Homeschooling As a Quiet Protest Against Public School

1069469_sit_inSome homeschoolers have very strong feelings against the public school system. Sometimes, I am one of them. But most of the time, I just think homeschooling rocks, whereas public school… well… doesn’t.

But am I protesting public school by my choice? Are you? Are we making a statement against something by not using it?

Is homeschooling simply a choice, or is it a refusal to participate in something that we’re “supposed” to do? This seems trite perhaps, but I wonder, is homeschooling any different than choosing Coke over Pepsi? Is drinking Coke a protest against Pepsi?

What if the government gave out free Pepsi? Would drinking Coke then be a protest against the government?

Homeschooling is only a protest against school if we’re expected to do it, if public school is the socially “right” choice, and if it’s the way people are “supposed” to learn. Is that what it is in our country? I thought that we lived in a country where choice, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness reigned? Is this not true?

So, if you think that I’m supposed to roll over and do whatever everyone else does because that’s what I’m “supposed” to do, then yes, I am protesting against public school. But I’m not making a big deal about it, because to me, public school is like Pepsi. And it should be like Pepsi. A choice. Just as I prefer Coke, other people prefer Pepsi. And that’s fine with me.

And that’s why to this guy, I’m protesting. While to me, I’m just making a choice.

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11 Responses to “Homeschooling As a Quiet Protest Against Public School”

  1. Summer Says:

    I think at times it can be a protest, not just to the school system but to the whole culture of how things are “supposed” to be. But for us it certainly wasn’t chosen as a protest, just as a way that works best for us.

  2. Sunniemom Says:

    I agree- making a choice is not by default a protest, whether it be one’s choice of neighborhood, car, restaurant, blue jeans, or soda pop- and home education is certainly not just a protest against public schools.

    But as many of us do with any product or service that lacks quality, we shop around for a satisfactory alternative, and that is what most homeschoolers have done, IMO. I also see quite a few homeschoolers doing what they can in their communities to encourage educational progress and choice for all children, and not just their own.

    What Mr. Hightower seems to lack is any respect for accurate information, objectivity, or critical thinking skills. He appears to have realized that attacking homeschoolers is a sure fire way to get attention, which IMO is the equivalent of a toddler who stands in the middle of the room and screams until someone gives him what he wants. It doesn’t work when you’re three, (at least not in my house) and it certainly shouldn’t work when you’re thirty.

  3. April Says:

    Hear! Hear! It’s funny how often choosing Option B is considered a slam against Option A. (Hot tea? Do you have some sort of problem with coffee?) The fact that homeschooling gives us freedom to explore our world, that it fits our family, our philosophy, and our habit of doing odd spontaneous dances, etc. aren’t seen as valid reasons. Obviously, the only real reason to homeschool is because I hate all things and people associated with public school. Sometimes I just want to say, “Hey, public school people, it’s really not about you. In fact, although I wish the best for your children, I really don’t have the energy to waste fretting about your choice. Why are you fretting about ours?

  4. M Green Says:

    It’s funny how the choices we can make and live with for ourselves are hard for others to live with–even if it isn’t their right to make the choice. It’s ironic that I should say this, since as a Christian, I’m often accused of doing this exact thing (whether or not I’m actually doing it–but that’s a response for another blog).

    I’m with you on this. I don’t really hate “Pepsi”, at least, not anymore. Now, it’s just that we all prefer “Coke” so much, we just don’t see much of a reason to switch.

  5. Jenny in Ca Says:

    the article you linked to, wow- my jaw hit the floor. The article was like a back-handed compliment, or an insult with a smile. I think he was afraid of the backlash if he came out and said what he ‘really’ thought. His last sentence was good, the schools and the teacher’s unions are turning off parents to public schooling-they could concentrate on making it an attractive choice for schooling, maybe it would slow the tide of parents fleeing with their children.

    I am thankful that I live in a country where the individual has rights and has free choice. It’s mystifying to me that someone has to work so hard to explain my choices-and to paint them in such dark, ignorant terms, instead of just accepting that it is simply one choice between several schooling options. I homeschool because in this time and place, for the children I am raising, it is the best choice.

  6. Zayna Says:

    Mr. Hightower wrote – “What I said was that home schooling is a pitiful alternative to sound public education.”

    Show me “sound” public education and we might just have something to discuss. My idea of sound is NOT a system that labels and boxes children, intimidates parents and insists that it knows what’s best for your child.

    I just love how people cite “being in contact” with someone from elementary school as being pivotal to their argument.

    “Also, I have friends from my first-grade class who still write to me. You would not want to deny me the right to testify to the good that my public school teachers and classmates did for me, would you?”

    Did anyone even ask this guy for his opinion? What deny him his right to testify to anything? Doesn’t mean we can’t disagree, does it?

    I’m with you Tammy. My decision to homeschool was based on the fact that I had the choice and public school wasn’t working out for us.

    You likened it to soda pop, if I may I’ll take that and liken it to laundry detergent.

    My Daughter is allergic to Tide, breaks out in horrible hives that last for weeks if her skin comes in contact even with its residue, so we use Sunlight instead.

    There’s no “We hate Tide” campaign, there’s no animosity toward the company who makes it nor against the people who use it.

    For the well-being of our Daughter, we use something else.

    It is that simple.

  7. sunniemom Says:

    Tammy- the link to Toby Hightower’s op piece now takes you to a subscription page. Funny this is, when I do a Google search, I can’t find it AT ALL now.

  8. Deb Brisbois Says:

    I also was taken to a subscription page and I can’t find it anywhere on Google. Wow, that’s just so…interesting.

  9. tobeme Says:

    Interesting how are choices can be interpreted by others. I support your choice and for the reasons you have made your choice.

  10. Toby Hightower Says:

    I have never made a critical or defaming statement about home schooling. I have, instead, characterized it as a dedicated effort by obviousy caring and intelligent parents. Calling growth in home schooling a wake up signal to public schools is not a critisism of home schooling, nor is citing the uplift of public schooling to my life.

    I will say, however that some of you are quick to personal attacks, anger, scorn, and name calling as evidenced by your published comments.


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