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Wednesday
Dec282016

Home-Schooled.....Take Two!


     In the current sci-fi movie, Passengers, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are the sole conscious persons on a 90 year trip through space.  As the story is told, they lived an isolated life.  Whether they had children was not revealed; however, if they did have children, we can presume that they were “Home-Schooled”.
     Under less taxing circumstances than deep space, namely the real world, the Home-Schooling Decision is a parental choice made by only a very small number of parents.  My sense is that the majority of us who looked forward to little Billy and Susan getting on the bus, believe that Home Schooling Parents are almost always those parents whose lifestyle has been informed and constrained by Conservative Religious Dogma.  
     In the Ozarks, where Christian Fundamentalism is well, as fundamental as country music; interacting with the Home-Schooled is a daily experience.  My sense is that normally the Home-School Effect is not socially or culturally of much note.   Yes, the Professional Class and the Night Life Crowd are both under represented by the Home-School Alumni, but in turn Food Pantry Drop-offs and Disney Movie Ticket Sales are skewed the other way.  I just don’t see any serious aberrations.
     Unfortunately, there is more to this story.  When you look closely at the Home-School Claimers, you find a growing subset that aren’t wearing Scripture Message Shirts.  They are the “secular kids”, and there is something very different about them. These “non-faith based” outliers appear to have had almost no exposure to the human drama other than from their nuclear family.  They are the “no church-no TV-no internet-no Games-no Books kids.  They’re shy, submissive, often frail, and have underdeveloped communication skills.  They are overtly sensitive to money and possession issues and always speak from the family (we) perspective.  My reactionary to having often seen this profile is that it is an unintended consequence of our ever modern "tolerant and inclusivity" addicted culture.
     Yes, I am old, anti-fundamentalist, and as liberal as is possible at +70.  I disagree with narrow educations for any reason, but  I do believe that Scriptural Literalist are well intentioned. I acknowledge that a life lives in adherence to the time tested Christian moral platform is not a bad thing........but, absent this religious under pinning, as in the case for the secular home-schooled, it looks a lot like 19th Century “child labor abuse,”
     Surly over the last half-century our liberalizing of schooling policies to accommodate belief diversity was not intended to patronize indolent parents seeking to enjoy cheap, reliable 24/7 domestic help and ego gratification from dominating, all under cover of faux-Libertarian convictions.  Just because bio-droids can be home-grown and home-preserved, it doesn’t mean that society should just look the other way. How about some “Kid Rights” push-back.  

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