There is a parental vein in America that believes in homeschooling children. I’m not talking about Charter schools. I’m talking about parents who choose to teach their children at home instead of enrolling them in school with lots of other children.
I’ve been reading a lot of homeschooling blogs lately and I generally find the defensive rationale behind homeschooling more sad than thrilling and more frightened than innovative. Children cannot become well-rounded adults if they are ground only one way.
Homeschooling appears to divide and separate while public and private schools — and even some Charter schools — choose to blend various ideas and ways of thinking to help children become greater in society and not just an individual at home.
As a public and private school educator who was raised by generations of public school teachers in the Republican Midwest, I am curious to know the appeal of pulling children out of a mainstream education and isolating them in a home environment as a strategy for fully educating their minds and forming their experiences on a worldwide level.
Sure there are certain homeschooled children who are able to find a way to shine in the system, but homeschooling, at its core, seems to encourage hiding and separation and discourages tolerance for interacting with a variety of peers who may be foreign to the family core.
I know there are drugs and violence and other threats to children in public and private and Charter schools but in what way does homeschooling protect and prepare children from those inevitable hard realities of the adult world except to delay their exposure to all the elements — both good and bad — in which our lives spin?
The world is getting smaller and our intimate neighbors are now nations, not just homes on the same block. Children need to learn how to interact with all neighbors — even if they don’t agree with them — in order to form a world of respect and understanding. Are there parents who homeschool for non-religious reasons?
If the intention of educating children is to raise them to be good citizens of the world and not just of the home, how can we, as a nation, support the idea of homeschooling as an appropriate form of education for teaching not just Math and English and History but tolerance and social interaction as well?