Frankly I think home schooling is a better option then most schools provide today.
The one major downside is that my daughter would get less exposure to her peers, but once kids reach a certain age (probably around middle school) I think the socialization skills they learn in school actually tend to be more detrimental then beneficial. The school environment on average is not that great. It’s a far more intense environment then the real world and kids have little to no mobility to escape it if it’s overly corrosive. You might argue that they’re learning the skills necessary to handle the real world, but I don’t think that’s true at all. The real world is not nearly as bad as high school. I would worry about her not getting enough opportunities to interact with peers,though, and would probably seek out other home schoolers to try and create a larger environment.
The benefits are significant, though:
- Most importantly my daughter won’t have to spend her time learning useless material that she’ll forget as soon as she’s taken some test.I can’t emphasize this point enough. I don’t see any point in having my daughter sit through classes that are asking her to memorize material with no context and with no regard for her level of interest in the subject matter. If she goes to most schools that we can afford I am fairly confident that she will be forced to sit through boring classes and tested on useless material. This is not just a waste of time; it may cause her to lose interest in learning or lead her to think that she’s not good in a specific subject. At the very least she’ll be spending her time in useless if not detrimental ways. I have no patience for that. Life is short and I wish my childhood had not been spent being bored and memorizing useless material as much as I did.
Don’t get me wrong, I had some great teachers. Teachers who inspired me and acted as role models. But they were few and far between. On average I spent way too much time doing work I had no interest in doing and learned very little from the effort. It wasn’t until after I finished my formal education that I truly began to discover and explore my passions and I’ve been far more interested in the process of learning ever since.
Honestly that point alone is the driver of my passion to ensure my daughter has a different experience than I did. I would like to try and provide my daughter with an environment that is similar to the one I currently enjoy, where I can use the Internet to explore my curiosities, discover new interests and gain the knowledge I need, and take the skills I’ve developed and use them in interesting and purposeful ways. Ideally she’ll just have more time to do this than I do now.
At this point the only reason I wouldn’t home school is because I selfishly do not want to spend all of my time home schooling. With that in mind, though, I am working with some people to start a school that will be much more like a home schooling environment. I hope to be successful with this effort before my daughter starts school, but if I’m not then I may end up working with my wife to home school her and any other children we have. I truly believe it to be one of the best, if not the best, options available.