Monday, July 08, 2013

What About Jerry Webster?

Webster apparently read a piece about a homeschool graduation ceremony and felt compelled to write a post  (What About Me? ) about it.

When I graduated, I graduated with a group of people I knew.  Not well, mind you, as I transferred to Williamsport, Pennsylvania from a high school in the western suburbs of Chicago in November of my junior year.  It was still enough time to bond over chemistry, choir performances and SAT scores.   When we left high school, we did it with a shared understanding of our community, of our future and of who we were as citizens of a country.  That was in 1969.

I would have been 3 years old when Mr. Webster graduated, I daresay public schools have changed a lot since then. I graduated from a public high school in 1984 with 365 other students, I didn't even know the majority of them, thanks to busing we came from vastly different communities  and we certainly didn't share an understanding of anything.

To be honest I am not sure what point Mr. Webster is trying to make here. He stated
It also pondered the meaning of a celebration for students who only meet for the first time at the graduation rehearsal.
I am not sure how he knew they had "all meet for the first time". I find it doubtful this was the case as in most instances graduation ceremonies are arranged by homeschool groups. More then likely at least some of the kids knew each other. And as I stated above going to a public school doesn't guarantee your "knowing" the students you graduate with. 315 of the students I graduated with never crossed my path during my school years. Because I was in Honors Classes (which tended to be comprised of the same students) I knew around 50 of my classmates well enough to call them friends. Although after graduation I lost touch with the majority of the 50 classmates I knew well. In fact if it wasn't for Facebook, I would only be in touch with one of my high school classmates. The truth is after graduation most students go on to college, make new friends, move off for jobs and make new friends, etc. Very few of us stay stuck in our high school years.

To me, homeschooling seems to reflect a "me first" kind of mentality.  It's also a reason I look at homeschooling with at least distrust, if not outright hostility.   Why do parents choose to remove their children from public school?
I don't know Mr. Webster, why did you choose to send your son to an elite boarding school in New England? Just like parents who choose to send their children to elite boarding schools, homeschool parents have various reasons for making the choice to homeschool. Mainly we just want to ensure that our children get the best education possible.

Personally I think public school parents are the ones with the "me first" mentality. As they educate their children at tax payer expense. While those of us who homeschool or send our children to private schools pay for our own child's education as well as subsidize the public schools. Your distrust and hostility seem a tad misplace Mr. Webster.

I have no doubt that in many places public education has failed some children.   But that's not a reason to abandon public education.  It's a reason to invest time and energy into seeing that public education works.  After all, those young people will be paying your social security, if there is still social security.
Really makes you curious why he abandoned public education for his son and sent him to an elite boarding school. Apparently Mr. Webster believes his family is entitled to "the best schools", while the rest of us should just stay put in the public schools that pay his salary.

A parent no matter how much they care can not change the public school system in time to benefit their child. Ensuring your child gets the best education possible so they can be productive members of society should be every parents priority. See Rebel Homeschool's post

What kind of graduation address would you give to children who were homeschooled?  
Pretty much the same address I would give a public school or private school student. Congratulations on graduating, thanks to your hard work you have a bright future ahead of you. Enjoy your time in college while you prepare for the career of your choice.

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