Calling It For What It is

So my post for WORLDMag today? It could get me in trouble with area homeschoolers. But I don’t think any of them read my blog, so it’s all good.

Right?

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In the region where I live, there is a hot-topic homeschooling case going on in the courts and in the news. The case involves a homeschooling couple going through a divorce after 21 years of marriage. Though at its heart is divorce, homeschooling unfortunately has become the issue. It is a really sad scenario.

The mother asserts that the father was supportive of the educational status of his children . . . that is, until he filed for divorce and realized he would have to support two households if his soon-to-be ex-wife didn’t give up homeschooling and go back to work. The father asserts the mother is only homeschooling to meet her own emotional needs and he wants to put the children in a private school.

Clearly the two have issues. Sadly, however, their issues are taking a backseat to the very real fact that their two teenaged children have become the reason they’ve made their issues so very public. It appears right now that the court is going to side with the father.

I’m a member of two homeschooling email groups, and both of them are readying their respective troops to show up to protest what’s happening. As much as I love homeschooling my children and am prepared to do what it takes to protect my right to do so, I’m not sure this hill is one I’m ready to die on. What this case needs is mediation . . . prayer . . . reasoning together . . . understanding . . . cooperation . . . repentance. What it doesn’t need is a bunch of scared homeschoolers picketing on the courthouse lawn.

If you read the comments on this St. Louis Post Dispatch article, you’ll see just how polarized these discussions have become. Some would make this story their case in point for why homeschooling should be outlawed, drawing fierce response from the homeschool-at-all-costs-because-public-schools-produce-blithering-idiots crowd. Neither group will listen to the other’s perspective, and as a result, neither is helpful to the discussion.

There are two sides to every story (though in this case, there are probably four). Without having lived with that family for 21 years, we will not ever really know those sides. We do know they are in need not only of a fair judge in St. Charles County, Mo., but also the only One capable of healing all things broken.

This case shouldn’t be a homeschooling litmus test, regardless of which side of the issue one is on; it’s worst case for both sides, and worst cases aren’t what we should be comparing—best cases should be. For the parents, for the kids, for all of us, this is not it.

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7 thoughts on “Calling It For What It is

  1. Edi says:

    Yes I’ve been following that story as I live in the St. Louis area and I homeschool our two kids.
    Though I wouldn’t want the gov’t to take away my right to homeschool – this seems to be a personal family issue rather than a homeschooling rights issue. I think the local homeschoolers would do better to pray for the family involved rather than staging any kind of protest.
    If my husband decided tomorrow that we should no longer homeschool, I’d be unhappy. I’d try to change his mind… but if I couldn’t – I’d have to side with him as I believe he is the “head of the home”. Also – even though homeschooling is important to me – it’s not a life/death issue. It’s not an issue worth destroying my marriage over (though I’m not suggesting that was the reason for the marital problems b/c there is no indication it was).
    The most important thing for this family is to be united – and if the parents are divorcing or divorced – to be as united as possible (Rom 12:18). Having this situation made public and bringing more people into it – will not resolve the matter at all. If the mom thinks homeschooling is the best for her children, that’s great but sometimes for whatever reason, we can’t give our children what is best and have to settle for the next-to-best.
    I personally think a bunch of homeschoolers staging a protest over this will only bring ridicule and the like, from the media etc.

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  2. Megan says:

    Exactly. Did you get the chance to read some of the comments on the St. Louis Post Dispatch (Craig calls it the St. Louis Post Disgrace) article? Both sides make me totally cringe. As in, please don’t lump me in with either one, thank you very much…

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  3. Becky says:

    You’re stirring it up over there, eh?
    I’ll just say, “well written” and leave it there. Now I’ll go talk to the ONE who can do something about it, eh?

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  4. Christina Z says:

    According to the St. Louis Dispatch article, it seems like there are MANY big issues this couple is dealing with. It says the couple “disagree on nearly everything”!!
    As I read this in the paper, as a possible future homeschooling mom, I felt initially guilty that I didn’t side with the mom. But thanks for your article, Megan. It’s not a clear cut case. It’s sad that it made such news!

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  5. Edi says:

    Yes I read the lengthy comments on the PD…it’s like when people can leave comments anonymously somewhere, they show the people as they really are.
    And it’s not just at the PD – almost every newspaper online article that I read that allows comments – both sides (conservative or democrat or so they seem to indicate by their comments) get quite vile.

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  6. Kristin says:

    I’m an area homeschooler…I read the article…and I totally agree. It’s going to be a yucky few months ahead of us, and I really don’t want to be on either side. Thank you.

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