It's Not the System

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Her laugh is cruel. "You don't know how to do this?"

"I'm sorry," he says defensively. "I have gaps in my education. I was homeschooled."

These two argue from time to time; they are both cut of the confidence cloth, proving their worth by what they know, have experienced, or can persuade someone to do. He recently "won" an argument about nutrition when they were debating the healthiest diets. She "won" when he was stumped by Algebra. Hence the comment about gaps.

"I skipped a year of math and everyone just assumed I knew Algebra in high school. So no one ever taught it to me." The irony, completely overlooked, is that this was not a failure of his homeschooling. It was the public high school which didn't recognize his level of instruction thus far. Tests are useful retroactively, rarely proactively. And so he spent four years in a government funded and monitored environment and no one noticed he had yet to learn Algebra.

But blame is not the point here. Why?

Because it's not the system.

Education-System
The Education System

You and I both know well-educated homeschoolers. We also know people who spent their entire lives in public schools who know much more than us. It's not the system that dictates an outcome. Statics show this. In fact, at least one study says that homeschoolers are twice as likely to be behind a grade level than their peers. Sound terrible? It's not. Why?

Because it's not the system.

Homeschooling is not to blame. Nor is it rightfully to be praised. The system does not make the child. You do.

Like my bickering friends above, the competition between public schooled and homeschooling has no real winner. Indeed, focusing on such things is actually a detriment to both. Instead of trying to boost our confidence by demonstrating what we know, have experienced, or by the people who are on "our team," let's focus on all the things that draw us to homeschooling. We love homeschooling, and with good reason. We love learning together. We're not guaranteed to become a genius. This isn't about proving anything. It's about doing what is best for our family.

...and as Heather Sanders recently said, "Homeschooling is a Method Not a Mandate."

What we love is not the system. It's the opportunity.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad

P.S. Like what Heather said? You can find more encouragement, inspiration, and challenge in my Other Posts of Note.

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  1. Pingback: Homeschooling Will Fail You If... | Sonlight Homeschooling Blog