Welcome to Skipping School
The concept is quite simple: There are millions of homeschool graduates (children who homeschooled through high school and on into college) and independently educated individuals who have gone on to be productive citizens, without the benefit of a State supplied schooling. In fact, before the early to mid 1800’s, most everyone in America somehow ended up educated, productive citizens, without the help of a government run, taxpayer funded institution called a public school.
Nothing New Here
For centuries, millions of children have been skipping public schools to homeschool, privately school or educate themselves otherwise, without the aid of a government-run institution. (Why does it never occur to anyone that all of America’s Founding Fathers and many of our greatest thinkers and inventors never set foot in a government school?) Start here for a thorough list of independently and self-educated famous people.
What is somewhat new (since about the mid 1800’s) is the concept of compulsory attendance in a government run, taxpayer supported institution. But here’s the problem today: attendance numbers are dwindling, in spite of the fact that attendance is compulsory. Taxes we pay per student are going up, mostly to meet the demands of keeping the facilities of the Government Education Complex open and state employees paid, even though demand for their “services” are shrinking.
The number of children moved out of public school districts to either independent public schools (like some charters) and to homeschooling or some other form of independent education option will continue to grow until government schools as we know them either fade away, or our government decides to treat the act of not attending a government run public school as a crime, punishable with jail-time for parents and school-time (which isn’t too far removed from jail time, the way many schools are designed) for their children. Germany treats their citizens in this manner already, where homeschooling is practically illegal.
Don’t Get Mad at Me Because Your School Sucks
Please don’t confuse me with someone who wishes to totally destroy the State School System or even YOUR school. I have neither the need nor the power to do so. And despite all of the rhetoric on both political sides of the issue, the majority of public schools are doing… well.
Despite the almost daily reminders in the news of how badly our bureaucratic, factory schooling systems are failing, many parents still feel that their school is doing better than the others around them. To them, it’s all those other schools that are failing.
Anyway… more power to you. I am not going to stand in the way of your children receiving an excellent education, if that’s what you think you’re getting with our tax dollars.
But on the other hand… if I use my time to point out how (in general) Government Schools SUCK, and how our nation is being under-served by a Government Education Complex that promises an “educated populace” but instead delivers functionally illiterate sheeple, don’t come at me with pitchforks. Remember… YOUR school and YOUR child are doing fine. I’m ALWAYS just talking about those other schools. Those are the bad ones that need fixing. Right?
I think the conspiracy is a myth
There is no organized Right-Wing Conspiracy, Conservative Religious Nuts Conspiracy, Corporate Conspiracy to privatize schools. (Why privatize when you can make more money by getting into bed with the Government School Monopoly, that guarantees a return for the corporations and unions, even if your customers don’t like your services? I also don’t want to personally destroy/dismantle/terrorize America’s Public Schools.
And even if there were a conspiracy to do so, why waste the time and money trying to tear down a multimillion dollar monopoly, bent on its own destruction? The self-destruction of the Public Schools as we know them, is inevitable in my opinion. Government schools will experience Death by Bureaucracy and Regulations and the inevitable decline in enrollment the tightening of the Statist Fist will bring. The survivors will be the children and employees who jump ship and begin thinking (and learning and independently teaching) for themselves.
By the way… look for the final gasp of desperation on the part of the Federal and State governments, when they try to make it illegal to leave a Government School without their express permission, so that a child can be educated otherwise.
Skipping School is Wrong! You’re Bad!
No I’m not. I just don’t believe that being forced to spend twelve or more years in an institution run by the government (of any country) is the best path towards enlightenment and an educated citizenry. There are just too many years of darn smart people throughout history we can look to, to disprove any theory that holds up government schools as the answer to the educated citizenry ideal. The problem (and probably the point) is that public schools no longer teach history, which is why many Americans haven’t a clue that people were generally better educated BEFORE social engineers decided that government schooling should be compulsory.
I contend that American citizens are becoming LESS educated and LESS informed as each generation is subjected to what is now a twelve-year indoctrination process called “public school.”
But aren’t homeschoolers and independent learners falling through the cracks and getting an incomplete education without the help of State Schools?
The question is not, “What about those ‘homeschoolers’ who are falling through the cracks?” The real question is: “What about the tens of thousands of State Schooled kids we KNOW are falling through the cracks?“
Think about it: The stats on functional illiteracy don’t come from private-schoolers who can’t read beyond a certain level, they come from public-schoolers who can’t read beyond a certain level. Let’s think about saving the students we KNOW are failing in the system, not about bringing back those who escaped the failing system.
This blog will explore ideas about what real education and “enlightenment” is, as well as the premise that “skipping (state) school” isn’t a bad thing. In fact, skipping school just might be the BEST thing for many American children. Is it right for your children? How should I know? That’s a question you need to ask yourself.
Let’s explore these ideas with an open mind, shall we?
Ben Bennett is the principle author and founder of SkippingSchool.us. He a parent of four children and has over 20 years of experience in the home education community, networking nationally, statewide (Indiana) and locally.