Public vs. Home School

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Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


By: Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 2, 2010

I have a doctorate in Education from Harvard University, so I was certainly trained to understand the school system, probably trained to love the idea of public, i.e. government, schools. But it never really sunk in.

I've been a school teacher. I've taught elementary, middle and high school, as well as summer school. I've taught in many different capacities and all over the map. I've done years and years of private lessons and consulting to schools and parents and designing educational materials. I have a Masters in Instructional Technology and a Doctorate in Developmental Psychology in Education. Let me just say I criticize public schools as an educator, as a former teacher and a current instructor.

Every time I see an incident like the one at the Brazos school district in Texas, where a young girl was given a week of detention for possessing a piece of candy, I think what is it that we're teaching kids?

All you homeschoolers who have to deal with the argument from your friends and family that you're not “socializing” your children, should point out what public schools socialize your children into. The real lesson you learn at school is not the stuff you learn in a textbook, you can learn that pretty easily and in far less time than all the thousands of hours you would spend in a classroom from K-12. What you're really learning in these educational institutions - which may as well be called prisons - is how to follow the rules, even when the rules are insane or wrong.

The socialization training going on at organized government school is designed to teach the children to keep their head low, don't stand up among their peers, don't talk back even when the people in authority are wrong, keep their mouth shut, follow the rules, and arbitrate punishments will be doled out upon them anyway totally regardless of how well they try to follow the rules. Arbitrarily, every once in a while, the long arm of the government will just reach out and bop you across the face. The lesson schools are teaching is that every once in a while this is just going to happen and you have to learn how to live with it. You're taught to just roll with those government punches and be as quiet, dutiful and obedient as you can and hope you can stay out of the way when that long arm comes around doing the bopping.

If you are a freedom loving person and you are sending your children to government schools, realize that the government school is going to be teaching them a very very strong lesson on how to stand in line, how to pay attention to an intellectually stimulating topic for exactly 40 or 45 minutes - not one minute longer or one minute less - they're going to be teaching them a whole host of very fundamental socializing "lessons," most of which are not found directly in their textbooks.

For those who claim home school parents are not socializing their children, I would argue that indeed they are. They're teaching them how to be independent, how to learn on their own without the need for this sort of government regimentation, and many other lessons that I believe are essential for a free society. Therefore it certainly isn't surprising that this country was founded by people who educated their own kids and had a very large distrust in the government to do the educating for them.





This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission.  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at Katherine’s website is: