I can only hope I won’t piss off Mrs. Blue with this post, because she has several home schooling friends in real life and online (and even some that practice unschooling). Have no idea how Miz Pink feels about the practice, but I suspect she’s at least modestly sympathetic to it.
So, going to gird up my loins here and just say it:
I suspect that most people who home school their kids don’t have a clue, and they are not qualified to prepare their kids for the real world. I mean, I think I’m pretty smart and I wouldn’t even attempt to do this.
As messed up as many public schools are, the fact is that the teachers of the various subjects know way more about them than the vast majority of us do. Oh, we might know a couple subjects as well as or even better than a given teacher, but overall, we as parents lack knowledge in several areas, and perhaps most of them.
I don’t care what curriculum stuff you get in the mail to be ready for home schooling. The fact is that most people who do it are out of their league and are selling their kids short.
OK, now that I’ve made my blanket statements, the caveats:
- There are some people who simply want to home school their kids for the early years of schooling. They aren’t the object of my ire because they plan to introduce their kids to the real world eventually.
- Some home schooling parents actually network together in an organized fashion to make sure they have the necessary skills between the lot of them to teach their kids right, and they may even put their kids into real schools for one or two subjects they can’t handle. They are also not objects of my ire, because they are doing something that is very school-like and provides their kids with well-rounded curricula and the ability to interact with other kids socially.
- Some people are just mad freaking geniuses or have genius kids who don’t like to be around other kids their own age anyway, and I can’t really take issue with that.
But, you see, it is my general observation that that most parents who are way into home schooling and unschooling aren’t just pissed at the existing school system. They are afraid to let their children out of their sight and fearful of exposing them to the harsh world out there.
How are they going to learn to function in a world like ours under such circumstances? The answer is that they can’t, generally speaking. Most parents who home school their kids over the long run are trying to shelter them from the real world, at least from my observations. And that’s not good.
The socially conscious progressive parents who do this are often fearful of things like bullying or peer pressure. Things that a kid needs to learn to deal with on some level before they get a bullying boss or demanding and controlling life partner.
But they aren’t the ones who really, really, truly piss me off. The ones who piss me off the most are my fellow Christians who do this. Those people who are so afraid that the evils of the world will corrupt their children and fill their heads with unholy garbage that they keep them at home.
First, this irritates me because if you are doing your job right as spiritual guides, your kids will probably be fine. But there’s probably a good chance if you’re in this camp that instead of raising your kids to respect their religion, you are instead forcing it on them and demanding them to hold precisely to your view of it, no questions asked. Which is begging for your kids to piss off adults later in life or to reject your religion entirely.
Second, how are these kids going to be ambassadors for Christ and help spread the Gospel if they have really only been around you the Christian parents and like-minded people? If they don’t have any context for the environment in which most other people live, they will be ineffective in reaching others for Jesus.