Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Letter From Dad

I have been wrestling with Public Schooling vs Home Schooling for several years. My daughters are both home schooling their children and for the longest time I have opposed it. Then I started doing some serious research on the subject and like everything else in today's society, I am totally confused.
Some of the cons that I found in public schools are violence, peer pressure, drugs, and promiscuity.
Some of the cons that I found in home schooling are emotionally unstable, deprived of proper social development, precludes children from experiencing real life.
When I watched Laurette Lynn's video Don't Go To School Part 1 and said...WOW this makes a lot of sense...we are being dumbed down.
Dr. Thomas Smedley believes that home schooled have superior socialization skills, and his research supports his claim. Vineyard Adaptive Behavior Scales test to identify mature and well-adapted behaviors in children. Home learners ranked in the 84th percentile, publicly schooled students, were drastically lower in the 23rd.
Then on the side of public schools three boys from West Bloomfield High School have been appointed to West Point setting a precedent. They were the first three seniors from the same high school that were ever appointed into the same West Point Class...what an achievement!
So, how do you decide which is best? Just type in Student Loan Debt Crushing College Dreams in your search engine and read the horific costs facing students and parents. It is no wonder Laurette Lynn calls it a Ponzi Scheme. (Consume, debt, work, consume, debt, work).
I don't have the answer. Perhaps some of my fellow community members would like to respond.

Source: Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools

My Response:
"Some of the cons that I found in home schooling are emotionally unstable, deprived of proper social development, precludes children from experiencing real life."

Okay now exactly where does this info come from as this statement could not be more off base than a mosquito on pluto.

First of all There will always be pros and cons to everything, that's the balance of the universe.

Now first of this statement "Some of the cons that I found in home schooling are emotionally unstable, deprived of proper social development, precludes children from experiencing real life."

Lets start with emotionally unstable-- sure the child that goes in to school and shoots his 8 year old classmates, or those that bully students so far as to commit suicide--emotionally stable?
Self-worth and self esteem knocked constantly down from grades and overly used labels of worthlessness a recipe for emotional stability?

Where do you get this information .....your personal feelings or from reports made by public schools that are losing $3,000 to $8,000 for every child who is homeschooled? Does it come from reports made by those who have never ever homeschooled and making these statements from the ONE homeschooled kid they know or just blind statements not based on knowledge at all on the subject?

This sentence may be accurate for the tiny few that live in the most secluded and remote areas of our country and another small handful that are living in homes that use homeschooling as a shelter to hide abuse.

For the other 2 million homeschoolers the children are emotionally nurtured, emotionally supported, and in general well rounded emotionally surrounded by people and friends that love them them, encourage them and inspire them.

Deprived of Social Development? In what way, because many are not following the cookie cutter model of what and when the public schools have set for grades? Because many do not imitate the model of public school at home which to those who do not understand homeschooling look at it as being behind rather than just a different type of curriculum or learning of innovation? Or perhaps that statement comes from the fact that many families that chose to home school is because they have special needs children or children with learning disabilities!

For example my dyslexic daughter really struggles with reading and spelling this is an automatic strike against me as a homeschooling parent and I am to blame for her not being farther ahead and the quick assumption that homeschooling sucks is made. Those that question it vocally make her feel stupid and ashamed for they do not understand Dyslexia and how hard this is for those that struggle with it. This is not the case however, she is a highly creative and intelligent girl, her mind simply processes things differently. Words come out she thinks is right and to her they sound right but to everyone else they are messed up words or ones we do not understand until we understand which word she is actually trying to say. However NOBODY questions my 40 year old husband, my 26 year old daughter or my 25 year old son, all of whom went to public schools and can NOT spell , seriously in my family we had to make up a new scrabble game where the rule was to MISS SPELL everything and if it sounds it, it is it! You CAN NOT SPELL it correctly------this was the only way they will play scrabble with me as my ability to spell intimidates them. Yet nobody puts the public schools in question against the firing line for these adults not knowing how to spell. This does not stop there, the statistics of those graduating public school that are considered illiterate are staggering. Yet that is not questioned simply because it is public school?

My favorite part of this sentence-----PRECLUDES CHILDREN FROM EXPERIENCING REAL LIFE-----What the? Seriously? a room with 4 walls, no windows, teaching a subject that does not apply to real life at all, teaching that learning ONLY happens in a classroom separate from life, in a room overcrowded with kids ALL THE SAME AGE ( which by the way humans are not designed to only socialize with people all our own age) having to raise your hand to even go to the bathroom...........this is REAL life? 
Curriculum in public school is a whole lot of busy work, not much to do at all with REAL LIFE
This statement seems to stem from pioneering days long gone, after all we live in the 21rst Century, people do not stay home or live in caves anymore.
Homeschoolers live REAL LIFE each and everyday, how then could the children of homeschooled families be precluded from living real life?
Laundry, cooking, price comparing, shopping, homeschool group activities, museums, fishing, bankers, online gaming, garage saling, zoos, parks, art workshops, music lessons, homeschool sports leagues, dance lessons, helping elderly neighbors, time with friends of ALL ages, cleaning house, reading, camping, eating out at restraunts, building things, hiking, sewing, researching, libraries blah blah blah I could for ever, but OMG this is NOT REAL LIFE?
Wow then what is? Sorry but being in a box being told what and when to learn and 1 out of every 4 kids being drugged from ages 3 to 18 THAT IS NOT REAL LIFE!
And West Point, yeah it is an achievement but homeschoolers achieve too, they consistently win State and National Spelling Bees, Geography bees and other competitions. They go on to Top Colleges (if they choose to do so) become successful engineers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepenuars.

( I am looking around to find the hidden cameras for You got Plunked or Smile your on cadid camera) While this is a statement made by those against homeschooling who know nothing about homeschooling it is not a statement made by any reason or logic in the least and certainly holds no credibility whatsoever.

Homeschoolers are very active families that are not confined to a small box for the best years of their children lives. We have and use a very wide world as our classroom being quite active where learning is not seperate from life. Real life, real living each and everyday where it is all connected.

Quick note, my reply may seem to be very against public schools however that is certainly not the case. Homeschooling is not for everyone and public schools will always be needed yet one certainly can not deny all the problems public schools are dealing with today. My heart actually goes out to those wonderful teachers out there really trying to make a difference and yet still have to work within the structure and policies of their school. It is not easy being a teacher in todays world and I fully acknowledge that.

Homeschooling vs Public Schools have been a long going argument now and it really is not about which is better or which is right and which is wrong. It is about personal choice and what a parent feels is best for thier individual families.

For me, I do not wish for spring break or summer break to be over so I can get peace and quiet when they go to school. My kids do not drive me crazy or disturb my peace. They are not a burden to me that I can not wait to hand over to someone elses care for the most important years of their life. They do not give me headaches, or make me want to pull my hair out. They are the most interesting people that I choose to spend each and every day with that I know.

It is not about right and wrong, it is about choices that we all have the freedom to make as our children will always be our largest responsability and the most important job we will EVER have in our life. Family unity and family value are dying in this country, homeschooling families build on these precious family relationships trying to keep core values, sound principles and close family relationships that will make a strong foundation on which to build a REAL life on.

Every homeschooling family has a different reason to do so, but is still about CHOICE, not right, not wrong.

There is a reason however the numbers climb at a faster and more rapid pace each year..........