I took the kids to their favorite arcade as soon as school was back in session, so we could avoid all the crowds. Of course all the people working there asked why the kids aren’t in school, so we did the usual conversation where they say, “Oh, so your mom teaches you?” And I say, “No. I don’t tell him what to learn.”
I could answer that question 50 different ways. But almost no one really hears the answer. People live in denial that such an approach could possibly work.
It blows my mind how much denial a parent has to be in to send their kid to school. Like this dad who is clearly educated and thoughtful undermines the school with his (funny) letter requesting that the school not penalize his kids for unexcused absences due to a family trip. It’s fine to disagree with the school, but it’s not fine to leave your kids there for eight hours a day while at the same time you criticize the administrators’ decision-making skills. If nothing else, it’s a tough situation for a kid to sort out.
Lately the New York Times has published reams of data supporting homeschooling yet somehow not drawing that conclusion from their data. This article about passion is a great example. The writer acknowledges that colleges favor kids who are passionate about something and doing it all the time, with big devotion. The writer doesn’t like that, though, because how can kids do that if they are in school all day?
The obvious answer is to take your kids out of school because school makes it harder for your kid to get into college (Of course, I have said this before.) But instead of even considering this conclusion, the writer argues that kids should not be bothered with finding their interests when they are young. The author argues that maybe if they never struggle with the passion equation, kids will just figure it out when they enter adult life.
I am past kicking and screaming about how parents put their heads in the sand so they don’t have to deal with homeschooling. Fine. It doesn’t hurt me. I need to stop screaming.
But what does hurt me is the possibility that I’m putting my head in the sand about something else. I just can’t figure out what it is. I want to. I want to avoid choosing to be thoughtless. I think that’s why I hate seeing denial in other people. It’s so ugly and depressing to be in denial. And I am pretty sure that an inherent part of denial is that we don’t know we’re there.