Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Worldschooling

I have this friend, who is one of those people who works awfully hard. She works hard and as a result she does very well at pretty much everything she does. She was in the military. She went to nursing school and graduated pretty quickly. She married a fireman who very obviously adores her. They have a farm near here that she is tending. She gave birth THREE times without any drugs, which right there should tell you that she's tougher than me. And most importantly, she has three beautiful girls who are as smart as their mom.

She decided to homeschool these wonderful children, and when she posted this on Facebook, I did the friend thing and was encouraging. What I was thinking, however, was ARE YOU CRAZY???? Well, actually, I embellished that sentiment a bit, but you get the idea. I've known many people who have homeschooled their children, and I think the same exact thing about all of them. Even before I had Zane, I thought that about homeschooling. I keep my thoughts to myself, because nothing gets people into fisticuffs faster than bringing up the homeschooling question.

I am not condemning homeschooling, so all those oversensitive types out there can calm down. There is simply no way that I(me/myself/and) would ever consider homeschooling. It's not a matter of competence, which I think is very necessary for most things in life. I do have a teaching certificate and I know how to use it. I'm also relatively intelligent, even after donating half of my IQ points to my child. I still won't homeschool for several reasons.

First and foremost, I hate math. Hate it with a passion usually reserved for the opposing team on game day. It's my nemesis. Math doesn't come easy to me, I'm slow at it, and some forms of math strike me as inefficient and therefore useless(Trigonometry!). Will I want to spend any time teaching math to my child? That would be a resounding NO. Since math is definitely something required to survive out in the Big Bad, however, I would be forced to try. I would probably be able to get him through addition and subtraction without displaying my true feelings regarding the topic. But there is very little chance that I will not pass my hatred of all things math-related on to my offspring. I want my son as well-rounded educationally as possible. You never know--he could be good at math, and then maybe he will explain it to me.

Second, to homeschool and do it correctly, it's definitely a hands-on activity. Creativity is a must! Anyone who just sits their kid in front of a computer and walks away isn't homeschooling, because there's no 'schooling' involved. A parent has to sit next to the child and interact with them and listen to them answer questions and do activities with them. My friend from the first paragraph, for example, had her kids mummify a dead chicken the "old timey" way for a science project. That is light years beyond my creativity level, and I would crack under that kind of pressure. Learning is not just regurgitation, no matter what all those standardized test scores want you to think.

Third, a good teacher teaches a student to use what they've absorbed from a lesson and apply it to problem solve or create something new. Except when that parent has spent all day long being a teacher, when do they get to relax, regroup, and recoup? I know that when I come home from work, I still have work to do, such as cooking dinner. If I am at home all day with my child, responsible for his education, clothing, feeding, and all that other stuff, when do I get to do anything else? Right now, my son is three years old and he is interested in EVERYTHING. Zane wants to know what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what would happen if...ALL THE TIME. My time away, to read, exercise, work, shop, etc., helps me keep my horizons expanded and keeps me sane.

Fourth, I have very strong opinions that I don't always keep to myself, such as my opinion that no child should ever be without healthcare because adults have to have a pissing contest in Washington(All this partisan crap is all about pissing and marking territory. See? Strong opinion!). I don't want my child to grow up spouting MY opinions. That is called brainwashing. The good thing about public education, and some private(aka the Jesuits), is that there are many people with many opinions and much more knowledge than I could ever hope to share(particularly in the area of the insidious Math), and being around all that cerebral diversity will help my child become a well-rounded individual with his own opinions formed by his own experiences, not mine. I can live with that, even if he becomes a Republican.(That might kill his father, however, who is a legacy Democrat)

Finally, I pay taxes. I pay taxes that go to a school district to contribute to education. I pay this money whether I send my kid to public school or not, whether the government decides to cut education out of the budget entirely. Why double dip? Since I am already paying for it, I am going to take advantage and send my child to school. Do I expect the schools to churn out my son as a perfect, tax paying model citizen? No. Am I going to rely solely on the schools to educate my child in all aspects of life? No. Am I going to rely solely on the schools to teach my child good manners, proper behavior, and respect for his elders? No. Am I going to place any and all blame for the choices my child makes solely on the schools? No. No good parent does any of that. After all, my husband and I were his first teachers. We know what his teachers are going to be going through once Zane hits kindergarten. We are expecting a lot of phone calls.

I still have a pretty good idea, based on my own experiences, what Zane is going to need to survive as an adult. We will 'enrich' what the school provides, by providing him activities and adventures to see the world around him and the people who live here. If he has questions about his world, we will answer them, even if it is a horrific math equation with Pi. Essentially, Zane is going to be attending three schools: the traditional school, the school of his peers, and the school of Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa.(First rule of Grandpa-school: do not pull Grandpa's finger)

Don't call it homeschooling. Call it Worldschooling.

6 comments:

  1. I agree! I think it's awesome that Moms are able to be that creative and patient with their children to teach them. But there is no way I could confidently homeschool.
    Following you back from FMBT!
    Sabrina
    http://4mykiddos.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stopping by to say hello from FMBT. I already follow on GFc so I followed on Networked blogs as well .. Have a great week
    Stacy
    www.sjunkie.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I share many of the same reasons with you. Except maybe the intelligent part.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello, I am a new follower stopping by from fmbt Hope your having a great day. I'd love for you to check out my blog. http://realadventuresfromamomof3.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm glad you're not just another mother blogger! :) I'm looking forward to reading some of your funny posts.

    I'm your newest follower, by the way. Come check out my blog, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Getting school education must be called as necessary for all because every person of society should educated. I have searched today one of the best assignment help australia which is providing best solved assignments and papers for final exams.

    ReplyDelete

I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!