Saturday, July 27, 2019

O Canada (or, a different take on homeschooling, ideology, and the "culture war")

Kent McManigal rightly points out that government schools are used to indoctrinate kids as pro-state troops in the "culture war."

He does so in response to some wit's claim that that's the purpose of homeschooling (just that homeschooling is boot camp for the other side of said "war").

Part of my response to the wit would be somewhat like Kent's -- that is, pointing out that much of the purpose of "public" education is to turn helpless kids into helpless adults -- "good citizens" who do as they're told and don't think too terribly much.

But the other part would be to note that my own reasons for homeschooling my kids, to the extent that they had anything at all to do with "culture war," weren't to turn them into culture war soldiers, but quite the opposite.

Think, for a moment, of the "culture war" as analogous to the US war in Vietnam.

"Public" education is the equivalent of drafting a kid into the US Army and preparing him to go kill soldiers serving with the People's Army of Viet Nam.

In the wit's version of things, homeschooling is the equivalent of putting the kid on a plane to Hanoi so that he can join the PAVN and fight the US Army.

In my version of things, homeschooling was the equivalent of throwing the draft notice in the trash and putting my kid on a Greyhound to Toronto.

Now, that's not to say that politics and "culture war" type topics never came up in our homeschooling journey, or that I refrained from filling my kids' heads with libertarian ideas when those subjects DID come up.  But to the extent that they came up, they were generally brought up BY the kids (we "unschooled," so they had substantial leeway to decide what they were interested in and study it in various ways, with "ask dad what he thinks" nowhere near the top of the list).

And "culture war" wise, I'd have to call the results very mixed. One of the kids is a trans version of Abbie Hoffman, the other is a troll version of Alex P. Keaton.

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