Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Homeschooling for Liberty

As we approach the start of the school year, Tom Smedley's new piece on is worth a read or two.

First quote-worthy section:

To the rational thinker, handing off children to paid agents of government makes as much sense as hiring the hangman as your babysitter. Yet today otherwise sane people consider it normal to frog-march a terrified five-year-old child to the bus stop, and send him off into a penal system peopled with monsters and manipulators. "After all," the gulled parent says, "public school did me no harm!" Other than damaging your critical faculties to the point where you are unable to perceive the harm done to yourself ...

Second quote:
Home-schooling is the place where the love of liberty intersects the love of our children. This is normal, principled, child-rearing, where we take our offspring by the hand to lead them on a guided tour of the real world, the wondrous universe. It is also, in retrospect, one of the few important things I have done with my life. If you are like me, you have met too many parents in tears over how their children were alienated from them, and came to hold in contempt the defining values of their family. In stark contrast, over the course of the last two decades, I've met zero home-schooling parents who regretted that decision. Even parents who eventually handed their kids over to the government regarded their home-schooling years as times of unusual closeness, happiness, and adventure.

Is home-schooling hard work? Let me rephrase that: is it an ordeal to spend large blocks of time with the people you love most on earth? With personable youngsters who are alive with questions, alive with the love of learning? Who regard you as their primary expert on everything? Who are eager to try out the things you teach them? Avid readers, well able to engage in intelligent conversation at an early age? So where's the hardship?

Hard work, yes. Hardship, no.