Thursday, January 14, 2010

On a political note... :)

Zephyr Art has been involved in a debate on Home Schooling on the Shelbyville, TN Times Gazette blog of a homeschool friend, Shawna Jones. (link: We advocate freedom, bottom line!

Zephyr Art wrote:
I do not want to argue with anybody... yet I do feel responsible to dispute things that I feel are expressed with authority though not backed by experience or research... even if they are expressed with the best intentions.

I want to encourage all the home school parents who might be following this discussion. The arguments brought forward here, against homeschooling, are archaic and obsolete. I remember listening to such worries around the dinner table when I myself was homeschooled... back in the 80's. These were very serious and legitimate concerns at that time. Since then homeschooling has been proven a viable and perhaps superior form of education. Now there are so many articles available for parents to research the pros and cons of training their own children that it amazes me. Shawna has tried to post information and articles that might educate people and alleviate some of their fears about home schooling.
I suppose if there were many tragic home school stories I might enter into a 'more regulations might be appropriate' conversation. It seems that most of the issues here are as shallow as, well, I just don't like what you are doing with your children and, I am sorry to say, they seem a little odd to me. Hmmm, and the 'they all must be tested' mantra... I have personally known children that were trained with the 'unschooling' method, a method I have enormous arguments against, tested each year only to progress annually alongside their public school counterparts. That alone speaks volumes.

I must say some truth against homeschooling has been spoken here. Home schooled children do tend to be different. I am amazed how comfortable they tend to be with people of all different ages and economic situations, how they tend to jump in and help at community events, how they seek out knowledge rather than assume it will be handed to them... I could go on and on about how different they are but I suppose I really like those differences and it would just sound like bragging.

Lastly, I am the oldest of thirteen children, all schooled by my mother, and not one of us would consider welfare as a legitimate lifestyle. Perhaps our mother, finally refusing to accept 'free' lunches and the other tax payer 'freebies' continually offered to public school children, had something to do with that... alas I have no studies to prove that I am right about this :). I do know that my siblings and myself are all people that contribute to our communities. We are business owners, artists, musicians, writers, spouses of remarkable people who also contribute to society, parents, and, I think, average home schoolers. I am proud that my mother didn't wait until she had 'earned' somebody's trust, somebody that ultimately meant nothing to her or to her children. I am glad that she was able to ride out the anti home schooling sentiment and raise her children in a way that she felt was better than what she was being offered... for 'free'. I suppose I feel that anyone that has the wherewithal to fly in the face of convention has been 'certified' enough. I have lived long enough to see that going against the norm is not an easy thing to do. Parents that don't want to 'be held accountable' don't choose home schooling as an educational option. Ultimately a home schooled child's failure or success in life rides solely on his parents efforts. That is being held accountable. We do not have the ever ready excuse of blaming the teachers, or the school system for our failures at parenting.

I will quote an earlier post: The bottom line to this debate is: Do parents have the freedom to choose the paths of their children, educationally or otherwise? I am forever grateful that MY parents did!

Bravo to all of you that are involved in your children's lives, whether you train them at home or have them go to the local public school. Whether you like it or not you are all in the minority and in that way all a little 'odd'. Good for you!

(Sorry if this is a bit blunt, I believe I am feeling a little 'defensive' too. :))

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