Most homeschoolers are quite aware that our way of life is under constant attack. To our credit, we have proven time and time again that we stick together and fight back. This has kept our opponents at bay, at least regarding out-right bans. This has also forced those who would love to criminalize homeschooling to adjusted their tactics. Instead of trying to harpoon us, they cast wide nets and shiny lures, patiently waiting for us to take the bait. The purpose of this blog post is to expose their hooks and cut their lines.
Listed below is a sampling of their tactics:
There are traitors in our midst: We have all heard the saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” Lately, I have noticed an uptick in the number of “free” Government sponsored homeschool curricula. This “free lunch” is so appealing, but the moment you take a bite you have just put the government back into the driver’s seat – and I think that might actually be the point. The government is saying, “Fine, you be the teachers, but let us dictate the lessons.”
In addition to the free curriculum, states are starting to offer their free “expert” advice. They want us to come to them for “help” and “guidance.” I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I would sooner be treated by a doctor convicted of malpractice. So thanks, but NO THANKS!
Accreditation: We have all been led to believe that accredited schools and curricula have met a higher standard and are superior to the unaccredited rift-raft. What accreditation actually means is this; the same officials who ran public education into the ground, have just given their endorsement. Beware! That is not to say accredited curricula are bad, but as the parents we should judge for ourselves based on merit, not credentials!
Educational Psychology: The path to homeschool hell is paved with expert advice. Many well-meaning homeschool moms turn to top education psychologists for guidance on what and how to teach. This is huge mistake.
Educational psychologists are the cheerleaders of public education. Children are their lab rats, and oh how they love to hypothesize and experiment. In their eyes, children are soulless biological material, that with the proper formula and environment can be turned into whatever the experts desire. My advice is to stay far away from these mad scientists. Your children are not Pavlov’s dogs, they are human beings with wills of their own!
Divide and Conquer: Julius Caesar ruled Rome on the back of this strategy. Simply stated, when you find your opposition too strong to achieve a decisive victory, you divide them and then conquer them individually. There was a time when there was just the homeschool movement. Now, there is a homeschool movement and an unschool movement. Both have a right to exist, but what is frightening is that I keep seeing the two sides being set against each other and even advocating government intervention and oversight on the other side. The unschoolers argue that traditional homeschoolers are forcing their narrow-minded religious views on their children and the traditional homeschoolers condemn the unschoolers for having no standards.
If we are not careful, in our attempts to discredit and regulate the other side, we will put our own chains on. Homeschoolers and unschoolers are eternal allies, fighting for the central truth that parents, not governments, raise children!
The Big Net: If all else fails, those who would ban homeschooling have one last big shiny lure that works nearly every time. This is their failsafe, a big net that snares the last few free fish. That big net is college.
College is the Mecca of secular education, where children finally face the Goliaths of the secular worldview. It is a place of tempting, twisting and turning. While homeschoolers are the least likely to lose their way, that is not to say that many are not overwhelmed and consumed. Deep down most Christian parents know this, but they accept college as a necessary evil and do their best to prepare their children to defend their faith.
I agree that many colleges are evil, but hardly necessary! Now, I realize that I have just opened a huge can of worms, and it will take more than this short post to defend my position, but I hope that is some way I have got you thinking. In a later post, I will begin to describe my vision of an elite education, where competence and character are the goals, not college admission!
Like all bait, these “homeschooling baits” are tempting, but used to cleverly disguise a hook, that once set is meant to reel us in. So, proceed with caution.
Whether you agree or disagree, if you have a question or comment we’d love to hear from you.