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Homeschooling: If you could but don't, you are harming your kids

The case of those who could but don't

Sadly, there exist a significant number of cases where a husband earns enough money for the wife to homeschool, but she chooses not to. This ought not be the case.

In struggling to make sense of this, I can only conclude that society provides enough smokescreen that parents who decide to intentionally harm their children can ignore the fact that they are doing so with minimal pain from cognitive dissonance.

So let's bring this mystery out of the darkness.

Consequences of not homeschooling

-Percent not possessing inescapable ideologies that lead to misery. Here are a few:

-You are unconditionally entitled to middle class wealth.

-It is morally acceptable to steal the fruits of the labor of those who have earned it to give to those who have not.

-That people are basically good, and any deviation from goodness is a result of environment.

-Another way of putting this: any suffering is someone else's fault and has nothing to do with the suffering individual's choices.

-There is no benefit to suffering. It is always to be avoided at all costs. 

-Another way of putting this: eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Anything you do to please your animal desires is good, and anything (or anyone) that prevents that is bad.

-How you feel is the result of the actions and choices of other people.

-You should go to college, even if you have no idea what to study.

-You are incapable of making important decisions until you are old, and you are not responsible for anything until you are old.

-Correction is bad.

-Difficult things are bad.

-Use of / death or permanent damage from / addiction to drugs, prescribed or otherwise.

-Death or permanent damage from mandated experimental pharmaceutical therapies.

-Lifelong practice of sexual deviance.

-The permanent damage of sexual promiscuity.

-Failure to develop mental and emotional sufficiency.


So what reasons do people offer for opting not to homeschool?

-"My kid doesn't want to."

-Would you let your kid do meth if they wanted to? Would you let them stop eating if they didn't want to? Have you honestly assessed the cost and benefits of the options? Do you really think it should be the child's choice, when even a fully grown adult like yourself lacked the sense to make the obvious choice until some random person on the internet wrote a post about it?

-"I'm not capable."

-Go spend a day at your kid's school. This will instantly disabuse you of your illusions about the quality of teachers they have. I wouldn't trust most school teachers to cook my dinner, let alone teach my kid. The system in place for a long time now is a clear signal to keep good people away from teaching. While there are some good teachers still in the system. I know some quite well. However, teachers like these constantly lament that they are not allowed to bring to bear any of the contributions that would distinguish them from their pathetic peers because of the chains the system wraps them with.

-In homeschooling, you may lack formal preparation, but most of that is highly overrated and can be easily and quickly replaced (if not upgraded on) with free internet resources. What you lack in formal training has to be counterbalanced against the fact that you are free to follow the dictate of your conscience and the active problem solving of your mind instead of being bound to silly ideologies or weak, generic lesson plans.

        - Your time per person compared to any public school will offer vast benefit that can offset any initial lack of capacity.

- Even if you are lacking, God will provide you with a path to become capable (see 1 Nephi 17:3). It is easier than ever thanks to the voluminous free resources online, additional paid resources, and ample numbers of moms who have gone before you and are happy to mentor you.

-"But muh sports" / the socialization argument

        - There is no intrinsic benefit of crowds. You have to offset any specific benefits from the costs. The costs have long been greater than the benefit, and they are increasing.

-Do you know any kids who recently graduated from high school who were in sports? How did it go for them? 

-What benefit, exactly, did their sports experience provide in hindsight?

-Did they get a scholarship to college? Even if they did, did it pay as much as they would have gotten if they had worked during all those after school hours? Even if it did, what major did they study with the scholarship? Were they better off not going to college at all? Did they continue playing sports in college? If so, how did that affect their grades and which majors they could take? It's really hard to take a worthwhile major when you can't attend the classes or study because you are spending so much time playing sports.

-How old were they when they started having sex and drinking alcohol?

-Did they maintain their fitness level when life precluded full-time sports? Did sports teach them to practice discipline in eating and self-responsibility for their exercise program?

-Do you realize what you have to give up to do sports? Even more time with your kids. They are not learning from you when they are at school or playing sports. They are with their peers and with adults who probably don't have as much to offer as you do, especially because their time is divided among so many and because they are not allowed to do or say what you can.

-"We can't afford it."

    - Unfortunately, this is true for some people, but not nearly as many as claim it.

    - How much do you spend on a second car, taxes from a second car, daycare, meals out because no one is home to cook, etc.? There are families where the wife's income after additional taxes (not just from her income, but from the bracket it puts both incomes into) is a net loss compared to her not working, and this is before calculating the cost/benefit of educating your kids at home, which provides valuable benefits.

    - You need to do the math. What is it worth to you? Do you want your kids to end up like the average public school kid? If not, what are you willing to pay to do all you can to prevent that?

Excuse: "But its too late for me"

There are many issues for which strong consequences exist. Many are too old by the time they learn the truth of these issues to make the best choice, but their voices are strangely silent. Their hearts have waxed cold in the sense that they care too much about other things (including their own self-image) than they do the young people who still have time to make choices that will vastly improve the joy they experience in life.

When you find yourself in a position where the ship has sailed for you, you are still complicit if you do not raise your voice to help others avoid the mistakes you have made. Part of your repentance is to loudly proclaim what is right, using your own experience as support for your advice.

Most women did not exercise the sense to marry a man that could support them sufficiently that the can home school rather than work outside the home. Most men did not exercise the sense to choose and prepare for a career that would provide sufficient money to support a wife who wants to homeschool. In these cases, the best that can be done is to educate their children in the importance of not repeating their mistakes.

If you listen very carefully you will hear the crickets that come from such people, who have transitioned from the mistakes of poor decisions in their youth to the middle-aged sin of withholding their wisdom from youth for the twin selfish reasons of avoiding offense and preserving their pride.

If you see consequences and you say nothing, you will be held accountable:

6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’
7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.
8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.
9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved. (Ezekiel 33, NIV)

Practical advice

There are plenty of moms out there who homeschool. Go find a few friends. You can find them on social media, through a local church (including those you don't attend), or even at places you take your kids to (libraries, recreational places, etc.). Establishing a network can help you get materials for free or cheap, find plenty of online resources (many are free), and you might even establish a co-op to save time and money while gaining socialization benefits.