By Rhett Burns
The Educrats are angry. And it seems they are lashing out in fear, having been threatened by the terrible vision of ten-year-olds learning their math facts at the kitchen table. Harvard Magazine ran a hit piece by Erin O’Donnell in its most recent issue, insinuating that home schools are hotbeds of abuse and incapable of providing a meaningful education. The article includes a Harvard professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, calling for a presumptive ban on homeschooling, and appears to be part of a larger effort at the school to discredit homeschooling.
The cartoon that accompanies the article depicts a child behind the prison bars of her window in her house made of books, looking longingly at all the other kids playing outdoors. Let’s move past the fact that the cartoonist misspelled “arithmetic” on one book that made up the house, and that no one from Harvard caught it until some homeschoolers pointed it out in the comments. Let us also move past the fact that they quietly, and without acknowledgment, corrected that mistake, while also closing the comments section when too many people demonstrated the inanity of the article. What was that the professor was saying about tolerating other viewpoints?
The funniest part of the cartoon is that someone thinks it’s homeschooled kids who are imprisoned, while the government school kids run free. My homeschooled kids spend hours every day playing games, climbing trees, riding bikes, building forts, and playing ball. Their government school counterparts get twenty minutes of sunlight before it’s back to walking and sitting in formation under fluorescent lights, all under the gaze of the school’s warden (resource) officer. And if that is not enough like prison, according to the ACLU, many disadvantaged students are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. They call it the school-to-prison pipeline.
I suspect the Educrats are angry because they are self-loathing. What they hate about their own system they project onto homeschoolers. For example, O’Donnell foregrounds the risk of child abuse as a reason to regulate—or ban—homeschools. But one in ten (!) students will experience some form of sexual abuse in our nation’s schools. And that’s not counting the institutionalized and taxpayer-funded sexual abuse otherwise known as sex ed. Homeschooling has its problems, but “Slap Ass Fridays” don’t happen at my house.
The article also warns that homeschooled students are deprived of their right to a meaningful education. But since homeschoolers typically score higher on standardized tests than their government school peers, regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or household income, the problem must not be academic. Indeed, it is not. The worry is homeschooled kids will not fit into the modern neoliberal globalist machine. Here is one telling quote from the article:
“[Bartholet] views the absence of regulations ensuring that homeschooled children receive a meaningful education equivalent to that required in public schools as a threat to U.S. democracy. ‘From the beginning of compulsory education in this country, we have thought of the government as having some right to educate children so that they become active, productive participants in the larger society,’ she says. This involves in part giving children the knowledge to eventually get jobs and support themselves. ‘But it’s also important that children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints,’ she says, noting that European countries such as Germany ban homeschooling entirely and that countries such as France require home visits and annual tests.”
This is another reason the Educrats are angry: homeschooling is a threat to the established regime. The goal of modern education is not to educate in the traditional sense of the word. It is not designed to enlarge the soul and impart wisdom. It does not foster the curious mind, nor teach a child how to think so he can grow up to take dominion over some corner of the world. O’Donnell sneers that conservative Christian homeschoolers “question science.” The Educrats prefer their science unquestioned. That way no one bats an eye at the suggestion that Johnny can become Susie or that the polar ice caps have not yet melted as promised. Don’t think, don’t question, just listen and repeat. Modern education produces workers and consumers to keep the machine of Global Woke Capital humming. If they can get you in massive debt or addicted to porn along the way, all the better. Slaves are easier to steer.
Homeschoolers—and private Christian schoolers—have opted out of this system. We have looked at the propaganda and said, No! We have inspected the fruit of government education and politely declined. Bartholet is correct on one thing, though. Christian homeschool kids, by God’s grace, will not fit into modern society, at least not in the way she desires. Sure, they will likely become well-adjusted, socially competent adults, capable of holding a job and providing for a family. But that’s not what is important to Bartholet. She wants our children captive to the social values of the Ivy League overclass. But such indoctrination requires extensive separation from one’s parents and years of intense discipleship. Seven hours a day, 180 days a year, for twelve years seems to do the trick.
Therefore, anyone who withholds their child from the system is a threat to the system. They must be smeared in the pages of Harvard Magazine. Lies must be told. Fear must be stoked.
It’s funny that one of the most prestigious universities in our land is threatened by kids who are learning phonics in their pajamas. Who would have thought one of the largest threats to the modern social order would come from a modestly dressed Christian mother and her gaggle of Latin-learning kids?
At least they will know how to say, Harvard delenda est.
Rhett Burns (@rhett_burns) is an associate pastor and small business owner living in Greenville, SC with his wife and four kids.