Monday, April 1, 2013


Over my many years of homeschooling, I have frequently been asked by curious family and friends, "Why did you decide to homeschool your children?" I have at times jokingly replied that I homeschooled my kids because there was no way I could possibly have the great horde of them all fed, dressed, and out to meet the school bus by 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning! Seriously, though, several factors contributed to the decision to homeschool, and I've often detailed to others the various reasons behind our family's choice to homeschool.

What I have very rarely heard over the years is a similar question asked of my public-school peers: "Why did you choose to send your children to public school?" When I asked a mom once why she and her husband opted to send their kids to public school, she simply replied, "Why not?" She really hadn't thought about it at all. There seems to be an assumption that children should naturally and obviously attend their local public school, and that the choice of an alternative such as homeschooling must be precipitated by unusual or extraordinary circumstances. I suspect that for many parents, the option of homeschooling their kids hasn't even entered their minds. It's not so much that they deliberately chose to use the public school system as that they passively conformed to the norms of their culture.

Which has me wondering lately: Why is there a mentality that, of course, I'll send my kids to public school, unless there are extenuating circumstances that would require me to choose private school or homeschool instead? Why isn't there rather an assumption that, of course, I'll educate my children at home (they are my responsibility, right?), unless there are extenuating circumstances that would require me to opt for public or private school?

Why am I asked with unmasked incredulity: "You believe in the God of the Bible? How can you sincerely believe such archaic nonsense?!" It seems to me that the much more obvious question is:  "You don't believe in the God of the Bible? Why in the world not?!"

Someone asks, "You really find this movie (song, book, video, game) objectionable? What's your problem? I don't see how it's such a big deal." - while I wonder - "How on earth can you not find this movie objectionable? The story, the imagery, the underlying message...isn't it obvious how truly awful this film is?"

Which has me also wondering...

Why are we quick to challenge, dismiss, and even belittle the opinions and choices of others who have actually spent considerable time and effort forming their opinions, while we so often assert and defend opinions and actions to which we ourselves have given very little thought whatsoever?

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