This great blogger reader el linked to has written more great posts on homeschooling. Here is an excerpt:
Without homeschooling, Christian Patriarchy as we know it could not exist.Why? First, because Christian Patriarchy cannot exist without parents having the ability to isolate their children, especially their daughters, from the outside world, and second, because Christian patriarchy cannot exist without parents having the ability to completely control their children’s educations.
Remember, this is a person who was homeschooled and is discussing her own experiences and things she has witnessed. I think that Christian Patriarchy is such an insidious power structure that it would exist even without homeschooling. It would be weakened considerably without it, but it would not disappear. What drives people into its venomous embrace is fear. Fear of life, fear of responsibility, fear of adulthood, fear of the world, fear of their individuality. Within a community of religious fanatics, the unwelcome necessity to think is removed. Every decision is made for you, so you can achieve bliss by chewing the cud and obeying like a patient sheep.
Homeschooling gives parents the ability to completely control everything about their children’s lives. In contrast, when children go to public school they have interaction with things outside of their parents’ world and have more control over their own educations. Now, I’m not saying that patriarchal abuse can never take place when children goes to public school. It can. But it cannot take place at all to the extent that it can when children are homeschooled.
Of course, the abuse in question is not limited to the patriarchal kind. Children who are not allowed to exist outside their parents’ gaze don’t get to participate in normal socialization processes irrespective of the parents’ religion and ideology.
I’m a little envious of this blogger because in her comment thread there were honest, responsible people who actually confessed that they tried homeschooling and it was a bad idea. The thread is filled with the comments made by people who’d been victimized by homeschooling. These are the testimonials that make the selfish homeschooling parents completely rabid because they know that, one day, their own children will be saying these very things:
Even if they have large groups of friends, if the parents are controlling so much of their children’s lives, what are the odds that the group of friends has differing life experiences? So many of my friends that have left the homeschooling environment struggle meeting people, making new friends, and dealing with the people that are completely different from them.
And another comment:
It’s not “just a few” homeschool families that abuse, it’s many of them. I wish homeschoolers would quit minimizing the abuse that a lot of these kids suffer just because they want to keep abusing, uh, sheltering, their kids.
And the most important comment of all:
They honestly believe. . . that “parents should have the freedom to educate their child in whatever manner they deem best.” BULLSHIT. That is total bullshit. Parents have rights, yes, but so do children, and so does society. It’s in the society’s best interest and the children’s best interest that they become well educated and productive members of society. It is therefore not up to the parents to educate their children in whatever manner they deem best. As long as homeschoolers actually believe that, they are condoning the abuse, because it is that mentality that allows the abuse to take place.
Many people forget that children are not toys or pets. They are human beings, citizens. They have a right to pass through all the normal stages of separation from their parents, no matter how much their parents need a dummy to fill their empty lives and find an excuse for their own professional and social failures.