Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Argument Against Homeschooling or Not

In my conversations with non-homeschooling families I often get comments that while I am doing a great job teaching Gess some parents are just not smart enough, or educated enough to teach their own children at home.  I remember one conversation in particular where they were saying a specific mom was just not intelligent enough to homeschool her kids.  In fact, she wasn't very bright at all and therefore should not be allowed to homeschool.  My response was, "Oh I didn't know she was homeschooled."  With a confused look they responded "The mom?  Oh no she wasn't homeschooled.  She went to public school." To which I replied, "Well it doesn't look like that worked out very well for her then, does it?" 

I believe that doubting the ability of a person to be able to teach a child is not an argument against homeschool but rather one against the value of the school that person attended, which generally turns out to be public school.  If the schools are graduating students that can't teach basic reading and math skills to their own children, then is the public school system actually doing it's job?  Why are we upset when one homeschool child struggles but look the other way when scores of public school children don't know how to spell, use proper grammar or do basic math? 

If a parent graduates from a public school that failed them so miserably why must they then be forced to subject their child to the same fate?  The argument that public schools did not do an adequate job educating you so therefore your kid must attend the same failing school system is an odd argument to me.

Yes, I realize that a high school graduate has not been to college to learn how to be a teacher but the majority of the time spent getting a degree focuses on how to teach in a classroom setting, not what to teach.  The time spent learning basic English, math, social studies, science, etc is not anything you can't acquire from your own home.  The fact that homeschool students score better than public school students on just about every level is proof enough that homeschooling works, whether or not the parent has been certified to teach.  In fact  there have been many studies that prove that teacher certification has little if no effect on the students ability to learn. 

So the next time you see a parent that you think isn't qualified to teach her children at home and you feel like you want to interfere or get involved, stop for just one second.  Then go down to your local public school and ask what you can do to help some of the failing children there.  Maybe you can help those who aren't reading at their current grade level.  I used to go do that at a local middle school.  Find an after school program that works with struggling learners as well.  I have done that too.  Help the kids whose parents want nothing to do with them or help the students stuck in a classroom where the teacher has given up on them.  For the child who has a mother who spends her entire day and life trying to give her child the education she didn't receive, know that the child will at least fare better than that mother did.   If you want to help, help the system that is failing not the one with the proven track record. Oh, and the next time you try to make an argument against something, think about the implications of your statement.  You may find out you just made one of the best arguments for it.

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