In the words of one home school family, “We’re not teachers, we’re learning facilitators”
As a very uncertain future rises to meet our younger generations, there probably has never been a better time to contemplate the kind of system that
holds our children captive for the majority of their waking hours every weekday of the school year for 12 or more years, often against their will.
Do you ever wonder how much more a child could learn in a personalized (home) environment where the instructor’s attention wasn’t divided among 20
to 30 students with constant distractions and disruptions and where standardized, boring text books seem to them, often correctly so, to hold little
real value? How much more could a child learn if soaking up knowledge became a way of life rather than a designated “seasonal anomaly” followed by
a three month vacation during which the lessons are generally forgotten, requiring a period of “refreshment” the following season?
What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.
Henry David Thoreau
Children are not identical little widgets whose minds can be manufactured and molded into an acceptable shape and then moved forward on conveyor belts
to a final destination where they are packaged and shipped off to a suitable employer. They’re each distinctly different (even if they start out to
be very short) meandering brooks, each with specific interests that can serve as lynchpins in generating a desire to satisfy their natural curiosity
and get them wherever they want to go. Parents just need to take the time to listen to them and talk with them, to develop and flesh out those
interests, provide them with stacks of books and information to help them discover whatever it is they want to find. And we might even learn
something new along the way into the bargain. Why else have children at all?
Or is it simply a matter that public school is what our parents did to us and it turned out okay to one degree or another, so that’s what we do to
our kids? It simply isn’t turning out okay for too many kids in this brave new world of bullying and depression and pharmaceutical drug pushers.
Long before the incident at Sandy Hook, parents complained that their children were/are not receiving an adequate education in the public schools.
They have generally tolerated this because they’re too heavily taxed to fund government run education to strike out on their own private educational
adventures with their youngsters. But students are the ones who end up paying the highest price by being put on the conveyer belt of passing grades
despite failing test scores. We all have a good idea of why that happens.
But now, since Sandy Hook, with the possibility that children at school will be surrounded by heavily armed security guards, conceal-carry teachers,
national guardsmen, or military types packing weapons, this might be a good time to take another look at what the real cost will be to the kids.
Teaching institutions will become de facto prisons where caged students will still be expected to function normally and excel. These are mutually
exclusive, except for mind numbed robots.
In the words of one former home school graduate, “School would have been like solitary confinement in a maximum security prison.”
was said before the presumed need for heightened security with more locked doors, more cameras, more backpack searches, more metal detectors and even
potential wanding to enter a class room or cafeteria. How long will it be before going to or returning from the restroom is cause for a pat down? How
long before a child is tazed or worse for making a wrong or sudden move?
Surely some people will find all the tightened security acceptable or at least a necessary evil, but whether or not the government ever manages to
remove guns from the hands of law abiding citizens, only a fool would believe that criminals will not continue to have access to weapons or that they
would all suddenly become good guys and end their criminal ways. If you have doubts in that regard, look at Mexico. Look at Chicago.
Parents often assume, without any real idea of how homeschooling is done or what the rules are, that its just too hard, they have to work, they’re
too busy, they’re not well enough educated themselves, or simply that they have too little patience. And in many cases this is so, it isn’t for
But does anyone ever ask their kids what they think about the idea before writing it off as impossible?
In 1980, home schooling was illegal in 30 states. Now, it is legal in all 50 states with about 1.5 million to 2 million children being
homeschooled in the U.S., roughly 3 percent of school-age children nationwide, according to a study by the National Center for Education
In the same study, it was found that between 1999 and 2007, the number of homeschooled children rose 77 percent. The actual number may be even higher
because not all parents who home school report information to the government. However, the general consensus is that the stigma associated with
homeschooling is gone as it becomes more and more mainstream.
In public school about $10,000 is spent on each student, each year, as opposed the $500 spent on the average homeschooled student.
Ask 10 families why they home school, and you will get 10 different replies, but the
article below, "55 Reasons to Home school", probably includes most of them. The other
articles express diverse opinions as to the benefits of homeschooling. Maybe one of
them will echo your sentiments, address the concerns that have lead you to consider
homeschooling, and help you decide if homeschooling makes sense for your family.
Finally, I suppose people most often wonder if there are any official resources that can assist in such things as deciding on the proper curricula,
finding out what the state requirements are or offering general support information. Fortunately every state in the US offers all of the above for
parents who choose to investigate the possibilities:
edit on 4-1-2013 by frazzle because: (no reason given)