Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[culture] Home Schooling

I said recently that I had strong (and unpopular) views on home schooling. Several people asked me to expand on that. By sheer coincidence, scalzi has covered the same topic this morning, and while he's nicer about it than I, our views largely align. He's just more charitable than I am about it.

Remember that I spent the first 18 years of my adult life in Texas, where "home schooling" almost exclusively meant, "keep those Godless liberals away from my little Bubba." In other words, an uncoded appeal to raising children in deliberate ignorance in an attempt to preserve a narrow-minded spiritual framework. (We also have some experience with this version of home schooling within my extended family.)

My default assumption about home schooling is the above. Combine that with the simple fact that most people aren't qualified to teach, not even (or especially) their own kids, as well as the socialization issues, and I have a hard time seeing why it's appropriate, except possibly for edge cases. The business about the home school movement wanting their kids to play team sports and go to the prom (there were a series of lawsuits about this back when I was in Texas) strikes me as rank opportunism and cherry picking.

Like I said, unpopular views. And yes, I'm very familiar with the arguments for home schooling, and likewise familiar with the fact that the alternative community is a strong proponent of home schooling. Still, at the bottom I don't see how educating kids away from other kids is the best route.

I'll just don my flameproof suit now, shall I?
Tags: culture, personal
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