Homeschoolers: Who ARE We?
by Cathy Henderson
(31 January 2001)

We are thin, we are fat, we are curved, we are straight.  We come in all colors, all shapes and all sizes.  We believe that One Size Fits Noone.

We are married and single, separated, blended.  We belong to small families, large families, extended families.  We live in the country, in the city, on farms, in suburbs, in apartments.  Wherever we live, small people are there.

We are Christian, we are Pagan, we are Moslem, we are Atheist.  We have found the answers, we have found part of the answers, we are searching for the answers.  And some of us have not yet figured out the questions.

We are college graduates, we are dropouts.  We are doctors, lawyers, mechanics and laborers.  We are capable.  We are Professional Educational Facilitators.  We are THE experts for the small people in our family.

We are liberal or conservative or walk a road inbetween.  We are Republicans and Democrats...or not...and libertarians to greater or lesser extent.  Some of us don't vote at all, and some of us feel by virtue of our increased awareness, we should be allowed to vote more than once!

We do not like government control of our lives.  Some of us Do Not Like It and some of us DO NOT LIKE IT.  Some of us do not believe that any entity should have that much power.  Others believe only their Favorite Flavor should have that kind of power.

We have rejected the public school system for religious reasons or political reasons, or because our standards were higher, or because we value creativity, or because we were round pegs hammered into square holes.  Some of us rejected public school knowing we could do better, and some of us knew only that we could do no worse.

We have school at home, we deschool, we unschool.  Some of us are passionately convinced that our method is not only the best but the only feasible method.  Some of us change our methods weekly.

We are nervous, we are confused, we are confident, we are assured.  We read and read and read until one day, lo and behold, we are able to write the books we have been reading.  We stop clinging so fiercely to those who have taught and supported us, and offer ourselves to those who are now turning to us, with a briefly-passing interval during which we ask ourselves the question "Why are they asking ME?"

We have been taught that "United we stand, divided we fall", and we have learned that Diverse does not have to equal Divided.  We have a foundation, and that foundation must run the length and breadth.  We must all make a conscious choice to stand upon it..

For whatever our size, our flavor, our method, our value system, we believe that parents have the right to raise their children, and that right includes each and every educational decision.  If we attempt to use any other tenet as our foundation, we will fall.

If we will not waver in that belief, if we will not dilute it with questions about the ability of people with orange-and-purple hair, or people who don't clean house to our standards, or people with no education, or people who do not share our religious or political beliefs, or our cultural values, or people who use other methods, then we will stand...diverse, but united.