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.