Contingency: Pros & Cons of Homeschooling and the Parent’s Philosophy

Amidst the never-ending questions and debates about the pros and cons of homeschooling, I find some solace in my seemingly independent belief that we greatly blow this out of proportion. This is no rocket science. The quality of a child’s homeschool experience is directly related to the parents’ philosophy.

Whoever told you homeschooling was homogeneous? I would like to believe that in time we will continue to break the molds that form our common stereotypes. Alas, my knowledge of history begs to differ.

As humans, we find great utility in compartmentalizing. In fact, philosophically we cannot function any other way. There are thousands of beliefs that we must accept without proof. We must take for granted some things, leaning upon the work and evolution of generations past. This is a characteristic that Alexis de Tocqueville overemphasizes in his book about American democracy, Democracy in America (1835).

We love generalized ideas because they save us time. They are pragmatic. As pragmatic Americans, we are in a rush, always. And while we cannot live without such ideas, we over-indulge.

Again I will repeat, whoever told you homeschooling was homogeneous?

I’ve heard a saying several times. They say that no two homeschools are alike, just as no two fingerprints are the same. How silly.

How silly that this resonates so strongly with us. We have described the essence of life itself and folded its corners around our cause.

On the one hand, please do not interpret me as one who holds disdain for your unique snowflake syndrome, for I am promoting it. On the other, as we stroke our egos I should cry out once more, “homogenous!”

The gravity of our choice to press our thumbs into our children’s foreheads should be almost crippling. Can our courage withstand long enough to survey the alternative? Look! Their necks in clamps, jerked to the moan of the machine, assembly lines stamp a barcode to their skulls.

Have you watched this machine with me? Like me, have you quietly traced the ridges of a barcode that would not scan while he cries into your bosom?

We know the barcodes do not always scan. We know how perilous it is to be clasp around the neck. When the floor drops out from beneath our feet, can we really complain that we dangle by our chins? Days ago it was more pragmatic to accept this fate.

But turn for a minute. Look, there, towards the corner. Backs turned, they face the corner where flames are dancing.  They fan the flames, one day hoping to be taken up in the flames.The flames leap higher.

Wait.

Not so quickly. See, even closer to the wall others are pointing at the shadows. Another group builds their own conveyor belt. Have they not realized there is no such thing as safe floors? With your eyes open, do you see the people running? Do you see the technical minds developing videos of those same shadows?

Our traits are magnified. As we take control, the beauty of our swirls and patterns is amplified. And the crevices in between fissure deeply.

If he could, I believe he would beg, “press gently.”
Have you recognized your thumbprint?

You reached out to me asking for the pros and cons. I hope you now realize you must learn your own patterns. Learn your own crevices. Now, you tell me the pros and cons of homeschooling.