The Road to Homeschooling – Part 2: Here Come the Homeschoolers
[This is Part 5 of the article “Please Don’t Homeschool Your Children”]
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, a movement arose that many consider nothing less than God’s intervention to undo what had detoured the family for a century and a half. All over the country, parents began keeping their children home instead of sending them to one of the schooling options I have previously mentioned. Some parents made this decision out of concern for their children’s spiritual, emotional or physical safety; others resolved to reject the “education” their children were receiving.
At first, the majority of parents decided to keep their children home simply because they wanted a relationship with their children and parents didn’t think this was possible if their children were gone all day long. Because the decision not to send one’s children to school was such a novel and controversial idea, we needed strong convictions that this was the right choice in order for us to be able to withstand the criticism and ostracism that was inevitably directed toward us.
Look at the many choices parents have today when considering where their children might be schooled. Children can now be:
Note that the above choices relate mainly to the location where the schooling takes place. In the past 150 years, what has changed is the first word in these choices, not the second. Each choice still emphasizes the fact that children are to be schooled: the scope of information (subject matter) and the sequence in which that information is presented remain, essentially, the same, regardless of where the child is schooled.
A MISNAMED MOVEMENT?
How did keeping our children home during the day come to be called Home Schooling?
Ask parents, “What should children, age six to eighteen, be doing during the day, Monday through Friday?” and most will say, “These are the years when a child is being schooled, of course.” (We now speak of the school-age child).
It follows, then, if a child is to be “schooled” during these years, the only real question is, “Where will he or she be schooled?” Today, the answer is, “He or she will be public schooled, private schooled, Christian schooled, or home schooled.”
Assuming that every child is supposed to be schooled during the day, if he is home during the day, he will be home schooled during the day. Hence the origin of the label “Home Schooling.”
All this presupposes that being schooled really is a child’s primary daily activity between the ages of six and eighteen?”
I would like to suggest that, until the advent of the modern Public School Movement, being schooled was not a child’s primary daily activity between the ages of six and eighteen. Schooling a child was never meant to be the constant with the variable being only where the child is schooled.
What is so problematic with the term “Home Schooling” is what it causes parents to do with their children who are spending their days at home.
If this movement that has come to be called Home Schooling was originally intended to be God’s intervention to undo what had detoured the family for a century and a half, what happened that caused it to lose its original purpose?
[Next: A Movement That Lost Its Point]