The COVID-19 lockdown and school closures may have unintentionally created a golden opportunity for parents to reclaim and guide the education of their children. And considering some of the outrageous post-COVID plans for our schools, keeping those schools locked down may be preferable.
Thanks to the lockdown (and in some part because of regular teacher strikes plaguing state education), politicians and state educators have actually been encouraging parents to homeschool their children until the schools re-open – whenever that might possibly be. This is ironic, given the growing state trend to ban homeschooling, as has already been done in many European nations such as Germany.
Indeed, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet has called for a presumptive ban on homeschooling in the United States, and for the state having a similar presumptive authority over parental rights. Arguing that parents are “authoritarian,” she seems oblivious to the authoritarianism of all things state-controlled and monopolized. We can expect these collectivist ideas to frame the coming debate over parental rights as we head into the future.
“The only purpose of education,” wrote philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand, “is to teach a student how to live his life – by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality.” If that’s so, then state education completely fails the test. Far too many dysfunctional and illiterate ‘graduates’ of state education are not even capable of apprehending reality, let alone dealing with it.
Perhaps now is an ideal time to reconsider some of our basic assumptions and attitudes towards what is being called ‘public education’ and to also re-consider the most effective schooling alternative that long preceded compulsory state education: homeschooling.
It would be Just Right by us if more parents chose to homeschool or otherwise seek alternative schooling – even if only inspired by the COVID-19 lockdown.
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