Thursday, August 05, 2004

Homeschooling and the NCES Report

I'm an consistantly annoyed with people who assume teaching at home means isolation and social retardation and that parents without degrees may not be able to teach their own children. This report on the NCES findings has several of these uninformed questions:

"Home schooling presents several questions that must be considered, he said. Among them: Do parents with no formal training as teachers know how to handle a variety of subjects or to tailor instruction for children of different ages? Do students get the same materials they would have at schools, from books to science labs? Are families with two working parents prepared to go to a single income so that one parent can teach at home?"

Well, geez, I taught them ABC, but without that degree, I don't know what else I'm capable of! I mean, for goodness sake, I went through their school system, don't they think I learned anything while I was there? If I did, I should be able to teach it to my own kids. If not, then I think it certainly underlines why I wouldn't send my own kids there for instruction! As for the curriculum, one of the great things about homeschooling is tailoring that to meet the needs of your family and your child. Money? Well, going to one or (as in our case) one and a half incomes isn't so bad. It's what more and more families are doing, and I definitely believe it's in the best interests of our kids. Look what the kids get instead of the money: A Family.

"Also, Feinberg said, parents must consider whether their children will emerge from home schooling with limited exposure to other children and various cultures. More federal research is needed to help resolve such questions about home schooling, he said. "At some point, children are going to have to interact with the rest of the world," he said. "If they haven't had the opportunity to build their emotional muscles so they have that capacity to interact, how effective are they going to be outside their cloistered environment?""

Excuse me? My kids can't be exposed to other cultures just because they don't go to school? My son generally is more willing to ask questions to people who are different than himself. Curiosity has not been driven from him, nor is he afraid to talk to people of different ages. I think my kids interact with the world more than other children. They are with me at the grocery store, the library, the post office etc. etc. and their emotional muscles? What on earth does that mean? Homeschooled does not equal cloistered. It does mean protected, and I'm certainly giving my children a chance to learn about our values before being bombarded with the values of the rest of the world. It means a chance to spend more time preparing them for what they will deal with in the world, and giving them the tools to do so. I think many (not all) ps'd kids are just thrown into the world with little to help them except the advice of other children their own age who lack the experience, wisdom, and no-how to be of any benifit! But, hey, they want to spend more of my tax dollars determining if my kids aren't emotionally stunted? Okay, but I think it's a waste. Couldn't we get some kids health insurance or something with that money?

Wow, how'd I get up here on my soapbox again? Sorry, everyone.


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