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Old June 20th, 2001, 12:28 PM   #7
LiamFan!
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I may have considered homeschooling, but my son is an only child and we don't have a lot of people his age in our extended family.

School for him is mainly for social interaction and the development and refinement of social and pragmatic skills. My husband and I are both avid readers, and our son read before he ever entered junior kindergarten. His reading and language skills continue to develop at a pace far ahead of his age peers, leading sometimes to comments from educators that he needs no academic instruction in school. After being tested recently, the report indicated that his acquired knowledge was far greater than his incidental knowledge "because of exposure to culturally enriching experiences outside of the school environment." I had to chuckle at that...the near-weekly trips to the museum are paying off. ;-)

I think it depends on where you are in the country (or the world!) when you talk about education, and the effect that being in a public institution may have on your child. I don't think defining it as "confinement" is always accurate. Our school system isn't perfect, but it is much better than others I've seen (and taught in). Even within our district, though, elementary schools differ in philosophy and approach. Parental involvement makes a big difference, I think, and the involvement level is high where our son is schooled.

Although I think a child <i>can</i> receive a good education at home, I don't think a blanket statement that a home-schooled child is more well-rounded can be made. It certainly depends on the parents. An example that comes to mind is the family of children who were just holed up in a house in Idaho. My bet is that those children are not very well-rounded, after having been taught that everyone on the outside was a potential threat and danger. Of course, "hard cases make bad law."

Lastly, I don't think the appearance of this ridiculous question on a test is a sign of a bigger problem...I think it was one prankster who thought they were being funny and making some kind of statement...pulling the wool over the eyes of the powers that be. There are always going to be people like that, unfortunately. Good for the kid who figured it out!

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