Should We Home School Our Kids?
Read how the 2 biggest arguments for why you should not home school your kids are shot down in flames
If you are wondering whether you should home school your kids then you will want to read the following article in which the author, Matt Walsh, destroys two arguments put against home schooling by Dan, who had responded to one of his previous articles
First of all here are the two arguments
1. The flaws in our public school system have to do with PARENTS. Parents send their kids to school and think their job is done, instead of being involved in their child’s education. How can the system ever improve if the involved parents pull out and do their own thing? We have a responsibility not just to our own family but to our community. Homeschool parents hurt their communities when they isolate themselves and remove their children from our academic institutions. If we don’t help the system, the system will not work.
2. You mock the idea of socialization, but the fact is that kids need to learn how to socialize. That skill is not ingrained in them. How can they learn proper social skills if they aren’t around other children? You might as well try to teach your kid how to swim without ever putting him in a pool. It’s most important for kids to learn the academic fundamentals, but learning proper socialization is very important as well. Public school gives young people the chance to become well adjusted adults
Here is Matt’s response
1) You say we should keep our kids in public school in order to help ‘the system.’
Dan, listen, I have to be real with you: this isn’t just a bad argument — it’s disturbing.
‘Help the system.’
Is this really a priority for parents? When my wife and I make a decision for our family, should we stop first and ask, “wait, but will this help the system?”
Would you REALLY put the welfare of ‘the system’ over that of your own children?
I’d hope that you wouldn’t, and I’d hope that this line of logic is unique to you, but I know that it isn’t. I’ve heard it before. I’ve heard it so often, in fact, that I’m starting to think I’m the strange one for having absolutely no desire to make my children martyrs for some bureaucratic machine.
You know what my kids need me to be? A parent. Their dad. Not a cog in the system, not a member of the community, not a loyal townsperson in the village, not a ‘team player.’
Sure, I’ll tell them not to litter and I’ll make sure they play nice with the other kids in the neighborhood, but when it comes to making choices about something as serious as their education, I don’t frankly care how our decision effects the community. Does that make me callous? I don’t know. I think it just makes me a man with priorities.
Would the school system be helped if my family ‘participated’ in it? Maybe, and I’m sure the circus would be helped if you went on stage and stuck your head in a lion’s mouth. But you won’t sacrifice your scalp to the Ringling Brothers, and I won’t sacrifice my kids’ brains to public school. I guess we’re even.
2) You say that homeschooled kids aren’t properly socialized.
I give you this: with the exception of about 14 thousand other times, this is the first time I’ve ever heard this argument.
It’s an argument that seems to march on, even after its been disproven, discredited, deconstructed, and decapitated. I just promised to stop tossing around studies, so I won’t link to an article that cites at least two different studies proving your assertion to be a myth.
I’ll only say that you chose a pretty strange analogy to prove your point. You can’t teach a child to swim without bringing him to a pool? I agree. But do you bring a child to the pool, drop him there with a thousand other kids, then come back 6 hours later, and repeat that process every day, five days a week, for the next 12 to 13 years? Or do you bring him to the pool, hang out with him, maybe even get in the water and play some Marco Polo, and then leave with him after a couple of hours?
I can tell you this: if you decide to just abandon your kid at the pool for hours and hours and hours on end, every day, for over a decade, he probably won’t do a lot of swimming. If he doesn’t drown (drowning is a very real possibility, especially if there’s only one lifeguard for every 40 kids), he’ll likely spend more time playing on his iPhone and smoking pot in the bathroom than learning the backstroke.
Indeed, when it comes to teaching your kid any other skill — whether its swimming, or driving, or riding a bike, or catching a baseball — all parents understand that their hands-on involvement is crucial. It’s only with the skill of ‘socializing’ where many of us suddenly decide that the matter should be outsourced to a factory in China (or a factory down the street, in this case).
Why do I even need to debunk the socialization claim? You’ve seen our society, haven’t you? You’ve interacted with people, right? Homeschooling might be increasingly popular, but the vast majority of the people you meet have been public schooled. And you’re telling me that the vast majority of the people you meet are ‘socially well adjusted’?
You and I both know that’s a lie. Sure, you can probably tell me about a homeschooled kid you met once who was totally weird and awkward and stuff, but I could see your anecdote and raise you school shooters, the bullying epidemic, youth suicide rates, a youth culture utterly dominated by cliques, fads, and trends, and then this:
Well adjusted adults?
WELL ADJUSTED ADULTS?
Go to a college campus — any college campus — and tell me again how these public schooled ladies and gentlemen are such well adjusted adults.
For God’s sake, Dan, they literally cannot socialize without inhaling a barrel of urine-flavored light beer ahead of time.
Public schools teach our kids how to socialize? Then why is this such a common sight:
I’m not claiming that homeschoolers don’t use smart phones or beer bongs, but I am saying that an overwhelming preponderance of our society has been exclusively public schooled, and if public school helped ‘socialize’ us, you’d think we’d see SOME positive results SOMEWHERE.
Expecting your kid to learn ‘social skills’ from public school, is like sending him to live with chimpanzees so that he’ll learn proper table manners.
‘Socialization’ — in the public school context — means that your child will simply absorb behavioral cues from her peers. She learns to socialize by aping her friends, who are themselves only copying other girls. She learns to repress the parts of her that don’t fit in, and put on an exterior designed to help her fade into the collective. I’m not theorizing here, this IS the social process in public school.
It’s also competitive; your social status depends on your ability to cut your peers down, until your can easily step on them and elevate yourself.
Expressing your ideas, showing vulnerability, communicating your deepest thoughts and feelings — these are all fervently discouraged. Kids are tasked with expressing not their own thoughts, but sufficiently imitating the thoughts and views of the peer collective. Children who can’t keep up, or who have no desire to keep up, will either have to be the most self-assured human beings on the planet (which is unlikely, since they haven’t been given the tools to develop that self-assurance), or they’ll become bitter, self-conscious, and depressed.
There is nothing positive about any of this. Nobody is better for it. Nobody benefits. The psychological damage can be lasting, maybe even permanent. Again, this is not my theory. This is just the way it works. How could you be so oblivious, Dan?
Now, homeschool socialization is different. Here, a child learns his social skills from his parents. He is oriented by adults, not other children. He matures, and grows, and is provided a safe environment to, as the phrase goes, be himself. Despite common perception, I don’t think most homeschool kids are locked in a tower like Rapunzel, and forbidden from human contact. They have friends, they play sports, they emerge into society and interact with people.
The only difference is how they learn to interact. The public school kid learns to interact based on how his peers carry on in the hallways and at the lunch table, whereas the homeschool kids learns to interact based on the guidance of his parents.
Who has a better foundation for becoming a well adjusted adult?
I’m not insinuating that homeschool is perfect, or that homeschool students are perfectly adjusted, but I am absolutely declaring that ‘socialization’ is the WORST part of public school.