Trust The Children

Friday, October 27, 2006

Reply: Can Home Schooling Save Our Educational Crisis


I found this title on a blog I read. Their conclusion was that home schooling can't save our educational crisis and I had to disagree. Here's why:

Our entire american way of life is based on a free enterprise model where we vote with our feet and our dollars. Since education is a monopoly, meaning limited or no choice, it is one of the institutions that does not "benefit" from market forces and hence is stagnant. No different than the Soviet Union of my youth. Really, few disagree with that premiss. Home schooling in most states today is the ONLY free market force available where people can vote with their feet, thus telling the establishment that you don't buy in and therefore your tax dollars assigned for your child will NOT go to them. That is called voting with your dollars AND your feet.

Remember, the difference between chess and checkers. In one game you need to take all the other guys pieces, in the other, only a few strategic moves and you have checkmate. To me, home schooling and making this option easy enough for more to do it, is the ONLY way we currently have to change our system. It is, for me, THE strategic move. And even if the system never changes, more kids benefit from the best educational option, the safest option, and the most moral option out there.

In business, a good CEO appreciates good competition. It keeps him and everyone on his team sharp and engaged and spawns innovation. Government school leaders should welcome the home schooling option. The growth and success of home schooling truly is one of their best tools to motivate change and improvement. Yet it doesn't appear that they are wise enough to see this!

When we homeschool, we do good for our children and we do more good sending a message. Successful home schoolers who have figured it out, can share their ideas, and help others in an open and accepting environment. In this way, as a group, we as home schoolers can make a difference in the broader context of education for ALL children by becoming a more and more popular alternative voice in the educational dialog. If government educators were smart, they would pray for our success!

I know in our 27 years of home schooling, there were those who made a nice difference in our lives, helping us believe we could do this. In turn, we have made a nice difference in other families ourselves, helping them see the simple way we approach this. They in turn have discovered for themselves that they could succeed as well. This process is a comforting thought. It feels good actually. Others did good for us and we have done good for a few others ourselves. In the end, the kids have benefitted. I really get a peaceful and warm feeling about that. So can you!

2 Comments:

  • Hiya Mark. I'm the one who you linked to :) Thanks for the link BTW.

    I think that homeschoolers can effect public school in the same way that small businesses can effect big business - not much. However, just like small businesses can make a difference for individuals, so can homeschooling.

    The internet and other forms of technology are going to influence schools much more than homeschooling ever will. Also, homeschooling is based on independent thought, and school is not. The fact that public school is an education for the masses, not the indivudual, will keep it from changing significantly.

    But perhaps you are right, one day, there will be enough children out there who grew up without school to bring new ideas into the school system. But I would argue, that even among homeschoolers, there are still many children that are being brought up in school-think, just in the home. So, really, I dunno. Only time will tell.

    But I do know for sure, that homeschooling can save *one family's* educational crisis. And that, to me, is the important thing. That it's there, and available, for that one family who needs it.

    By Anonymous Tammy Takahashi, at 4:22 PM, October 27, 2006  

  • Tammy,

    Still thinking through your comments, however, here are a few.

    Apple, with 5% market share, leads Microsoft 90% marketshare, by the nose.

    This is only one example where a relatively small company has better ideas that the big guy shamelessly copies.

    Also, I don't know about your school district, but we have lived in two and over the years, they have adjusted many times to try and offer something that brings homeschoolers "back." From contract learning, to one day a week attendance, to offering hands on "skill center" approaches for home schooling children as well as regular attenders.

    Thinking teachers we know, recognize that the kind of one on one influence we have at home, is something they need to emulate more and more. Sure some teachers are defensive. But many see the advantages. We know several teachers who now home school their children.

    My point is, change may not be an overnight legislated change. But market forces have already had their impact.

    My point is that you don't have to take all the students home to change the system. Identifying the roadblocks to home schooling that we can do something about, and making home schooling options more believable and approachable, I believe we continue to put pressure on the system in the only way that makes a difference. By voting with our feet and our money.

    By Blogger Mark and Cyndy Weiss, at 10:13 AM, October 31, 2006  

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