Anti-homeschooling perspective #5,439: Homeschoolers are selfish for not letting their kids go to school.
My thoughts on this: I think in some ways, our whole lives are one long series of selfish decisions. Everyone’s. We make decisions based on what? What’s best for us and our families. From where we live to what we eat to the jobs we take to who we pick as our friends.
School is no different. The vast majority of parents send their kids to public school because, that’s just how it is. And, lucky for them, it provides babysitting so they can work. It’s the choice that makes the most sense for whatever reason. But no matter how we educate our kids, it’s a “selfish” choice.
Nobody sends their kids to public school because it’s good for society or because they want their children to be martyrs. (Oh please say I’m right about this.) People send their kids to public school for selfish reasons. People send their kids to private school for selfish reasons. People do the same for homeschooling. And what is that selfish reason – it’s because it’s the best choice for that family. They don’t take into account what’s best for everyone else’s kids – only what’s best for them.
In that way, homeschooling, heck any kind of schooling, is selfish. And that, is a good thing. Because it means that the family is making the best decision for them and their needs. That’s what the kids deserve. That’s how we allow people to be successful in their lives, by making choices that best fit their needs.
I have a feeling though, since I’ve argued this point with others many times before, that the “homeschoolers are selfish” perspective is trying to convey the idea that homeschooling parents are making the decision to homeschool without considering their children’s needs. Well, I suppose there are probably some parents out there who do this, but would argue that very few do. That even though we may not agree with *why* they think homeschooling is best for their children, they do have their children’s best interests at heart, and make the decision to homeschool (by sacrificing a lot of their own lives, I must add), in order to provide what they think is the absolute best way to provide a good life and future prospects for their kids.
Homeschooling is not for everyone, but for the people who choose homeschooling, it’s a great choice. For the people who don’t choose it, it is obviously, from their perspective, not the best choice. And that’s that.
Just as I, as a homeschooler, am better off understanding that each family has their own reasons to decide to send their kids to public school (and are probably better off for it in a lot of ways), people who are/were public schooled should also do better by seeing how homeschooling can be a good choice for the families who choose it.
I’m sure my kids would do well in school. They are adaptable kids (that’s part of what we’re teaching them BTW). But here’s the thing – there’s nothing that PS can give us that we don’t already have. And if that’s the case, what is the point of sending them to school where we’d have to add a lot of stress to our lives, and live our lives according to the public school world? It doesn’t make sense. It would be like moving to a new city because people say it’s the best place to live, even though we’re perfectly happy where we are now.
I know there’s lots of good in PS. But, we’re really happy where we are now. Why fix what’s not broke? There’s a lot of good things in NY, but we live in Cali. Does that mean we’ve made a selfish decision not to live in NY? Our kids will never know what it’s like to live there.
In the end, I don’t really care if the whole damn world thinks I’m being selfish. That’s an opinion. Not fact. It’s a cultural perspective, not based on evidence. I know the truth. The truth is that our decisions are based on many things that most people don’t really want to know. Or talk about. And rightly so – it doesn’t apply to their lives.
So, I take comments like that with a grain of salt.
I just wish, that it was really true what they say about public school kids – that they are more tolerant because of their “exposure to different kinds of people”. But the truth is, that school doesn’t make people more tolerant. If it did, then all the people who went to public school, and all the kids there now, would try to understand homeschooling and alternative ideas of education. Instead, people hang on to the idea that it’s public school or bust. (And I have to admit that there are homeschooled kids/families who are in opposite camp as well.) Only their experience and perspective is the right way. If public school was so crucial to teaching people to accept others who are different, then this blog entry wouldn’t have been written.
I think that the best thing right now is to have choice. And to look at all possible educational choices as potentially valid. And the goal isn’t to try and say one choice is better than the other, but to help individuals find the best fit for them. If that’s being selfish, then so be it. It’s the more effective way. Regardless of whether people like it or not.