Monday, June 12, 2006

It's a lifestyle thing

Becky at Farm School has an excellent post about a recent article in the New York Times.

Though the article contains one throwaway line concerning the social interaction of the kids in question, Becky accurately observes:

that socialization/socializing/sociability or, erm, "social needs" (which puts the focus on the individual's desires rather than society's need for him or her to find his place, doesn't it?) along with "social goals" don't seem to be as much of a concern when one has money.

From the tone of the article one assumes these kids are doing just fine socially since they attend ballet, acting classes or piano lessons.

The article further notes:

Unlike the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years, these families are not trying to get more religion into their children's lives, or escape what some consider the tyranny of the government's hand in schools. In fact, many say they have no argument with ordinary education — it just does not fit their lifestyles.

This assumes much about the motives of "the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years" giving none of us credit for what many of us know: the lifestyle thing is a huge part of our homeschooling. It would seem that if one is less than wealthy, one's lifestyle choices are offbeat or troubling, whereas wealth turns the same choices into a viable option, since the services are paid for.

And, really, this is just another twist on homeschooling ... many of us already view ourselves as (as Sonya Romens, of "Connecting with History termed it) "general contractors of our children's education." We hire out here and there as necessary, as needed or as desired, and use tutors for particular subjects if that's what's best.

Money or no money, it comes down to parents having the freedom to pursue the education they feel is best for their children. What shouldn't be the case, however, is that the choice appears to be more legitmate to the world when said parents have wealth.


sophia said...

So true!

Becky said...

Interesting that for the reporter and the interviewed, money = freedom. When one of the things our family most appreciates about hs'ing -- the hs'ing lifestyle, as you put it, Karen -- is being able to show the kids that (gasp) it's not true.

Just had another thought (must be the coffee dribbling through)... The money gives those parents even more freedom -- to disconnect from their children's lives, knowing that their children's education is in better hands. Hmmm.