A few things got to me today as I thought about them.
Why does Paris Hilton have a record? It isn't cute, she sounds like a tin can tuned up with remix equipment and why is it that she can say that singing's been a dream of hers since childhood and that makes it "legit"? I'm pretty sure lots of us dreamt of being stars... and then learned to shut up already. Shut up, Paris, already.
Why do some people categorically judge homeschoolers as weird? Over at Jesus Creed (tell me to stop getting sucked in to those screeds), a raging debate about the value of homeschool versus supporting the public schools as devoted Christians is getting everyone's panties in a bunch. I might have to up my chocolate intake to cope.
Let me just say it once here: homeschoolers are weird. So are public schooled kids. What teen do you know who isn't "weird" in some way? God, they've perfected it as an artform!
The debate centers on the idea that public education is the grand experiment that is achieving homogeneity and tolerance of difference in our nation. Like that's what's going on. Like kids in public school have become tolerant, globalized, responsible citizens because they share square footage with people from outside their cultures. Uh-huh.
I know it can happen. I know a few families who are devoted to those values who live them. I have a friend whose kids are in a Spanish immersion school in Santa Monica and who study Chinese on the weekends. These kids (this family) gets it. They believe.
But is that what is going down in the inner cities in Cincinnati? Are suburban schools in the midwest that are 90% white really leading to the grand vision of racial and ethnic diversity and tolerance? Or are they reinforcing insidiously (through their fancy equipment, their semi-professional sports teams and their pressure on students to perform academically so that the schools show a high percentage of college-bound graduates) the idea that being white, gifted, educated and moneyed is the key to the American dream?
For the record: We homeschool because we love to. It's been the greatest joy of my life to be with our kids every day, to share in their academic and personal growth, to create a family culture that is a pleasure to us every day. These same kids have a global awareness, exposure to other religions and cultures because that's who we are as parents. Public school is a tool in our educational kit, not the focus of our devotion or faith or aspirations. Somehow, I think parenting is the key to raising culturally sensitive citizens, not school.
So yeah, I guess we're pretty weird, on balance.