The boys are tearing their way through House of Hades, the latest book by Rick Riordan. This leaves me with time to upload the much-requested longer clips from his talk on Tuesday and to read through his blog. Imagine my delight when I learned that Riordan and his wife decided to homeschool their oldest son. I don’t know how it all turned out, or how long they homeschooled, but I loved the post where he described their decision to homeschool and how it was going the first few weeks.
Naturally, he had to address the socialization question:
One of the big questions about home-school – the one that always gets asked first: “But what about socialization?” Boy, I fretted about this a lot. Is it enough that he just hangs out with his friends and takes a few classes with kids here and there? Won’t he miss being around his peers all day? And then I stepped back, and started thinking about what people mean when they say ‘socialization.’ Do we mean the typical school environment? Let me propose something radical: Is there anything inherently ‘normal’ about cramming 300-1000 adolescents together – so many that they can’t possibly be supervised – and letting them teach each other how to behave? If that’s what we mean by socialization, I’m not sure it’s a good thing. It’s also a fairly recent paradigm. Education did not always mean huge institutions busting at the seams with children. Well . . . that’s a much bigger debate, but I thought I’d toss out the question.
But (shhhhh) the biggest advantage of this experiment so far? I feel connected with my son. I was starting to feel that adolescent “pulling-away,” which is normal and good, I know, but at least now I talk with Haley every day about current events. I read with him, write with him, find out what he’s interested in. Next year, Haley may decide he’s had enough of his parents and say goodbye to home-schooling. If he does, that’s fine. But for the time being, I’m enjoying getting to know him as a student and watching him learn.
And for all of you who wrote to ask for more video from Tuesday’s presentation in Arlington, I’ve uploaded all that I have. It was recorded on my phone and I got less than half of it. But here it is, in two parts, both of which hint at why he might have ended up homeschooling.