Iâ€™ve spent a lot of the last week engaged in mental conversations with myself. Most of them are made up of defending and refuting homeschooling and my reasons for doing so. I havenâ€™t had any direct confrontations; rather, Iâ€™ve heard ghosts of conversations past whisper through my memory and Iâ€™ve felt a need to end the conversation better than I did in person.
Through this process, I stumbled on an epiphany and it was simply that regardless of the mode of delivery of an individualâ€™s education, everyone still gets to learn the same life lessons. When those lessons are learned is more dependent on mode of delivery.
For example, by homeschooling my children, they may not be exposed to bullying or dishonest behavior or pornographic material on the playground at recess when theyâ€™re six or eight or ten. But guaranteed, they will be exposed to these things at some point in their lives. They may not confront a bully until theyÂ join a Boy Scout troop, or encounter cheating, stealing, or lying until theyÂ enter the workforce. You just donâ€™t get through life without these lessons because unfortunately, life is full of this stuff.
Conversely, by homeschooling my children, they may be able to develop the ability to think and rationalize and create, and they may do it earlier than their peers. As a product of public education, I donâ€™t feel like I gained these skills until I was halfway through my college education and had some wonderful life experiences outside of the classroom. Iâ€™ve always felt a little sorry that my ability to do well in school had more to do with my ability to â€œplay the gameâ€ rather than my ability to think things through for myself and arrive at my own conclusion, ready to defend it. I hope homeschooling will provide a place for my kids to develop these skills. And whether or not it does, I am assured that my kids will come to these things in their own time.
I felt better after thinking through this little epiphany. It made the arguments echoing in my head seem more flimsy.