The education of children and young adults in society is important in preparing them for a future full of new responsibilities. The goal of education is to attempt to impart knowledge and skills to them in such a way that they can later be used in real life situations.
Some individuals believe that public education is necessary because not everyone can afford private education. They state that public education is necessary in order to socialize and prepare the child for interacting with other diverse individuals in real-life situations. Although not untrue, home schooling is a viable alternative to public schooling, one that can foster a child’s creativity, and offer the opportunity for the individual to broaden their wealth of knowledge.
Public school seems to be aimed towards the indoctrination of the pupils into the civic religion (Rockwell Jr, 2012). Athenian education was essentially largely dynamic, and it provided great thinkers who possessed exceptional creativity and intellectual acumen, like Plato, Socrates, Sophocles, and Aristophanes (Morgan, 1917).
In contrast, Spartan education was very rigid, with the government having monolithic control of education. The Spartans only had very practical skills to pass on. In other words, in Athens the goal was to produce citizens that were trained in the arts, to foster their creativity, and to prepare them for both peace and war. The Spartan education had a different agenda, in that it wanted a well drilled, well disciplined marching army.
Homeschooling can be a more beneficial option than public schooling, because it can truly feed and encourage the child’s creativity and unique thinking, it can foster their individuality, and make them more likely to question mainstream theories, or ideas which might not be critically addressed within the public education system. Of course, the child will still need diverse social contacts outside of the house, and the teacher must themselves be competent and constantly learning in a range of different topics which they themselves can learn about either online using e-learning resources or through the library.
Education is often used to engineer social, economic, and political perspectives. When children pass through the public education system they are usually stripped of their individualism: they are shaped into obedient workers who are readily submissive to authority figures, and who are proficient in regurgitating information in an effort to pass their standardized tests. The whole paradigm is based on industrial ideals.
The children in public schools are taught to be more interested in passing their exams than they are about thoroughly understanding and entertaining new concepts and ideas (Albert, 1996). From middle childhood through preadolescence, early signs of creativity disappear, ironed away by a linear system with the expectation of a single right answer, as they are subjected to being instilled with well-controlled knowledge and very specific learning skills (often deficient in critical thinking).
Divergent thinking cannot flourish in the classroom, and is not encouraged when there is a strict curriculum which has to be followed. How can these children be adequately prepared for various life situations, if they are only developing the skill of being able to memorize and regurgitate, without having any deep intrinsic understanding of the material?
Children all learn at a different pace, and sometimes in different ways, with their uniqueness being the root of original ideas and creativity. If they all learn at a different pace then homeschooling would be better because the student would receive more direct attention from the teacher, and the learning methods could be adapted in such a way that was most beneficial to that particular child directly. This seems better than forcing them to conform to the standardized teaching methods of public schooling.
Most of the time children in school focus on memorizing facts, and not enough on writing, reading, critical thinking, and forming their own ideas and developing hands-on experience. School should not be processing children like a factory, hindering the learning process with various bureaucratic regulations and actions.
Various schools in the United States have begun requiring students to scan their fingers, palms or even iris, in order to keep track and record information, for instance about the schools lunch programs. This has raised many concerns with parents that their children’s privacy is being violated. Schools have also even gone as far as to dictate what food is “acceptable” to be packed, and brought from home for the children’s lunch . It seems that public schools have confused their objective: instead of focusing on brightening the young minds of tomorrow, they are interfering with the privacy and health of the children.
With the option of homeschooling, the parent is able to spend more time with the child and to develop a stronger bond with them, instead of spending that time apart, and having the school raise the child. The standardized tests that the schools administer effectively stunt creativity, and those who are lacking in creativity are also going to be lacking in divergent thinking (Parke, Gauvain, & Schmuckler, 2010). Life is full of problems that require creative solutions, and it doesn’t seem that matters in society can improve if the majority of the citizenry are being forced through an education factory, with the focus on convergent thinking.
Home schooling affords the student the ability to learn from other areas, for the teacher to introduce a broader wealth of information that the student might not have been exposed to in the tight curriculum at the public school they attend. The institutional education system itself relies on compulsion and force, and not voluntary consent, and this could be precisely why the current education systems in various cities are performing at embarrassingly unsatisfactory levels. Home schooling can be the best option because it can adhere to the child’s individual needs and interests, instead of operating with some narrow perspective and manipulating and forming the personality of the student, pressuring them to conform to the ideas and standards of others.
Children should be encouraged to be themselves, and they should be assisted in realizing their own intellectual and creative potential. Home schooling can give the children the opportunity to explore their passions, protect their individual liberty, and realize their true potential. Is that not better than trusting a stranger to merely tell them what, and how, to think?
Albert, R. (1996). Some reasons why childhood creativity often fails to make it past puberty into the real world. The Developmental issues. New Directions for Child Development
Morgan. J. C. (1917). The Transition Period of Athenian Education and Modern Education. Classical journal. 13(4), 272-276
Parke, R. D., Gauvain, M., & Schmuckler, M. A. (2010). Child Psychology: A contemporary viewpoint. McGraw-Hill Ryerson:Canada.