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Paula Bolyard

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October 21, 2013 - 3:00 pm
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diversity

Homeschooling was the topic of a recent of edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, with Sen. Ron Paul as guest. Paul expressed his hope that more people would choose homeschooling. “I want people to be able to homeschool their children. Not everybody is designed to pick out the leaders who want to, and maybe 20 percent might be interested in doing this.”

Paul’s lofty goal of 20% of families homeschooling their children would obviously revolutionize American education and have a dramatic impact on families. According to the federal government, the percent of homeschooled children in the United States is currently in the single digits.

But rather than focusing on education, MSNBC Morning Joe commentator Katty Kay worried that bringing all those children home with their mothers would deal a devastating blow to opportunities for women in the workplace.

Twenty percent of children being homeschooled —  that’s going to mean a vast drop in the number of women in the work force because it’s largely women who are doing the homeschooling. A lot of women can’t afford to give up their jobs. A lot of families can’t afford that and do we actually want to be encouraging women not to take part of the work force because we know how valuable that diversity is. I’m just, I’m concerned about advocating homeschooling on this level when women are having such a hard time already, staying in the work force.

Did you ever notice that liberals are all “for the children” until it comes to sacrificing their personal desires or their beloved “diversity,” which apparently ranks higher than “the children” in these debates? With the current state of the American family, the decline of the culture, the behemoth welfare state, and the soaring incarceration rates, should diversity in the workplace even be a consideration in the decision about whether or not to homeschool? 

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Ah, diversity, diversity! That lofty goal!

Only, it's not.


Diversity is no more intrinsically good than change is intrinsically good.

Liberty is a worthy goal.

Diversity is not.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Carlson's statistics, while at first disheartening, are actually quite expected if translated into an economics vocabulary. Paid employment hours rising by 50% while income for dual income household rose 30% just means there were diminishing returns to the family's labor. Single-income household's income declining is likely a result of a increase in supply of labor.

We experience this in my family. My wife picks up a couple of hours a week, she's not being paid what she's "worth" but that extra bit of income makes a big difference to us! We both regret that we feel the need for her to make this sacrifice.

I would love to be protectionist about my labor value. If you only knew how awesome I was you would pay me 10-100x what I make now. Unfortunately there are enough other people similar to me out there.. yada yada.. supply and demand. As much as it sucks to compete with a larger pool of labor I am optimistic enough to *believe* I am getting better products cheaper due to all that talent - even above and beyond whatever "pay cut" I am theoretically taking. This is not the crux of the article, but I hate to see conservatives appear to parrot liberal-style protectionism even if disguised by an unusual context.

PS We plan to home school.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not really advocating for protectionism. We're not going to put that toothpaste back in the tube. Carlson's book also documents how government solutions (tax credits for childcare, easy access to mortgages for non-marrieds, etc.) have increased the burden on single-income families. Carlson calls the childcare tax credit an indirect tax on single-income families, whose childcare providers (usually the mothers) receive neither salary nor tax credit for their work. Government meddling almost always makes the problem worse.

Carlson also notes (with guarded optimism) that the ability to work from home may help level the playing field and encourage more families to keep a parent at home.

I would say that a high percentage of homeschooling families I know have some sort of second income, whether its from the father working two jobs or the mother doing some kind of work from home -- even families that live very, very frugally. It's just a sad fact of our current economic reality.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for your reply Paula. I forward many of your articles to my wife since we will need to make a real decision about homeschooling in a few short years.

Another "tax" accrued to larger families - regardless of income I suppose - is the creeping requirement on car seats forcing larger and more expensive vehicles.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
True, but many families I know where both parents work have double sets of car seats because one parent drops off the kids at daycare or school and the other picks them up!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are there ways of having a home school "co-op," with each family teaching the kids for one or two days a week?
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes! They come in all varieties! We belonged to one where the kids met on Fridays for classes. Different moms and dads taught classes and usually assigned work for the week. The kids would work on it throughout the week (with their parents supervising/helping) and bring their work back the following week to be graded. We did this for English, science, and history.

There's also something called "Classical Conversations" with groups across the country. They teach a formal classical curriculum and, if I'm not mistaken, hire teachers.

Other groups are more or less structured. There is a lot of room for creativity.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see where you jumped to 'diversity' in the workplace being a culprit here. Working is a choice for some women, a necessity for others. I think that was the point. The idea of women's presence benefiting the workplace was the reason diversity was mentioned.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree, the cause and effect relation between diversity and women's labor allocation was a little fuzzy in spots. I think the point of this article is that what's-her-name on TV was more concerned about diversity than about a mothers responsibility for her children.

Maybe "diversity" is a reason people work to influence women to leave home for the workplace, but I don't believe many women even consider "diversity" when making a personal decision to create a second income.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find the lib assumption that the homeschooling parent is automatically a woman to be more telling

Editited just for kicks
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
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