From "When Schools Fail Children," an article by David Guterson inHarper's (November):
For too many contemporary parents the school system is little more than convenient day care -- day care they can feel good about as long as they don't reflect on it too deeply.
Many parents I know put more hours into their golf games or their wardrobes or into accumulating enough capital for the purchase of unnecessary luxuries than into their child's education. . . . So when I talk about homeschooling I am talking about choosing less affluence in the name of more education. I am talking about giving matters intense and vital thought before one ships one's child off to school.
And while it's easy -- and understandable -- for parents to protest that one hasn't the time or energy for homeschooling, there is much, short of pulling children out of school, that parents can undertake today. Homeschooling is only the extreme form of a life in which all of us can and should take part. The notion of parents as educators of their children is, in the broad sense, neither extreme nor outlandish, and we should consider how instinctively parents engage in the instruction of their children -- at the dinner table, for example -- and how vital a role an expanded homeschooling movement might play in repairing families.
We should think clearly about the problems of schools, ask ourselves why every attempt to correct them seems doomed to fail, replace in our hearts the bankrupt notion of "quality time" with a reassessment of our role as parents. We should recognize that schools will never solve the bedrock problems of education because the problems are problems of families, of cultural pressures that the schools reflect and thus cannot really remedy.