Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Are we threatening you?

I don't dress like the Amish, nor do my children, but I do make some of my own clothes! My children aren't always the best behaved on the block, but they do alright and certainly suffer consequences. My family is not over-sized, but we are together most of the time. But stereotypes aside, I thought this article was right on the money. I thought I would share it as encouragement for those walking this road or thinking about it. I really like the idea of being a rebel such as this. You can follow the link, or just read it below.

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

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?

Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 6/8/2008.


Razor Family Farms said...

I can't wait to have a child to home school! Josh and I cannot begin to afford private schools and refuse to let our children attend public schools. Why? Because of classroom size, academic decline in the school systems, and countless other reasons. I also feel that children should start learning a second language at a much younger age -- I am bilingual because of my grandparents' belief in teaching language early. Studies support that philosophy. We also want to expose our child to different cultures (and not just in the summer months). We are very fortunate to have access to the military's Space A or Space Available flights. So, as long as we go as a family, we can go anywhere that there is a military air strip. That covers some seriously wonderful territory.

More on this later.

Blessings and thank you for posting about this!

YD's a little bit of everything place said...

I am certainly not threatened. I think it's a great thing to homeschool your child/children. We do not have any children but if we do, I would find a way to do so.

A Christian said...

This is a great post! If you don't mind, I'd love to write about this in my blog. I'll link to you, and provide some commentary.



Tipper said...

I loved the article! I don't home school and am not threatened at all by those who do. I totally respect the growing home schooling segment of our population. I am very fourtunate to live in a rural area where schools are small and close knit. But I beleive the greatest thing or the biggest difference in home schoolers is the respect and morality that their children often show. More than academics those core values/beliefs are what is missing from to many public schools. Great post!