Home school in the Willamette Valley
By Therese ONeill WillametteLive
If there remains one way to shock friends and family in an open-minded 21st century society, it is to tell them that you are considering home-schooling your children.
Home education is a burdened concept, calling to mind the odd classmate from high school that couldn’t make eye contact or the family at the library that dress like pioneers.
I thought we were a little past home education being “shocking”. High school students not making eye contact? That might be considered a burdened concept regarding “peer pressures, school pressures…“.
This is an interesting explanation that I like:
Hilda Rosselli, Ph.D., is the Dean of the College of Education at Western Oregon University, the foremost teaching college in the state. She sees in the surge of home schooling as a connection between society becoming more individualized, and the growing dissatisfaction with a homogenized school system. If a family can choose precisely what they want to eat, the news they want to read, what they want to be entertained by, why shouldn’t they also expect customized education?
“While we know more now about students’ learning needs, whether they be diagnosed with autism or highly gifted, we still tend to find schools have changed in relatively small increments over the past 30 years,” Rosselli said. “This combined with the fact that more and more individuals are telecommuting, there is increased flexibility for some parents to be at home and work while providing childcare and home schooling options.“
Parents choose this complicated path for their children for a number of reasons.
The beauty of homeschooling is the lack of complications and the fact that you are on your own schedule. A knotty timetable not of your choosing can be frustrating. We’ve done public school and we’ve done homeschooling. A homeschooling path is not complicated in comparison.
There’s always one of these charmers in the family or around the community. (This one being an 18 year looooong public school teacher):
Alice. a Salem-area public high school teacher for 18 years, has taught many home school transfer students, and has six nieces and nephews who have been home schooled. Her opinions on home schooling, particularly in the area of isolationism, are strong.
“I’ll speak generally of it – understand that I realize there are exceptions. Home-schooled students who have been in my classes, generally speaking, show a lack of tolerance and understanding for the different people encountered in a public setting. This is true of my nieces and nephews as well,” she said. “If a home-schooling family has a quirk or is very strange, then the children, isolated from their peers, may develop problems that only get more difficult to solve the longer they are isolated. This is true if the child is abused or neglected as well.
We’ll just take Aunt Alice’s opinion for what it’s worth. Wonder that she doesn’t see her 6 nieces and nephews too much? Maybe her concept regarding lack of socialization hinges around her family and their avoidance factor (like the plague, I would think), along with choices about positive influences in children’s lives. Hard to say, but I’m always skeptical about individuals and their intent while ‘outing’ family members like that. (Her concurrence with the NEA anti-homeschooling/anti-parental choice resolution speaks volumes.)
Don’t ask Alice about “very dangerous” homeschooling. Ask Dr. Rosselli, who does seem to have an open mind about education.