Welcome Friday Blog Hoppers! I wanted to share my thoughts on educational choices with you today. If you haven’t made your way to parentdish yet to read the article “SmackDown: Would You Homeschool Your Kids?” please do.
Now, I am published on parentdish but find myself rather disappointed that this is what they chose to use to represent the varying viewpoints on a families decision to homeschool.
The two separate posts put up as a debate start out started out with Crystal Paine, the homeschooler, stating “There is overwhelming evidence that the majority of home-schooled students are thriving -- they score high on standardized tests and also do well in college. These studies and statistics are impressive, but they are not why my husband and I have chosen to home school our children.” and Amy Hatch, the traditional school believer stating, “When it came time to send our daughter to school, we struggled a bit.”
Now, I agree with both of these statements. Our educational decisions for our children have been a struggle and we did not choose to educate them at home because of the statistics involved. When you begin to dive into the women’s post though you find two extremist views, which leave many home educating families like myself brushing the dust off our shoulders while climbing out of the back corner into which our views were thrown.
You see, religious views have not influenced my decision, nor have the opportunities available from our local school systems. We are a part of the group of homeschoolers that more often than not stay tucked away in the blogging world, not voicing their opinion in fear of being outcast by others. We are secular homeschoolers. Religion has no influence on our educational choices at all.
Unlike Mrs. Paine, I do not teach my children at home because I believe that is the will of the Bible, nor do I think there is anything wrong with that reasoning. I teach my children at home so that they have the opportunity to learn about their passions, whether those passions turn into evolution or the study of the Bible over time, our decision allows us to foster our children’s needs and provide them seemingly limitless educational choices.
While the traditionally educated student is limited to textbooks and pre-approved reading list when may pick up a copy of Zen Shorts or head to the Museum five days a week if we choose to experience the art of Ancient China first hand.
It is my hope that those who find their way to this post realize that decision lines for choosing to home school by the original article are not so black and white. There are a million and one reasons why a family may choose or not choose to homeschool and each holds their merit. The choice to home school for non-religious reasons is just important and the many secular homeschoolers out there should not feel ashamed that they do not have deep religious root to base their opinion on. In an ever-changing world where we each strive for acceptance from one another, home school is still on the bottom of the totem pole as far as society is concerned. Instead of segregating ourselves based on our religious views and educational methods, the home school community should bond tighter and share how delightful, productive and meaningful this experience truly can be.
Do you fit into one of the sides from the parentdish article or are you one of the many shades of gray?