[Note: this was written in the depths of the "Bush Insanity years.']
So let's chat. Like I said, I know several people who are homeschooling, and from what I can tell, there is a large support network for it. But I'm a little ticked off that now in the thousandths or whatever this bizarre decade is called, "homeschooling" has become somewhat of a euphanism for "got my rifle, my instructions from God, and I'm just teaching little Zachary and Ruby memorization pieces from the bible."
I used to be mellower. Well, mellower about homeschooling, but then I spent time checking out the online homeschooling resources (can you cay "rapture index?") some of which creep me out mightily. Do you know that some of the IMAX theaters in the south are refusing to show movies that mention "the big bang" or (oooh!) geology "because they fear protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of the earth? " (quote from NYTimes front page, 3/19/2005, and this is why one should only read Dear Abby if one wants to stay sane... aargh.)
Ahem. Where was I? Ah. So, while homeschooling is laudable in many cases (like, you live in Alaska, or your public schools aren't very good, or you are sick of the kids running around during vacation so you want to give them structured stuff to learn or you live in... say, one of those southern places mentioned above where the public schools resemble something between Oliver Twist and some demented Tammy Faye Baker "I'm more God-Fearing than you" reality TV show and you're afraid that someone will throw a net over them as they're walking to school and keep them in the basement for years until they CAVE and accept a personal savior...)... at any rate, it's hard to find homeschooling resources or literature that hasn't been tainted by the creationist wackos, imho. OK, that's not true. There are plenty of lovely Christians who choose to mix bible study in with their regular schooling, I'm sure. But frankly I prefer people who are taught to think, to question, not to just blindly follow some white guy's interpretation of his ostensible religion, which incidentally involves recruiting everybody and their dog.
I dislike the debasing of American society as well as anyone else. My kid doesn't watch TV and if he gets caught saying his one bad word (at 4.5 that would be "stupid") he gets in trouble. But unlike the militia folks, we don't dress our kids in camouflage footsie pj's (on special at Wal-Mart, where a percentage of the profit goes to the Republican party), we don't follow the bible (although I like the last five of the ten commandments for the most part, which are a good example of basic give and take rules of a society), and we happen to be pretty darn fond of some of the more unpopular aspects of America -- like the Bill of Rights, separation of church and state, civil liberties, and so forth.
At any rate, I know lots of very sane folks who are doing homeschooling. Many of these people have alternative lifestyles, some are pagan and so forth, and that's great. I have included their linksand information all over the place. But the really scary thing is that you'll go to a homeschooling site, the information will look good and rational, and then, down at the third level they'll start bandying around the "terms" which indicate to the religious cognoscente that they are "one of us." Little words. Like 'creationism,' you know? [shudder].
Sick and wierd, as Hunter Thompson would have said.