Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Homeschool Rant Time

After reading this Huffington Post op ed: The Reason I Chose to Homeschool My Kids Has Nothing to Do With Teachers by Melissa Roy, of Beyond Mommying, I must rant.  The article is simply another mother's proclamation about why she loves homeschooling her children, but adds that it has nothing to do with (incompetent, lazy, mean, sex-offender-type) teachers.  Rather, she praises teachers and the work they do.  In fact, she correctly claims that teachers are (in my words) victims of the very system that she does not want her own children to be "educated" in.  I totally get that.  But as I read the comments, I see teachers did not get that.

Mrs. Roy was barraged with crappy comments from the very people she praised to the hilt. The overwhelming opinion, according to the comments, is that most people are not capable of teaching, educating, or homeschooling their children.  Immediately, I thought: do we really have proof of this? Has anyone done a sampling of adults, in general, or homeschooling parents, more specifically, to see if they are "capable" of teaching their own children?  And whose standard do we use to measure capability?

Even if we do not have a sample of research to test the ability of adults who can teach children outside of a public school setting, is it safe to assume that more people have been educated through the public school than anywhere else?  If it is so, does it look good for public education to claim that "most people cannot educate others past the third grade," as one commenter stated?  Yikes! What about homeschooling parents with college degrees? After that many years of schooling: if they cannot teach their own children through high school, what a waste of time and money it all was!

In addition, many comments were attacks on how poorly prepared homeschool children are. But then what is the excuse for the dismal results of public school graduates - if they graduated at all?

But enough of that.  It was obvious to me that this is a sensitive subject with teachers, and I think I know the source.  Besides the fact that people are more thin-skinned, hypersensitive, and uptight than ever before (it feels that way), teachers took Mrs. Roy's opinion very personally - even though she praised them.  One of her reasons for homeschooling included that she did not agree with the public school system: its ideology, its environment, and all that other fun stuff.

So for teachers, the system they work for is the very system Mrs. Roy assailed, although she did not even begin to list all of the reasons parents should pull their children out of these correctional facilities...I mean propaganda conveyor belts...I mean schools.  Sorry.  A person, in general, feels very protective of their place of business.  That's pride.  I would venture to say that teachers are not really all that concerned that other young people learn differently than their own students; but what bothers teachers is that Mrs. Roy charged their workplace as not a good place to raise up children. The system is their place of work, their battle ground, their paycheck.  So it was extremely personal. I get that, too.

Having said that, I want to point out that we (I'll lump me into it, but I can work my way out) have all been conditioned to actually believe that children, or humans, can only learn in an institutionalized setting with "certified" teachers, in a specifically "certified" way, using expensive, politically correct,  "certified" curriculum.  This is a LIE.  It was the way our parents learned, and we learned, and so must we teach the next generations, to learn.

The truth is that children can learn to teach themselves.  By fourth and fifth grade, if your child does not have learning disabilities, he or she can teach himself.  A public school setting does not provide for this, nor does it encourage it.  Remember the lie: humans cannot teach themselves using some unregulated method, not approved by the collective body of overseers.  Frankly, parents should not even trust themselves.

My first homeschool experiment, my oldest, taught himself since fourth grade.  I need only check his work. By the time he was 15, he was done with Algebra II and asked to take the college entrance exam at a local community college so he may begin college classes.  He passed with the highest score in English grammar proficiency and the second highest score in math.  He maintained a 4.0 average for several years and qualified for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, of which he may remain a member for life (if he keeps his GPA above 3.5). He has also been on the Dean's List.  

I am not going to get into the long list of supporting evidence for homeschooling.  Look into it yourself, and be honest and truthful about it.  Public school teachers or educators, or whatever they want to be called, need to think about this: we live in a country that still legally permits parents to teach their own children at home.  What an awesome sacrifice it is for parents to volunteer to lead their own children through education instead of passing the job on to someone else. 

Teachers should be respectful of parents' decision, especially because teachers should understand what a great responsibility it is to teach others.  Mrs. Roy expressed her respect for teachers, knowing the job they do.  And all adults should be grateful for our freedom to use good judgment to make decisions based on our convictions, instead of being forced into doing something that we do not agree.  Instead of reproaching a parent's choice to homeschool, praise God - or the State (if She be your deity) - that we still live in a country where adults have the liberty to make such personal choices.  


Sharon Henning said...

Amen! Preach it, sister.

I taught in on of those indoctrination mills for several years. I still can't get over how many of my fellow, church-going educators truly and sincerely believe in the system. Even when they themselves were so miserable.

It is actually telling on them that they are so ignorant as to be inflexible about alternative means of educating. They themselves are indoctrinated by the machine.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Sharon.

Honestly, I don't want to be hard on teachers, specifically b/c I respect what they do. There are days when I shake my head and wonder, "How do they do it? I only have four to teach!"

It would be nice if they would respect parents who choose to homeschool their own children. More importantly, it would be great if all Americans would be grateful that we still have the freedom and liberty to choose how to educate our children. There is no one way to teach or learn! But if that is what they are training teachers to believe (that there is only one way - through the system - then one could understand why they would dislike homeschoolers and homeschooling.) However, I think a lot of it is personal. When a parent removes a kid from school, it feels like a direct complaint against a teacher.

Sharon Henning said...

My sister homes schools. I forward your blog post to her. This is what she has to say:

"I do appreciate it. It's amazing that they defend public school in one breath and then say graduates of public school are incompetent to teach their own children what they have learned! AND they have zero real proof of this, and yet there is a load of proof of how teachers and schools in general are failing kids in school."

I think people don't realize how much they have been conditioned to think the state is responsible for our welfare instead of people taking personal responsibility. Also, the state doesn't like losing money which they do every time a student is pulled out.

Ruth said...

Oh, that's great. Love to hear it!