It's a new feature I just made up. I'm going to start with some not-so-crazy comments because some of the *crazy* comments I've seen this week make my head spin too fast. I'll start out with something small until the vertigo ceases. Here goes:
"In my 10 years of teaching, I have worked with 6 students that were formerly homeschooled and then enrolled in public schools for various reasons. All of them were significantly behind academically. Though they were all wonderfully behaved and morally sound, their academic deficiencies were so profound that it grieved my heart. I know their parents believed they had their child's best interests at heart when they choose to homeschool, and I know that the time they had at home with them was very precious. But in all 6 circumstances, these average ability students will continue to struggle to compete in the 'real world' because of such significant foundational gaps."
"I stand behind a parent's right to choose to homeschool, and have no doubt that many successful students come out of these settings. However, I beg parents to weigh this choice carefully and pause to truly count the costs. Only take on homeschooling if you and your children truly have the self-discipline to be able to follow through with it each and every day."
That was an excerpt from a much longer quote by "Julia Davis" on an amazon.com discussion link on homeschooling (not sure how to link to it). I'd like to hear what you think about her idea after you listen to me drone on for a minute with my opinion:
1. I don't doubt the comment. It doesn't seem to be written with any sort of anger or outright stupidity. But the comment is based on six homeschoolers. And what does this teacher do for a living? Not a cut, but if she teaches special ed, it stands to reason that all six homeschoolers she encounters would be a bit "behind," right??
2. It can be a sign of success to enroll your child in public school when you know that things are becoming out of hand for you as a teacher. I could probably buy a boxed curriculum calculus set for Emperor later on, but likely I will seek out an actual person (public school or private tutor) to teach my son these things when we get that far along. Certainly it stands to reason that some of these parents recognized that they were beginning to put off assignments or were otherwise unable to teach well just then. Or perhaps some of these children of "average ability" were actually learning disabled in some way. Some brilliant people are, you know.
3. Do I have to say it? There are some woeful examples of public education dropout factories and the like. Even in our suburban district, one of my older sons tests "average" intelligence-wise and is functionally illiterate. Yet I never, NEVER see people be "supportive" of public education and simultaneously give the caveat that one ought to seriously, seriously think before they "take on" public schooling for their children. If you're going to send your child to school -especially at the elementary level- you must be prepared for all kinds of extra work, extra meetings, incidental expenses and a supply list that would enable a school in a Third World country to operate for about a decade.
4. No argument, based on six homeschoolers, my cousin's best friend up the street, or statistics put forth by some dude in the comment section should mean anything to you when you're thinking of what's best for your own child. It might be a terrible choice for you, but I'd hate for people to get dissuaded just because my second cousin's ex-wife is doing a bad job with it. :)