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The title got lost, and I'm veering away anyway.

<< I suppose it would then be a question of which is more damaging for each
child's situation...school or a bad home-life. >>

But even a so-so homelife can be worse than school for some kids. Depends on
the kids. Depends on the school.

I was much better off in school than I would have been home with my mom.

I was thinking this morning at the grocery store that if I couldn't
homeschool anymore for some reason, Holly wouldn't mind a bit going to school.
Kirby's too old to matter anymore. Marty's almost legal drop-out age (or maybe is)
so he's on the cusp. And my thoughts wandered on over to the range of
homeschoolers, the stereotypes (and all stereotypes are based on something, they
don't come out of nowhere), and what school would do to my kids or vice versa.

All my kids would have been good students. Marty would have been better in
sports and math than language-related stuff, probably; same as his dad,
dyslexic leftie. Holly would have been popular and succeeded in music and sports if
she had an interest in either, and probably be a straight A student.

School hurts even kids like that, but because it wouldn't crush the life out
of them, I could live with them going to school, and it wouldn't be as bad
because they wouldn't have me and their dad shoving from the other side saying
"The teachers are right" and "No allowance until your grades are up" or "No
music or TV until your homework is done." We could buffer their experiences.

But if I had a child who was physically handicapped, or had a serious speech
defect, or was even an FLK (funny-looking-kid, used by special ed teachers of
kids with head deformations from forceps or injury or fetal alcohol syndrome;
not all of them are brain damaged, but sometimes there are brain damage
situatios that show in the formation of the head), I would not subject him to that
hall of doom.

One of the saddest things I ever hear (and I've heard or read it lots) is in
an account of a child who is terminally ill or has a condition that shortens
life, it seems they always work in before the article or interview is over that
the child is going to go to school so his life can be as normal as possible.

Why go to school if you're about to die? Why not Italy? The Bahamas?
Disney World?

And then the question is why go to school if you're going to live?

But given all imaginable factors, unschooling isn't for everyone and school
won't destroy EVERY child.