DIY Education

posted in: Current Events | 0

This is a good story from Newsweek about the trend toward home education in urban areas:

Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education

The article does a great job of explaining the secular movement toward home school:

This is something I heard often from urban homeschoolers: the desire to craft an education just right for each child. They worry that formal schooling might dim their children’s love of learning (yet there is a flip side: a reduced likelihood of being inspired along the way by the occasional magical teacher, full of passion and skill). They want their children to explore the subjects that interest them, as deeply as they care to go. For Daisy and Ginger, that has meant detours into herbalism, cat shows, musical theater, and deer.

But the thing that strikes me as I read it again is how worried we are about other people’s kids. 

Still, you can’t help but wonder whether there’s a cost to all this family togetherness. There are the moms, of course, who for two decades have their lives completely absorbed by their children’s. But the mothers I got to know seem quite content with that, and clearly seem to be having fun getting together with each other during their kids’ activities.

And the kids? There’s concern that having parents at one’s side throughout childhood can do more harm than good. Psychologist Wendy Mogel, the author of the bestselling book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, admires the way homeschoolers manage to “give their children a childhood” in an ultracompetitive world. Yet she wonders how kids who spend so much time within a deliberately crafted community will learn to work with people from backgrounds nothing like theirs. She worries, too, about eventual teenage rebellion in families that are so enmeshed.

These children are not being neglected or abused because they are being home schooled. They are not in a cult. And we’re worried about eventual teenage rebellion? But if they went to public school somehow we’d be able to avoid that? We’re worried because the parents care too much and are too involved?

I’m not saying home schooled families don’t face challenges, but I’ve not seen significant rebellion in any of the home school families I know because the kids are plugged in to the family throughout their teenage years and maintain communication. They spend large amounts of time at home, so they can’t hide from their parents and completely disconnect. Raising a child is not for the faint of heart in any situation, but if you’re going to worry, save it for the kids who really are falling between the cracks.

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