Sunday, November 16, 2008

Defining A Homeschool Standard

Karen Campbell sent along this video about a forthcoming homeschool documentary, The Rock From Which We Were Hewn. The documentary seeks to inform the viewer about the history of homeschooling with the purpose of motivating homeschoolers to consider what may be be ahead for the homeschool movement.

The video production is professional but the build-up of suspense using music and courtrooms attempts to provoke a sense of urgency and fear that I'm not sure is warranted. The sentence "This movement has continued, its history undefined." also seems a bit confusing. History is written as people live their lives and make decisions. We should know the history of homeschooling, but I'm not sure how to "define" it.

My first introduction to homeschooling in 1981 until today, I viewed homeschooling more as a verb than a noun. I would say to my friends and family, "We are homeschooling." Not, "We have joined the homeschool movement."

I understand and accept that homeschooling has become a movement, but I never considered myself part of a particular movement toward a particular end, even though I am a Christian that homeschools. In fact, I usually resisted the "bandwagon" mindset that was prominent among many homeschoolers, especially in the early days when a certain curriculum was "God's choice" for the homeschool family and those that didn't adopt the curriculum were shunned.

Secular and Christian homeschoolers are both part of homeschooling in America and its history. Each has made significant contributions to the liberties we now enjoy. I certainly hope that those that seek to tell the history allow all the facts to be known. We'll see.

Karen also sent along a link to a Homeschool Leadership Summit taking place in March, 2009.
"The home education movement has reached a critical juncture . . . With the explosion of school choices and increased government intrusion in homeschooling, the time has come to define a vision, and in the words of George Washington, "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair; the event is in the hand of God." Otherwise, we will see the heart of what we have worked for fade away.

In March of 2009, Christian Home Educators of Colorado will host homeschool leaders from around the country at a national gathering in Indianapolis. The Purpose? To lay out a vision for home education in the 21st Century."

I do not want to see the freedom to homeschool fade away, but I'm not certain that a self-appointed group of homeschool leaders raising a standard for the "homeschool movement" is the answer. As Christians homeschoolers, we have one standard: God's word. Secular homeschoolers have whatever standard they choose to adopt or none at all.

The best way to make sure that homeschool freedoms don't fade away is to educate parents on what has happened and the possible ramifications of certain choices, especially those involving the state. But I do not see the need for a separate standard or to define a vision for home education for the 21st Century.

What do you think?

No comments: