Forbes Magazine recently published an article online with the oh-so-amusing title of Want To Tell The State To Stick It? Homeschool Your Kids.
I have mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand, it's EXTREMELY favorable towards homeschoolers..maybe even ..just a teensy, tiny bit too favorable. After all, homeschoolers are like everyone else and homeschooling isn't a magical formula for turning your kid into a super smart, responsible, entrepreneurial, virtuous, moral, upstanding member of society that always pays their bills on time, attends church every Sunday, never, ever exceeds the speed limit and discovers the cure for cancer, all while coaching soccer and running a successful restaurant that sells only locally-grown, organic, grass-fed, free-range food.
And, most homeschoolers I know, don't actually want to "stick it" to anyone. In fact many even enjoy a rather congenial relationship with their local school department...even using the school for special services, extra-curricular activities or sports. Furthermore, many families drift in and out of the homeschool lifestyle.
My major beef with the article is that it paints all homeschoolers with the same broad brush.
I mean...really....we don't even own a flag.The God-fearing, flag-waiving, gun-toting homeschool crowd
One common criticism of homeschooling is that it lacks diversity. And, to some extent, that is true...homeschooling families, for the most part, consist of married, college-educated, single-income parents. Not to mention, that most homeschoolers have messy homes and bookshelves that look like this.
Nonetheless, there is a lot of diversity too...I've known homeschoolers of different races, religions (or no religion), and homeschooling philosophies. From the unschoolers to the classical educators..homeschooling spans a wide divide...with most people falling somewhere in the middle.
However, the one thing almost all homeschoolers have in common is that they are fiercely independent and fiercely protective of personal liberty and the right to choose how to best educate their children,.
“Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections.”- Ron PaulHomeschoolers, for the most part, don't take affronts to personal liberty sitting down. And, that's a good thing. After all, by homeschooling, one of the most important thing I want to teach my kids is to think critically and to learn how to learn what they need or want to learn. Got that?
There are so many different reasons why people homeschool, and the reasons one family chooses will be wildly different from those of another family. But, one thing almost all homeschoolers have in common is that the parents are, almost by definition, highly involved in the education of their children. And, that is likely the reason why, homeschoolers are seeing such success when it comes to test scores and spelling bees.
I love being part of the homeschooling community. I love being in charge of my children's education and I love spending time with them and watching them learn. I love learning right alongside them. But, most of all, I love the independence and freedom that homeschooling gives our family. And, that is why we homeschool...not so we can "stick it to the state"..but so we can live our lives the way we choose, teach what we feel is the most important and educate each child in the best way for that child. My 12-years of public school education taught me nothing more than how to get an A, I want my kids to learn more than that.