I am not an anti-public school homeschooler.
In some quarters, that’s homeschool heresy. As Christian homeschoolers, we are supposed to be militant in our opposition to the infiltration of Satan in society, and public schools are apparently his favorite tool to bring about the destruction of the world.
Well, of course it’s a tool. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he used a pile of rocks. Driveways of America, beware!
There isn’t anything on earth that can’t be twisted into something harmful or evil. I can sit in my office chair or beat you over the head with it - it’s what is in my heart that makes the difference. And if Satan’s downfall is any indication, his first choice in devices to cause us to fail would be our pride.
And that’s all I’m saying about that.
Our society claims to place a premium on providing educational opportunities for all children.
We as a country have chosen to do so with a taxpayer funded federal program comprised of public schools in every nook and cranny of every state.
However, I choose not to use the system to educate my children.
I can provide quality academic instruction for my children based on my own knowledge and experiences, as well as through books, online programs, streaming media, DVDs, workshops/classes, mentors and apprenticeships.
The choice to homeschool isn’t always about opposing the public education system.
I oppose many of the methods used, as well as the top-heavy structure, but I do support providing the opportunity for all children to receive an education.
That said, folks get the idea that homeschoolers are anti-public education because we aren’t bashful about pointing out the problems we see:
- Age-graded classrooms, where children at various stages of development are supposed to squish themselves into a federally mandated standard.
- Teacher-centric classoom dynamics which are convenient for teachers but do not adequately address how children learn.
- A top-heavy hierarchy that ignores the concerns and input of parents, and even teachers.
- Federal control via funding - which being interpreted is compliance via extortion.
- The politicizing of education at the expense of children’s futures.
- Using a captive classroom of impressionable minds to implement societal changes.
- Essential core skills such as reading, writing, math, and critical thinking are neglected in favor of expensive new programs and warm fuzzy feelings.
- The obliteration of creative play, especially for younger children.
- Standardized testing, which is, like, the stupidest idea EVER.
- Teachers are cocooned by paperwork and red tape, and are seldom allowed to exercise their own creativity and expertise in teaching their students.
- Passing the trash - the practice of allowing problem teachers, even sexual predators, to keep their jobs and move from one district to another.
Our country has gradually moved from community schools funded by citizens and under local control
to a money-devouring, power-mongering, child-crushing political machine which has very little to do with actually educating children. It’s a perversion of what public education should be providing for our nation’s kids.
Our system no longer responds to the voices of the citizens in the communities where their schools are located, or to the needs of children.
One has to look no further than the expensive programs trotted out decade after decade, as if tried-and-true methods employed since the dawn of time need to be revised every time a politician is up for re-election or some billionaire gets a bright idea.
When are we going to stop buying junk because it’s labeled as New and Improved, and realize that we do NOT need to reinvent the education wheel?
So, my dear readers, I choose to homeschool, not because I don’t want public education to exist, but because I want to provide the best educational opportunities for my children. My desire is that their bodies, minds, and spirits are nurtured and allowed to mature in a safe, secure environment.
Obviously I do not believe that our nation’s schools can do this effectively. But that doesn't make me anti-public school. It means I'm a carbon-based life form with a modicum of common sense.
Perhaps one day when parents and teachers are tired of being pushed around and ignored, they will express their deeply held beliefs with letters to their representatives and make better choices at the ballot box, and real change will occur.