“Parents, who love and understand their children better than anyone else in the world, are well-qualified to educate their children at home and should seriously consider taking on the challenge,” concludes Bolyard.
Well, actually, that's a very simplistic statement lacking in any knowledge of the realities of education, akin to saying that owning a box of tools is enough to fix the brakes on your car or that attending high school school in the 1970s is sufficient to call yourself an education expert.
Homeschooling is much more than just love and understanding. Anyone who goes into it feeling they "can't possibly mess up Kindergarten" and "screw it, that wasn't so bad, we'll just keep on going" is a fool.
Despite their stupidity, I would never argue that they be forced to give it up. They have just as much right to screw up their children's lives as anyone. Religion is the usual reason for homeschooling and seems to be a major reason here. Religious parents often wish to raise their children with more spiritual classes and teachings, which is fine. Some wish to avoid contact with children who don't share their beliefs, which is silly, but it's still the parents' choice.
But then I have a picture in my mind of my precious boys snuggled up with me on the couch as I’m reading Johnny Tremain to them. . . . The American Revolution is jumping off the pages and coming to life for them as Johnny helps Paul Revere warn that the British are coming! We have already read a couple chapters from the Bible that day, a chapter from a missionary biography, and have worked on memorizing Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If.”I just hope that everyone understands that Johnny Tremain is fiction, not history, and that she can find someone to tutor math and science.
UPDATE (after PeggyU's comment):
"I struggled with discipline and consistency in my personal life; and of course, that spilled into our homeschooling world."This is the first sign that this education is going to be less than ideal. Homeschooling isn't just a matter of eliminating the schedule and bustle of public school; it needs it's own structure. The children will take their cues from the parent, as they always do, but there won't be a counterweight.
"I struggled with frequent migraine headaches, so we planned a 4-day school schedule in order to allow an extra day for my health issues."The number of days isn't the issue here, but the reasons are. This woman isn't prepared for this task and, subconsciously at least, seems to know it.
"We worked through learning disabilities and speech therapy and the year we all now laugh about and refer to as 'Algebra with Anger.'"As a high school math teacher, I cringed at this line. The biggest problem I have is the residue of math fear left by previous teachers. It takes weeks, sometimes months, for me to break through that and get the reluctant to try, to realize that they DO know some math and that they CAN learn it.
"It wasn’t pretty and we’re not proud of it, but I remind myself that lots of kids in public schools went through much worse things in 9th grade than a grumpy dad with a whiteboard who worked an 8-hour day and, after an hour commute, tried to teach algebra to an uncooperative student. (I don’t recommend it.)"Yeah, and some kids had lost their fathers in Afghanistan while some are orphans, and others got beat up on the school bus. This is rationalization, self-delusion and denial, and total bs. Instead of admitting they had reached a limit, they forged on regardless.
... we had both completed first grade in school, so we surely possessed at least a rudimentary grasp of the course work, right?There are too many misguided educational tropes here leading to one more kid, screwed over by his parents.
... we used the curriculum because we didn’t know any better ...
... other parts of the curriculum were too structured for our more laid-back family style ...
... you can find a curriculum that fits your individual family and your kids’ learning styles ...
Homeschooling can be a wonderful, rewarding experience for a family and, I believe, the best educational choice for many — if not most — families.Except if you want the kids to get a decent education. Unqualified and unknowledgeable parents do not make good teachers. A rare few percent of homeschool kids can succeed on their own, but they're the exceptions to the rule.
Parents, who love and understand their children better than anyone else in the world, are well-qualified to educate their children at home and should seriously consider taking on the challenge.
Oh, well. As I've often said, the public school system is provided by the community for any of its residents who choose to make use of it. It's too bad this family chose the way they did but I guess they're satisfied.