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I know some people prefer the phrase, "Home Education." And I get why too. It looks more professional. But I like the rustic, DYI ring of the former. It suits us, as a family, as it does a lot of other families I have met.

Now staying home with your kids is a major adjustment. It's not necessarily easy, it can, especially in the beginning give you some anxiety. It means lots of reading on the parents' part, and planning. You can spend a fair amount of money on it too. And the people in your life, or those you encounter out in the world, might feel compelled to give you some trouble, for daring to break out of the paradigm regarding the traditional education of children, and how you cannot possibly accomplish that as a parent. That last one has been beaten like a dead horse.

Now that I have been living this dream for several years, I have had ample opportunity to make some observations, and most of them are positive. Though one was unexpected. And I perceive this one to be the coolest observation at all.

When a family becomes a home school family, it can lift an entire family out of educational poverty. The parents learn along with the children. I know this, it cannot be helped. You, as the parent, have to prepare the lessons, you have readings to do as well, in order to be an instructor. And you revisit every basic concept you might have been vaguely exposed to, but perhaps forgot when you exited primary school as a child yourself.

I know that people sometimes imagine that only the wealthy and college educated undertake this sort of task. But that is not true. Many families who do not have a degree between them, who are not wealthy at all, also home-educate their children, and by accident, to some degree, re-educate themselves.

Or the family could be continuing their own tradition as autodidacts.

Either way,  I think it's wonderful.

When you as a parent, become passionate about education, about reading or a specific academic topic, it has a direct effect on the child. But in no small part, it has a direct effect on you. The child's wonder allows you to see an old topic through new eyes. And with that fresh perspective, you too, become ensnared and enchanted and before you know it, both parent and child come away with new understanding, with an enriched mind.

What new things will your child teach you? What new things will you learn with your child?

I love talking to other parents, when they become excited about something they read in their child's textbooks. Perhaps it was something they had forgotten, or it might be a topic that they were never exposed to. But it caught their eye, it fired their imagination, it got them excited, perhaps even inspired them to do more research on said topic, just for the hell of it.

What a fantastic notion!

I want you to reflect for a moment, what would happen, if a large portion of our adult population, suddenly became more educated about our own political process, our own history? I bring this up, because when you understand how something works, even on a most basic level, I offer, that it is easier for an individual to care, and to become involved.

And what happens when a large portion of our adult population is exposed to a basic understanding of Science, such as the concept of the Water Cycle, or Biomes, or Genetic Diversity?

I know where your mind went just now. You are thinking that a whole lot of home-schooling parents get their material from religious conservatives. I offer that if you learn the basics, that it becomes more and more difficult for those with a corporate agenda to bullshit an adult or child on the processes they observe and understand.

The lies will eventually break down, because those lies cannot be supported by the truth, reflected in the basic rules of the processes at hand.

I believe, I observe, that this movement will lift many families out of educational poverty. And it will empower those families for generations, and allow each as individuals to accomplish many things:

1. Give them the knowledge and confidence to challenge broken systems often reflected in a dysfunctional status quo. I am not just speaking of school systems here. I am speaking of any system.

2. Break out of the Cycle of Poverty. Educated people, even self-educated people are harder to intimidate, more difficult to lie to, and therefore, no longer easy marks. They are transformed from intimidated masses, to pillars of their community.

3. Empower them as citizens, by allowing them to pursue a deeper understanding of our political process.

4. Empower them as citizens to challenge our collective Time-Poverty and workplace abuses. Children conditioned to be cubicle drones, do not fight for the *good life, because they cannot miss, what they have never known.  

And *this is multi-generational in 2 directions. That is astounding to me. That is amazing, and I believe in a couple of generations it will have a profound effect on our entire country in a multitude of positive outcomes. The parents become autodidacts, and so do the children, but more than likely this love of learning, and this notion of being a self-starter will also be passed on to the next generations as well.

How many parents, who didn't possess a degree before, might be inspired to pursue college after their child has grown and gone on to college themselves? Not just because the parent now has the time, but also feels empowered to do so? Or maybe they won't, but that parent can, as an individual adult, contribute wonderful things to their community, via their self education. Autodidacts are valuable citizens, they are subversive in a most wonderful manner.

Now that higher education, or even a good, primary education has been [financially] placed out of reach for so many families, I suspect that it will be the autodidacts that reset the system.

Originally posted to GreenMother on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Education Alternatives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I enjoy DKos on Saturday morning w/ coffee. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, WarrenS

    Your diaries these last 2 weeks are now counted among the reasons.  Thanks for posting.

    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:38:25 AM PDT

  •  My concern (7+ / 0-)

    is the content of what the kids are learning, what world view the information comes from. What filters are the textbooks using?

    I am on the fence as far as home schooling goes. I think some are using it to keep thier kids from mixing with public school kids. Are we in danger of not using our energy to lift all children up?

    Why did you choose to homeschool?

    I liked the flow of your diary and the thoughtful points you made.

    "Your image of God creates you." Richard Rohr

    by createpeace on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:39:33 AM PDT

    •  There are a variety of places to find text books (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, WarrenS, KayCeSF

      So honestly, it really depends upon what the parent's pick out.

      I have concerns at times too, but so far, even when I meet people who are in the far right political end of the spectrum, their kids seem to have most of the basics down. Some more than just the basics.

      That might not be true of all home schooled children, but I know that isn't true of all children in our public schools either.

    •  The problem with that concern is that (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, WarrenS, KayCeSF, Nance, Odysseus

      you have no right to say what "world view" someone else's children get.  

      The state has the right to set certain parameters for a state-sanctioned certification (such as a high school diploma).  And the homeschoolers I know generally take the state exam (such as a GED), and pass it, in order to get that diploma.  So, they are meeting state-set requirements for a high school diploma,  Many also take the "universal" college tests like the PSAT, the SAT or ACT, and the homeschoolers I know generally score above average -- to very very very well -- on these.  I think that the state has an interest in making sure that these people meet state set requirements before it awards a state certification such as a high school diploma.  The colleges also have an interest in seeing that these students meet certain objective criteria before allowing admission to their institutions.    

      However, if by "world view," you are getting into value issues, that's really up to the parents, not to the rest of us.  If parents want to convey the values of certain religions, or the value that religions themselves are nothing better than superstitions, or that capitalism is moral, or that capitalism is immoral, or whatever subjective value judgments they have, that is their right to do.  

  •  My observation would be that you do not have (4+ / 0-)

    to home school children to get benefits from their education.  Our children went to public schools, but we were very involved in their education.  Not only with their course work, but also as volunteers for their extra curricular activities.  My husband was a teacher in the same district which provided additional synergy.  Yes we learned along with them, but by being part of a school, they also had opportunities we could not give them.

    “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

    by ahumbleopinion on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:46:30 AM PDT

    •  "My husband was a teacher in the same district" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS, KayCeSF

      That seems to me that he benefited in the same manner as a parent who home schools.

      He was the instructor who reviewed the material before, during and after the work.

      •  Yes, but my kids would say that the highlights (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries

        of their education were more about the "extras".  Like playing and competing with a top notch marching band,  student choir or orchestra.  Traveling to NYC, DC, Chicago, and other cities with various arts groups.  Performing in outstanding stage productions and school events.  

        Being exposed to diversity in thought, economic background, political thought, gender, etc.  Yes, even the teacher or two who tended to be a bit more conservative than we would like gave us an opportunity to differentiate and explain our views.

        Of course we were lucky.  Our kids were easy to educate, interested in the world around them.  We read to them from the time they were tiny and they absorbed so much.  We took them to so many historic sites they they complained to us (and their history teachers) that they had already been to everywhere they studied.

        We love being parents, but I am grateful for what their schools, teachers, and classmates added to their lives.

        “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

        by ahumbleopinion on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 01:10:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Congratulations, you had a great experience (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nance

          There are scores of people who do not share in these wonderful experiences, for a variety of reasons.

          That being said--this is an old, old, dead, beaten horse--offering the notion that home schooled children are not exposed to diverse people or given the opportunity to participate in group projects, or socialize in the "normal" way.

          •  I did not mean that home schooled children were (0+ / 0-)

            not exposed to diverse people or given the opportunity to participate in group projects.  I know there are many resources for parents that home school.  I just meant that homeschooling is not the only way that parents can be heavily involved in and grow from their children's education.  Every family has to work out what is best for their particular situation.  There is no one size fits all solution.

            “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

            by ahumbleopinion on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 07:04:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I appreciate the clarification. (0+ / 0-)

              I am very glad you had great experiences.

              I agree with you that:

              Every family has to work out what is best for their particular situation.
              If you care to look at previous diaries that I have written about home schooling you will find that I have expressed similar sentiments.

              Families that home school are pursuing this method because it is best for them. It's carefully thought out, weighed and considered.

              It is often a last resort by people who cannot afford a private school or cannot *win a lottery into a charter school, but need some viable alternative to their school system for any number of reasons.

        •  It sounds like (0+ / 0-)

          you were all very lucky. Good for you and your family.

  •  You are a rarity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    Most kids are home schooled because their parents are religious nutcases. The thing they really wish to teach their kids is that the world is 6000 years old and that Noah played kick ball with dinosaurs but couldn't fit them on the arc. It is not wisdom and knowledge they wish to convey but their disturbibg world view.

    We are now experiencing some of the results of three decades of this idiotic policy towards home schooling with the rise of the evangelicals (they are told to be fruitful and multiply and boy have they!) and their push to dominate every aspect of American culture including and especially, the government.

    I am opposed to home schooling. As a rule, I think it does not benefit society.

    •  Home Schoolers make up a small percentage (4+ / 0-)

      of our entire school aged population.

      So the thought that somehow, even extremist Evangelicals could be numerically responsible for the rise in religious-idiocy is laughable.
      In 2007, there were 1.7 Million Home Schooled Children in the US.
      In 1999, it was less than One Million.

      In 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007. The increase in the percentage of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007 represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 36 percent relative increase since 2003. In 2007, the majority of homeschooled students received all of their education at home (84 percent), but some attended school up to 25 hours per week. Eleven percent of homeschooled students were enrolled in school less than 9 hours per week, and 5 percent were enrolled between 9 and 25 hours per week. National Center for Educational Statistics
      But when we consider the ideological battlefields that are our Public Schools, where children are taught abstinence only shame-cave-theology, where Science teachers are pressured to "teach em both sides" and where states like Texas are trying to institute revisionist history for American History, it's pretty clear to me that our Public Schools, in no small part are contributing to the problem you unfairly heap on Home Schooled children.

      And Did it ever occur to you, that some version of the religious and moral instruction reason, might also apply to people like me, who are offended that any religion be taught in the school to our children, or favored by the school via Institutional Discrimination? Even with a high growth rate, the percentage of home schooled children would most likely be below 5 percent.

      You have also failed to address the use of For-Profit-Religious-Colleges to push these agendas on our Military Members via easy to access GI Bills and Active Duty Tuition Assistance.

      If you were truly opposed to the Extremist's agenda, then you should be waging this war against them way back in the 70s, or at least in the mid 80s. But most people didn't listen to those of us who could see what was coming.

      And now here we are.

      Public Schools that do not successfully educate children, who do not provide safe, effective learning atmospheres, that do not pay their teachers adequately and do not hire enough teachers, that more resemble jails than schools, also do not benefit society.

    •  People who homeschool (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, Nance

      for purely religious reasons are not unlike some Catholic families who send their children to Catholic schools for exactly the same reason:  inculcation of religious values.

      There is a myth-of-sorts around Catholic education that the education is superior.  It often is not, and it certainly wasn't when I was attending.

      There is a myth-of-sorts around homeschooling that all homeschooling families are religious whackjobs who can't read or write themselves.  They often are not.  And I certainly wasn't when I was homeschooling my children.

      I don't know why "most kids are home schooled" and I doubt you do, either.  Religious homeschoolers tend to get the most ink because the one national group that supports hs'ers and lobbies for them is truly a crazy right-wing organization.  And they would love you to think that everyone who homeschools is just like them.

    •  What statistics do you have to back your (0+ / 0-)

      assertion that most kids are homeschooled because their parents are religious nutcases?

      Poverty = politics.

      by Renee on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 10:49:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe the first order of the day would be to (0+ / 0-)

        legally define "Religious Nut-Case."

        Not as easy as it sounds. You will note that Televangelists are always trying to frame that definition as anyone who doesn't go to their church or buy into their version of the Bible.

        It doesn't look any prettier when the definition is framed from the other end.

        I am fairly certain that those who would legally fit into that definition would already be under the watchful eye of Child Protective Services, not because of religion directly, but more like what behaviors or practices, they use religion to justify.

      •  I have no statistics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Renee

        I only have my first hand experience of members of my family and some friends. Admittedly it is a very small sample and perhaps not representative.

        •  I get what you are saying, My husband wasn't (0+ / 0-)

          thrilled with the idea at first, because his only interaction with hsed kids had been a friend of the family that was similar to your description.

          Having interacted with the home schooled community, I meet a lot of people who are religious and that is why they do it. But I haven't met anyone who is ridiculous about it.

          Sure they believe stuff that I certainly don't buy into, and often adhere to a political viewpoint that I often find offensive, but they aren't living in a compound or beating their kids, or selling all their worldly possessions in anticipation of the rapture.

          And as it was pointed out by others posting on this thread. You meet children of religious people all the time in public school, I even met a few in college. And some of those people seemed to be of the ridiculous sort, and their presence in public school didn't appear to make much of a difference with regards to their beliefs.

          If that were my only interaction with homechoolers I would be concerned too. But you can no longer make that claim.

          Do a search on Secular Home School or Secular Homeschoolers and see what pops up. You just might be surprised.

          A lot of military families home school their children now too. It helps with continuity, because these families move frequently.

        •  I homeschool in a very large community which is (0+ / 0-)

          not driven by religion. We are all latent hippie types. We want our kids to experience the world directly and at their own pace. I don't play well with Christians so we don't hang out with that type of homeschooler and we know a lot of people. Still not a solid number, but a different experience.

          Poverty = politics.

          by Renee on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 11:49:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  but what does all this home schooling do. . . (0+ / 0-)

            . . .to the public school system. . .to the promise of a free and available education for everyone? If those most committed to their children and their childrens education abandon the effort, doesn't it continue to weaken the whole?

            I recieved a first class public school education as did my wife and child. We were active in the school and I even provided important classroom lessons periodically. I think public school to be very important because their is a structure that determines WHAT is being taught. Only with the input of committed and rational parents can we be assured that will be truth centered education.

            •  PS is important (0+ / 0-)

              because there is a structure? What does that mean?

              •  It means. . . (0+ / 0-)

                . . .there is a national "Department of Education" establishing what should be taught. . .what is truthful and what is bullshit. Without that structure, regions are free to teach whatever crap they wish and the country at large suffers from it. It's the greatest allie for the truth and our future that we have.

                We CANNOT and should not abandon the struggle for truth.

                •  And you think the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GreenMother

                  US Department of Education has cornered the market on truth?

                  •  ah jeeeze. (0+ / 0-)

                    I give up. You're right, obviously. We should just allow each region to teach the children whatever the hell they deem to be appropriate.

                    How goddamned silly of me.

                    •  They alread do. How do you think some of us (0+ / 0-)

                      ended up here?  And it's not just with the primary school. Look around, notice the full on assault on higher education? Not just in the raising cost of acquiring it, but also the "debate" about the value of the Humanities as course-work?

                      Gods forbid that anyone like me, be able to put a bigger picture together and then communicate to others, in any meaningful way, what that big picture does or could mean!

                      This is in many ways just like the housing bubble. Before it was easy to ignore because poor and minority folks were frozen out or knocked out. NOW, that debt bubbles, predatory lending, and fly-by-night-4-profit schools are the SOP, Equal Opportunity has been implemented, but in a most egregious and backwards fashion.

                      AND NOW--the rest of the masses are noticing.

                    •  The point (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      GreenMother

                      was not that each region/state should be able to teach public school children lies.

                      My point was that homeschoolers find ways every day to equip their children with necessary information without following a particular structure established on high.

                      There is more than one way to learn, more than one order to follow, more than one structure that works.  And, yes, the content may vary -- not only from region to region but from family to family. Your love of history may be my family's love of art.

                      •  I love history (0+ / 0-)

                        . . .and I love art. The reason for standards is their is a basic base that needs to be learned. And maybe that base isn't being effectively being taught now, but it does not change the fact that it should be taught.

                        Every student aught to learn the real reasons this country was founded. . .the population pressures of Europe and the unholy alliance between church and state. This is basic stuff.

                        Every student should learn about the enlightenment and why it is represented by the Statue of Liberty holding the torch of knowledge. Our country is the first born son of the enlightenment and we should be proud of it and teach it, Again, basic stuff.

                        Every student should be taught the basics of logic. Without the tools to make reasoned arguments, our future will be dominated by the hoaxsters, the Koch brothers of the world. Again, basic stuff.

                        Every student should be taught about the long going war of science and theology and taught real science, complete with evolution and about the search for truth (that is what science is!).

                        And, all students should also learn basic mathematics and art and literature. Physical education is important too though I would love to see it taught with less emphasis on sports. This society gets plenty of sports.

                        But the point is, there must be a basis for education and we should be fighting for it, not giving in.

                        •  You must have (0+ / 0-)

                          gone to some special school. This isn't what public school was like where/when I went and it's not what ps is like today.

                          In the meantime, while you fight to teach all children the same things, and FIGHT!! about which things should be included in the perfect basic base, parents are making different choices for their children.

                           

                          •  No. . . (0+ / 0-)

                            . . .public school is not like this. Are we to surrender to the crazies?

                          •  Why do you persist (0+ / 0-)

                            in missing the point?

                            Public school has never been like this. It will never be like this. But that's not the point either.

                            The point is that not everyone agrees with you about how and when each child should learn what. That your basic base is not the answer for every student or every family. And many families happily and successfully homeschool without adhering to your plan.

                            As for public schools, there is a huge distance between "crazies" and differences of opinion about good curriculum. Even if you could convince all the schools in America to adopt your idea of a basic base, they would not agree 100% about the content.

                            But you go ahead and fight. Fight to standardize and homogenize public schools.

                        •  Don't worry Matador, those things are taught (0+ / 0-)

                          in this household. I love history and the arts too.

            •  And you went to school when? In the 50s or 60s? (0+ / 0-)
            •  Here is a link to a story you might find (0+ / 0-)

              interesting: It's from Truthout:

              States To Residents: Forget Promises to Restore School Funding.

              From 2008 to the end of the current fiscal year on June 30th, Kansas will have slashed school funding by nearly $700 per student, a decline of more than 12 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. In Wichita, the state’s largest school district, those cuts came to about $60 million of its $600 million budget, Allison said, and translated into large-scale layoffs; the closure of five schools; the elimination of programs such as driver’s education, art, and music; the curtailment of professional development for teachers; and the deferral of necessary maintenance to school buildings.
              This is what has happened, what has been happening to your First Class Education.
              When the recession hit, state revenues — made up primarily of sales and income taxes — declined dramatically, prompting deep cuts to state services. In at least 30 states, funding for K-12 education was lower in fiscal year 2012 than in 2008, despite growing student populations. States have also made deep cuts in health care programs and in higher education funding. State aid to local governments has declined, and state and local governments have shed more than 500,000 jobs since the beginning of 2009.
              And this isn't addressing aspects of the ongoing Culture War in our schools. The introduction of Revisionist History, Intelligent Design, and Mysogynist Sex Education.
              •  and we're're supposed to give up? (0+ / 0-)

                We're supposed to give the schools to the crazy to teach the populace as they see fit?

                I'll be Goddamned!

                •  Where I live, it's a done deal. I am outnumbered (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  matador

                  at least 50 to one. More likely it's 200-1. So in my humble opinion, I have made a tactical decision to focus my resources on my children, rather than give myself a heart attack or grind my teeth down to nubs.

                  So if you want to keep fighting, you go right ahead. I have had to fight for every little thing, I can ever remember. I am sick of it. I am done. I am tired of feeling unsupported, outnumbered, abandoned, or in general like a wind-dummy.

                  I can teach my kids.

                  I cannot re-teach the teachers, administrators, or the other children. I am not allowed to.

            •  The argument that we are weakening ps by home (0+ / 0-)

              schooling is one I can't really address. Honestly I didn't want to put my daughter in ps when we moved from a very small district to a very huge one. I believed she would be way too overwhelmed. Lots of people who don't have kids still support the system with tax paying and voting though. I do.

              In addition, I think that homeschooling families have something valuable to contribute because we have hands on experience with educating children that is very different than the ps structure. I strongly disagree that what children are being taught needs that kind of structure. I think the system itself uses that structure because it is the only way to run such a huge undertaking. But it's a mistake to think it is done for the kids. It is done for efficiency.

              I'm deeply committed to every child having access to a good education. We don't have that right now. I want every child to have a path to adult success. We don't have that either.

              Poverty = politics.

              by Renee on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:29:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  When class rooms are so large, the teachers have (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Renee

                to employ crowd control tactics just to keep room orderly.

                That takes a lot of time from teaching the subjects themselves, and it insures that the instructors teach to the unruliest kids at the expense of everyone else.

                Or that any child who is ahead or behind becomes a labor-intensive obstacle.

                Teachers should have much smaller classrooms and we should have more teachers. And that is just the tip of this iceberg.

                •  Exactly!!! (0+ / 0-)

                  Fight for it, goddamned it.

                  •  I appreciate your passion, but you do not (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    matador

                    seem to understand that there is no fight here. That battle was over when I was a kid.

                    The classrooms were too large when I was a child. The teachers were over-wrought when I was a child.  Religious nutbaggery was already prevalent in my schools, as was idiocy.

                    It is entirely possible, for people to persevere through college and not learn a damned thing. I know. I was "taught" by some.

                    My education, my sibling's education was seeing how screwed up the system was to begin with, first hand and then trying to compensate for that later when we became  of college age.

                    I am in the midst of my children's childhood. I blink and it's over. I can either devote my resources to them, or I can fight a battle that no one fought for me.

                    I choose my children. I already know what happens when no one chooses to fight for you. I lived that life. I see no reason to make that mistake over and over, out of a misguided sense of duty, especially when the pay off is most likely negative and far reaching.

                    •  No one fought for me either (0+ / 0-)

                      My classrooms were too large as well. My real criticism of those years was that school was too slow and boring. I should have been in accelerated classes so perhaps there is value to an individual approach. But, I did have good teachers and did learn. And, in my high scool years they were just beginning to offer advanced courses which I took advantage of and profitted from.

                      I guess I had better schools than you but my parents were largely missing in action, as it sounds like yours were too.

                      I think I would have been short changed though, had I not benfitted from the social aspects of public school. I was introverted and school forced me to work through it.

                      •  You can go back and read other comments (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        matador

                        I have made. My biggest criticism of our dysfunctional schools and our dysfunctional political process can all be boiled down to Time Poverty.

                        If an adult-citizen has no time to rest or to take care of daily life, then it is very easy for other forces to step in and take over.

                        Whether it be schools, or the government---Absentee parents are usually working-poor-parents with no support system.

                        Absent-voters are usually much of the same.

                        We have made it, all but impossible for regular Americans to participate in our government processes, short of organizing something like the OWs Movement.

                        Public Meetings during working hours, working hours extended, unpaid overtime, intimidation that prevents people from using their vacation time, few or no health benefits, no living wage and no job security.

                        Those people have to choose between keeping the lights on and the fridge full, OR go to a teacher's meeting.

                        They will usually opt for the most basic necessities and hope that the rest works itself out in the end.

                        I have chosen a different path entirely. It is part political statement, part protest and part, Fill in where society has failed.

                        It is what it is.

          •  I don't meet many of those. (0+ / 0-)

            It's not just religion that divides home schoolers, there are also styles of home schooling too that can create divisions.

            For me, friendship can happen with anyone who is able to accept our family, me, the kids, and our views, as who we are.  There is no expectation that people emulate us. Just respect who we are. And I do not ask for anything I am not willing to give myself.

            That to me is more important that creedal agreement. I have met many people that I probably have more in common with politically, but that didn't mean that we liked each other.

            In Oklahoma, the majority of home schoolers appear to be religious in nature.  It just is what it is.

    •  No kidding. :) (0+ / 0-)

      You're opposed. Got it.

      You are also mistaken. "Most kids" are not hsed by religious nutcases. And plenty of kids make it all the way through public school believing in all kinds of nonsense.

  •  We homeschool... (4+ / 0-)

    ...for environmental and climate-change motivations among others; our present system of education is not preparing our children for a radically transformed future.

    Right now my daughter is 7, so her work is more play than anything else.  But she sees me, most mornings, revisiting the algebra I struggled with 40 years ago — and gradually achieving mastery (unlike the first time around).

    As far as my kid is concerned, teaching yourself math (or woodworking, or gardening, or electrical wiring, or anything else) is what grownups do.

    My wife and I teach by modeling for our child the kind of adult we wish her to become: active, inquisitive, auto-didactic, self-diagnosing, skeptical, singing.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:41:09 AM PDT

    •  Very much of our work with our children is about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene, WarrenS

      the environment. I agree with you, changes, big ones are coming. And most people are not equipped to deal with that or even understand it. That is both sad and scary.

      I want my children to have a more nuanced understanding of our history and our political process too.

      That is in addition to making sure that they learn the basics.

      We spend a lot of our time outside, in nature. Gardening, or doing photography, weather and wildlife watching.

      It's a good life. Growing some of our food, raising animals and teaching children how to be in the world rather than be in a hurry.

  •  You both express very good reasons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, Odysseus, Nance

    to homeschool.

    I just feel sad for our society and the children who are in schools "that more resemble jails".

    I guess for those of us who care, tutoring those kids in an afterschool program would be a positive thing to do.

    "Your image of God creates you." Richard Rohr

    by createpeace on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:46:53 AM PDT

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