Thursday, January 10, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

~from Arlington Catholic Herald. Notice the old chestnut about "proper social skills for homeschooled children". Ask any teacher at any school these days about discipline issues. Then come back and tell me about "socializing homeschooled kids." To those who persist, I always tell them, "Tell you what, I'll drag my kids to a corner, beat them up and steal their lunch money." Brutal...but effective. They stop asking after that.
“It’s nothing against schools,” Clark said. Home schooling, “strengthens the family and the faith. That’s why people are doing it.” Among the concerns with home schooling, critics are worried about children learning proper social skills. When asked about social development, Whelpley said, “I feel like with a little effort, your kids are socialized in a different way.” Contrary to what some may think about home schooling, the children are not sheltered. The Whelpley children discuss issues of politics, volunteer in soup kitchens, visit the elderly and play with other children, both home-schooled and not.

They interact with peers who are part of a home schooling co-op, they take Irish dancing classes once a week, and recently attended a co-op field trip to Fairfax Hospital to watch open heart surgery.

While there are many benefits to home schooling for families who have the time and ability, it is not for everyone, said Whelpley. “I felt like God was calling us to home-school.”

“We enjoyed watching the kids develop their own interests,” she said. Bridget said, one of her favorite aspects of being home-schooled is that she can get her “school work done really fast so I can do other things.”(Ack! What is this falling into the "productive" trap!! Why is everything measured in productivity?)

...The diocese refers to home schooling as a “gift to the Church,” and an “integral part of the apostolate of Catholic education.” (um, why the scare quotes?)

Noting that “having choices in education is paramount,” Timothy McNiff, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, said, “I believe the best decision and the best investment a family can make toward their child is that of a Catholic education in our Catholic schools. (uh, sometimes it's actually better for your child to go to public school as opposed to steeping your child in a hotbed of dissent or indifferent catechesis.)

“I am respectful, however, for those families who desire to take that responsibility in the home in that we believe parents are their child’s first and primary educators,” McNiff said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ny experience with Catholic School was heartbreaking. My daughter's classroom looked like a New Age spa (no crucifix). She received daily yoga lessons given by her New Age embracing "Episcopalian" teacher and religious formation twice weekly at most. The school was really into "social justice", however, my daughter's classroom marching in October for breast cancer awareness via the American Cancer Society.

I was promised that the faculty were all "serious Catholics". We removed her after 8 weeks.