Irony Noted

Here’s the sign outside of the room in which I lectured last night:

Comments welcome…

A Humanist Feminist on Homeschooling

Of course, someone took yesterday’s school shooting to comment on one of my homeschooling posts:

Today is 12-14- 2012 us homeschooled parents don’t seem that paranoid???? Seeing what happened in Conn??? Pray for the families

Fellow Patheos blogger Libby Anne knows a lot more about homeschooling than I do. Like me, she doesn’t like it, and for a lot of the same reasons, even though I’m a Christian theologian and she’s an atheist, humanist feminist. She has collected her posts on homeschooling on a page, which she introduces:

Homeschoolers are a diverse lot. Some homeschool for religious reasons, others for secular reasons. Some homeschooled children have a good deal of social interaction, others very little. Some get a first rate education, others suffer from educational neglect. Some use curricula and workbooks, others “unschool.” Some see homeschooling as a temporary option, others see it as a lifestyle.

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Homeschooler Says He Didn’t Learn about Plagiarism

Interesting story in this morning’s StarTribune. Matt Rustad, a school board member in St. Francis, Minnesota, submitted a column about paperless classrooms to the school district’s monthly newsletter, The Courier. Problem was, the column wasn’t written by him. Instead, he found it in the comment section of a 2010 blog post, copied it, changed a couple phrases, and submitted it.

Matt Rustad

That act in itself isn’t so surprising. People are busted all the time for copying stuff from websites, paying for pre-written term papers, and the like. What is surprising is how Rustad explained his actions:

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One More Post about Homeschooling

It’s no surprise to me that I stroked the cat’s fur the wrong way with my two posts about homeschooling over the last couple weeks. It’s not popular to decry a trend that is burgeoning among both right-wing and left-wing Christians. But I, dear reader, stand here in the center and attempt to humbly guard our space. :-)

But seriously, I know that my posts were provocative. But they weren’t personal. The fact that so many people took them personally makes me think that homeschooling has, for some, become a little too important. That being said, I have listened carefully to the arguments against my posts, and I am aware that my argument has some weak spots. I am also aware that my children have the good fortune of being in a very good school system.

Lots of vitriol has come my way in the comment sections of those posts, as well as on Twitter (Facebook, on the other hand has been relatively silent). There have also been some smart blog responses, and these three stood out to me:

Danielle Shroyer, pastor of Journey in Dallas:

I don’t believe there’s any way anyone can actually choose to opt out of the social contract. They can be bad at it, but they are in it regardless. (Maybe, Tony, your argument would be better served in saying you don’t believe homeschooling produces responsible members of the social contract, or some other value judgment…but good luck getting anyone to agree with that either!) There is no firm boundary between sacred and secular. There is no outside and inside the system. To say that someone who homeschools or sends their child to private school is not an active member of society is beyond silly.

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia:

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