We started school in my house on Thursday, and, as usual, the freedom homeschooling offers still takes me by surprise. I’ve been at it for 3 years now (well, 7 if you count all the pre-pre-school that happens before school age.) We have a new grammar curriculum, Shurley English, which I think I’m going to love but when I started teaching the first lesson I realized my daughter already knows this information and I don’t want to waste her time re-teaching it. So I set her up with writing exercises while I perused the book and found the first 5 chapters are a waste for her. So guess what? We’re skipping them! If she were in class with 25 other kids, some of whom don’t know the same information she does, she would have to sit through 5 whole chapters which would take up several weeks of re-learning redundant information. What a waste of her time and talents! Instead, we can just skip ahead and get to the new stuff right now.
Many kids hate school and just get through it as quickly and as mediocrely as they can. Perhaps it’s because their specific likes and dislikes or personal learning styles aren’t taken into account. How can they in a system that has to cater to such a large group of children? Recently, a controversial article was written entitled, “If You Send Your Kids to Private School, You are a Bad Person” by Allison Benedikt that laments parents who want, and can pay for the best education their kids can get. Benedikt supposes all children should be in the public system even at their own detriment:
“Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.”
This is the ultimate child sacrifice, next to abortion, that calls for the educational execution of your children for some unidentifiable future children you should care more about than your own “spawn”, as Benedikt calls them. This is a classic argument from progressives, that those of us who choose not to use the public schools are the reason they are failing. How anyone can come to this conclusion when the state still gets the money allocated for my child even though I bear the entirety of her educational expenses is beyond me. I am actually paying double. I pay for a student (or maybe more, who knows?) in public school with my property taxes and I pay for a privately-educated child from my personal expenses. How the public school’s failure to produce readers is my fault is a head-scratcher.
Benedikt thinks all that is needed is parents like me to enroll my children and then engage in the fight to make the public school better. Yeah, okay. I would be every principal’s worst nightmare. Believe me, I am doing the public school a favor by not insisting that they not show movies during class time, that they not read books about sexuality to minors and that science not include dubious global warming “scientific” tall tales. Trust me, the public school has no use for me or my children and I feel the same. Luckily, we still live in a moderately free society where a person like Benedikt (who also admits to being ignorant thanks to her public school education) has no authority over my personal choices about educating my daughters. For people who presume to be so non-judgmental over other lifestyle choices like homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion-as-birth-control and other favorite progressive sacraments, they’re awfully judgy about private-schoolers and people who want their children to have better than the “lame education” that Benedikt suffered.