One day, when I was a young boy, I saw my mother reading a book. The title of the book: “My Sister Is an Only Child”.
“That’s a dumb title for a book!” I thought.
Recently I was watching a CNN special on how to fix American public schools. One of the people interviewed was Professor Ken Robinson. Robinson is a favorite of mine and I strongly suggest everyone watch some of his talks at TED Conferences [Go to You Tube and enter his name. He is not only very funny, but has some important things to say that anyone who cares about children needs to hear].
The interviewer, Fareed Zakaria, asked Robinson how American schools could be improved. Here is the short exchange between Robinson and Zakaria (I can’t quote it exactly, but this is close):
Robinson [responding to Zakaria’s question]: You have three children, don’t you?
Robinson: I have never met your children, but I know something about them. They are very different from one another, aren’t they?
Zakaria: Yes, very different.
Robinson: Herein lies the great problem with public schools: Every human being is different, yet, we don’t treat children as if this was the case. We treat them as if they were the same: same abilities, same capacities, same interests. What we need is to celebrate the individuality of each child. Public schools were originally created on a factory model, to educate masses of children as efficiently as possible. This requires conformity, uniformity, and standardization. But, we are not making motor cars, here. We are raising unique human beings.
At that moment, the title to my mother’s book jumped into my mind (I had not thought of that book in decades). I thought, “My sister really was an only child!”
If you think about it seriously, every child is an ‘only child’.”
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that famous educators like Robinson are finally saying things we homeschoolers have been saying for a long, long time.
As a homeschool parent, are you treating each of your children like he or she would be treated in the public (factory) school?
Or, do you shun conformity, uniformity, and standardization as you homeschool your different children? If so, in what ways are you celebrating the individuality of each child?
Please comment below. I would really like to hear from you on this important issue.