Here begins a series of posts on what this blog/book is NOT about. In Christian theology, God is more often defined by what He is not than positive statements about who or what He is. For example, God does not change, is outside of time, is infinite, and is not made. While this blog is far easier to explain than the doctrine of God, I’ll start with some disclaimers before I make any claims.
The first disclaimer: I’m not here to rant about public schools. (Or private schools.)
Why not bash public schools? Three reasons:
- Positive arguments. To make my ultimate point on why Christians (or anyone) should be unschooling (at home or at school), I don’t need to bash the competition. If unschooling is worth trying, you’ll want to try it on the basis of its merits. That’s not to say you won’t have any reasons to keep your child away from public school. You may very well, and that’s okay. It’s just not necessary to be negative for me to make a compelling case for unschooling.
- Life is usually NOT binary. Unschooling is not the answer for everyone, everywhere, and at all times. It’s not true that public schools never accomplish anything. They are places of learning. They do provide opportunities for many young people in underserved communities, where there are fewer private options. So, I can’t say public schools never works for anyone. As someone who went to public school for K-12, I came out okay. I could have been better served in a different environment, but I can’t deny the benefits I received from public schooling.
- Respect. I’ve taught at both Christian and public schools. Each school was different. But there was one constant: My teacher colleagues were amazing people. Teachers are a beautiful breed of people. They toil under very hard conditions and expect little in return. They put in countless hours honing their craft to make more of an impact on students. Of all the places I’ve worked, I have the most respect for the teachers of Zion Central Middle School, a public school in Zion, Illinois. They persevere in a very difficult environment. Why? Because they LOVE kids.
So, as I try to be positive, fair, and respectful in talking about unschooling, I ask that you also engage as graciously as you can. Let’s start in the comments below. 🙂
Questions: What’s your favorite memory of public school? In what ways did you benefit?