IN one of the arguments I think better to have in my head than in reality, I make the point that Zoom school is worse than nothing. It’s not real and it reinforces the poisonous lie that things on screen are a like-for-like replacement of social reality.
Remote society and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. One good thing to have come of the reduction of life to a dodgy podcast is that parents have had a look behind the curtain of school.
It has proven impossible to unsee for many of them, and this is why the number of home-schooled children has seen a dramatic rise.
There’s the fact that you have been at home anyway. There is the awkward silence when you realise one of you is going to work to pay for the childcare so you can go to work. There’s the stress of the daily deadlines, whose burden, like a heavy backpack, you do not really notice until you stop carrying it.
Finally, there’s the shock of being mugged by reality. What is going on in school is not all that, you realise. It does not match the fond sepia of my imaginings. You realise you could not do any worse.
Quality of delivery is not the whole issue. It is the ideology of school itself for some, the ideology transmitted in the lessons for others, or even the prevalence of fashionable nonsense such as phonics or learning domains.
Education is a progressive business, meaning it has a great PR campaign, a lucrative market of captives and pushes ideas which are often mental but thrillingly new.
Against progress I would offer a simple argument – why are we paying for a service we neither want nor use?
Secondly I would argue that, the family being the basic unit of society, home schooling provides a benefit to the nation whose costs are twice-borne by the benefactor.
We are punishing people who have sufficient care for their children to surrender a wage to teach them. This is a degree of motivation which is likely to correlate with strong family bonds and a stable upbringing. It is one of the obvious facts of life that the breakdown of the family is a strong driver of crime. This is the reason it is taboo.
People who home-school their children do so at their own expense. Added to this growing number – perhaps five million in the US and estimated at well over 100,000 in the UK – are all the parents who pay fees for a private education. These parents pay twice.
We home-schoolers are penalised for taking responsibility in a way which fosters better citizens. In a time of hurtling civilisational decline, does it not make sense to incentivise sanity? Public education is the large-scale subsidy of failure – an object lesson in how throwing money at the problem is just a way of being able to ignore its causes.
Parents who for religious, cultural or ideological reasons, who prefer freedom to regimentation and childhood to factory farming, have their own reasons for taking their children out of school and into their own supervision. It is the parents’ right – not that of the State – to decide how the child is raised.
Let the State make the argument why we who do so should be expected to pay for it.
I want my money back. I want a 12.5 per cent tax rebate to reflect the amount allotted from general taxation to pay for a school system I will never use. Should I change my mind, I lose my rebate. Fair enough?
Today, I’d like this to mark the start a new campaign for family values, to get the Government behind the basic unit of society and to give us a refund on a product we don’t want to buy. We are the Twelve Percenters.