When my oldest was in 3rd Grade (or was it 2nd?), my wife realized that between the time we bought our house in the premier school district, and our kids were in school, the public school system had severely degraded.
It wasn’t just an academic degradation, either. It was also degradation in discipline, volunteers, staff, the wishy-washy Principal, and even the PTSA. Our oldest hated everything about school–it was too simple, and according to him, “everyone is mean.”
My wife laid out all the sins of the public education system we had found ourselves in and asked that we homeschool our kids. She made a compelling case, and I agreed.
How compelling a case did my wife make? Put it this way–despite her ability to earn over twice my salary, we decided she should be the primary educator and stay home. She convinced me that homeschooling would even be better than private schools.
So we did.
That was years go.
So, where are we now?
About two years in, we decided to toss our curriculum we came up with and let the kids learn whatever they wanted to learn at the time. If they were actively involved in learning and socializing, we didn’t put anything in front of them. We responded with support on subjects they were interested in pursuing.
That approach worked despite how dramatically different it was from our educational experience.
For example, our youngest didn’t see much value in learning how to read. Wow, wow, wow–talk about making us nervous. It’s the fundamental skill needed for everything. We read books to him all the time, of course. In his mind, why would he need to learn how to read if Mom and Dad read for him?
Then one day, he decided to read Larry Correia’s Warmachine book. So he taught himself reading and writing in several months so he could do just that.
The oldest learned similarly. He liked to hang with older people. And we would have conversations in which he didn’t know much about the subject at hand. Once at home, he would check out books from the library and hit the interweb tubes, and the next time the issue came up, he could talk about the subject, complete with compelling questions.
The youngest decided he wanted to try high school. He enrolled himself (heh) and took two years. Decided it was borning and enrolled in college in a program designed to let high schoolers enroll for dual high school and college credit if they had a high GPA.
His sole reason for going to college? He wants a medical degree and plans to become a trauma surgeon. And have the military pay for it.
Was that a thing, I wondered? I vaguely remembered a program like that in my youth. It was very competitive.
No problem, Son2 said. He already talked to people who did the medical track for several service branches and spoke to recruiters. They said as long he got accepted into medical school, the military would pay for it.
Well, OK, then, Dr. Son2.
Son1 is vastly different in his plans. He says college is a waste of his time and money. Right now, he is studying writing and economics. He doesn’t want to sit in a classroom. He’s thinking about spending his “college” money on high-end vocational training.
The wife and I did well. We get the A+ for the Parental Education Score.
When we decided to homeschool, we lost several friends and close relatives who could not handle the idea and got upset when my wife told them they were wrong.
I’ve concluded much of this disassociation was guilt. Everyone knows eduction in the United States of American has severely degraded.
Facing the truth of the matter was one of my wife’s most significant accomplishments both as a mother and a wife.
She’s my hero.
And homeschool your kids.
Next up: The Socialization Canard.