23 October 2009

Mainstream = Mediocrity


Reports and rumblings have been coming to me lately that have tempted me to sink into despair for our country again.

15 years ago, relatively few materials were available for home educators and those who educated at home were a rather radical bunch – though even then the folks from 25 years ago would have smiled down on them.

Everything has changed now. Home education is mainstream. The publishing companies have found it marvelously profitable. The home educators insecurities have driven them to the bottom of the heap for validation.

And now I’m hearing that a “rash” of home educated kids are unable to score high enough on the ACT to get into college.

That’s ridiculous. And it’s the fault of the text book publishers. And the fearful parents who buy them.

Do you know why home educated kids used to think better than their peers? Because there were so few professinal materials available to them. They had no option but to think.

Now, I’m told, home schooled (because now we have to say they’re home schooled instead of home educated) parents are putting their kids in front of the DVD and letting the DVD teach the child.

If this is the case, and if it is widespread in the home school movement, then our country is finished. The home educated child was our country’s last hope. But if that child isn’t having to think and adapt and come up with solutions, if he just has to sit in front of the DVD lecture, it’s game over.

Better to go in the backyard and throw sticks at birds. At least then you don’t know what might come next.

Interesting to ponder.

Was this foreseeable? I think so. (Thankfully, while this is a trend within the movement, it does not reflect the entire movement, I think.)

What an interesting contradiction: The more this movement has received the mainstream type of support, the more it has been undermined.

And the more mainstream something becomes, the more people join the movement who don't fully understand (or care) about its core principles. (Beware, private schools ~ you are even less immune!)

The easier something becomes to do, the more it strays from its truest ideals. How many examples we have of this...

Ye who have ears to hear, hear.


shepherdsgrace said...

No thanks to the videos...

Books, books and more books...anyday and everyday...

btw...I love the ones you have listed in your widget...The Pilgrim's Progress along with the book of Matthew are part of what the Lord used to open my heart to Himself...

He is wonderful and to be praised!

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Well said. Points well taken. No excuses. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. I'm sure I'll be encouraged to do better in my efforts to 'educate' rather than 'skool' my kids.
Thanks~ Laura