Thursday, March 31, 2011

Homeschooling (Part 2)


So, yeah; we’re anti-social. But when did that become such a bad thing? When did standing up to the masses of society and saying, “No,” to their norms and standards become a bad thing? Last time I checked, that’s what made this country great (and made this country a country at all.)The freedom and capability to stand against the masses; to stand up for what one believes is right. Again, how hypocritical of us to be “free Americans” yet still make attempts to illegalize home education? Is it not the parents’ right to the education of their own children?

I understand that, generally speaking, the public refers to anti-social as meaning, “having poor social skills and difficulty interacting with other children, particularly those of differing ethnic or religious backgrounds.” And unfortunately, that may be true in several ways. There is a sort of prejudice and elitism among several homeschoolers that subconsciously prevents them from interacting with certain groups of society. But can’t the same be said of every one else? Not all homeschoolers are racist and religious bigots; some of my closest friends don’t share the same religious beliefs with me at all, and I actually get along great with people who are of a different race than me (sometimes better than those who are.) Some homeschoolers are like that. But not all. That depends on the individual person. Are you honestly going to tell me that not a single individual boy or girl who is enrolled at a public school doesn’t have some form of prejudice? What about all the legendary “cliques” and groups you hear about in highschools? The jocks. The nerds (who, by the way, have the misfortune of being classified as “having poor social skills and difficulty interacting with other children,” despite not being homeschooled.) The popular kids. I may have not been in public highschool, but I have heard about it, and it seems to me that prejudice is a pretty universal experience. Not that it’s a good one; I personally find prejudice to be one of my greatest enemies, and I try to fight it more than almost any other sin. And I encourage this combating of prejudice among my homeschooling friends as well. But just so we’re on the same page…it is considered a prejudice to say that all homeschoolers are anti-social and prejudiced. So the next time you try to call out somebody else’s prejudices, remember to take a look at your own first. This is the method I have found to be most helpful with my own prejudice.

So, anti-social? Yes. Above the Norm of society? Maybe. Difficulty interacting with other people? Not any more than any one else.

There are “anti-social” children in public schools too. So what does this mean? No one environment makes for a more or less social person; that relies completely on the individual person. A good friend of mine from public school is actually quite recluse. Not awkward or shy, but just introverted. That’s how she is, and it has nothing to do with her school system. Me, on the other hand? I’ve been homeschooled all my life and you can’t even get me to shut up. (Ask my parents. It’s the one homeschooling lesson I never learned.) So the argument that homeschooled children are “ill-prepared for life in society” is purely unreasonable. We manage just as well as any one else in any other schooling system.

And please don’t even bring up the argument of, “How can you interact with society if you’re in your home all day?” Seriously? I have to interact with society every day of my life! Every single day there’s something going on that involves me getting out of the house and interacting with society. It gets to the point that I actually wish I could see and interact with people less. It’s no different from any other kid. We have parties and dances and sports games and we call each other to hang out. No different. At all.

So, again, if you’re going to argue against homeschooling, please don’t make the prejudiced argument that, “all homeschooled children are socially ill-prepared.” Not unless you’re willing to make the same argument against all other children.

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