Be Cool, Stay in (Home) School
If you grew up in the 80s/early 90s, you probably remember this PSA:
Despite the ads assertions, I stayed in school–up to my Master’s–and I was never really cool.
When I became a dad almost 3 years ago, we worried about a lot of things, but schooling wasn’t ever a consideration. We can’t really afford private school – while keeping all of our organs and/or blood, anyway. My wife and I are both products of the Maryland public school system and we turned out ok. Since we pay for public schools through our taxes anyway, you can bet my cheap Asian tendencies won’t let my good money go to waste. And that was it. I mean, we obviously weren’t going to homeschool.
Growing up in the DC area, I thought homeschooling was usually reserved for Christians who thumped the Bible and thumped it hard in the Mid-West. I think my wife mentioned it once or twice in passing and I was usually against it.
A few months ago, I noticed a book in our bathroom: What the Rest of Us Can Learn from Homeschooling. I didn’t think much of it – I mean, it’s not like the book was Homeschooling for Dummies or something. If it was, I would’ve likely reacted like a guy who found What to Expect When You’re Expecting in his gf’s bathroom.
A wiser man would’ve seen the book and, considering his wife has been wishing she could stay at home with the kids ever since D1 was born, thought, “Perhaps my wife is considering homeschooling. Maybe I should talk openly about this?” I’m not that man. Instead, I thought, “That’s cool. I guess she can apply those ideas after the kids get home from school.”
But the past few months, I’ve become more open to the idea of homeschooling our kids while considering several things. [steps onto soapbox] First, while I loved a good portion of my childhood, I didn’t enjoy the social pecking order, and while I was bullied and bullied others in turn, bullying in the internet age, and the long-term emotional damage it can cause, frightens me. Second, the way the education system seems to be going bothers me. While athletes get paid millions of dollars to play a game, teachers are paid relative chump change to manage overcrowded classrooms. And while taxpayers fund new stadiums because billionaire owners want to make more money through luxury boxes and other additions, states struggle to find money for new supplies or badly needed renovations. The disparity in spending for sports vs. education is appalling. Even in institutes of higher education, football and basketball coaches are often the highest paid employees on campus. So based on what we as a country are investing in, it seems entertainment is of far greater value than education. [steps off soapbox]
So a few weeks back, Helena over at Life in the Pitts had a post on homeschooling: Homeschooling: My side of the story. The post was so intriguing that I decided to ask my wife about homeschooling that night. And when I did? The floodgates opened.
She said, “Wow. I can’t believe we’re talking about this,” no less than 8 times that night. So Helena, my wife has never read your blog but she already loves you.
And for the past two weeks, homeschooling, along with our next (and hopefully final) home, have been the primary topics of conversation between us. Our homeschooling decision (read: single income), will affect the house that we buy, both in terms of the value of the home and the layout. And our homeschooling decision will obviously affect our kids. So there’s definitely been a lot of talking, praying, and fasting going on in our home.
I’m going to post more about this, especially my initial thoughts on homeschooling and chronicle how those thoughts develop and change throughout this journey, but I wanted to know what some of my readers thought, as well as those who may have been led here through a websearch, especially if you found me while searching for BBQ. After all, if we do homeschool, I plan on teaching several of the classes myself: Meat Appreciation, Know Your Cuts of Beef, The Art of Grilling, and BBQ Lab.
What do you think of homeschooling? Were you homeschooled? How’d that turn out? Know of people who homeschool? How are their kids turning out?
I’d love to hear from you.