Homeschooling and Indoctrination

Those of you who read this blog regularly know I’m not a big fan of homeschooling. It’s not that I’m not aware that it can be done without isolating or indoctrinating kids, it’s not that I don’t know it can produce well-educated and confident kids, it’s just that I’ve seen the problems, the huge problems, it can cause, the problematic ideologies it can shelter.

Over the holidays, I spent some time at my parents’ home and I looked around the curriculum my siblings are using, curious to remember what I had studied growing up. As I looked at my siblings’ textbooks, I was reminded of how often, how very often, homeschooling is used to indoctrinate rather than to educate.

Their science curriculum is young earth creationist (creationism literally comes into every chapter) and teaches a straw man version of evolution only to show how it’s wrong.

Their history curriculum was created by pseudohistorian David Barton, who has no academic training in history whatsoever.

Their economics and government textbook proclaims explicitly – explicitly - that God is a Republican.

Their literature curriculum was authored by Douglas Wilson, a slavery-apologist and giant of the Christian Patriarchy movement.

I understand the importance of freedom. I understand the importance of allowing for dissent and differences in belief. But the problem is that homeschooling – at least when unregulated, as in the state where I grew up – allows parents to teach their children whatever they see fit. There are no checks and balances, no quality controls or requirements, and to many children are robbed of an accurate education at the hands of their parents’ “freedom.”

Homeschool parents in states like the one where I grew up could teach their children that the world began two hundred years ago and all history textbooks lie, or that the earth is flat, or that 2 plus 2 equals five, and no one would stop them.

Now sure, my parents could send my siblings to public school while at home still teaching them creationism, David Barton’s pseudohistory, or that God is a Republican, but in that case my siblings would also have access to other perspectives and other information. If my siblings were sent to public school but still taught creationism at home, at least they would still be exposed to an accurate representation of the theory of evolution, and the same with being exposed to an accurate view of history, a comparatively balanced understanding of government and economics, etc. Homeschooling, in contrast, allows my parents to completely control my siblings’ education and the information they receive.

I think what you see here is a point of conflict between parents’ rights and children’s rights. Do parents have the right to teach their children whatever they see fit, completely controlling their education, or do children have the right to an accurate education?

If you believe that parents should be able to completely control everything about their children’s lives until they are 18, teaching and training and disciplining them however they see fit, then unregulated homeschooling is no problem. In contrast, if you believe that children do have rights and that parents’ ability to do whatever they like with their children should be curtailed in order to protect those rights, then unregulated homeschooling is a problem.

I honestly think that it’s this divide that makes any discussion of homeschool regulation so difficult. Those who believe that parents have complete rights over their children and those who believe that children have rights that require placing some limits on parental rights will simply never see eye to eye. In fact, they often can’t even seem to communicate because they have such different starting points.

Conservative Christian homeschool organizations like the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) avidly oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and ardently and constantly trumpet the importance of parents’ rights. In fact, HSLDA is one of the organizationspushing for aparents’ rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Similarly, HSLDA opposes any homeschool regulation whatsoever. When you have a perspective like HSLDA’s – believing that parents’ right to control their children’s education is absolute and total – it’s hard to ever compromise or find middle ground.

I don’t think it’s either practical or a good idea to ban homeschooling—I don’t think our public school system is high quality enough to justify doing so, and I also don’t think that’s consistent with the value we place on freedom and individualism in the United States. I do, however, think that homeschooling needs to be regulated in at least some fashion because I believe that children have the right to an accurate and decent education. Compulsory education laws were passed a hundred years ago to guarantee every child a good education. States that allow homeschooling without regulation have effectively undone those laws.

I don’t pretend to have the answers. I don’t know what kind of homeschool regulation would be best or even if better regulation would actually ensure that every homeschooled child received an accurate and decent education. All I know that it is really hard to watch my siblings being taught pseudoscience, pseudohistory, and pseudogovernment, and pseudoeconomics, to watch my parents teaching my siblings ideology rather than simply educating them.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06370841996857073237 Alison Cummins

    In my jurisdiction (Québec) my understanding is that homeschooling is fine as long as one parent has a university education. The family is then presented with the Québec curriculum and asked to come with a plan that will meet that standard. They don’t have to use the same methods or schedule as schools, but they do have to have a plan for how their children will learn what Québec children are entitled to learn. (It’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s basically how it works.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Alison – My understanding is that that's really how it used to be in the U.S. too, back in the 1970s and much of the 1980s – a family would go to the local school, tell them they wanted to homeschool their kids, and then they had to show a plan for how they were going to achieve the same level of education, what curriculum they would use, etc, and have visits from a teacher or administrator at the end of every semester to ensure that progress was being made.What changed? According to educational historian Milton Gaither, what changed is that conservative Christians who saw public schools as the enemy began homeschooling and HSLDA was formed, arguing that ANY regulation or limit placed on homeschooling violated parents' rights and must be removed. HSLDA led a major legal campaign and, well, essentially won, though many states do still have some sort of regulations. Gather's Homeschool: An American History is fascinating reading, for anyone who might be interested.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17500128753102750833 Mommy McD

    I live on an air force base but I know of a lot of families that homeschool, either because they were not sponsored so their children cannot attend the schools here, or because they chose to. I do not think they have any regulations on them at all.Our family was one of 2 at our church (when I was in 8th-12th grade) that did not home school. I looked at their program when visiting once and I was pretty appalled as well. At the time I mostly lamented their lack of literature exposure and the woeful science curriculum. I loved Chemistry and wondered how they learned about half lives if they thought the earth was only 10k years old. They also pretty much only read American authors, and nothing with any sexual undertones.

  • Wendy

    "Their economics and government textbook proclaims explicitly – explicitly – that God is a Republican." Wow.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03820077215682328240 boomSLANG

    "Their economics and government textbook proclaims explicitly – explicitly – that God is a Republican."I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Unreal. These people's dishonesty is appalling. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Self_projection_as_god

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    boomSLANG – I wouldn't call it dishonesty. They really do believe it. They believe that given the economic and social positions of the Republicans, and of the Democrats, God would clearly be a Republican. After all, God is against murder (aka abortion) and against stealing (aka welfare and other aid to the poor). Therefore, God would be a Republican. The fact that this finds a place in their govt/econ textbook rather than simply conversation or theology or something is the reason I mention it.

  • Anonymous

    I've homeschooled in a state, Ohio, that required parents to present a portfolio of the child's work once a year, but I don't think this was any kind of deterrent to parents teaching new earth creationism and pseudo-history. The only requirements were having paper proof that you were teaching the core subjects (english, math, history, science, etc.), and that the child was making progress in them. It said nothing about the content of those subjects. So they only people who had difficulty with the requirement were unschoolers, who don't use worksheets or textbooks.I'm not sure how you could regulate it to catch the new earthers. Requiring homeschoolers to take the standardized tests wouldn't do it, because standardized tests I've seen are very weak in science and history. I think making a list of approved curriculum might help, but knowing the average state legislature, especially in the south, Abeka and Bob Jones curriculum would make the cut, but the watered down curricula for for learning disabled students (like my daughter) wouldn't. I agree that homeschooling should be regulated, and that children have a right to an education. I'm not sure how to do it though.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03820077215682328240 boomSLANG

    "boomSLANG – I wouldn't call it dishonesty. They really do believe it."Point taken; I understand and agree with that. Christian home-schoolers really believe what they teach. Let me phrase it another way: Teaching what one believes as "fact", in home-school, or otherwise, is a form of dishonesty, *if* what one believes hasn't been proven as fact. These people don't get the luxury of taking the position, "Well, I really believe [X] is a fact, therefore, it is and I can teach it as such."Perhaps a better example would be "creationism". While creationists might very well really believe that an invisible, conscious being created the earth just a few thousand years ago, it is not a proven fact. In fact, there is evidence against that claim. Moreover, when/if these people teach "a straw man version of evolution only to show that it's wrong"(as you say), that is a form of dishonesty, IMO.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15172112981244682382 shadowspring

    Home schooling is supposed to be regulated by "the least restrictive means" to ensure that the child has access to education. Each state is free to come up with their own laws to balance the child's right to education with a parent's right to direct the upbringing of their children.As a long-time home school parent and advocate, I AGREE WITH LIBBY! We need better regulations and more accountability in home schooling. Children are getting screwed out of an adequate education and it is not fair.Home schooling can be a great option and should remain legal, but there could be much greater accountability (and should be!) with no harm to the process. I have my ideas: annual physicals, tougher penalties for lack of compliance with home school regulations, standardized tests or other outside evaluations. Personally, I loved Florida's home school laws, and if they would close the private school loophole, that state would be ideal in my opinion.Daily contemporaneous logs, reading lists, annual education accomplishment evaluations by a licensed school psychologist or standardized test administered by a state licensed teacher- I met these requirements every year with no problem. In fact, the teaching tips from the school psychologist were very helpful. I would add the physicals because it would help discover vision/hearing/ADD problems that really need addressed.The only thing I don't like about Florida is the private school option that allows people to evade accountability under the home school laws. That's a loophole that needs closed. I recently found out that a good friend of mine- a major advocate of home schooling- is afraid her children would need to be held back if she put them in public school at this point. Wtf?!? I had always believed that parents would do what was in the best interests of their child, and if they could not at least keep up with public school averages (50th percentile) that they would do the right thing and put their child in public school. Instead, my friend just enrolled them in a private school that allows for home schooling along with offering standardized testing and group outings. This school, while it requires testing, does not have any requirements about test results. That sucks!So, how can we start advocating for greater regulations without calling for the end of home schooling? I would support such an organization.

  • Anonymous

    I don't know what state you were talking about, but you should relocate to the Pa/NY border area…I can say that homeschoolers on both sides go through 3 measures to ensure that their work is adequate (the state testing, an annual portfolio for the local school, and annually going over the portfolio with a person who has a state certification…before handing it in to the public school). I wouldn't recommend dropping all 3, but 1 should be enough.The red tape is a head ache. For example, public school educators weren't really held as accountable before NCLB. I'm the only one in any of my classes who likes NCLB imposing standards (the other El. Ed. students HATE it!) Why? They will get measured, compared to OTHER SCHOOLS! How dare the government do this? Well, Pa and NY have been doing it to homeschoolers for years.-Jerusha Wheeler

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02510172065585770709 Hopewell

    Good grief–which economics book? The rest I know well. It always seems to me that QF/Patriarchy parents KNOW the only way their kids will believe what they tell them IS to keep them isolated……

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09371826731550331938 AztecQueen2000

    I homeschool. The alternative is a single-gender, single-religion school in which the Old Testament is taught as history, young-earth creation is taught as science, kids learn to read Hebrew before English (and can barely even read English–I've seen twelve-year-olds gravitate to Dr. Seuss instead of more age-appropriate fare). They're also taught that all non-Jews are anti-Semites in disguise, and it's OK to steal from them, as long as one doesn't get caught. If you're going to argue for regulation, I'd start with the private schools first

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16753690091825424985 Hypatia

    My entire high school science curriculum consisted of books written by Dr. Jay L. Wile, who is in my experience the most popular homeschool science curriculum writer, and probably the guy who wrote the books your sisters are learning from. While the books contain a good amount of physical science, theories of science that don't fit with 6000-year young earth creationism are treated as laughably simplistic and foolish – theories that only God-rejecting liberals would deceive themselves into believing. Also, the books were terribly written. Terribly. I hated every minute of my highschool science education. I got to college and realized that I am completely intrigued by the theory of evolution, which was never presented to me in a correct manner. I have so much learning to do about the physical world – I'm pretty much starting from square one, but I'm so excited and fascinated by the beautiful interlocking world that evolution has given us. Learning about the reality of the world has only been wonderful so far.

  • Meggie

    God is a Republican? Wow. As a non-American, I see a Republican president as four years of war; Iraq, Serbia/Croatia, Afghanistan, etc. and a Democrat president as four years of peace negiotiations; Clinton, Obama, etc. I don't know much about the internal politics of the two parties but, from an international point of view, either God really likes war or maybe, just maybe, politics has nothing to do with God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10515811554518736780 Ada-Jean

    I agree with the principle of regulating home school – because I think children have rights apart from their parents – but struggle with the best way to implement in practice. I have two families close to me who homeschool. One is unschooling, adn while unconventional, the kids are way ahead in cognitive development, the other has kids with learning and spectrum disabilities. I also live in a country with compulsory standardised testing in all schools. The tests are really problematic – they are based on assumptions about progress that are problematic for lots of kids, and downright harmful for special needs kids. I think there needs to be some allowance for different approaches to learning, hard to manage with standardised testing. Portfolios aren't onerous to meet, but frankly I don't think they would stop kids being taught rubbish either.I do think at the very least, people shouldn't be allowed to sell "curriculum" materials that have outright inaccuracies in them. And I love the idea of physicals. Hana Williams would be alive in that was in place, for starters. And maybe quarterly interviews by education inspectors with the kids. Or maybe there should be compulsory, regular outside teaching days – monthly or something – exposing kids to a different, publicly mandated, perspective. I dunno, I find it really hard.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Welfare and aid to the poor are stealing? Yeah, I think that Jesus guy explicitly forbade any help to the poor, and advocated taking care of yourself and yours before all and amassing riches here on Earth… oh, wait!Twilekangel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17421694569082580775 Laura Lucanidae

    One of the problems of living in a democracy where people are free to make different choices is that they do.And you might not personally approve of them.Many states require homeschoolers to take standardized tests on a routine basis, to make sure that the children are up to par on fundamental skills. This is perfectly appropriate. (In my state, homeschoolers have to adhere to such laws, and students in private schools of whatever stripe do not.) But what you are talking about is the state regulating the world view and philosophy parents are presenting to their children.I don't think there's any way to allow homeschooling and still find a way for the state to tell parents what to teach, to undermine parental authority in such a fundamental way. I think this is a fringe we all need to learn to live with, for the sake of our democracy. I keep waiting to meet these rabid Christians that are desperately trying to keep their kids under a rock by homeschooling them, the ones who represent the majority of homeschoolers. They must be doing a great job of it, because I have met perhaps hundreds of homeschoolers, none who fit that stereotype. One reason for the persistance of this image is the curriculum which is aimed specifically at homeschoolers. Christians who demand curriculum with an extreme world view are one of the few cohesive groups within homeschooling. There are perhaps thousands of reasons to homeschool, but an extreme Christian view is probably one of the very few that calls for special homeschooling curriculum. Secular curriculum is purchased more often by homeschoolers than Christian curriculum. But secular curriculum is developed for the much larger public school market, and not identified as "homeschooling" curriculum.The numbers of homeschoolers is growing hugely, as our economy sinks further into the toilet and public schools become more and more underfunded. Stereotypes like this can discourage families who would not fit this stereotype from even considering this option, which is a shame.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17223859994666636372 Cluisanna

    In Germany homeschooling is flat-out illegal, and I'm very glad about it. Then again, our school system is, afaik, in a lot of aspects better than the American one, especially regarding the curriculum and affordability of higher education. If a politician would suggest that schools should "teach the controversy" he would probably get laughed at.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Laura Lu – You might find this table on the reasons parents homeschool interesting.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15528465833214550644 Katy-Anne

    Laura, despite who you might have met, the research shows that 85-90% of homeschoolers are the religious crazies who want to keep their kids under a rock. It doesn't matter how much homeschoolers want to deny that fact, it's the truth and research supports that.

  • Anonymous

    Libby I completely agree with you on homeschooling. I've been home-schooled myself and I had much of the same kind of education you had, only neither of my parents were any kind of educator, so they gave us the books and told us to motivate ourselves to do them. I've never went to public school, because my parents were afraid that we would be taught("indoctrinated") about sex ed, evolution, and a "gay is okay" mentality. I knew this, but when people asked why I was homeschooled I always knew that I was supposed to answer "because the public schools are terrible".~Arachne

  • Anonymous

    We are planning to home-school our children and the main reason is that public school education is quite poor, unfortunately. Even though we are evangelical Christians, I would never use Christian curriculum to teach my children. I just don't see the point why? Both me and my husband have university education (we both majored in education) and we think we can do a better job teaching our kids than a public school can. That said, if any of our children want to go to school at some point, we are not going to hold them back. My oldest son is kindergarden age right now and I try to expose him to many "outside of home" activities as possible, we go to the libraries, museums, play centers, skating, gym, swimming, etc. I love being able to do that with him and him being able to do that rather than be "stuck" at school for 8 hours every day. It is too bad that extreme religious home-schoolers gave home-schooling a bad name :(

  • helen

    I think allowing _unregulated_ homeschooling has nothing to do with democracy or human rights. One persons rights end right before this person is interfering with someone elses rights – and this is true also between parents and children: the parents right to exercise their religion freely and teach their religion to their kids does not overwrite their children's rights to education, knowledge and information. Parents are free to tell their kids that they will be disinherited by their family and go to hell for sex outside marriage, speaking up against their husband or father, being gay, dieing their hair green, pursueing a career in evolutionary biology or whatever, but they do not have the right to prevent them from knowing that scientists think evolution is the best explanation for certain phenomena, or from knowing about condoms, the pill and homosexuals, and they do not have the right to tell them that masturbation causes blindness. The best idea would certainly be a curriculum setting the skills and information the children have to acquire by the end of the year, and tests twice a year (with exemptions for special needs kids whose development is to be checked on regularly by specialized educators). A medical exam should be inlcuded once in a while (including at least a talk with a female obstetrician and an ultrasound for teenage girls). Of course children can be told that this is just a performance for the state and the contents are not true, but the kid would still have to at least have some vague idea about what happens 'outside'.

  • LeftSidePositive

    "Their economics and government textbook proclaims explicitly – explicitly – that God is a Republican."Libby Anne, you hereby owe me $1500 for a new laptop because the steaming chunks of my brain that spewed forth upon reading this fell on my keyboard and fried the works.I will accept a check made out to "The LeftSidePositive Foundation for Oh Holy Fuck How Can Humanity Be That Self-Serving and Malignantly Self-Rationalizing and Is It Even Worth It to Leave The House Anymore?!?!!!!" Please be careful to write the correct number of exclamation points for the foundation's name or the bank might not accept the check.Thank you.

  • Candidly Uncandid

    So if the home school curriculum you were brought up with is "pseudoscience" because it states creationism as pure fact, then why is the public school's biology program not "pseudobiology" for stating the Theary of Evolution as fact? Why are public school history textbooks not "pseudohistory" for representing the existence of nomadic tribes 12,000 years ago as fact? Accuracy is dependent on the eye of the beholder. Using a liberals logic, public school is no more "accurate" than home school as all the viewpoints are the viewpoints of humans; there is no proving evidence for either point of view. Any regulation will be controlled by people with a personal opinion on what is adequate.

  • Anonymous

    @Candidy: Nah, there are some objective truths out there, and one is that there is way, way, way more evidence out there for evolution and for an Earth that is billions of years old than there is for young Earth creationism. Evolution is a "theory" (but the word "theory" has a different meaning in science, as something much more proven than you think) that has come together by analyzing evidence, whereas creationists have a conclusion already set in mind and then manipulate the evidence to support it. That's why it just doesn't hold up logically.Anyway…In my experience with the homeschoolers I've known, regardless of their political or religious views (though most of them were conservative, fundamentalist Christians), they all seem to lack critical thinking skills, unless they took pains to learn those themselves in college, like you seem to have done. It's a lot clearer with the kids whose parents intended to brainwash them, of course, but even with kids where that wasn't the intention, it seems like they're way more susceptible to fringe, illogical opinions. In the case of one of the liberal homeschoolers I know, he's recently come to the conclusion that because humans "evolved to live outside," he should sleep out in the central Wisconsin winter snow, completely exposed to the elements save a sleeping bag, rather than in his dorm room. Considering it's so easy to debunk (sleeping outside in East Africa as early humans did is different from sleeping outside in the winter in a temperate climate), I don't know if I can really say that his beliefs are really that much more wacky than that of the Birthers. They seem to show the same desire to see one's beliefs affirmed rather than do real inquiry, and inability to carefully critique an argument. I think that even if one is not intending to brainwash kids via homeschooling, you still need to put in an effort to make sure your beliefs are not the only ones they're getting, which some parents don't know how to do. I also think that simply socializing with other kids in a youth orchestra or sports league (or other things commonly used to "socialize" homeschooled kids) is not necessarily the place where you're going to be debating politics and religion to the same extent as taking a class like history or civics in a classroom setting.

  • Anonymous

    And another thing I've noticed is that so many homeschool graduates have ridiculous misconceptions about what it's like to go to public school. I remember watching a "misconceptions about homeschoolers" video where their rebuttal to people think homeschoolers were sheltered was "hey, if it means I wasn't exposed to sex and drugs in middle school, I'm proud to be sheltered!" Yeah, ok…the average age of virginity loss is 17, and the majority of American teens graduate from high school without doing any drugs (and for most who do it, it's just marijuana). It's actually pretty easy to graduate from a public high school without having much to do with any of those things (though I don't think older teens having sex is necessarily wrong if they practice safe sex) if you choose your friends wisely. With me, I was at an all-International-Baccalaureate (but still public) high school that was full of nerds and where people were really competitive w/r/t GPA and test scores – which meant it wasn't always the healthiest environment in that way, but it did mean that most people were too goal-oriented to get involved in possible education- and career-derailers like drugs or unprotected sex. Even for my friends who went to more traditional public high schools, the places were usually big enough that they could form a clique of more responsible-minded, "nerdy" friends and avoid the burnouts or, at least, not get involved in their scene.

  • Anonymous

    Here in Alberta, Canada, most homeschoolers are not acting for religious reasons — rather,for family togetherness or to provide a better learning environment.Homeschoolers have to register with a school board in the province. I know of several cases where the local school recommended homeschooling for children who weren't doing well in regular school. I don't have statistics, but I get the impression that most parents (like us) use the standard Alberta curriculum, with some modifications if necessary. Some programs are teacher-directed where teachers mark work and are available for consultation. Students are required to do provincial exams in grades 3,6,9, and 12, which sounds great, but isn't. The problem is that the tests are poorly made multiple-choice computer-scored tests that don't do an adequate job of assessment. One of my sons is preparing for his final year Physics departmental exam. The exam questions are all multiple choice or numeric response — previous years had short answer questions that gave a chance to show knowledge but they have been cut out of recent exams. Lack of thinking skills? let me give you an example. Our bull escaped from his pen, and the boys had to figure out how to keep him contained, given only the resources we currently possess. They tried several solutions and eventually came up with a combination of constructed wire fence, pre-fab fencing panels, and electric fence wire that has proved successful. Not only does this demonstrate their problem solving abilites, it is also an experience they would not have had if they were spending 8 hours in school each day plus 3 hours on the bus. Our goal was to teach them how to learn things for themselves. It seems to have been successful, although whether they learned these skills because of us or despite us is, of course, open to debate.One of my sons wanted to go back to 'regular school' for his last year and did so. Academically, he was prepared for the work. Socially, he was actually one of the more popular members of his class. The biggest change he noticed was that kids in regular school did more clock-watching and generally wasted more time. The others are stridently opposed to going back, pointing out that they would have less free time due to having to spend 3 hours/day on the bus and that we would incur extra expenses. They also like being able to sleep in later and to eat any time they want to.I share your concerns that some parents use homeschooling as a way to control their children and narrow their horizons. But I don't want Big Brother telling me how to raise my children either. Our local elementary school was doing a lousy job (horror stories available upon request) and homeschooling was a better alternative for us. I would be wrong to deprive other parents of this choice due to the abuses of a minority.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17421694569082580775 Laura Lucanidae

    "The Research" shows homeschoolers are 85-90% "religious crazies"? That's pretty interesting, because I would say at least half of the homeschool families I know are unregistered. And in many states, registering is not a requirement. Who is collecting statistics on these people? The HSLDA? They would very much like you to think that everyone who homeschools is doing it primarily for religious reasons. And they are not the only ones.That is, however, beside the point. Should the state be primarily responsible for educating our kids to provide our children with a "worldview"? is that really the solution? Wow, a bunch of nations have done that and are doing that right now, and I can't say that's such a great idea. I know homeschooling is illegal in Germany. I've been told this is because the last time the state tried to provide kids with a "worldview", it didn't work out so well, and now the fear is that neo-Nazi families would homeschool to continue the tradition.

  • LeftSidePositive

    No. You see, there's this funny thing called evidence. Positions are accepted as fact once they have enough evidence to make doubting them rather silly (I mean, you could, technically doubt the Earth is round, but I'm not going to waste my time if you want to call teaching that simple fact "pseudogeology." I'll bet you call gravity "pseudophysics" as well!). The theory (that's t-h-e-o-r-y, with an O in it), of evolution is the foundational principle of all of modern biology, and is overwhelmingly supported with literally BILLIONS of points of corroborating evidence–tens of millions of species, each with hundreds of points of comparative anatomy, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, behavioral biology, ecology, biochemistry, and philogeny to back it up. Yeah, I'd say that theory is as close to fact as you can get.Creationism is also pseudoscience because it chooses what it wants to believe and then goes backwards to try to justify it. That is not science, because real science starts with evidence and then makes informed conclusions.As for the existence of nomadic tribes–yeah. I've heard 8-10,000 years, but whatever. Archaeology and radiocarbon dating can pretty much establish and date the existence of nomadic cultures. Very well-supported and totally un-controversial, unless of course one believes all that evidence was simply placed there misleadingly by the Noodly Appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.You are confusing liberalism with extreme postmodernism. I strongly suggest you watch Tim Minchin's "Storm" to see precisely what a rationalist liberal thinks of that level of postmodernism:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U"I resist the urge to ask StormWhether knowledge is so loose-weaveOf a morning, when deciding to leave her apartmentBy the front doorOr the window on her second floor?"

  • Anonymous

    Not sure if serious or troll…

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