Homeschooling is getting more and more popular around Northern America.  Everywhere I hear people are talking about educating their kids at home to protect them from the cruel world and the influence of the system. Not only that, many parents are just not happy with teaching methods, curriculum and overall with the quality of education. Even though many educators are talking how education got improved over the past years, became more entertaining, student centered, interactive, more efficient, etc. etc. etc.   🙂

And it’s quite understandable. Recently I took part in Alberta Mathematics Dialogue (Mathematics Teaching & Pedagogy Section) and I’ve heard talks related to Math Curriculum at Junior High and High Schools.  It’s just nightmare. 

We discussed couple of times home education in our family but not seriously just hypothetically and we see some problems with that. First of all the problem of socialization. The kid should communicate with coevals, we live in a society and the sooner he or she will learn how to get along with people around the better. But this problem is partially resolvable. For example my younger 2.5 years son is at home now and he is communicating with same age neighbor  children and now he is also going with us (me and his older brother and sister) to the gym. He is very socialized. But again,  all that can’t replace school of life at school in future. Yes, there are a lot of social problems at average public school, bullying, bad environment and influence of that bad environment, etc. and of course you can’t just throw your son or daughter to school and forget about them. But that’s part of life which is going to catch your kid in future anyway and as I said the earlier he or she learns how to deal with all these problems the better.

The other problem, which is much more difficult to resolve is teaching itself. You need to teach everything, you need to develop curriculum for your children  for whole bunch of different subjects. Even though there are a lot of resources available nowadays in Internet it is full time job. I’ve been teaching mathematics and mechanics for a long time and I know what does it mean to develop a good curriculum for one subject, how much time does take only development of only one course where you are an expert. And here you need to develop a program for whole bunch of subject and maybe 2/3 of which you saw last time 20 years ago. I consider that I got a good education. General at school and more specific in two universities ending with PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering and I’m not confident that I can give full school education to my kids myself better than at school. Yes I can teach mathematics, I can teach it much better than at any school, I can also teach physics, but how I’m supposed to teach English, English literature, history, geography, chemistry, biology and etc., etc., etc. Here I’d like to point out that I’m talking in this post about average families, I’m not considering parents, who are millionaires and can afford to invite whole MIT and Oxford to teach their kids privately. Average family can’t afford paying for private teachers, so, they have to develop curriculum and teach it themselves, and I can’t believe that absolute majority can give reasonable quality of home education even at the same level as in public school.

Those are two main problems I see and the school by the way is supposed to solve them. It was invented by humanity in order to resolve the problem of mass education  and socialization of young generation, to give them full picture of the world. I can see here and there that supporters of home education are demonizing school and trying to convince that only protecting kids from it you can raise a well-rounded personalities. I strongly disagree with this point of view. I went through 3 different schools, last one was boarding school, where I lived for two years. It was great experience, I made good friends there  and learned a lot of valuable lessons, which you never learn sitting at home with your parents. Also what is the most important I got really good school education. My parents were always close though directing me in the right direction. And I consider that perfect combination, school and parents.

I’ve got three kids. Two of them are 8 years old and going to grade 4 starting from fall (2016). So far I’m happy with our school, curriculum is not so bad and I like activities they do.  Additionally my kids are attending music classes, BJJ gym, and we are working on math together. They started day care when they were 1 year old by the way. And I can’t complain about day care and kindergarten activities either. My kids have fun at school,  and I don’t see any reason why I should remove them from there. We are always close to them and ready to help with additional education and with life advice. As I mentioned above our younger son is 2.5 years now and at home so far but for sure he’ll go to school as well.

 

 

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