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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parent 150 Kids a Day

Melanie Hubbard, a public school teacher who used to teach at the collegiate level, has an amazing article on the failures of the public school system. The article is well worth at least skimming for the details that interest you. But what stuck out to me the most was the beginning of the last paragraph in her article:

"I can't do this. I can't parent 150 kids a day, much less educate them."

This reminded me of another post where a public school teacher accosted a homeschooling mother and asked how she could handle so many children.

"How many children are there per teacher in the schools?"
"Thirty."
"Well, I have fewer children to watch than a teacher."

Brilliant.

But the bigger issue is this: Public schools are required to take on the role of parenting. In fact, that seems to be the entire goal of the German school system. School is just as much about teaching values and caring for kids as it is about the three "R"s... maybe more so.

And that's why the system is failing.*

Homeschooling is not for everyone, sure, but it seems equally true that the public school system should not be for anyone as it currently exists. Melanie says it really well:

I believe in a level playing field for all, and it irks me that some can pay for what all deserve. ...I am unaccountably in tears — tears, I decide, of outrage.

She is talking about private schools that not everyone can afford. But the same is true of homeschooling. Many people just can't afford it, due to a lack of time or money, or both. Or perhaps, as Ms. Hubbard seems be, they may have yet to be shown how viable homeschooling really is.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


*I realized as I wrote this line that it would require a blog post of its own. I will post that tomorrow. And as for Ms. Hubbard's desire for a "level playing field"... it's just impractical. I agree that we should all ideally have loving, nurturing and involved parents, but that just isn't going to happen. So even here, the benefits of considering your involvement in your child's education, even in a school system outside your home, point toward homeschooling.

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