We went to the library recently for preschool story time. They have signs and info everywhere, and the children’s librarian made a special announcement:
It’s time to enroll your child for kindergarten! Attend the library’s special getting ready for kindergarten events! Here’s a list of books to read to your child to get them used to the idea of going off to school!
So I’m really doing it. I am not enrolling Rosie for school.
It’s one thing to talk about it. It’s another thing to do it.
I am choosing to take personal responsibility for my child’s education.
That feels good. (And a little scary.)
Since Rosie is so tall for her age we have already been fielding questions about what grade she’s in and why she isn’t in school when we’re out during the day. Rosie tells people she’s homeschooled. Some people get it, some people are flabbergasted.
It’s funny to me that there is such a double standard. People are immediately concerned about two things: Socialization and whether my homeschooled child will ever go to college or be successful in adulthood.
My favorite thing is when someone says they knew this one homeschooling family whose kids were just so unprepared, or so socially inept.
Well, ok…so what? I knew this one kid in public high school who wore all black and rocked back in forth in the corner every day while muttering under his breath. I know plenty of public schooled kids who are socially handicapped.
I don’t understand why someone would think that school has anything to do with socialization. Ignorance? Maybe they just never took the time to stop and think about it. See, it turns out that when you don’t go to school you have all day to go on field trips and attend different classes and events where you meet people of all ages, thus giving you a wide view of the world…
Maybe my homeschooled children won’t be geeks, nerds, goths, or popular kids. Instead they’ll just be themselves. Is that so frightening?
Does going to public school automatically mean you’re normal? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, just the same as going to public school does not automatically mean you’ll be successful.
This is really the part that makes me laugh. If my kids don’t go to regular school then how will they ever be successfully functioning adults!?
OMG! SEND HELP! I AM SCREWING THEM UP FOR LIFE!
See, here’s the funny part: I know a lot of people who went to public school and let me tell you a secret. The majority of them are not successfully functioning adults. I know. I have Facebook.
How many people from my graduating class went to an ivy league school? How many of them went to college at all? How many of them graduated from college? And if they managed to graduate, how many of them got a career job? Not a very high percentage.
That’s not to say I believe going to college equates with success. My goal isn’t for my kids to go to college–not if they don’t want to. My goal is for them to be intelligent life-long learners, to have valuable critical thinking skills, to be genuine in all they do, and most of all to be happy with their lives. They don’t need to attend school to achieve any of that.
I guess what I’m trying to point out is that it’s hard for people to break out of the institutionalized schooling mindset. It’s so hard, in fact, that strangers worry about the fate of my children and their concerns don’t even make logical sense!
While I think the way America’s public schools are set up is no longer functional for our present day society, I know that not everyone can be homeschooled. There are families with two working parents, single parents, those who are overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling, and so on. I am fine with paying taxes that support the public schools my children won’t attend, because I am supporting the education of the cashier I need to check me out at a store, the education of a future doctor I will need when I’m sick, or even the education of the stock boy at Walmart.
I do wish things could be different though. Our schools don’t make sense now. It’s set up so that everyone must go to college, and now a college degree isn’t worth very much because many people have one. Why do we no longer support vocational careers? Why can’t teenagers choose to pursue a specialty instead of generalized high school? Think how much better our economy would be! Everyone wouldn’t be drowning in student loans with a degree that didn’t get them a job with enough pay to cover their monthly bills and their loans.
So many things about our school system just don’t any make sense to me, so I choose for my children to not participate.
I can’t change the way our school systems work. I can however offer my children an alternative, like so many other parents are doing lately. It seems hopeless to think of our current school mess ever changing, but you never know. If enough families take control of their child’s education, then the future will definitely be different. Homeschooling is becoming more popular!
Basically…this sums up everything. Genius explanation, and entertaining too.