About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Life is a Highway: Part II


Education is a series of roadways. A metaphor. Indulge me.

Public school is a freeway, heavily trafficked and, at times, congested. There are several lanes, each with posted speeds. Drive too fast or too slow, and you're violating the law, which is strictly enforced by the police. The good news is that if you run out of gas or need help, highway patrol is there to assist. And if you need to drive in the slow lane, that option is available too. If you are at least a moderately fast car, the freeway is the best way to get to your destination.

Private school is a quiet country road. You can drive at your own pace; there is no minimum speed. You can drive fast on some stretches of the road, and slow on others. And when you drive slow on the country road, they don't call it "the slow lane." The problem is, if you need help or break down, you're on your own. There's no highway patrol, no one to assist. And on certain country roads, they won't even let you on the on-ramp unless your driving proficiency is at a minimum.

Homeschool is a parking lot. You can learn to drive expertly there, with zero risk of danger and no pressure to drive fast or slow. But you don't get to take in much by way of scenery, and you don't learn how to navigate when there are other cars on the road.

9 comments:

Kris said...

Oh wow, what a great observation about our educational choices! Alec is in public school because, well because all my kids go to public school, my husband and I both went to public school and in our area there isn't much in the way of private schools except religious ones. And if you have special needs, they are not equipped to handle them. So far I am OK with the public school here but it is in the back of my mind that if things get bad for Alec I would consider homeschooling. I am generally not a proponent of homeschooling. But for some kids it may be the best choice and since the private school option doesn't really exist here, it is our only other choice. I really like Alec's special ed teacher (she is in the classroom to assist him and a couple other kids) and I wonder how much of my positivity hangs on this one person...
Brad is fortunate you are so aware and keeping his options open...

Laura said...

Thanks. Well it sounds like he's doing well for the time being, so that's great. And with electronic organizers and online stuff, keeping organized and multitasking has to be easier today than it was when we were growing up.

Nyx said...

it's interesting to me that you think of homeschooling as a parking lot. I think I would've thought of it more as cross-country hiking. But what about those co-op schools?

Laura said...

Cross country hiking? I like that! Provided it entails the driver getting the passenger out of the house, into the world and exposing the passenger to different places and people, like the Jolie-Pitts, right? Wait, what was I talking about? As for coop, I don't know much about that, beyond the preschool setting. Aren't coops in the preschool setting more like daycare? (I'm speaking from ignorance here.)

Nyx said...

Maybe I need a little of that sort of schooling myself, since I actually had to google Jolie-Pitts, LOL! I don't really know about the coop thing, I saw something somewhere once and the rest I invented in my own mind I'm sure. But I guess I thought that in theory, you should be able to educate your children in groups with other children, with you and the other parents sort of working together ... I guess it would basically be like a private school, only you pay with labor instead of cash and you get to make all the rules and of course all the mistakes as well. In my imagination, I magically meet 5 or 6 other families who want to do this. They are all brilliant and strangely have a lot of excess time on their hands, and even more strangely agree with me on most things.

Brenda said...

You have been busy lately! I've missed all your updates and just now had time to read them. Hope you get all your options worked out!

Nyx said...

I had to come back and say that I CANNOT get that song out of my head! It's been days and it's driving me nuts!

Laura said...

Nyx - LOL Sign me up for a coop too!

Emily said...

Having experienced all 3, I think your metaphor is hilarious and (mostly) true!

However, I'd say homeschooling is less like a parking lot than like a really realistic driving-on-a-highway simulator. It's fast paced, you develop a lot of skills you might not even get on the country road, but a lot of the realistic detail is abstracted out...like the stop signs and most of the other drivers.