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Friday, August 04, 2006

Burning the hydra's head

A reader and his family embark on the grand educational adventure:

I thought you and Spacebunny might want to know that the wife and I finally pulled the trigger on homeschooling. We were trying to decide between [X], which would technically keep our kids in public education, and [Y]. We chose the latter because when it came down to it, our decision to homeschool was based on our desire to raise our children as Christians, not as secular humanist/Christian hybrids. The thing about [X], though, is that it's completely free with all materials provided, a credentialed teacher who parents can call at any time and a loner computer and stipend for internet access. I can imagine that would be pretty attractive to those with few resources, and I think it's interesting that the state is making homeschooling through them much easier. They must know something....

I have to admit that before I started reading your paranoid ramblings, I viewed homeschooling as a habitat for granolas and PTL members. But the more I warmed to the idea, the more my family and friends pushed the tired arguments you continuously shred. If there's a guaranteed way to convince me to do the opposite, it's to spout talking points. The more "socialization" came up, the more I thought about the wonderful anatomy lessons I learned on the school bus when I was six or the myriad examples (excluding the even greater numbers rumored) of teachers who had relationships with students.

So, if my kids grow up to be toothless mountain folk, I'll blame you guys and homeschooling not my Southron DNA.

Good for him, and better yet, good for his kids. I strongly doubt any of them will have cause to regret the decision. It's also encouraging to be informed that my paranoid ramblings are not entirely pointless.

By the way, one reason I'm never shy of indulging in what looks like repetition to the regular reader is that the arguments faced in almost any area of life, from economics and education to military action and religion, simply do not change. We are still, more than 2,000 years on, battling the pernicious ideas fostered by Plato in his Republic. Plato, Rousseau, Dewey and other revenant-heads of the educational hydra must be slain anew by every generation of parents.

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