Forging Through a New System

Matthew Hennessey:  “In Spain, where my brother-in-law and his wife are raising two young boys, if you don’t send your kids to school at the age of six, you get a visit from the cops.”

Shoot, that’s peanuts compared to what can happen in Sweden.

Recently, my sister sent me this article about a UN treaty.  If ratified by the United States, it could jeopardize the parental right to homeschool a disabled child.  And as Mr. Hennessey points out, if we can legitimize Obamacare’s individual mandate “on the notion that costs incurred by an individual but borne by society necessitate government intervention,” then couldn’t we legitimize a school mandate under the same reasoning?  Like this:
“homeschoolers are no different than the uninsured in the costs they impose on the rest of us. Doesn’t society suffer if kids aren’t being properly socialized? Don’t institutions suffer if children aren’t being properly educated into citizenship?”

My first instinct is to scoff at this worry.  If anyone were to dare question my academic standards, I feel confident in my ability to embarrass the heck out of such impudence through sheer volume of educational documentation, as well as the obvious in-person brilliance of my poor unsocialized hell spawn.

But then, Mr. Hennessey makes a good point when he says, “Do the Spanish live in a free country? . . . They probably think they do.  Compared to Saudi Arabia or China, Spain is practically a libertarian paradise. . . .”

We Americans think that we live in a free country, too.  Yet, we allow our government to tether us in innumerable ways, from the cars that we drive, to the foods that we eat, to the manner in which we light our homes.

Never forget:  the collectivists in our midst hate the concept of homeschooling.  To these totalitarian adherents, the idea that parents alone should decide how their children are educated . . . perfectly scandalous.  We can’t be trusting parents with responsibility over their own children, can we?

On top of all this is the fact that most folks feel dependent upon the school system, whether public or private.  I should know.  I felt not just dependent, but deliriously grateful for a British school system that would take a difficult boy off my hands full-time, because the Brits have a lovely thing called “reception” that begins at age four (4!).  Sod that silly German kindergarten starting at age five.

So we started down a well-trodden path that seemed so easy at first.

It quickly grew thorny and treacherous.  Experts wanted to diagnose my son, and label him as something more than difficult and strong-willed.  My advice to be firm was ignored.

This is the point at which I give anti-homeschoolers reason to squeal:  she’s over-protective!  Her child has special needs that she refuses to acknowledge!  Like this commenter to Mr.  Hennessey’s article:

“my wife and I have experience with several local homeschooled children that makes us question their socialization skills, as well as the motives of the parents.  The parents of one child we know pulled him out of the public school because the school psychologist tried to persuade them that he had a learning disability and needed special therapy.  They could not accept that.  Now that their son is a teenager, we can easily see that he is grossly unsocialized and has an obvious speech disability.  The public schools were eager to help him with the problem, free of charge, but no, he had to be homeschooled to protect him from the taint of being considered impaired in any way.”

Now, don’t you dare ask whether this child could have been worse off by remaining in the public school system.  Derp.  The notion that public school would have improved his situation is to be taken as unalterable truth.

This is the point at which I ask:  why am I writing this post?  Do I really need to defend my decision to homeschool?

No.  I am unwavered in my dedication to home education.

But some of the commenters really got under my skin.  Like this one:  “That’s why we have medical professionals, and I see no reason not to elevate education professionals to the same logical level.  Child development is a science, bona fide and constantly being improved.”

Ahh.  Child development is a science.  We need professionals to help us navigate our way through this science, like the professionals who created a 1st grade curriculum that instructs kids to water a rock.

I have a question for all those education professionals.  Why do I have to find a nonprofessional homeschool teacher to teach my son Latin?

Bah.  I should not have allowed the comments on Hennessey’s article and Dreher’s article to bother me.  The way I reckon, the more cash-strapped states become, the more likely they are to embrace homeschooling, which costs the state exactly zero dollars, while the parents still pay property and other taxes.

Yay for supporting a failed system through our tax dollars, even while we forge our way through a new system!
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10 thoughts on “Forging Through a New System

  1. Conservatives on Fire 24 August 2012 at 9:00 am Reply

    Professional educators? I suppose there are a few; but as a whole they have more than demonstrated their worthlessness over the last forty years. Trust the State with our children? Not a chance!

  2. VincentMVNY 24 August 2012 at 1:20 pm Reply

    The link to the Sweden incident is unbelievable. It’s absolutely amazing that otherwise sane people once they become bureaucratized as civil ‘servants’ lose their humanity, decency and common sense. Where’s the outrage about the TOTALLY ILLEGAL abduction of their son BY THEIR OWN SUPPOSEDLY DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT?
    Fascism is always just an inch away from upending personal freedom.

  3. [...] Forging Through a New System [...]

  4. Freedom, by the way 25 August 2012 at 11:02 am Reply

    The sad and frightening thing is that too many parents buy into the notion that the public school system has the best interests of their students in mind–NOT. Indiviual teachers may, but not the system. It’s not about socialism it’s about conformity because only when people conform can they be counted and segregated to the machines efficient little formulas. The more students a school has classified with a “learning” disability–which can be something as simple as speech–the more $ they get.

  5. Planet Moron 26 August 2012 at 7:53 am Reply

    It’s not that you don’t have good intentions, it’s just that you lack advanced public education skills:
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/mich-education-official-educators-not-parents-know-whats-best-for-kids-education/
    In totally unrelated news, public education is in its sixth straight decade of crisis:
    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/how-to-fix-the-education-crisis-10132011.html

  6. Steven 26 August 2012 at 11:23 pm Reply

    Yes, as I recall from college, the education majors and the pre-med students were pretty much the same caliber.

    I do have to say that the finger-painting classes the ed majors seemed pretty tricky. If I tried it without instruction, I’d probably mess it up. I’m not sure how I would do with the “how this part of the body makes you not die” classes the pre-med students were taking, but I’d be willing to give it a shot.

    Not on my own kids, though. Frankly, I’d rather try teaching them finger-painting without a licensed supervisor, risks be damned.

  7. Yos / Si Vis Pacem 28 August 2012 at 6:35 am Reply

    Here’s the thing, Lin: Even parents with kids in the state schools have an obligation to homeschool.

    We talk about what they’re learning in “social studies” and AP Gov, Math, Chem. Everything. We gave our kids Pocket Constitutions. We transmit values; we teach our kids how to recognize the smell of pure, organic field-grade manure delivered at a podium or whiteboard. How to wash it off their boots. To be religious kids and to encourage others at school to be proudly faithful in theirs’.

    Cheers!

    • nooneofanyimport 28 August 2012 at 10:12 am Reply

      Well, yes definitely. Any misinformation from school can be discussed and used as a “teachable moment,” when folks like you are fully involved in their kids lives. I hope I didn’t imply that only homeschoolers instill values and important teachings at home. I just wanted to point out the “stink eye” with which many view the idea of full time homeschooling, and wrestle with whether that could ever be a real threat to our ability to do so.

      cheers!

  8. las artes 7 September 2012 at 7:37 am Reply

    The public school system influenced the school systems of the British empire to an extent. Recognisably ‘public’ schools can be found in many Commonwealth countries.

  9. [...] ruling class may hate homeschooling and try to get rid of it, or more likely try to provide some oh-so-reasonable federal regulation [...]

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