Home Schooling And Government

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - August 03, 2005
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It’s back to school for more than 180,000 Hawaii public education students.

But many don’t have to adjust to a new grade, a new teacher, new cohorts or a new campus. They are the 4,338 home-schooled.

I’m among those who don’t believe that home schooling is one of the good things a parent can do for a child.

I don’t argue that a homeschooled kid cannot learn as many subjects as a school-schooled kid. I do argue that a trained-for-the-task teacher is a better educator than the average mom or dad. That a homeschooled kid is less likely to get punched in the nose or suffer the humiliation of not being picked for the recess softball team. That there’s no discrimination. No ugly bathrooms. No problems for a gay kid. No falling in love with the student at the adjacent desk.

I think that’s my case against home schooling. No real-life experiences. When the National Education Association first took up the issue, the delegates overwhelmingly said they were concerned that homeschooled students were not provided a comprehensive education experience because they do not have an opportunity to interact with students of different cultures, economic status or learning styles.

Yes, I know, the blogs are full of diatribes about public school educators just trying to save their jobs. And that the unions would be gone, and good riddance, once everyone schooled children at home.

MidWeek columnist Michelle Malkin is an advocate of home schooling because, she says, “the number of U.S. teenagers skipping school for fear of getting hurt climbed over the past decade, even though violence in schools actually declined. More than one out of every 20 high school students — 5.4 percent — skipped at least one day of school because of safety concerns.”

I don’t dispute the violence problem. It is part of the society we live in. Our schools are violent in exact relationship to our communities. Cure one and you cure the other.

I guess my wife and I could have kept our daughter at home, safe from violence, safe from bad ideas, safe from drugs and alcohol, liberal teachers or less-than-Christian teaching. She would have been one of the best home-educated children in Hawaii. Smart as hell, but unprepared for the real world.

We put her in school. We made her adapt to a very demanding and sometimes cruel peer society. We supported her when her society let her down. We helped her find her way through changing morals. We never shielded her, we only made ourselves sounding boards for her questions. We made her select between our values, hers and those of her classmates and friends. We never said whose were better.

You cannot get that experience in home schooling.

Our children need contact with all the aliens out there who aren’t like them or their parents.

A character said in a recent movie that “the reason we fall down is to learn how to get up.”You are never allowed to fall down with home schooling.

So, we learn that the City Council has been meeting or phoning in secret to reorganize and violating the Sunshine Law, and that Councilmen Charles Djou and Donovan Dela Cruz say to hell with the public always wanting to know everything.

We have to pay city liquor commission executive Wallace Weatherwax not to come to work until Oct. 31 when his contract is pau.

That’s what government has come to.

It’s all fixable, you know.

We can require that everything in the City Council and the Legislature be done in public. No closed caucuses or “personnel” matters. Sure it’s tougher that way, but this is a democracy, not the Vatican College of Cardinals.

We can put in contracts that we can fire any overseer anytime for any perceived lack of management oversight. Potential exec doesn’t like that, he doesn’t sign on.

We get lousy government because we go along with lousy government. We have come to expect it and are disappointed when we don’t get it.

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