Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Case for Homeschooling - Exhibit 1

Our family and friends know that my wife and I have been seriously considering Catholic Homeschooling (and yes, there is a difference between Catholic Homeschooling and other forms of Homeschooling - a discussion for another time). Although we don't watch much TV in our home, yesterday my wife and I were watching a little bit of the news when we saw a terrifying story that reinforced our motives for homeschooling our children.

The news story very calmly explained how the local law enforcement officers were receiving special training in how to react to a school shooting situation like those seen across the country, the most notable likely being the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Using real children with masks on to protect themselves from the paintball shots, they ran through the halls in simulated scenarios. Interviewed children spoke of how scared some of them were even though they knew this to be a simulation. The officers spoke about the necessity of the training.

Now I don't doubt the need for the training. Columbine is just one example of many. I'm glad that law enforcement is taking the measures needed to prepare themselves for all sorts of hostile situations. But doesn't this news story miss a key point... that public schools (hereafter called government schools [1]) are now considered hostile territory with a very real threat potential that a fellow student could very easily kill our children for even the most minor of motives?

There are many underlying reasons why children are killing children -- far too many to go in to now. And while those reasons do need to be addressed with solutions, I would like to take this time to focus on the current situation and a response. To do this, let me put the current situation in other terms.

Although the likelihood of a school shooting is slim for most kids in government schools, I wonder how many parents would play those odds at Russian Roulette. Would any parent be willing to pull the trigger on a hypothetical gun pointed at their child with only one 1 bullet among hundreds of open chambers? Although the odds are extremely low that the single bullet would actually fire, would any loving parent be willing to accept those odds with the potential to injure or kill their child?

Until the needed solutions to the underlying problem of school shootings take effect, we still have the current situation which requires a more immediate response. One immediate response is to consider alternatives to placing our children in harm's way. And when it comes to the area of education there are alternatives! Homeschooling is the alternative.

When a family chooses to homeschool their child(ren), there is no need to expose the children to hostage training drills. Children don't have to wake up daily with a fear that one of their many fellow students is planning a way to kill them. Homeshooling parents don't have to worry that their children are going to be injured or killed. There is a peace of mind that comes with the homeschooling alternative. Unfortunately, many other parents with children in government schools have simply accepted fear as being part of their child's education experience. I'm sorry, but fear of death should not be part of the education experience for any child and I would consider it negligent of any parent to willingly expose their children to these hazards.

In time, we'll continue to discuss the case for homeschooling -- both the positive and negative reasons. This just happens to be one of the negative situations found in government schools which are driving over a million families in the U.S. to pull their kids out of the government school system and to educate them at home. If you're one of those families that have taken the leap into homeschooling, drop us a line or submit a comment to share with us your reasons for doing so.

[1] So-called "public" schools is an inaccurate description of what they really are. If they were public schools, they would reflect the views of the public, including their religious views. In actuality, these schools reflect the secular, anti-religious views of the government.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I'm trying to convince my wife that we should homeschool, but she hasn't warmed up to the idea yet. But our first child is en utero so we still have a few years before making a decision. I'm pretty sure that if we don't homeschool, we will send them to the local Catholic school.

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