Yesterday, I got an excellent note from a reader named Amy. Her note was a response to my post of the 20th. I could just feel her frustration in the note. Education in this day is so difficult. The difficulties arise out of our present culture. Amy has inspired me to investigate the whole problem of how can single parents home school their kids while managing to keep body and soul together as well as staying sane. I thought today I would just make the blog entry my response to Amy’s wonderful note.
I completely understand your concerns. I have a foot in both worlds. First, I am a career teacher. Second, I am a stong advocate of home schooling and independent learning. I share your concerns. Home schooling isn’t going to be possible for everyone. There will always be a valuable place for public, private and other kinds of educational venues. Your concerns are completely valid. I have seen several creative single parents make it work while working full time jobs. First, there are so many resources out there now that did not exist years ago. I serve some families as a consultant supervisor to their kids by being in constant electronic contact with the kids and the parents. As I develop the blog, I will outline some of the ways that single parents are making it work. Tragically, about 50% of all parents are now single. Flexible day care situations help. So do family resources. Regarding the more advanced subjects the resources available to kids now are immense. I have not seen a family who wants to make advanced study work have a failure. But, there are others who can’t. In that case there are co-ops and tutorial services available. Please understand, I am not at all opposed to public/private schools in the traditional mode. Rather I am about solutions to improve the traditional school but also to develop solutions for the parent who choses to home school whether single or not. Remember that schools are a recent invention in the history of mankind. Personally I remember almost nothing I learned in school other than things I was really motivated to learn. I learned all the math I know including calculus myself. I also take it that you are a working teacher. As you know so much of the time in schools now is wasted taking care of disciplinary/social issues. Most of what is taught in twelve years can be taught in 5 to 7. I do share your concerns. Please stay with me as we work through these things together. I sense a true concern for kids in your writing. You are the kind of person who needs to be in teaching even though I sense your frustration with several things. Remember I taught for over 30 years. The last 15 I have also been involved with home schooling and independent learning. I invite you to stay with me on this journey. I also invite your comments which are excellent and perceptive. Thanks so much, John