Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Heres an excellent little essay on professors and home-schooling. The link is temporary, so read it soon. Hat tip: Katie Newmark.
This is a great little essay and should be printed out and passed on--especially--to any non-conservative opponent to home-schooling you know. I have struggled with this question myself for a couple years. Last year, our solution was to enroll our daughter in what was the best compromise solution to the problem that I have ever seen. It was a kindergarten that consisted of 15 students, 3 teachers (one of whom was me) and field trips out the wazoo. The school was in a former school teachers house. She had an acre of land and many farm animals. The children worked in groups of 4 or 5 grouped according to ability with one teacher who taught the lesson and provided individual attention to their concerns. They were learning history, geography, math, phonics and reading, art and music. It was wonderful. My son will attend there next year. Unfortunately, it is only a kindergarten (though some students use it for a few years and progress as far as third grade). The problem is what to do after that. We chose a private Christian school for our daughter this year that--so far--seems fine. But obviously, it does not compare and is subject to many of the problems this article highlighted with mass education. We have talked about home schooling but I must admit that I hesitate only because I fear I dont really have the patience for it. Though working out an arrangement with a few friends to do something like what we did at my daughters kindergarten might be an idea and solve the problem of socialization. Once again, hard work and sacrifice are the only answer. (Grumble, humbug!)
If you feel called to home-school, do it. If you dont, dont. Yes, there are going to be issues with parental patience. They wont go away, unlss you have Stepford parents and Stepford children.
And one thing that the article doesnt mention is that support groups and co-ops are the norm, rather than the exception, in home-schooling. Our kids have plenty of socialization, with home-schooled and non-home-schooled kids. And there are plenty of opportunities for them to learn in other settings, whether it be a once-a-week program designed for home-schoolers (like this one) or in informal exchanges between parents (my wife has led theatre sessions for home-schoolers; a couple of friends have taught various and sundry art classes. Even if youre only just considering it, find out about a local home-school group and participate in a few events. Youll learn pretty quickly how things work in your neighborhood.
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