Friday, May 20, 2011

Woz on Homeschooling (and Comment Soup)

I'm reading an article about remarks on education made by Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple Computers. Woz decries the standardized testing craze and the discouragement of creative thinking in public education. He also mentions homeschooling as "very, very good as an alternative."

Then, I read the comments. For the most part, they agree that public education is broken, but can't muster the creativity to consider homeschooling a true alternative. It gets characterized as "a luxury", while in the same comment, those who are unhappy with their local public school are urged to consider private school. Huh? Homeschooling can be done *exceptionally well* for a fraction of the cost. A friend of a friend paid over $30,000 for private Kindergarten! Families can homeschool for orders of magnitude less. Money for private school necessitates a second income, and need for a second income makes homeschooling a luxury? Um, circular thinking much?

And of course there is the chestnut that "Home Schooling is the ultimate in segregated schools." I can't tell you how sick I am of being tacitly accused of racism because I made a different educational choice for my kid. My local school district is 99.9999 percent caucasian and affluent. My homeschool community is wonderfully diverse. Way to generalize!

Public schools are acknowledged to be bad at outside the box thinking, but anyone who thinks outside the box is apparently suspect, even among purported educational reformers. Well, suspect away, but like Captain Kirk, I don't believe in the no win scenario. Sometimes you have to creatively engineer your own solution, and I have a feeling that, eventually, those still too busy applying outmoded stereotypes to the homeschooling movement will one day have no choice but to sit back and take notice that, yes, there is a better way, if you are willing to prioritize your child's education, make some sacrifices and do the work.

1 comment:

wonderinthewoods said...

All true what you say! I agree! However, I am seeing some changes in thinking among people whom I never thought would consider homeschooling. Of course, closing local schools will light a fire under some people. ;) I think homeschooling is the wave of the future (to be cliche). I think the blogs of the homeschool community will help pave the way for those who are unsure where to begin or need encouragement to continue. There are so many diverse homeschooling families, and not all of us are religious conservatives or hippies (not name calling here just repeating a common perception). LOL