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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I have similar doubts about the quality of schools in that they, by necessity, teach to the median and have a hard time helping individuals excel. And of course we all want our kids to be at the high end.

    But I do think there is an important social component to school. Even with the negative stuff, you do learn some skills for dealing with other people--even if you just learn that other people are different.

    However, you make a good point about the negative stuff because it can just teach you bad social les
    • But I do think there is an important social component to school. Even with the negative stuff, you do learn some skills for dealing with other people--even if you just learn that other people are different.

      Every homeschooled person I know is far better at social situations than the average schooled person I know, and the people I know who are worst at social situations all went to school.

      What do home-schoolers usually do for social stuff?

      All sorts of things. I don't even really know how to answer the question without sounding silly: you just experience life. There are homeschool groups that do socialization, but life is social. I just don't get the problem here. My children know people in the neighborhood; have family nearby; go everywhere with mom or dad. It's like asking how you can learn without being in school, or how you can work without having a job.

      My feelings about the social skills "learned" in school are explained very well by Graham. Read his nerds essay I linked to above. The bottom line is that school is NOT like the rest of life, and you DON'T learn useful social skills there, unless you are going to end up in a dysfunctional social situation for the rest of your life (such as the aforementioned prison). This is, again, the number one reason why my children won't be going to school. Why subject my children to this? Why even bother risking it? So that someday, if they are in a prison-like situation as an adult, they know how to deal with it? That's lunacy. That makes me sick.

      Of course, not all schools are like this, but the point is that at best schools overall provide very little positive gain for the amount of time invested in them, and I want something better for my family. I will provide the best opportunities possible, not let them seek out the occasional way to get decent opportunities as they happen to come up.

      Sure, they're a nice alternative if you have no others. But that's where the thinking of much of society is so backward: we should raise and teach our kids ourselves if we have the opportunity to, and government schools should be the last resort -- not the default.