I'll be the first to admit that I have no great love for the public education system in the good ole' US of A. I am a product of it, but am also lucky enough to have had a mother, that despite her multitude of flaws as a parent goes, did manage to instill in me what I now think of as the most important thing in my life… an ability to think for myself. I was one of those 'prodigy' type kids, too smart for school, but in the era I grew up, there weren't many alternative choices. I was eternally bored and restless in school. I gathered and retained knowledge very quickly, the only way it could hold my interest was when I could apply it to some kind of self-serving task. Simply getting a good grade was not 'rewarding' to me. It meant nothing. I could do that too easily.
I've always been a strong supporter of the home schooling movement. Although my own mother did manage to impart in me the ability to think for myself, I tend to lean towards that being more 'in spite of her,' than 'because of her.' You see, my mother, is a liberal and very much a 'follower' and the product of her own raising. She was raised in that time when the US still had a manufacturing base, believing until this day of 2012 that I should get a job in a factory. She is married to a man who gets a military pension. She is completely out of tune with the realities of today (there are no more factories in the US, if there are, they are not 'good', 'secure' jobs) that she doesn't really have a clue what the 'real' world is like. She is too insulated from it to ever be able to comprehend it.She does not have to look for a job to know that there are none, and as her upbringing/education taught her, because it happens to have worked for her, it means it still works. I have to admit, there are some days when I do wish the US Gov't would just 'collapse' and her husband's pension would just 'cease,' so that she would have no choice but to actually have to face the world as it is, and not from her rose-tinted bubble that she views it through.
But it was the public education system that started to embrace this way of thinking during the dawn of the Industrial Age that created Mom's ideology. And since it has worked, to some extent for her, she believes that this is 'what is right.' Of course, what's missing from the story is that while she has absolutely no idea what it's like to worry that if your kid gets sick and can't go to school for 3 days, you miss 3 days of work, and 3 days of pay, that equals your electric bill that month. And like other liberals, believes that that is no big deal because when that happens you can just go to some social service agency to get that taken care of for you. She's never had to actually 'try' that route, only to face the 'we're out of funds' knee-jerk response that these agencies have to applicants.
The entire public school agenda is meant to 'design' a race of 'worker bees,' who all follow precise sets of rules to garner maximum efficiency, and who 'condition' beliefs in the 'socialist' ideals.
The public school system does not teach our youth to 'think.' It teaches them to accept and blindly obey authority.
That being said…my kids are and will attend public school. For now.
One of my most important 'survival tactics' is knowing my own limitations, and capitalizing on my strengths to offset my weaknesses. Truth be told, I lack all necessary instincts and frames of reference for being a 'good parent.' I have no patience, and I don't relate to little kids at all. I'm much better with teenagers, but they're not born 13 and up. In order for me to give my kids the best life I can give them, I need to focus on setting the example of how to be self sustaining, not just in food and shelter and energy, but in finances as well. And that means I have to work.
I was self employed when I had my first, and at that point, taking my kids to work, worked. But since the bottom literally fell out from underneath my feet in that industry, I've been much more conservative in my approach to finances. I'll take a 'steady paycheck' 7 days a week, and build my wealth in my spare time.
That's not to say that I will never home school or educate my kids though. I basically think of public school like this: I pay taxes for it, so I might as well get my return on that investment in the form of having someone help me teach them the fundamentals, and babysit them. I'll be the one to educate them on how to think.
I'm also a big 'mix and match' person, and I am fortunate enough to live in a state where I can home school my children but can send them to school for subjects I'm weak in, and to participate in school sports and other activities. Plus, I even have the advantage of an 'at home school program' that my state provides for me online.
When the are old enough for me to work while home schooling them, I will. In the meant time, I need the baby sitter.