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June 20, 2008

Homeschooling Reconsidered

Stanislav asks:

Would you work with micromanaging boss, no salary, and all your work thrown away?

Unfortunately, my subject line ruins the punchline of his (non-joke) post about institutionalized public education, which you should go read anyway. I get the impression he opted out of for his young daughter and it made me think about my own kids, who are 11 and 8 years old. My daughter is about to start middle school and my son is going into fourth grade. They're relatively smart and athletic kids, and overall they are growing up in a typical American suburban way of life. I really haven't given much thought about homeschooling, even though my religious, borderline nut-job parents homeschooled all four of my younger siblings after struggling with their perception of my own high-school career.

The thing is, school really is just a glorified daycare center. As an intelligent, misunderstood and equally rebellious kid, school didn't do anything for my discipline and life prospects other than keep me out of trouble (and poorly at that, once I hit high school). I spent my entire childhood with my head buried in books and computers, and I'm sure that most of what I learned during those years was self-taught. What school taught me above all is that other people are cruel and stupid, and to always, unfailingly question and challenge authority figures. (It has served me well, I think.)

Kids get Macbooks for Christmas

So as I reflect on my children and their school experience, I have to ask myself some tough questions. Given the luxury of time and resources to be able to afford the investment of homeschooling, am I willing to consider it as a realistic option? The actual schooling wouldn't even have to happen at "home", since I could easily set up an office with two desks here at Hashrocket HQ and treat them as junior interns.

Any of you dealing with similar questions?

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