Homeschoolers For…

I am sure that by now everyone has seen the news stories on how homeschoolers have propelled Huckabee to national prominence. Just had to add my voice to the growing chorus of homeschoolers…HOMESCHOOLERS ARE NOT ALL OF ONE POLITICAL PARTY OR ONE RELIGION. We are a diverse population from all walks of life and, yes, some of us are even <gasp> liberal!

Needless to say that I got a kick out of the the Homeschoolers For blog. Although their Barack Obama listings seem a bit weak…I may have to help remedy that…

A friend of mine, Laura had a great letter to the editor published in the Washington Post:

It would be a refreshing turn, though, to learn more in your pages about the diversity of positions we home-schoolers take, as many of us work to remove partisan political agendas from our conversations about educating children. Because we are accustomed to stepping outside the norm, dissent feels familiar, and we express it in multiple arenas — certainly not only in the limited world of Mike Huckabee’s conservative presidential campaign.

I have been trying to basically ignore most of the news stories that show up in my Google Alerts about Huckabee and homeschoolers as they usually do at least mention that it is evangelical homeschoolers who support Huckabee so strongly. And the truth is that some homeschoolers are definitely playing a big role in his campaign.

But the problem is when reporters start reporting on homeschooling in general and portraying homeschoolers in particular ways. Most reporters are not familiar with homeschooling and homeschoolers and usually don’t do much research when reporting on us. Kind of like this article from the New York Times:

It is unclear how many evangelical Christians in Iowa teach their children at home — some estimates are over 10,000 — but the network of families is tightly connected and highly motivated. They come together in groups and online to share curriculum information, form sports teams, and stage other activities. And many, aware that homeschooling was illegal in almost every state until recently, fear that if they relax their vigilance politically teachers’ unions will push to take away their rights.

First off, homeschooling has never been illegal. Second off, most homeschoolers I know do not live in fear that their homeschool rights are going to be taken away. Third off, the president honestly has very little to do with our homeschool rights as home instruction is handled at the state level.

Yes, we do have to be active to protect our homeschool rights and not take them for granted, but in my opinion, that is better done through supporting statewide homeschool organizations like VaHomeschoolers rather than presidential candidates. The truth is that homeschooling is not on shaky ground and does not depend on a president’s support.

I am not a one issue voter and to be honest with you, a presidential candidate’s opinion on homeschooling is far down the on the list of considerations. Homeschooling does color my views in many ways…I have found that I have more libertarian leanings since starting and tend to prefer that government leave me alone as much as possible. Yet, I also feel strongly that it is ok and even good for government to help those who need it and yes, I realize that these may seem somewhat contradictory. But that is ok…it works for me and I tend to not be a black and white person anyways. Nothing wrong with nuance. I guess that you could call me a Democrat with Libertarian leanings?

So don’t believe everything that you read in the newspapers about homeschooling. We are a much more diverse group than you might think based on the news coverage. Yes, we are passionate about what we do. And yes, we are very networked. But we come in all shapes, colors, religious backgrounds, political leanings, shoe sizes…hey just like the rest of the country!

About throwingmarshmallows

I am a homeschooling mom to two sweet, energetic boys although I am probably not exactly what you would expect (definitely NOT your stereotypical homeschooler, if there is really such a thing). I support progressive political causes (yes, liberals can and do homeschool!) and I have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. I have no real idea of how I want to use this blog, but will probably focus on homeschooling, things that I am learning from my boys, personal thoughts and opinions and maybe some liberal politics thrown in, who knows!
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6 Responses to Homeschoolers For…

  1. Laura says:

    Hi -
    I stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to say that I appreciate what you wrote here and agree with you wholeheartedly! :)


    Gah. I would not vote for Huckabee. He scares me. I have liberatarian leanings too. I’m socially liberal and economically conservative. I’m looking for a good CEO, not a moral compass.

  3. Crunchy Mama says:

    I also get tired of people making assumptions about my family once they find out we homeschool. Thanks for bringing this issue to light once again.

  4. Like you, home schooling is not high on the list of issues I consider when choosing a candidate. And like you, I have discovered more libertarian leanings (somewhat to my surprise) since I started HSing.

    I am puzzled and sometimes annoyed by the assumptions people make. I once got a letter urging me to support some conservative candidate. It was addressed to “Dear Conservative Voter.” (I think they got my name from the local christian home schoolers’ organization. Because all people who are Christian in any shape, form, or fashion and home school are “conservative,” right? HAH!)

    Excellent post!

  5. LOL Steph! I once got a form letter from President Bush thanking me for my years of support…still wondering what mailing list they got my name from for that one!

    I also recently started getting junk mail from christian homeschool companies trying to sell me curriculum as well.

    Oh and I forgot to mention the person who emailed me from the Virginia Huckabee campaign asking if I would be willing to volunteer…pointing out that Huckabee is a friend of homeschoolers and was even endorsed by HSLDA! I am still working on a tactful reply to point out that for some homeschoolers an endorsement by HSLDA is NOT a positive thing… I think it would be interesting to see her reaction when I tell her that I am an Obama supporter! LOL!

    See, being a liberal homeschooler can be fun…we get to confuse the heck our of and surprise everyone!

  6. Sarah says:

    Just found this site doing googles on homeschooling. Wanted to say hi and that I was so relieved to see that sentence above: I’m a liberal-minded homeschool mom. I just started and am in the OMG-OMG-OMG phase, and finding site after site that seem more conservative than I am got me a little panicked. Glad to see this one!