SummaryWe can’t socialize well (because we never go out of the house); we’re not good at sports; it’s not healthy to spend so much time around your Mom; we’re not qualified to teach geography (because we never go out of the house); we’re not qualified to teach anything; snow days are healthy for kids and homeschoolers don’t get snow days, and so forth.
Since I’ve been around homeschooling, for over thirty years now, either as a student or as a parent, I’ve heard a lot of arguments against homeschooling.
We can’t socialize well (because we never go out of the house); we’re not good at sports; it’s not healthy to spend so much time around your Mom; we’re not qualified to teach geography (because we never go out of the house); we’re not qualified to teach anything; snow days are healthy for kids and homeschoolers don’t get snow days, and so forth.
I try to monitor these arguments, more for my own amusement than for any other reason. This morning, as I was searching on the internet (which I do a lot, since I never go out of the house), I came upon a real gem.
The article criticized homeschooling because it gave some children an unfair advantage.
Which children? You guessed it: the homeschooled children.
You almost have to feel bad for anti-homeschoolers. Once filled with righteous pride that their arguments were simply unquestionable, their arguments against homeschooling have now been reduced to compliments.
When I was growing up, I got the argument that homeschoolers had a significant disadvantage. Now they have a significant advantage? When did this happen?
It’s tempting to ask this question. “In the paradigm shift between the time when homeschooling was an unfair disadvantage and now, when it is an unfair advantage, when was that magical time when they achieved the point of equilibrium?”
If I’m going to wistfully think back to these special days, I would at least like to know when they occurred.
This “advantage argument” got me thinking, not just about homeschooling, but about everything else, like the following.
My daughter asked me if I could take her to a frozen yogurt store tonight.
But this raises a question in my mind: ”Should I take her, or should I tell her that, by going, she will gain an unfair advantage over the non-yogurt-eating kids.” Should I take my boys to basketball practice tonight, or should I keep them at home to stay on par with those who don’t practice?
Is my job as a parent to find ways to prevent my children from excelling?
Of course, there is a certain logic to the advantage argument. Clearly, those parents who homeschool believe that it is better for their kids.
That is why they homeschool!
I understand how homeschooling can be an advantage; what I’m struggling with is how it is “unfair.” I think I can speak for almost every parent in history when I say that I want to give my kids as many advantages as I can. We parents work hard to improve the lives of our children. Isn’t it unfair not to help your children get an advantage?
What’s troubling to me is that some people reflexively want to take away advantages, rather than solve disadvantages. In our current system, students often graduate from high school with few, if any, marketable skills.
Many students spent twelve years in sex education classes which not only attacked their purity, but used a great deal of time that could have used to teach them work skills.
Since God is expelled from many classrooms, the students often learn in an environment that does not recognize basic norms of morality.
That is a disadvantage, and there’s nothing funny about that.
If it is true that homeschoolers have an advantage, the problem isn’t the homeschooling. The problem is the disadvantages of other systems.
Maybe they should start addressing those.
Maybe they should start using homeschooling methods as a model, so that all the kids can excel.