Homeschooling is a very interesting subject to me, with my experience as a teacher, I can really understand why people do it for several reasons. My top three reasons would be:
Less Wasted Time: traveling to and from school, waiting on lines to go to the bathroom etc. (herd mentality: class a goes to music from 10:30-11:15, class b goes from 11:15-11:45)
Self Determination: You and your kid get to pick when and what you learn about
Curriculum Integration: Learning about spring poetry might lead you to study about the water cycle, insects, flowers, and different animals. Schools give this concept lots of talk but consistently fail to implement it because of the herd mentality (see above).
From John Taylor Gatto’s “I’m a Saboteur” (scroll down to bottom for parts of The Seven Lesson School Teacher ) I think the three points John Taylor Gatto makes directly correlate to the points I made above.
Confusion. Schools attempt to teach too many things. And they present most of those things out of context, unrelated to everything else that’s being taught.
Indifference. Children learn not to care about anything too much. When the bell rings, they stop whatever they’ve been working on and proceed quickly to the next workstation. “They must turn on and off like a light switch…. [T]he lesson of bells is that no work is worth finishing.”
Emotional dependency. “By stars and red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors, and disgraces,” kids learn to surrender their will and to depend on authority. Intellectual dependency. “Good students wait for a teacher to tell them what to do.” Conformity triumphs, while curiosity has no place of importance.
Indifference and emotional dependency are the greatest contributors to the “herd mentality”.
These next points are the things that give me the most pause when thinking about homeschooling. I don’t want my daughter have the same experiences I did. Next I talk about my schooling experiences in connection with points from The Seven Lesson School Teacher.
Class position. Students must stay in whatever class they’re assigned to and must “endure it like good sports.” From that, they learn how “to envy and fear the better classes and how to have contempt for the dumb classes.”
The numbers just don’t allow for teachers to meet a kid at their level as much as they need to. Parents have to work with their kid to get them up to the level the teacher is teaching at. For instance in highschool I wanted to become a better writer so I enrolled in AP English class. The teacher expected us to already know how to write at the college level, and being a typical adolescent I felt like I was SOL, so I dropped the class in fear I would fail. In short I didn’t know how to ask for or get the help I needed. I also repeated this pattern in college with a math class, except the second time I failed the class.
Provisional self-esteem. Self-respect depends on expert opinion, measured down to a single percentage point on tests, grades, and report cards. Parents would be “surprised how little time or reflection goes into making up these mathematical records,” but the system teaches children to measure themselves based on “the casual judgment of strangers.” (emphasis mine)
Last year I applied, for the third time, to Graduate School for Speech Language Pathology and was rejected, in part, due to the math class I failed as an Undergraduate. I constantly measure myself casually/ superficially. Where did that person go to college? etc. (compared to where I went to college) An M.S., M.D., or Ph.D doesn’t mean anything about a persons intellect. Abraham Lincoln had less than a years worth of “formal” schooling and became president, and a pretty damn good one too.
School Humor: Rules for The Dusseldorf Preschool (from Offsprung)