Home School vs. Public School

We are debating this on a forum and I thought I’d post our arguments for homeschool here.

We home school and use the IDEA program which is much like Raven (2 programs available in Alaska). One thing of many I like about home school is that my kid can go fast and then go slow. Life happens in cycles, physical and intellectual growth happen in spurts. Homeschooling allows for that to happen without constraints placed on it. Give a kid the tools to learn including teaching them to read and write sufficiently, and then give them opportunity and access and you’ll have to stand out of their way. That’s our educational theory, practice, and experience.

What I find troubling is that schools aren’t required to tell you when they are teaching something you don’t want your kid to learn (like this) recent gem in Canada. I have read far too many of those gems in our own country.

Think about it, when else in life are people segmented by age so completely? And they call this socializing? Proper socializing reflects society. Kids need to socialize with every age group not just one. They need not be institutionalized and taught to ask permission to go to the bathroom or come and go. They don’t need to learn to stand in lines. When I was a kid in school on Eielson they had a traffic light in the cafeteria and when you got too loud the light would go yellow and then red and if red then you sat in silence the rest of the time. I remember a kid peeing once because the teachers wouldn’t let him go to the bathroom. And I considered the schools on Eielson at that time to be among the best I ever went to. Don’t even ask about the schools in Hawaii!

The home school programs are really just a budget and yearly testing with little guidance and oversight (but enough). We focused initially on getting the tools for learning. Some spend their budgets on curriculum and that’s fine but spendy and constraining.

In the end the only argument I can see for public school is two fold, free babysitting, and creating a social clone that will fit in better with the other social clones. I don’t want nor need either of those things, but some adore them. I cannot believe how many parents rejoice when their kids go back to school.

Do you want your kid to learn to be taught/motivated or to learn to be self taught/motivated?

I have attended more than 17 formal schools and completed well over 17 years of formal schooling with a technical degree and copious certifications on top of the years at the university, but if you were to empty that knowledge out on the table and then compare it with that I have gathered myself, the comparison would be an embarrassment to my teachers and the formal system in general. I have attended formal schooling from the Mediterranean to the middle of the Pacific Ocean and too many points between. No matter where you go, school is school. And it’s getting worse every day.

You can’t pour knowledge into a kids head. Whether in school or out, they have to open themselves up to it and accept it and hold onto it. My opinion is that is best done by the children themselves.

Create an arbitrary social order composed of 95% of a group and the remaining 5% will not fit into that, you’re right. But that is the advantage, not disadvantage of homeschooling! (can’t you just hear the british boys singing,

We don’t need no “education.”
We don’t need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher leave the kids alone.
Hey, teacher leave the kids alone!

One final thought, the public school system accknowledges that children NEED homeschool (homework).  Homeschoolers just don’t recognize that they need public school.


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