Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why do public school Mothers have to trash homeschooling in order to feel good about themselves?

Why do public school Mothers have to trash homeschooling in order to feel good about themselves? Kathleen Byrne Confessions of an autism mother: Why I’ll never homeschool.

I know. I know. Never say never. I feel so strongly about this topic that I honestly think that I’ll always hold our local school system responsible for the education of my children, including my daughter on the spectrum. Notice I didn’t write local “public” school system. I’m open to private, parochial, or some in-between “non-public” school, another category that we have here in New York.

So she is just against homeschooling although many of her reasons for not homeschooling would apply to private and parochial schools too. Apparently Ms. Byrne is one of those people that believe that only parents who are able to afford the tution at private or parochial schools should be allowed to choose an alternative to the public school system.

We Americans pay taxes, a lot of taxes, to provide every child an education. From a purely financial point of view, paying taxes for public education and then keeping your child home and bearing the financial burden of educating them simply doesn’t make sense. New York City Schools alone has a $21 billion dollar annual budget. Why write a school tuition check and then keep your child home?

This argument would apply to sending your child to private or parochial schools as well as homeschooling; so why she just applies it to homeschoolers is beyond me. The answer is simple I pay taxes for a lot of things I don't use, everyone does. Single people who don't have kids and older couples whose children are grown still pay taxes to support the school system. By paying these taxes I am insuring that all children have the opportunity to get an education. But I owe my children the best education I can provide for them. For my children it happened to be homeschooling

I’m as anxious as the next mother about dropping my children off at school and placing their education into the hands of others, some capable, some not so capable. It seems inevitable that our children will experience some bad teaching, just as they will have to cope with bad bosses, bad public servants and other incompetents in positions of power. Shielding them from bad authority figures will make the transition into adulthood harder than it has to be.

In the real world incompetent people get FIRED and you are free to seek employment elsewhere if you don't like your boss/job. Personally I would find my child being exposed to "bad teaching" (honestly I am not sure what Ms. Byrne means by that) for any length of time unacceptable.

Finally, I am dismayed that, when faced with fighting the system and making it better or fleeing the system to make the same mistakes on someone else’s children, homeschooling parents choose the latter. Schools are our children’s first civics lessons, citizens coming together and pooling resources for the common good. Homeschooled kids learn that it’s better to take care of your own than to fight for a common cause.

Well I am dismayed that any Mother would sacrifice her children to a cause. Schools (and I notice she didn't say public schools) should not be our children's first civic lesson. Their first civic lessons should be going with Mom or Dad to vote as toddlers as they mature there are many worthy community events they can take part in. Sadly I am left wondering why Ms. Byrne felt the need to trash homeschooling in order to justify her decision to send her child to public school. Maybe she really believes she is sacrificing her child to the common good of public education. In which case I feel sorry for both Mother and child.

Carnival of Homeschooling #155: Smoky Mountain Edition

We have enjoyed several mountain vacations, so I really enjoyed the theme of this weeks CoH, Carnival of Homeschooling #155: Smoky Mountain Edition.