Is survival enough?

Another insidious doubt that screws itself into your mind may be that you attended public school and you survived so how bad can it be. Right? But is ‘survival’ what you want for your children?

For some parents the answer is, “Yes.” They do believe that having to struggle and fight for a place in the sun makes their children strong, and that strength is needed in order to make their way in the world. Struggle may engender some strength, but what is lost while the child attempts to maintain an equilibrium in that kind of world?  While the child uses daily energy to stay afloat in a sea of peers and pedagogues, for some there is not an equal amount of energy left for building a secure, confident self.

This question of whether or not mass-schooling (whether it was public or private) is to be used or not may be a question that parents with college degrees don’t want to tackle. It is hard to question whether or not all your hard work was worth it or not. Is choosing homeschooling a repudiation of all those irretrievable, expensive years?

The ‘outputs’ of homeschooling (adults who were homeschooled as children) give some comfort when we ask ourselves hard questions about homeschooling our own children. These people have not only survived, but have thrived. They have gone on to college, are employed, are married, are raising children. Just like everyone else.

But if you are still considering the question of whether or not to homeschool the ‘quasi-answers’ so far may not be adequate. You may want a yes or no answer, not paragraph upon paragraph of weasel-words timidly couched in ‘may, would, might or could.’ Unfortunately, even staunch homeschool advocates can’t provide that answer. Still there are ways of narrowing the information field so that you can not only see the forest and the trees, but you can see the groves, clearings and meadows as well. Homeschooling works, just as well as everything else.


Copyright 2006, Valerie Bonham Moon

This work may be copied and distributed for free as long as the copyright and this notice are included.

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