Our family dove into homeschooling in one chapter, but then so many Portland families were doing it that we found a whole public school, essentially run by parents, down to hiring and firing, that we ended up in the public school system after all. No regrets.
I’ve grown up in big urban environments myself, so those of you in rural areas may find some of this “city hype” on the irrelevant side. But then imagine your children gravitating to a big city for a few semesters. They live in a group home, a supervised dorm setting, and partake of the home schooling system I’m about to describe.
Let’s look first through the eyes of a homeschooler. You’re not confined to a “home” if that’s a chief worry, in that we want you free to go all over town, once old enough, learning the ropes that public transportation provides, as a part of a well-rounded education.
Your phone and computer help with scheduling. You’ll likely be in a public school building some of the time, taking advantage of what teachers there have to offer, along with opportunities to be with peers. Sports teams, theater casts, cheerleaders, student government positions won through voting or appointment: these need not go away. On the other hand, you might go downtown on the bus for your courses in banking, economics, supermarket administration, small appliance repair.
The banks won’t complain so much that the curriculum is biased if it’s on them to explain their role. Wells Fargo might take it back to the days of the covered wagon and the Far West storefront town. What does the bank do in this tiny ecosystem, next to the grocery store, clinic, barber, vet and so on? Learn from the experts. Stocks and bonds, financial instruments… get the Chamber of Commerce involved.
That’s right, I’m talking about groups of 17–19 year olds showing up by subway or bus to actually join with the “cube farmers” in learning about different aspects of the job. Insurance companies will morph in response, developing curricula and classrooms specifically to accommodate the steady flow. So will bakeries, factories, institutions of all types wishing to educate the homeschoolers in how their puzzle piece fits into society.
Yes, of course in practice a lot of these tours will be “virtual”. That takes us back to the need for a serious PWS (personal workspace). If your study carrel hasn’t the bandwidth to connect you to your virtual tours, you’ll feel left out. That’s why some of our high rises devote several floors to serving the needs of homeschoolers. If your sleeping quarters don’t offer serious study tools, consider joining us in the CBD, or in one of our outlying campuses.
One of my pet projects in Portland was to take an abandoned church to serving as an outpost for homeschoolers wishing to master various skills, at least on paper. Our microwave tower pointed at the local science museum (OMSI) is not in place yet. Families are not coming through to see what junior has learned about the blockchain or 2D / 3D animations. Those years are ahead. We don’t have the culture for that yet.