Dan at Cerulean Sanctum insist on calling his public school at home, homeschooling. He took offense when "real" homeschoolers pointed out he is not homeschooling according to Dan
People must come before labels. When we love our labels more than people, there’s a big problem. Jesus blew that kind of thinking away.
Labels (or names) help us identify things. It’s not about loving labels more then people or using labels to put people down. It’s about having clearly defined definitions so we can communicate with others without misunderstandings.
Ironically Dan doesn't have a problem using labels. Apparently he has decided to do some reading and he had this to say about one of my favorite authors.
Never having read a Dean Koontz novel in my life, I picked up The Taking. For the purposes of my mission, I'd hoped to avoid any kind of pseudo-Christian themes in any secular authors
Gosh Dan's on a roll he labeled Koontz's work pseudo-Christian and labeled Dean Koontz as a secular author. Maybe he should think twice over admonishing people for using labels, since he obviously uses them himself. But honestly we all do. You couldn't communicate with others without labels (or names) for things.
But back to the subject at hand the mislabeling of public school at home students as homeschoolers. Dan has a big problem with homeschoolers objecting to him misusing the homeschooling label for his public school at home venture. According to him we are bad Christians because we want to keep the homeschool label for ourselves. This kind of rhetoric usually shuts most people up. Dan has said they are "mean", Dan has said they are "bad Christians"; so they better be silent and let Dan call himself a homeschooler even though he isn't and even though he is doing harm to the homeschooling cause. Heaven knows being labeled "mean" in today's politically correct society is enough to get you banished from social events, being labeled a "bad Christian" probably gets you thrown out of church.
Why is Dan so invested in calling himself a homeschooler?
From his previous post I gather it is because his religious leaders have told him that good Christian parents homeschool and bad Christians send their kids to public school. Dan apparently has bought into this belief; but for some reason chooses not to homeschool. He seems to feel doing public school at home is OK as long as he can call it homeschooling. Never mind that by misusing the homeschooling label he is causing confusion and sowing discord (two unchristian activities).
Why is it important to distinguish between families that homeschool and those who do public school at home?
1. Tax Money - Public school at home is paid for with public funds, just like traditional public schools are. The public has the right to expect certain things when their tax money is being used. On the other hand parents are solely responsible for the expense of homeschooling therefore the public (government) has very little excuse for interfering with homeschoolers.
2. Testing - Public school at home students are required to take the same test and meet the same requirements as their traditional public school counterparts. These test and requirements should not be required of homeschoolers, who do not receive public funds.
When public school at home parents insist on mislabeling themselves they cause confusion. J.Q. Public wants to know why they are being forced to pay for homeschooling? J.Q. Public wants to know why homeschool Dan's son has to take certain test while Susie homeschoolers children do not? When you attempt to explain to them that Dan isn't homeschooling, he is doing public school at home, they look at you blankly and state but HE SAYS HE IS HOMESCHOOLING!!!!
So maybe Dan should ask himself these questions.
- Would a good Christian intentionally attempt to deceive people about the educational choice he has made for his children by mislabeling public school at home, homeschooling?
- Would a good Christian cause confusion?
- Would a good Christian sow discord?
When "real" homeschoolers attempt to explain to Dan that he isn't homeschooling, we aren't labeling him a bad parent, we are simply attempting to prevent confusion that could lead to the loss of our homeschooling freedoms.
IF everyone agrees that homeschooling is an educational choice paid for by the parents. That homeschoolers do not receive public funds, and that the testing and requirements required of public school students is not required of homeschoolers, then we can converse with J.Q. Public without confusion. On the other hand if public school at homers insist on muddying the water, then any discussion about homeschooling will be fraught with confusion.
Annette Hall explains how charter schools are hurting independent homeschoolers. I encourage you to read her entire post.
The public schools have done everything they can to neutralize the homeschool movement, right down to absconding with use of the "homeschool" label. We must ask ourselves why? Why wouldn't the public schools simply call their students, charter school students or something properly describing their ownership? With all of the words in the English language they could have selected, homeschooling was chosen to confuse parents and blur the distinction between public and private educational options.
If you haven't signed the We Stand For Homeschooling Resolution, please do so.
Related Tags: public school at home, real homeschoolers, independent homeschoolers, labels, We Stand For Homeschooling, tax money, testing, regulations, Christian