Soooo...while my husband and his parents were out for custard the other night (I was home with two sleeping kids) my husband apparently boldly made his parents aware of the following: that I am planning on homeschooling the boys, that I have a rough plan in place to take us all the way through high school, that we are taking it one year at a time for now, but that the boys certainly won't be attending kindergarten. Obviously they don't read this blog (yet!).
My husband is a third-generation teacher so we sort of expected some fall out. Apparently there was no fuss whatsoever! (Although I hear the whole "socialization" fallacy did come up). Perhaps both as former teachers themselves they were more than already aware that this is, and should be, a viable and attractive option for many families?
Now, despite the fact that this conversation took place on Monday, as of today neither of my in-laws have mentioned this topic to me whatsoever. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't mention it for the rest of their visit, but in case they do I have been re-reading some of my favorite nuggets of "homeschooling inspiration."
I would be willing to bet that most readers of this blog already know more about John Taylor Gatto than I do. However, I was re-reading my absolute favorite piece--Gatto's speech titled "Why School's Don't Educate"--and was motivated to link to it here in case any of you hasn't read it.
Jamie Littlefield, a former teacher, at the blog Self-Made Scholar constructed a great post that can fill you in on more information on Gatto including video, links to his books, and links to further reading here. Therefore, I won't go into further detail because it would be redundant. I do want to point out that Gatto was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 1991 as well as New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. Why School's Don't Educate is the text of his 1990 acceptance speech for the Teacher of the Year award. I would love to know more about how he managed to give a speech like this and still won two Teacher of the Year awards in 1991?
He quit his teaching job on the OP ED page of the Wall Street Journal when he was still teacher of the year. You can read that essay here along with a fascinating paragraph that gives a glimpse of what type of teacher John Taylor Gatto was before he quit.
If you are a teacher yourself, please do not think that I am anti-teacher. Like I said, my husband is a third-generation teacher and I am a teacher myself. I think most teachers do better than they ought to be able to do given the obstacles in their path. My concern is that those obstacles seem to increase in size and number annually and I worry that these obstacles will prevent today's teachers from doing for my sons what my teachers did for me when I was a child. My problem is with an increasingly expensive, time-consuming, and centralized system and its imposition on the block of time remaining for families, not with teachers themselves.