Those are the only two possible descriptions of the authors of this anti-homeschool screed published yesterday in the L.A. Times. A few choice excerpts:
“The court’s decision means that home schoolers must be given some substantive instruction in social studies and not simply spend their time watching Fox with its strange assortment of oddballs pontificating on current events.”
“If home schooling forums on the Web are indicative of the views held by parents of learn-at-home kids, their offspring are getting an extremely warped lesson in civics.”
“It’s evident that the vast majority who teach their offspring in front of the television do so because they don’t want their children to be subjected to such dangerous doctrines as evolution, abortion, global warming, equal rights and other ideas abhorrent to the evangelical mantra.”
Well, you get the idea. I’d love to see real data on the average daily TV viewing hours indulged by homeschooled children and public schooled children, respectively. These bozos seem not to realize that television and public education are on one team, homeschooling on the other. We banned television from our home twelve years ago. Most homeschooling parents we know either forbid television entirely, or they severely restrict viewing time while controlling the content. Fox News isn’t even on the radar of acceptable viewing options.
The good news is that the ridiculous opinions expressed in this piece seem to be in the minority in California. Newspapers up and down the state have been running editorials condemning the Feb 28 ruling non-stop for two weeks. Comments on homeschooling articles are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping parent-directed home education legal. Why? I think it is because homeschooling has become so mainstream in California that almost everyone knows some homeschoolers, and their impressions of these families are mostly positive. Furthermore, while most parents don’t homeschool themselves, many of them would do so if they believed they could, and many more just want to keep this option available to them in the future.