I previously highlighted an anonymous blogger wrote writes under the name “The Practical Conservative.” She says she is a stay at home mother.
My previous post was about her claim that conservatives unfairly stigmatize families hiring help for raising kids. This was not something that was at all on my radar, but seeing the strong reaction and sharp divisions in the comments of that post, obviously she put her finger on something.
Another recent post (which appears to be a recycling of older material) hits on another one of her key recurring arguments: homeschooling undermines conservative political activism. She writes:
Long ago, before the 1970s, the right wing in America thought it was a good idea for some of their wives to have household help so they could run around doing the very complicated organizing described by David Hines about lefty organizing strategies and processes (his usual example involves talking to 600 people to get 7 that will stick around paying dues and sending off letters for years to come).
Then, for “reasons”, a lot of the smart, driven women who had hobbies such as “taking down entire amendments to the Constitution single handedly” and “starting the conservation movement from scratch”, and “inventing American libertarianism”, and “La Leche League” ended up being sucked into homeschool and homesteading/prepping maws and the political organization skills were mostly left with pro-life stuff, and even there one can see a big loss.
She alludes of course to Phyllis Schlafly (among others) here. Had Schlafly spent all of her time and energy on homeschooling her six kids (which I’m pretty sure she didn’t), she would never have had the political impact she did. Ironically, Schlafly later became a big homeschooling advocate.
What do you all think of this? Obviously, a mother who is homeschooling kids probably doesn’t have a lot of spare cycles to take on a lot of complex organizing activities. Undoubtedly there is a large opportunity cost to homeschooling.