*Now before I rant I will state (in order to not fall into generalizations) that not all members of the freethought community(Atheist, Scientist, etc.) are againist homeschooling, even if they don't homeschool themselves they can see the value it has. This is directed at the rest of the community that doesn't see any value in this method of educating.*
I’ve pondered the following question a time or two before and even more here recently. What is the deal with the scientific and Atheist communities hating on homeschooling? I would think given the situation with the TX school board, the ratings of various states in the area of teaching evolution, and the nonsense brewing in Louisiana; these two communities would completely understand and support parents who are aiming for comprehensive fact based education for their children and chose to opt out of the public school system in order to ensure this.
Which leads me to wonder if any rational level-headed human being can admit that there are some serious problems in our public school systems, with lack of critical thinking skills in our youth, piss poor science, and the arts disappearing left and right, why is there so much hostility in the science and Atheist communities towards home schooling *both communities generally label themselves as rational thinkers*? I’ve been following the PZ post on homeschooling, I haven’t bothered to post a comment because the comment section is being filled with anecdotes and you can tell your story a million times that doesn’t mean it will change someone’s mind. And the opponents to homeschooling are spouting generalizations that are often spouted when talking about homeschooling, which gets really old, really quick.
What I wish as an Atheist homeschooler is for the scientific community to realize that there are parents out here doing the best we can to ensure our children get a comprehensive fact based education, so instead of kicking us even further down *because we are currently taking flak from ALL sides*, actually stand behind us and work with us. Help to develop curriculum materials that ensure not only Atheist homeschoolers but other secular homeschoolers actually have textbooks/workbooks/materials in general that are based on FACTS. Instead of pointing at us like the evil monkey from Family Guy, encourage us for taking the stand to raise free thinkers and take their educations in our own hands when the public system has shown its inability to educate them.
No I’m not anti-public school homeschooler, there is a lot of potential in the public school system. Does that mean I want to waste my kids time and my own attempting to make the system work for us when we have the ability to do it ourselves, No. Does that mean I completely agree with all the reasons someone may have for homeschooling, No. I don’t agree with indoctrinating (I loathe indoctrinating) *hence the issues I take with actions happening in the public school system*, but should homeschoolers lose their rights to homeschool because of a section of homeschoolers? Hell no. Should there be across the board standards that ensure all youth are getting the same basic knowledge, yes of course. But our public schools don’t even have these and they need these. So instead of attempting to attack what some of us have found as a solution to the public school problem you should be more concerned with actually fixing the PROBLEM. Novel idea I know, but hey it’s amazing what can be done when the problem is addressed and fixed instead of pointing around at other sub-issues.
THEN we can address the issues in homeschooling and there are issues in the movement anyone who is unwilling to admit that is just as deluded as someone who thinks homeschooling as a whole is evil. It has its good and bad. For our family and a growing number of families the good issues out weigh the possible bad issues, especially when compared to the alternatives.
So to recap *aka my list of demands*:
1. Fix the problem with public education instead of blaming us for it, stop assuming having our children in public school will some how magically fix all the problems in the system. You don‘t believe in magic remember.
2. Work with those of us who are doing all we can to ensure our children get a comprehensive fact based education, seriously I shouldn’t open a book and have to correct it *even textbooks used by public schools have this same problem!* So those in the scientific community bust down some doors and get your asses in there so we can get some solid science in books, non-believing and secular homeschoolers WANT this and public schools NEED this.
3. Drop the socialization/socialized/isolation issue. You are educated you know what socialization means and you know a public school isn’t needed for this.
4. The scientific method is not based on experience and generalizations alone. It is based on testing and finding answers. You can assume all day long that all homschooling families use homeschooling to program their children to be science-free drones and that generalization would prove to be completely untrue when actually tested. So don’t make generalizations instead actually learn about homeschooling so when you speak it is based in fact.
These are all I ask. And I don’t think that is asking too much from a community that boost critical thinking and facts over all else.
A Happy Atheist Homeschooler.
Copyright (c) 2010 Rayven Holmes