(Closed) Spinoff: How much say should a parent have in their child's education?

posted 6 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013


Hah. I actually mentioned that in the other thread. Basically I said, I think a parent’s right to input in those decisions ends at the point where their choices conflict with equipping their child with an education that will support them in achieving their future goals and becoming a successful, productive member of society.

Everyone’s got an anecdote about some guy who never graduated high school going on to become a zillionaire (or Einstein working in a patent office) but the reality is, for most people, a poor education will be a lifelong handicap. A parent shouldn’t be allowed to prevent their child from reaching their full potential because they’ve concocted some theory about how little Johnny needs to establish his natural biorhythms or they’re afraid little Jenny might learn the world is round. 

I was reading this earlier today too, which seemed timely to the discussion: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/the-self-destruction-of-the-1-percent.html?pagewanted=all&_r=5&

It’s an opinion piece, but the observations on the disparity of education quality are interesting in the context of this discussion. 

Post # 4
5544 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think there is a reason schooling in some manner is required. I think there are a lot of wonderful home school, private, public schoool settings and even some of the extremely less traditional settings are okay if they work. But when you have decided on a school, especially a traditional public one, you need to go with what the exspected curriculum is, including the attendence policy. I just googled this “unschooling” thing and I would never choose it for my kids, I think there is something important about knowing proper grammer, history, science and the social interation that comes from being with a group of your peers. That is also why I could never home school all on my own. I have some friends who were home schooled just them and one sibling and I swear, they are the most socially inept and honestly not that well educated because their mom and dad who were their teacher put very little effort into it. Then there are others who were part of a home school co-op who graduated with a certified HS dipolma (or whatever the word is) had an incredible educated that was catered to them while still getting a broad spectrum of information and got to socialize with other people in similar situations and was great for them. 

I also think there should be LESS control in what parents say is “acceptable” education in public school. So you personally don’t believe in macro-evolution? Well, that doesn’t mean your child should be ignorant of the facts of the theory. It is the same as in world cultures where you talk about all kinds of religions other people believe and you don’t, just because it doesn’t mesh with your own personal belief system doesn’t mean you should stick yourself or your child in a bubble of ignorance. You think your darling angel isn’t going to have sex because you told them not to so their should only be abstenince sex eduction in school? Uhh, statistics show us that just isn’t going to work. I personally believe that one should wait until marriage to have sex, but I believe more than if kids are going to be having sex, they should be taught about the potential complications and how to do it safely not just that “sex is bad”. I mean where does it stop? You are anti-Semetic and believe the Holocaust was a bunch of lies made up by the Jews so your kid doesn’t have to sit through the lectures on WWII?? I am ALL for having your own personal beliefs but not at the exspense of knowloge about opposing views. How strong can your convictions be without ever hearing the other sides position?? Or that your views would be so totally ruined by the tiny exsposure to the other sides? 

Sorry, that got rant-y. Point being, yes, they are YOUR child, but there is a reaon the goverment mandates education, and I think there should be standards set no matter what form the education takes. The degree from “International College of Online BS” doesn’t count when the school isn’t accredited, why should that be different for the basic education of children? 

Post # 5
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I know this is somewhat unrelated to the attendance policy and unschooling that is being discussed above, but as far as parent say: I work at a private school where the parents not only run the school, but actually make decisions about educators that are in place, including important administration like the principal and the head of school. If a parent even remotely mentions they don’t like something, or have a complaint, the teachers are expected and asked to create extensive supplemental curriculum to meet the parent’s wants. There is no line when it comes to what a parent can ask the school to do for them. There was a parent who actually pulled her kid because she said she wanted her child in a school where educators run the decisions, not parents who have no background in education and work on personal vendettas. So that’s a different example of a parent having too much say in their child’s education.

Post # 6
900 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@abbyful:  definitely if they can’t even agree to get their child to school when school starts, they should have TOTAL control of their child’s schooling-meaning, they should be home-schooling them.

I’m anti-homeschooling in probably 75% of cases,but that’s probably threadjacking. 

Unschooling is interesting.  I wouldn’t do it, but in *some* cases, it could work.  I think an important part of education is learning things that you don’t necessarily want to learn.  I never *wanted* to learn math and I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t been forced.  But I’m awfully glad I have those skills now. 

Unschooling isn’t TOO dissimiler from the progressive methods of education (I worked in a progressive private school briefly) and there are some plusses and minuses that that type of educational style.  The plusses are that in some cases, it really works and kids get to direct their own learning and go at their own pace, etc etc.  In other cases (sadly, about 50 %), this method really does turn out overly-entitled, arrogant, demanding, center-of-their-own-universe type children.

Having taught there, I wouldn’t enroll my own future kids there, because those methods don’t fit my values of how to raise a child “correctly”.



Post # 8
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@BookGirrl:  I’m actually in the middle of studying group-inquiry theory where the kids generate their own questions and learning. Although it’s more that stemming from a simple question about garbage, for example, a teacher can take that and guide his/her students in a unit about garbage/recycling because the kids are motivating the topic with their interest.

Post # 10
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Unschooling is just another example of parents allowing their kids to control their lives when they are too immature to make rational decisions.  Many of my friends who are teachers say the biggest problem they have is not stupid children or the few helicopter parents they deal with, it’s parents who don’t seem to care about their child’s education at all.  The ones that never show up for teacher-parent conferences.  The ones that never sign their child’s calendar or review their child’s homework with them.  The ones that send their child to school completely unprepared to follow instructions because they let their child walk all over them at home.

Homeschooling is a great concept and when done properly hand in hand with an actual educational program or curriculum by a parent who cares and invests their time, energy, and own education into it.  At it’s worst, it is children running amok without any preparation to become an actual productive member of society.

Post # 11
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I don’t really see how you can’t incorporate the elements of “unschooling” into daily life at home and on the weekends without removing that child from school. I did a lot of these unschooling-type activities in school anyway, and if parents are really worried about that, the best solution is to fight the trend towards more standardization and testing in schools. A lot of schools no longer have the time to teach students to garden or use tactile learning because they are too focused on testing. Plus, I think the socialization that happens in school and the exposure to other children from different cultural backgrounds is essential to helping develop good citizens.

Post # 12
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@Elvis:  I agree.  I think the child’s ability to be properly educated is way more important than whatever theory or idea that little Johnny’s parents have come up with about his sleep cycle, his chi, or whatever.  Schools shouldn’t have to cater to some parent’s crazy hair-brained idea or the fad of the month.

@abbyful:  “What I really don’t understand about unschooling is why the parents think that their kids “having experiences” and “learning naturally” are mutually exclusive from attending school.”

Exactly!  All the things I see about unschooling are all things that I had in my life in addition to a real school curriculum.

Post # 13
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@Mrs.KMM:  “All the things I see about unschooling are all things that I had in my life in addition to a real school curriculum.” – THIS. My parents didn’t allow us to watch much television or play video games, and took care to enrich our free time with useful skills and experiences, like seeing chicks hatch, learning to sew, learning to cook, etc. They involved us in extracurriculars like 4H club etc. I’m SO grateful for it. I plan on doing the same for our children.

Personally, I hate the whole Suri Cruise type parenting where the child is treated as an adult. I have friends whose children are that way and it bugs the crap out of me!

Post # 14
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I think you should be able to educate your child in the way that works best for that child…. I guess.

I think if you choose *structured* education…. then you have to abide by the rules of that institution.  It’s not a menu… it’s not pick and choose.  if you want a la carte educaiton…. then structured / institutional education is not for you.

However – I firmly believe that kids who don’t attend public school have a harder time dealing with the incredible diversity when they hit the workforce.  How will they learn how to deal with an irriating boss?  With timelines that they don’t control?  With co-workers where they must compromise?  They haven’t built that skill and they’ve been allowed to believe that the world is interested in how they *feel* about stuff.  The world, in fact, does not.  If they haven’t learned how to deal with these frustrations growing up they are at a distinct disadvantage as an adult when they get “out of the house”.

Post # 15
4324 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

@abbyful:  The world doesn’t cater to Johnny’s circadian cycle, and the sooner Johnny realizes it, the better he’ll function in life.

Post # 16
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I tend to agree with the above. I don’t thik a child is property of the parents, therefore their parents rights to screw up their child’s education as they please does not trump the child’s right to a good education. This isn’t to say it can’t be done at home, or at school etc, but that wherever the child is educated, there is enough accountability (and not in the anti- teacher global education reform (GERM) testing=education kind, I mean actual accountability) to ensure the child gets a quality education regardless of context.

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