I ran across this article today and it made my blood boil. I mean, there are plenty of arguments out there against homeschooling, most of which seem to be fabricated out of personal fears rather than any real, concrete evidence. This one, though, really bothers me. Basically it goes something like this:
[tweetthis]Homeschoolers are selfish for pulling kids out of the system instead of fixing it for all kids. [/tweetthis]
There’s a movie that my husband and I love to watch. It’s called “1 2 3” and it stars James Cagney as a rep for Coca-Cola. He’s stationed in communist Russia. His boss sends his daughter to stay with him for a while but she’s quite an adventurous soul who ends up falling in love with, well, a very communist Russian named Otto.
This bosses daughter owns two fur coats, one of which she gives to the housekeeper half way through the movie. Why? Because Otto says that no woman should own two fur coats until all the women in the world own one fur coat. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It does a great job of poking fun at a rather serious time in history and illustrating some of the problems with communism.
I didn’t bring the movie up to get into any political debates, but I do want to point out that America is not built on communism. And doesn’t this argument against homeschooling sound an awful lot like the fur coat argument? No group of children should be allowed to have an amazing education until ALL the children can have a nearly adequate education.
By this logic, there should be no private schools. There should be no magnet schools. There should be no way at all for parents to remove their children from the basic public school and no way for anyone to work hard to better themselves. Even within the school system, how can we justify special advanced classes? Doesn’t pulling a gifted child from the rest of the group deprive the other children from the benefits of learning with the gifted child? And what about special remedial classes for children who are falling behind? Certainly those children are being deprived of the benefits of learning with children more advanced than they?
I don’t feel guilty that our family has the luxury of two cars in the driveway while a neighbor down the street has only one and I don’t feel that my choice to homeschool is negatively impacting the public schooled children on our street. In fact, I believe we have a positive impact on them because they like to come to our house and read now. (They thought my kids were totally crazy when we first moved here but we’re slowly winning them over). They like to come experience our science lessons and play Revolutionary War in the back yard.
I just can’t figure out how removing my family from the public education system has any negative impact on that system. My husband and I are raising some amazing kids who are free-thinking, creative, self-starters. I don’t have any fear for their adult life because I know they’ll be able to make whatever situation they land in work. I know they’ll find a way through it all. While I DO think our public education system needs some drastic change, I really don’t believe that sticking my own children into an environment where they are asked to try to thrive despite the issues and obstacles would do any good for anyone.
[tweetthis]It’s like asking me to stick my kids on an already crashing airplane and promising me we’ll fix it on the way down. [/tweetthis]
Not going to happen.
To be clear, I don’t think that we should get rid of public school. I don’t think that every family should homeschool. I DO think that as Americans, we have the right to choose what is best for our families. We have the right to NOT submit to the will of the collective. We have that right because we are Americans. We are free. If public education is something you feel strongly about, you have the right to work towards positive changes there. That doesn’t mean that I have to put my energies there.
American education means being free to better yourself. It means finding opportunities and making the most of them.
For my family, we choose the opportunity to homeschool.
That’s our solution for our family.
Sandra Modersohn is a devoted wife, mother, and homeschooler. She loves great graphic design and has a passion for creating beautiful and useful printable materials for children. Little Learning Lovies where she shares her creations with the world. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, at the Little Learning Lovies Blog and Store.
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