Monday, June 05, 2006

The Gilded Age of Homeschooling

From the New York Times,

In what is an elite tweak on home schooling - and a throwback to the gilded days of education by governess or tutor - growing numbers of families are choosing the ultimate in private school: hiring teachers to educate their children in their own homes.
Stereotypically, the article brings up the myth of socialization as being a problem for homeschoolers who use a tutor. Jon D. Snyder, dean of the Bank Street College of Education in New York, worries that the tutors might not be a "good fit" for the student and "whether students got enough interaction." This quote is priceless,

"Public education has social goals; that's why we pay tax dollars for it," he said. "When Socrates was tutoring Plato, he wasn't concerned about educating the other people in Greece. They were just concerned about educating Plato."

Why doesn't anyone worry whether placing 25 students with one teacher is a "good fit"? But it is nice to finally admit that public education has its social goals. Even if they are reluctant to admit exactly what they are. However, I can be reasonably assured their goals are not my goals for education, social or otherwise.

We do use a tutor for music but not for academics. I'm not opposed to it, we just haven't found it necesssary yet. I am opposed to government funded homeschooling which could create problems in the future. (See my post The Future of Homeschooling for more info.)

While I on the subject of tutors, our piano teacher just raised his rate to $22 a half hour. Is that high, low, or typical of most piano teachers? What about for other tutoring?

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