School in conjunction with Family

People who do not homeschool their children are sometimes baffled by why someone would want to do such a thing. Public schools are convenient, relatively standardized, require no expertise on the part of the parent, and are paid for. Schools provide community. socialization, extracurricular activities and a focus for identity as a Hornet, a Pirate, a Blue Devil, a Swede or a Tiger.

In public schools the apparent shared identity, also called ‘school spirit,’ is illusory. There is no authentic common undertaking among the younger participants only a common compulsion: attendance. Also the many community activities that have been absorbed by the schools have left much of the remaining community handicapped. So much energy is absorbed by School that very little is left over for other pursuits; school swallows all. This focus may be an artifact of the development of rural America. Where, in other countries, families lived in town and made their way out to the fields to work them, Americans settled the land by homesteading. This left families isolated from close contact with their neighbors. One place they came together was the school.

Today School has taken into itself, or been made to take, everything from academic studies to sports to music to cultural indoctrination to instruction in procreation, to breakfast. And where does that leave the basic human social connection, Family? It leaves Family pulled everywhere but together. Nowhere in School is the purpose of family solidarity the primary goal.

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