On a forum recently I was reading the responses of veteran homeschoolers who were answering the question, “How has the homeschooling community changed over the years?”. Their unanimous response was that people are moving away from what homeschooling originally was – a belief in a different type of education that happened at home under the tuition of their parents.
Myself, I have to agree with these veteran homeschoolers. In my own circles I have seen a move away from homeschooling as an ideology, towards homeschooling as an alternative to school, often a temporary one. There is less talk about philosophies of education and more talk about textbooks and distance education programs. I’m feeling unsettled about this changing perspective to homeschooling. What do you think?
Nowadays, many of the homeschoolers I meet, new and old, have never heard of the philosophies of Classical Education or Charlotte Mason, and, if they have, they don’t subscribe to them. I find it a little sad that we are losing this wisdom and entering homeschooling to just do what was done at school, at home. Do you feel we are losing something significant?
The part that makes me grieve the most is that the duration of homeschooling is decreasing as people hop from one school option to another, according to life’s seasons. With less ‘ideological homeschoolers’, homeschooling becomes more like a bandaid option, something you do when school becomes too difficult, rather than something you choose long term according to its merits. I’m pleased, however, that homeschooling can help a broader range of people.
Ah change and choice…I don’t know exactly how I feel about all this? But I can’t help thinking we are missing the point of homeschooling and getting all excited about the gift wrapping and totally overlooking the real gift within.