Thursday, May 15, 2008

Weirdest Objections to Homeschooling Ever

This is a little dated, and unless you've been hiding under a rock you know that a panel for a district court in California made a strange ruling that's since been vacated, so the underlying tempest is all gone now. But the nasty little opinion column is noteworthy both because it showed up in the generally sane LA Times, and because it features some of the oddest accusations I've ever seen leveled against homeschooling.

Weird primum:

For-profit charter schools specializing in "home schooling" -- and collecting your tax dollars while doing it -- have not only cast a cloud over the concept of home schooling but have rankled teachers who see the state's limited education dollars being diverted from traditional schools.
Charter schools collect your tax dollars because they're public schools. The teachers in them are public school teachers. Charters don't specialize in homeschooling, though they may specialize in "home schooling," if the scare quotes have the meaning "not." This seems to be saying "one reason homeschooling is bad is that we don't like public charter schools."

Weird secundum:
If home schooling forums on the Web are indicative of the views held by parents of learn-at-home kids ... [etc.]
"We read some things while surfing that seemed extreme, and it made us wonder if the internet is a reliable source of information and a reasonable basis for making generalizations."

Weird tertium:
It's evident that the vast majority who teach their offspring in front of the television do so because they don't want their children to be subjected to such dangerous doctrines as evolution, abortion, global warming, equal rights and other ideas abhorrent to the evangelical mantra.
Whaaaat? Where did this "in front of the television" thing come from? Homeschoolers are notorious for their puritanism with regard to television. The whole "homeschoolers are mostly fundies" myth is familiar, as is the litany of slanders, but I've never in the last decade heard the accusation that we make our kids watch too much tv.

Weird quartum:
There has always been something decidedly elitist and anti-democratic in home schooling.
I don't even know what to make of this one, straight out of the McCarthy era. "There's always been something sinister about those pinko homeschoolers, I tell ya." It's a great slapdown, though. I look forward to using it myself in the future. You know, there's always seemed something decidedly elitist and anti-democratic about newspaper reading.


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