Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Schools Ravaging The Environment

I figure since in this day and age where we are forced to endlessly ponder the *footprint* of toilet flush frequency and clean sheets at hotels, that it's only fair to examine the full environmental impact of mass schooling.

Suburban *moms* and SAHDs/WAHDs, just about all they do each day is taxi their kids from one place to the next - chiefly to and from what they consider *school*. Just drive by almost any elementary school in the morning or afternoon. The line of cars waiting to chauffeur the juvenile *rock stars* is staggering. When I attended these hoosegows, from 1980 to 1988, nobody was picked up by their parents. Every self-respecting, neglected brat took the bus or walked home. I was actually walking to and from school in the 1st grade a full mile each way - admittedly, only half of it was *uphill* and it only *snowed* for 75% of the school year.

And although I didn't have to walk home everyday for lunch (y'all realize apparently the brown bag wasn't invented yet back in the 40s and 50s), I did have to eat the sandwiches my father made OR starve since they had no marketable value. Let the record show I was pretty darn thin - daily walking and the meager prospect of liverwurst or bologna will do that anyone.

When I did break down and eat them, well,....I'm sure I looked as satisfied as Bear Grylls!

But I digress.

Just imagine what car traffic would be like in the morning if everyone homeschooled their kids. How much less carbon would be burned? How many fewer polar bears would float away???!!!

I take my 4 year-old son to what everyone except me calls *school* or *pre-school* twice a week for 2.5 hours each on Tuesday and Thursday. They don't learn jack-sh*t there; it's glorified baby-sitting, nothing more. Next year the program goes to three days per week and I am pulling Prince C-Nut out. I've got to stay focused and not digress, again.

Let me just say, that I really dislike *school* days. It takes 1.5 hours of rushing to get out the door - between rousing my son out of bed, jamming breakfast down his throat, brushing his teeth, getting him dressed, evacuated, etc. Plus, I have to fix myself up - there are a lot of moms out there - AND, I have the issue of my 2.5 year old Princess to get ready as well. Though, now I just leave her in pajamas and let her sit in the car with stinky breath, a full diaper, and an empty stomach while I do the drop-off.

Then, by the time I turn around and get home, it's 9:15 and I have, at best 2 hours of peace with one less kid. But in that window, I have to eat breakfast, change my daughter's bursting diaper, evacuate myself, etc. The time absolutely flies by. Before you know it, I am back in the car spending another 20-30 minutes for the pickup.

This process, this ordeal is such a tremendous waste of time AND energy....and for what? So my kid can assemble a pre-made valentine and goof off in the playground with his age-mates?

Realize that altogether I probably spend a total of 2 hours *getting ready* and *running around* with very little accomplished. Do y'all appreciate how much quality one-on-one teaching a homeschooling parent can get done in that time frame? Most homeschoolers spend a mere three hours per day on their education.

Right now I commit just 15-30 minutes per day with the Prince on his *work*. He's barely 4 and already halfway through this book:

Look at the age level - 6,7,and 8!

By the time he's eligible for kindergarten, Sept 2010, you watch, he'll be reading and computing at a 5th grade level.

All that's needed for such progress is $6.95 for each book, a number 3 pencil, 15-30 minutes of parental oversight, AND your kid not getting shipped off every day, er outsourced, to some masquerading *school*. That's it!

Think of all the miles driven, the hours and money wasted, and THE CARBON BURNT by scurrying parents by the time their kids are educated to a *5th grade level*.

Homeschooling is GREEN!!!

And nothing's GREENER than working out of the house AND homeschooling your brood.

Heck, we do less laundry and take fewer showers to boot!

And, for good measure, when we do break down and bathe, I've got the whole C-Nut clan peeing in the shower to save water.


Anonymous said...


When did you start getting your son into these books? I have a two year old and I got the maze book for her and she likes the pictures and likes to color them but doesn't get the concept. We read to her everyday and she enjoys this but I don't feel we are making a whole of progress or furthering her along from her peers. Is your daughter into these books yet?

CaptiousNut said...

They don't do much until age 3, IMO. But that's no reason to baby them.

One big hurdle for my son was the holding of the writing implement. Work was tedious and slow until this physical skill obstacle was overcome. Since then we've accelerated.

My daughter is 2.6. She's done the tracing book; next up will be Uppercase Letters. Again, it's all about holding the implement. A good intermediate step is coloring with attention to staying in the lines and also these Kumon wipe-and-erase cards. We have my daughter do those even though she's not holding the pen properly. The characters are bigger so that makes it somewhat easier - and she like to be able to *wipe* away her mistakes.


My wife is really on me to push my daughter; I'm accused of partial neglect. It's just kind of hard at that age to do too much when they can't draw accurately.

So long as you make a point to do a little writing each day, progress will be made and manifest quite rapidly.

And it's pretty awesome to behold.