Thoughts on homeschooling/TV
From: Dorothy Zemach (dw195005jnet.sei.co.jp)
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 22:20:29 -0500
My husband and I have tossed the idea of homeschooling around a bit;
it's just academic at this point, as our son is 2.5.  But when we
mention it to others, the objection that people most often bring up
is that a homeschooled kid will miss out on the "socialization" (and
ours is an only child).

Well, I went through all the grades of public school (and good public
schools, at that), and the socialization process almost killed me.  At
age 34 I am still struggling against the effects of that socialization.
I'm sure there must be people who had a wonderful socialization period
in, say, junior high school, although I have personally never met one.

What we decided is:  our kid will go to public school as long as it
seems to be good for him.  If/when it's not, we pull him out (my
husband and I are both teachers, and work flexible schedules).  If he
later wants to return, that's fine too.  I don't think homeschooling
has to be an all-or-nothing decision.  It's obviously going to depend
on which school your child is in, who her friends are, who his teacher
is, what emotional state she's in, etc.

Since so many schools participate in field trips, why not invite your
child's class (if the age is appropriate) to your cohousing community,
to expose them to a model of housing/living that might spark future
interest?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm amused to see people so strongly against TV who obviously spend a
lot of time at the computer! which is something I would have second
thoughts about for a growing child...  TV has its place, and it's
presumptuous, not to mention impossible, to make decisions about its
use for other families.  Sesame Street did a lot to help our child
learn English, and Japanese too (we get a bilingual version here).
My husband and I watch TV several times a month, and haven't committed
any homicides yet.  Actually, Japan has a fairly low homicide rate,
and if you can imagine such a thing, I think they watch TV a lot *more*
than Americans (and the kiddie shows are so violent we don't allow
them in our house).  I know people who *read* so much they are anti-
social, but I would never presume to say we should ban reading!

If we really object to the quality of TV shows, the place to protest
is to the advertisers.  A short note (you could do this during
"computer time") saying, "I noticed you were a sponsor of xxxx movie
that played (date); I will not buy a product that supports (things
you object to)."  If enough letters like that come in, things will
change.  Sure, it takes some time to do that, but aren't cohousers
people who don't mind spending time to bring about positive social
change?

Dorothy Zemach
Osaka, Japan
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