kitchen table math, the sequel: It's too late for my 14 year old.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's too late for my 14 year old.

I'm only 43 pages into Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto and the anguish is overwhelming at times. I read passage after passage aloud to my husband, because I just can't keep it to myself. Last night, after a particularly insightful bit, I looked at my son and said: "Would you like to teach yourself high school?"

"With books and investigation, " I said, pointing to The Three Musketeers, he is reading & enjoying for school. "That's how Jefferson, Washington & Lincoln did it. I'll help"
"He stared at me in disbelief" I thought he was contemplating the freeing possibilities.
"Nah," he said, "I'd probably be too lazy."


Crimson Wife said...

Many kids who start homeschooling after a number of years in a traditional school need a period of "deschooling". It doesn't mean they're lazy but just they need time to adjust. Tammy Takahashi wrote an excellent book on the topic called "Deschooling Gently".

I don't think 14 is at all too late to start homeschooling. 16 or 17, perhaps- but then I'd just suggest early graduation.

Anonymous said...

My son, at 14yo, has never been to school but will be entering grade 10 in a bricks-and-mortar school next year.

The process is sparking discussions about just what he wants to get out of "school" - is it a diploma, a social group, exposure to a broader group of teens and adults and their varying ideas, freedom from being with mom/dad/siblings so much, the chance to pursue learning in a different venue, more structure?

Most of our discussions are about playing the game - Having missed grade 9, do you care about catching up on missing credits? Is it more important to do what the teacher wants, or to spend your time in ways that you know will allow you to learn more about what you're really interested in? Is it about the grades or the learning? How much are you willing to play the game?

Having homeschooled in large part because "I" got so tired of playing the game throughout my school years, these are tough discussions to have with my children.


Catherine Johnson said...

Hi Nikita --

Let us know how it goes if you have time.

Catherine Johnson said...

Oh gosh, Cassy.

That's distressing ----- is it too late?


What's happening with the school hunt?

Catherine Johnson said...

I can't believe I'd never heard of that book. I have Different Kind of Teacher sitting here on my desk.

Catherine Johnson said...

for what it's worth, I agree with Crimson Wife (not that I have any direct experience of trying to make this decision at this time)

of course, I have quite a few regrets myself on this score