Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home Spun comic strip #470

Home Spun comic strip #470

Every once in a while, through one of the many blogs I read or my local homeschooling group, I'm directed toward an article that rages against homeschooling for one reason or another. This week, I thought I would take an unsteady step into my own thought process in regard to negativity toward homeschooling.

First, I want to point out that I have been very lucky. My husband has always supported my homeschooling efforts, likewise my extended family and friends. I can count on one hand the times I have come across concerned strangers wielding the "S" word. I am honest about homeschooling, but I won't elaborate beyond "we homeschool" unless I find genuine interest. Most people I meet tend to be supportive of homeschooling, many know someone who homeschools, and only rarely do I run across someone who is completely in the dark about it. ("You mean they go to school at home?")

This is why I'm always amazed when I see a critical news item online or a blog that rages against homeschooling. After homeschooling for ten years and blogging for four, I've come across a lot of opinions, especially online. Many speak out of ignorance on blogs or in anonymous comments, their misconceptions about homeschoolers ranging from the common (they're all Christians) to the ridiculous (they're plotting to take over the country!). I don't think there is a homeschooler online who hasn't heard one myth or another about homeschooling.

The misconception that has always fascinated me the most is that homeschoolers somehow sacrifice the feminist cause by choosing such a traditional role. I translate this to mean we don't get paid for what we do. While it's true that I draw no salary, I believe homeschooling has a place among many honorable professions that are done for love, not money. By choosing to educate my children, I have enriched my life in ways that move beyond monetary value. I am close to my kids. I am proud that we are close and can sit around sharing laughs and ideas. I have learned along with them. I've learned from them. And the knowledge I have gained has made me a better person. I make no apology for what I have become. I am true to myself. I don't consider myself a feminist, but a familist!

12 comments:

Risa said...

Well said. While I would consider myself a feminist (and a humanist, and a...), I am in no way supportive of a feminism that wants to limit women's options in life. Or that assumes that the only goal is to get women to make life choices traditionally made by men. To me, that is to uncritically and unjustifiably take the traditional male choice as the goal, the default, the standard to be aimed at. Similarly, pressuring women to not choose certain things (staying home, being a parent, etc.) again assumes traditional male choice good/better, traditional female choice bad/worse.

I think the goal of feminism (and many other '-isms') is to show the value of many kinds of work (paid and unpaid), and many kinds of life choices. I think its great that women today have many choices not available just a few generations ago. But when we start saying these new choices are better, the old ways must go, well, then it's not really about women freely choosing their life path, is it?

Sandra said...

I thought the whole point of feminism was to give women choices. Whether I stay-at-home or go to work, it is my choice. I want to homeschool my daughter, especially now when so many cities, counties and states are having to eliminate classes, close schools and fire teachers.

Although I did just read this article by The Onion (a satire news site before anyone gets upset) about sending kids to public schools so they could be school-homed, which was hilarious.

jugglingpaynes said...

Risa: I was discussing this with my family last night. The feminist movement should be about celebrating all that a woman can do, not about how much better masculine choices are.

And for that matter, why does everything have to boil down to money? I think happiness is a better measure of success.

Sandra: I did read that article! Very funny!

flmom said...

Two words ... well said!

~*~The Family~*~ said...

I love the term familist!

Sandra said...

My husband, John, posted a link to the article and probably got 4 or 5 outraged comments before one of his friends commented about how it was a satire news source. :\ I can't believe the other people took it seriously.

Melissa R said...

I'd be interested in reading the article that spawned these comics. Where someone actually says that homeschooling is somehow against women. BTW... I too am not a feminist. Thankfully women before me took care of that and I don't have to fight that fight. I am a person. That's it. But I do LOVE your familist comment!

Bruce said...

I'm in complete agreement - with one additional thought (which you covered in the comic): it really ought to be okay for a dad to homeschool while a mom pursues a career. I'm for total gender equality!

jugglingpaynes said...

Melissa R: Unfortunately, I'm going on old memories here. I tried to look up a couple of the articles that mentioned this and could not find them. But you see how it stuck in my head!

Bruce: Exactly! I believe that either (or both) parents can take on homeschooling duties. I know of dads who work at home and share the teaching. This is the best situation, since you can combine your strengths. Even if one parent works outside the home, many homeschoolers share teaching as an extension of parenting. Ergo the term "familist."

Anonymous said...

I always thought of myself as a feminist and when I found God, I realized, He completely supported me in my ideals of feminism. I also realized the so-called feminist did not. They do not want a woman who takes care of her household. They seem to want a woman who not only stands alone, but is alone. Not only equal to a man, but replacing men in our world.
I love homeschooling. I have raised fine young men who know where they stand in this world and treat others with respect. I have learned to love learning. I feel bad for the women who bought into this new feminist agenda that keeps women from reaching their full potentials in this world.

Inner Elder said...

Great strip and article. As a woman who remembers when my Mom dreamed of a college education for her newborn baby daughter (me) and later worked secretly for months so that my father wouldn't find out she had a job, I always thought of women's rights as the right to make your own choice, regarding whether to be a career mother or any other kind of career. Woman have come a long way. I am not a feminist (whatever that means) but I do believe strongly that everyone has the right to make their own choices in life. BTW, I think of homeschooling as a non-traditional rather avant-garde choice. The conservative choice would be to send the kids to school! Congrats on yet another thought provoking blog! Love, Mom

Bethany, aka 40winkzzz said...

this reminds me of an anti-homeschooling rant --i mean article-- i read a while back that referred to homeschool moms as "over-educated suburban housewives with too much time on their hands." as if we started homeschooling because we were bored!

i, too, love the term "familist". i'll have to remember that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...