Friday, August 17, 2012

Free to School

Matthew Hennessey on possible threats against The Freedom to Homeschool:

The progressive critics of homeschooling are less interested in promoting tolerance than they are in promoting compliance. It’s the freedom that bothers them, not what kids learn or how well they learn it. It’s about who decides. In other words—here as in Spain—it’s about politics. And it won’t be long before some enterprising American politician proposes a set of rules that would effectively deprive my family of its right to homeschool. This will come not as an outright ban on the practice but as an array of guidelines and edicts couched in the most unobjectionable terms—ensuring diversity, promoting responsible citizenship, safeguarding public health.

If the state appoints itself to guard against indoctrination by parents, who is to protect children from indoctrination by the state? Critics of homeschooling rarely grapple with this question for the likely reason that they are committed to a value system that is as uniform and intolerant in its own way as they imagine the value systems of American homeschoolers to be.

Forget broccoli. A government that can force you to buy health insurance can surely force children into the public school system. When that happens, will we still be a free country?


If there’s one thing I’ve learned about American homeschoolers is that they are adamantly committed to defending their freedom to homeschool. If that freedom is ever lost, it would be difficult to say that we still live in a free country.

Thankfully, we’re not Spain and there are some indications that with more parents choosing to homeschool, the freedom to do so will actually be expanded rather than contracted. But when it comes to matters of government encroachment on our liberties, vigilance is always in order.