So you think your schooling’s phony
I guess it’s hard not to agree
You say it all depends on money
And who is in your family tree
– Supertramp, Bloody Well Right
I am returning to my thoughts on education this week. Here are some of the ideas/theories I have developed regarding education as a former public school teacher and parent:
The best way to educate a child is in a homeschool environment. Homeschool does not necessarily mean that the parent educates the child all the time, parent cooperatives, child directed learning and online schooling all fall under the umbrella of homeschooling for the purposes of this discussion.
The second-best option is a classically oriented private school that a parent has personally vetted. If you have a particularly bright child (and don’t we all) this may be a viable option if you want her to learn Latin and Greek or any other subject you may not have mastered. Just remember not all private schools are created equally.
You may want to combine homeschooling in early years with classical education in later years.
Use immersion prior to age 12 (the earlier the better), to help your child learn a/many foreign languages. I personally believe that we would all be better equipped to travel throughout most of the world if we knew Spanish, French (particularly for travel in Africa), and Mandarin. Latin is great preparation for the SAT and later scholarship. Anecdotally, the multilingual people I know all learned multiple languages early in life. I encourage the use of television, radio broadcasts, movies and visiting ethnic communities where your child has no option but to learn the language.
Use a mathematics curriculum! Homeschooled students outperform their peers in all regards except in math. They are simply average in that category. I am a fan of the Singapore Maths program but there are a lot of good ones out there.
Ignore the socialization argument, it is not based on any credible research. Your homeschool child is in the REAL WORLD more than his peers, he interacts with people of all ages while “regular” kids are in boxes with children who share her manufacture date. Who will be better socialized? Besides if your child goes to Church, baseball, scouts, interacts with other people, or attends the local cooperative she will be socialized.
Traditional public schools are not about education, they are about indoctrination. I have written about this in the past and will do more in the future, but please understand that the creators of modern public schools did not have the best interests of children in mind.
Having stated my arguments (with references) I want to make the following point (I know, it took me long enough):
Who has your child’s best interests in mind, the state or you?
You want your child to be well equipped for life, the state wants your child to be compliant. In my mind this is a no brainer. Stop counting on statists and ill-prepared educators to equip your child with the foundation they need to succeed in life. Think about it and let me know if you disagree with me.
In parting, school sucks!