Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Real World

I would like to thank all of you that have joined in this discussion. It has given my noodle much exercise and food for thought. Here's some of what I'm thinking:

"Real World" is a phrase that often surfaces in discussions about homeschooling. We are told by experts that children must learn to deal with "life". We are told that in "the real world", they must deal with bullying, with Mean Girls. Get used to it. That's what the world is like, baby, better deal with it. So as homeschoolers, are we over-protecting our children, removing them from negative influences and the "real world"?

When Americans discuss the "real world", generally they are referring to institutional schools as the training grounds, or boot camps if you will, for entering the world they will likely face as adults. Sheltering children, it is often said, does not prepare them well for the challenges they will face in the working world.

The problem arises when "experts" are allowed to define "real". There are as many definitions of a real world as there are individuals alive. Americans define "real world" as fitting into our current (and relatively new) society. I would suggest that such experts, raised by the system and immersed by the system, are thinking inside of a box. They have a vested interest in seeing that the system "works" and that other buy into it.

A stable, competent work force is the highest goal of today's educational system. Workers that are willing to stay, despite not liking the work, despite having trouble with co-workers, will press on and not quit, because that is "the real world" and it isn't any better anywhere else.

In today's world, we are faced more and more with the knowledge that something is going wrong in our society. Not a week goes by that I don't read a newspaper article about a child killing someone. A good number of our kids are on medication so they can make it through the day. Families are disconnected from one another, and siblings spend the entire day, every day, apart so that they can interact with this so-called real' world where they'll never diaper a baby or have to help fix a toddler lunch. They'll not have control of their day, for the schedule is set and they are told when to eat, when to go to the bathroom and when to move on to the next subject.

So, I don't buy that this is "life" or "real world" to attend a school. I want my children to learn that in the real world, you have choices. You don't have to work in a place or job you don't like. You don't have to hang around people that are mean. You are strong. You can follow your passions and live!

1 comment:

sewingmomteaches4kids said...



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