What’s your homeschool Kryptonite?
For me, one of the most difficult things to overcome as a homeschool mom has been getting over my instinct to recreate the “educational” environment I grew up in. After all, aren’t we absolutely inundated with propaganda about how great school is?
Over the years I’ve increasingly become more and more awake to the mess that is called the public education system.
One of the biggest myths circulating throughout the general public is that “schools foster ingenuity.” How many of you remember your own teachers telling you that if you did well in school, you could be whatever you wanted to be? You could accomplish anything. The sky was the limit!
Today’s school mantra is much the same. Students are told that if they do their work, follow the rules, pay attention to the teacher, and get good grades, they could be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. If they attend after-school test prep classes, their future will be good as gold.
Only that’s not even remotely true.
Schools expect conformity, not ingenuity.
They don’t want or like out-of-the-box thinkers. They want students who will parrot back the information they’ve poured into them. They aren’t interested in students who will think for themselves and question the indoctrination they’re fed.
Think about it.
What usually happens to those children who tend to interrupt their teachers by going off on rabbit trails?
How many children have had points taken off of homework or tests, not because they got the wrong answer, but because they didn’t arrive at the answer the way their teacher wanted them to?
How many artistically gifted students have been disillusioned by instructors who refused to allow them to create what they were inspired to create?
How many students have received a lower grade or disciplinary action simply for voicing an opinion contrary to what was being taught?
There’s a reason for this. Schools weren’t created to make kids smarter. They were created to train future factory workers. As someone pointed out to me the other day, schools ARE factories. They were created to train obedient citizens- those who embrace the status quo, no matter how ridiculous it is at times, and don’t even question why.
Maybe that’s why bureaucrats are so adamant about equating schools with the real world- because they fully expect tomorrow’s adults to settle for a life of mediocrity. How could this consumer-driven country survive without them, after all?
I’m not being unrealistic. I fully understand that we can’t have all entrepreneurs and no workers. The world just doesn’t work that way.
What I am saying is that it’s time to point out the elephant in the room. It’s time that our nation’s school administrators stop schmoozing and admit that there is no room in the classroom for ingenuity.
It’s time to be honest.
But I’m not holding my breath.