You can - and should! - read the rest at California NOW. I'm curious to know our readers' opinions - is homeschooling a solution? How about single-gender schools? For those of us for whom home-schooling is not a viable choice, what are some other ways that parents can help their kids cope with the sexism, racism, and homophobia that they will most likely encounter in classrooms and on playgrounds?
The onslaught of media consumed by children today cannot be avoided. Even if your kids don’t consume it directly, their friends will. Negative messages about body image, overt and thinly veiled racism, sexism and homophobia are everywhere, and our children absorb all that in a variety of ways. In addition to trying to change the media—which must be a critical part of movements for social justice—as parents we have to act as mediator between the messages our children get in the world, and how those messages affect who they are and what they believe.
Schools are places where media messages—the effects of them and children’s interpretations of them—are mixed with real life experiences with institutionalized bigotry and oppression. From the far corners of the playground where child anarchy can foster unchecked messages and experiences, to the history books that formalize those sentiments, too often our kids are being schooled in a context that, as feminists, we know is dangerous.
That’s why, as a feminist mother, I chose to not send my kids to school.In addition to being a feminist parent, I am a feminist homeschooler...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Feminism and School: Is Homeschooling a Solution?
When I first put out the call for essays and posts on feminist parenting, I naively believed that I had a fairly comprehensive understanding of the issues and decisions feminist and anti-racist parents face. I had no idea how truly diverse and thought-provoking the contributions would be, or how they would challenge me to consider new solutions to old problems. For example, I'd never heard of feminist homeschooling until I read Rachel Allen's piece on her decision to eschew the public school system entirely: