Replacing the Titanic

The numbers show up in the media frequently. Whether we recognize it or not, the majority of us in the "homeschooling" crowd (in the U.S. anyway) are white and middle-class. The stats also blindly lump together a number of other things, but regardless, there is no great mystery as to why this specific point happens to appear. Looking at the factors involved in why, it is pretty clear.

There is a baseline of independence, disposable income, educational background, outlook and connectedness which are likely to motivate people in this direction and facilitate its actual working. Additionally, there is no sufficiently developed public infrastructure to assist families in this journey, so it ends up mostly a Do-It-Yourself activity. Especially where homeschooling results in critically bare-bones attempts which are made out of necessity. Looking at the governance end of things, the attitude seems to be mostly "our way or the highway." Of course, there are plenty of parties willing to assist in the matter for a minor profit.

People may laugh at it as a cultural caricature, but this issue is an obstacle to the sustainability possible for all of us (not just homeschoolers) discussed throughout the Deck Chairs series. . . It is critical that homeschooling be a realistic option for any family that sees it as a goal, which many families should. People should not feel they have to respond to the thought of homeschooling with, "there's no way we can do that."

Statements made earlier in the series may appear headed towards a government takeover of homeschool. Please don't get it wrong, institutionalization is not the answer, it is what we should be fleeing from. However as mentioned before, a certain amount of homeschooling friendly policy-making could be appropriate and encourage beneficial development. But we might end up healthier to look at it in a more organic sense.

First of all, there are many existing resources and ways of thinking which can assist families of modest means to lead quality and sustainable learning apart from the financial drag of commercial services and the like. In fact, such a departure can yield far superior results, despite what we may be led to believe. Thinking of this nature has been covered in this series and will continue on in this website. But it involves getting the word out in a cohesive manner.

Looking at the good things which have been embodied in many homeschool cooperatives, what are the possibilities in bouncing off of this spirit? What if cooperative, crowd-sourced efforts came together to create homeschool-friendly learning resources? Even if they are available on a membership basis. The work of individuals benefits themselves and others. For an example of what this may be like from outside a homeschooling context, take a look back at alternativeto.net.

As a community, the more we can mitigate our competitive and survival instincts, and work through civic will, the greater the distance it could take us all. Since the people who are supposedly in charge aren't likely to assist us as they should, we need to unite to help ourselves. It may seem small at the local level, but the compound effect could be more than we might imagine on a global level. With joint efforts, homeschooling could be realistic for many more families. Though the Titanic of Big Education is likely to end up on the sea-floor, hopefully, there can be some exceptional relocation options for the passengers.

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