Monday, October 30, 2006

Violence and Homeschooling

Several people have told me that I must be happy to be homeschooling when I see report after report of violence in schools. But of course, homeschooling doesn't really make you safer.

My heart breaks like everyone else's, and I get furious too when I hear about violence in schools. It's not like my homeschooliang friends and I are sitting around giving each other smug high fives because our kids aren't sitting in a school box like fish in a barrel, waiting for anyone with a grudge against life to walk in and slaughter them.

Those are my neighbor's kids, my family's kids -- even if they're in Pennsylvania or in Chechnya or in Colorado. It's my problem, too. It bothers me that some people, even some homeschoolers themselves, see homeschooling as a way to opt out of engagement with the atrocities of life, to become separate and safe. I've heard more than one person say, in the last few weeks, that she's considering homeschoolng because of the danger of life in school.

The truth is that violence happens everywhere, and my children are out and about more than the rest -- don't we have a higher likelihood of being hit by a car, or accosted in a parking lot, or stalked by a weirdo, or something like that. School violence is particularly nauseating and horrifying, but just like highway accidents don't keep me at home, school violence doesn't keep me from putting my kids in school.

Pulling children out of school because of nuts with guns, hoping to protect them from the wildness of this human life, is a kind of sad and desperate act. Obviously I more than others think you should do what you like with your own children, and that homeschooling is fantastically fun and beneficial for children. But I don't think fear is a good reason. The homeschooling community isn't safe from maniacs with firepower. Homeschooling is just a different way to educate your children.

Do blankets from Grandma keep them safe? Or just happy and warm? :D

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I disagree about not taking violence in school into account for choosing to homeschool. Personally, I've got a ton of reasons myself, with violence in public schools only being one. We are to train up our children and keep them safe, which is not possible (IMHO) in public schools. I do agree that as homeschoolers, we can't just do our high 5's and pats over the public schools plight.