Home Is Where the School Is, 23 March 2008, Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
During a break in a high school debate tournament not long ago, my 17-year-old son struck up a conversation with a student on the rival team from a New Jersey public school. “Where’s your school?” asked the boy. When my son replied that he was home-schooled, the student probed.
“How do you socialize when you’re at home all the time?” he asked.
“Well, for one thing, I’m here, right?” my son laughed.
I wonder what the reply to that was?
The article touches on perennial pieces of homeschooling trivia, such as ‘who started homeschooling,’ socialization (above), the religious connection, reasons for homeschoolng, school-style v. homeschool-style of learning, and whether homeschooled children are competent later in life. For a bit of current events, the California Crisis is included.
I’ve read many reactions to homeschooling, but one from this article surprised me because of the personal audacity.
Adults, on the other hand, can be surprising. Like the professor at the community college where one of our sons was taking a course, who went out of her way to pull him aside, sit him down and tell him, “You home-schoolers think you can change the world. But you can’t. Nobody can.”
It’s hard to generalize about home-schoolers, but if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we are changing the world, or at least the world of education choices.
My first reaction is to wonder what this teacher expects of the education she is paid to provide. Is it supposed to be drudge work or inspiration?
My second reaction is that homeschooling parents do change the world. We change the world of our children. Whether this change makes larger ripples in the world is, on one level, immaterial. We’ve made a difference in the lives of individual children. We’ve done our best to fulfill our responsibility to Jake, and Julie, Madison and Ethan, Olivia and Chris. If we do nothing else, we’ve done that.
The ‘usual collection’ of comments on the article is at: “Your comments on ‘Home is where the school is.’”
posted by Valerie