I had the chance to actually be in the moment when a
homeschooler asked Bill Nye on his facebook page if he would ever consider
creating a science curriculum for homeschoolers.This was on a thread where Bill Nye asked his
fans to submit questions he would answer:
"Bill Nye (the Science Guy)
here, sitting by ready to take your questions (your good questions)..."
THE question:"The homeschool community is
severely lacking in real science curricula. Will you give thought to creating a
science curriculum for the ever-growing number of secular homeschoolers?"
His response was less than stellar, in my opinion:
Bill Nye The Science Guy:"Use your judgment. The rest of us out
here, want your kids to appreciate society and the importance of working
together in school and in life. A person working alone will probably not build
the future 797 airplane, for example. It takes people who can work with and
around people. Carry on."
I will admit, his answer
disappointed me.The homeschooler who
asked the question is a member of my Inappropriate Homeschoolers group and we
are secular homeschoolers.She brought
this to our attention and several other members, including me, went back and
commented.There were a lot of good
responses to Bill's apparent position on homeschooling.:
The original asker:"Wow. Did Bill Nye just insult
homeschoolers? I thought you were smarter than that. A very narrow-minded view
if you think homeschoolers don't work well together. How unfortunate."
Another respondent:"Come on Bill, surely you don't buy into that anti-social
homeschooling myth...we want our kids to appreciate society and learn to work
together as much as any other parent...there are many reasons parents choose to
homeschool, and isolating our kids is not one of them."
The Inappropriate Homeschooler's comment:"It's not a question of IF socialization
occurs in the schools or home it's a question of WHAT socialization occurs in
the schools and the homes. Homeschoolers are living in the real world with a
myriad of ages, races, etc and they are more socially mature and capable than
their 'peers' in the institutionalized setting of public school."
After pondering this for a day and reading several
responses, some of which were ah, anti-homeschooling, I have come to a
conclusion that I've actually spoken of before:Secular homeschoolers, those who are not homeschooling for religious
reasons, need a stronger presence in the homeschooling spotlight.I am NOT saying that religious homeschoolers children
are not socialized or taught well.Clearly the majority are socialized and taught well because they were
the pioneers of homeschooling, whose children were the first subjects of the
studies showing the success of homeschooling.However, there is a growing number (frighteningly so, in my opinion) of
very conservative, fundamentalist, young earth Christians in the homeschooling
community.It's a trend that I suspect
follows the curve of the growing trend in the Christian community period.Secular homeschoolers need to bring attention
to homeschooling so that everyone is not painted with the same brush as that
growing and very vocal group - the Ken Ham groupies, if you will.
Having just come from his 'debate' with Ken Ham, perhaps
he's more sensitive than usual to the fact that the majority of attention given
to homeschoolers involves religious ones, in particular Creationists.I can understand that.However, his comments seem directed at the
ever present 'socialization' issue.I,
along with all homeschoolers (religious or secular) are so OVER that
topic.How many years will it take for
the studies to be in existence to rid our society of that stereotype?Yes, there are some 'odd' folks
homeschooling, but HELLO - there are 'odd' folks in public school and
subsequently in real world jobs!
Nonetheless, I accept that the burden of proof is on us, the
homeschoolers, in particular Secular homeschoolers.I do not make this argument with the mind thought
of disparaging the rights of Christians, or other religious persons, to
homeschool for those reasons.I make
this argument so that secular homeschoolers will have equal voice and presence
in our society and in the media regarding who is homeschooling, why they are
homeschooling, and how they are homeschooling.Clearly, secular homeschoolers need resources with which to
homeschool and to create a 'demand' for secular curriculum and resources is
Bill Nye's remarks just brought it all the more to light for
me, how needed the National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers (N.A.S.H.) is and
I, along with the other homeschoolers wishing to see it come to fruition, will
continue to make that organization a reality.
So, thanks Bill, for the extra push!The day will come when you will wish you had
created a science curriculum for secular homeschoolers if for no other reason
than how well it would have lined your pocket.