Putting Children First: Rejecting a One-Size-Fits-All Mentality

Through my work with Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out, I have come to realize that, more important than the type of school, is how dedicated that school (or family) is to putting children's well-being first. Does the school respect each child as an active subject? Does the school create space for children with special needs to thrive? Does the school educate parents about the warning signs of child abuse? Does the school have a child protection policy? Does the school educate parents about teen suicide prevention?

Both public schools and homeschools have succeeded and failed on all these counts, some more than others. To argue, therefore, that public education is inherently good and home education is inherently bad, or vice-versa, neglects the fact that both types of education have hurt and helped children at various points. Yes, some public school teachers have sexually abused children. But so have homeschool teachers. The same goes with physical abuse in public education and home education. Making sweeping generalizations about either type of education, therefore, is unhelpful.

As a society, we need to move beyond thinking about educational venues in Manichean terms. We need to move toward a children-first mentality within and without each educational method, where we look to how we can best enable every individual child to thrive. The point of education is not to satisfy adults' philosophical or religious biases. The point of education is to empower children to unfold into their own beautiful selves.

9/7/2016 4:00:00 AM