Thursday, January 19, 2006

the limited homeschool

Some people homeschool as a limiting agent. I read a comment to a blog earlier today in which a mother proudly stated the things to which her children have no exposure. Admittedly, many of this type of homeschooler is choosing to home educate due to religious belief. And in a sense, I can completely understand this motivation. I often see our family's motivation in a similar but different sense.
There are aspects of a public school education that I do want to limit our exposure to. I say "our" because the children aren't the only losers in the public schools. I can rant about the family dynamic being ruined by gschools some other time.
I want to limit my kids' sexualization to a naturally ocurring part of human life. I don't want the disaster-waiting-to-happen that I see as natural in the setting of public schools whereby children are exposed to sex in a most unhealthy and bizarre situation.
I want to limit my kids association with drugs. My own stance on drugs is actually very liberal. I can rant about the war on drugs on a whim, but I don't want to drop my kids into one of our nation's largest arenas for drug sales.
I want to limit the exposure to my family of the entire school system. When I pass schools, I have pictures of buzzing lights, stress and tiredness, and the fact that everything outside the window is so much better than sitting at this damn desk. I see boring or mean or stupid teachers outnumbering the good ones, the nice and intelligent teachers, the ones you hear about but don't always meet.
I want to limit my kids exposure to the attitudes bred in the public schools. I want to give them broad open avenues full of choices and experiences. I want to offer them all music, not limited to what their "friends" at school tell them is cool. I want them to see art and spend time with it, gazing at it as much as they want. I want to give them warm sunlit corners and long books. I want to give them Fats Waller and Hank Williams in the same day The Clash and Mozart.
Homeschooling shouldn't be about limits. Schools are places of limits and raising hands and walking in line. We limit our actions based on mutual respect both as parents, kids and homeschoolers. Beyond those limits, we have a whole borderless world. We can stay at home and play video games or we can go do something. And in the end, my limits aren't really very limiting. If anything they allow for even greater variety in our options which is the point.

1 comment:

Ron R said...

We had the same limits in mind when we started :)