Homeschooling parents, I salute you. Never in a million years could I have seen myself in your shoes. Well, that is, until I heard you can actually have your teenager homeschool herself.
Imagine! No fighting with the public school district AND no fighting with your pain-in-the-butt darling child about geometry and Nathaniel Hawthorne's greatest works! You can have your cake and eat it too!
Doesn't it sound marvelous?
YES! I am being serious.
There's an essay this week over on XO Jane written by a college kid whose parents let her do just that. Felicia Rose had been kicked out of her boarding school, and she just did not mesh well with public school. But instead of shoving their daughter into another private school, they decided to let her take the reins of her education.
What she opted for was a virtual school system. She's going to school, at home, but unlike the version of homeschool that's best known in America, her parents really didn't have to do anything ... aside from footing the bill. She was very much in charge of her own destiny, and it suited her perfectly. She excelled in that environment in ways she hadn't ever before.
Sounds like my kind of homeschooling, how about you?
See, the reason I will never homeschool my kid is because I don't have the personality for it. I'm what you might call hard-headed. And impatient. I was not teacher material; that's why I became a writer.
And, well, let's just say the apple didn't fall far, if you know what I mean.
Put my daughter and me in a room together to hang out as regular mom and daughter, and we're all good. Put me in the educator role, on the other hand, and it's like pouring water on a grease fire. We explode. Learning to tie her shoe, learning to ride a bike ... all those things have been left up to her father.
But homeschooling has its advantages, among them the ability to get them out of a public school system that is obsessed with testing kids to death. A few years back I read one of the best memoirs out there on the subject and interviewed its author, Laura Brodie, for The Stir. A college professor, she yanked her daughter out of school for just one year and taught her at home because she'd found the daughter had fallen out of love with learning. Just that one year reinvigorated her.
Got a cranky teen with the same problem but don't think you could handle being a homeschooling parent? Well then letting your kid do it themselves may not be the worst idea.
Would you let your kid homeschool themselves?
Image via Robb North/Flickr