Monday, April 5, 2010
I'm reading an article on homeschooling by a dad who is homeschooling his five-year-old twins. And being what seems like a homeschooler who is actually concerned that his children learn things and get out some, he is understandably a little offended at questions like "do you have a curriculum" and "what about socialization." It's true that the school system and the philosophy behind your basic school system in America today aren't exactly the greatest things since sliced bread, and I could understand why that might make some people who have the time and the means and the impetus want to teach their children at home, at their own pace, and so on. But look, here's the thing. Though you and your wife may be, at least for now, completely competent homeschoolers, not all homeschooling parents are. Not all homeschooling systems are good. Many adolescents that grow up in the homeschooling "system" emerge with quite poor social skills, so "what about socialization" isn't a completely unjustified question. Many homeschooled children are overseen by people who don't think that mathematics beyond addition or subtraction have any importance, or by people who don't know how to be in charge. When a student has complete control over his own education, sometimes he finishes high school at fourteen and moves on to college courses the next year. Other times he ditches algebra and earthscience, and decides that he's rather learn about Quenya or Grand Theft Auto. I am not making these things up. These are things I have seen. So no, I am not against homeschooling on principle. I am only against the kind of homeschooling where kids don't actually learn.