"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
I call this The Homeschool Creed. In the homeschool community, this verse seems to pop up everywhere! Maybe it's our Biblical vindication to live on the fringe, to do what is not "normal".
But I got to thinking about this verse in the other context. The public school context. When the government takes it upon themselves to train up our children in the way they think they should go. And how those kids aren't departing from their lessons.
What do kids learn in high school? What did I learn in high school? What lasting lessons did I take away from public school?
fade back to 1993.....
I learned that it was not okay to be different. High school kids fall into a pack mentality - if you're not with them, you're against them. They don't know how to appreciate how differences can keep things interesting or teach them something new. How that lesson affects us today? Racism. Prejudice. Elitism. Intolerance.
I learned how to sleep in class. Smoking in the girls bathroom. Cutting last period. Breaking the rules, and getting away with it. How does that lesson affect us today? We've learned to be sneaky. That rules were meant to be broken. And, if we do happen to get caught, so many others are breaking the laws that the punishments aren't so prohibitive.
And what about what I didn't learn? Like math, science, English. The teachers were too busy trying to referee the class to really imbue us with any pearls of knowledge. Sure, I got the basics, at least enough to continue on my own. But I could have gone so much farther with more attention. Smaller classes. Stricter rules. My lesson for today? That I want to be the one teaching my son. No one will give him as much attention as I will. And he deserves to not fall through the cracks of a public school education.
I think we've got to get it out of our heads that we're raising kids, and realize that we're raising adults. Do I trust the public school system to raise him up in the way he should go? Do I really in my heart think that Troy City Schools can mold him into a well-rounded, educated, compassionate adult?
This is why I do what I do.