So, I'm taking the guess work out of it for the anti-homeschooling critics.
This is my agenda.
1) To promote moral development of my children
Most teens immersed in popular culture emerge from adolescence as little more than amoral pigs who feel "really good" about themselves regardless of their conduct. We actually teach our children to feel bad sometimes, as they learn and grow from their mistakes. This is called a conscience.
Popular culture maintains that it is not wrong to binge drink, drive drunk, use illegal drugs, cheat on exams, cheat on spouse, lie to their parents, have sex with multiple partners of either gender, or dismember your own gestating child. All actions are now morally equivalent with the notable exception of abiding by traditional standards which, of course, is just mean and hateful.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating the decline of civilization, here are a few statistics:
More than half (58%) of 12th graders report having been drunk at least once in their life. One fifth (20%) of 8th graders report having been drunk at least once in their life.*
During the last 30 days, 28.5% of high school students nationwide had ridden one or more times in a car or other vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol.*
Half (50%) of American young people have tried cigarettes by 12th grade.
Half of teens (50%) have tried an illicit drug by the time they finish high school.
Currently 46.8% of all high school students report they have had sexual intercourse
Nationwide, 14.3% of high school students had had sexual intercourse with four or more persons
A 1998 Harvard University study found that 42.7 percent of students had been binge drinking in the two weeks before they were surveyed,
71% of all high school students admit they cheated on an exam at least once in the past 12 months (45% said they did so two or more times);
92% lied to their parents in the past 12 months (79% said they did so two or more times); 78% lied to a teacher (58% two or more times); more than one in four (27%) said they would lie to get a job.
40% of males and 30% of females say they stole something from a store in the past 12 months.
In 2002, 34% of all teen pregnancies ended in abortion.
We don’t send our children to school because we don’t want our children to set their standards by a peer group. In addition, the machiavellian tactics crucial to achieve the pinnacle of adolescent popularity are not the type of socialization we value. My children need to know enough to protect themselves, but they do not need to be immersed in a poisonous environment five days week, week after week, year after year to function well in society.
Some children in school do successfully navigate in such treacherous surroundings, but they do not come out entirely unscathed. They become desensitized to destructive, yet popular attitudes and practices. I’m reminded of the poem by Alexander Pope which cautioned:
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Children naturally imitate what they see. We regulate contact with influences we don't want imitated. I do not want to give the impression that we are isolationists. As children mature and pass developmental stages, we broaden the scope to include discussions and analysis of more disparate perspectives.
We do not pretend our lifestyle is the only lifestyle or that others don't have convincing reasons for what they believe or how they choose to live. Ultimately, children will have to make their own choices. Our goal as homeschool parents is to teach our children how to discern where these choices ultimately will lead.
That's my agenda.
See Why We Homeschool - Part 2
Related Tags: Homeschool, Public school, Moral development of children