Homeschooling, the family, and agents of socialization

I attended an academic talk on homeschooling not too long ago, and one of the speakers asked this: For the homeschooled student, when does the family stop being the primary agent of socialization? He went on to explain that for most children, school becomes a primary agent of socialization alongside the family. This does not happen for homeschoolers, though, who generally continue to go where their family goes, see who their family sees, and be where their family is. The family continues to be … [Read more...]

A Christian Homeschooling Cult?

Today, Lewis of Commandments of Men wrote a post explaining why he calls the Christian homeschool movement a "cult." Lewis has two reasons for giving the movement this label: 1. Children are indoctrinated rather than educated. 2. Children who step out of line risk being ostracized. Here's a quote where Lewis explains this:I have two nephews and two nieces (ranging in age from 20 to 3), and I love each of them as if they were my own children. If they choose a path other than one of … [Read more...]

On “Passing” and Sticking Out

When I first left home for college, I wasn't afraid to stick out. I still shared my parents' beliefs, and there was something satisfying about the shock on a person's face when she learned that I had twelve siblings. I don't think anyone could have known me for five minutes without knowing that I was homeschooled K-12, because I let them know proudly. I gladly defended creationism in class, and the incredulous stares didn't bother me, because I knew I was right and they were wrong. I had been … [Read more...]

“But What About Socialization?”

This is probably the most common question homeschoolers get. As a child, I was well schooled in how to reply to it. "Do you have any idea how many friends I have?" "Segregating children by age group is not a natural form of socialization." "Socialization is just a code word for peer pressure."Today, I read blogs and articles by homeschoolers using these same arguments and insisting that socialization is no problem at all, and I want to scream. More than that, I want to bang my head against … [Read more...]

Homeschooling Rehashed

My post on the problems of homeschooling generated a good number of comments, and some of them were slightly critical of what I said. Some, too, made some good points. So I thought I’d take a minute to respond to some of these comments. I have divided the comments into seven main points, and given each a summary title for the sake of clarity. 1. I know many homeschoolers who do it very wellIncidentally, my son's home school support group includes vegetarians, environmentalists, Jewish, a … [Read more...]

The Problem With Homeschooling

This has been a hard post to write, because it is a touchy subject. But I’ve written it anyway because I feel passionate about this issue, so please hang in there and hear me out! Without homeschooling, Christian Patriarchy as we know it could not exist. Why? First, because Christian Patriarchy cannot exist without parents having the ability to isolate their children, especially their daughters, from the outside world, and second, because Christian patriarchy cannot exist without parents h … [Read more...]