My Issue with Christian Homeschool Conferences and Magazines
Here is a recent blog post by Susan Wise Bauer, co-author of The Well Trained Mind, where she shares her decision to not speak at homeschool conferences in the year 2013 due to increasing pressures from conference organizers.
"I love to teach; I love to help parents and teachers teach. That’s part of what I do. But conferences seem, increasingly, less focused in education and more on lifestyle: whether that’s back-to-the-earth, drop-out-of-the-system, or build-God’s-kingdom-through-home-schooling. Check out the workshop offerings at your nearest conference, and look at the percentages: how many of the workshops are dedicated to teaching and learning? and how many focus on parenting, marriage issues, family dynamics, church matters, theology, bread-baking, organic gardening…?"...
from One More Update About Future Plans
"But in the past few years, I have been asked, by multiple different conference organizers, to promise to NOT talk about certain theories, or certain types of education; to give any appearance of endorsing certain organizations, life choices, or philosophies; to swear I won’t bring certain books for my book table; to mention certain words. None of which, I should say, have anything to do with what I normally talk about: grammar, history, writing, reading, learning. I have been told that I am not welcome, in some cases, because I talk too much about the psychology of learning, and not about the Bible. Or because I have a theological degree and am obviously pushing a Christian agenda. Because my “professional associations,” however loose, are too liberal, or too secular, or too Christian.
And many of the conferences that put these restrictions on me don’t advertise themselves as “A Conference on Education For People Who Hope To Follow X Philosophy of Life.” They present themselves as “The Official State Home Education Organization For Your State!” or “The Only Education Conference You Should Attend if You Teach Your Kids!” or…"
I have been helped in the past by listening to audio recordings of Susan Wise Bauer recorded at far-away conferences. I have not had the chance to hear her speak in person in the past, the drives were too long.
I just learned she's speaking IN MY OWN TOWN in the summer of 2012. I hope I am here to hear her in person before it's too late. I guess I'll have to schedule my summer vacation around the upcoming homeschool conference!