Last week a reader sent me a link to the following article which was copied at a blog. I misread the attribution and read the article as if the blogger wrote it. (apologies to the blogger for my acerbic reply to my correspondent) I should set the record straight, for myself if for no one else, and acknowledge my correspondent’s point of view, which happens to be the title of this blog post.
The Pilot, Brighton, Massachusetts, 6 April 2007, Should I homeschool?
The points I like in the article:
- … homeschooled children do not show the “black/white” test-score gap that is the bane of public and private schools.
- homeschooled children perform equally well regardless of gender.
- It’s efficient.
- It’s inexpensive.
- Homeschooling tends to develop good habits of reading.
- Homeschooled children more easily become friends with their parents.
- Homeschooled children are free at any point of the day to consider the relationship between faith and reason, …
- Homeschooling tends to foster a lively patriotism.
- Homeschooled children can enjoy the innocence of childhood longer.
- Homeschooled children socialize better.
What I object to is only one point out of many, but it tainted the rest of the article for me:
- 5. Homeschooling requires that the father play the role that he really should play in his children’s education. The experience of homeschoolers is that the mother’s efforts during the day need to be reinforced by the father’s assistance in the evening — perhaps by his teaching a more rigorous subject, by checking homework. This reintroduction of the father’ into education proves tremendously helpful for children to become serious about their studies.
Since when do homeschooled kids need ‘wait ’til your father gets home?’ And why is it the father who teaches “a more rigorous subject?”
I’m the co-owner of a military homeschool list and one of the topics-of-this-morning is the extension of the overseas tours of duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom and assignments to Afghanistan. The mothers on my list don’t have the luxury of their husbands even buying milk on the way home from work, much less of dad picking up the homeschool slack left by mom. (damn those soaps and bon bons) To quote one list member, “[My husband] recently left for our 5th deployment …” The kicker is that even after the servicemember returns, the active duty parent still isn’t available for homeschool duties because of recovery, retraining, and then, of course, redeployment.
Homeschooling is a family project for mothers and for fathers. Parents must plan, budget, give-and-take on scheduling, and support each other. But, to describe the process as the prince riding home on his white steed every day …, that is, like, so 1950s.
Yes, I think that two parents are (usually) better than one.
Yes, I think that parents have different strengths, and that a complementary partnership smooths the home ed adventure.
No, I do not think that one parent has superior brainpower based on plumbing. The gray matter is elsewhere.
The writer’s experience of homeschooling may be that the complementary homeschooling relationships tend toward cooperative instruction by the parents. My experience of homeschooling is that, even in tough times, don’t underestimate the moms.
Cheers to the (super!) moms of HomeschoolMilitary.
posted by Valerie