Classroom time benefits students

In his article “Home Sweet Homeschooling” Jim Mullen makes a rather glib and uneducated comparison between homeschooling a child and our public school system.

When parents first view the options of homeschooling I’m sure the notion does seem appealing.

There are many positive aspects of constant communication with a son or daughter. Being able to grab hold of life’s teachable moments, covering all the various curricula and spending time on the points of interest a student wishes to discover, not being held back by others in the classroom all seem like huge positives. One’s children could then learn at a pace which would be ideal.

As a parent, I think the instruction of my children is better left to others who are qualified. I have found this when providing opportunities for music lessons, skiing and snow boarding instruction and driver training.

These activities are all things which I am proficient at yet lack the proper qualifications to deliver the instruction. In short, I am not passionate about teaching my children old how to play guitar, drive or ski. The amount of whining and arguing is not worth the effort.

However, if I drop an eager kid off with a qualified instructor everybody wins.

Homeschooling can be an effective and rewarding way to show a child the world. Yet, it can result in very bad social experiment with disastrous results. Teachers have received extensive training.

They work closely with other colleagues to provide a well-rounded base for students by helping them become learners for life. But the most import attribute teachers provide is passion for what they do. Mercifully, if they do not have passion they burn out or retire.

Obvious pluses such as learning with friends, sharing in discussions where many varied opinions are offered, diversity of subject matter, resources, technology and working to make a school a community are aspects of public education that are not as readily available to homeschooled children.

It seems Mr. Mullen has not recently spent time in a classroom. Socialization is a small part of what goes on in public schools.

Teachers earn the respect of their students and show respect in return.

Maybe if Mr. Mullen earned the respect of the youth he interacted with then he would be greeted with a “Sir” instead of a “Yo dude”.


Brent Applegath




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