Thursday, January 8, 2015

What Exactly Did You Learn?

I had a conversation with a woman the other day about homeschooling. A lot of people think homeschooling is where kids go to be indoctrinated in some way. Taught to follow the rules and beliefs of some cult or other. But, in today's day and age, this just isn't true and antiquated thinking needs to stop.

She told me that she didn't believe homeschooling could really provide the knowledge needed to get along in the world. So, I asked her a question.

"What exactly did you learn in school?"

She went through the normal list of bs. Math, social studies......yada. But, I told her that wasn't a sufficient answer. Math and social studies are generalizations. You learn more about social studies from day to day life than you will ever learn inside a classroom. Math is something you use even when you're not in class, so that's also not going to cut it.

Long story short, this woman could not give me any clear cut indication of what she thought she learned in a school that didn't actually happen in college. And, college, let's face it, is a whole different animal.

The fact is, the American education has become less of what it was before. It happens every single generation. I didn't get the education my parents got, and they didn't get the education their parents got. My kids didn't get the education they deserved from public schools. You can learn math outside of a school. In fact, you can even do your college degree outside of a school setting now. The school house was just some place to send children to get the learning all done in one place. A convenience.

The only one of my children who is homeschooled is the one that didn't thrive in a school house. He wasn't learning anything there except to believe he had some sort of learning disorder. Newsflash: He doesn't. He's as normal as any other normal kid. There are kids out there who legitimately have learning disorders and he is not one of them. But, he was learning to believe he did simply because he wasn't in the rank and file that we associate with public school.

My middle son went to public school, and also dropped OUT of public school after being fed up with the atmosphere it fosters. My middle son is doing just fine, but he got no better education than my youngest has had outside of the school campus. In fact, he admits that in most ways, my youngest is going to be better equipped to handle life "on the outside", as he puts it. He's 20, now.

My youngest has learned every single thing that anyone else learns in public school, however, he learned most of his social values "on the outside". He doesn't engage in a lot of the very destructive behaviors found common in public school, and doesn't associate with people who do. He's very selective about his social circle, (a wonderful trait to have), and doesn't think twice about it. In fact, he's learned about 3 times as much "on the outside" as his peers have learned on the inside.

So, the question stands. What exactly did you learn?

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