In response to my 2.3 readers I am addressing the social aspect of home schooling. This requires a little bit of delving into the home school family psyche. Generally there are two types of home school families: the radical, hyper-conservatives who want to shield their children from the world and the concerned conservatives who want to have greater control over the education and moral upbringing of their children. *Nota Bene: there are liberal home schoolers, but it's a much smaller group.
Remember the weird home school kids? The ones who dressed funny and spoke in really long, very grown-up sentences and talked about politics and who never watched TV or Disney movies and who weren't allowed to listen to "secular" music? Those were the offspring of the hyper-conservatives. The girls often wore only long skirts and sleeves, music with a syncopated beat was banned, Disney's Bambi slept with girlfriend Feliene and they clearly weren't married etc...
This group of home schoolers had very good intentions. They hoped to maintain their kids' innocence and purity. They wanted to create a separate, holy nation. They had lofty goals to go back to a simpler way of life. There's nothing wrong with fresh-ground wheat for the home-baked bread and colorful calico for the hand-sewn skirts. Many peoples and cultures have sought to create Utopia. Unfortunately, reality gets in the way. They forgot the command to be in the world, but not of the world. They tried to have it both ways: separate from the culture and society, but still be a successful witness to the lost. They forgot that Jesus lived amongst the people, he dressed like they did, talked like they did, showed up at the same parties and marketplaces, ate the same food, drank the same wine (yes, I said it) and counted IRS men and prostitutes among his buddies. Christ was counter-cultural while remaining in the culture. He never ran away from those in the world, He embraced them, died for them and rose again to redeem them.
Many of the radical home schoolers ended up disillusioned and frustrated and left behind a bad impression for all those on the outside looking in. Their children had a hard time relating to the rest of their generation and an even harder time maintaining their Utopian habits when forging their own lives upon reaching adulthood. For those of you who only knew these home schoolers, you would be right in thinking "it just doesn't work."
This post has become really long, so I will wait until tomorrow to talk about the other set of home schoolers, the concerned conservatives. Keep your comments and questions coming, I love hearing other ideas about home schooling!