Bill, The entire theory behind using schools to socialize children is based on the nonsensical premise that children become socialized by being isolated with large numbers of other children, with a few token adults present. Presumably, the purpose of socialization is to help children one day interact in the larger world. Yet, modern schools are set up in such a way as to be as unlike the larger world as possible. At your job, do you spend your days with dozens of other people who are exactly the same age and who all do the same thing all day? Of course not. Then why teach a child how to function in such an unrealistic environment?
The unfortunate byproduct of all of this is the fact that studies have shown that for many children, their peer groups are more influential to them, and more important for them, than their families. This is a strictly recent and modern development, and is the result of so many parents simply abandoning their prerogatives as parents to the schools.
Ordinary schooling is also a gargantuan waste of time for the most gifted students, since they are constantly held back to the speed of the slowest students. But students learn at different rates and have different talents, so the “slow” students in one subject, might do well the next when different topics and skills are covered. Home schools have the flexibility to address these issues. Public schools simply leave struggling children demoralized and uneducated. Most public schools have some banal motto like “Excellence is for everyone” or something equally illogical. A more appropriate motto for most would be “Sink or Swim!” Indeed, if one wished to devise the most inefficient, most child-unfriendly, most self-esteem-crushing system possible, it’s hard to imagine a system more adept at this than modern public schooling.
But I’m afraid that this Onion headline is the natural progression of the modern American’s attitude toward schooling:
11:02 pm on March 30, 2010 Email Ryan McMaken
Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed
WASHINGTON—According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education, an increasing number of American parents are choosing to have their children raised at school rather than at home.
Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller said that many parents who school-home find U.S. households to be frightening, overwhelming environments for their children, and feel that they are just not conducive to producing well-rounded members of society.