Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Though I do not currently homeschool I firmly believe in it!

I am in a mom's group on line with Rachel from
She sent this poignant Piece originally found here:

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?

Sonny Scott a community columnist, lives on Sparta Road in Chickasaw County and his e-mail address is


Salesdiva said...

While I don't have a problem with home schooled children at all; I have a problem with the premise of that article that made it sound like only home schooled kids are clean, well-behaved, well mannered - that those who are not are basically all heathens. I beg to differ.

If people want to home school, fine. But don't make those who don't out to be the Devil.

Cottage said...

Love your blog, it's so varied and interesting; always something new to read! Can't wait to read about the Great Train Wreck of 1918.

I've HS'd and not, watched others who did and did not.

This author made salient points for actually RAISING your own children, teaching discipline, manners, consideration and providing a non material focus.

Using HS'ing as the anchor to compare and contrast a lifestyle of over spending, credit card abuse and glutenous entertainment with Voluntary Simplicity and its mindset probably isn't fair or wholly truthful to either way of life.

He did however make very good points about the discrimination and unfair finger pointing that HS'ers endure AND pointing at the peace available when Money isn't your guiding light. Very interesting and thought provoking.

Well, gotta run. Now what did I do with those Mercedes keys? Dang it, shouldn't have been reading these blogs, now I won't have time to slide by Starbucks before I get my nails done...oh well, that nail tech can wait on me! Let's see, I'll just run by Chilis afterward, too tired to cook...then pick up that stupid game at GameStop, before heading out to my Spa Night with the girls. Yay! I just need some rest after being out of town all week, hope there's a good movie at the Mall for the kids so I can shop that sale at Nordstrom's tomorrow. I just need some ME time. Ugh! That irritating school counselor just left a message on my phone...$%&#! Will I ever get a break?


Sue said...

So glad you stopped by. I'm happy that your family enjoyed the baked spaghetti recipe, ours really liked it too.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Thank you, Terri, for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

I have seen these families and know several of them. I don't know that the parents are necessarily "more intelligent," but I do think that homeschooled children are often absolutely delightful people and very well educated. (I've also known those who are quite a bit less successful.)

Anway, it's a very thought-provoking article and I certainly would never despise or look down my nose upon homeschoolers. I even tried it myself for a year.

Do you homeschool your five? You are to be commended as it takes such commitment and tenacity.

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Mama P said...

I would love to link this from BabyCenter. Are you okay with that? If not, are you okay that I cut and paste the article crediting the author? Let me know either way and thanks! Interesting read to say the least. As usual, I fall in the center of the debate.

Mama P said...

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