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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sticks and Stones

A recent NEA article ridicules homeschooling and calls us wannabees and well meaning amateurs.

Here is an excerpt:

Home Schools Run By Well-Meaning Amateurs
Schools With Good Teachers Are Best-Suited to Shape Young Minds
By Dave Arnold

There's nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task. Certain jobs are best left to the pros, such as, formal education.

There are few homeowners who can tackle every aspect of home repair. A few of us might know carpentry, plumbing and, let’s say, cementing. Others may know about electrical work, tiling and roofing. But hardly anyone can do it all.

Same goes for cars. Not many people have the skills and knowledge to perform all repairs on the family car. Even if they do, they probably don’t own the proper tools. Heck, some people have their hands full just knowing how to drive.

you can read the rest here is you feel so inclined.

All I really want to say in response to this ridiculous diatribe is sticks and stone may break my bones... but words.. they'll never hurt me.

Seriously, any homeschooler worth their weight in salt knows when they are capable of teaching a subject themselves and when to look for outside resources.

If you want a cute analogy like the writer supplied... we all know when to brush our teeth, and when to take go to the dentist for a root canal. We're not idiots. Few homeschooling families attempts all subjects at home.

You know and I know that teaching really isn't as hard as it looks. Now teaching 30 kids... I would equate to walking through hell in gasoline underwear, but teaching 1,2, or 10 kids that you know intimately, well, that's much easier.

Oh, and socialization... fuggedaboutit! It's a crock.

What people like Mr. Arnold needs to realize is that comparing teachers to homeschooling moms, or school to homeschooling is like comparing apples to carrots.

Both are nutritional. One just makes it allot easier to get a child to swallow.


Marcy Muser said...

I've seen this article before. I wouldn't worry too much about it - did you see the guy's credentials? He's the head custodian at an elementary school! I don't find his arguments or his credentials convincing.

Mr. Arnold's arguments assume that homeschooling parents think they have all the knowledge they need to teach their children everything they need to know. Maybe some homeschoolers do; most of us know better, and do the research to find the best way to teach our children the most we possibly can. Unlike teachers, we aren't limited to using textbooks to teach; we can use textbooks, real books, videos, the library, real-life field trips, apprenticeships, tutors, college classes, and much more. And we aren't limited by the practical aspects of trying to provide crowd control to 30 kids; it's not hard to load our 2 or 3 (or a few more) into our car (or van) and go actually experience something rather than just hear about it, or to heat up the oven and really participate in baking cookies or doing a chemistry experiment rather than reading about it and maybe getting a chance to add a teaspoon of something (if you're lucky).

As for socialization, our kids actually get to interact with real people in real-life situations, rather than 30 randomly selected peers of exactly the same age and most likely fairly similar social status. Sorry, but Mr. Arnold can't convince me a classroom is better than real life for teaching socialization skills.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Ahermitt said...

OMG... I didn't look for credentials. So by his own example, if our kids hope to be head custodians, then they definitely need to go to public school... no thanks.