Sir: As a devoted homeschooler, I am grieved and offended every time another parent asks me how my son Theobald will learn the social skills vital to a successful adult life. Why do they suppose that homeschooling must be a form of child neglect? Any responsible homeschooler understands the importance of the social aspect of schooling, and I for one will not let my son grow up without the formative experiences every schoolchild ought to have. I steal his lunch from him every day. I often beat him for no reason. I ridicule his choice of clothes and do not neglect to laugh at his funny name. I hire attractive neighbor girls (for a small hourly fee) to sneer at him and reject his advances—pre-emptively if he has not made any. I accuse him of crimes he has not committed; I hold him responsible for faults he cannot avoid. I establish arbitrary rules that I will not reveal to him, and I punish him for violating them. When he exhibits physical changes normal in a growing boy, I make him believe he is a freak of nature. I ask my detractors, is this not an education every bit the equal of what Theobald could get in the finest public school in the country? Let me hear no more questions about my boy’s social adjustment! I can assure you all that he is not missing anything by staying home from school. —Sincerely, Willibald Peach, Ormsby.
Monday, July 29, 2013, 10:54 PM