Homeschooling just because you can


Some people just like to have a choice. Military life has a surfeit of involuntary requirements: 

  • a PCS to exactly where you did not want to go
  • an assignment to quarters that are due to be refurbished . . . after you vacate them
  • an assignment to a country where any pets must be quarantined for six months
  • deployment

It is nice to have one area of your life in which you have a choice of materials, sequence, and method. Homeschooling can provide that choice.

Choice in following a child’s interest can also be a factor. Homeschooled children are sometimes thought of as ‘different’ from mass-schooled children because the homeschooled children are able to devote a greater portion of their day to individual interests. This diversity, this emphasis on parents and their children crafting their very selves without as much pop-cultural influence, is seen by some as bizarre. “The children won’t be Normal!” Whatever ‘normal’ is.

If we translate the concept of ‘normal’ to the sports world the characterization of individual choice as bizarre doesn’t hold. Football fans are not thought of as strange because they aren’t baseball fans. Hockey fans are still mainstream American as are surfers, bowlers, marathon runners, cyclists, mountain climbers, spelunkers, swimmers, gymnasts, equestrians, rodeo riders, skiers, ice skaters and martial artists.

Diversity is treasured in the sports world as well as in the worlds of the arts and of fashion, in food choice, transportation method, careers, hobbies and religious choice. Diversity in education, though, is seen as suspicious. Why the tolerance in all other areas of life but not in education? How can the rest of life be considered properly diverse but within education it’s one-size-fits-all?

How did education get separated from living?


Copyright 2006, Valerie Bonham Moon

This work may be copied and distributed for free as long as the copyright and this notice are included.

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