Now don’t get me wrong, I still believe we’d better improve the public schools (and no, unlike most conservatives I don’t believe that LESS money is the way to do so). However, I must admit that there is plenty to say in favor of home schooling:
- Full focus on the child, vs teachers scattered over 30-150 students
quite simply even the most dedicated elementary teacher has to spread his/her time amongst twenty-thirty students. And if your student is one of the good students, your child will be ignored for the problem child, the child not quite getting it, and the cranky ones. High school, the same teacher has to juggle two-three different classes for 150 people and make sure there’s enough for the average child to make it, with little or no time to help someone having trouble over a single point. As a home-schooling parent, you can see what you child needs and go straight to it.
- Child can run forward in a subject if he wants to.
Sounds like a horror story you hear from the right, but a then-friend (I lost track of her soon after) said she was pissed over a teacher who said the student was too far ahead, and had to forget some stuff to fit in the classroom.
- You teach what you want
While it’s obvious what the christian right wants taught (six days of creation is exactly 144 hour long, if it’s human and has a heartbeat it’s filled with holy life, etc); there is something to be said about deciding what your child should know. After all, you do have a responsibility towards the child, why not give him the best you can?
- Follow your child in his interests
Here’s where home-schooling can really shine. If a child has an interest in a subject vastly different from the normal cirriculum and you see its worthiness, YOU CAN LET HIM/HER GO THERE! This is something public schools just cannot do, as they’re stuck with having to deal with a group of students, not just a single one.
You will need lots of dedication and interest, though. Plus you’d better have a strong connection to both family and an outside community.
This is why home schooling is a conservative Christian phenomenon, and will stay so until it gathers enough steam to disrupt public schooling (which I say it can do, and am guessing it WANTS to do). Liberals are totally fixated on everyone’s “Freedoms” that they give short shrift to responsibilities and community. Libs talk about “a diverse community” when in fact a community is based on SHARED ASSUMPTIONS, BELIEFS AND HABITS — something Liberals abhor, and something which conservative christians come by easily, since they attend church and make friends within that group. Christians also reach out among themselves, both within denominations and outside of them.
Also, too many liberals have learned to take the easy way out — depend on the government and other paid tools to give them what they want. Conservative Christians, despite certain mistakes, are learning to depend on themselves; that has served them in the past and may serve them in the future. After all, one of the complaints in latter-day Rome was that the infrastrucure was falling apart and Rome was losing people, but the people still in Rome were kept entertained and happy.
Next: differences in public Schools from 1950 until today