A Public School Teacher’s thoughts on Homeschooling

Some close family members have diecided to homeschool their eldest child who would be starting first grade in the fall. My sister is very upset about this. She feels it’s arrogant. I’m kind of in the middle.

I keep hearing from many family members that this child “isn’t right for public school”. To me, he doesn’t seem THAT different from typical kis his age. He’s been Waldorf educated up until now. The Waldorf-y private school they would send him to would be expensive and his mom would have to work almost full-time. She doesn’t want to work outside of the home at all. She wants to be home and have another baby.

My sister feelst that his mom’s desire not to work outside of the home must have offended me. I guess this is because right now, I have to work full-time financially. It didn’t really, I replied, if I had the choice, I wouldn’t work full-time either.

I’m more bothered about their sweeping generalizations about public shcool. They live in a pretty good school district but they seem to feel that the public schools can’t “handle” their child and that it’s all testing and phonics. That burns me a little and I think that is a little arrogant. Teachers are able to handle all kinds of learners, they have to. It’s a necessary part of their job.

On the other hand, I get it. I think the concept of homeschooling, especially unschooling, is really cool if done well. And I’m sure they will do it well. There are all different ways to learn, this is just one more. I think both ways of education, public and homeschooling, have benefits and drawbacks. School teaches you about doing things as a means to an end and working within a system which sometimes you need to be able to do. But I also think it’s really cool how with the internet, people are designing their own careers, their own lives, instead of working 9 to 5 and I’m jealous of that.

I don’t think one way of education needs to be slammed to make way for another one. We can all be respectful of one another’s choices.