The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Guest Post: “Great Contradictions – Homeschooling and Traditional Marriage” by Derick Dickens

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While perusing friend-of-the-FPCWV’s Facebook profile recently, I noticed his blog entry over at Areopagus.us.  The title intrigued me and, with his permission, we now reproduce it here at the Engage Family Blog.  The author, Derick Dickens, is an excellent writer and articulate thinker.  I’m honored to call him a friend.  If you like Derick’s blog, leave a comment encourage him to appear here with regularity.  I think we’d all be better for it, don’t you?

Great Contradictions – Homeschooling and  Traditional Marriage

by Derick Dickens

Society is full of inconsistencies. Take for instance the soft bias against homeschooling that is prevalent in our culture but the refusal of most of the same groups to acknowledge what studies have shown to be true, all because of a social agenda.

In the homeschooling argument there have been constant attacks that this method inhibits the socialization of children. Repeated often, people accept this as fact but there has never been a study to back up this assumption. Most cite the famous Larry Edward Shyers dissertation from the University of Florida, which shows homeschooled children are more socialized than their traditional school counterparts.

If, though, the issue is socialization, it is rather offensive that few if anyone outside of the Christian community discusses the socialization of children from non-traditional marriages. Time Magazine, in a recent article, noted:

“on every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households. Longevity, drug abuse, school performance and dropout rates, teen pregnancy, criminal behavior and incarceration — if you can measure it, a sociologist has; and in all cases, the kids living with both parents drastically outperform the others” (Time Magazine Cover Article, July 2, 2009, emphasis mine).

The article, though, does not stop there. Time Magazine recognizes the best situation for a child is a father and a mother united together in the same home, both giving care for their children. The socialization of children is inhibited in families where a father and a mother do not raise their children together.

Somerville, in 2007, noted:, “Children’s human rights also include the right to know their biological parents and, if at all possible, to be reared by them within their immediate and wider biological family If marriage involved only adults there is no good reason to oppose same-sex marriage. But, for the sake of children, I propose that marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman.

Somerville is not exactly coming about this debate from a Christian worldview or hatred towards non-traditional marriages. In fact, this article seems to be based merely on the statistical evidence and Somerville still leaves open the option for homosexual marriage. Yet, Somerville notes:

Same-sex marriage advocates argue that children do not need both a mother and a father, and ‘genderless parenting’ is just as good or even better than opposite-sex parenting, including because all children are wanted children and don’t come into existence by ‘accident’. Research is increasingly indicating, however, that men and women parent differently (Lamb, 2004; Grossmann, Grossmann, Fremmer-Bombik, Kindler, Scheuerer-Englisch & Zimmermann 2002; Rohner & Veneziano 2001; Swain, Lorberbaum, Kose, & Lane 2007; Wilcox, 2005, 2007). In addition, epigenetic studies that focus on the interaction of genes and the environment, (e.g. Weaver et al. 2004) show that certain genes in young mammals are imprinted (activated) by parental behaviour, but shut down for life if not imprinted within a very limited critical window period. At the least, then, an ethical precautionary principle means those arguing same-sex families are just as good for children should have the burden of proof” (Ibid, 2007).

Professor Adams noted this same idea in 2005, “children living in households with their married, biological parents are better off than other children” (Adams, 2005).

There is further and ample evidence with the vast majority of the research has shown that homeschoolers excel in socialization and that non-traditional families harm socialization. Despite the ample evidence, people still refuse to question non-traditional families’ potential harm to kids but inconsistently attack homeschooling whose evidence is overwhelmingly in support of them exceeding socially.

Most homeschoolers have faced the question, “What about socialization?” Few, if any, of these same people ever go to a divorced mother, a homosexual couple raising children, or a single parent family situation and ask them the same question, “What about socialization, don’t you worry about the long term impact on your kids?” Most of us would be deemed “narrow-minded”, “insensitive” or even “rude” if we were to approach a non-traditional family with such questions. Yet, as shown in this article, no evidence supports the idea that homeschoolers in general lack socialization and the vast majority of evidence says these other groups result in poor socialization of children.

This is another example of social agendas dominating the culture debates in our world. When evidence is so vast in either direction but ignored, we should begin to look into the motives of such groups. Either socialization is important to implicate these other issues or it is merely a Trojan Horse used to attack Homeschooling.

______________________

Adams, L. (2005, Summer2005). Privileging the Privileged? Child Well-Being as a Justification for State Support of Marriage. San Diego Law Review, 42(3), 881-887. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from Business Source Complete database.

Somerville, M. (2007, November). Children?s human rights and unlinking child?parent biological bonds with adoption, same-sex marriage and new reproductive technologies. Journal of Family Studies, 13(2), 179-201. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from E-Journals database.

Lebeda, S. (2007, April). Homeschooling: Depriving Children of Social Development?. Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, 16(1), 99-104. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

August 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm

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  1. […] was the guest blogger for the Family Policy Council of West Virginia.  This is a blog that appeared here first but one that they felt should be shared.  From what I […]


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