It’s important? I dunno, this is a topic I’ve thought about, but not, apparently enough to have an definitive opinion about it, or a concrete subject to talk about. I do have opinions, of course, they’re just in the nebulous stage that makes it difficult to start writing, let alone write anything coherent, so I guess today I’ll just give a run-down of my experience with education to date.
I grew up homeschooled, with the exception of a brief stint at public school (second and half of third grade, rough years.) I know that there are a lot of opinions out there regarding homeschooling, some of it really very negative, and some pretty solid stereotypes. For my part, I am glad my parents decided to go this route with my education.
Public school is a valid form of education that works very well for some people, but I do believe that different people learn in different ways, and what works well for one person may not work well for others. I, for one, did not learn well in ‘traditional’ school settings. I couldn’t sit still and listen for hours, and still learn anything; I’d be so focused on sitting and listening that I couldn’t actually pay attention to the teacher. Being homeschooled allowed me to learn at my own pace, and it also allowed me to learn different coping mechanisms so that once I went to college and found myself back in traditional classroom settings, I was able to handle it. (It also taught me self-motivation when it came to things like deadlines and projects, which made the few online classes I took a bit of a breeze.)
One of the things I love most about homeschooling, that I think a lot of people who haven’t had direct experience with it miss, is how varied it is. Yes, there are those families whose education was completely contained in-house, and they never learned how to be socially fluent, as the stereotype goes, but that is only one method of homeschooling. Even though my parents do (on the surface) fall into that stereotype, being both conservative and Christian, my education did not. We, as a family, attended a great deal of co-op classes and other groups for homeschoolers, especially once we got to high school, and my mother (who was our main educator) spent a phenomenal amount of type making sure our education was varied, rich, and balanced. Perhaps this is also due to where we lived during my high school years, where homeschooling has become increasingly prevalent, but each family that comprised the various homeschooling groups we attended had their own methodology towards education and unique reasons why they choose to homeschool. Not every family was conservative, not every family was Christian, not every family sheltered their children (though there were, of course, those that did, they were surprisingly few and far in between.) Pretty much the only connecting thread these families all had was that their children did not attend classes in a residential, full-time public school.
So all of that little ramble to say, is my thoughts on education run mainly towards “Yay, homeschooling” and “I like learning.” Or something. Maybe I’ll revisit this topic when I actually have something to say.