As I reviewed this post, I have to admit I did not even remember being present at this debate on the radio (WFSU-FM) with Mr. Bob Lemons, who had published a negative article on homeschooling in the family section of our local newspaper.
"Mr. Bob Lemons sure obtained a reaction from many of us lately. It's disturbing to many of us when we run into someone so close-minded and unwilling to look at the information out there. It's one thing to express an opinion, if one makes sure that others know that's what it is. It's entirely different to set oneself up as an expert on a subject one didn't do his research on!
However, I do think some benefits were realized as a result of his article. For one thing, I think we have actually gained some positive opinions from people who didn't care one way or the other. Mr. Lemons achieved that on his own. Also, I think it made many of us reflect and ponder on our reasons for homeschooling in the first place. I felt reaffirmed in the choices our family has made.
One phrase Mr. Lemons kept repeating in the followup radio debate was that "the education of a child is a serious responsibility". I have pondered on this for a week now. He is right about that. I have looked at it from various angles. At times, I have felt overwhelmed by the thought that we've undertaken this whole adventure. At other times, I've felt because it is such a serious responsibility, we can't do it all for our kids. They have to want to take that responsibility on (as they're ready) and homeschooling is a wonderful way to help them in that quest. Can we really make them learn if they don't have the desire to? Yes, we can convey enthusiasm, enticements and motivations, but the bottom line is there must be some desire on the part of the child to learn. I know our children have achieved more as they felt some control over their educations.
I"ve been glad for this opportunity to reflect and ponder. Maybe Mr. Lemons helped all of us in a roundabout way.