Since I'm reading from Lynn's blog, here's a post I enjoyed, called Qualifying Qualifications. She wrote it back on June 16th, for a reference point. Here's the post, but you should visit her blog, too.
Well said! And I'd recommend reading Rolfe's blog, linked to above, as well. And just follow his links as well.
This time of year always makes me a little sad. It seems that, for many children, The Last Day of School is an even more joyous occasion than Christmas Morning. The yearly festivities are also a good reminder about the benefits of homeschooling.
I've been spending time at Rolfe's blog reading about homeschooling and, specifically, whether or not "college degrees matter." Of course, another way of asking the question is, "Are credentialed teachers really nothing more than glorified baby-sitters?" Generally, homeschoolers sometimes imply - or even come right out and say - that this is the case; many educators return the sentiment by accusing homeschoolers of being uneducated and unqualified simpletons.
So, allow me to shake things up a bit and make a concession. I don't question for a minute that Greg Laden, for example, could do a far better job teaching Science to my daughter. (Gasp!) (Greg, if you read this, I'll give you a minute to savor the compliment in light of recent (and perpetual?) bash-fests.... whistling... whistling...)
But, is the advantage diminished, maybe lost, in a room full of disruptive, complaining kids who don't want to be there? Can a schoolteacher go slower when my daughter is confused and faster when she's got it down cold? Does the very classroom structure encourage "passive rather than active learning." Will schooling's constant emphasis on performance and rank interfere with her natural curiosity? How about the insistence by her peers that learning is stupid, boring and a waste of time? Will she cheer on the last day of school?
For me, it's an apples and oranges thing when it comes to talking qualifications. You may be far better equipped to teach a particular subject than I, but you have to work within certain constraints that interfere with your effectiveness. I have more flexibility than I know what to do with. Schooling is not all-good nor all-bad - and neither is home-schooling. But, all things considered, homeschooling can sometimes be a better option.