Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mass Education, I have a bone to pick with you.

Mass Education, I have a bone to pick with you.

This schooling thing is not working. As a former teacher, I am unimpressed by your assumption that children are widgets and schools are factories. It is clear that children aren't "blank slates" as John Locke once thought and that knowledge is not something that can be obtained without context. In addition, placing powerless teachers in overcrowded classrooms full of needy children (many without parental support) does not equal success. And politicians who overlay mandated standardized testing on top of this sets the child and the educational system up for failure.

It is my teacher's heart and the desire for children to learn naturally that brings me to the ?? one-room schoolhouse. Why don't we offer to our children the small, one-teacher, multi aged neighborhood classroom. Why don't we provide more time for play and discovery than memorization and drill. It might be "efficient" but it is better for everyone: the student and the teacher.

As a mom, I long for that for my son. As a teacher, I long for that for my students.

All of this has been fairly hypothetical until now. But as Little Bear is growing up, I am beginning to start to more seriously think about these decisions. I hope to provide him with preschool education at 3. Whether that be half-day Montessori, 'real' preschool or home school.

I need help deciding what is best for us. I have such a conscience about public school. I know there are excellent public schools out there. But I know many many more that area less than fair. Private school, while it offers the smaller classroom and more sheltered experience, is often no much different than a glorified public school. Montessori school is my favorite option so far. But after Montessori, I feel I have no other choice than home school. My biggest issue with homeschool is, does it offer the best for my children. I am a good teacher, but am I their best teacher? And how important is daily socialization with peers? Lastly, does offering my kids homeschool restrict them from getting that "all-American" experience of American schooling?

These are the questions I am wrestling with...don't have answers to. But one thing I do know, Mass Education, you ain't working.


  1. I struggle with this almost daily. I am almost 100% positive that I will home school my children, but my fear comes in when I think about some of the things they may miss out on (social time in the hallways, school lunch, etc.). I know those sound so trivial, but they are things I remember well and fondly. I do feel that there are more positives to my homeschooling than negatives and for the things they will miss out on I can most always think of things they will gain.

    My dream, which I have shared with a few people, is to actually have a one-room schoolhouse where I can teach my children along with maybe some others that their parents would love for their children to be home schooled, but is not possible for them. My prayer is that when we have money saved to build a house, that we would also be able to have a "school house" on our property. Oh, its fun to dream :)

  2. Ashleigh, we are two peas in a pod. I just had to laugh and laugh when I read your comment. You aren't going to believe this but your dream is ironically what I call MY "guilty pleasure" - the wish to own a little one-room schoolhouse (right outside my own home) where I could teach 5 kids PreK-3rd grade (including my own children). I have been wanting this so badly that I've done a number of google searches (I love googe) and have already added up how much it would cost to do it. We should SO do this!! HILARIOUS!