From the four or five stories of abuse and death of supposedly homeschooling families each year to large portions of homeschoolers who want to deny their children good science educations in favor of religious (or even anti-industrial environmentalism) instruction, homeschoolers are insistent that those cases do not damn all of us. Yet every horrible story of a public school teacher (presenting a huge segment of the population compared to homeschool parents) gone bad is listed as yet another reason to homeschool--painting each teacher with the same broad, tainted brush. There are certain bad philosophies shared by ed schools and so many teachers that one can make generalizations. Idiot teachers who might be mean or cruel are no more representative of public school as a whole than murderous, abusive homeschoolers.
Now that I am a firm fence-straddler, using both homeschool & public school, and hope to be fully entrenched in the public school culture next year (which can only happen if Flurpee would do her work!), I am have a very different perspective. I have seen homeschoolers do their own children a disservice and public school curriculum be much more rigorous than the instruction received at their homes (my daughter is still trying to catch up with some skills I had not taught properly). I have also seen incredible dedication by public school teachers who stay after school to offer additional help. I think I have a good perspective to see that public schools are not always awful and that homeschool is not always great.
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