I’m so frustrated with homeschooling now that my son wants to go to graduate school for science. Now things are serious.
He has to pass tests to show he can compete in college. His taking SAT IIs this year. He’d be taking the biology AP test if I had not messed up the process for signing him up, but that should be a separate post. But suffice to say that you need to get an early start — December — to ensure your local school will order a test for your kid to take at that school. Because as one administrator told me: “It’s a favor we do for the college board. We don’t have to give tests to homeschoolers.”
As my son gets older he cares less what I think a good version of homeschooling is. He tells me he’ll handle it from now on. He asserts his authority by insisting I used his selfies on my blog instead of photos of him that I take. I try to accommodate his budding teenage independence. And I have been keeping my negative opinions about college to myself as much as possible. Also I swore over and over again that I would not mess up a testing registration date again.
But I want to tell you:
College serves to push down any kids who almost rise out of poverty: rich kids graduate poor kids don’t. And just as rich kids are realizing they can skip school and go straight into the rich, white world of Silicon Valley, we are discovering a key reason for poor kids to go to college is to sit next to the rich kids in a classroom.
Master’s degrees are as common now as bachelor’s degrees were in the 60s. This makes sense because the marketplace for buying papers has caught up with the trend: you can buy a chapter of your master’s thesis from fastessay.com.
And if you get a master’s degree and take a job that didn’t require a master’s degree, you are at risk of depression. Which almost allows me to logically draw the intuitive conclusion that the more school you go to the more you feel incapable of dealing with adult life.
So far I’m staying clear of the data that shows that if you get a STEM PhD you are not going to be a professor. But I am sure to tell my son how great it is to take a PhD to the pharmaceutical industry or wherever else upwardly mobile STEM PhDs find themselves.
I think one of the best things that self-directed learning does is teach parents sooner than later that you cannot control how your kids turn out. School is about control. So you don’t find out who your kid really is until after college. With self-directed learning you don’t have to wait till after college to find out what your kid will choose.
How ironic, then, that my self-directed learner chooses to teach himself to the test.