Re: Home Schooling

Alex Weiss (
Sat, 25 Oct 1997 19:32:52 -0400

Let me begin by apologizing for the tone of my last note. My intention had
been to lurk in the background for a time, but something in this thread hit
a nerve.

I imagine that most of us have seen those situations where the intent is
very specifically to rest control from the teacher and give it to the
parent. We like to call this homeschooling. We have also seen situations
where the intent is to rest control from the teacher and give it to the
child. We like to call this homeschooling. My own inclination is to
completely ignore those parents who would rather hold the rope themselves:
they might be on the right track (or not) but this is not the place to
discuss them. Rather my comments were addressed toward those more
'enlightened' homeschoolers who are out to give the child space. Let us
assume for a moment that that means having no curriculum.
What is a lesson plan anyway? 'If their current tendencies persist they
will...' or perhaps 'In the past month we have ... and we anticipate
continuing in that course.' In any case, the mere presence of the words
'lesson plan' does not preclude homeschooling. I'm sure that there are some
cases in which the reins cannot be entirely turned over to the child and
many cases the parents aren't willing to turn them over, but I find it hard
to believe that there is usually no way for it to happen.
It seems that the SVS philosophy and the un/homeschooling philosophy
(forgive me for making that singular), properly implemented, do not differ
in the extent of the curriculum. If my understanding is correct then what
you are saying is that a proper implementation of homeschooling is rare,
whereas there is one Sudbury Valley that was lucky enough to have got it
right, so lets go with the known success rather than risk trying to do it
In a sense, this disagreement is caused by our uses of terms like
'never' or 'rarely' to mean 'I've never seen'. In this case I have seen, so
I know that it can happen. I in turn assume that because it can happen it
can always happen. You perhaps haven't, so you see it as 'a very rare ...
situation'. There are too many factors involved for there to be a yes or no
answer, but perhaps others on the list can provide a few examples to
substantiate some part of our yes it can, no it can't argument.
-Alex Weiss