A wish list

Since we’re on the subject of homeschooling, here is an amusing, if slightly bitter one courtesy of Secular Homeschooling:

1 Please stop asking us if it’s legal. If it is — and it is — it’s insulting to imply that we’re criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don’t assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a “reality” show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You’re probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you’ve ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they’re in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we’re religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

I have to admit, I don’t mind in the slightest when people start asking me about homeschooling in an offensive manner. Being an Award-Winning Cruelty Artist, I tend to rather enjoy seeing how speedily I can force them to retreat from a prosecutorial pose to the position of a desperate, wild-eyed defense attorney who knows his client is headed straight for the chair.

Public schools find a use for homeschoolers

I find these administrative shenanigans to be more than a little amusing:

More than 22,620 Texas secondary students who stopped showing up for class in 2008 were excluded from the state’s dropout statistics because administrators said they were being home-schooled, according to Texas Education Agency figures. But that’s where the scrutiny of this growing population seems to end, leaving some experts convinced that schools are disguising thousands of middle and high school dropouts in this hands-off category. While home-schooling’s popularity has increased, the rate of growth concentrated in Texas’ high school population is off the chart: It’s nearly tripled in the last decade, including a 24 percent jump in a single year.

“That’s just ridiculous,” said Brian D. Ray, founder of the National Home Education Research Institute. “It doesn’t sound very believable.”

Now, keep in mind that the public school administrators who are cooking their attendance books this way are the very bureaucrats that some misguided individuals genuinely believe should be in charge of deciding whether parents are permitted to homeschool their children or not. But at least it is clear that the administrators have finally come to terms with accepting that homeschooling is here to stay.

There can be little question that this malfeasance by the public school officials will be utilized as an excuse to justify calling for more administrative control over homeschooling in Texas. But even an education major should be able to detect the ironic weakness in that argument.

The Supremes and the equality myth

I’m not particularly concerned about presidential Supreme Court nominees since most appointees by both parties have zero respect for the Constitution as written. I find Obama’s present stealth nominee to be more amusing than anything, considering how she wishes to throw out literal centuries of tradition, jurisprudence, and free speech rights in favor of a nonexistent concept:

President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, argued certain forms of speech that promote “racial or gender inequality” could be “disappeared.” In her few academic papers, Kagan evidences strong beliefs for court intervention in speech, going so far as to posit First Amendment speech should be weighed against “societal costs.”

In her 1993 article “Regulation of Hate Speech and Pornography After R.A.V,” for the University of Chicago Law Review, Kagan writes:

“I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.”

All societies are “marred” by racial and gender inequality because there has never been any equality of any kind in any society. And there never will be. It would be as reasonable, and as meaningful, to write that society is marred by the absence of flying pink unicorns and that the magical appearance of those wonderful creatures would be cause for great elation.

As a bonus, Kagan’s blathering also demolishes the idea that the Left is as vehement in its defense of the First Amendment as the Right is in its defense of the Second.