No Pigeon-Holing Allowed

I do love this ditty below from the Cincy Enquirer in my husband's family stomping grounds of the Cincinnati/northern Kentucky area.   There was a BIG homeschooling conference in the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Homeschooling gains momentum

About three-fourths of homeschoolers surveyed in 2009 indicated they eschew formal schools for religious reasons. In recent years, however, homeschooling has attracted other kinds of families – those not linked to religion, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, and others just seeking an alternative to their public school.

"Don't pigeon-hole us homeschoolers," said Mary Pritchard, a West Chester mother of three who has homeschooled for 20 years and leads support groups. "It can be tough being a Tea Party mom who's friends with a hippie mom down the street," she joked."

We like that about our community.  If we squabble about politics and religion, homeschoolers generally pull together to protect our freedoms when the time comes.  Seems like the crowd that like to identify some as "not Christian enough" – even when the accused are Christian – have caused considerable angst and hurt among many families.  Some of that is 'out there' in this article too.  That Great Divide that was created with statement of faith groups many years back doesn't seem particularly helpful.  It's definitely enlightening though.  

The homeschooling community has a wide diversity of lifestyles and mindsets.  Pigeon holing does not seem appropriate from any angle, in or out of the homeschool world.  

In Boston, they ask How much does he know? in New York, How much is he worth? in Philadelphia, Who were his parents? And when an alien observer turns the telescope upon us–advertisedly in our own special interest–a natural apprehension moves us to ask, What is the diameter of his reflector.
– "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us," Samuel Clemons in 1895 


Comments

No Pigeon-Holing Allowed — 2 Comments

  1. Susan,
         You are right.  By the way, I am also originally from not too far from Cincinnati.  My family would definitely fall into the category of "Christian" or "religious" homeschoolers, but we try to be tolerant of other homeschool families from different backgrounds, and I too bristle at the suggestions by some in the homeschool community that if you don't follow a certain pattern you aren't "real homeschoolers" or aren't Christian enough."  Of course, I do reserve the right to express my opinions on what is right and wrong, all the while maintaining respect for those who disagree.  At the same time, while trying to work with various "secular homeschool groups," I have also experienced the same kind of animosity from some of the "secular homeschoolers" who whine that those who have deeply held religious beliefs are "too Christian" and that the only way to be "real homeschoolers" is to divorce one's religious (and even political) beliefs entirely from homeschooling.  I guess that we'll always have some extremists on both sides, but I am glad that people of good will from all areas of homeschooling can work together to defend our right to direct the education of our own children, and I deeply appreciate the work that you do, especially here in Illinois.

  2. Hi Wayne!  Thanks for coming by here.  We just went by your 'new' stomping grounds the other day heading down to Carbondale.  Pat's folks are across the river in the Covington area.  He is Kentucky, but his siblings and extended family have spread out to the Cincinati 'burbs in Ohio and Kentucky.  I love hitting the tri-state area with the view which is so different than my flatland out here.

    Thank you for bringing up the other issue about the seeming pushback by 'secular homeschoolers', some whom like to call themselves "inclusive homeschoolers".  I've seen the same as you with decisive bigotry towards many Christians in apparently not being quite as smart as others.  That sort of attitude could be perceived as going hand in hand with people like Kimberly Yuracko [http://works.bepress.com/kimberly_yuracko/1/ ] or Rob Reich [ http://www.hazpolitica.org/pdfs/homeschooling2002.pdf %5D that want homeschooling overseen for the 'general good of our current society'.  I'm not interested in standardized lifestyles, as I think we're all pretty fascinating and unique. When we start getting attacked for our home education styles from all sides, we don't need to be providing any more ammunition for them.  

    I don't care whether homeschoolers are creatiionists or what have you.  Live and Let Live.  

    Thank you so much for your advocacy, Wayne.  We need all of us fighting to maintain our freedoms.  I've always appreciated your observations about the virtual schools in Ohio and saw the Enquirer put a sidebar in about OH and KY homeschooling and public virtual schooling.  At least they had them separated, which was good to see.  

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