A blog I read regularly posted an entry today blasting Christians for home schooling their children and lauding praise on the public school system. There were over 150 comments about her post from people on all sides. I am pro public schools but here are my thoughts:
* Parents act like the school system should provide ALL education. The school shouldn’t be teaching sex ed, religion or English. These are things that should be taught at home so the parents can impart their beliefs. The kids shouldn’t be in public school if they don’t speak English – there’s no way they can succeed.
* Parents aren’t involved with the schools like they should be – they don’t attend parent teacher conferences, school plays, field days, etc. and shame on them for complaining about it later. I had to volunteer to drive for my nephew’s field day in a week because my sister was the only parent who said she could drive out of a classroom of 15 kids. Where are the other 14 parents???
* Parents who would normally be involved in school but aren’t happy with what is happening in the public school systems are pulling their child out in favor of home schooling or some put them in private schools. The problem with this is that doesn’t held anyone but their child. I was so frustrated when I would go to parent-teacher conferences and only 3 parents showed up and people love to complain about how awful they are but they can’t even take the time to show up?
* Mentally handicapped students are being put in mainstream classes which hurts the teachers and most of the other students because all the teacher’s time is spent catering to the needy students and the rest get left behind. Mental special needs children are the ones who should be home schooled. The mainstream classroom is not the most appropriate learning setting for most of these students. The parents are more concerned with their children not being treated any differently than the child actually learning something that could be useful. These students aren’t getting anything from mainstream classroom teachings and they’re hurting the other students by being there because the teacher can’t teach the rest of them. This statement may be controversial but in my area there are students who can’t speak, who can’t go to the bathroom and who have a 50 IQ in regular 3rd grade classes and they can’t possibly be learning anything. The parents are more concerned with them being “included” than the student actually learning in a setting that’s best for them and cater to their special needs. The fact is these students are different and mainstream classrooms can’t accomodate what is required for these students to learn as much as possible.
* Parents should take control of their children’s education – whether that means teaching them at home to address special needs, supplementing what the school is doing like we did with my daughter, and especially getting involved with the school to fix the problems.
* What makes homeschooling parents think they can teach trigonometry, calculus and other such classes? What makes them think THEY know the ways to impart knowledge on someone? Giving birth does not magically make you a teacher. I was a terrible teacher for my daughter. We were working on things at home like I would have learned them – by discussion. It was a teacher who realized my daughter was a “visual learner” – discussing it didn’t teach her anything – she had to see it to learn it. There is a reason teachers are required to go to college for 4 years. It is presumptuous and egotistical to think that just anyone can be a teacher. When my daughter was in high school she would come home and tell us about the “poor home school kids” (her words, not mine) who would come to her school in 11th or 12th grade and were so socially awkward and so far behind academically that most were never going to go to college and would be lucky just to graduate high school.
* Parents who home school because they “want to spend more time with their children” should be ashamed of themselves and get a life. Children making friends and doing things on their own is the natural cycle of life and parents are hurting their children by keeping them in a bubble because they can’t handle their children growing up and apart from them. Parents are NOT supposed to raise good children – they are supposed to raise good ADULTS and you can’t be an adult if you are still attached to mommy’s apron strings.
* It scares me that some people I know are home schooling their children because their grammar and their education is so atrocious they can’t possibly be teaching their children proper English let alone high level science or math. I know I don’t have those abilities which is why I didn’t home school but parents have to recognize their limitations.
I really see both sides. There ARE situations where home schooling is the best option and special needs students are the perfect example of that. But, for most mainstream students, public school would be good for them and we could make the public schools GREAT if all the home school parents and private school parents put as much effort into the school system instead of just their child. My child did go to both public and private school but I never home schooled. It wouldn’t have worked for us. I wouldn’t have chosen private school if we weren’t forced into it but it does seem that something really needs to change. Remember, “it takes a village to raise a child”.