Homeschooling Without Your Relatives Blessings

March 29th, 2007

I’m homeschooling and that’s final. My whole family is against it, my wifes family is against it; except her aunt, she homeschooled all of her kids and told us to get ready for a battle of attrition, you’ll either wear them down or they’ll wear you down (everyone else not the kids).

Members of my family know that once the decision has been made I’m not going to change my mind, unless they can break or rend my arguments and leave nothing for me to fall back on. This is one time I’ve gathered all the ammunition beforehand, because the claws and the fangs come out when we discuss the future of our child. The one reccuring point is “socialization”, and you know what, all of their arguments hinge on the socialization argument. The argument of a better education rarely comes up because they know I can cite statistical and personal information that show that homeschool kids outdo their public school counter parts on a consistant basis.

Here’s an argument, why do you think that homeschool children have been dominating national spelling bees from the mid 90s to the present?; could it be that they have one on one tutoring with their parent/teacher, no distractions, no peer pressure, being taught by a person that has a vested interest in the success of the student, any of these things ring true? Now, is it too much of a stretch to say that since homeschooled children do well and win national spelling bees, that maybe, they do well and excel in other subjects?

Here is an argument from my mother in law, I love her, she is a very good person but we don’t see eye to eye on this, “Your child needs to be socialized, he needs the company of other children his age and did you see the news, a ‘homeschooled boy’ shot and killed his girlfriends parents”. Can you see the frustration; an obvious abberation, yet for her, all homeschooled children now share this tendency.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but, I was a lousy student, I had absolutely no interest in school and the teachers that I had didn’t have any interest in making the subject more interesting to me; so long as I didn’t make trouble, I was invisible. When I hear about the astronomical budgets that schools need today to operate, and they do get passed, and the fact that they are also cutting programs (extra-curricular activities, gym and recess???).

I have no doubt that public schools are a business run by bean counters. When comparing the two, public schools huge budget, cut programs, their almost production line mentality (students in, students out) and public schools being used as a giant baby sitting service, compared to homeschools individual attention, no worries about cut programs, the ability and flexibility to change schedules, the freedom to go see the physical manifestation of an abstract subject like mathematics to solidify it in the mind of the student. Most important of all a teacher that cares about you, and only you. There is no question in my mind what is best for my child.

Now, back to socialization, there are networks of homeschooling parents that meet and their children interact (play), there is also church programs, field trips that allow children to “socialize” while imparting religious teachings of that particular faith. Socialization within the family unit (family reunions, weddings, get togethers), interacting with friends that were made in your neighborhood.

All of these things didn’t just appear, they were always there, this is the norm. What isn’t normal, as I see it, is to send your child into what looks like a very stark and steril industrial complex and expect your child to thrive in that environment. Some unsavory things have been happening in public schools of late: shootings, students attacking teachers, drugs, pedophiles; all of these things may have existed before and we are exposed to it more now because of the speed of the information highway, but, it doesn’t inspire confidence in me that these things are almost considered everyday occurrences that the student is expected to deal with.

So, what do you prefer? A nurturing, caring environment for your child to grow physically, emotionally and intellectually in, or a public school system with an addmittedly spotty track record. […]

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