A large proportion of homeschoolers could be described as people who have given up paying attention to whatever is being shouted through the public bullhorn, and begun to cultivate their own practices and communities on a scale they can still understand and in a manner of which they approve. Their spontaneous reaction to their situation has a historical parallel memorably drawn by Alasdair MacIntyre at the end of After Virtue. Recalling the period in which the Roman Empire collapsed and the so-called "dark ages" began, he reminds us how:
"a crucial turning point occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead often not recognizing fully what they were doing was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness."
So began the monastic tradition of the early middle ages and the institution that saved civilization. It may be the privilege of homeschoolers to bear that bright torch in their own time. Our children have become healthy, well-adjusted and successful, in spite of all the efforts of public institutions to thwart them.
It is inspiring to think that we humble homeschoolers may be part of a force that may change modern history.
HT to Izzy for this one.