26 July 2009

Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head

I have much to say about homeschooling; as our lives shift, so inevitably will the shape of this blog. I will try to break up my thoughts so as not to keep you reading here for hours, but this is a good place for me to hash things out.

Let me say, that our decision to homeschool was not made in fear or hate of public schools. I have come to realize that there are thousands of reasons to homeschool, some are a desire to stay out of "the system" or stay "off the grid." I am on the grid. I bank, I have bills, I participate in this society for good and for bad. I also believe to my core, that public education, in theory is one of the reasons that this country is so great. I know from my own studies what societies and cultures look like that have a lack of an educational system. I think that if we did not have public education, we would as a nation demand it from our government as many are now doing with health care. Public education was created in part to make educated voters. It is because of our public education system that I can educate my own children. We are privileged to be able to make this choice in this country. I know many, many talented, gifted, and loving teachers most of which are in my family. I respect what they do. I did it myself.

On the other hand, I see a system that has a myriad of problems from large class sizes to standardized tests. I see room for improvement, and instead of just waiting the problem out, voting the problems out, or volunteering at Ollie's school, I choose to simply not yet be involved. I have seen so many great parents make the same sacrifice and decision for their family's. Perhaps when we as a society fix the problems with our education system there will be a resurgence of smart, gifted, creative students to the school system. Until then, we will educate our children in the safety of our privileged and educated homes.

I am reading a fantastic book on Homeschooling now, and I'll leave you with a quote about public school from it that struck me:
"Children are made to fell out of control, very self-conscious, dependent rather than strong, very conscious of time (the 48-minute bell will ensure that), passive, and with challenges never set by themselves or for themselves. If there is 'dead' time, it must be because the teacher is unprepared. Children learn, more than any other content that inadequacy, or alternatively, happiness that is entirely conditonal on the approval of others , is the way things are supposed to be. "

The author continues, but I like the above because I know it to be true. We are, as an educated society allowed to evolve, to change, to grow. But unfortunately it painful and slow. Until then, again, I'll keep the children home to inquire, to be engaged, to learn about the world...

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I hadn't heard of this book. Thanks for the rec, I just added it to by hold list. :)