I live in a relatively small city. Not a huge metropolis.
This week alone, the following stories have made news:
- Shots fired at a local high school
- A loaded, cocked handgun was found in a girl's bookbag at the same school
- A teacher has been arrested, accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student.
The first two incidents happened in the school right across the street from my church on 2 different days.
The third incident happened at the high school my kids would be going to, if I would allow them to set foot back in public school. (Um. No. Not gonna happen.)
What on earth is happening in our schools?
I have a theory. Just my personal theory - not gonna research it to see if anyone else agrees. Maybe I will later.
Kids need supervision. They need adult interaction.
Years of having latchkey kids and letting other people raise our kids has begun to come around and bite us in the butt.
God designed families to be a certain way. They designed it so that kids would be raised and nurtured by family members. In some instances, friends and extended family would have to step up and help (when there was a death in the family, for example, and Mom or Dad passed away). They were also educated by parents (at least in the younger years).
Trust me - if you spend all day together, you bond. You can't HELP but bond. Hahaha.
I have worked in day care centers. There are some wonderful ones - and I have seen them. Still, it is just not the same as being with Mom or Dad. Period. It just isn't.
I have seen some research indicating that young kids in day care are advanced academically compared to peers who are at home. (The research was done using at-risk kids, so I believe the study to have limited application to the average family, but that is not the issue here.) Let's assume they are right and ALL kids benefit academically from being in day care.
Knowing their alphabet a year early or being able to say colors and shapes does NOT make up for the love of a Mom or Dad. Hugs and kisses all day go a LOT longer than drilling colors and shapes in the classroom.
As far as the academic end, I have this to say: it depends on the parents and the child.
My oldest son was reading at age 3 (almost 4). Why? Because he wanted to play on the computer, and I said he had to learn how to read before he could play on the computer. So he asked to be taught to read. Within a week, he was reading words and putting together sentences. He is reading on a college level now (at 11 years old).
My daughter was a different story. I could not get her to sit still long enough to read a book until she was around 5. She learned how to read when she was almost 6. At 9, she is reading on about a 6th grade level (about 2 years ahead).
My youngest just turned 3. He knows his colors and shapes and numbers up to 12. He can do some really basic addition. Reading holds zero interest for him at this point.
Now, in all of these cases, the same person taught them. Me. Same teacher, same basic methods, 3 different kids.
Yeah, I got off on a tangent, but the point is that early academic training does not insure academic success later on, but Mom and Dad being around helps a lot more.
I do not know the details of the incidents I mentioned in the beginning of this article, but I can make a few bets, one of which is that the kids had a lot of unsupervised time.
Maybe my kids will be sick of being around me by the time they graduate from high school and go to college, but I doubt it. Most homeschooling families I have seen have very close ties in high school, college and beyond.