Is there really a “right” way to educate kids? A “right” way to homeschool?
Sure, for each family, there is a “right” way that fits the context of that family’s goals, beliefs and internal culture. But on the grand scale, does it exist?
Is the “right” way to homeschool, the way that we think is better than everything else? Is is unschooling? Christian schooling? school-at-homing? Eclectic? Co-oping? Car/van/motorhomeschooling? Is it bilingual schooling? Or “better late than early” schooling? Really, what’s right? Do any of us have the “best” perspective that’s better than anyone else. Does our perspective give us the right to tell the world what’s the right way to learn?
Does a degree give us this right? How about experience as an educator? How about experience as a homeschooler? How about knowing a lot of homeschoolers? How about being a neighbor, or having successful kids? How about having read a lot of books? How about having been around a long time and going through hell in order to get where we are?
Charity wonders the same thing. We cannot say one way is OK and another way is not OK. Because once we start doing that, we put ourselves in a position where someone, somewhere, has to decide what is OK and what isn’t. And what happens, if the people who end up deciding what is OK and what is not, define it so that we aren’t OK anymore? What do we do then?
Sure, it’s easy to say that such-and-such way isn’t OK when we have people to back us up. When we think we’re safe from losing our rights. When we are doing things like everyone else in the world is doing them. But what happens when our group doesn’t support us anymore?
And, if we say “the other side is wrong”, then isn’t that a blatant invitation for the other side to say “your side is wrong too, let’s battle this out.”
When we say one side is “wrong” and can’t educate their kids the way they feel is right, we turn this into a win/lose situation. We want to “save” the other side. But when we do that, we win. They lose. Because, they lose themselves.
I believe this is true with pretty much everything. I favor decisions and perspectives that allow, the greatest extent possible, for as many different opinions and perspectives to co-exist. In the realm of homeschooling, I not only believe it on a philosophical level, but I also believe it’s the only way we can keep our rights – is by making sure that everyone else does too.
There is no one “right” way to homeschool. There may be ways that I would never choose, because it wouldn’t fit my family. And there may be ways that don’t generally make sense in a family situation compared to a school situation. But when it comes down to an individual family’s level – that only thing that matters is what works for that family. This is what we should all be fighting for – making sure that all of us have the right to do what works for our family in education. That’s the only way we can make sure that all of us can retain that same right.