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10 Stupid Reasons to Attend Public School

16 years ago we started homeschooling on a dare from our oldest daughter, who had just turned seven. Now she and her closest sibling are attending a prestigious private university and their four younger siblings are still homeschooling.

I don’t hate public schools, they can be a valid resource. But I hate the erroneous notion that they should be the singular source (or even the primary source) for educating our kids. I hate the nonsensical (and harmful) belief that school boards or elementary education majors or teachers’ unions should decide what is best for our children and/or that they are better educators. Our kids deserve better.

After a brief homeschooling encounter on FaceBook a few weeks ago — with yet another uninformed person claiming supreme knowledge about all things homeschooling — I thought I’d share with you ten really stupid reasons for attending public school. Keep in mind, these aren’t made up. These are all reasons that I have been told over and over (and over) for approaching two decades now, from public school parents.

Children should attend public school in order to:

  1. Deal with bad teachers
  2. Sit at a desk for hours
  3. Take tests
  4. Take timed tests
  5. Take timed test under pressure
  6. Let mom have “me” time
  7. Get along with other people
  8. Deal with disappointment
  9. Respond to bullies
  10. Walk from class to class

As always, my questions are:

  • Is going to school for 7 hours a day, 180 days a year, for 13 years the only way to learn these things?
  • Is going to school for 7 hours a day, 180 days a year, for 13 years the most efficient way to learn these things?

You tell me.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Par4Man June 11, 2010, 4:00 pm

    You think #6 isn’t a good reason? I couldn’t stand to be around my kids all day long!

  • Monica Casselberry June 11, 2010, 7:11 pm

    I have been homeschooling for going on 4 years. I started due to the tramatic experience my 4 oldest endured. I too need “me” time so I get up at 4:30 everyday to read, pray, workout and shower all before my 6 kids still at home get up. Homeschooling was and is one of the best choices we have ever made 🙂 Good job!

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2010, 1:36 am

    Par4Man, did you ever wonder if you can’t stand to be around your kids all day because they’ve been socialized so much by school?

    Monica, oh darlin’, you’re making me tired. I sometimes go to bed at 4:30! Maybe that counts. It’s 1:35 am now, so I’ve got a good start. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I admire your discipline! But let it be known you don’t have to get up at 4:30 am to get personal time as a homeschooling mom!

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2010, 1:38 am

    I just got an email from Katrina who said:

    I can’t believe the list does not include “for socialization.”

    In case anyone else thought the same thing, let me point out that it does! In #1, #7, #8, and #9!

  • happyhomeschoolingmomto7 June 12, 2010, 8:01 am

    funny, we seem to get most of that at home! :>
    fortunately my children having a loving mom (not a perfect teacher or perfect person lol) who helps them work through the issues in a manner based on Godly principles, not the “politically correct” or “socially acceptable” way.
    what i did notice that was missing was “what are the latest trends in fasion and gadgets etc.?” :>

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2010, 8:24 am

    And the latest slang! But did you hear those from parents as a reason to go to school? In my experience it was mostly a noticeable byproduct, but I never heard someone advocating that as a reason to go. “Well, if your kids don’t go to school, how will they learn to say, ‘Dude!'” 🙂

    What I think is most glaring absent (and a reason I have never heard — in 16 years of homeschooling): “Your kids should go to school to learn academics.”

  • Melinda June 12, 2010, 10:31 am

    Your post is RIGHT ON Alison! There are definitely dedicated teachers out there who teach for the right reasons, but administration and the DOE ties their hands! Public school has it’s place – it’s the idea that it’s the ONLY place (or heaven forbid the BEST place) that gets people in trouble.

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