My name is Robin Babb, and I’m fed up with school.
What schools teach is dependence. Dependence upon another to provide learning, instead of upon one’s self. This kind of education does not create smart, self-directed adults – it creates a mindless, unmotivated, and unhappy population that requires just as much guidance and hand-holding as it did in grade school. Realizing all of this after twelve years of traditional schooling, I decided that it was time for me to take my education into my own hands.
When I first mentioned homeschooling to my parents, they were completely surprised. I had previously always liked my school, and I made straight A’s. So, they wondered, why the sudden change?
The truth is that it wasn’t quite as sudden as it seemed. Although for the most part I liked my small, private Montessorri school, I have always had an aversion to the public school system, and the way that many people I know feel about school. Although I won’t delve too deeply into my political views right here, I will say that I find it offensive that many people believe education is something that government must provide them with. Education, in my mind, is not something that should be mass-produced and made to cater to the lowest common denominator – it is something that should be custom tailored to each student by themselves and their parents. Because the fact is that, if a student is being forced to learn something instead of pursuing it out of their own interest, it is almost impossible for them to learn it. As I developed these ideas in my head and talked with my friends about them, I came to the conclusion that homeschooling was the only way I could truly pursue my own interests, and spend my time really learning.
So, I just finished my Junior year of high school, and I’m now officially a liberated learner – free to teach myself what I think is important, in whatever way that I choose. Although my plans for the year are still in their beginning stages, I’ve begun thinking about projects I might do and places I might travel. I’m very much interested in literature and poetry, so I would like to spend some time reading and writing. I also am passionate about art, especially puppetry, which I pursue with a few friends and my fellow homeschooler Ciaran. Recognizing that most of my math classes in the past have been terribly lacking, I have resolved to start re-learning all the high school level maths, starting with basic algebra. While I’m embarking on these projects, though, I recognize that my path of learning may (and most likely will) lead me to unforseen places, and that I should have an open mind about the new things that I discover and become interested in.
I am excited and nervous about this adventure I’m starting, but I have confidence in myself. I know that this year will not be a waste, whatever I end up doing. I hope that any other homeschoolers, wannabee homeschoolers, and self-motivated learners will check out my blog for ideas about homeschooling and education in general. I want to start a conversation about education – education as it pertains to the individual, and to the nation. Please ask me any questions you have, and I will happily talk with you about it.