Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spouting forth

Lately I've been getting a lot of concerns (from people who claim to really care about me ) on how well my children are “socializing” since we’ve decided to home school. Like how do I expect them to relate to their peers if they don’t spend eight hours crammed into a classroom all the while being expected to shut up and sit down? Or how are they going to be able to resolve conflict if they’re not experiencing a 15 minute daily recess spent hiding from bullies? Or how exactly will they learn to stand up to bullies if they don’t endure a completely unsupervised 45 minute bus ride with middle and high school kids?

Life is conflict. Moral conflict, emotional conflict, physical conflict and spiritual conflict. I believe the way we learn to overcome conflict is to actually feel a sense of triumph. How can our kids be expected to “win some lose some” when they’re inundated with conflict all day every day? In my opinion, all they’re learning is to accept defeat quietly when they’re sent to public school. In a safe environment, conflict can happen occasionally. And that’s all it takes, not four years of the malicious middle school years or the sheepish herd of the first five years. It took me until fourth grade to realize what was happening to my Boy before I pulled him out and allowed him to really begin learning - not only about life, literature and linear equations but also about himself.

I wish I’d written this this poignantly excellent article but I didn’t so you can just pretend I did instead.

“Socializing, on the other hand, is what they do with family, friends, acquaintances, people we meet in the community and even with dogs, cats and frogs we encounter. As for socialization … Would you want your kid socialized by 22 same-age peers and one adult stranger?”

I don’t.

From the tin-sided underbellies of the trailer parks to the GAP-clad cul-de-sacs of the suburbs, I don’t need other peoples’ children teaching my kids conservative spins on homosexuality, war, abortion, oral sex and Nickelodeon's latest marketed fads are all about. That’s my job thankyouverymuch.

Not spending all day with a bunch of kids and ONE teacher isn’t going to make my child socially retarded. It’s going to allow him to think for himself. And if life has taught me anything, it’s that intellectual autonomy is essential for personal success.

And I don’t blame the teachers. They’re at the bottom of a very high tower of Important People Who Think They Know What Our Failing Education System Needs Because Of All The Studies They Conduct and our teachers do what they’re told or lose their jobs. All kids must pass this test? Then they really have no choice but to spend the majority of their time preparing for tests that have no real basis for success in life.

I guarantee my kids won’t remember half the questions on a standardized test while quietly sitting in a stuffy classroom. But they will retain the content of a book they read while sprawled on the sunny lawn, loudly crunching on a snack.

Yes, I’m frustrated today. I’m just worn out from a somewhat steady flow of judgment on my parenting and educational choices.

I’m taking somewhat of sanctimonious stance at this moment but I’ve got a bit of mad under my collar. I’ll get over it. This blog is just way cheaper than therapy and I need a moment or two on the couch.


Blogger mama said...

SCREW 'EM! I think your kids are great and I think you're a smarty who better to teach them than the person who knows them best?

That's what I thought.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Izzy Rose said...

Hey you,

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I really like your site! You are one funny, sassy lady. I promise to visit often.



11:01 AM  

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