Here I am, at the place so many moms come to if they have learned to question social norms...I'm questioning the ways we, as Americans, educate our children.
I was a public school kid and I think I liked it most of the time. During the early years I had mostly teachers that were inspired enough and I was a great student so did it even matter much? I had a fairly decent adolescence. I enjoyed high school although I was very eager to get to college and around more people like me. I'm not sure why I feel the need to question public school with such fond memories but yet here I am.
My husband and I recently visited a local public elementary school. Nobody seemed unhappy. But something didn't feel right, at least to me. I am now questioning "what is school for?"
Some thoughts come to mind, especially those I was raised with:
1. "School is for socialization"
2. "School is to teach kids how to 'be' "
3. "School is the three R's"
But what if your home life provides all of this? No doubt not all households do, and I am not saying I even agree with 1-3. But, here's another take, what IF everything "schooling" means to you you find you can do on your own time? Or if schooling is = "homeing" or at least kind of close to it. Just what if.
Then start thinking, well, "schooling" maybe should be
4. "exposure to various perspectives"
5. "something I [the parent] am not good at"
And what else? You tell me what schooling means to you. Because when I sit with my 5 year old and tell him about coins, I don't feel I am "schooling" him. But when I see kids at school learning about money, that is definitely "school" or a "lesson."
I am finding my own way, and I challenge all parents to find their ways as well. This may mean public, independent or home schooling. It may mean a co-op or a free school or unschooling. It may mean going solo, pairing up with other families or doing what your community does as a whole. As usual, continue to question what the experts say your child needs and look at your situation. Trust your instincts...I am trying my best to trust my own.