28 February 2002
I just heard on the radio this morning that Andrea Yates, the woman who drowned her five children, was homeschooling. Every time I hear homeschooling in connection with something negative, I get a feeling akin to the one I get when I hear about an awful crime and find out that the suspect is black. Although part of me enjoys taking a path that isn't well-traveled, I sometimes wish that homeschooling would become so commonplace that we would see many more positive representatives of it. I live in a state that is homeschooler-friendly so everyone I meet seems to know a cousin or a neighbor who is doing it. Unfortunately, they also have stories about how weird that cousin or neighbor is and how they aren't convinced that the children are learning anything. Most homeschoolers don't like it when their kids are "tested" on the spot because they feel that a child's ability to parrot back memorized facts doesn't necessarily mean that they are learning anything; I, on the other hand, welcome it. If having M rattle off her addition facts or recite a Langston Hughes poem in church will convince people that learning at home is benefitting her, then I'm fine with it.