Saturday, January 13, 2007

How come we don't send our kids to school starting the day they are born?

The following is a rant. It is in response to a variety of comments from different places online accusing homeschooling parents as being afraid of the world and that a parent's desire to protect their child is a disservice because the world is a cruel world and they need to learn that and how to deal with it.

Many people criticize homeschooling parents for not sending their child to school for 12 years, starting at the tender age of 6, because, supposedly, the child won't be prepared for the 'real world' afterwards. They even talk as though a child who was homeschooled until high school can (and really ought to, as though their future lives depended on it) go to high school and learn all the 'social skills' they need for the 'real world'. (Which kind of begs the question: if it can all be learned in 3-4 years, why the dire need to send them to school before that?)

Now, if 12 years of school, with a stranger as primary caregiver, is supposed to be good for them, then why not start them earlier for full-time schooling? Give them the full 18 years! There's a wealth of information out there about how much babies can learn. They could go to special schools where they will have all the Lamaze toys and Mozart playing in the background and flash cards being presented to them and early potty training and the Doman method and everything, all from specially trained teachers. They will learn even earlier on how to interact with others and all the other 'social skills' that they need (I've yet to have someone actually clarify what these missing skills are). Ideally there will be lots of adults, so that they learn not to be clingy to their moms and will have less stranger anxiety because there will be fewer strangers. And of course, they will be segregated according to age, because it is apparently so vital that they learn how to be with their 'peers'.

Of course, because this is the 'real world' in this classroom, we have to make sure there's plenty of adversity. I mean, the real world can be cruel. Let's make sure some cruelty is available to these babies--they've got to learn to deal with it! I'll leave it to the specialists to figure out what sort of cruelty can be allowed so the babies can deal with it. Perhaps it's in not having enough toys so that the 10-month old has to 'learn to deal with' another 10-month old who has a toy. Or maybe it'll be by having loud, scary noises out of the blue. You know, anything--kids have to learn to deal with it!

Sarcasm hat off, I'm so sick of hearing this. Maybe it's my own background in education and child development that causes this to irk me so much, or maybe it's just that I would like people to use a little common sense and they won't. I would really like people to consider children for what they are--NOT miniature adults with full reasoning capabilities (although adults are proving themselves not so good at that themselves ;) ). I would really love for people to try to find a psychologist who would say that it's actually GOOD for a child to be bullied in elementary school, GOOD for a child to be surrounded by people doing drugs/alcohol and good for a child to have a whole multitude of horrible things around them, like growing up in an abusive home, or a home where the parents don't really take care of the child--that encourages independence, right?

People are so busy rationalizing things to prove homeschooling bad that they don't realize that what they're saying actually has no foundation. And a house with a poor foundation falls!! Of course, they're not interested in exploring the other side, just spending time defending what they already believe. I suppose that's the case with everything, but with homeschooling, man, can it get to me sometimes.


Tired of Liberals said...

I think people are uncomfortable with homeschooling because they don't understand it. They think homeschoolers are a bunch of Bible banging weirdos that want to prevent their children from coming in contact with the evil real world.
In reality, the homeschooled children I know are well-rounded, way above average and socially well adjusted. They can think for themselves and look you in the eye when they address you. And yes, they usually are good Christians; Heaven forbid!!!

The igorance that people show when homeschooling comes up is unbelievable. No, it isn't a mom sitting across the kitchen table preachin' the Good Book to her young'uns; it has become quite sophisticated and the people aren't afraid to ask for help and expand their resources. People watch the stupid, liberal TV and believe everything it says; can you see Katie Couric giving her twisted view on homeschooling?

Too bad peple look at the mainstream media as God's wonder we're in such deep trouble.

Heather said...

I think it is interesting so many people are closed minded and think the only way kids can learn is in a building herded with other children every day. My dh talked with a guidance counselor recently and he said he has a hard time encouraging kids to go to college because it just puts them in debt and doesn't usually give them a high paying job. Trade skills and owning your own business are more valuable and higher paying...unless you go the route of a doctor or engineer...but really having your own business you can make a good 6 figure income...they don't tell you that in school....

I get tired of people thinking homeschooled kids are backward or kids get out in the REAL world all the time. They are very confident in themselves and have no problems interacting with people of ALL ages. Isn't kind of backward to be forced to be with the same age for 12 years straight. No where else in our society are you forced to be with the same age group....I could go on and on...but I don't want to leave a comment longer than your post...LOL...great post btw!!!