With four boys under the age of nine, Tony Woodlief and his wife, who taught school in Detroit, have decided to educate their children at home. They hope “to cultivate in them an intellectual breadth and curiosity that public schools no longer offer.”
The secret of home-schooling, however, is that you donâ€™t have to be a master teacher to do it well. Energy, dedication, and good materials are what you need. Your competition, meanwhile, is a system that by design and necessity seeks the median. Public (and many private) school students have to move along in all subjects at a similar pace, and in the same order. Outliers â€” the talkative, the energetic, the gifted, the struggling â€” are labeled and interventions (counseling, special classrooms, tutoring, medication) prescribed. The goal is not a full realization of the childâ€™s potential, but rather the systemâ€™s smooth functioning.
It’s a lot easier to teach four of your own children than to teach 20 or 30 children you haven’t raised and don’t control outside the classroom.