I am not very good at arguing. I feel there are certain topics where it is near impossible to change someone's view. There will always be people and groups at odds with each other, and having them argue their points is like watching a boxing match--they dance around the subject, bobbing and weaving, deflecting blows and throwing punches. The only outcome is a few black eyes and maybe a bloody nose and a crowd of spectators riled up and closing ranks behind their opinion. In fact, a boxing match might be more decisive than watching a debate between two opposing views.
I recently received an email from the editor of Opposing Views. They seem to specialize in these kinds of debates. They have a debate they thought my readers might be interested in, because the topic is "Are Homeschooled Kids at a Disadvantage?"
Wow! Is that a title to make me cringe! The experts chosen for this debate are the California Federation of Teachers and HomeSchool Association of California. I don't think you can get more opposite than this. The first image that comes to mind is a musical number from Oklahoma! called "The Farmers and the Cowmen should be Friends." The second image is the rumble between the Sharks and the Jets in West Side Story. It's late. I think in musicals at this time of night.
My point is, I am not in the business of trying to change people's minds about homeschooling. I would have an easier time convincing my cat to turn vegetarian. Of all the people who have met my family over our years of homeschooling, an overwhelming majority have respected my decision, a few have been dubious, many have been confused or think we're nuts, and only one or two have actually been inspired to homeschool their own. My reasons for homeschooling are simple: I like being with my kids and I want to share my love for learning with them. I know it's not for everyone. And I happen to know some very good teachers who want to do the same thing. I applaud them for holding their own in classes that are much larger than mine will ever be. To pit us against each other divides us in a way that is unhealthy for our society. After all, our goals should be the same: The education of our youth.
I welcome you to take a look at the Opposing Views debate. Perhaps those of you with stronger stomachs than I would actually like to join in the argument. I prefer to just listen and advocate as I always have, through my artwork and writing.