Thursday, March 24, 2011

Skool Me

Recently, the topic of homeschooling got brought up. I do have to say, it's not my schtick.
Now, I will preface this entry with saying that while it's not my thing, I can appreciate the reasoning behind it for some people and understand that there are certain circumstances where it may best suit the needs of the child. However, I'm definitely against it for my own children. No matter how hard a homeschooler tries to convince me otherwise, children miss out on a part of the real world by being couped up in their own home for "school."
I also could rant and rave about how there are parents who are homeschooling who definitely are not qualified. Heck, I consider myself an intelligent and articulate woman, but I wouldn't even dare attempt to teach my children high school math or science! That's why there are TEACHERS. I'd say my disdain for unqualified homeschool parents comes from the ex's cousins who were homeschooled for a few years. The parents tried to convince the kids it was the best option, but the reality was that they just wanted the older children home during the day to help entertain the younger ones. What a selfish, ill-advised move.
All that being said, there are problems with public schools too. I'm not naive to that, even though I don't even have children to even be fully aware of our local schools. I was fortunate enough to grow up in, what I consider to be, one of the best school districts in the state. I always felt completely prepared to advance to the next grade, and when I was a senior, I had teachers that better prepared me for the real world than college professors. I think my high school had something like a 95% rate as to the number of students who would go on to graduate college. Or something ridiculously high like that. And I'm proud of that. Granted, I've been out of that school district for 11 years now, but I like to think not much has changed in that regard.
Recently, my boss left work early to go to a meeting at his son's school with the counselor, so they could pick his freshman curriculum. SERIOUSLY? My parents weren't called into the school to pick my classes. There were mandatory classes for freshman, with maybe 2 electives, and I was able to check that box on my own accord. (This is quickly steering toward a blog about my disdain for parents these days and how they hold their children's hands through life and think they're entitled to everything. Gah!) You don't need to be in basket weaving or film critique class or whatever nonsense they have these days. Want to know what I took freshman year? I took classes like advanced English, conceptual physics, geometry, Spanish, and the required health & PE class. That was that. There were real & legitimate requirements to graduate. I'm starting to think a lot of schools have forgotten about that. Electives? We barely knew what those were! And when we did get to pick, our options were things like psychology or creative writing or computer programming. Classes that weren't a total joke. (Unless you count multimedia publishing. In that case, it was a total joke. But gosh we made some good memories!)
I like to think that I'll be able to raise my unconceived children in a good public school system. And I won't let my kids slack off and take slackass classes all the time. School isn't meant to be easy and fun all the time. It's in place for a reason. And that reason isn't just to babysit while the parents go off to work. A lot of it has to do with the parenting too. I will be involved in teaching my child at home as well. (Just not full time, since I don't know everything!) We intend to travel the world with our children to expose them to different cultures and experiences, just like Puff and I were fortunate enough to be able to do.
Here's hoping the school system where we live holds up to my expectations. If not, I'd have to say that even though I hate snow more than anything, I'd be very tempted to pack up and move back home so they can get the quality education I received. Fingers crossed SC schools aren't all as bad as I suspect.

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