Thursday, February 4, 2010

Free Thinkers

I just want to lay to rest, once and for all, the idea that homeschooling brain washes/stifles/or otherwise forces children to think just like their parents.  This is an argument I hear frequently.  "Well, if they are homeschooled, they don't get the opportunity to hear the opposing view.  They only hear what their parents want them to hear.  They don't learn anything different.  They don't have the opportunity to make up their own minds."

First, let me say that I don't let my children blindly believe the same things I do.  If my children express a political view, I automatically take the opposing view, even though they know I agree, so that they have to come up with reasons, logical or emotional, for their views.

Gary and I are anti-enviromentalists.  If you want to know more about that, see this post.  I've written about it on my political blog (which, unless you're wild, crazy, and willing to get in a good fight- I can guarantee you won't agree with everything I say- I'd suggest that, in general, you stay away from it.  But in this case, if you're wondering how I could be anti-environmentalist, I'd check it out.)

Our oldest son has always been a strong environmentalist, in his need to protect the land and animals.  I can certainly empathize with this, especially since he's not hugely preachy about it.  For years, he wanted to live on a nature preserve and protect the animals.  He's recently decided to be a history professor, instead.  I think that's a better fit for his personality, but  it's his profession to choose.

Today, Xavier said to me, "I think I want to protect the land when I grow up."  I asked what brought that on.  His reply, "Well, when I was walking in the woods, yesterday, I really enjoyed it.  I want to make sure that is available forever.  I want to protect nature.  It is so amazing.  I want it to be around forever."

Well, I can completely understand, and totally agree with them.  But, it's not something I've taught them. It's not something I've talked to them about.  In fact, I've spoken out quite vocally about the global warming debate.  So, you can stop believing that homeschooled children are being brain washed.  Most of the time, they're just being taught how to think, and to think for themselves.  Imagine that.

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