Other bloggers have roundly denounced the California court decision on home schooling, but I want to focus on one particular point of it:
"Specifically, the appeals court said, the trial court had found that "keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where ... they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting."Call this objection ironic if you will, in light of a certain percentage of home-schoolers' views on the topic of anthropology, but at what point in the evolutionary history of the human race did it become "normal" to warehouse juvenile members of the species away all day with naught but the company of other juveniles of their exact same age? With no younger members to care for and no elders to emulate (save one harried and vastly outnumbered teacher per hour), is it any wonder that most every government kinderwarehouse has descended into an unfunny parody of a William Golding novel?
For the entire history of our species, save the last century-and-a-half in the West, the norm has been to have children in groups of mixed ages, with working adults around who provided examples of how a grownup was supposed to interface with the rest of the tribe. When it becomes more important to please your age-mates with your style of dress and taste in music than to impress your elders with your comportment, it's only a matter of time before you're all dancing around a pig's head in the jungle, looking for bones to stick through your nose.