Whenever someone criticizes homeschooling, they always say something like “but the kids won’t be socialized.”
First of all, that’s stupid. I’ve known a number of home schooled people and they’re perfectly well ‘socialized,’ thank you very much. Most are more out-going than I am, with my twelve-plus years of schooling that apparently has no point other than to make sure kids are socialized properly. It’s not as if homeschooled kids are locked up in sealed chamber and never see another human being, like in Dr. Marvin Monroe’s long-term isolation experiment (“I predict that the subject will have no social skills and harbor a deep resentment towards me!”). At an absolute bare minimum they have their parents. Now, pop quiz; do you think kids are better prepared to interact with the real world by imitating adults or their fellow children?
Also, I don’t know about you, but when I was in school I loathed attempts to ‘socialize’ us. For one thing, based on my experience, that generally translates to “letting kids know that if they’re quiet and thoughtful and don’t enjoy hanging out with a bunch of other kids they find generally obnoxious, that must mean there’s something wrong with them and they need to work hard to change that and be more like the aforementioned obnoxious kids. If you’re an introvert, that means you need to be ‘fixed’ and turned into an extrovert, since extroverts are the only kinds of people worth knowing or being.”
Here’s what a typical exercise in socializing looks like (or, at least, would have looked like if I weren’t constantly crushed by being told that there must be something wrong with me for not wanting to spend time with the kids who periodically shouted random noises well into high school):
Well-Meaning teacher: “You have to work in teams for this project.”
Me: “But I don’t like working in teams. Teamwork is tedious and irritating, and I could do just as good or better work on my own. Putting me together with three other random kids and telling us to produce a report only makes it that much harder to accomplish anything.”
WMT: “But you need to be more sociable.”
Me: “I don’t want to be sociable with these people; I don’t like them!”
WMT: “That’s why you need to socialize!”
Me: “What? Look, I thought the point of this place was for me to learn things! I’d learn more if you just let me do my own work!”
WMT: “You’re learning teamwork. When you grow up and get a job, you’ll need to use teamwork.”
Me: “But presumably when I get a job I won’t be the only literate person on the team.”
In short, the main social skill I learned from school was to assume “most people are ignorant pricks who aren’t worth knowing.” If that’s what you mean by ‘socializing,’ then good job, American school system! Now it’s only going to take four years of college, however many years in the working world, expensive therapy, and a lot of personal effort to unlearn it!
That’s the main reason I intend to home school; to avoid school ‘socializing,’ because I am determined that no child of mine is going to go through that particular Hell. The fact that the Public Schools apparently exist to turn children into little Liberals obsessed with White Guilt and other nonsense is another reason. I had to learn the Presidents, the Declaration of Independence, the principles of reason, and most of the history I know either in college or on my own, but at least I learned that there was such a thing as racism! My education extended that far!
Don’t you see why some people might take issue with submitting our children to the tender mercies of the State for six hours a day, five-days a week, for twelve-plus years?
“But you’ll just indoctrinate them and they won’t learn how to think!”
Exactly! Oh, wait; you’re talking to me and not the government. First of all, yes, I would try to pass on my worldview to my children. That’s because I think it’s true and I want them to learn the truth. That’s the same reason the schools you love so much teach whatever they teach; because they think it’s true (or at least, that it’s true that it’s useful to someone). I’m not ‘indoctrinating’ any more than the schools are (a lot less, as a matter of fact); I’m just teaching something the schools disagree with. That would be another reason why I don’t want them teaching my children; what kind of parent wants his children to learn something he believes to be false?
Second, the idea that kids learn how to think in public schools is quaint and rather sad. No, they get taught to swallow a lot of Leftist nonsense whole. Oh, and frankly; they’re kids. How much independent thought do you expect a flipping seven year old to have? Enough to critically examine the videos on Global Warming they’re watching in science class? Enough to say ‘wait a second; this book is a poorly written piece of racist propaganda designed to make me feel guilty about something some people who may have superficially looked like me did a hundred years ago!’? Enough to challenge their flipping teacher when they hear something that doesn’t seem to fit? No? Then don’t talk nonsense about their ‘thinking for themselves.’ Kids have to take their ideas from somewhere; you’re not going to raise a six-year-old Socrates who questions and examine everything he hears until he uncovers the truth through his own brilliant efforts. If parents don’t pass on their views, the kids will take their views from their peers, their teachers, or just society in general. Is that really what you want? Either you ‘indoctrinate’ them or someone else will, but there’s no question of ten year olds forming their own unique and worthwhile conclusions about the world through disinterested reflection and study, especially not when locked in room with a strange adult and twenty other kids being ordered to simply swallow whatever they’re told.
I didn’t seriously learn to think until I went to college. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Franciscan University is one of the few genuinely Catholic colleges left in the country: it wears its faith boldly on its sleeve and the students are almost all obsessive Catholics (seriously; it was a little surreal at first, because while I was a practicing Catholic, I wasn’t used to everyone else being one). I had more serious, thoughtful, challenging discussions and encountered more honest-to-goodness ideas and learned to examine and critique them better in the four years I spent there than in the twelve I spent in public and private schools. So don’t you go saying that because my kids aren’t going to know how to think just because they won’t be getting Leftist/Materialist propaganda shoved down their throats from the age of five!
In summary, the Public School systems’ view seems to be “well, he won’t learn much, but at least he’ll know that it’s okay to be different (in approved ways), and we’ll socialize him real good (meaning that he’ll have a venereal disease by the time he’s 16)!” And the private schools generally seem to take after the Public Schools, only with better funding and sometimes at least a veneer of religion thrown on the top. Add in that homeschoolers tend to mop the floor with public schoolers, academically speaking. So, no; I am quite determined that none of my children will ever set foot in one of those soul-crushing, brainwashing deathtraps commonly called “public schools.”
Vive Christus Rex!
Vive Christus Rex!