As a secular homeschooler, I can’t help but notice the attention we’re getting in the media lately. Several articles and spin-offs of those articles are appearing in major media outlets. Here’s a few:
Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education – written for Newsweek by Linda Perlstein
Home-schooling demographics change, expand – written for USA Today by Alesha Williams Boyd and Sergio Bichao
Secular Homeschooling Instills Love for Learning from a Non-Religious Perspective – written for Houston Chronicle by Ken Chitwood
I think this attention is good because it’s breaking the stereotype that all homeschoolers are conservative Christians seeking to indoctrinate their children, and that they only teach with religious curriculums, shunning science. While there are homeschoolers who are extremely religious, I think it should be noted that many people homeschool for a variety of reasons. Yet I believe every homeschooling parent wants to impart their own beliefs and morals on their children without the negative influences inflicting youth today. Most of us want to allow our children to experience childhood without pressure from peers, testing or a one-size-fits-all curriculum.
It should be noted that self-proclaimed secular homeschoolers may or may not be religious. Religion may play a part in their life just as many traditionally schooled children have a religious upbringing and attend church. Yet religion indoctrination is not the reason for homeschooling, and they most likely teach from a secular perspective. Secular homeschoolers seek more diverse and tolerant companions while socializing too.
As I’ve mentioned before, I respect every parent’s right to teach their children in their own way. If I don’t respect your right, how can I expect you to respect mine? I also appreciate that because of the work of many religious homeschoolers, homeschooling is now legal in all 50 of the United States.
I have friends who are religious and others who are not. I think it’s a shame when someone may not want to befriend us because they don’t like our viewpoint, but I can’t do anything about that. I seek open-minded people who are willing to see our similarities. We all love our children and want what is best for them. We want to give them a good education, help them build bright futures, and teach them to tolerate and respect all people as long as they do not physically or emotionally hurt another person. (Believe me, I know it can be hard to respect other’s viewpoints, but I try.)
So, let’s spread the word: Many homeschooling families are moderate, run-of-the-mill people who find that this lifestyle fits their family!
What do you think?