A lot of people are home schooling these days. I suppose it's because they don't want to expose their child to 'worldly' influences or maybe it’s because they’re afraid their child will be 'bullied'. Maybe they were bullied or had a miserable school experience. I guess in some cases home schooling is the only option but it is my experience that more and more parents who live in excellent school districts are 'opting out' of the traditional education system and 'these' parents may be seriously screwing up their child's future. This is my problem with home schooling.
Most parents I know who are home schooling their children are not qualified to teach basic math, much less algebra 2 or advanced calculus. Most of them don't know the difference between a Van Gough and a Picasso. They have hardly mastered the English language much less French or Spanish. Children need a broad range of learning that covers subjects that can only be taught in a classroom by trained professional teachers. Besides...going to school is so much more than academics. You learn to live on schedule...be somewhere on time. You learn how to ‘socially interact’ with other people. You make friendships that last a lifetime. School prepares children for the real world.
Kids who go to school can run for office and help organize school functions. They can compete in sports, work on the yearbook staff or the school newspaper, be in a play, make projects for the science fair. School helps them to discover and experience things about themselves that will shape their adult life and make them a well rounded individual. If you think your child's 'online’ degree will be just as valuable as a traditional education you are seriously fooling yourself and you are putting your child's future in jeopardy.
It seems to me a lot of Republicans don't place much value in education. Rick Perry's state of Texas has the highest drop out rate in the nation. In states like New Jersey and Wisconsin teachers are leaving the profession in droves because their Republican Governors are slashing their paychecks and benefits. They are taking away their collective bargaining rights and demeaning the profession. They are cutting funding and forcing many of them to buy their own supplies. That will lead to more and more children being home schooled. 'News flash'... a lot of kids who are home schooled end up becoming social morons and they grow up ill prepared to survive in the real world.
While I'm on my little rant I have a few things to say about parents who 'force' their kids to go to church. Don't do it. If they ‘want’ to go.....great....but never put a 'guilt trip' on a child. Beware of organized religions who believe 'they' are the 'chosen ones'. There are good and decent people of all faiths. I was dragged to church 3 times a week. We didn't celebrate any of the holidays. On weekends I was knocking on doors.....'spreading the 'while the other kids were off playing baseball. I was not allowed to take part in school functions, join the boy scouts, go out for sports or even salute the flag. I was told I didn't need to go to college or get a degree. Joining the military was out of the question. I was taught the earth was only 6,000 years old and the world, as we knew it, was going to come to a violent and fiery end in 1975. The only survivors were going to be the people from 'our' church. That was some real 'Carrie' bullshit. I was terrified. Let's just say my early education was very questionable.
My dad was an 'elder'. He gave sermons to the congregation. Turns out he was a pretty big hypocrite. He was not only cheating on his wife, he was sexually abusing his daughters too. I had no idea. He used to beat me with a belt. He'd make me wait in my room, sometimes for an hour or more. I would be terrified when I heard his footsteps coming down the hall. He'd make me drop my pants and proceed to beat my bare butt with a leather belt. It would leave big red welts and bruises that would last for days. Yep, a lot of options for my future were taken off the table, by my parents. When I decided to go to college it was in direct rebellion...to them.
Children should be brought up to believe they can be anything they want, even President of the United States. Education is the key. Look...I'm no Dr Phil. My advice is just good common sense. You don't need a degree in psychology to know that you can seriously mess up your kid with an under par education and religious guilt trips. Being Christian is cool...but being forced into a religion that goes against every fiber in your being is...well...kind of barbaric...and unfair.
It’s okay to shield your child from sex but never associate 'sex' with 'guilt'. Monitor what they watch and who they hang around with. You have to be pro-active in your child's life. Never let a child under 18 years old have a computer in their room. You are inviting pedophiles into your home if you do. Set their computer up in the kitchen or the living room where you can monitor them. You can control what your child sees on the Internet...you just have to be smart enough to do it.
Never 'completely' trust a child. You are foolish if you do. Never give them the idea that their room is 'private' or 'off limits' to you. If they are in their room, always 'knock' before you enter, but raise them to know that you frequently enter their room when they are not home to clean or put away laundry.
Never let a man abuse or mistreat your child. Never force your child to adopt 'your' religion. You will be sorry if you do. Teach them what you believe and tell them why. Let them come to their own conclusions. Don’t lay a 'guilt trip' on them if they choose to believe differently. It is their right as a human being! Your lifestyle is more important than your faith. They will learn more from watching you live your life than you will ever know. Set a good example. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Teach them the value of hard work and sacrifice. Help them to recognize their talents and nurture them. Help them to build their self-esteem. Give them unconditional love. Children will follow your example. If you smoke they will be more likely to smoke. If you drink they will be more likely to drink. If you believe in God they will be more likely to believe in God.
Remember, sometimes bad kids come from good homes. It’s just the way it is. Try not to beat yourself up if your kid does something stupid. It’s human nature. Some things are beyond your control. Children get depressed too. Look for the signs. If you think you child is depressed you need professional help. Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope it goes away... it won’t. Sometimes depressed kids kill themselves.....or their parents.
I raised two girls. Both of them are the kind of daughter every man dreams of having. Both of them have excellent educations, high moral standards and deep Christian roots. They have wonderful little families They are both teachers...both Republicans. Both of them are beginning to question their choices and explore their options.