Sunday, December 14, 2014

There are so many reasons to home school

From time to time I get drawn into a looong discussion of education with someone or other who just cannot fathom why I'm so against sending your kids to public school. One such was here. Another was here.

What will usually happen is that these discussions will start with some one thing--indoctrination into the insane transsexual agenda, sex education, an anti-Christian agenda, or some other issue. Interlocutors pretty much uniformly just do not understand how the education of the young works. Whether it is a Christian urging that we must send our kids into the schools to be "salt and light" or a non-Christian who thinks that there are a whole bunch of subjects in the normal school day into which worldview issues do not enter at all, there is a complete failure to comprehend the holism of education, especially education that takes place over a series of days, weeks, and months. Sure, there are a few subjects the content of which could in theory be taught in isolation from many other things, but so what? That's not what sending your kids to school is about.

But more: These people also don't understand that the reasons against sending your children to public school (and, I fear, increasingly not to many Christian schools) are so many and varied that whatever kicked off the discussion doesn't begin to represent the total strength of the case.

Often, even in those areas where a school might actually be able (if they wanted to) to leave out the worldview issues (math, say), the schools are messed up in some fundamental way related to teaching the subject. New fads come down the pike every other year, it seems, and now kids don't know their times tables, can't read, and are being taught basic operations like multiplication in such bizarre and counterintuitive ways that they come out mathematically illiterate.

Here is a link that gives us another of the umpteen gajillion reasons to home school: The insanity of the assessment culture, starting in early childhood. If interested, just read this carefully written, intelligently argued letter from two teachers (who are putting their names and presumably their jobs on the line) who are crying, "Enough!" It'll make you vow never to send your child to any school, public or private, that has jumped on the assessment bandwagon. I say "public or private" because it seems to me all too likely that even many of the bigger, more mainstream Christian schools have done so for reasons of keeping up with the Joneses educationally. After all, there's nothing inherently un-Christian about testing and assessing small children for hours on end until they go insane, is there? It's not a worldview issue, right?

That's right, it's not. It's just educational malpractice.

These teachers may, for all I know, be enthusiastic liberals. Maybe they are happy to be indoctrinating children into various left-wing ideas. Maybe they even believe in other wrong-headed educational methods, like look-say reading instruction. But they recognize this particular bit of blatant educational malpractice when they see it. Nor are they the only ones. (This one is about kindergarteners being tested to death.)

When you are considering how to educate your children, don't just look at one thing. There are so many things, and they all point in the same direction.

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