Peers are more scary than the system.
A little.

With my solid, unwavering expectation to homeschool it may surprise some of you to know that my dad is a public school teacher.

I’ve wondered for months now when or if he would say something in response to my assertions against my kids being in public school, and he finally did.

“You know,” he began, carefully as usual, “people objecting to public school seem to imply that the system or the teachers are the problem. Really it’s the other kids. I’ve seen what kids can do to each other.”

And my mom pointed out that “Broken homes make broken children, and they carry that where ever they go.”

And I rushed in to agree that he has some amazing and gifted teachers at his school, and they are an asset to the community and a blessing to the students they teach.

And I also agree that unhealthy peers are a large part of the reason I wish to avoid public schooling.

But I also know there are teachers out there with an unhealthy agenda (King and King— at first if it isn’t still– was an entirely teacher-driven choice as a grade-1 read-aloud).

I am quite sure there are good teachers here that my children could learn from, and classrooms that my children could be safe in.

But the amount of involvement I’d need to invest to be sure of that (with 3 children x 7-hours/day x 5-days/week) can’t be less work than I’m doing for homeschooling.


On a much less “logical” level, I will admit (almost unashamedly) that I am not yet ready to share my children’s affection with someone who does not share my passion for them.

This could be accused as insecurity on my part; an inability to “let go” of my children and allow them to “grow up.”

It may be true.

But no one I’ve yet met will disagree with the idea that (little) children are forced to grow up too quickly these days, and I am willing to look (and even feel) silly if that means I can also feel my children are safer.

4 thoughts on “Peers are more scary than the system.
A little.

  1. Once again, I completely agree. This reminds me of your recent post about sheltering: it’s refreshing to hear someone say that they’re erring on the side of not having their children grow up too fast. Lately it seems that it’s practically become a sin to take steps to not have your children overly exposed to the world.

    Also, I’m not sure if you ever saw this post about a book I read on the topic of the crisis of “peer orientation” among children, but it put words to so many of my concerns about what’s going on in the public school system and society in general. (Sorry if I already mentioned it in another comment, but I just wanted to share in case I hadn’t because that book really changed the way I see the world).

  2. If you can do it, do it. It’s simple as that. Public school is not for every family or every kid. I happen to be involved w/the Public school in our area and am very thankful for it. But I have friends who have had problems.

    Peer pressure is horrible; it takes a lot of wisdom and confidence to stand up to it. I think you’re doing a great job!

  3. I think there is something to be said against the system in and of itself. Even when the teachers are amazing and the other kids are little angels, even if the curriculum is academically challenging and God-honoring, there still seems to be something broken about taking small children away from perfectly functional homes and mothers for seven hours a day, to spend their time in a ridiculously unrealistic society of other children born within 9 months of them. I honestly wonder how that idea ever took off.

  4. I think they “took off” for the same reason that factories did: They are more efficient.

    I mean, look at it: one adult managing x-number of children so the remaining adults can do something else. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Most things are made in factories these days, not because it’s a way to make better things, but because it is the most-efficient way to create a product.

    And I was reminded to be thankful for public schools when my husband’s uncle pointed out that even those with no children “in the system” are right to have to pay into it.

    We are paying for a civilized and educated society.

    For all the complaints and genuine decline of the current results, we would be worse-off as a society if there was no public education.

    Considering how left-alone some (many) children are in their school-free months, I can’t imagine it would be healthy for them to have no school at all.

    We have to remember, as disappointing as it is, that there are 5- and 6-year-olds who don’t learn their colors, numbers, letters, or even animal names until they get to school.

    It can be argued that parents don’t do that job because they expect the schools to, but that is not enough of a reason to stop teaching. These are individual children and not just statistics we’re dealing with.

    You might as well say churches shouldn’t offer children’s Sunday School because the main weight of spiritual teaching should fall to the parents.

    Good Sunday School teachers still want to cram as much Truth into these little sponges as they can while they’re still thirsty. This may be the only place they get it.

    And, as unfortunate as it may be to some, the same is true of the public school system.

    I truly believe that it has a ways to go before it’s more dangerous to send them then keep them out of school altogether.

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