Home Unschooled.

LouisRepucci
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Home Unschooled.

Sheltering children from the diversity of ideas and ways of life is NOT an education -- the liberal arts aren't the main value of public education, indeed, those who wish to remain illiterate and uneducated will do so no matter what their background...and more power to them; the world needs ditch-diggers.
The main value of public education is socialization. I was reading books by 4 years old, and could give a decent lecture on Jurassic era flora and fauna by the time I was 8. Do you think that I could do this because of the bottom-of-the-barrel education I received in the LA unified school district? Of course not -- I was ON FIRE for knowledge, and spent HOURS in the libraries. When other kids were watching cartoons, I watched the Discovery Channel. While other kids played tag, I played chess. I am an autodidact, and subsequently was very bored with my compulsory education. Everything moved too slowly. Everyone needed 3 or 4 times longer than I for basic material, and none of them really cared how Carthage was destroyed, or what a fulcrum is, or how to properly format an essay.

I cared. Knowledge is what makes my life worth living -- and I will go on learning until the day I die, likely with a book in my hand.

All of my knowledge, however, did very little to teach me how to get along with people that were different than me. My history books didn't tell me how to get a date, or how to win friends, or how to present myself to new people. The books said nothing about dealing with acne, or disappointment, or peer pressure, or how to get people to laugh at my obscure references to Agamemnon or Marie Antoinette.

Public school did that, hand in hand with the after school program at the YMCA. If I were never REQUIRED to mingle with other kids, I would be an intolerable, introverted social retard. Through the trial and error that is adolescence, I learned that I needed other people to enjoy and be successful at life. I needed friends, lovers, enemies, teachers, students, and background characters. I learned that to be friends with someone does NOT mean that we must share the same beliefs, or skin color, or even likes and dislikes -- all we needed was a little mutual respect and an ability to ENJOY our differences. I owe quite a bit to an education system that taught me very little -- I left high school a year early for college -- and while I got myself into more than my share of trouble, I was ready for the world of adulthood when I left. I had experience with all kinds of people. I knew how to tap a keg, mix a cocktail, and roll a joint. I knew when someone really wanted to fight, and when he or she was all talk and no walk. I knew drinking and driving would kill you and others. I knew that sex and love were two different things. I knew that either one requires protection.

...and because my mind was on fire for knowledge, I learned to love learning. I didn't (and don't) care what the source of the information was, because I had developed strong muscles of reason and intellect to differentiate between facts and ideas. I read contravening evidence and opinions all the time -- right now I am reading the book of Mormon, not because I am a Mormon, or I believe a word of it, but because I know that there are MANY people that believe it to be a testament of Jesus in the new world, and I deal with different PEOPLE all the time.

Home schooling seems to have very limited motive -- either:

1) a child has special educational needs that cannot be met by the district or private school -- usually remarkable intellect, or an impairment (autism, severe learning disability, et cetera) that the parents have uniquely specialized training to meet (a doctor, professor, et cetera)

or

2) the parents wish to shelter their children from popular or diverse ideas and ways of thinking that conflict with their own.

In the case of the first circumstance, my best is with the parents and child. If it is kept in mind that the child's socialization is attended to (sports, music, drama, et cetera) then they are likely getting the best possible education based upon their special conditions. As for the latter, I offer my graves cautions to the parents of this child. A VERY narrow category of options would cause a parent to preclude his/her child from participating in society, and, unfortunately, these conditions commonly fall into the category of fundamentalist religious belief, or social ideologies that are considered objectionable by the majority of society. Racism, creationism, anti-homosexuality, and radical faith are all within this dangerous category. Fortunately for the children, this strategy of building walls around the mind of a child tends to backfire -- children grow up, and start thinking for themselves (one of the few beneficial effects of the rebellious, hormone-driven teenage years). The TRUELY educated person is the natural state of the human mind -- it is how we are put together, and has nothing to do with the ability to score well on tests or to make good grades. True intelligence is the awakened mechanism of reason that rests in all healthy minds. This nature must be truly abused and beaten into intellectual coma for this exclusive brand of education, agenda-driven home schooling, to work.

Hooray for the human mind -- it is a beautiful thing.

Logos Invictus Lux Lumina,

--Louis Repucci


ellechero
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Thanks for posting this. I

Thanks for posting this. I totally agree with the idea that public school is about socialization more than acedemia. I get the idea that home schooling is really about insulating children from ideas that might lead them to form their own opinions. I think the tragedy is that it keeps children from learning the skills to deal with friends and adversaries.

Sometimes the best way to find out who you are is to be exposed to who you aren't.


LouisRepucci
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A fire in the dark.

We are forged in the genetic furnace of our forefathers, and tempered in the fires of society. Pain and sacrifice are the price we pay for growth and character -- without the purgation of experience and exposure, we remain impure.

--Louis Repucci


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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I really enjoyed this. I

I really enjoyed this. I have been very torn about this unschool/homeschool idea. I even tried it for a year (1st grade) with my first son. The socialization wasn't a big issue because I had him signed up in an alternative school (which was nothing like public school). It was more like college, where you sign up for certain classes. One was wood working. At 6-7 years old he made a bird house and a tool box. There was about 7 kids in the class. Another class was called creepy crawlies and they showed the kids what a snake does to a live baby mouse. (eep!) They also went on many nature hikes and brought paper and colored pencils and drew whatever it was they were studying that day. There was lots of other classes too. Like gardening, math, art, music, etc. Anyway, he only went about three times a week for 3-4 hours.

He's been back in public school now for 2 years and we are trying to see how it goes. I appreciated your input. Smiling