To understand why art is art, you need to be open to seeing things in different ways. A lot of people respond to art with “I don’t get it” but that’s just because someone doesn’t want to spend the time to get it. It takes time to see things differently.
So here’s an exercise. Pretend you are one of those parents who thinks homeschooling is terrible. There are a million ways to pretend to judge homeschoolers—they are unethical, uncaring, ignorant, selfish, elitist, or lazy.
It’s difficult to think like that if you already homeschool, or aspire to homeschool. But one way to understand how it feels to object to homeschooling is to compare to how you think about money. Because the only thing people are more judgy about than education is money.
So, to help you, here are a bunch of things I really believe in, that I have recommended to people out loud. And everyone thought I was totally crazy:
Go bankrupt instead of killing yourself over medical bills. (Bankruptcy is so common among rich people and so shameful among poor people—the exact opposite of how it should be.)
Get out of student debt. (Forbearance, forgiveness, these are escape routes you should explore. Or just don’t pay it for ten years. We don’t have debtor’s prison.)
Be a stripper to pay your college tuition (Seriously: What other job pays enough money to get through college and leaves enough time to study?)
Use debt consolidation. (Financial security is not reaching a particular number. It’s an emotional choice. Having only one thing to pay feels better.)
Live in a terrible location (Did you know there are places in the US where you can get land for free? Really. Click that link.)
Have a basketball player’s baby. Okay. This might be the most controversial piece of advice here, but first of all, it’s great writing, so click the link. But also, with a basketball player’s baby, you are seriously set for life. You could spend your time raising your tall, probably good-looking kid, and doing whatever your dreams say, because you will never need to earn money again.
Pick the most distasteful piece of advice on the list. And do the mental work of trying to understand the other side of the coin. Why would someone think this is a good idea? What are the alternatives to solve the problem this solves? What are the risks? What are the cultural assumptions that make you think this solution is distasteful? Are they cultural assumptions you really buy into?
These are the questions anyone needs to ask themselves when they come around to thinking homeschooling is okay. It’s a big intellectual leap, but it’s one that I have found so fulfilling myself that I try to force myself to take those leaps more often.
I like the exercise of learning to understand something that my first instinct tells me is terrible. For art. For money. For education.