This post started out as a comment on Meg's post about homeschooling, but it got long enough that I decided to make it its own post. Here it is.

This is something I think about a lot. I certainly see where Meg's coming from with a lot of the problems with schools. Things like age-segregation, rote learning, being forced to learn at the pace of, and in the style of, what suits the majority are very real problems, not to mention the social difficulties like bullying, clique mentalities, and unenlightened self-interest that kids either learn or are victims of or both. I can't speak to Meg's religious objections, but I agree that there are plenty of objections to be made without bringing religion into the picture. I'm just not yet convinced that homeschooling is the best solution. Not that I'm questioning anyone's decision, I'm just trying to work it out for myself. I mean, yes, there are huge problems with the school systems, but are we doing better to remove our children from this system, rather than try to fix the system? What of the majority of children whose parents simply don't have the resources to homeschool? Or to be activists to fix the schools? Should those who do have those resources focus them entirely inward? Do we have a responsibility to those other children to try to make the public school system something that really makes it possible for all children to succeed, or does our responsibility end with our own children?

I believe it is more socially responsible to devote our energies to fighting for educational reform that would allow for more mixing of ages, smaller class-sizes (which would in turn allow for more individual attention and more personalized lesson plans), more time outside of the classroom, better facilities, etc. Not to mention a paradigm shift in career and work expectations that would make it easier for parents to have successful careers, or even just make ends meet, and still be very involved in their children's educations. But if I had children, would I be willing to sacrifice their education and happiness on the altar of social responsibility?

It's not an easy question.

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