One of the things that I hate about traveling is that it always causes me to second guess our decision to home school. Well, it's not the traveling itself, I think that promotes it because then we can see family on their schedule and not have to worry about taking Hannah out of school or catching up on homework. Okay, I love the travel part, it's the comparison part that gets me. Either I'm doing it or someone else is telling me about how it's "okay" that Hannah doesn't know certain things yet. And then I compare our progress with what is evident in other children that have been in the school system this entire year and I get that little doubt of fear that I'm making my child stupid by keeping her home and teaching her as the winds blow.
Do all home school families go through this season of doubt when first starting? I find it hard to find as much comfort in the things that my daughter is not learning, such as the concept of "hot" and "sexy" which believe it or not were descriptions that my first grade niece said were proclaimed about her in class o_O and the fact that my daughter could care less about her "body image." She's excited about jeans for crying out-loud! There is so much that goes on in the school systems today at such an early age that it can be frightening. But it is tough to quantify those kinds of things versus a child being able to count to one hundred or read. And thus it's not as easy to point to and say "This is what we did today"
How exactly is it that one can spend an entire day together, talk about things, discuss the world and Jesus, clean the home together, play, watch movies and then consider it a failure because the student can't do certain measurable tasks. When did life become more about testing and less about living? And let me tell you, from what I can see, it's not helping out our culture very much at all. The things that enrich life are being stripped away and replaced by sterile duplications. Instead of creating art, our children are creating projects that are outlined in definitive ways and then graded on their ability to duplicate the teacher's desire. Instead of creating stories, they are being told that the greatest story ever told is myth and fantasy. Instead of creating friendships, they are having sex and killing one another. Instead of being children, they are becoming little fact factories with little to no concept as to how all of the things they learn are interwoven into the fabric of life.
I heard on Sunday that there are some schools that will offering students the option to "test out" of their last two years of high school. I did some further research and discovered that there are 8 states that are going to actually do this starting in the fall of 2011 and the option for the students that test out is either get a job or go to community college, NOT traditional four year colleges and universities, but community colleges, which have historically offered job training and fluff courses.
Wow. Public schools are taking themselves one step closer to being unneeded. They just admitted that they aren't worth much in 2 out of the 13 years they educate the children of our country, that's 15%! 15% of what occurs in our public education system was just deemed superfluous! And if you want to just look at high school, well then it's saying that half the time you're there, you'd be better off doing nothing at all.
Thanks for reading my rant, that actually helped me feel a little better about what occurs in our home in regards to educating our child. She may not know any pony tricks, but she's definitely getting an education.