Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How would you characterize a situation in which home schooling is preferable to traditional schooling?

Well, I'm not sure that I am at all equipped to answer this question with anything other than rambling opinions, since a.) I've never been homeschooled and 2.) I know very little about the actual data behind the homeschooling efforts.

But . . .

I prefer traditional schooling. That means I am in favor of schooling that takes place by accredited teachers in a public setting away from the home. Call me a traditionalist, but I think there are advantages to keeping school separate from home. In the home, there are family roles that must be taught and family roles that must be learned. Parental authority and family connections.

In public schools entirely new (and just as valuable) roles and lessons are taught. And please know that I am acknowledging the fact that you can get a good education from the homeschool environment. But the experience is entirely different, in that it--I think--blurs the difference between home and school a bit and it blurs the parental authority role a bit.

I like that my kids have to acknowledge the authority of people outside of the parent in a public setting. (And while I know that this can also be reinforced in churches or other social areas, many people don't go to church.) I also like that my kids get an opportunity to find themselves outside of the parental eye. They have opportunities to define their social personality on their own, among their peers. If they were at home, with us all the time, I think some of the social diversity would be lost.

And probably most important, I don't trust myself to be an adequate teacher of the educational skills that my kids need. And I want to have my *own* space of professional adultness outside of my kids during the school day where I may be the adult while they are leaning how to be who they are and receiving the education that I think others are more equipped to give them.

So, there is my rambling, incoherent answer. I hope it got you something of what you wanted.

And, as always, thanks for asking!

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