25 April 2006

Another reason to homeschool

Last weekend the boys and I attended a games convention held at a Sydney Public High School (Years 7 to 12). In doing so I was surprised at the state of the school and it has re-affirmed our desire to educate the children at home. (Our other reasons are here)
Why? Two reasons:
1. Hygeine and modesty
The boys' toilets and changing rooms were a mess. This was at the start of the weekend so the state of the room was normal. None of the stall doors had functioning locks, and some were missing doors entirely. Toilet paper wads attached to the ceiling, damaged cisterns, obscene graffiti, peeling paint, no soap in dispensers and no way of drying hands either. The shower stalls in the change rooms had no doors or curtains so there was no allowance for any modesty. Some of the faucets were missing handles. It all showed the problem with communal property. If it belongs to everyone, no-one takes responsibility for it's maintenance. Arguing that "money is tight" is not relevant as these problems are not costly - they are just a matter of desire.
2. Safety
Despite acknowledged concerns regarding bullying and other socialisation benefits of the school environment, the school design was such that there was no way for a child to stay safe from anyone that wished to persecute him. Even if the teachers had the time or inclination to supervise the area, there are so many corners and nooks and crannies that even a dope could avoid getting caught in an act of bullying.

Whilst I was contemplating this less than optimum learning environment into which children are thrust, the boys pointed out to me why they didn't want to go there. The place was scary. The shadows, colours and lighting made too many shadowy areas. Even on a bright sunny day the rooms were gloomy.

So we'll stick to learning in an environment providing safety, security, hygeine, quality educational materials, more play time and one which encourages responsibility for the environment in which one lives and works.

5 comments:

patternnuts said...

So sorry to hear the condition of the school!

Karen said...

It's the same all over. When I was teaching, they wouldn't fill the soap dispensers in the student restrooms because the students would empty the soap dispensers by flinging the soap all over the floors. Oh, someone fell and cracked their head open--isn't that hilarious!

Hamel said...

I'm an English teacher here in the US, and I'll say it's the same way everywhere. I fully understand why some parents homeschool their children. Your last paragraph is what every school should focus on, not just homeschools.

DavidofOz said...

I was chatting with a homeschooling fatyher who is a teacher at a parochial school. They have certain areas oif the school as "No Go" areas for the same reasons I mentioned in the post. He is not too impressed with school architects who don't understand school dynamics.

trailerparksaint said...

I have three boys and one lady for inlaws. Two are Private school teachers and one is a librarian, masters degree, at an exclusive Private school for young men. All homeschool. I support my wife in her decision to homeschool. Mychidren are pretty happy to keep to themselves. They are friends with each other. Luckily in our socialist locale the govt. funds us quite generously!