Warning: I’m stepping up onto my soap box.
I made a comment on a homeschool facebook page today.. I won’t say which one. Someone had asked what defines a “gifted” child. Of course, the first comment was “all children are gifted.” Yes… they are. All children are God’s creation. All children are unique and special. All children have gifts and talents. But what if… by some crazy chance… your child’s gift is intelligence? I’m not saying that some kids are smart and some kids aren’t. But… let’s face it… some kids just get it… fast. There are some kids who soak up information like sponges… who have an insatiable need to learn. They devour books and information faster than you can imagine. To say a child is gifted is not to say they are better than someone else in all areas.
Our world is filled with “participation” awards and making sure that everyone is a winner. In reality… not everyone is good at everything all the time.
But… really… that’s not the thing that burns me up. I am so excited to be a homeschooler. I really am. I love teaching my children at home. I love getting to be part of this part of their childhood. I love getting to know other homeschoolers. But I’ve began noticing… especially in this comment strand that there is an “us and them” attitude about homeschool verses public school. So many of the comments had to do with how gifted is just a stupid label that was created by public school. Or how public schools are worthless when it comes to meeting the individuals needs. It just kept going on and on.
I am so sad that there is such division. We made the choice to homeschool because we felt God leading us in that way and we felt it best for our children. I know friends and family that have children in public school. That’s their choice. It doesn’t make them better or worse than us.
Public schools have issues… no doubt… but what do you do when teachers are underpaid and schools are short staffed and classrooms are crowded budgets are slashed and materials are dated… what do you do? Teachers are under such pressure. It is unbelievable… teachers don’t just teach. They have to deal with parents, administration, continuing education, paper work, busy work, maintaining test scores. At the school where I worked, teachers were beginning to be paid according to the results they produced from the classroom. Now… I believe all children can learn. But… what do you do when you get a classroom full of four year olds who have never had a book read to them? Or you have a first grader who is so tired because his mom locked him and his brother in the basement last night so she and her friends could party. Or when you have a third grader taking care of his 4 year old and newborn brothers while his mom sleeps.
Public schools are lacking… but for good reason. However… they also have things to offer that don’t come so readily to homeschoolers… sports (free), art, music, etc.
We will probably not send our children to public school. We have our reasons… mostly because I can and am able to teach them at home… not because I have some hatred towards public school.
Come on homeschoolers… don’t create division with our public school friends. You can be proud of your choice without passing judgment on someone else’s!
That is all… let me climb on down from the soapbox now.