Not only do parents who homeschool their children fulfill their duty. They are also protecting society from the move towards totalitarianism. – (Part 1 of a series of 3 articles) deutsches Original von „Geier“
I am no home-school activist. All of my children have gone to public schools. For me, homeschooling has always been a distant marginal phenomenon but not an option I would have seriously considered during that time. Throughout the years, I have met several homeschooling families and to a certain degree, I have been sympathetic to their cause. Still, I hadn’t given any major attention to this particular subject.
It has taken decades for me to understand just how much of a positive influence these families, who educate their children at home, have on our society. In order to understand this, it doesn’t suffice to regard the homeschooling movement as an isolated phenomenon, a special course of education. It’s necessary to grasp the larger context, which includes the criminalization of homeschooling— and, in turn, also the resistance against it.
The state’s claim on the children
The socialization of education is only a small wheel in the big machine of attempts that reach much further: Altogether, the final goal is the comprehensive dis-empowerment of the family, whereas the state’s claim on the children’s education is only a part of the whole. To explain this, I would have to further elaborate:
Our modern view on society moves between the three orientation points: God, state and the individual. However the biblical conception of man emphasizes even more an additional level of society: The house, the Oikos, the familial responsibility and life partnership, in which different talents and responsibilities complement, help and counterbalance one another. In the ideal case, the weak and strong, of-age and under-age, experienced and inexperienced will complete one another in a fruitful and functioning whole in the Oikos as a solidarity community.
Most of the society systems in the past millennia have respected the Oikos as an independent entity, in which — compared to our present days — an extraordinary amount of powers have been joined together. In pre-modern societies, as well as in the societies portrayed in the Bible, the predominant part of the responsibility was concentrated in the family and not with the state or government.
Undermining the only dependable counterweight to the state
The essential decisions on life were made in the Oikos and also, the mutual welfare was almost exclusively a family affair. The major part of the concerns that were important for each individual took place on family level. Ancient Greece even knew times, where legal cases concerning the Oikos were not allowed to be processed before a court, the Polis and thus the state.
In each society, the three civil levels, individual, Oikos and state must demarcate their authorities towards one another and thus find a balance to each other. In modern society however, only the state and the individual are opposite of one another. Never before in human history have we been so far away from family independence as we are today:
Little by little, the Oikos has been robbed of its tasks and duties as well as of its authorities. It has been undermined to the extent of reaching a state of insignificance. Gradual modifications in the laws have weakened the actual significance of the family level and have robbed it of its vitality. Particularly after WWI, the loss of significance of the family has been progressing ever more rapidly.