AM
Daily Journal


You see them at the grocery, or in a discount store.

It's a big family by today’s standards - "just like stair steps," as the old
folks say. Freshly scrubbed boys with neatly trimmed hair and girls with braids,
in clean but unfashionable clothes follow mom through the store as she fills her
no-frills shopping list.

There's no begging for gimcracks, no fretting, and no threats from mom. The
older watch the younger, freeing mom to go peacefully about her task.

You are looking at some of the estimated 2 million children being home schooled
in the U.S. , and the number is growing. Their reputation for academic
achievement has caused colleges to begin aggressively recruiting them. Savings
to the taxpayers in instructional costs are conservatively estimated at $4
billion, and some place the figure as high as $9 billion. When you consider that
these families pay taxes to support public schools, but demand nothing from
them, it seems quite a deal for the public.

Home schooling parents are usually better educated than the norm, and are more
likely to attend worship services. Their motives are many and varied. Some fear
contagion from the anti-clericalism, coarse speech, suggestive behavior and
hedonistic values that characterize secular schools. Others are concerned for
their children’s safety. Some want their children to be challenged beyond the
minimal competencies of the public schools. Concern for a theistic world view
largely permeates the movement.

Indications are that home schooling is working well for the kids, and the
parents are pleased with their choice, but the practice is coming under
increasing suspicion, and even official attack, as in California .

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?

Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the home schooled
for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler.

Their very existence represents a rejection of our values, and an indictment of
our lifestyles. Those families are willing to render unto Caesar the things that
Caesar’s be, but they draw the line at their children. Those of us who have put
our trust in the secular state (and effectively surrendered our children to it)
recognize this act of defiance as a rejection of our values, and we reject them
in return.

Just as the jealous Chaldeans schemed to bring the wrath of the king upon the
Hebrew eunuchs, we are happy to sic the state’s bureaucrats on these “trouble
makers.” Their implicit rejection of America ’s most venerated idol,
Materialism, (a.k.a. “Individualism”) spurs us to heat the furnace and feed the
lions.

Young families must make the decision: Will junior go to day care and day
school, or will mom stay home and raise him? The rationalizations begin. "A
family just can't make it on one income." (Our parents did.) "It just costs so
much to raise a child nowadays." (Yeah, if you buy brand-name clothing,
pre-prepared food, join every club and activity, and spend half the cost of a
house on the daughter’s wedding, it does.) And so, the decision is made. We give
up the bulk of our waking hours with our children, as well as the formation of
their minds, philosophies, and attitudes, to strangers. We compensate by getting
a boat to take them to the river, a van to carry them to Little League, a
2,800-square-foot house, an ATV, a zero-turn Cub Cadet, and a fund to finance a
brand-name college education. And most significantly, we claim “our right” to
pursue a career for our own
"self-fulfillment."

Deep down, however, we know that our generation has eaten its seed corn. We lack
the discipline and the vision to deny ourselves in the hope of something
enduring and worthy for our posterity. We are tired from working extra jobs, and
the looming depression threatens our 401k’s. Credit cards are nearly maxed, and
it costs a $100 to fuel the Suburban. Now the kid is raising hell again,
demanding the latest Play Station as his price for doing his school work … and
there goes that modest young woman in the home-made dress with her four
bright-eyed, well-behaved home-schooled children in tow. Wouldn’t you just love
to wipe that serene look right off her smug face?

Is it any wonder we hate her so?

Sonny Scott a community columnist, lives on Sparta Road in Chickasaw County

4 comments:

anna said...

interesting....makes ya think, huh?

A day in the life of the Simmons said...

Interesting... I do think the viewpoint is a little extreme in the way that he portraits the home-school family.(big family,unfashionable clothes.. he is basically portraying them as perfect little children)

I think there are a lot more factors in the whole picture rather than home-schooling verses public schooling ya know?

Kelley said...

Golly Gee: Are we unfashionable? I realize my children are perfect, but I thought I dressed them pretty cool too!

A day in the life of the Simmons said...

Aunt Kel.. You just made me spit out my cereal all over the screen.

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