Home schooling.

Reading home-schooled applicants is always a mixed bag. I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole thing. There’s a part of me that leans toward being suspicious as to why a family has decided to pull their kid out of school; but that’s a knee-jerk reaction, because the flip side of the coin is that, ideally, education should be just like good home schooling: self-directed, full of freedom and exploration, and utterly satisfying. This is why sometimes home-schooled kids are really incredible, and often a really good fit for a place like MIT, where that sort of curiosity is a part of the culture.
I feel like I should think about this in depth and come to some sort of conclusion, or at least a coherent thesis. But I have to finish reading this kid. So enough outta me.


5 thoughts on “Home schooling.

  1. i was thinking, “is there any correlation between home schooling and doing well in spelling bees?” after a little research…
    “Home-schooled students make up only 2 percent of students in the United States, but hold 10 percent of the finalist spots in the National Speling Bee, and an even higher percentage at the National Geographic Society’s National Geographic Bee.”
    also, “Home Schooled Finalists Gaining in Numbers.” sounds like theyre ready to take over the world.

  2. Well, it is true that we’re seeing more and more home-schooled applicants; in fact, when I was on the road this fall, questions about home-schooling were among the most frequently asked.
    But the most frequently asked question of the entire trip was: “What is ‘FOO?'” That made my travels worthwhile. I suppose that’s what I get for putting pictures of Mjolnir in my presentation and drinking out of my FOO-stickered Nalgene bottle while “on stage.”
    Hooray for nerd culture.
    P.S. – Foo Floor owns your bones.

  3. Frighteningly, I think a lot of parents see the bees as a kind of litmus test for their ‘parent of an academic’ standing. It’s just the kind of stupidly arbitrary thing that controlling parents fixate on, and it’s not really the kid’s doing, is it? The kid’s head just sits there while information is slammed into it. Past a certain point, it’s a combination of luck and exposure (to obscurities) with a touch of common sense tossed in – and that’s just as much mom/dad’s victory as it is son/daughter’s.
    The geography bee is similar, but there’s a tiny bit of relevance to it, at least. More than can be said for the spelling bee.
    There were a lot of homeschooled kids in it in ’92-’93, as I recall. Or anyway more than I’d ever met. I could be wrong. Then again, I’d never met someone homeschooled before that time.
    Most parents don’t have the aptitude for it. An illuminating read: Christian publications on homeschooling your kids (the focus, predictably, is on the difficulty of teaching Christian values when the kid is going to a godless public school).

  4. There is that correlation. Most of the home-school apps I’ve read have been from the Midwest or the Bible Belt, and many of the kids list church activities as their main extra-curriculars.
    They’ve also all been white.
    It’s an interesting social study, this job.

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