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Modern Day Homeschooling Divide

I came across an article about Susan Bauer and I found it really interesting. It is probably old news to everyone else, but I wanted to post this anyways. I am not copying and pasting the entire article, just a snippet. To read the article in its entirety... http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/home-schooling-pioneer-susan-wise-bauer-is-well-versed-in-controversy/2012/10/29/521a3070-da80-11e1-9745-d9ae6098d493_story.html

In the 40 years since Bauer’s mother began teaching her to read at age 3, home-schooling has gone from a mostly religious fringe activity to a chic trend with numerous conferences, publishers, methods and factions focused on theological views, organic living, parenting styles or various stances on homosexuality or same-sex unions.

Bauer has been a fixture behind the lectern at state and national home-schooling conferences for years. But this past spring, she announced she would sit out the conferences next year because of rifts in this once seemingly monolithic movement.

“For a number of people involved in it, their primary focus is not educating kids but a lifestyle,” she says. Whereas early home-schoolers were a freewheeling bunch forced to stick together against a hostile world because of their aversion to public schools, now it seems as if there are litmus tests for acceptance into the community.

For example, she says, Peace Hill Press came under fire from home-schooling creationists — at conferences, on the Internet and via e-mail — for publishing the work of scholar Peter Enns, who argues against a strict literal reading of the Book of Genesis.

“Susan got really beat up by inappropriate behavior,” says Leigh Bortins, founder ofClassical Conversations, a North Carolina-based home education movement. “In many ways, home-schooling has grown up, but people don’t always act like grown-ups.”

Bauer’s disagreement with home-schooling proponents who say the public schools are hostile to Christianity also has become a point of contention.

“I’ve been told if I say anything supportive of public schools, even charter ones, I’ll lose my speaker’s fee, and I don’t get my expenses reimbursed,” she says. “Of course, I tell them I won’t come.”

Bauer has been asked “to swear I won’t bring certain books for my book table; to mention certain words,” she wrote on her blog in April. “None of which, I should say, have anything to do with what I normally talk about: grammar, history, writing, reading, learning. I have been told that I am not welcome, in some cases, because I talk too much about the psychology of learning, and not about the Bible. Or because I have a theological degree and am obviously pushing a Christian agenda. Because my ‘professional associations,’ however loose, are too liberal, or too secular, or too Christian.

She got 69 comments on that entry, including: “My husband and I ultimately decided against homeschooling after a few years because it was so incredibly difficult to build/find a community and we found the experience horribly, destructively isolating as a result. We were either too Christian or not Christian enough, or not the right kind of Christian, too structured or too unstructured, too egalitarian in our marriage or too husband-led.”

“I’ve had Christian friends who didn’t attend conferences because they were not the ‘right’ kind of Christians,”


“Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn… Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.” – First Doctor Who William Hartnell

by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:38 PM
Replies (21-26):
AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Jul. 6, 2013 at 8:29 PM
2 moms liked this

*gently*

These are privately sponsored events; not unlike a co-op or any other religious activity - they are free to focus on one type of homeschooling, or on their religion, if they so choose... and, being a freedom advocate myself, regardless of that I often do not fit their criteria for "right kind of Christian", thus having to steer clear of the conferences, I'll continue to advocate for their right to be as exclusive or inclusive as they choose.

I'm not sure how a group looking to connect with like minded individuals (whether co-op or conference) is impeding on your freedoms. There is nothing guaranteeing your inclusion in every activity you wish to be involved in, solely because you exist. (and I say that kindly; please don't take it wrong)


Quoting celticdragon77:

It is the choice of the "divide" itself, and what exactly is being divided - that we disagree on.

It is a homeschool convention. A wide collection of choices.

You find what works best for YOUR child. Whether it is this learning style over that one. Or this homeschool method over that one. Or this topic over that one. I mean, there are probably so many differences that are possible between one curriculum over another. Yet, it is the religion that people want to divide up. Why can't I just walk past the secular or religious stuff? Why I can't I pick something up and say ... no, I don't want this particular subject taught this way, put it down, and move to another stand. I mean, it IS what people do at these things. So why remove one element of it?

Why would you say to a curriculum author, that if you show up here and say anything that is supportive of public school, charter schools, or could cause religious tensions... then we will not pay you for your expenses of coming here or for being here. I have NO respect for that thinking whats so ever!!! That IS wrong!!! I fight against the negativity that wants to recycle itself when I hear things like that. Luckily, I know not all religious people think like this or would do something like this. It is alarming how many do though.

It is also alarming that it means that religion has a higher value than the academics at that point as well. That religion is impeding on freedoms at that point. 


Quoting ripemango:

I believe we are actually agreeing here. My initial reply doesn't mention tolerance or lack thereof. I don't think a divide necessarily equates to a lack of tolerance. It is merely people seeking out other like-minded HSers.


Quoting celticdragon77:

I can't get this line of thinking to make sense to me.

There is a difference between people having difference and being accepting of those differences. Being tolerant and all inclusive. FInding what makes us all common rather than focusing on what divides us. To share in all of our differences and likeness.


Quoting ripemango:

There is a divide. That is okay. One shoe size doesn't fit all and we don't all homeschool for the same reasons either.

So what if certain conferences are too rigid in what can be shared and thereby miss out on certain speakers.







I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee














celticdragon77
by on Jul. 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM

You are so very right. They have the freedom to handle it as they see fit. Just as she had the right not to involve herself and/or submit to that line of thinking.

I have great respect for her taking the stand that she did and I recognize the sacrifice she made because of it. 

As for the conventions, first off, as a consumer, I like choices. I do not like when things are dictated and/or censored. I don't want to feel like I live in North Korea. I am an intelligent person and decently versed in academics and religion. I trust that I can make decisions for myself and my family. I can listen to someone discuss something, read through something, watch something, etc - and use discernment. It is insulting to me, the consumer, that they told her what she could and could not sell or discuss. It also raises red flags! Remember, someone is making money and cornering a market with homeschooling materials! A person needs to be able to get their product put out there and conventions are one of the places to do so. I am not comfortable with them making these type of stipulations on the sellers.  

I think it requires a higher level of thinking to be inclusive than it does to be divisive. What is the point of reading or teaching history - or even the bible - if we can not even recognize this core and fundamental lesson?!

This is off topic kind of, but, I also think that while the homeschool community has grown, it can still be and feel isolating to homeschool for many people. They want to make sure their kids have other kids to play with. So more division seems more of a harmful things than a positive thing.

Quoting AutymsMommy:

*gently*

These are privately sponsored events; not unlike a co-op or any other religious activity - they are free to focus on one type of homeschooling, or on their religion, if they so choose... and, being a freedom advocate myself, regardless of that I often do not fit their criteria for "right kind of Christian", thus having to steer clear of the conferences, I'll continue to advocate for their right to be as exclusive or inclusive as they choose.

I'm not sure how a group looking to connect with like minded individuals (whether co-op or conference) is impeding on your freedoms. There is nothing guaranteeing your inclusion in every activity you wish to be involved in, solely because you exist. (and I say that kindly; please don't take it wrong)


Quoting celticdragon77:

It is the choice of the "divide" itself, and what exactly is being divided - that we disagree on.

It is a homeschool convention. A wide collection of choices.

You find what works best for YOUR child. Whether it is this learning style over that one. Or this homeschool method over that one. Or this topic over that one. I mean, there are probably so many differences that are possible between one curriculum over another. Yet, it is the religion that people want to divide up. Why can't I just walk past the secular or religious stuff? Why I can't I pick something up and say ... no, I don't want this particular subject taught this way, put it down, and move to another stand. I mean, it IS what people do at these things. So why remove one element of it?

Why would you say to a curriculum author, that if you show up here and say anything that is supportive of public school, charter schools, or could cause religious tensions... then we will not pay you for your expenses of coming here or for being here. I have NO respect for that thinking whats so ever!!! That IS wrong!!! I fight against the negativity that wants to recycle itself when I hear things like that. Luckily, I know not all religious people think like this or would do something like this. It is alarming how many do though.

It is also alarming that it means that religion has a higher value than the academics at that point as well. That religion is impeding on freedoms at that point. 


Quoting ripemango:

I believe we are actually agreeing here. My initial reply doesn't mention tolerance or lack thereof. I don't think a divide necessarily equates to a lack of tolerance. It is merely people seeking out other like-minded HSers.


Quoting celticdragon77:

I can't get this line of thinking to make sense to me.

There is a difference between people having difference and being accepting of those differences. Being tolerant and all inclusive. FInding what makes us all common rather than focusing on what divides us. To share in all of our differences and likeness.


Quoting ripemango:

There is a divide. That is okay. One shoe size doesn't fit all and we don't all homeschool for the same reasons either.

So what if certain conferences are too rigid in what can be shared and thereby miss out on certain speakers.








Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Emerson 

NorthStar09
by on Jul. 6, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I've never experienced this problem. Granted, I sought out secular homeschooling groups, but really it's such a widespread movement now, it's not that difficult to find your own niche and stay there. Except maybe if you life in the Bible belt in a rural area, and are a secularist, then it'd probably be miserable.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jul. 6, 2013 at 11:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Take your time, you'll find something eventually! I'm in a state w/ a huge difference in incomes - some of the richest and some of the poorest...so that the private schools are ones even royalty from other countries send their kids to here, but the public school stink. So I definitely felt like the odd man out - I just kept looking and eventually found a few other oddballs like myself! Lol

Quoting celticdragon77:

There is a HUGE mennonite and Amish community in my county. Yet there arealso some HUGE cities within two hours of here. So sometimes things can be as much backwards as it progressive. So far, my experiences have been extreme and varying. Yet, all very selective. I can't seem to find my comfy little niche of being casually between it all - whether financially, religiously, academically... 

Quoting oredeb:

 in the early years of homeschooling if you were non christian, new age, public school supporter, divorced, single parent, pagan, lds, jw, homosexual, old earth, didnt use the kjb bible,  wear a jumper,  etc you were looked down on in the hs world where im from,  they just had to put you in a box! it took a few years and other homeschool groups came about, people were freer, and here we are today!!! homeschooling has changed  a lot since i first began in 1983!!

theres always been the jealousies or controvercies (i call them) in homeschooling, from the writers of the curr, books, speakers etc, to moms using certain methods, certain books, i have more kids than you,  no books etc from the early years.

the newer homeschoolers thinking they know more than the older homeschoolers etc! the older hsers thinking they know more than the newer hsers,  so ridiculious! people need to just shut up and listen to each other , they might learn something no matter who they are!!!



ripemango
by Member on Jul. 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I think your description of a convention is not representative. Conventions are by default, homeschooling and nonhomeschooloing conventions, exclusive by nature. Conventions are designed to be profitable and to attract a certain type of person to spend money there. Every convention I've ever attended had rules and regulations for speakers, those with booths, and those attending. I've attended toy conventions and they don't include everything. It's a part of the rules. It's about toys for sell, toy prototypes, and speakers on reaching toy consumers. These conventions are very narrow in scope. From the promoters of the convention pt of view (the 1s planning, developing marketing, getting the word out to people interested and being financially responsible for the location and ensuring they get a return on their investment) it is quite logical to be exclusive. The religious dollar is quite green.

From my understanding, there are inclusive homeschooling conventions where religious affiliation is not mandated by the convention itself. (correct me if I'm wrong on this). I would assume at such conventions people can walk by and choose to peruse or reject any type of curricula being offered.

My past experience with conventions tells me that said author failed to look at the bylaws of the convention. She goes around from convention to convention attempting to sell her curriculum. I would almost guarantee that when filling out the paper work to have a booth or to speak, it lists on the form what the rules are. I bet she overlooked that since attending conventions is so much a part of her way of life.

I don't think it's wrong. I think the author is merely complaining and is upset that rules do in fact apply to her too. She'll learn and pay more attention to the details of each convention she plans to attend in the future.

Quoting celticdragon77:

It is the choice of the "divide" itself, and what exactly is being divided - that we disagree on.

It is a homeschool convention. A wide collection of choices.

You find what works best for YOUR child. Whether it is this learning style over that one. Or this homeschool method over that one. Or this topic over that one. I mean, there are probably so many differences that are possible between one curriculum over another. Yet, it is the religion that people want to divide up. Why can't I just walk past the secular or religious stuff? Why I can't I pick something up and say ... no, I don't want this particular subject taught this way, put it down, and move to another stand. I mean, it IS what people do at these things. So why remove one element of it?

Why would you say to a curriculum author, that if you show up here and say anything that is supportive of public school, charter schools, or could cause religious tensions... then we will not pay you for your expenses of coming here or for being here. I have NO respect for that thinking whats so ever!!! That IS wrong!!! I fight against the negativity that wants to recycle itself when I hear things like that. Luckily, I know not all religious people think like this or would do something like this. It is alarming how many do though.

It is also alarming that it means that religion has a higher value than the academics at that point as well. That religion is impeding on freedoms at that point. 


Quoting ripemango:

I believe we are actually agreeing here. My initial reply doesn't mention tolerance or lack thereof. I don't think a divide necessarily equates to a lack of tolerance. It is merely people seeking out other like-minded HSers.


Quoting celticdragon77:

I can't get this line of thinking to make sense to me.

There is a difference between people having difference and being accepting of those differences. Being tolerant and all inclusive. FInding what makes us all common rather than focusing on what divides us. To share in all of our differences and likeness.


Quoting ripemango:

There is a divide. That is okay. One shoe size doesn't fit all and we don't all homeschool for the same reasons either.

So what if certain conferences are too rigid in what can be shared and thereby miss out on certain speakers.








I don't know where the sunbeams end and the starlights begin; it's all a mystery.

hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Jul. 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

The only homeschooling convention I've attended - the one nearest me - is a 2 day thing at a local hotel's conference rooms and atrium (vendors set up in the atrium). I've only attended 1 of the speakers' sessions, a mom who has homeschooled her 8 children, about how to divide up your time among several students, and also about ways to save $ on household and grocery things with a large family. I enjoyed 90% of what she had to say (the deal about putting newborn babies on strict 4 hour breastfeeding schedules from birth, and only holding them during feedings during the school day and otherwise using swings or playpens - bugged me). She was obviously a very type A personality; I'm obviously  not. ;)

But the vendors have been a mixed bag. Some are so overtly religious it's uncomfortable to even be around them. Like this 'military' like group for Christian teens, or the women in the polygamist-esque dresses and their sewing curriculum. Others are more run of the mill Christian, like Bob Jones or Sonlight. Then some others are not Christian at all - like Lego and Usborne. So mainly I pay the $5 to get in, to see the vendor samples, to nab a few % off or free shipping coupons, and to ask questions of those who I'm considering buying from. I don't really go for the speakers. Last year my DH wanted to attend a session about how dads can support their wives in HSing but then realized he'd probably not do well there because most of the "dads" on the panel are full-time clergy.

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