Saturday, September 22, 2018


In spite of the reality of the modern age of instant accessibility to uncountable amounts of information, the stigma of HOME SCHOOLING remains. Even when all the arguments are presented and then summarily rebutted, the naysayers will toss out their hidden ace - socialization - what about kids socializing with others so they can become NORMAL. 


I’ll move on to the real point of this rant so as not to expose the naysayers standing over their dead horse. 

Recently a nervous new homeschool mom, who pulled her daughter out of public school because of vicious bullying, came to observe our Enrichment Thursday. Her sweet daughter joined our cooking and art classes and ‘socialized’ joyfully with us. 

While the kids were working on a project, the mom and I talked about homeschooling. She is understandably worried that she won’t do a good job. She has always sent her daughter off to public school and therefore blindly trusted that her daughter was being  properly educated. 

She fretted that she didn’t know what curriculum to start with. What should she be teaching her daughter? 

I asked her - “What do you want her to know?” She looked perplexed and then replied, 

“I want her to know how to take tests so she can go to college.”

After I digested that for a few seconds, squelching my internal fury rising up over how the last several decades of teaching-to-the-test has destroyed centuries of basic knowledge building,  I replied, “What if ten highly credentialed educators were asked to form a list of 500 things all children should learn between kindergarten and 12th grade, do you think there would be ten identical lists?”

“No, of course not,” she replied.

“Why not?”

“Well, they would all have their own ideas about what kids should learn,” she concluded.

“So, which one would have the correct list?” I tossed out.

She had no answer.

And that, then, is the point. In this era of abundant and easy access to information, and given the rise of home schooling, the hundreds of options for available curriculum online and work books and learning materials, the what/how-to-teach is not the issue. 

“What is knowledge?” is the question that begs to be addressed.

What do you want your child to know? How about how to make change? There are plenty of high school graduates who work in fast food restaurants who cannot make change without a calculator. Who cannot read cursive. Who do not know who the vice president is. Who have no idea where England is on a map or even how to use a map. Who cannot read and follow instructions. Who have no idea what time management is. Who have no idea how to balance a checkbook. 

The ultimate goal of education is more than acquiring information. It is learning how to learn, creating the desire to continue learning and the ability to use the infinite resources available. 

What should kids learn in school? Curriculum depends on who is in charge of their edumacation.

For Him,


  1. Thank you for this. You've given me a great phrase to use when I describe why we've persevered in homeschooling through high school: control over the curriculum.
    We have wanted our boys to have at least one trade under their belt, even if they never are employed therein, so we've required them to take carpentry at the local vocational school for the same reason we started them in piano when they were in second grade.
    What we have observed, however, is that kids in public school who spend half their day at the vocational school could never fit in classes like Algebra II and Chemistry, never mind being in two bands at the school. They're off site too much of the time. For us, homeschooling has given our sons the luxury of choice. They can prepare for college. They can use their music. They can learn trades that we (their parents) just don't know ourselves and so, therefore, cannot teach.

    1. If you are weighing the pros and cons, nowadays, the list of reasons to home school is longer than the reasons to public school. Your story is an example of success. It’s not possible to argue with success though the perceptions of religious fanatics sequestered in a compound still persist regardless all the statistics that support homeschooled kids excelling in college and then going on to highly productive lives.

      You know, I get the resistance. It’s so human to object to anything that challenges a process that is embedded in the stone of tradition. After all, how is it possible that someone with no hard earned expensive degree can teach? But, truth is, homeschooling is not challenging anything. It’s just another avenue, a Plan B, an alternative, to insure that education is administered especially to children who cannot do well in a public school.