Monday, August 13, 2012

H is for Homeschooling

I usually start off my alphabet posts with a definition or background explanation.
I think you all know what homeschooling. Schooling. At home.
Having never been homeschooled myself, I did a little research. I discovered a list of reasons for homeschooling from the National Education Statistic Center (can you imagine what it must be like to work there? Just as you thought you'd escaped school and headed for the real world).
Can give a child better education at home
Religious reasons
Poor learning environment at school
Family reasons
To develop character/morality
Object to what school teaches
School doesn't challenge child
Other problems with available schools
Child has special needs/learning disability
Child not old enough to enter school
What? If they're not old enough to go to school, they shouldn't be-oh, wait. I think I have a personal experience with that. People say the American public education system has twelve years of schooling. In reality, most people get fourteen, though kindergarten and preschool aren't legally required.
My friends think I'm weird because I never went to preschool. Neither did my three younger brothers. Our mother loved us, so she didn't get rid of us before she had to. She had these workbooks she used to teach  the basic things-numbers, shapes, the alphabet. That's what I did on Wednesdays. The rest of my young life was spent doing things I actually enjoyed-dancing, drawing, playing dolls, playing with my friends, playing computer games, and watching TV.
Only recently did I come to realize that most of the TV and all the computer games were educational. Sneaky public broadcasting programs. I never used the internet until I was eight and hardly watched Disney Channel until I was ten. I'll probably have to enter a real preschool someday to check, but I'm pretty sure I learned move from TV than I would have otherwise. Did you know who Elizabeth Freeman was when you were five? I think not.
So I guess I was homeschooled after all.
Homeschooling is illegal in several countries, including Brazil, Turkey, Sweden, Greece, and Germany. The only country I really know anything about is America because I happen to live here. While our educational system isn't exactly perfect, I put up with it for the price of social interaction. Not that I can't respect home based learning. That is how education started, after all. Schools are a relatively modern thing.
And if you can learn better at home, does public education become obsolete?

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