I certainly understand the tendency for parents to believe that they must send their children to public school in order to be a good parent. After all, our current culture has instructed us through those same government schools that going to a publicly run school is important to our lives. So I support my local public school grudgingly even though I believe that home schooling is far superior to public school. My kids went to public school. They attended Mason for the first half of the school lives, and then they graduated from Lakota. But for one year in between those transfers they were home schooled by my wife, and I think that was the most important year of their lives. It was hard at the time, and the choice was difficult. The decision to pull our kids out of school came from a battle over sex education in the fourth grade that we disagreed with. The school retaliated at our lack of “consensus.” My wife had been a room mom and helped the teachers three times a week and loved it. She dedicated enormous amounts of her time to not just my kids, but my kid’s classmates, which is how it is supposed to be.
But the school could not tolerate our family’s position against the sex education policies as they feared more parents might follow our rebellion, so they went after us in an aggressive way as a family, which was a really bad idea on their behalf. The school let my wife know that she was no longer welcome to be a room mom and my kids became targeted by bullies as soon as my wife was no longer in the building. That decision by the school led to unnecessary violence and a lot of hurt people climaxing in a fight between me and 22 teenage boys in front yard of our house.
The boys were encouraged by teachers in the school to pick on my kids and the police took the side of the teachers because of the union “brotherhood” which led to the massive fight. The boys made it so my kids could not ride their bikes on the sidewalk in front of our home, openly challenging us to a confrontation. And I was not going to allow my children to be bullied by a bunch of rough-looking 10th, 11th and 12th grade Mason students. It is now a family joke that when the movie Gran Torino came out a few years ago, it was that last role by Clint Eastwood that reminded them of life in our house during that time, because I was at war with the entire neighborhood. Instead of being an old man at the end of my life like Eastwood was in that film, I was a young thirty something that seemed oddly misplaced among others in my age group who preferred to just keep the window curtains pulled and do what the thugs told them to. Instead I dug down and was in constant confrontation everyone which can be most closely explained in the clips below, which is why this film is a personal family joke.
The fight was unexpected. The calculation was that like every other family we would stay inside our locked up house and hide from the scary teenage boys. They didn’t think I would go outside and confront the mob with my bullwhips and fight them squarely because many of them were under aged, only a few were over 18. But that’s what I did and it caused quite a ruckus that lasted for an entire year and involved the police force of Mason all the way up to the chief of police. But this whole mess started in our kid’s elementary school and I finally convinced my wife that the best way to teach our kids was to home school them, so we pulled them out of school, and that caused our entire family to turn on us. So not only did the community turn on us but our family did as well. In that year we learned that there wasn’t anyone we could trust but ourselves. And that was the year that my kids learned more than any other, and most notably shaped them into the adults they now are. During that trying time I heard every one of the points that Glenn Beck discussed here from his GBTV episode on home schooling. He is 100% right! My family has been there and done it and can testify completely to what he is saying.
Now in hindsight, with my kids both grown and living their lives I can say honestly that I wish we had done home schooling for more than a year. Both of my kids finished their high schools with online courses and nearly two years early, because they wanted to travel and see the world, which is what they did. When their peers in school were graduating high school and getting their diplomas my kids were touring the London Museum of History and taking pictures of Big Ben. They followed the path of their mother who also left school early after her credits were finished. By the time my wife’s graduating class was putting on their robes to graduate she was married to me and we were on a cross-country trip traveling anywhere fast at over 100 MPH. Out of my core family I’m the only one who actually walked the stage in a robe with my friend Hickory who I’ve stated here sold his Honors Society Robe to a fellow student for a hundred bucks. CLICK HERE to review. My wife and I have lived very full lives and the whole graduation experience seems petty and stupid to us compared to other things we’ve done, and we would have done our kids a better service if we had home schooled them earlier and for more years.
I always viewed public education as education propaganda. It started for me in kindergarten. My teacher was an idiot and I remember thinking that at the time. My mom was always very active in my life and she like my wife was a room mom who took care of not just me, but my class mates. I remember watching lots of movies with my mom and know for a fact that I learned more from watching movies and documentaries with her and spending time around my grandparents than anything I learned in school.
Public school always felt like a waste of time. I spent most of my time getting into trouble with the teachers, getting into fights with other students, or drawing on my papers and writing stories. The art teachers and English teachers tried to capture my talent and steer me and I shut them all out. If I had listened to those teachers it’s quite likely I would be working for a newspaper somewhere as a reporter making a fraction of what I make now, and I wouldn’t be about to release my second novel. That’s not a knock against my reporter friends who read here every day, but they know it’s the truth. Advice is only as good as the person who gives it, and I wanted no advice from a teacher who worked for public education because I saw no value in their job. I felt that way as a child and I feel more strongly than ever as an adult. To me teachers were mind numb soldiers for something I wanted nothing to do with. I did not want them to impose on me the limits of their thinking.
When my kids were 5 and it came time for enrollment my mother was especially concerned when she heard my wife and me arguing about getting my oldest daughter ready for school. My wife enjoyed school until she met me, and saw nothing wrong with it. For her it was a bench mark, a natural progression to adulthood. For me it was like sending my kids to a death camp of propaganda. There was never a question that I was always radically independent compared to others around me, so I bent on my position because my entire family thought I was the one who was wrong. Of course as it turned out, I was the only one who was right. But you live and learn.
I told my daughter before she got on the school bus for the first time not to worry, that I’d deprogram her when she got home. Of course at age 5 my wife thought my daughter wouldn’t remember me saying that but at age 22 she still does, and luckily she listened to what I said. Now after all those years of raising our kids and seeing all the problems up close I was excessively right at age 25 about the intention of public education. The goal is not to make the best and brightest. It is to make kids average. Home schooled kids do better even with parents teaching them because those parents care about making their kids exceptional, and setting the bar high makes the children respond accordingly. That’s what’s missing in public education, it’s the expectation level.
Home schooling as an option is good because it brings competitive forces to public education and forces them to adjust their costs. Teachers are not worth 50K to 60K per year when they produce such complacent results next to the home schooled child taught by a parent with maybe only a high school education or college at best. Having home schooling as an option helps break up the monopoly of public education which is the intention of the government-run schools, it always has been. I knew it when I was a kid, even if I didn’t know why. I knew it when I was raising my own kids. And I know it now. My kids have had much improved lives because most of their socializing occurred outside of public education. They have done more in their first 25 years than most of their classmates will do in their first 50 and that’s a real shame. Social limits in life are started in public education. The chains are placed upon a child’s mind in government-run schools and I am even surer of it now than I was when I was younger. When I was a young man, I only had a feeling about it. Now I have facts.
There hasn’t been one day that my wife has woke up and wished she went to her graduation ceremony. She doesn’t ever feel like she missed something, because the activities we were doing were much larger in scope of experience. But many of the family that ridiculed us for home schooling our kids used those experiences in public education as bench marks of social development, getting a class ring, a jacket, and a cap and gown. It turned out that those family members were still stuck in some perpetual 15-year-old mentality and even at age 40 and 50 years old looked fondly back to their high school days with yearning. And I think that’s pathetic.
I outgrew public education within two weeks of starting kindergarten. My wife outgrew it at age 17. My kids did by second grade. The rest of the way they learned most of their information from me and their mom at home. They whizzed through school and were routinely on the honor role every single year, because it was easy for them, because I set the bar high at home. Public education is simply a bad product. It’s a failed social experiment and needs complete reform. It certainly doesn’t need additional funding. It needs less, and it needs competition to keep it honest, and all the unions should be made illegal. Unions have no place in public education.
So use public education if you want. Have your kids play the sports and socialize with the other kids. But in my opinion if you rely on public education to teach your kids exclusively, you are a lazy parent and a fool. You are surrendering your child’s life to an institution that will mentally confine the thoughts of your child to a life of social slavery and mundane misery. If you really want your child to learn and to be a good person, then you’ll home school them and you’ll do it as soon as humanly possible. In my eyes, it’s your obligation as a parent. And those who don’t at least try it I have no respect for.
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