23 May 2008

Saving the Children

from Smarting Us Up: The Undumbing of America by Luz Shosie and Ned Vare

It is sometimes said, by public school supporters, that if some children are taken out of the system to go to other schools or to homeschooling, the public schools will deteriorate. And so, the thinking goes, parents have a 'duty to society' to keep their kids in the public schools, even though those schools have already deteriorated almost beyond recognition. How absurd that the government schools think of the children as serving the schools' or society's needs instead of the other way around.

It's not the school system that needs saving, or even reforming. It's the children who need to escape from the failing government schools. Let them be allowed to homeschool or attend successful private schools, without forcing their parents to pay twice -- once with taxes and again for tuition.

The real question is, do we want the best education we can get for our children, or do we merely want to maintain the government school monopoly, no matter how bad it gets or how much it costs? Contrary to the argument that's sometimes heard, saving some children from bad schools does not doom the rest of them; it simply saves some. And that is obviously better, by whatever means is available, than saving none." (p. 85)


Have you heard the argument in Christian circles that our kids are supposed to be little mini-missionaries? I don't buy it, although there could very well be the occasional child who is equipped and anointed by God for such a work. I think that we should pray before we take our children out of school, and I'm not implying that this is a decision to be made lightly.

But I hope that some of the more obvious silly reasons to send your child to public school can be talked about here on my little blog. There can be good reasons, I suppose, and I can't judge your individual situation or decisions. Well... I could I suppose, but I'm not going to do so. Enough on my plate and I'm fat enough without raiding your pantry as well.

I hear from anti-homeschooling blogs that on the one hand, we're really raising up a generation of spelling-bee champions who attend Harvard at the age of three... but on the other hand, we also lock our children in the closet and teach them nothing. I'm still mad enough that I'd like to shake everyone who even thinks about saying such things and tell them that the real closet-lockers are the PUBLIC SCHOOLS here in Missouri. However, I will say that those horrible experiences have forced us to launch into the most creative and rewarding times I have ever spent with my children, Elf and Emperor. I've missed much with Patrick and G in this area. Then again, we did many things together (because I had "only" two children) that I can't really do regularly with Elf and Emperor.

I'm going to blog occasionally about this book because I think it's a good one and worth the read. Ned Vare also has a blog at http://www.school-is-hell.blogspot.com/. His book is available by mail - details on his website.

1 comment:

  1. I would just like to say I hope you do talk about it more. I am being won over to homeschool... the intelligent people, like yourself, Mrs. C, who talk about it, and why they do it, has helped a light go one for me.

    Question; I don't know if you talked about this somewhere but where you not a homeschool supporter at the time you sent your oldest two to school? Also, what are your reasons for keeping them in public school? (I'm not asking this to make you feel like you're doing something bad, I just really want to know : )


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)