The Huffington Post (online political publication?) interviewed Elizabeth Edwards about her homeschooling experience.
This article certainly will not help the debate on whether or not she’s “really” homeschooling. And it does not make it clear whether her experience as a self-described homeschooler will effect their political stance one way or the other about homeschooling. However, there are a few interesting things I noticed about the article.
1) If I had to guess, I’d say that the interviewer, Christine Escobar is a homeschooler. If she’s not a homeschooler, she knows the homeschooling community somehow. She asked the questions many of us would want to know the answer to. She asked about deschooling (although, the way she framed it was a bit odd.)
2) Christine asked about universal preschool. Good going Christine. I’m not saying I’m in love with Elizabeth Edwards’ answer. But I don’t hate it either. She’s got a point that there are many kids who do not have access to quality education, but misses the mark about the possibility of it becoming mandatory is hyperbolic. It’s simply our track record – school starts out optional, offered to make sure all kids have it available, and it becomes mandatory later because of momentum. There is certainly a push here in California to make K mandatory, even though making it mandatory would benefit very few children (and a lot of people who work in education, of course).
3) I also found it interesting that a man who is campaigning to LEAD OUR COUNTRY, and his wife, feel that they are unable to adequately homeschool. They really should join a support group. Maybe even need an intervention. 🙂
4) This interview doesn’t sway me either way about his candidacy. When I first heard they were going to homeschool, I thought it might be a teeny weeny way that homeschooling could be seen in a positive light by democrats, who tend to shy away from any kind of non-highly-regulated form of alternative education. But nope, not really. It’s clear that they are pumping public school whys and hows into their own life, so it’s not exactly alternative. It’s only alternative in that they can do their work faster and with a tutor.
If anything, their experience in their own version of homeschooling will end up helping the kiddos who go to public school (if he’s elected) (which I highly doubt) (not because I don’t like him or anything, but he’s so far under the radar compared to the other democratic hopefuls). Their experience, I don’t think, won’t do anything to benefit the homeschooling community. On the flip side, it won’t hurt it either. (I know, some people worry that it will make the dems even more determined to make homeschooling regulated and all that. I don’t buy it.)
On the personal level, I’m glad to see the Edwards are happy. On a political level, I just wish they would go to a homeschooling conference, and not speak in front a group, but participate. Wear shades and a wig if they have to. Infiltrate our secret congregations, and get to know us (preferably an inclusive one). Now, THAT, no matter what their takeaway is from that, would impress the hell out of me.