Thursday, July 24, 2008


I just read this online today: "I don't understand why a parent would choose to separate a child from the rich and varied world that a public school offers, or shelter them from the very society that they will ultimately have to live and work in." It was in a column by Kelly Flynn The Flint Journal. She does goes on to say: "...I do believe, emphatically, that parents should have that choice." So she does come around a bit. You can read the whole thing here.

But that first statement got to me. I mean I, grew up in the public school system. I know what it was like. I did not have a rich and varied world there, not at all. I mean I was stuck in a class room all day, reading from the same books my older brother did 12 years prior. There was no richness, no variety at all. Once a year we got out of that stuffy building for a field trip, usually to the state house. And once a day we were allowed to go out on the play ground (up until 9th grade anyway) and play, fenced in like animals. No variety but the changing weather of the seasons. Same thing day after day, year after year. And there was no "world" involved. It wasn't a rich and varied world. I am just not seeing how anyone, even if they HATED the idea of homeschooling could go so far as to say public school offers a rich and varied world.

And I am really not sure how homeschooling shelters children from the very society they will live and work in. OK if you are against homeschooling you might say that. But even if you have never heard of homeschooling and all you know is the public school system, do you really think that the public school system does NOT shelter children from the greater society? I mean come on I was there, I was stuck in the school all day every day. No interaction with the grocer, the postmaster, the store clerk, the power company, or the bank was found there. Not only was there no interaction we didn't even SEE anyone outside of the walls of the school. NO ONE. So the only interaction I had other than my peers was the janitor and the teacher, and yes occasionally the principal. But do I interact with these people today? hmmmm....nope. They are not part of the very society I live and work in. And only if you have children in public school would they be part of the very society you live and work in. It just isn't there.

Of course if you know about homeschooling you know that this reporters perception of homeschooling is not based in fact but in some myth in her head. That's OK. I run into people all the time that do not agree with the idea of homeschooling. But don't often run into people who feel public school is a "rich and varied world" or that public school does NOT separate children from the very society the will live and work in.

As just an aside, I found the photo on the web, random google search, and it is titled "Kids at School". And ironically you don't see any kids.


Ami said...

I read that article, too.

Once again, I thought to myself that no matter how well homeschooling is explained, no matter how many homeschooled kids there are out there, no matter how healthy our homeschooled family relationships are, there will just be some people who will NEVER get it.

And I decided that it's okay. They don't have to get it. Because *we* get it just fine.


And you're totally right about all you said about school, too. In a strange twist of fate, my part time job is working in a public school's after school care program.

I don't need affirmation at this point (we've been homeschooling 15 years) but if I ever DID need it, one afternoon with public school kids would do it.

Ren said...

I re-read the comment with the homeschool/public school part reversed. It makes more sense now.:) lol