I was surfing around the blog world today. Several of my friends and relatives have extreme GUTS and therefore home school their children, so I was surfing their home school web ring.
In retrospect, that was probably a bad idea. I should know better than to surf sites where I might start to get a little twitchy with indignation.
Now, I’m NOT pronouncing judgment on all home schoolers, but there are those home schoolers – I’m going to call then fanatics, because (frankly) that’s what they are – fanatics that are…well, according to the blogs I read, a little outrageous.
One woman (whose blog title referred to her “Rearing Royalty” – is that anything like potty-training a prince?) talked about the horrors of having to “work” “out there” “in the world” and how GLAD she was to not being doing that anymore.
Well, unless she was on call for some sort of sex ring, I can’t imagine what kind of a job instilled those “horrors” – waitress at Beef-a-Roo? I don’t know. I work out “here” in the real world, and you know what? It’s not so bad. In fact, it can be pretty great. To make a difference in the world though your hard-working, ethical actions.
She has a right to her opinion, of course. But she made it sound like a sin (which it’s not) and a repulsion (which it doesn’t have to be) to have a J-O-B outside of the house. Once you find your passion, you should pursue it. Whether it’s inside your split level ranch or the great big world outside it.
Okay, and while we are on the topic of home schooling – I have an honest-to-goodness question. I’ve always wanted to ask someone this, and I’ve never had the guts. I know, I know…I’m mighty brave in cyberspace.
Why home school?
I’m open to hearing answers. I’m just curious. Really. I’m not making fun or being judgmental. I mean, I know I went to a private, Christian school. And I know that not everyone has the finances to make that a reality. Heaven knows, if Brett and I were able to have kids, we couldn’t afford to send them anywhere expensive.
The thing is that waaaaaaaaaay back when I went to Christian school; we viewed public schools as a place fraught with danger. We thought kids got raped every day and imagined we’d be forced to smoke, drink, and do drugs.
Imagine my surprise when I first set foot inside a “real” public school – to take my ACT test. There I was surrounded by smart, college-bound kids who were nice, polite, and very friendly.
Afterwards, I was rapidly re-evaluating what I had always thought. I had to re-adjust my opinion once again when I got to college. I discovered the majority of kids in my freshmen class were from public schools.
I marveled at how dedicated these kids were to their Christianity. Of course they were. Unlike me, they’d had to live out their Christianity in the real world – and it showed. These kids were ten times more on fire than we Christian school braggarts.
I’m not necessarily advocating public school, but I’m also not condemning it. My dad once questioned his and Mom’s decision to send me to a Christian school. “If we take the light out of the public schools, then why are we surprised when it becomes a dark place?” Later on, Dad encouraged people to send their kids to public school where they could be a witness.
Back to home school – the other question I have concerns the teachers/parents. First, I believe my mom was a great teacher. But not in algebra.
In fact, the first time I asked my mom what home schooling meant, she laughed. She hugged me, patted my hair, and said, “Oh, mommy doesn’t have the patience to do that. I’d kill you. I don’t mean I’d want to, but I would.” Then, she laughed some more.
I think there is a line between parent and teacher – a different relationship. Sometimes, you need someone else to consult outside your immediate family. That kind of contact can give you the valuable perspective you may need on a situation.
Secondly, I worry that some of these “teachers” aren’t adequately trained. There is a reason why people go to college to become teachers – because they need a degree to do so.
There are people “teaching” out there who only have a high school diploma. That scares me to NO end. Just because you are a decent human being, a nice person, and managed to make it through high school – doesn’t give you a teaching degree and the ability to teach children what they may need to know to succeed academically or professionally.
I think at that point, I feel comfortable saying – “leave it to the professionals.”
I’ve more questions about how kids are exposed to socialization and social order without the benefit of organized schools, but this post is already long enough.
There are probably good and solid answers to some of these questions, and I’m being honest when I say that I am genuinely interested in hearing some explanation. I like to be well-informed, and I definitely try to have an open mind.