I have to admit, when we started on our adventure in education we were both more than a little daunted. There were all the stereotypes, academic fears and fears of failure, and why not, there was after all much at stake. But there was also my own memories of public school which, mixed with my love for my children, drove me forward into a land that was completely unknown and foreign to us.
Today we have a professor who has overcome his homeschoolphobia. He was open-minded enough to see things as they really are, and not as he was programmed by modern western society to see them.
The article from the Chicago Tribune:
He begins by giving all the reasons he had homeschoolphobia:
… a child out of school deprives him of his essential right to a quality education, including access to tax-funded resources, highly trained teachers and specialists in each discipline, as well as intramural and extracurricular enrichment activities.
There is little oversight of home-schooled students in half of all states, including Illinois, where they never even have to take a standardized test.
I felt that the most important benefits missed by stay-at-home kids are socialization from peer group interaction, and the critical thinking and communication skills learned from small- and large-group dynamics in the classroom.
But then he encountered a homeschooled class member and all that changed. He gave three reasons why the homeschooled child performed better in his class:
First, she had escaped the collateral damage from 12 years of conventional schooling. I’m thinking of my own lost years in elementary school, as a bored-out-of-my-gourd pupil in a classroom of 48 or more students doing busywork most of the day.
So the schoolroom was still a novelty for her.
Secondly, she applied her experience of one-on-one learning to the classroom format, as though she were the only one sitting in front of me. This led to plentiful and uninhibited conversation, and other students followed suit.
Third, having been the only person to be called on for 12 years, she did not use the group’s mass as camouflage, or a barrier, but accepted every question, suggestion, lesson and instruction as her own responsibility.
Fourth, in home school she had daily conversations with one parent or the other about a myriad of subjects, whereas her texting, video-gaming, ear-bud-wearing classmates too often skated, side-stepped or escaped adult interaction much of their short lives.
As with all realities, outcomes will vary. But that raises the real question doesn’t it? What is the outcome you, dear parent, want for your child? With that in mind consider there are only three possibilities. 1) Your child will succeed in what you desire for him. 2) He will fail. 3) He will go his own way. In that regard you share the same worries and fears as the homeschooling parent. I would only ask that you hold the outcomes of homeschooling and the institution to the same standard. It seems that much of the institution’s colossal failures are not noticed, but any homeschooling failure is held up as a reason to reject it. Homeschooling is not chosen instead of the sure thing of a government education because government education has never been a sure thing. And it’s even less of a sure thing in this present age, depending, again, on what you, the parent, expect. For one, there are many ways your child can succeed and fail that are beyond the purview of academics. One can have academic success with great moral failure, for example.
So in the end if a child has two people who care for her, she is far better off being educated by those parents than by an institution fixated on its own perpetuation, and whatever the educational fad it has picked up and foisting on our children… like “Common Core”.