Salon posted an op-ed by Dana Goldstein: Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids: Why teaching children at home violates progressive values. (HT: The American Conservative). Goldstein’s arguments seem to include a fear that opting out of our “diverse” schools will somehow lead to less diversity. I think the opposite may be true. Rather than a Federal system which churns out like-minded, citizens that all believe the same truth-of-the-day, it will be home-schoolers and un-schoolers who are marching to the beat of a different drummer. Without our kids (liberal or conservative), there would be no one to challenge the orthodoxy of the cultural group-think.
Here’s and example the of the worst-case scenario described by Goldstein:
Take, for instance, Sonia Songha’s New York Times account of forming a preschool cooperative with six other brownstone-Brooklyn mothers, all of whom “said our children had basically never left our sides.” Indeed, in a recent Newsweek report, the education journalist Linda Perlstein noted a significant number of secular homeschoolers are also adherents of attachment parenting, the perennially controversial ideology defined by practices such as co-sleeping with one’s child and breast-feeding for far longer than typical, sometimes well beyond toddlerhood. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, one “hippy” homeschooler told the local paper she feared exposing her kids to the presumably negative influences of teachers and peers. “I didn’t want my child being raised by someone else for eight hours out of the day,” she said.