On Homeschooling, Marxism and Feminism

All my life I have been asked why I was home schooled. I have always known why, but I have never truly been able to explain why until about a week ago. It has now become apparent that I was homeschooled for reasons that may fall under the category of Marxist feminist. Many home schoolers, especially in this area of East Tennessee, are assumed to be conservative in both political and religious beliefs.  Growing up this was never the case with me and my family, and I oftentimes struggled to explain this to confused friends inquiring as to why I was the way I was, not going to school and living with parents as well as grandparents, and occasionally cousins.

So what is it? What is this grand reason I was home schooled? Why it was in order to reject the capitalist system of education that feeds children directly into labor exploitation with education for the soul purpose of serving the capital while simultaneously isolating the family members in order to destroy a working commune family environment and replace it with the emotionally distant nuclear family that also serves capitalism, of course!

With this newly found understanding, I have begun to examine how my upbringing is affecting my further education as well as my working and personal life. Because it is quite impossible to simply get rid of capitalism, rejecting it can only go so far in its real life effects. However small, I still believe these effects are worth noting.  My homeschooling experience can be compared to that of feminist blogger Sarah Schmidt, http://feminspire.com/feminist-homeschooling-were-not-all-right-wing-religious-folks/

This article is great because it highlights some of the ways in which home schooling can benefit a feminist agenda rather than hurt it.

As it is clear from reading about others home schooling appearance, it is a movement that can be either incredibly enlightening to a child’s view of the world, or incredibly limiting. It truly depends on the choices of the parents. This is one reason I hesitate to immediately claim that every family should choose to homeschool in boycott of the capital. While home schooling brings us closer to the post capitalism home life style, it poses the threat of enabling families that want to shelter their children extensively to do so. But let us imagine for a moment that these negative sides do not exist, hypothetically, how would the attitude of children and consequently society shift when the standardized system of education is removed?

In Women and the Subversion of the Community, Dollacosta and James states that “Working class children then are the first who instinctively rebel against schools and the education in private schools. But their parents carry them to schools and confine them to schools because they are concerned that their children should ‘have an education’ “(3). This phenomenon is the result of shaming of certain labor and worship of other, and attitude encouraged in the school system like no other.  Without the school, children develop natural interests at a pace that fits their unique cognitive growth. Once a child develops certain interests, adults can step in and help them pursue a path that they find fulfilling and achievable, regardless of class implications. In the school system, however, everyone is encouraged to follow the same general path. Go to the same types of universities and work in the same types of fields, or they have done something wrong, and where they end up in the Capitalist society is only their fault.

In short, homeschooling creates an alternative view of the world that is more reflective of postindustrial times, wherein uniqueness is valued and nurtured, and every individual is seen as just that. Though it is not perfect, I believe it can play an important role in reforming the lives of capitalists Americans.

– Eva Alom, Section 007

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