Thoughts on Home Schooling

In CategoryHome Schooling

I urge you to examine in your own mind the assumptions which must lay behind using the police power to insist that once-sovereign spirits have no choice but to submit to being schooled by strangers.                     — John Taylor Gatto


Every so often, I stumble upon one of the ever-present debates about the merits of home schooling. Smrt Mama is a regular read for me, and she had a link over to PhD in Parenting, who said this: 

I believe more strongly in the child’s right to an education than I do in the parent’s right to raise their children any way they want.

This is an unnerving statement. I almost think that perhaps it was said without entirely following that thought to its logical conclusion. Who decides what constitutes an education? Or what is a proper education? Who decides what is worth knowing and how much of it one has to know? What if you don’t think that school is synonymous with education? Who is going to determine whether the child’s right is being violated? What would happen if someone decides the child is not getting an acceptable education? Why would anyone think that a nameless, faceless, international body of arbitrary rule makers would be more heavily invested in the education of my child than myself? And if my motives for wanting to be in charge of my child’s education are suspect, what about the motives of the State? The motives of the individuals charged with enforcing the rules? Why do people persist in thinking that the State is a benevolent, fair, justice-is-blind, mistake-free entity, who has only our best interests at heart; when every day we can turn on the news and see otherwise? 

How did we ever come to believe that the state should tell our children what to think?

If only I were as articulate as these…

Three Degrees of Freedom – You Weren’t There

Life Without School – The Myth of Credentialism

Ken Robinson – Schools Kill Creativity