I’m happy that Jason Tanz, who has written before about the sharing economy, wrote an article about homeschooling for Wired Magazine: The Techies Who Are Hacking Education by Homeschooling Their Kids. It gets across the entrepreneurial and DIY nature of the self-taught, and how the future will require us to be more inventive, take responsibility for our own education and be more entrepreneurial in our lives, education and pursuits. We were also happy that our micro-school, Sesat School, was included in the article.
Most of my interview was not included in the article, and unfortunately the one quote that was included made it seem as if I were endorsing an exclusive, privileged education that readers should “feel free to roll [their] eyes” about. Nor am I anti-public school or anti-democratic. This was unfortunate.
My public school education included a love of poetry and classical music–I was not homeschooled, and in the article it is implied that my experience has something to do with homeschooling. It did not. I was speaking in the context of what was good about public school education, and how being different didn’t hurt, but helped me in life.
In the interview with Jason I had said that the “gifted children’s programs”, in which I had participated in public school, were elitist and that all children should be able to participate in them. In many ways it was a reaction against privilege that led me to homeschooling. One of the many reasons I started looking into homeschooling — or independent education, as it is better named — was that I was repelled by the line of limos outside the private schools in the morning.
I was especially happy about this paragraph:
Problems arise, the thinking goes, when kids are pushed into an educational model that treats everyone the same—gives them the same lessons and homework, sets the same expectations, and covers the same subjects. The solution, then, is to come up with exercises and activities that will help each kid flesh out the themes and subjects to which they are naturally drawn.
The best part of the New Jersey public schools “gifted program” was exactly that.
I am grateful that Jason wrote this article. It does a great service to homeschooling in general, and delineates its entrepreneurial and DIY ethos very well. I just don’t want to be the poster child for its “privilege”– the very thing I’m resisting.