Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Backlash and Solutions

We expected a backlash and I guess we also could have expected it to be as laughably misguided as this from CNN.com

Nancy Grace interviewed a clinical psychologist on the subject of the PA murders.

GRACE: Now, these two met at some home schooling event, apparently, both of them being home schooled.

SAUNDERS: Right. And even though kids who are home schooled do go out and have other relationships, they're really isolated from their peers, so relationships can take on an unusual intensity, kind of these hothouse relationships.


All of which is laughably wrong for the huge majority of HE kids. However, even though this so-called expert is completely misinformed in her characterisation of the general picture, I suppose we can't rule out the possibility of there being the odd isolated case out there.

Are there really homeschooling parents out there who do hothouse relationships for their children, and if so what to do about these odd isolated cases?

As already mentioned previously, state scrutiny in Pennsylvannia is one of the most rigorous anywhere in the US. The fact that the murders happened under their jurisdiction suggests that state scrutiny is not the answer.

Apart from the fact that the home schooling community as a general rule is very responsive to criticism and it is therefore very unlikely that there are any home schooling parents out there who have not (at least now) given serious consideration to helping their children mix widely, the other solutions consist of ensuring that there is a plentiful supply of home schooling support networks, coupled with ready access to facilities in the community. All of this could be managed very nicely by the homeschooling network itself as long as it is not legislated against in one way or another.

And that should just about do it, and without the need for any compulsion, intrusion and invasion of family privacy.



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Children can have very intense relationships whether they are in school or out of it and whether they are surrounded by others or not. It isn't even necessarily 'unhealthy' as the quote seems to imply. There definitely are parents who home school their children who try to control everything their children do, and schooled children might have the same type of parents too.

Ron R said...

"state scrutiny in Pennsylvannia is one of the most rigorous anywhere in the US. The fact that the murders happened under their jurisdiction suggests that state scrutiny is not the answer."

A colloquial phrase we have is, 'hitting the nail on the head'.

Carlotta said...

"There definitely are parents who home school their children who try to control everything their children do"

Perhaps the one good thing that may come of this horrible affair would be that these parents, are more likely to question their approach.

Highly coercive, punitive and restrictive home schooling is not home education as we know it, and in terms of all round education is almost certainly worse than going to a bog standard school, since there is so little escape from the control when at least there would be the playground.

Despite this, it is doubtless the case that if there were sufficient resources for home educators, almost all families would find a niche that would suit them, with which they would feel comfortable, where they could enjoy a variety of relationships and develop through the feedback from others who understand home education from the inside.

This must to be better than going down the path of increased state interference, and this for the very same reason that autonomous education is a superior form of learning for children; ie: that coerced learning means being forced to enact a theory that is not active in the mind, which in turn means that the theory is not subject to creative or rational thought.

If we think state scrutiny should be forced upon families who are not willing to accept it, we subscribe to the idea that poor learning is necessitated in circumstances where this is clearly not the case, since there are other viable options. (In doing so, we demonstrate poor creative thinking!)

On top of this, of course, the state is as often as not, utterly ignorant about home education and therefore not an appropriate source of help.

Clare said...

What is more 'hothouseing' (is that a word?) than spending 6 hours a day five days a week with your friends? I know I'm rather and inexperienced HEor but I can't imagine how you'd be able to get your children to see other children that often and that intensely if you're HEing! People don't really seem to *think* about what they're about to say and how it might apply to the opposite situation!

Carlotta said...

Hi C,

Yes, I haven't done a count but off the top of my head, we see an enormous amount of children of all ages from at least 5 different counties. We could go in different directions and meet with different sets of children every day of the week, if we had the energy. We also could see schooled children every evening at various classes and often spend entire weekends with various schooled children staying over. I honestly don't think they could have a more varied yet still meaningful social life if we really, really tried.

Am able to write now due to fact children are all occupied with various projects with their friends who are all staying over tonight as they have done frequently of late.

I honestly and truthfully believe that schooled children are likely to be far more restricted in terms of their choice and the number of people they see.