Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quality and the Herd Mentality

Many homeschooling parents are subject to ridicule and skepticism for the choice they have made, to take their children's education into their own hands. Their reasons are valid and well thought through. No one makes a decision like this, light-heartedly and without considering the effort it will take to ensure their child is receiving a better education (in their opinion) than one offered in the public school system. Some of the reasons are one or a combination of the following:
  • avoiding bullies (either after an encounter or as a preemptive measure)
  • for religious reasons
  • disappointment in child's low scores despite known ability
  • child expresses disinterest, or contempt for school
  • behaviors learned by other (troubled) children, is brought home
  • negative experience with inexperienced or cruel teachers
  • medical reasons (too many to list)
There are more, and every parent has a story to tell as to why they have avoided public school or pulled their children from the public school system. Here is a list, that some say was done, with heavy sarcasm, by a homeschooling mom who got tired of  explaining why she was homeschooling, to those who just really don't get it. No one knows the true author, but it's certainly stuff I have thought.

Why Public Schooling Is Better Than Homeschooling
  • Most parents were educated in the under funded public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.
  • Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than others, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is undemocratic.
  • How can children learn to defend themselves unless they have to fight off bullies on a daily basis?
  • Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process.
  • Children in public schools can get more practice "Just Saying No" to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.
  • Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits.
  • Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people their place in society.
  • The fashion industry depends upon the peer pressure that only public schools can generate.
  • Public schools foster cultural literacy, passing on important traditions like the singing of "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..."
  • Homeschooled children may not learn important office career skills, like how to sit still for six hours straight.
I would add:
  • Children in public schools learn cultural and religious tolerance of all, but only if you don't count Christianity as a valid religion or Christians as humans deserving of rights.
  • Public school teaches valuable life lessons that will help them excel in future careers, especially politics. For example, if you tell a good enough lie, you can get away with anything.
Of course, there ARE good public school teachers out there. I am afraid that they are becoming fewer and farther between. My boys both had a good start with amazing kindergarten teachers. My second son continued on with another great first grade teacher, but my oldest wilted under the cruelty and dishonesty of his first grade teacher. We are still trying to undo the harm. So, I chose homeschool, because no one can love my kids like me, and with so many resources, and support out there, I know that they will have a richer education by being taught at home. What are your reasons, either for or against homeschooling? Why did you personally choose your child's particular education?

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