"Be great in act, as you have been in thought." - Jean Paul
Yesterday was Freshman Camp, so the debate team and I showed up with out trifold board and fliers to attempt to recruit new members.
After the morning session for those whose last names fall at the beginning of the alphabet (How I loathe thee!), a few of us decided to walk down the street to the Dairy Queen to get lunch. On the way there, we were talking about some of the stuff we've been doing this summer-- more specifically the things we've been learning on our own.
This post spawns partially from that, and partially from my mother's recent observation that I have befriended a lot of homeschoolers in the last two years.
While I am a public-schooled child, I will never ever say that it within itself is a perfectly sufficient way to gain one's education. As someone I know said last night, "I come from a good branch of a flawed system." I love my school, and I do believe there are advantages to all forms of schooling, but the advantages of public school unfortunately do not make up for the disadvantages if learning is abandoned at 2:15 every day.
My debate team friends agree with this. A quote from one of them: "Doesn't everyone (teach themselves stuff outside of school)?" And the answer, sadly, is no.
I'm not going to make any statements about whether or not there is a single system (or lack thereof) that is enough, but there are a lot of people who learn faster than their classes are taught (and who have interests outside of said classes). The school isn't going to accomodate that, so we have to take it upon ourselves to explore the world on our own time--while still making sure we do our homework.
This is why I read several physics books last fall. This is why I just finished a book about cognitive neuroscience, and why yesterday's post came from a conversation with my dad about evolutionary biology. This is why I'm finishing up the first draft of my second freaking novel. This is why I'm currently reading Harvard's most popular course (Michael Sandel's Justice) in book form, and why my friends and I discuss supposedly "academic" topics without prompting: because public school simply isn't enough.
And I'm sure a lot of conventionally homeschooled kids are the same: they do their schoolwork, whether it be assigned by their parents or an online teacher, but that doesn't mean they stop there.
I'll be entering eleventh grade in two weeks, but I'm also, as I now refer to the status of my unschooled friend, in "People Grade."