I used to be one of those annoying, know-it-alls about education.
“School is the only place for a child to learn what it is REALLY like out there in the world.”
Well, then, what happened was:
I actually MET people who homeschool.
I spent time around their kids.
I learned more about how children learn, in general.
AND, I then I got a big dose of how schools are today (versus the cushy experience I had at St. Paul the Apostle growing up).
And I met some of the actual students who have emerged from actual schools and entered the college system.
And I cried and cried and cried.
Homeschooling – You Can’t Handle the Truth!
…because the truth might be that most public schools are letting our kids down. And the truth might be that even though we all are branded with fear that if we homeschool, our kids will be weird, underneath it all we find, ALL KIDS ARE WEIRD.
My friends who homeschool are amazing. They do use curriculum from websites but they also have a great deal more freedom.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Let’s be real: that’s like saying “working from home and owning your own business is SO much easier than showing up to a desk someone picked out for me, working on a computer someone bought for me, writing emails through a complex IT system (with firewall and virus software) that is supported just on the other end of that really nice phone someone gave me.”
In fact, homeschooling to me sounds really hard. Sure there are curricula to work from, but you still have to create an entire learning system for your OWN kids. And it has to be done (to a certain extent) from the confines (yes I do intend to make that sound like prison) of their home.
Homeschool sounds HARD.
And like madness, torture, and some kind of Pilgrim experiment created by people ALOT smarter than me who are of the ilk who would say something like: “I don’t LIKE being persecuted for my religious beliefs! Come on, family. Let’s all take this boat and sail across the ocean to unbroken land and build our own colony and be free! How bad could the winters be?” And then do it.
And I think, maybe, because it sounds really hard — and kind of “different” — some people who don’t see themselves as wild, maverick-y pilgrims of educations are much more comfortable making fun of homeschooling.
Rather than learning about it. Ironically. But perhaps not surprisingly.
They, like me, like living in La-La land Utopia of what we imagine “school” is — that happy place where everyone gets treated fairly, everyone learns at the same pace, and the rooms are filled with the hum of brains growing.
Because at best, “good” schools are culturally unbalanced and performance driven. At worst, the bad schools are nothing short of Thunderdome.
But that’s off the subject because….
Today, I am praising my often maligned and usually misunderstood homeschooling homies — the moms who spend ALL day, ALL week, MOST of their time with their kids, not just shaping their values and wiping their snot, but teaching them about metamorphosis, derivatives, class and race issues surrounding the Civil War, how to play the steel guitar and basket weaving.
Oh, and about the whole socialization thing... I feel confident these homeschool kids can learn intricacies of what they are missing — bullying, techniques for making out with your tongue, and how to text my Facebook status from my phone.
These kids seem pretty smart. And self-motivated. If they don’t figure it out by college, I KNOW they will look it up.
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