Saturday, August 23, 2008

Judy responds to why many hate homeschoolers

Awhile back Sonny Scott wrote an article on Homeschoolers Threaten Our Cultural Comfort. It made the rounds, being picked up by several homeschool blogs. It started out with:

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.


He later asks and then answers his own question:

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?
Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the homeschooled 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.


Judy of Consent Of The Governed responds to Sonny's article. In Homeschoolers - The Cultural Threat Judy challenges many of the sterotypes. She writes about one reason why many oppose homeschoolers:

One would think that public school administrators would be more than happy to push kids out of their school door to be homeschooled, so they could have less kids to worry about, and a bigger pie of funding to distribute to educate less kids. Instead they tend to fight the homeschool model and block kids from leaving. I think it's mainly a "control thing". Heaven forbid parents teach something at home that other people cannot "content control".

Judy makes several more good points, go check out her post.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


Grizzly Mama said...

Very interesting. I ran across MANY people who seemed to take my homeschooling of my kids as a personal attack on their decision to send their own kids to public school.

Henry Cate said...

Yeah, I think Sonny Scott nailed it for some people with:

"Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?
Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the homeschooled for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler."

Anonymous said...

You know what, you probably won't approve this comment - but here goes.

I'm an online tutor, and I get homeschooled kids. You know what I see in many of them? They're smart, but don't know the basics. An eighth grader won't know about decimals, for example. When I ask the homeschooling parents anything, they can't form a single sentence properly. I'm not saying there are no exceptions to this. Just that poorly educated children are by far the norm.

So...Why do I hate homeschoolers? They stifle their children's intelligence. That's why!

Henry Cate said...

Anonymous - I have thought some about your post.

I'm not sure why you are having a bad experience with homeschoolers. In general the studies have found that as a group homeschoolers do just fine academically.

Maybe you are getting the homeschoolers who recognize they could use some help.

Anonymous said...

I do not hate home schoolers; in fact I can see where home schooling would have many distinct advantages. My only concern would be whether or not children are taught adequate social skills in a home school environment. I grew up in an agricultural community where several kids were home schooled. A significant number of these kids were awkward, immature, and unaware of people's feelings around them; even as adults. I do not draw the conclusion that this is the case for everyone who is home schooled. As an adult I have known several people who were home schooled as kids and turned out some of the most amazing individuals that it has been my pleasure to know. I am just wondering what the general consensus on the matter is.

Henry Cate said...

I think the general consensus by society in general is they are worried about the socialization homeschoolers are missing.

And I think the general consensus by homeschoolers is they are not worried, or feel that negative socialization is an important reason to homeschool.