Word has come out that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum plans to homeschool his kids if he gets into the White House.
Make no mistake, I have no intention of voting for Rick Santorum; but I applaud his bravery in challenging the entrenched bureaucracy that is the public school system. It's rather nice to see a candidate stick his thumb in the eye of the NEA.
But it comes with a price, of course. Bill Maher went on a verbal bender about the alleged inferiority of homeschoolers in general and Santorum in particular. "He [Santorum] wants them [his kids] locked up in the Christian madrassa that is the family living room," snarks Maher, "not out in public where they could be infected by the virus of reason. If you're a kid and the only adults you've ever met are mom and dad, and then they're also the smartest adults you've met, why not keep it that way? Why mess up paradise with a lot knowledge? After all, a mind is a terrible thing to open." [italics added]
The only adults you've ever met are mom and dad? Oh please. Putting aside the fact that 71% of homeschooled kids are involved in a community service activity, how do you explain public school kids who are locked into a classroom of peers for eight hours a day, seeing few other adults but their own teachers?
It’s not that homeschoolers are ignorant, as Maher would like to claim. Endless studies (should Maher ever desire to open his closed mind and investigate) have proven that again and again.
What honks off people like Maher is not academics. Rather, it’s that homeschooled kids are out of reach of the progressive indoctrination endemic in public schools. They don't fall prey to the groupthink that progressives believe is the only acceptable way to raise children.
But Maher is by no means alone when it comes to blanket statements about homeschoolers. A quick survey of internet news articles about Santorum's comments provide a wealth of snarks from opponents who see homeschoolers as isolated hicks with the social skills of woodlice.
What Maher condemns as homeschoolers' opposition to the "virus of reason" is nothing more than a desire to provide our children with the intangible benefits of homeschooling. Academics are all fine and good and homeschooled kids have been whupping public school kids' fannies for years. But it's more than that. Homeschooling provides children with a work ethic, respect, politeness, high moral standards, and -- gasp -- the ability to think for themselves rather than be infected with the "virus" of groupthink by progressive standards.
As one commenter noted, "Simple -- he has no idea about how home schools are actually taught and what the curricula are. But other than utter ignorance of the subject, he is just fine."
Maher can lie all he wants about homeschoolers, but let's not forget one thing: Maher doesn’t have any kids. Just sayin’.