Monday, September 13, 2010

Homeschooling - Teaching Relevant Geography and Genuine Socialization

The other day I ventured down to the south shore of Long Island, to take my kids to an uncommon - these days anyway - roller skating rink. And today I took them to a homeschooling event in the middle of the island, near Bethpage. Both trips required a little GPS.

But my wife, who grew up here, had absolutely no idea where either of those destinations were - not even ballpark ideas.

Why is that?

Because her entire life/world was hemmed in by ANTI-social government schools.

In fact, my wife didn't have a single friend or acquaintance in an adjacent town. Despite the millions of people nearby, her entire circle of friends came from the same 8,000 person town.

And you know childhood social life would have been confined to the city (Worcester) where I grew up as well if I hadn't gone to a private high school that drew from all over central Massachusetts, and beyond.

School don't just imprison kids via time confiscation and age segregation; these allegedly *socializing* institutions bind students to neighborhoods and towns, shutting them off from - forget the larger world - they're shut off from their freakin' neighbors down the street!

Today both my kids, in particular my 5.82 year old son, the Prince, played nicely at the homeschooling event (16 miles away) with the other kids. And who knows, it could be the start of a longtime friendship for him? Contrast that with both his mother and I, who at his age, had almost no social interaction outside of our school-built *gated-communities*.

Sure it takes effort to cultivate a friendship over distance. BUT almost everything worth doing in this life demands effort. (I think I'm going to trademark that line!)

For proof of that lemma I say consider your own childhood friends - the ones who just happened to grow up next to you and/or attend the same factory schools. How solid did those relationships prove over the years, say, when someone moved a little or even just when the *organized* activities were over?

See, I told you!

And from now on, I'd like you to refer to them more your *childhood cellmates*.

1 comment:

Anne Galivan said...

"Childhood Cellmates" - what a hoot!

But you are right. Even my "best friend" from high school (who, after later reflection, wasn't really that great a friend) doesn't keep in touch though it wasn't for the lack of my trying.

I still keep in touch with my first college roommate (who I named my daughter after) and a couple of people from high school I re-connected with last year. But yes, government schools generally provide only artificial relationships.

Of course, I think the most important relationships in our lives are those with family, and so am raising my children with that value system. As a result, my kids (who range in age from 26 to 8) are each other's best friends.