Monday, March 06, 2006

Latest thoughts. . .

On Saturday night I caught the tail end of a TV lecture on the history and legal aspects of home schooling. I found several points to be very interesting:

  1. Public school teachers are more likely to home school or enroll their children in prvate school than the US population as a whole. That says something.
  2. The idea that even if public schools turned out every kid that attended into a well rounded, highly intelligent and independent thinkker, that fact would still not usurp a parents right to educate their children as they see fit, and as the truth is far from that ideal, that there is even less of a reason to submit to the government education system.
  3. There were some more but I can't recall them.
Sandy and I are not anti-public school. Far from it. In fact, we think that public schools should be given more funding and improved as much as possible. It is not a bad system, as some Home Schooling promoters would have parents believe. The fact is that the system does not take into account the highly different needs of students, and as a result, children are taught to the lowest common demoninator. There is no real way to provide, at an institutional level, the best instruction for each child. The vast majority of teachers that I have met are nuturing people who do their best to cope in a system that demands accountability in the way of grades and tests. It's not that the teachers are bad. People who say that are just wrong. It's the system itself that is the problem.

One more thing before I sign off for the night. I was not home schooled. I went to public school. So did Sandy. We don't know what home schooling does for the health and well being of a child. All we know is what public schooling can do for the health and well being of a child. We are sure of the negatives of public schooling, and have been warned many times about the risk of home schooling. "Don't you think that they will grow up to be anti-social?" The fact of the matter is that no one has ever suggested that we would fail to provide an eduquate education for the children, but they are all concerned about social activity. I am sure they mean the social activities that come from playing at recess, talking in the halls, and riding the bus. I am sure that if Sandy and I decide to home school, we can arrange for the children to ride a bus a few days a week, maybe up to the Zoo or the Children's Museum, and will take them to play at the city parks with the other anti-social home schooled children. We were also asked about what we would do for gym class. My answer was that we'd probably enroll them in a class at the YMCA, get them on a bowling league in the winter, and let them golf in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Of course, there is always the opportunity to join sports at a high school.

Oh, one more thing. Possible sports for the kids:

Annika - Football quarterback (She can throw a spiral and knows how to place her hands on the laces properly.)
Owen - Rugby or maybe Shot Put. Possibly boxing.
Alex - Unknown. I can't tell yet.

I would be interested to see any comments from people who have been both home schooled and attended public school to see what they think, but I don't think many people read this blog.