Saturday, January 28, 2017

The worst thing about homeschooling

The worst thing about homeschooling is being associated with fundamental Christian homeschoolers.

A few dozen times over 25 years the years someone has tried to pressure me by saying that I should support ALL homeschoolers equally, or that I should use my influence to promote all homeschooling methods and philosophies.

I have never done so, and never will. I will tell a couple of stories, but first will link a post by someone who was homeschooled, revealing some truths about the HSLDA. Some who read it already knew these things. Others might be surprised, or amused.

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah, Kieryn Darkwater on January 26, 2017

At dinner in restaurants, friends have sometimes asked a question about homeschooling that shows their assumption that we were doing something, anything, like fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers were. My plate, on the table, was pointed out to represent school. The sale, or a fork or something, is set on one side, and I'd say "Christian homeschoolers think school doesn't control kids well, and gives them too much information." On the other side of the school/plate, I would say "Some people think school controls kids too much, and doesn't give them enough information. We're on the far other side of the school. We're not doing the same thing at all."

People have criticized me for "only" caring about unschooling and not promoting their more conservative projects or ideas in my discussions or on my blog or whatever, but I still don't promote them, and I haven't. I've irritated a lot of people who can't tell the difference between learning philosophies and political movements.

A couple of times I have said this, but haven't put it in public before, so here it is. Not only have I not wanted to support Christian homeschooling, with their dishonesty and creationism and revisionist history, I have said that I would rather they be prevented from doing what they're doing, even if it had meant having my own kids in school. They are stealing their children's chance to learn about the world, and to meet people who aren't of their own very narrow beliefs. And that's not so broad as "fundamentalist Christianity." There are MANY subgroups, and there are families that didn't let their children be in playgroups with other kids because of some slight difference in dogma. Anyone who doubts that should look up "statement of faith homeschool groups" and "legalism in Christianity."

To find a samples, I searched for "legalism Christian homeschooling" and here are a couple of interesting things:

Found Legalism in Homeschooling Methods, October 2016
I feel like the homeschooling community is coming to grips with the long-held misconception that homeschooling our children is the ticket for all of us to get to heaven. If homeschooling were the answer, why would we need Jesus?

Submission or Doormat Legalism?
There is dangerous trend in several homeschool movements that focus on obedience to man-made rules instead of God’s rules. Legalism is essentially opposed to grace.

Biblical submission teachings are distorted to the point that family life centers around the father of the home rather than on Jesus Christ.

The webpage of Patrick Henry College, founded by the same person who runs the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, is a good read. Read about Libery University after that, if you're still in the mood.
What Makes PHC Different

Patrick Henry College ("for Christ and for Liberty") was founded in 2000 with a vision to restore America by educating the best and brightest Christian students to take their place as future leaders of the nation and its culture. Its Mission is to prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American Founding.

What we do as unschoolers is more like public school than it is like fundamentalist Christian home schooling (they like two words better than one). What they do is more like public school than it is like radical unschooling. It's worth knowing something about their intentions.

1 comment:

Sandra Dodd said...

For future reference.

A facebook friend wrote:
Here's what I don't get; even if you don't believe climate change is man-made, doesn't it make sense to protect the environment anyway? I mean, isn't clean air and water a good thing, regardless? Isn't it better not to lay waste to forests and to keep the oceans from becoming toxic dumps, no matter what you believe about global warming??

I responded:

Sadly, I know the answer to your question. IF it's true (as it seems) that fundamentalist Christians are behind helping Pence (using Trump to help Pence and his ilk), because they want to "return" America to the theocracy they like to imagine it once was, then they will have a fundamentalist belief that was prevalent in my youth (50's, 60's), and has gradually been replaced in many churches, but not all:

The earth is just a temporary thing. When Jesus returns, it will be destroyed. Time spent "protecting the planet" instead of trying to do what God has commanded (bringing more souls to Christ is the ideal belief, but some churches are more into preventing what they see as sin).... that shows a lack of faith. BECAUSE Jesus is coming back, don't waste time preserving the earth for the future. It's nearly a form of blasphemy.

That's why very many people in the southeastern U.S. (and some in other places) don't care so much about a planet they think is only 6,000 years old anyway, and won't be needed much longer.

While I was writing this, Christie Brelin Galnor wrote above "Because it's not meant to last forever. That's what heaven's for."