Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Yesterday's news in Austalia reported that more parents are electing homeschooling. The reasons given included bullying, learning difficulties and dissatisfaction with the teachers. I'm nor surprised. School can be an evil place for some kids, they get picked on and harrassed all the time and the school either will not or can not do anything effective about it because the bullies are always 'poor kids with problems'. Then there's the matter of schools being used to disseminate current political ideas, which may well clash with parents' values and beliefs. It may be a good thing if the ability of government to try and control society through so called 'educational' propoganda is curbed. I can see exactly why some families don't want their childen under the influence of school and at the mercy of some of the other kids there. It's a shame because if school is well run and has the right ideology it can be a great sharing place and social contact environment, but it often degenerates into a psychological ghetto which people can suffer from being involved with. One of our children hated school because of the rubbish they had to put up with from the 'peer group' as it is called, and felt that the staff did not do anything at all. But then when teachers DO try to act, they can find themselves in trouble. The last day I ever spent teaching, I intervened when a boy was aggravating the girl sitting in front of him by joggling the back of her chair. When I told the boy to stop he glared at me and said: "I did nothing wrong!" I knew that if he complained the school would probably resolve the thing by saying I should have handled it differently. It is absurd. The underlying problem is that school is being used as an all-in processing works for anyone under 17, a place to keep them so they're not on the street and a place where what the parents should have done to bring them up can be done by the teachers. It doesn't work, but the powers that be keep saying the teachers have to be more effective, and talking about sacking some of them. It's a farce. Small wonder that some parents decide that learning and growing up can be a nicer process for their children if it's done a different way. One good friend I discussed this with stated that the home-schooled people she knew were not very socially competent. They hadn't had much contact with other kids. I wonder if what that means in fact is that home schooled kids are not so precociously adult before their time. They live in a more natural way, which seems wrong to people who are used to they way we do things, i.e. send kids to school, but that usual way might not actually be the best way. If I get the opportunity I migh talk to more home schooled people and see what they think about it. Whatever happens, I can see why some people do not like sending their children to school, and their kids do not like being there.